I was in a passionate debate with a Muslim friend today about Israel-Palestinian politics. This friend argued, like many other Muslims, that the Palestinians are fighting a just war for their lands, and were martyrs. While there may have been historic injustices to the Palestinians, I find it hard to accept a struggle based on violence, especially one directed at innocent men, women and even children.
I cherish the Indian freedom movement's peaceful roots, which later served as role models for great movements such as Martin Luther King's civil rights protests, the battle against apartheid and the like. Peaceful protest has incredibly great power not just of galvanising the outside world to support your cause, but also controlling the spread of violence internally. Palestinians are already starting to see the cracks in their society, such as armed militants storming the office of the Prime Minister. Ethnic conflicts propped by violence have a tendency for those violent tendencies to backfire on the individual societies, and it's only a matter of time before Palestine implodes. Western aid drying up and a lack of true aid in excess of lip service from the Arab countries could prove the catalyst.
Hamas would do well then to take some time to read the history of global conflicts, not for the sake of the Jewish people who they target, but for the sake of their own people.