When the guards needed "someone to go solitary" for a
minor infraction of prison rules, [Jeffrey] Goldberg
recalls at one point , "twenty Arabs immediately
volunteered." He processes this not as a demonstration of
their solidarity and courage but rather as vindication that
the "Arabs want to be our victim" and "the Geneva
Conventionsaid nothing about prisoners who asked to be
[Goldberg's] new-found hero is Ari Ben Canaan of Leon Uris's Exodus, a "Hebrew (not, somehow, Jewish) warrior, brave and cold-eyed, who defended Jewish honor." The "lesson of the Shoah," Goldberg comes to realize, is that "it is easy to kill a unilaterally disarmed Jew but much harder to kill one who is pointing a gun at your face," while during target practice at IDF boot camp he relishes the prospect of avenging the anti-Semites who had ravaged the Jewish people and humiliated him in his youth. None of these ruminations, however, prevents Goldberg from expressing revulsion at the teachings of Muslim fanatics, who "build self-esteem" through bloody vengeance and for whom the virtue of Islam was its being a "warrior religion" that rejected the Christian value of "passive surrender" because "Muhammad would never have allowed himself to be humiliated". It is hard to make out the difference between this warrior religion and the one Goldberg worshipped after discovering Israel.
Were Palestinians to practice nonviolence, Goldberg contends, Israel would quickly enough be forced to negotiate. This is because, like Britons but unlike Germans, Israelis "could not sustain such one-sided violence, especially in front of television cameras." The basis of Goldberg's faith, however, is unclear. The first intifada was a "mass civil uprising," Schiff and Yaari recalled, "not a war fought with tanks, planes, and artillery or a border skirmish with armed men, but a challenge posed without weapons, a contest against bottles, stones, and firebombs." One of Israel's early acts of retaliation was to deport the Palestinian-American pacifist Mubarak Awad of the Center for the Study for Non-violence. ...
For the nonviolent civil disobedience Goldberg counsels to succeed, its practice and the violence being used to crush it must be made widely known. It is a supreme irony lost on Goldberg that it is his manner of ignoring Palestinian civil disobedience and airbrushing Israeli violence that has doomed this tactic to failure.