Many of you may be too young to remember the bravery represented by the Freedom Riders who hopped aboard busses and headed into the deep South. They were met with violence and arrests. They were beaten and busted. But they blazed a path and made a difference.
Six Palestinians decided to do the same yesterday. Five men and one women boarded an Israeli bus near a West Bank settlement with the purpose of defying Israeli military law that prevents West Bank residents from entering Jerusalem, exposing Israel’s apartheid and discrimination.
They were met by Israeli forces who dragged them off the buses and did, in fact, expose Israeli apartheid and Israeli racism.
PLO Executive Commit tee member and lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi commented in WAFA:
“As Americans confronted the inhumane and racist laws enforced by their government 50 years ago, Palestinian activists boarded a Jewish-only bus that traveled to the illegal settlement of Pisgat Zeev in occupied East Jerusalem. Such means of popular, non-violent resistance are inspirational and bring to light the apartheid-like and colonialist policies implemented by the Israeli government.”
“Israel runs various bus lines that operate on stolen Palestinian land and Palestinians are prevented daily from moving freely within the occupied territories...
"Israel must not be above the law and it must cease any and all acts that promote discrimination and prevent the freedom of movement for the Palestinian people....
"Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said ‘our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.’
Therefore, we call on members of the international community to stand with the people of Palestine and demand that Israel adhere to international and humanitarian law.”The following is from the International Solidarity Movement web site.