Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson to launch movement against Israeli occupation
Press Trust of India
Posted online: Friday, August 13, 2004
Jerusalem, August 13:Mahatma Gandhi's grandson, Arun Gandhi, is to kick off an unarmed Palestinian movement against Israeli occupation which is being launched by a group of social and political activists in Ramallah.
Gandhi, head of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence in the US, will be the star attraction at three mass rallies planned in Ramallah, Abu Dis and Bethlehem on August 26.
The campaign is being organised by a group of Palestinian social and political activists in Ramallah, who have joined hands with anti-fence activists, NGOs, and Fatah activists headed by minister without portfolio and Fatah member Kadura Fares in the wake of the International Court of Justice's ruling, condemning the construction of the West Bank barrier by Israel.
Gandhi told daily Ha'aretz from the US that he intends "to promote the philosophy of non-violence, the approach that non-violence is the only venue that can solve our problems".
"I am coming both to learn and to teach his (Mahatma Gandhi) philosophy. I understand that many bad things happened 55 years ago, but the attempt to get justice by revenge accomplishes nothing," he is quoted to have said by the daily.
He said he learned that from his grandfather when he was just a boy in South Africa and thought of revenge in retaliation to the apartheid and humiliation there.
"I've dedicated my life to explain to people how damaging prejudices can be, and how to form better relations. That is the basis of non-violence. Relations must be based on love, understanding and honour, not on negative foundations," Gandhi said.
"I will tell the Palestinians that it is their responsibility to change. If the Israelis do not want to listen, it does not mean we cannot act," Gandhi said.
He also told the daily that he would convey to the Palestinians that the essence of violence is that each side justifies it by saying the other side started.
"The question is who is more intelligent (to stop using violence) and who has more power to change. I think the Palestinians have a chance to be more intelligent and not act like the Israelis."
The Ramallah group is said to have established ties with Palestinians for peace and democracy in the US, headed by Mohammed al Atar, in order to launch a "creative way of resistance".
Terry Boulata, principal of a private school in Abu Dis and a major anti-fence activist, is said to be the link between al-Atar and the Ramallah group.
The fence is said to separate Boulata's home from her place of work and from her husband's family.
"The struggle is our right, but we must be creative," she told Ha'aretz.
The organisers intend to bring thousands to the rallies and record the talks
with Gandhi. "We want to organise a Palestinian peace camp to explain to Israel
and the world that our freedom is the key to peace," Boulata said.