It happens. Often.
When I am speaking (or writing) about Israel's military occupation and Palestinian nonviolent resistance, people frequently ask me: "But Palestinians are violent! They're the ones killing civilians!"
I had this experience recently in chatting with a neighbor about the situation in Gaza. "Palestinians are the violent ones -- they're firing rockets!"
This comment -- and Western media coverage of Israel's military assault on Gaza -- astounds me. Since the beginning of Israel's assault on Gaza until now (27 December 2008 to 16 January 2009), the Israeli military has killed 1, 133 Palestinians. According to If Americans Knew, 300 of those casualties were children. In contrast, 13 Israelis have been killed in this war on Gaza. Three of them were civilians.
The media portrays Palestinians as the aggressors, the abusers of violence. Yet after looking at the numbers, one is left wondering: Who are the violent ones?
About this Blog
"Ordinary People" is something of an intentional misnomer. I live and work with Palestinians practicing nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation. They are doing things that are hardly "ordinary": committing themselves to active nonviolence and to loving their enemies -- following the commands of One who was anything but ordinary. And yet, the Palestinians with whom I work are also very ordinary -- they are not some kind of spiritual superheroes/superheroines who do things most folks can't do. They are simply ordinary people daily committing themselves to living a higher calling -- a calling of love and active nonviolence.