Jewish and Arab women march for peace, equality and social justice

One after another, in the spirit of the social activists of the beginning of the last century, they stepped up onto the wooden crate on the side of Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard and cried out for a better future.

Photos: Dotan Gur-Arieh

One after another, in the spirit of the social activists of the beginning of the last century, they stepped up onto the wooden crate on the side of Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard and cried out for a better future – each from the perspective of her own struggle. Among those listening were women agricultural workers organized with the Workers Advice Center (WAC), activists from Beit Ha’am (“the people’s house”), members of the union Koach Laovdim, representatives of the political party Meretz, and Tel Aviv residents who took the chance to celebrate International Women’s Day together with Purim, and came dressed up in various strange and funny costumes.

The panel was chaired by Asma Agbarieh-Zahalka, who represented the workers’ organization WAC. “We will not remain indifferent to the terrible scenes and the cries of mothers whose children have been murdered by the fascist dictator, Assad,” she declared. “The entire world ignores the plight of Palestinian women caged behind the separation wall and enforced closure, and ignores the racist legislation directed against Israel’s Arab citizens, but we will not ignore them! The Israeli government ignores the hundreds of thousands of people who demonstrated against the evils of the capitalist economy and the results of privatization.

We women join the waves of uprisings and protests sweeping many parts of the world and the Arab world specifically. Israel’s prime minister prefers to ignore what is happening and establish a belligerent virtual agenda against Iran, for which he has no capability, no mandate, and no international concent. Hurray for the women struggling, for the Arab agricultural workers, for the persecuted migrant laborers, for the subcontracted kindergarten and school teachers, for the social workers, for the junior academic staff, for all women and men who struggle for their right to live in dignity.”

Tami Farber, social worker: “I have a dream”

Asma’s place was then taken by Tami Farber, a social worker and activist in the social workers’ struggle. “I have a dream,” she said. In her dream, she sees a state whose main concern is the wellbeing of all its citizens regardless of religion, age or nationality; a state which grants education, health, housing and social security to its citizens, and sees workers as a source of strength and organized labor as the basis of a firm social-economic order; a state which understands that national security is dependent on the welfare of its citizens and the narrowing of socio-economic gaps; a state which does not control its people by fostering fear of the Iranian bomb. In her dream, Jewish and Arab women have equal opportunities to exercise their rights, the subcontractors and agents disappear, men do not earn more than women for same job, and there are no subcontracted laborers. In her dream, old age is not accompanied by sickness, poverty and dependency; the state appreciates the work of the elderly, and shows this in their monthly wage slip. “For this dream to come true, we need a strong coalition of women, solidarity, the faith that it is possible,” Tami said. “We just need to rise up and do it.”

Print Friendly

Pages: 1 2 3 4

Pages ( 1 of 4 ): 1 234Next »

About Miki Harel