Most all political violence consists of clear wrongs, like murder or unjustified war, but sometimes, sadly, disgustingly, some violence is justified as a last resort, and sometimes–as a subcategory of that–some of that justified violence is also wise, tactically.
Once you get far outside the murder and the crimes of war and those against humanity, some of the choices regarding whether or not to use some violence can be legitimately tough and debatable.
But the Gaza wall-breaking was an easy call: no people were killed, some may have been saved, and the spectacle of an exodus into Egypt effectively dramatized a gross injustice.
It’s ironic that this was apparently done–its not yet clear from what level–by or with some Hamas people, since that’s a movement that has, in its bombings of Israeli civilians, been immoral, criminal and tactically stupid, turning the oppressed into oppressors, in many eyes, and turning some victims into actual murderers.
But this use of violence–against mere bricks in a wall–was right and a stroke of genius. The legend of all-knowing Israeli intelligence notwithstanding, some of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces)/Shin Bet/ Mossad/Cabinet killers must have been stunned, and temporarily shaken.
This was, after all, the first big, smart Palestinian move since the David and Goliath stone intifada, which pitted mere stone-throwing teenagers against Israeli tanks and body-armored soldiers, and exposed the Occupation, twenty years ago, putting Israel’s regime on the defensive. (Not that it lasted long enough to produce results. The Peace Laureates Rabin and Arafat killed it; Rabin with knee-breaking–“force, might, and beatings” was his order, which, for a while, made Israel look still worse, but then Arafat shut the teen Davids down since they were winning without his approval).
The poor editorial page of the Washington Post was clearly stunned and shaken by this wall breach in Gaza.
They were reduced to accusing Hamas of “exploit[ing] [Israel’s] temporary shutdown of fuel supplies”–i.e., by telling people about it (aren’t newspapers supposed to encourage that?), and were cornered into the unfortunate position–if one accepts their logic–of seeming to support the denial of rights to Darfur refugees.
The Post asked rhetorically: “Would Mr. Mubarak allow tens of thousands of Darfur refugees to illegally enter Egypt from Sudan, where a real humanitarian crisis is underway?,” the expected answer from the reader being a realistic, shameful (for Mubarak) “No,” and then demanded that Mubarak apply exactly that shameful standard by likewise barring uninvited Gazans.
So in order to keep the Palestinians out (or, more precisely, keep them cooped-in), you seem willing to bar the Darfuris too?
When you reach for arguments like that, it’s a sign that your side’s case is in trouble.
So what would happen if some Palestinians decided to break the West Bank wall, too? Say, tens of thousands of teens one morning, at dawn, turning up with picks and crowbars?