I read often about how no one should tell the Palestinians to be non-violent. Most of them cite Gandhi's statement about how he didn't rule out violence. Well, Gandhi was a disciple of Ram, whom Gandhi admitted was a myth. I am not a disciple of a myth. I am a disciple of Jesus, who lived and still lives.
Jesus walked the Earth as a 100% human being – exactly as much flesh and blood in kind as am I. Sure, there were, and are, genetic differences; but we are brothers in the same species. I have declared that I agree with Jesus about turning the other cheek and going to the cross for the various principles if needs be. No one would look forward to it. Jesus didn't. He knew though the message that would be sent by it: How to show real love, as God sacrifices all the time for us — constantly.
That's lost on nearly everyone. They don't stop to consider. They just disrespect what they don't understand – what they stubbornly refuse to grasp.
In addition, before anyone uses Gandhi as the authority, please remember that Gandhi was also ethnically and racially bigoted. Did you know that? Yes, he was offended for the Indians that the Brits treated them as "niggers." Now it's true that the British did that. In fact, British literature of the day was full of actually referring to Indians as quote/unquote "niggers," which of course was and remains reprehensible but not just because it was targeted at Indians but also at all dark-skinned peoples. Gandhi was not getting after the British for feeling superior to the Black Africans, but mainly Gandhi's fellow Indians, who Gandhi felt had shown their intellect and worth through their long and "glorious" history, philosophies, and religions, etc.
Oh, I don't doubt that if pressed on the matter, Gandhi would have hedged his way around coming out with racial slurs worthy of a KKK Grand Dragon. He was incapable of verbal tap dancing. He was rather admired for his one-liners, quick wit, etc. Many Brits sided with his cause on account of such qualities. Also, I'm not judging and condemning Gandhi as if he were no better than the worst mass murderer, so please don't jump to wild conclusions on account of what I might not say here in his defense.
Oh, I've heard the racists' history about how savage the Black men were, etc. Well, whips and lording it over them wasn't exactly the way to win hearts and minds. I'm not condoning the law of the jungle that certainly included strangers being taken and killed and eaten just because they were strangers incapable of communicating. Some of those strangers though had predecessors who made the natives xenophobic for cause. Regardless, the answer lies in communicating peace no matter how difficult or how long it takes. Fighting is not a solution but an evil on top of evil.
So, Jesus says to the Palestinians, and regardless of whatever Gandhi said or did (that doesn't hold a candle to Jesus in the final analysis, by the way), to turn the other cheek.
I have been saying that if they will do that, they will gain huge support that they have never enjoyed before. When I say this, I don't for a moment say that there have not been those in Palestine who have been practicing this. I am saying that they all should turn to it.
Now, exactly why there are people who disrespect this view is a multifaceted stone. I won't lump them all together, but I will say that the spirit of vengeance runs deep in many and most of them. They want to do to others what has been done to them and to those with whom they side. Now, that's just plain anti-Christ, which also makes it stupid. I can say that having been there for decades too.
This article was written in direct response to Ira Chernus' article on CommonDreams.org, "The Hypocrisy of Preaching Nonviolence to Palestinians."