Report from a Coventry Socialist on International Women’s Day protest in Israel – Palestine
On a recent visit to Israel a member of Coventry Socialist Party attended a protest linked to International Women’s Day initiated by Socialist Struggle, part of the Committee for a Workers’ International and the Socialist Party’s sister organisation in Israel – Palestine. Socialist Struggle then proceeded to support a protest organised to demand bilingual education in Jaffa.
Below is a report with pictures
Demonstrations in Tel Aviv and Haifa
Last week saw protests organised in the cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa by members of Socialist Struggle (Maavak Sozialisti / Nidal Eshteraki), to fight against sexism and the oppression of women under capitalist society. The protests, which took place during the same week as International Women’s Day, drew attention to the link between the current system , the situation for women and why socialist change is needed across the world.
In Tel Aviv the vibrant and lively protest saw hundreds of leaflets distributed outlining the Socialist viewpoint, with copies of The Maavak, the newspaper of Socialist Struggle being sold.
The poor situation facing women was highlighted – from the fact that since 2011 over 100 women have been murdered in Israel, mostly by their partners, that there are around 200,000 victims of domestic violence, street harassment and that women receive less pay amongst many other issues.
A speaker for Socialist Struggle won applause by calling for solidarity with the strike of Palestinian teachers in the West Bank which was taking place at the time.
The leaflet pointed out that Palestinian women in the Occupied Territories are the main victims of the collective punishment measures such as house demolitions and the closure and denial of access to social services, health care and so on, whilst the call by government ministers for Jewish citizens to carry guns only increases the risk of Jewish and Arab women, including from violence by family members.
Furthermore that there needs to be a joint struggle of women and men, Israeli and Palestinian for social justice and peace, an end to the policy of ‘conflict management’ and an end to the occupation and settlements which promises only more rounds of bloodshed.
Fight the system
A key aspect of the protest was to point out that
‘Sexism and discrimination against women are nurtured and emboldened by poverty, privatisation, unemployment, wars and environment destruction – these are not an act of fate, but the result of the capitalist system being waged for the sake of profit and not the needs of the majority. International Women’s Day shows a long tradition of working class women’s struggle against discrimination and against capitalist exploitation.’
Demanding bilingual education in Jaffa
After completing the protest against oppression of women, members of Socialist Struggle joined a rally in a main square in Tel Aviv outside the national theatre where hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians met to demand bilingual and integrated education in Jaffa. In 2014 after the Gaza war far right activists incited by the racist propaganda of the Israeli government executed an arson attack on the bi-lingual school in Jerusalem. The attackers were arrested and identified themselves as activists of the fascist group LAHAVA that receives funding from the state which led to a series of protest on this issue in Jerusalem.
Read more about this protest from 972 magazine here
Socialist Struggle take part in joint Israeli-Palestinian Women’s Day demonstration
Members of Socialist Struggle also took part in a joint Israeli-Palestinian Women’s day demonstration on 4th March. This took place next to an Israeli army check point south of the Palestinian village of Beit Jala in the Occupied West Bank as part of a series of monthly protests against the Occupation.
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