12 Israeli women publicly defy army orders, take Palestinians for a day trip in Tel Aviv

Posted: August 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, racism, The Left | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Until the Oslo years, Palestinians enjoyed freedom of movement throughout Israel. But since the mid 90′s, only those with special permits from the IDF can cross the Greed Line west – to work, for a visit of friends or family members, or for medical treatment.

The blockade policy has become much harder on Palestinians since the separation barrier was constructed. Very few travel permits are issued, and as a result, many young Palestinians never leave their home town and the surrounding villages. In fact, many never left the territories in their life, and the only Israelis they ever met were either settlers or soldiers.

This ad was published yesterday (Friday) in Haaretz (English translation below):

haaretz ad


Women in the footsteps of Ilana Hammerman: not obeying illegal and immoral laws

On Friday, July 23rd, a dozen Jewish women, a dozen Palestinian women, one baby, and three Palestinian children took a trip from the West Bank in six private cars. We crossed several checkpoints, drove to Israel’s coastal plain, and toured Tel-Aviv and Jaffa together. We ate in a restaurant, swam in the sea, and played on the beach. We ended our day in Jerusalem. Most of our Palestinian guests had never seen the sea. Most had not, in their entire lives, prayed at their sacred places: they looked upon them longingly from the heights of Mount Scopus.

None of our guests had an entry permit from the Israeli authorities. We are announcing here publicly that we deliberately violated the Law of Entry into Israel. We did this in the footsteps of Ilana Hammerman, after the state lodged a complaint against her with the Israeli police. She had written an article published in Haaretz on May 7th reporting on a similar excursion.

We cannot assent to the legality of the “Entry into Israel Law”, which allows every Israeli and every Jew to move freely in all regions between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River while depriving Palestinians of this same right. They are not permitted free movement within the occupied territories nor are they allowed to enter the towns and cities across the green line, where their families, nation, and traditions are deeply rooted.

They and we, all ordinary citizens, took this step with a clear and resolute mind. In this way we were privileged to experience one of the most beautiful and moving days of our lives, to meet and befriend our brave Palestinian neighbors, and together with them, to be free women, if only for one day.

We did not go with “terrorists” or enemies, but with human beings. The authorities separate us from these women with fences and roadblocks, laws and regulations, often claimed to protect our safety. In fact, the barriers are only designed to perpetuate mutual enmity and the control of Palestinian land seized illegally in contravention of international laws and the values of justice and humanity.

It is not we who are violating the law: the State of Israel has been violating it for decades. It is not we—women with a democratic conscience—who have transgressed: the State of Israel is transgressing, spinning us all into the void.

Henry David Thoreau, in his famous essay “Civil Disobedience” (1845) wrote:
“…when a sixth of the population of a nation which has undertaken to be the refuge of liberty are slaves, and a whole country is unjustly overrun and conquered by a foreign army, and subjected to military law, I think that it is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize. What makes this duty the more urgent is the fact that the country so overrun is not our own, but ours is the invading army.”

Listen to these words, see how aptly they describe our situation here and now —and do as we have done.

Signed (in alphabetical order): Annelien Kisch, Ramat Hasharon; Daphne Banai, Tel Aviv; Esti Tsal, Jaffa; Ilana Hammerman, Jerusalem; Irit Gal, Jerusalem; Klil Zisapel, Tel Aviv; Michal Pundak Sagie, Herzlia; Nitza Aminov, Jerusalem; Ofra Yeshua-Lyth, Tel Aviv; Roni Eilat, Kfar Sava; Ronit Marian-Kadishay, Ramat Hasharon; Ruti Kantor, Tel Aviv

10 Comments on “12 Israeli women publicly defy army orders, take Palestinians for a day trip in Tel Aviv”

  1. 1 daria said at 2:45 am on August 7th, 2010:

    Most free people take freedom for granted. I thank god everyday that I am free, and think daily of the people who are under siege because of my country’s policies.

    These woman have chosen the right path.

  2. 2 daria said at 2:52 am on August 7th, 2010:

    I am still wowed by the strength of this move, that is not only a powerful symbolic act, but an act of real significance in the lives of the people who participated in it

  3. 3 arieh zimmreman said at 5:53 am on August 7th, 2010:

    It is the same on both sides of the conflict, if there is to be peace, it will largely be because of the acts of women. You have all my respect and are all my hope.

  4. 4 Dena Shunra said at 8:32 am on August 7th, 2010:

    It is a brave and noble day trip, for all concerned, both hosts and guests.

    It seems to me that the Palestinian women were at least equivalently active (not taken on a trip but GOING on a trip), and probably risking even more than the Israeli ones, based on past treatment.

  5. 5 gregorylent said at 8:44 am on August 7th, 2010:

    love this .. do it again … and again

  6. 6 Polgrim said at 9:23 am on August 7th, 2010:

    So much hope. I can’t wait for the day when all Israelis will disobey their country’s leadership and break fences – both mental and physical – and dismantle the Occupation, once and for all. More power to our mothers and sisters! You will set the world free.

  7. 7 mary said at 10:21 am on August 7th, 2010:

    What a moving piece to read. Arieh Zimmerman is correct that women can make the changes. A women only aid boat to Gaza has just left from Lebanon. God speed.

  8. 8 Jane Jewell said at 8:26 am on August 8th, 2010:

    This is a wonderful story, and so encouraging for those of us in the USA working for Palestinian human rights. It is great to know that there are sane, good people standing up against evil in Israel. There is hope for the future of the Holy Land after all. Until reading this article, I thought there was none. They have proved that different groups of people can live together quite happily, as they did for thousands of years before.

  9. 9 Roy said at 1:37 am on August 9th, 2010:

    Unfortunately, they show what most of us are not. If we where such people our leadership would have looked different. This is why (to my opinion) most people in israel can look at this act and say negative things. I’m afraid that what we need right now is someone like Gandi on the Palestinian side (cuz we won’t vote for hi here).

  10. 10 Marie said at 9:58 am on August 9th, 2010:

    I am filled with admiration for your physical courage and your moral strength. God be with you, ladies; and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for brave and determined action.