The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Swimming Together

Aug 1, 2011

Police have hauled in for questioning 28 Israeli women. Their cases are pending. Their “crime”? They have been illegally transporting Palestinian mothers and children from the southern part of the West Bank, which is landlocked, on day trips to the beach. Without having to ask the Israeli military for a pass, Palestinian women and children are enjoying the Mediterranean Sea – most for the first time.

What a 66-year-old Israeli widow began one year ago, has become a small, determined movement. The women call themselves: “We Will Not Obey.”

A reporter for the New York Times witnessed one of their recent outings:

“Skittish at first, then wide-eyed with delight, the women and girls entered the sea, smiling, splashing and then joining hands, getting knocked over by the waves, throwing back their heads and ultimately laughing with joy.”

In a published statement, the organizers declared:

“...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 exciting 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.”

When asked her thoughts, one of the Israeli women stated:

“For 44 years, we have occupied another country. I am 53, which means most of my life I have been an occupier. I don’t want to be an occupier. I am engaged in an illegal act of disobedience. I am not Rosa Parks, but I admire her, because she had the courage to break a law that was not right.”