Ayed Morrar
    Community Organizer
    quote
    We didn't choose nonviolent resistance out of submission or fear. Peaceful resistance requires more courage than violent resistance.

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION

    Lives in: Budrus Was born in: Budrus Year of birth: 1962 Identity: Palestinian Type of work: Nonviolent Direct Action Website: Agenda - Israeli Center for Strategic Communications Coalition of Women For Peace Works at Community Organizer, Budrus Interviewer Joline Rukab, Rula Salameh, Irene Nasser Date of Interview 2006

    A leader of the nonviolent movement in Budrus, Ayed Morrar organized the first Popular Committee Against the Wall in the West Bank by uniting all local Palestinian political factions, including Hamas and Fatah, and encouraging hundreds of Israelis to cross into the Occupied Palestinian Territories and demonstrate in support of his village. When challenged by his teenage daughter, he welcomed the launch of a women’s contingent that quickly moved to the front lines. Ayed and the successful popular nonviolent struggle are featured in Just Vision's recent film, Budrus.

    • Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your work.

      My name is Ayed Morrar. I am from Budrus, a small village near Ramallah. In 2003, I co-founded the Popular Committee Against the Wall, which opposes the racist Israeli Separation Wall. The Popular Resistance Committee against the Wall was first established in the village of Budrus. It was created after the Wall had already stretched for nearly 170 kilometers starting in Jenin in the northern West Bank, and finally reached our village. When the work on the Wall began, the Palestinians were shocked and were uncertain about how to resist this Israeli action. In 2002, when Israel re-occupied the Palestinian cities and began building the Wall, there was no effective working model for resisting. When the route of the Wall reached us, through a private and small initiative, we decided to resist it differently. During the first meeting we didn't have a specific name in mind, we were searching for a means of resisting the Wall and tried to come up with a framework that would lead and guide our system. The first meeting was attended by 70 representatives from nine villages of Budrus, Deir Qiddis, Kharbatha, Ni'lin, Midiya, Qibya, Shibtin, and Bil'in. I invited heads of local councils, local politicians from different parties, such as Fatah and Hamas,leaders of youth organizations and directors of local NGOs. We discussed the issue of the Wall and agreed that sooner or later it would reach us, due to our location as border villages [on the Green Line]. We discussed the development of an effective means of resisting it and agreed to form a small committee, called the Popular Committee. It included representatives of the different local NGOs and organizations. We also agreed that every village should have a local committee in addition to an umbrella organization for every group of villages. The Popular Committee Against the Wall involves representatives of organizations in every village who believe in the same method of nonviolent resistance against the Occupation, especially given the grave danger the Wall poses. In Budrus, as in other villages, the local council, schools, youth organizations and political organizations are all represented in the Popular Committee. All of them have the desire and ability to commit to nonviolent resistance against the Occupation and they all believe in this path. Since then we have been involved in peaceful popular resistance against the Wall. We managed to salvage thousands of acres of our land that was slated for confiscation for building it. Near the village of Budrus alone we saved 400 acres planted with 3,000 olive trees. Budrus is a small village, its population doesn’t exceed 1,500, but with 55 popular marches we managed to save our land. These marches had a price: one man was killed and nearly 300 were injured, in addition to the 36 who were imprisoned with sentences ranging from 4 - 8 months. We should be prepared to pay the price for freedom and also maintain faith in our nonviolent way. Through nonviolent resistance against the Wall, we have established relationships with international sympathizers, some of whom became members in our committee. We appreciate these relationships and are very proud of them and the positive role they play in supporting us and our peaceful struggle against the Occupation. We have many Israeli sympathizers who play a major and important role in the nonviolent struggle as well. Their role has different aspects, the first is cultural. The Palestinians have been accustomed to viewing Israelis as soldiers and settlers. As open-minded people, we have always been aware that there are certain Israelis who want and believe in peace. For the first time we were able to see the other side of the Israelis who wish to establish relations with the Palestinian people based on equality; who object to occupation and the oppression Israel practices against the Palestinian people. In addition, Israeli and international solidarity activists are better equipped than Palestinians to face the media public opinion in their home countries. They can discuss the issue of the Wall with their own people and pressure their governments to take an influential stand against it. We are very proud of these relations with our Israeli counterparts, which are completely different from normalization, which we both oppose. Normalization can't be achieved under occupation. Normalization as we understand it relates to the Israeli Occupation. Israeli activists who come to resist the Occupation reject it, and so they are our supporters. We want to recruit all the free people of the world, including Israelis, to side with us against the Occupation. We are proud of these relationships. Because the Popular Committee included affiliates of Fatah, Hamas, and all Palestinian factions, we didn't leave room for criticism.

    • Why did you choose nonviolence for your struggle in Budrus against the route of the Separation Barrier?

      We are talking about nonviolent resistance at a stage of violence between both sides, the second intifada. Palestinians are trying other methods of resistance, out of despair that peaceful resistance will achieve nothing. Throughout their history, the Palestinian people have always pursued peaceful means of resistance. In 1929 the Palestinians were engaged in nonviolent resistance against the British occupation, and such was the case also in the first intifada, which erupted in 1987. The vast majority of the activities during the first intifada were nonviolent, yet many Palestinians served several years in Israeli jails for raising the Palestinian flag, writing a slogan against the Occupation or going on strike. Almost 2,000 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces while no more than 70 Israelis lost their lives. For these acts, the Occupation exacted a heavy price from Palestinians and during the second intifada some Palestinian factions searched for other courses of action. I believe Palestinians have the right to resist the Occupation using all means they see fit. All international treaties and agreements legitimize resistance against occupation, and we should choose the most correct form of resistance. We didn't choose nonviolent resistance out of submission or fear. Peaceful resistance requires more courage than violent resistance. I personally served nearly seven years in Israeli jails and was injured twice. I took part in many forms of resistance until I fully understood that nonviolence is the best way for the Palestinians to resist the Occupation.

    • Some people might wonder about using violent means in a nonviolent struggle.

      I am not in a position to judge resistance activists. I mentioned earlier that we have the right to resist as a people. The right judgment can be made by the activists themselves. I am in charge of popular and nonviolent activities, I don't practice any violent action meant to kill or harm civilians or non-civilians. We oppose all kinds of killing and we don't practice violence; those who do can answer this question themselves. I seek to obtain my rights through nonviolent means; however, many Palestinians began to prefer other means to realize their dream of freedom. I believe even those who adopt violent means will stop immediately if they are granted their freedom in an independent state. If we choose nonviolence, we will be better equipped to present our case to the world and rallying international support. The Palestinians should maintain their image as victims of the Occupation. Israeli propaganda, which has great influence on the international media, tries to depict the Palestinians as criminals and the occupiers as victims. This has resulted in Israel’s success in marketing the concept of terrorism while Palestinians failed to market the concept of the Occupation.

    • How can nonviolent resistance help achieve your goal in practice?

      The Israelis are very creative in using their destructive weapons. They have one of the most advanced weapon arsenals in the world. They have the best and most advanced warplanes and tanks and they excel in putting them to use, but we can cripple these weapons by adopting a nonviolent agenda. I think this occupation, like any other, rests on three main pillars: the economy, the media and military ability. In terms of the economy, we can resist by boycotting Israeli products. We don’t want to deny the Israelis their honorable living, but we seek to pressure the Occupation and this is a very powerful peaceful way of resisting. The Palestinians have so far been unable to implement a boycott effectively. If we could implement this strategy, it would contribute greatly to ending the Occupation. In terms of the media, Israel has strong control over the international media outlets. During lectures at different institutions in the USA, I was surprised by some of the questions about Palestinian suicide bombings. I used to respond to these questions with a question of my own: I asked how many of them knew that nearly 1,000 Israelis had been killed in the last 5 years. Nearly all of them raised their hands. When I asked how many of them knew that more than 4,000 Palestinians were killed during the same time, only 5 or 6 people raised their hands. In the USA, the two major media giants, CNN and ABC have a clear policy. They side with the Occupation and ignore the Palestinian cause. ABC once covered a demonstration march near the village of Kharbatha Al-Harithiyya. The activities lasted all day long, and 50 Palestinian demonstrators were injured. ABC's conclusion of the event was to show a Palestinian youth hitting an Israeli soldier with his foot. They ignored what happened all day and all the Palestinians injured and chose to focus on that single small incident. They showed it over and over again in repeat.But, we now know that small cameras carried by international solidarity activists have been very effective in overwhelming the massive propaganda machine steered by the Occupation. This is especially true in the modern age of easy and immediate communication. We need a complete media network to be able reflect the real image of the Palestinian people without any exaggeration. We need to show that we are victims of occupation, and at the same time we need to reflect the real image of the Occupation. It is important to explain how occupation demolishes our lands and homes depriving us of our dream of statehood. Division of the West Bank, for example, kills the Palestinian dream of establishing an independent state. Settlements, the Wall, and home demolitions are all links of one chain, occupation. We are interested to uncover these facts through media and promote the idea that the Palestinian people have the right to resist occupation in order to achieve freedom.We can neutralize the Israeli military might by denying them the opportunity of using it. It is true we may suffer more if we choose to adopt popular and nonviolent methods of resisting the Occupation, but we can't continue claiming the whole world is against us. We should start looking for ways to gather the world's support. The Occupation doesn’t need any excuses for killing Palestinians; they would rather wake up one morning and not find a single living Palestinian soul, so the question is what role should we play?!

    • How did you apply nonviolent principles to your specific struggle in Budrus?

      By nonviolent resistance I don’t mean raising banners and chanting in front of Israeli soldiers. By nonviolent resistance I mean avoiding killing. I will not kill or use any means that could lead to killing. I aim to stop a bulldozer, for example, by placing my body in front of it. Many in the West view Gandhi's nonviolent way as the optimal nonviolent struggle. But Palestinian culture is completely different from Indian society and the culture Gandhi led at the time. The Indians viewed Gandhi as more divine than Palestinians could view a leader. By nonviolent resistance I don’t mean writing slogans and giving soldiers lessons in ethics. During many of our marches we used our bodies to achieve our goals and stop bulldozers, and we succeeded. We never carried any objects that could cause death, despite being faced with extreme violence by Israeli forces.

    • How can nonviolent protest be effective when it encounters violence?

      One demonstration we held required 120 - 130 Israeli soldiers, while 5 other demonstrations took place simultaneously in villages in western Ramallah. In part of one district, our demonstrations exhausted more than 500 Israeli soldiers who countered unarmed people. In such cases, the soldiers have to reconsider their beliefs that they have the right to kill people because they are protecting their people and homeland. In nonviolent resistance, none of the protestors want to kill soldiers or threaten their lives. Protestors are unarmed children, elderly people, women, and youth who come to tell soldiers that they can't oppress people and confiscate their land. In a demonstration in Nabi Salih, I saw an Israeli soldier disobeying his commander. He threw down his helmet and went back to his military jeep. With our [nonviolent] protests we can negate the Israelis’ claim that the Israeli soldier is a victim because we are proving he is the oppressor. We should prove to Israeli soldiers that they are oppressors and encourage them to refuse military service. There are about 600 Israeli soldiers who refuse to serve in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This phenomenon is important to us, and we should encourage it. Popular resistance should change the traditional way of thinking, and develop a new method which deals cleverly with the world and our surroundings.I think Palestinians should choose the most effective way of resisting the Occupation. It is true that popular resistance requires greater efforts. When organizing a mass rally, we aim for the maximum number of participants who all share the same goals and believe in the same path. Military operations, on the other hand, don’t require more than one man convincing another of carrying out an operation, giving him a weapon and explaining how to do it. Convincing thousands of men, women and children to take part in a rally is much more difficult. On the other hand, I don’t think we need more than half the people who take part in an average martyr's funeral to block a road leading to a settlement or remove a military checkpoint. Through one action, we managed to delay the destruction of Palestinian homes despite the military order. Previously, resisting or stopping the destruction of a home was considered impossible. We even managed to peacefully infiltrate the Qalandia military compound and checkpoint in 2004. People used to think it was impossible to infiltrate a massive military complex that divided the West Bank into two separate sections. We also managed to get hundreds of people through the checkpoint without their having to experience the grueling process of being checked by the soldiers.

    • What is the role of nonviolence in internal Palestinian politics?

      Palestinian endurance in the face of external aggression is legendary, but we fear internal conflicts. It is a common fear among Palestinians that the weapons used in the armed struggle against Israel will be used against each other. Because we are accustomed to popular and nonviolent resistance, this threat will be eliminated since there won't be any weapons to use. Civil war reared its head on numerous occasions in Gaza and even threatened to reach the West Bank. In my opinion, popular militarization has a very negative effect. Weapons, by nature, inevitably lead to violence. If we were to talk about fear of civil war, the Palestinian people have recently created the greatest democratic process in the Middle East. Democracy in the Middle East should not be taken for granted. It is more like a garden in the middle of a minefield. We, as Palestinians should not undermine this democratic experience and allow the uncontrolled weapons on the streets to threaten the very endeavor we are so proud of. It is unacceptable to misuse Palestinian weapons. Even if these weapons were a beneficial means in the armed resistance, they remain a threat when it comes to internal fighting. Taking into account all factors, I am convinced nonviolent and popular resistance is the best and most efficient way to realize our goals and national ambitions.

    • Why do you think the nonviolent struggle against the Separation Barrier succeeded in Budrus?

      Success is determined by the motivation and activities in the field. In Budrus we set a very good example for implementation of the ideas proposed at the meeting. We were surprised to see that women were by no means less motivated and driven to take part in popular activities than men. In some cases their determination even exceeded that of their male counterparts. Many children also took part in our activities. During a typical march, nearly 500 people out of some 1,200 of the total population took part. This included men, women, children and elderly people; they all took part.

    • How can the success in Budrus be applied to other struggles?

      We try to promote this kind of resistance among Palestinians and involve as many people as we can. Using the model we set up for resisting the Wall, we try to extend our effort to other issues. For example, in addition to the Wall, we are devising a mechanism to involve university students in nonviolent resistance to other aspects of the Occupation, such as military checkpoints. We organized two student rallies that marched to the Atara checkpoint. It’s hard to coordinate an activity involving large numbers of people, especially when most of the resistance mechanism currently in Palestine involves armed resistance. We need more international supporters and media attention. Bloody events usually attract the media and we need to encourage the media to cover this kind of resistance. We didn’t anticipate or expect our doctrine to become so widespread when we first established it, but I am proud of the outcome. It will require a lot of difficult work to further develop the model we have created, but we are still hopeful and have strong faith in nonviolence and peace. In Budrus we managed to set an example. All the Palestinian villages affected by the Wall later followed this example; they knew what means and mechanisms to use. In 2003 and the beginning of 2004, there almost was a peaceful popular intifada against the Wall. At the time, 20-25 peaceful demonstrations against the Wall took place each day in villages such as Bil'in, Deir Qaddis, Kharbatha, Bidu, and Beit Sourik. All the villages that were affected by the Wall protested in the same way, using the same means, forming their own local committees, and broader committees coordinated the work between villages. A general committee was created in order to coordinate work on a national level. Like I mentioned earlier, this form of resistance requires great courage and effort. A Palestinian leader can't lead the masses from behind a desk. It is a lot easier for military leaders to sustain armed resistance. They don’t have to get out of their seats, but rather just send three or four people in every area on a military operation. Popular resistance requires mobilization of all available energies, and if you want to lead people, you need to be on the frontlines.

    • Earlier you mentioned that Israeli and international solidarity activists were in a better position to deliver your message to the international community. Why?

      Criticism of the Occupation by its own people is more powerful than criticism by someone who lives under it, whose opinion is pre-determined. It is very important to find someone amongst your opponents who is willing to side with you. We have created an opportunity for the world to be our eyewitnesses. We are not interested in propaganda or advertising, all we want is for our message to be conveyed accurately and realistically to the world. When a person witnesses a series of events firsthand, in this case the effects of the Wall on the Palestinian society and the destructive forces unleashed upon us, the message he conveys to his people will be very effective. An American may think the Palestinians reject Jews and Israelis no matter the circumstances, but when he hears from a fellow American talking about the situation, his views may change. When he hears eyewitness accounts from an Israeli, it has an even greater effect. When I was lecturing about the Occupation in the US, an Israeli friend accompanied me. He talked about the Occupation in the same way I did, because common sense dictates that no free man should accept being part of an occupying force if he rejects being occupied himself.

    • How can you convince Palestinians who live under occupation to adopt nonviolent resistance?

      I can convince Palestinians to adopt this policy if there is an international environment that will guarantee results. Today Palestinians are accused of terrorism. If we abandon violence, will the US exert pressure on Israel to end the Occupation and grant us our rights? If the answer is positive, that will help us greatly. It is like a cogwheel; in order to get anywhere, the slots should be aligned. The Palestinian people can be easily convinced if there is some kind of guarantee for success. It may be a more difficult and tiring way, but in return, the Palestinians will feel they are not alone in their struggle.

    • Where do your convictions about nonviolence come from?

      I never injured or killed an Israeli. During the first intifada, Palestinians were imprisoned for three years for simply raising the Palestinian flag, striking or writing a slogan on a wall. I was in charge of Fatah activities in the western Ramallah district and was jailed for 7 years on those charges. Palestinian prisoners are distinguished for their education and organization. They can, while in custody, read and educate themselves. The period I served in jail played a major role in formulating and developing my way of thinking. It also helped me promote the idea of nonviolent resistance; had I not been a former prisoner, some might claim I preach nonviolence because I lack the courage to do something else. Because people know I suffered and sacrificed in jail, and paid a heavy toll, nobody dares accuse me of cowardice.

    • What are the main difficulties you faced during your activities?

      Oppression practiced by the Occupation in the first place. The Occupation forces didn’t hesitate to suppress our demonstrations. 70 protestors were injured out of a total of 500 by "rubber bullets," which in reality are metal balls coated with rubber. These bullets can kill. During one peaceful demonstration near the village of Bidu, 5 people were martyred. These people did not carry missiles, guns or explosive belts; they used only their bodies to stop a bulldozer from destroying their crops and land. Israeli oppression is one of the main obstacles we faced. Another hurdle is the Palestinian daily routine. Personally, I always try to present the picture as it truly is, both in regard to Israelis and Palestinians. At one time, we held a rally in front of the Palestinian parliament. We requested the ministers' help and support. We demanded they take a clear and uncompromising political stand against the Occupation and the Wall. We asked for solidarity with the average people who suffered as a result of the Wall. When Palestinians see their MPs standing beside them in their struggles, it’s a major boost to their sense of motivation. But when they feel they are dying to defend their land while being ignored by their own MPs, many people start thinking there is some sort of agreement behind the scenes between the two governments. This causes great despair among our people. Also, the presence of funding can have a negative effect on popular activities. If you receive funding from a certain side, it affects the trust of the people whose trust and cooperation you need. Nevertheless, we have experienced financial exhaustion and this causes some despair and loss of motivation. I am in charge of the Popular Committee Against the Wall in the Ramallah area. As an employee with the Palestinian Authority, I haven't been paid my salary for seven months. I often can’t afford to pay my travel fare to go to Bil'in to take part in a demonstration organized by my own group. I ought to be there and it is quite shameful that demonstrations go on while I am sitting in my office, but I simply don’t have the financial backing.

    • What can people do to support your work?

      Popular resistance suffers from lack of financial support. When a protestor is injured during a demonstration, he needs financial assistance. Activities themselves need financial coverage, and our budget is zero. I want to appeal to all the free people of the world who believe in nonviolent resistance to find a way to support the Palestinian cause and take part in peaceful or unarmed resistance against the Occupation. Even our Arab allies are bound by international pressures and treaties which restrict their participation in Palestinian resistance. Violent resistance can’t be practiced abroad, but economic, social, and political pressure can by boycotting Israeli goods. Even a 4-year-old in US, France or South Africa can refrain from purchasing candies produced in Israeli settlements, and this is resistance against the Occupation. Using nonviolent methods, we can force the Occupation to abandon this counterproductive project and grant us our inalienable rights.

    • What is your view of the solution to the conflict?

      Middle Eastern policies have a tendency to be set by emotions, not by calculated and consistent strategies. The result is a situation in which any person can commit an act of madness or violence and force a reaction from the different powers in the region, thus dragging the whole to rejoin into an abyss. On the other hand we can form a national unity government and demand the cessation of Israeli attacks on Gaza, sit around the negotiation table and reach an agreement, and it just might happen. All the options are open. The Palestinian people and the free people around the world haven't lost hope in God. We are convinced this injustice will not continue and all people will receive their rights. It is the Israelis' right to live in peace and security, and the same is true for the Palestinians. But first Palestinians should gain their freedom. I believe the Palestinians need the Israelis and the Israelis need the Palestinians. Both people share a piece of land of great regional and international political and geographical importance. It is in both sides' best interest to preserve and improve their relationship, but I reiterate: this relationship should be balanced and fair. As Palestinians we can never forget that Haifa and Jaffa are Palestinian cities, but we should be politically realistic. All international treaties and UN resolutions support this political realism. The whole world recognizes the minimal Palestinian right to create a state on the lands occupied by Israel in 1967. We request the minimum of our rights, but are not able to receive our freedom unless the whole world supports us. We have not been able build our state and future on the remainder of our land. The Palestinian people can never, under any circumstances, give up the basic right of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital. Our method is the best way to achieve this goal. Enough wasting human lives. Sooner or later we will reach a solution on our own, or others will force it on us. There is no need for thousands of martyrs and dead on both sides. If we are honest with each other and with ourselves, we will surely realize that the many thousands of victims on both sides were lost in vain and will only impede the efforts to build respectable future relations. When Shimon Peres was the Israeli Prime Minister, he was asked why he wanted peace with the Arabs. He answered that he wanted Israel to take part in Arab soccer tournaments. One may think he was being naive, but what I think he really meant was that he wanted Israel to become a natural part of the Arab world and accepted in the region. He wanted Israel to be viewed as a natural part of the Arab world when it came to democratic and economic issues, and even soccer. But joining the Middle East is conditioned by the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel needs the Palestinian people as its link to the rest of the region. After achieving independence, the Palestinians will need to improve their economy and benefit from the Israelis’ democratic and technological achievements. Each side needs the other side. We should understand that the Israelis need security, and they should understand we need freedom.

    • What are the roots of the conflict?

      The main cause is land. Historically, Jews and Arabs, or Jews and Muslims never had any problems. Have you ever heard of a Jewish-Arab conflict before the Israeli Occupation? There may have been some friction between them in Al Medina at the time of the prophet Mohammad, but that was settled 1,400 years ago. There is no religious conflict between Jews and Muslims. There has never been any ideological or ethnic conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, the true, real and only conflict between the two sides began with the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. When we talk about the Occupation, we encounter words such as Jews, Israelis, Zionists, and occupation. As popular resistance, we have no problem whatsoever with Judaism as a religion or with the Israelis as a people. Our problem is the Occupation only.

    • What does the word peace mean to you?

      Peace means security and peace of mind; it means my child. While we live in these circumstances and have somewhat accepted them as our fate, we still dream of realizing for our children what we couldn’t achieve for ourselves. We all have dreams that we want our children to realize. Israelis are just the same; some surely dream of providing security for their children, security they couldn’t provide for themselves. Peace for me means to be able to bring up and educate my children.

    • How is the situation in Budrus now in January 2010, after two years have passed since we first interviewed you?

      Today is Tuesday, January 5th 2010. I didn't go to my work at the Palestinian Interior Ministry because of a sudden demonstration which erupted at 3:00am. Harassment by Israeli army made us sleepless. They started hurling stun grenades at Palestinian homes in Budrus at 2:30am, and shouting through loudspeakers: "You have to stop children from going to the Wall, otherwise you will be disturbed at night this way." Soldiers marched ahead of military vehicles firing stun grenades inside homes terrifying children, women, and elderly people. As a result, the residents gathered and headed to the Wall to demonstrate. Stun grenades and tear gas canisters were fired at them as if it was midday.

    • Budrus premiered at the Dubai International Film Festival. What is your impression of the audience’s reaction to the film? Could media focus give the struggle a major push?

      I was very happy with the audience' reaction, they were influenced by the film. I was very happy that famous Arab and international journalists and dignitaries attended the premiere and the warm applause was very promising. I believe popular resistance will become different after the film. I would say the film complements our goal of creating a model for popular resistance. We already believed that talking and lecturing about popular resistance was not enough. A real model was needed for the people to follow. Budrus explains about the beginnings, the strategies, the leadership, the goals, and the results. I am sure this film will play a major role in circulating popular resistance across Palestine because it is the model we see as the easiest way to realize our national goals of freedom and statehood. I also think it isn't an issue of popular resistance, but of freedom. Popular resistance isn't a goal for the Palestinian people, but it is rather a means to reach a goal. We feel popular resistance is the easiest and best way to realize our national goal - freedom. Promoting popular resistance worldwide isn't a goal by itself. Our goal is to convince the world of the Palestinian message behind popular resistance. This message is that the Palestinian people live on their land and have the right to independence and freedom like any other people in the world. We practice nonviolent resistance to realize our goals of freedom and statehood. We have the right to give our children hope to enjoy peace, safety, and freedom as any other people on this planet.