B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights NGO, has urged Israeli soldiers to refuse to fire at unarmed Palestinian protesters.
Meanwhile, a new Jewish-Arab movement called Standing Together started working towards transforming Israeli politics and invigorating a fractured left. Every movement for justice and equality has its turning point, in which the violence perpetrated against it provides clarity to the greater society, if not the world community, regarding the moral bankruptcy of the oppressor’s cause. During the US civil rights movement, such flashpoints included Bloody Sunday – the brutal attack by police on civil rights protesters on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama in 1965 – and the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, which claimed the lives of four black girls in 1963. In apartheid South Africa, the turning point was the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, in which Afrikaner police opened fire on thousands of black protesters, killing 69 and wounding 180. Another turning point came 16 years later, when South African police killed as many as 700 black students in Soweto who were protesting compulsory Afrikaans instruction.
The Palestinian movement for justice and equality reached a similar turning point when Israeli soldiers chose to fire upon thousands of unarmed, non-violent protesters. Israel can no longer justify a system protecting rights for Jews only, any more than apartheid South Africa or Jim Crow America were able to maintain a country for whites only, as pressure, protests and boycotts ultimately forced change.
Read full article in The News (Source Al Jazeera)