Contradicting their own public position that Israel and the Palestinians should negotiating their differences, European ambassadors and envoys last week reportedly attended a Palestinian conference aimed at encouraging "popular resistance" as a means of further defaming Israel and pressuring it to meet Arab demands.
The conference was held in the Palestinian village of Bil'in under the banner of the Bil'in Popular Struggle Committee, and was addressed by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
Bil'in has become a flash point of tension in recent years after Israel placed part of its new security barrier between it and neighboring Jewish towns. Popular Struggle Committee members and other Palestinians purportedly committed to non-violent means of protest hold a weekly demonstration there against the barrier.
However, despite their claims of non-violence, the demonstrations almost always include acts of stone throwing and damaging of property. Israeli security forces respond with gas canisters and rubber bullets.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Rami Burnat, one of the committee's leading activists, acknowledged that while the veneer of non-violent protest has lured international support, he and other Palestinians taking this path are not embracing non-violence as a philosophy or way of life. They are not the new Gandhis or Martin Luther Kings.
Burnat called the decision to focus on non-violence popular resistance a strategical one. "It’s about seeing benefits," Burnat said. "If we don’t see them, it’s up to us to decide what kind of resistance we would then use next."
But even that is going too far for most Palestinians, evidenced by the fact that the popular resistance movement simply isn't very popular among most Palestinians, who public opinion polls continue to show favor the use of terrorist violence against Israeli Jews as a means of achieving their goals.