Cal Tzedek: Courage to Refuse

Friday, October 01, 2004

Courage to Refuse

Courage to Refuse has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

I believe the way this works is that they are competing against a potentially unlimited number of nominees and will not necessarily make it past the recommendations of the Nobel Peace Prize winners who nominated them.

If they win, this would be a huge victory for the Israeli Peace Movement, for progressive Jews worldwide, for the Palestinians, and basically for human rights (which is not to say that there aren't many other people whose Nobelity would also be a human-rights victory). The members say that this will be a great victory for Zionism in general, and I certainly agree that a Zionism based on the highest principles of human rights is superior to a Zionism that is not.

However, when Tzedek held a Refusenik panel two years ago, one of the men who I believe was from Courage to Refuse said

"The group started with a very patriotic image, it was very important to say that we were all brave soldiers, competent and so on and so forth, and I think people get more mature as times go, and people see that it does not impress anyone, and you are being marginalized in a second...so we learn to cooperate more with other groups and to deal less with the issue of images and just to struggle with whoever is willing to struggle...You're marked in a second as a traitor, so at least let's fight."

So, if what he said is any indication of the mindset of most refuseniks, the human rights of the Palestinians really are more important to the movement than the image of Israeli nationalism.

I'd like them to win.

-Ehud

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