In the face of ongoing injustice, does nonviolence actually work?
Sulaiman Khatib spent 10 years in prison for being part of armed resistance against the Israeli occupation in the West Bank. But during his time in prison, he experienced an unexpected transformation: he became an activist for nonviolence.
He came to believe that more than vanquishing his enemy, his freedom was better secured by liberating them—that his liberation and the liberation of the very people imprisoning him are actually intertwined. Nonviolent resistance, he realized, was the only way to make a future of mutual liberation and mutual flourishing possible. After his release from prison, Sulaiman co-founded the joint Palestinian-Israeli organization Combatants for Peace, a group of former soldiers, ex-prisoners, and other activists in Israel/Palestine that reject the use of violence and fight for peace through nonviolent means.
Nonviolence isn’t passive. It actually costs something. And Sulaiman teaches us how we can remain steadfast in nonviolent practice in the face of ongoing injustice.
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