History, Maps, Glossary
History of Palestinian Resistance

The Link - Volume 43, Issue 3  
July - August  2010 
From Americans for Middle East Understanding:

Where Is The Palestinian Gandhi?  
by Mazin Qumsiyeh  

On Thursday, May 6, 2010, we sat in front of the massive bulldozer carving up the land of  the small village of Al-Wallaja. We were an eclectic group of about 50 individuals: Al-Walaja  residents, other Palestinians, internationals including Israelis, young, old, males, females,  Jews, Christians, and Muslims.  

Peacefully we tried to explain to the soldiers gathered ominously around us that we were there at the invitation of the land owners, that the colonial activity of building a wall on the  people’s land is illegal per international law.  

The soldiers dragged us away, arresting four of us: me, a Canadian young man and two  brothers from Al-Walaja. They particularly abused the two brothers using pepper spray and  beatings. Three others were injured and one was hospitalized.  

Popular Resistance in Palestine  

What happened to us in Al-Wallaja is but one of thousands of such encounters; far more  violent attacks and arrests of participants have taken and are taking place in Palestine.  

I first learned about popular resistance from observing such acts over the years and not  because anyone taught it to me. As a child, I recall soldiers humiliating my father who with  dignity refused to obey their unjust orders. I recall relatives engaged in defiance of the  occupation, and high school friends who paid a heavy price for any acts of resistance, big or  small, or even simply for being a Palestinian in Palestine.  

I’ve spent many years in the U.S. but have returned frequently, including during two  intifadas. In the U.S. I was involved in hosting speakers on nonviolent resistance, all of  them practitioners and not theoreticians. This included Jeff Halper, co-founder of The Israeli  Committee Against House Demolitions, and the Palestinian Salim Shawamreh, whose home  was demolished three times by the Israeli army and rebuilt three times by Halper’s  committee as an act of civil disobedience to injustice.  

In June 2005, we hosted Al-Rowwad Theater Group from Aida Refugee Camp, a group  engaged in using art and theater as a form of resistance. I recall a poignant moment during  that trip that illustrates the resilience and dignity of our people.  

We were driving the refugee children in two vans from Connecticut to Vermont for their next  appearances. I was driving one van with an adult next to me and six playful but well  behaved children behind me. About two hours into the trip, I was engaging in a political  discussion with the teacher which got a bit heated like the air outside the van. We were a  bit depressed about the state of affairs in Palestine with the entrenching of the apartheid  system. Out of nowhere, I feel this tap on my shoulder and the ten year old girl from behind  telling me “Don’t worry, uncle Mazin, Palestine will be free.” 

I do not remember what I mumbled in response but both I and the teacher stayed silent  until the next stop. There, I was taken aside and told by one of the adults in the Theater  Group that her mother was murdered by the Israeli army. He explained that this is not  publicized and I should keep it to myself because it is important for her to feel like the other  children. In later conversations with this girl, I was struck by her positive energy and lack of  even any hint of bitterness. 

 I personally have met hundreds of decent, brave, inspiring Palestinians like her.  
There is Sa’ed Abuhijla. He was jailed and tortured, and his mother was assassinated in  front of his eyes on the balcony of their home in Nablus. Sa’ed is kind, open, fun, but also  defiant. He holds no bitterness that I can detect.  There is Sa’ed Bannourah of Beit Sahour, shot at point blank range in the back and  paralyzed for life. Now he spends most of his time writing and editing for the International  Middle East Media Center, an indispensible outlet for news of popular resistance in Palestine.  

On July 20, 2007, while participating in the weekly demonstration in Bil’in, I watched as  Eyad Burnat—himself injured many times in popular resistance—picked up his cousin  Ibrahim who had been shot in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet and carried him to  an ambulance. Afterwards, we interviewed Eyad. He stood composed, his shirt soaked in his  cousin’s blood. The interview is on YouTube, and I urge readers to view it.  ( Despite all the brutality, Bil’in, he says, will  continue its nonviolent resistance against the illegal occupation.  

I have met thousands of such people and their energy kept me working hard while in the  U.S. to build organizations, write, speak, publish, visit Palestine more frequently, and act.  When I finally moved back to Palestine on a full time basis two years ago, I had resolved to  emulate these heroes of mine.  

We, Palestinian Christians and Muslims, have no shortage of self-sacrificing heroes to inspire  us. One of the first is Jesus/Yassou', who practiced non-violent resistance against  oppressive Pharisee and Roman rulers. His message is loud and clear in loving our enemies,  working diligently and non-violently to defend the weak, and acting in ethical ways that are  pleasing to God without concern for negative repercussion. That model is highly respected  by his followers and those include Palestinian Muslims, who venerate Jesus as a prophet.  

The true Muslim seeks peace with God and man: with God by total submission to his will  because He is the source of all goodness and purity, with man by spreading good deeds. But  this does not mean that Islam is passive: “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice,  as witnesses to Allah (God), even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and  whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of  your hearts), lest you swerve, and if you distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily  Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.” (Quran, 4:135).  

In the Islamic and Arab world, popular resistance has thus become well established. One of  Mahatma Gandhi’s colleagues in the Indian subcontinent was a Muslim by the name of  AbdelGafar Khan. In the 1920s and 1930s, Khan established his army of nonviolent  resisters among the Muslims of Peshawar and then spread the movement to other districts.  They had a unique uniform, discipline, and totally nonviolent methods. In one  demonstration alone, the British forces opened fire killing hundreds of his unarmed army.  

As in Christianity, Islam does not encourage hating those who do evil, only the evil deeds are hated. “Love your enemies” does not mean loving their acts of injustice. The believers  dislike evil deeds (Yakrahu Al-Munker) and not evil-doers (Al-Munkireen). In all other  religions (Buddhism, Judaism etc.) you find similar sayings.  

Popular Nonviolent Resistance  
To Zionist Colonization  

In the 19th century, the Zionist movement tried to use its significant resources of money to  purchase land for colonial settlements. The technical transfer of paper ownership of some  land was facilitated through bribes, the use of so-called absentee-land owners, and other  tools established in the bureaucracy of a corrupt and decaying Ottoman empire. 

While the size of these early parcels of lands was relatively small, they a) represented a  beachhead for colonization, and b) the peasants who farmed these lands for generations  were forced out, giving the first hint of what was to come.  

It is thus not surprising that in the 1880s, we find the first demonstrations, petitions, and  other forms of civil resistance. The two segments of society that were most involved in this  resistance were the peasants (fellahin) and the intellectual elite who were able to read and  understand the Zionist goals of transforming Palestine into a Jewish state. In the latter  group we find Palestinian representatives in the Ottoman parliament such as Ruhi Al-Khalidi  and Hafez Abdel-Hadi.  

For over 40 years, resistance was exclusively by civil and popular means. Armed resistance  entered the picture in very sporadic, small and unorganized ways in the 1920s. In 1886,  villagers of Al-Khdaira and Malbas protested the growth of the settlement of Petah Tikva.  These early protests caused the Ottoman government to restrict settlement of those who  entered the country as tourists and overstayed their three-month entry permit.  

The struggle at the popular level intensified in December 1908, when villagers of Kafr Kama  (near Tiberias) tried to reclaim land taken by the Jewish Colonization Association. New  newspapers like Al-Karmal and Filastine became vanguards of nationalist and anti-Zionist  expression. A small uprising occurred in 1911 that set a pattern of uprisings separated by  periods of relative calm for decades to come. The intervening periods between these  uprisings usually spanned 8-15 years or more depending on geopolitical circumstances.  There were thus distinct uprisings in 1911, 1920, 1929, 1936, 1956, 1972, 1987, and 2000.  This year, 2010, looks like the beginning of another uprising.  

It was the failure to get further support from Ottoman rulers that led Zionist leaders to  lobby European powers, particularly Britain and France. It paid off. On June 4, 1917, Jules  Cambon, secretary general of the French Foreign Ministry, sent a letter to Nahum Sokolow  of the World Zionist Organization, pledging “to help the renaissance of the Jewish nationality  on the land from which the Jewish people were exiled so many centuries ago.” And on  November 2, 1917, Arthur Balfour, the British foreign secretary, sent his letter to Lord  Rothschild announcing that “His Majesty’s Government view with favor the establishment in  Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”  

Palestinians learned of these declarations in the middle of WWI, a war that reshaped  Western Asia as it did other parts of the world. The resistance to the British occupation and  its attempts to develop a "Jewish national home" in Palestine accelerated after the end of  WWI.  

In 1918, two youth organizations (Christian and Muslim mixed) were formed in Jerusalem  representing clan alignments of the era: Al-Nadi Al-Arabi (the Arab Club) and Al-Montana Al-Adabi (the Culture Forum). Founders of the former included members of the Al-Husseini  family, and of the latter Fakhri Al-Nashashibi and Hassan Sudki Al-Dajani. This was the first  inkling of familiar divisions in the politics of Palestine. Their visions of resistance differed on  the point of whether to cooperate with the British authorities or not. But resistance on the  ground was growing and intensified because of the 1917 Balfour Declaration. The First  Palestinian Arab Congress was held in Jerusalem, from January 27 to February 4 1919, with  27 delegates attending from throughout Palestine.  

The massive British repression in the 1920s convinced some of the locals to take up armed  resistance. This resistance was insignificant and happened after four decades of purely  nonviolent resistance. Meanwhile, the civil popular resistance continued and actually  accelerated. On March 11, 1920, many peaceful demonstrations were held in all major  Palestinian cities concomitant with the foundation of the underground Haganna forces, the  forerunners of the Israeli army. On 4 April 1920, a religious festival, held annually and  called Mawsam Al-Nabi Musa, was transformed into a large nationalist demonstration. The  uprising of 1920-1921 was the first obvious mass movement for liberation under an  increasingly Zionized administration of Palestine.  

The resistance only intensified as Britain decided to appoint the openly Zionist Herbert  Samuel as first high commissioner of occupied Palestine in June 1920. As the nonviolent  demonstrations were met with violence, the situation deteriorated. An uprising in 1929,  known as Hibbet Al-Buraq, involved both armed and popular tactics of resistance to the  attempted take-over of Waqf land, including the Western wall, and left in its wake 116  Palestinians and 133 Jews dead.  

The First Arab Women's Congress of Palestine gathered about 200 women and was held on  26 October 1929 in Jerusalem. The demands were those of the Palestinian people: against  the Balfour Declaration, against the establishment of Jewish colonies, and for  self-determination. They elected a 14-member Executive Committee headed by Matiel E. T.  Mogannam. Mogannam later wrote a book titled “The Arab Women and the Palestinian  Problem,” which detailed the activities of the movement.  

On 13 October, 1933, 7,000 angry demonstrators filled the streets of Jaffa. The British  forces opened fire killing 12 and wounding 78 Palestinians with one policeman killed. Two  weeks later, in Jaffa, 24 peaceful demonstrators were killed and 204 injured. The vicious,  indiscriminate attack on unarmed civilians incensed an already seething population.  

Forms of nonviolent resistance escalated in the uprising of 1936-1939 and included  demonstrations, boycotts, tax revolts, and other forms of civil disobedience. The British  authorities responded to the growing civil resistance by declaring a state of emergency with  general curfews and drastic measures against any disturbances. Villages and towns were  fined for refusing to pay taxes. Personal properties were confiscated and homes were  demolished. Hundreds of strike organizers were imprisoned. The worst of these measures  for many Palestinians was the collective punishment of demolishing hundreds of homes in  towns like Nablus, Bethlehem, Hebron, Lod, Safad, Al-Majdal, and Qalqilia. On the morning  of 18 June 1936 the authorities demolished large sections of the old city of Jaffa, leaving  6,000 homeless.  

Lessons can be learned from this period. The 1936 uprising was highly successful where  popular resistance with some limited armed resistance achieved a remarkable success in the  first eight months. This included the longest strike in Palestinian and perhaps world history.  The uprising was weakened by a number of factors: 1) the massive oppression including  destruction of large areas of some Palestinian towns like Jaffa by the occupation authorities (as a form of collective punishment), 2) the collaborationist Arab regimes who pushed the  Palestinians to "trust" the British authorities, 3) the Palestinian political leadership, mostly  self-appointed, which first stood against the uprising, then claimed its leadership, then  traded at its expense.  

But the struggle continued and when Palestine was fragmented with the Nakba of 1948,  new forces rose to resist the land grab. The Armistice lines of 1949, the so-called Green  Line, had ceded to the Jewish state 78.5% of what had been Palestine just one year before.  

The next Nakba, that of 1967, was Israel’s aggressive war that violated International  Conventions and lines of cease fire and left it controlling the Sinai, Gaza, the West Bank and  the Golan. The defeat of Arab forces in 1967 and the success of Fatah and other factions in  the battle of Al-Karameh in 1968 changed the geopolitical landscape: Fatah and other  factions entered the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1969, an organization with major  guerilla groups but also significant popular resistance sections such as the General Union of  Palestinian Women and General Union of Palestinian Students. The Palestinians, under the  umbrella of the P.L.O., soon forced a supine, reluctant world not only to recognize their  existence but to recognize that they had a national liberation struggle with political goals  based on international law.  

Inside Palestine, the resistance also continued. Part of the problem for Israel is that, unlike  1948, in 1967 there was no mass exodus—ethnic cleansing could not be repeated—so Israel  was left as an occupation force over millions of Palestinians. The Palestinian cause received  a significant boost from Israel’s oppression, which strengthened ties between Palestinians  throughout historic Palestine, and solidified the Palestinian leadership after the dramatic  failure of the Arab regimes. Self reliance developed slowly and made its most significant  impact in the proliferation of Palestinian institutions in the 1970s, including Palestinian  universities. Intellectuals joined hands with the rest of society to develop various forms of  popular resistance.  

Resistance within the Green Line, i.e., Israel proper, took a few years to develop after the  lifting of military rule in 1966. Meanwhile, in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967,  i.e., Gaza and the West Bank, resistance stirred gradually as the people recovered from the  war. A small uprising in Gaza in the early 1970s was put down brutally by Israeli forces led  by the "bulldozer" Ariel Sharon.  

The increased mobilization among Palestinians inside the Green Line took a bold step  forward in 1975-1976. At a meeting held in Nazareth on March 6, 1976, 48 heads of  municipalities and local village councils called for a day of protests and strikes to be held on  March 30, should Israel go ahead with its land confiscation policies. When it appeared the  strike day was a go, many areas outside of the Galilee decided to join, including in the West  Bank. This day is now known as "Land Day" throughout Palestine. The events actually  started on March 29, with a demonstration against the Israeli army’s provocative  mobilizations in the village of Deir Hanna. Later that evening, the village of Araba Al-Batoof  demonstrated in solidarity and a young man, Khair Muhammad Yassin, was killed by Israeli  soldiers, the first martyr of the 1976 Land Day. More martyrs fell over the next 24 hours.  The events were well organized and participation was high. The Israeli authorities reacted  violently resulting in many injured, six nonviolent protesters murdered, and hundreds  arrested.  

These events coincided with the Koenig Memorandum, a confidential, internal Israeli  government report that stressed the need “of diluting existing Arab population  concentrations” for the sake of long-term Jewish interests; specifically, it laid out plans for further discrimination and ethnic cleansing to “make the Galilee more Jewish.” The Israeli  government condemned the leaked memo, but no government official repudiated its racist  content.  

Much has been written about the success of the 1987 uprising, also called Intifada Al-Hijara,  the Uprising of the Stones. Massive Israeli violence was met with demonstrations, boycotts,  civil disobedience and all the arsenal of popular nonviolent resistance tools. Live bullets  were fired at children throwing stones (and on rare occasions Molotov cocktails). But most  Intifada actions were innovative acts of nonviolent resistance that, despite massive Israeli  propaganda efforts, exposed the world to what this struggle was about. Israel’s response  was ordered by Defense Minister Yitshak Rabin, who instructed his soldiers to break the  arms and legs of Palestinians who protested Israel’s occupation of their land. Israel became  known for what it is: an occupying colonial power. Like the 1935-1939 uprising, the 1987 uprising provided a wealth of lessons and a wealth of achievements that give us hope for  the future.  

The unorganized and popular revolt generated leadership from the ground. Within a month,  these natural leaders of the resistance issued their first call to action on Jan. 4, 1988 under  the “joint resistance leadership” which became highly organized and effective. The first call  to action included a call for a strike and civil disobedience from Jan. 11 to 13. Subsequent  calls included a variety of nonviolent protests, all implemented professionally despite  Israel’s savage oppression. According to many activists I interviewed, a core group met  regularly to provide ideas and plans of execution at the local level in every major town and  refugee camp in the Occupied Territories, including Jerusalem.  

The actions included calling for days of strikes, building public sites to commemorate victims  of the occupation, refusal to pay taxes (an action started in my hometown of Beit Sahour),  developing self-sustenance through farming and other methods, mass resignations, refusal  to pay unjust civil and criminal fines, holding public prayers, refusal to abide by military  orders, flying Palestinian flags (illegal at the time), and many more. During the tax revolt of  1988 and 1989, The Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People (P.C.R.),  established in 1988 and based in Beit Sahour, invited Israelis and internationals to help  challenge the occupation policies by such acts as breaking curfews.  

On December 28, 2000, the people of Beit Sahour invited internationals, including Israelis,  to march on the Israeli military camp at the edge of town, known by the locals as Ush  Ghraib. Hundreds of marchers got into the camp in a brilliant act of nonviolent resistance.  Their success led to the founding of the International Solidarity Movement in Beit Sahour.  

Two facts emerged from all this: 1) that the 1987-1991 uprising became a way of life in the  Occupied Territories at least in terms of self-reliance, and 2) that the P.L.O. is the only  major Palestinian political power that has a direct ability to end the Intifada. This pushed  the United States to start the Madrid process, and when Israel felt under pressure by the  capable Palestinian negotiators, the Oslo process was concocted. For Israel it was low fruits  picked in exchange for ending the resistance and the international pressure on Israel.  

With the signing of the Oslo accords, there developed an unprecedented situation in the  history of resistance to colonial occupation. A "Palestinian authority" with a strong police  force was established in the most heavily populated areas of the West Bank and Gaza while  under direct Israeli occupation. The authority was expected to keep a restless population in  check. This, combined with talk of "wait for negotiations," made the initiation of any kind of  resistance rather difficult. Popular resistance persisted, albeit at a reduced level. The first  suicide bombing happened after the American-Israeli Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 worshippers in the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron and Israel rewarded its settlers by dividing  the mosque and putting native Palestinians under a 40-day curfew.  

As a result of the Oslo process, the number of settlers in the West Bank and Gaza doubled  between 1993 and 2000. Israel also introduced massive restrictions on movement within  the Occupied Territories, isolated and intensified efforts to judaicize Jerusalem, forced  economic stagnation, and fragmented what remains of Palestine.  

People were fed-up and the conditions were ripe for another uprising. Israeli Prime Minister  Ehud Barak gave his ultimatum to Yassir Arafat to sign a final deal that would have left  Palestinians in large Bantustans and would have abrogated basic rights like the right of  return to Palestinian refugees. But the straw that broke the Palestinian back was the visit of  Ariel Sharon, surrounded by 1,000 armed Israeli soldiers and police to the holy Muslim site  of Al-Aqsa mosque in late September 2000. The Al-Aqsa intifada (uprising) started on 28  September 2000 and continued until 2006. It involved mostly Palestinians and  internationals engaged in popular resistance and a few Palestinians engaged in armed  resistance. 4,000 Palestinians, including many women and children, were murdered.  

A Look to the Future  

Resistance to colonial occupation by any means is a right and an obligation recognized by all  people and supported by international law.  

In the Western media, there is far too much emphasis on armed or violent resistance which,  as a percentage of the total daily acts of resistance and the number of people engaged in it,  is minuscule. Perhaps this is why Israeli forces are focused on snuffing popular resistance.  As we have seen there is a rich and innovative history of popular resistance in Palestine that  gives us energy to look to the future with hope. But there are other trends that give us  strength.  

The use of the internet and other modern communication tools (e.g. cell phones) makes it  even harder for Israel to hide the atrocities committed in places like Nablus, Jenin, and  Gaza. These tools also facilitate mobilizing grassroots activism locally and internationally to  expose and directly challenge colonial repression and defend human rights. The popular  resistance in Palestine and around the world makes it impossible for the Israeli system to  hide behind a history of anti-Jewish feelings in Europe in order to get away with ethnic  cleansing, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in Palestine.  

The movement for boycotts, divestments, and sanctions (BDS) was launched on July 9,  2005, when 170 Palestinian civil society organizations issued a comprehensive call for BDS.  This is now the central organizing document for local and international activism. (See page  10 in pdf.)  

Hundreds of organizations, unions, churches, and other groups have taken up the BDS call  in the past few years. This is bound to accelerate as Israel consolidates its apartheid regime  in the guise of the process that is supposed to give rise to “a Palestinian state”—the so  called “two-state solution.”  

Taking advantage of a U.S.-led "war on terrorism" (including the illegal invasion of Iraq), the  Israeli government decided to up its pressure, killing internationals (e.g. Rachel Corrie),  demolishing whole sections of refugee camps, and building an apartheid wall deep inside  the West Bank to steal more Palestinian lands.  

But resistance to this wall and other colonial activities has only accelerated and is expected to grow. Small resilient villages have become famous in the media and among Palestinians  and internationals making pilgrimage to join the struggle: Budrus, Masha, Al-Walaja,  Al-Ma'sara, Ni'lin, Bil'in, Jayyus, Nabi Saleh, and dozens more. Israeli attacks on Palestinian  neighborhoods in Jerusalem have led to the creation of active popular committees in places  like Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah.  

Even in besieged Gaza, at risk of death, people still demonstrate at the so called "buffer  zone," the 30-mile-long, up to 1½-mile deep border declared by Israeli occupation forces as  a no-man's land.  

And human rights activists from around the world still challenge Israel’s illegal naval  blockade of Gaza. Most recently, on May 31, 2010, a Freedom Flotilla of unarmed civilians in  six boats, tried to take 10,000 tons of aid to Gaza—humanitarian supplies that Israel bans.  They didn’t make it. At 4 a.m., in international waters, Israeli ships surrounded the flotilla  and masked gunmen in gas masks fast-roped from helicopters onto the deck of the lead  ship. The assault resulted in nine civilians dead and 60 injured. No Israeli soldiers were  killed.  

As it does to justify all of its disproportionate assaults on Palestinians, Israel claimed  self-defense. But this time it did not work. Soon after the deadly raid at sea, the U.N.  Security Council, in an emergency meeting, condemned the acts and called for an  investigation. Even the U.S. concurred. This time the shooting down of unarmed civilians  engaged in nonviolent resistance compelled governments to take action that violent  resistance never would have.  

Palestinian resistance by definition is a rejection of oppression and an attempt to gain  freedom and chart our own free future. Rulers and occupiers all maintain a power structure  that enables them to dictate their agendas. Their most important tool is to force the  maximum number of natives to feel helpless and defeated. In this, Ben Gurion’s expectation  that “the old will die and the young will forget” has failed miserably.  

The young are actually resisting in larger and larger numbers. In the holding cell at an  Israeli military camp, I saw how strong was the conviction of the two brothers from  Al-Walaja, even while we were handcuffed. The Israeli soldiers, armed to the teeth, were  weak and unsure of themselves. Afraid and uneducated, some of them even began to  rethink what they were doing there—one soldier pleaded desperation in job hunting.  

I believe this apartheid system is losing its head, not unlike the last days of apartheid in  South Africa. Why, for example, would some 30 occupation soldiers show up at my home at  1:30 in the morning, while I was away, if not to traumatize my elderly mother, my sister  and my wife?  

Without popular resistance in its myriad forms, Palestine would have become a pure Jewish  state and at a very low cost to the occupiers. Instead, today there are over 5.5 million  Palestinians living in historic Palestine. The Zionist project, well-funded, violent, and  supported by superpowers, failed at its stated goals. We as Palestinians succeeded in  resisting an incredible onslaught, in maintaining our presence, in improving our education,  and most of all in keeping our humanity and strengthening our connections to our land and  to fellow humans around the world. It is only a matter of time before we succeed in gaining  our freedom and regaining our stolen lands. This is because we will never give up.  

While it is militarily strong, Apartheid Israel is a failure on moral, ethical, legal, and even  management grounds. This colonial state is now engaged in a desperate effort to force its victims to capitulate. But even some Israeli leaders acknowledge that the determination and  will of the vast majority of the Palestinian people can never be broken. We are proud of our  history, a history of resistance that now spans 130 years. We will continue to engage in all  forms of popular resistance: resistance by art, by education, by civil disobedience, by  writing, by standing in front of bulldozers, by working our lands, by sumud (persistence),  and by never being willing to give up our rights to return and to self-determination. For us  “to exist is to resist.”  

Finally, to the question posed by Paul David Hewson (aka Bono) in the title of this article:  Where is the Palestinian Ghandi?  

The reality is that there are more than 200 groups engaged in popular, nonviolent  resistance inside Palestine, including Israeli organizations. Sixty-two of them are listed on page 11 [see list below]. Should Mr. Hewson, who has given concerts inside Israel, ever wish to visit the Occupied Territories, I’d be pleased to introduce him to all our Palestinian Gandhis. 



The Link - Volume 43, Issue 3  
July - August  2010

Palestinian Civil Resistance/Nonviolent Groups
by: Mazin Qumsiyeh

¦ Addameer Prisoners' Support & Human Rights Association:

¦ Adalah:

¦ Al-Haq:

¦ Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights:

¦ Al-Rowwad Cultural and Theatre Training Centre:

¦ Alternative Tourism Group:

¦ Applied Research Institute, Jerusalem:

¦ Arab Assn. for Human Rights:

¦ Association of Forty:

¦ Aswat:

¦ BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights:

¦ Bil’in Village Popular Resistance Committee:,

¦ Birzeit University Right to Education Campaign:


¦ Civil Coalition for Defending the Palestinians' Rights in Jerusalem

¦ Coalition for Jerusalem:

¦ Combatants for Peace:

¦ Dar Annadwa:

¦ Defence for Children International-Palestine:

¦ Gaza Community Mental Health Program:

¦ Global Palestine Right of Return Coalition:

¦ Golan for Development:

¦ Hebron Rehabilitation Comm.:

¦ Holy Land Trust:

¦ Independent Comm. for Human Rights:

¦ International Solidarity Movement:

¦ Ittijah—Union of Arab Com. Based Orgs:

¦ Jerusalem Legal Aid & Human Rights Center:

¦ Joint Advocacy Initiative between the YMCA and YWCA:

¦ Khalil Al Sakakini Cultural Center:

¦ Library on Wheels for Nonviolence and Peace Association :

¦ Maaber:

¦ Mandela Institute for Human Rights :

¦ MIFTAH-Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy:

¦ Muwatin--The Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy:

¦ Nil’in Village Popular Resistance Committee:

¦ Occupied Palestine and Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative:

¦ Open Bethlehem:

¦ Open Shuhada Street Campaign:

¦ Palestinian Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions Movement:

¦ Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel:

¦ Palestine Center for Human Rights:

¦ Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement between People:,

¦ Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (Stop the Wall):

¦ Palestine Heritage Center:

¦ Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group:

¦ Pal. Non-Gov. Orgs. Network:

¦ Palestinian Prisoners’ Society:

¦ The Parents’ Circle/Families Forum:

¦ Popular Struggle Coordinating Committee:

¦ Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies:

¦ (The) Rebuilding Alliance:

¦ Regional Association of the Unrecognized Villages:

¦ Right to Enter Campaign:

¦ Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center:

¦ Sawt Al-Amel:

¦ Society for Self-Development, Hebron: No website

¦ Ta ’ayush:

¦ Tent of Nations:

¦ Union of Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees:

¦ Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees:

¦ Wi'am Center: