A Quiet Revolution: The First Palestinian Intifada and a Strategy for Non-violent Resistance

Overview

In A Quiet Revolution, renowned civil rights activist Mary Elizabeth King questions the prevailing wisdom that the first Palestinian Intifada was defined by violence. She argues that initially, the uprising was characterized by a massive nonviolent social mobilization, rooted in popular committees often steered by women. These committees adopted strategies that began to lead to political results — among them the beginnings of a negotiated settlement. King traces the tragic movement away from peaceful protest ...

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Overview

In A Quiet Revolution, renowned civil rights activist Mary Elizabeth King questions the prevailing wisdom that the first Palestinian Intifada was defined by violence. She argues that initially, the uprising was characterized by a massive nonviolent social mobilization, rooted in popular committees often steered by women. These committees adopted strategies that began to lead to political results — among them the beginnings of a negotiated settlement. King traces the tragic movement away from peaceful protest following the killing of four Palestinian laborers in Gaza, and charts the PLOs increasing contempt for nonviolent struggle. She details the complicity of the media in this escalation of violence — TV crews would not cover peaceful protests, but Palestinian boys throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers would attract foreign cameras. King draws upon the history of non-violent movements and argues that only through nonviolent strategies can a negotiated peace be achieved with Israel. King believes that the residual knowledge of the power of nonviolent resistance from the first Intifada will provide the bedrock upon which to build this eventual, lasting peace.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Ascholar of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience, King contends that the first Palestinian intifada (1987-1993) was explicitly peaceful from its inception. Stating that "[h]istory is often the narrative of wars, and military historians enjoy prestige, whereas the chronicling of how societies have achieved major accomplishments through nonviolent resistance is scant by comparison," she draws on a wealth of documentary and statistical evidence to demonstrate that the Palestinians exercised remarkable restraint during the first years of the intifada. Tying together the threads of civil society, political mobilization and social change, she delivers a fascinating account of a nation in transition. In the occupied "territories," she argues, the Israeli military brutally repressed the "wedging open of nongovernmental political space and development of institutions not under official purview" and deepened the Palestinians' desire for change. The closure of the educational institutions in the West Bank in 1988, for example, caused teachers and professors to return to their home villages, where they were quickly able to politicize uneducated people. While King may be faulted for ignoring the gradual return to violence that's characterized the situation in recent years, her book is essential reading for anyone interested in Mideastern peace. (Aug.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560258025
  • Publisher: Nation Books
  • Publication date: 6/28/2007
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Elizabeth King is an expert on Nonviolent Political Strategies and worked alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. as a student. She is a Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University for Peace of the UN, and a Distinguished Scholar at the American University Center for Global Peace in Washington, DC. She is the author of "Freedom Song" (which won the RFK Memorial Book Award) and "Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Power of Nonviolent Action." King lives in Washington, DC.

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