Eyeless in Gaza | The New York Review of Books
There is another critical facet to the shift that has taken place. Under conditions of escalating nationalist hysteria, Israeli dissent is harshly dealt with. Ezra Nawi, one of the heroes of Israeli nonviolent resistance to the occupation, is now in jail. (He was convicted of assaulting a policeman while protesting the demolition of houses in South Hebron, although there is excellent evidence, including video footage, showing Ezra acting in the classic mode of Gandhian-style nonviolent resistance on that day.) The determined protestors against the evictions of Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, in East Jerusalem, are constantly being arrested and rearrested (meanwhile, another two large Palestinian families there have received eviction notices); leaders of the Israeli Arab community, such as Knesset member Ahmad Tibi, have received death threats and are routinely harassed by the security forces.
The villages of Bil’in and Na’alin, where nonviolent protest against the route of the security fence was pioneered and has continued without interruption for over four years, are now a closed military zone, off limits to Israeli peace activists. More important still is the attempt to break the back of nonviolent grassroots protest in Palestine by arresting and sometimes prosecuting, on trumped-up charges, the leading activists in the villages to the south and west of Jerusalem; someone has clearly identified this mode of resistance as a serious threat to the occupation. At least some of the items on this list may be explained by the fact that internal security is now in the hands of the ultra-right party Yisrael Beitenu, which has given us Foreign Minister Lieberman (he also, of course, voted to attack the flotilla).