Friday, December 23, 2011

American Women should Support Israeli Rosa Parks and Palestinians

                It is not hard to find stories within Apartheid Israel which show how it discriminates not only against Palestinians but against its own people.  Perusing Apartheid Israel’s daily newspapers, Jerusalem Post and, on-line, one can easily find some governmental law or inaction that shows how undemocratic the so called democratic Apartheid State of Israel really is.  The latest exposure of apartheid shows how women are subjected to the disparaging and humiliation of having to sit on the back of a public bus. Remnants of the indignity African-Americans had to endure in the segregated southern States in the US prior to the 1960’s flash back.
                Yocheved Horowitz, called the Rosa Parks of Apartheid Israel, has set out to challenge the unwritten law that women in Israel must sit on the back of the bus.  See the article at
                Statistically, Jewish-Americans   were one of the most actively involved non-black groups in the civil rights movement.  It is ironic that 56 years after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama public bus, Jewish women in Apartheid Israel are fighting the same battles that African-Americans fought with the help of Jewish-Americans.  This is the reality that Americans do not realize.  Apartheid Israel would have the world believe that it is a democratic state, after all, perception is reality; however this perception that it tries to convey is far from reality.
                Discrimination against Palestinians in Apartheid Israel and in Occupied Palestine is a daily reality. One indignity that Palestinians have to endure daily is that they cannot travel on Jews only by-pass roads—spelling it out more clearly, Palestinians are not allowed to travel on these roads.  This is enforced by designated colored license plates for Palestinians.
This segregation of Palestinians and Israelis is clearly within the meaning of apartheid: a political system that separates the different peoples living under its control and gives privileges to those of the Jewish religion.  But this definition now needs to be redefined: a political system that separates the different peoples living under its control and gives privileges to those of the Jewish religion but some privileges are only given to Jewish men, i.e. sitting in front of the bus while women sit in the back.
                Women all over the world should be outraged at this apartheid mentality exercised so blatantly in Apartheid Israel in the 21st Century.    But being outraged when a member of your “group,” in this case women, makes you outraged, should give you pause to reflect upon these words by Martin Luther “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  
            The injustice that Apartheid Israel perpetrates with cruelty each and every day against Palestinians should make you just as outraged as knowing that Jewish women are subjected to the indignity of having to sit behind Jewish men on public buses.  As the MLK statement clearly states, those who do not necessarily feel injustice should be threatened by injustice anywhere for while injustice may not be directed against you today, it may tomorrow. Thus all humankind should be ever vigilant against injustice anywhere.  
            Segregation of people, whether it is between Palestinians and Israelis or between men and women within Apartheid Israel, is a threat to justice everywhere.  Perpetuating injustice continues the conflict in the Middle East and leaves the stability of the region in doubt. American acquiescence to such injustice allows the people of the Middle East to look negatively upon the US, especially if one injustice is confronted while the other is ignored. 
            When the US confronted Sadam Hussein’s occupation of Kuwait in 1990, Arabs were elated because they believed that the natural progression would be for the US to confront Israeli occupation of Palestine.  However, continued US acquiescence to Israeli occupation has rendered American justice to be injustice.   
            America has and continues to ignore the injustice of Apartheid Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.  If women and particularly Jewish-American women come to the aid of Yocheved Horowitz and all Jewish women in Apartheid Israel and ignore the injustice committed against Palestinians, injustice will continue to threaten everyone everywhere.

(  © Copyright, Fadi Zanayed.  Publication or distribution of this material is allowed provided its content is not altered and the source and its author are cited.)

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