All we Palestinians want is a life free from racial discrimination. We could use a little support from Obama.
The Palestinian elected leadership is weak. And even with Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan this week, the renewed Middle East peace process appears to be little more than a charade.
Israel has taken this opportunity to crack down on Palestinians who advocate nonviolent protests against the Israeli West Bank segregation barrier and charged them based on questionable or false evidence.
I know: I was arrested for talking too much. All we Palestinians want is a life free from racial discrimination.
During 2009, 89 peaceful apartheid wall protesters were arrested; since January, more than 40 have been arrested.
The US president’s support for nonviolent protest could go a long way. However, President Obama's repeated failure to protect the very rights and peace he has called for is a heavy blow to Palestinians. Especially now that Israel has taken to crushing the grass-roots equivalent of Palestinian Gandhis and Martin Luther Kings.
The power and importance of nonviolent protest is close to America’s heart. Decades after African-Americans’ historic sit-in at the Woolworth’s counter,
Palestinians live under a regime strikingly similar to Jim Crow. My Palestinian friends from the West Bank cannot eat dinner with me at my favorite Jerusalem restaurant. They would need to obtain Israeli “permits” to visit me, a privilege given to very few. They would be forced to endure several checkpoints or would have to defy Israeli martial law.
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