Written by: Dr. Ahmad Rafeeq Awad

The phenomenon of violence in the Palestinian society is increasing and becoming more dangerous, for it is not enough to analyze and identify the causes of its spread. There are many who believe that this violence is systematic and promoted by many parties, the first of which is the occupation, who seek to weaken and dismantle the social cohesion and thus, facilitate control over the society and exploit it to serve their goals. One of the reasons for the failure of the 1936 Arab Revolt was tribal disputes, and in this regard, whoever reads what was written about the Palestinian society in the late nineteenth century will be truly amazed at the spread of the phenomenon of internal violence, which was invested by the British occupation and then the Israeli occupation. On the one hand, there are some who attribute the cause of this current phenomenon to the overlapping of geographical areas, the weakness of the law, the lack of religious faith and the spread of social media, which isolates individuals from one another and increases their aggression, especially amongst youth. On the other hand, there are those who say that there is a complete sense of defeat and inferiority as a result of the occupier’s violence, and therefore, the committed violence in the Palestinian society becomes an expression of extreme tension. All this is possible and true.

If violence is an expression of a moment of weakness and defeat, along with the absence of a model and an example, then the continuation of this violence threatens to dismantle society and its political system. The continuation of violence – in my humble opinion – widens the division of the Palestinian society politically, socially and geographically, for it increases due to the absence of unified goals. When major goals are absent, personal interests are intensified. Poverty, ignorance and overcrowding are not the reasons for violence, despite their importance at certain times. I think that there needs to be a social and political example to define the major goals that are represented by the values that the land and its people call for in order to decrease the phenomenon of violence. Where are those who protect and preserve the values of tolerance, forgiveness and love? Where are the educational institutions and parallel institutions, such as mosques, churches, as well as political factions and the leaders of local factions, who had an outstanding role during the 1987 Intifada? Why did violence completely disappear during the first years of the Intifada, despite the fact that there was not a single police station or a single policeman?

Violence in the Palestinian society is currently a dangerous warning that threatens our social and political systems. No one should underestimate what is happening, for there needs to be a real examination of the phenomenon. In order to eliminate violence, political and social alternatives must be presented to the Palestinian society. It is a divided society that is waiting for guidance towards these goals, some or all of which seem to have been forgotten.

 

 

The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the opinion of the Association or donor.