Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Neve Gordon: Strategic Motives of the Yassin Assassination: An attempt to analyse Sharon's motive in ordering the murder of Yassin. Why now and what effect is it calculated to have? One possible motive is the desire to block the growth of the Palestinian non-violent movement: "Commentators have ignored that the Israeli attack will likely deal a harsh blow to the recent emergence of a Palestinian non-violent resistance movement. The three-and-a-half year-old Palestinian uprising, known as the Intifada, began changing its character about two months ago: from a struggle based on violent resistance led by relatively small groups of militants to a massive non-violent grassroots movement.

"The impetus for this mobilization is the rapid erection of the separation wall. The protesters use the same techniques developed by Ghandi and Martin Luther King, with hundreds of demonstrators standing or lying in front of bulldozers, chanting songs and waving flags... Yassin's assassination will probably weaken the non-violent resistance and empower those who favor violent retaliation against Israel. Thus, ironically, Israel's operation has actually strengthened the legitimacy of Hamas's military wing."

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