Two Palestinian women from Jaffa were stabbed to death this week – but not in the Israel-Palestine knife-context we are used to.
BY MASIH SADAT
Instead, according to female Jewish and Palestinian activists in Israel at least, it is part of a problem, a ‘trend’ in the Arab society of the country – a very serious problem. The two murdered women are the sixth and seventh victims of Arab women in Israel being killed by family members or relatives this year alone. In 2015, the number reached a total of nine victims.
This time, however, the women are not going to let it pass by like nothing has happened.
This week’s killings of Hawida Shawa, 44, by her husband, and Huda Abu Sarari, 37, mother of four, by her ex-husband, have caused great anger and sorrow among Palestinian and Jewish women – who are all still mourning the murder of 32 year old Dua’a Abu Sharkh, mother of four, killed in the city of Lod allegedly by a family member, 30 days ago exactly – of Jaffa and around the country.
“The Women’s Intifada” they called it, when women, Palestinian and Jewish, took to the streets in great numbers after the murder of Dua’a took place, to march together in a protest against the problem of gender-based violence – the largest one ever seen at its time – in the Arab societies of Lod, Jaffa, Ramla, and around Israel, and against Israeli police’s “alarming selectivity” in cases like these.
After the killings of the two Jaffan women, the women’s movement has now grown even stronger, and the female activists believe strongly in their fight.
At least 500 Palestinian and Jewish women marched together on Friday in another large protest, along the streets of Jaffa, thereby picking up from last month’s protests in Lod – “Arab women are free!”, “We have the right to live!”
Women and men, young an old, Jewish and Palestinian, politicians, Knesset members, and activists, all coming along for one goal – “Stop the violence against women!” The protest was one of great anger, sorrow, and solidarity as they marched towards the symbolic HaShnayim park, and if you were present, you would not be in doubt – these women have no intentions of letting these killings of their ‘fellow sisters’ go on.
“Do not fear revolution, my women. Your voice is your sword. If we do not live to see victory and salvation in our generation, we will bear the next one — a generation that fights for women’s rights.”