Things are about to get exciting around here. Tomorrow, November 15, Palestinians are going to begin boarding Israeli-only buses that travel illegally on segregated roads in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories.
Much like the Freedom Riders during the Civil Rights movement, these courageous non-violent activists will engage in “provocative” actions that serve to highlight the real provocation — the “separate and unequal” treatment of Israelis and Palestinians in the territories controlled by Israel.
Here’s the best brief article on what they are upset about and what they are trying to accomplish.
You can follow them via their
Twitter (Hashtag #FreedomRides)
Live streaming videos (This will go public when the film begins streaming tomorrow around 1pm Palestine time, early morning in the US)
Most importantly, here’s a quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. as a pre-emptive response to those who would cry, “But why provoke the Israelis? Why create tension? Wait for a better time, wait for negotiations, wait for a better Israeli government, wait…”
“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom.”
Here’s more of the text from King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” It’s well worth the read. I think it’s one of the most cogent, important, and beautifully-expressed documents ever written.
Here’s a poem read by a Palestinian woman fed up with being asked ridiculous, insulting questions while her people burned.
And here’s a poem written by a Palestinian man that speaks for itself:
I loved you once, I love you now anyway
by Morad Fareed
We danced at a wedding once.
It wasn’t always around flags on fire.
Palestine is Iraq is New Orleans.
Loss breeds ire.
We carried a groom on a chair once.
It wasn’t always a coffin.
Your flag triangulates my wound.
I cry for us often.
We spoke to each other over coffee once.
It wasn’t always necessary to scream.
Birmingham is Beirut is Bosnia.
We have a fucking dream.
We met each other on a field once.
It wasn’t always to fight.
Darfur is Jenin is Auschwitz.
A life is a life.
We prayed for each other once.
It wasn’t always so others may lose.
Your mother is my mother, dear brother.
I see hope in our family feud.
We wrote about our love once.
It wasn’t always to eulogize.
For groves, for books, for tea, for her.
For your mistakes I’ll apologize.
We dreamed about a new life once.
It wasn’t always in heaven.
It is now. It is here. Us. Try.
Leap to Re-imagine.