WASHINGTON, DC – Khader Adnan spent 66 days on hunger strike, a symbolic, self-denying act of non-violent resistance to Israel’s practice of “administrative detention” or imprisonment without charge. His story quickly became well known and began to inspire other Palestinian political prisoners to follow his non-violent lead.
But Adnan’s is merely the latest episode in a growing wave of Palestinian non-violent resistance. While Palestinian non-violence has been a historic part of the struggle for Palestinian rights, armed struggle has been a component of resistance that often dominated the headlines.
Today things are changing significantly. More than ever, polling data shows, Palestinians are supporting non-violent resistance. A series of polls of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza which included a question on non-violence reveals an undeniable trend in the past 18 months. In June of 2010, for example 51 per cent of Palestinians polled responded that non-violent resistance was a preferred alternative to stalled negotiations. In the most recent poll conducted at the end of 2011, that number jumped to over 61 per cent.(...more)