Palestinians Turn to Nonviolence

A promising development in a violent place: According to The New York Times, a nonviolent protest movement is afoot in the West Bank, where the Palestinian Authority and local businesses are turning to popular resistance over violence and diplomacy. Currently, a campaign is under way to boycott settlers’ goods: Billboards implore Palestinians “Your conscience, your choice”; the Palestinian Ministry of Communications has banned the sale of Israeli cell-phone cards because they rely on towers in Israeli settlements; some Palestinians have turned in their VIP cards at checkpoints to express solidarity with the masses; and Israel has recently arrested several nonviolent protesters. Despite these developments, the Times cautions, “Palestinian political analysts say it is too early to assess the prospects of the nonviolent approach. Generally, they say, given the division between Hamas, the rulers of Gaza, and the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority here, nothing is likely to change without a political shakeup and unified leadership.”