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Getting ticked about the “little things”: How Daily Injustice in Israel/Palestine Should Piss Us Off

August 23, 2011

Israeli citizen Aziz Abu Sarah, arrested without cause.

Think back to the pre-civil rights movement in America. Did black people in the South really have it that bad?
For the most part, white people just let them be, right? In other countries, racial/ethnic tensions often lead to wars and genocide. But in the South, black people did not have the fear the white population mounting a militarized attack against them.

Black people just lived their lives like everyone else…. except, they had to drink from “colored water fountains” and use the “colored restrooms.” They had a special place at the back of the bus on their ride home to the neighbor where black were “allowed” to live. No matter how old or educated they were, they could anticipate being called “boy” by some (possible uneducated, red-neck) white stranger in the street. Police had the freedom to illegally mistreat black people without any fear of reprisal from the “justice system.”

It’s the little, everyday things (like using the restroom, riding the bus, being detained by police for no reason and then let go—-5 hours later; some bigot calling you “boy” in the grocery store) that can be so unjust and dehumanizing.
Some people critiqued my paper “Towards a New Pro-Israel,” claiming that it fails to decisively demonstrate the oppressive nature of the Israelis. I couldn’t agree more. It doesn’t even begin to describe the oppression.
1) PLEASE take some time to read this brief post by Aziz Abu Sarah, who was recently illegally arrested by Israeli soldiers while giving a tour. Aziz is the co-founder of MEJDI, the tour company that lead us around Israel back in June.

2) Then contemplate:

The little things in life. Like being…

arrested for no reason.

prevented from doing your job.

humiliated in front of a tour group that you were leading.

detained by people who hate you and are carrying M-16s

Imagine losing your I.D./work permit, which will cost you several hours to reapply and possibly days/months to receive.
Imagine the powerlessness, of being arrested illegally, and having no recourse…no authority that you can report the incident to.

Where is the oppression? Do we really need to hear the stories about tanks and guns and the loss of houses and human life
or can we just talk about human dignity. The everyday, small things.

Would that be enough to piss you off?

If not, I would encourage developing your Moral Imagination, as well as the art of placing yourself inside the story of someone else. There was Jew who some also regard as Divine. He placed himself inside our story, becoming the “powerless”….arrested without cause…having no recourse. But there is an authority higher that than that of the Israeli Government, or the U.S. Government or even the U.N. There is an authority who created all authorities. Who always sides with the oppressed and the powerless. In the book He left us, he gives us hope, that one day, everything will be made right and every man will be judged for his actions. On that day, American imported M-16s will be of little value.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 26, 2011 11:04 am

    CNN just posted this article about Aziz Abu Sarah and his joint work with MEDJI.

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