Editorial Note

IssueMarch - May 2004
Feature by Ippy D

Before you get stuck into reading this thematic section on nonviolent action in Israel/Palestine, we thought it important to point out some inconsistencies in language that you are about to discover.

Firstly, we have not altered, attempted to standardise, or drawn any specific political inferences from the way in which contributors have described geographic locations in the region. Peace News house style attempts not to make any implicit comment on the “solution” to the conflict; some of the contributors may have intended to do so. Thus you will find references to Israel/Palestine, Israel-Palestine, Israel and the occupied territories, the West bank and Gaza Strip, and so on.

Readers must draw their own conclusions about the contributors' intent.

The same applies for the use of “non-violent” (hyphened) and “nonviolent” (not hyphened). There are subtle, but important, inferences which can be drawn from how this word is displayed (see http://www.nvdauk.gzzzt.net/pdf/nvda_1978.pdf for a background paper on the topic!).

Again, we have not imposed our usual house style here, because we believe contributors may, in some circumstances, use the word hyphenated/unhyphenated deliberately.

Local focus

Another thing you might notice about this section is that there is very little “exciting” reportage of internationals throwing themselves in front of tanks, receiving bullet wounds, or confronting IDF soldiers at checkpoints. Regular PN readers will know that these stories frequently appear in our news and topical feature section, often written by international activists working with groups such as the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT).

However, with the opportunity to devote more than half our pages to this important theme, we really wanted to hear local Israeli and Palestinian voices, and to hear them reflect on strategies and theories of nonviolence.

We hope that what you read in this issue will give you food for thought and help to fulfil PN's editorial objectives of supporting and connecting nonviolent and antimilitarist movements around the world and providing a forum where such movements can develop common perspectives (or not!).

Nonviolence / end to occupation

The issue kicks off with a massively edited introduction by Veronique Dudouet (you can find the complete - and excellent - text at PeaceNews online, along with several other texts which we just could not cram into the print issue), in which she maps out some of the groups, strategies and challenges, particularly in the context of this second inifada.

Throughout the issue you will come across both common and radically different analyses of the problems, solutions and hopes for the future, a range of ways of working, and in some ways the reflections of quite a disparate gathering of groups. What binds them all is their commitment to nonviolence and their desire to see an end to the occupation.

So, finally we would like to take the opportunity to say a huge thanks to all our contributors, and the groups they work, with for making this issue possible. Limited numbers of free copies of this issue are available for all groups working for peace in the region. Please contact us if you would like to order a bundle (email admin@peacenews.info).