Opinion

The Slaughter of Israeli Arab Women Must End

In the names of Arab women and our Jewish sisters who have been murdered in this cursed land, it is time to fight the violence

The funeral of Fadia Kadis, the widow of Jaffa Christian leader Gabriel Kadis.
Tomer Appelbaum

This slaughter must end. More funerals, more orphans and more blood, despair and rage. I decided that this is enough: We Arab women will no longer continue to live here as the nice, hard-working women who speak softly and pray that someone notices we are here.

We are well aware of the racial views of the Zionist state. The fact that Palestinian lives are worth less; that women’s lives are worth less; that Ethiopians’ lives are worth less; that asylum seekers’ lives are worth less. You can do the math yourselves of where a Palestinian woman is located on this scale.

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But this is it, dear Israelis, the age of innocence has ended. In my name and the names of Arab women and our Jewish sisters who have been murdered in this cursed land, from today I am here as a terrorist and you will have to deal with it!

I will destroy any myth you are sold about the murder of women in Israel. I will remind you of the failures in the solving of cases; the powerlessness of the police in dealing with criminals shooting in every direction; the unbudgeted welfare programs; the education that is too busy with the Jewish character of the state to remember its human character; the feminist struggle that is growing stronger in Arab society but ends during its very first meeting with the irresponsible and failed right-wing government.

If someone had shot two Jewish women on Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Street, half the country would have been in uproar. But at a time when the entire country is busy with the cancellation of a soccer game, two Arab women were met with a hail of bullets on the street and a terrorist with a knife murdered Fadia Kadis. Yes, not far from Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. Did you know that in the backyard of the colorful Gay Pride Parade, thousands of residents of Jaffa marched wearing black for the funeral of another woman who is no longer with us?

A report on two Jaffa sisters found murdered in their own home said their brother had turned himself in. He is a convicted criminal, a drug dealer, an ex-con who had an illegal gun and constantly threatened his family – 13 people in a public housing apartment! And what did they talk about in the media? The lifestyle of the two new mothers who were murdered: what they wore, what they looked like, what they were doing.

I am here to destroy the “cultural” arguments that the government recites using its fancy English words and its useless debates in the Knesset. According to these meticulously reasoned theories, Arab women suffer from “cultural handicaps.” They have internal barriers in society that prevent them from complaining and asking for help. The government wants to nurse but the primitives don’t want to suckle.

So let me help you smash this imperviousness. The number of Arab women complaining about violence, harassment and sexual assault has doubled over the past decade. Seventy percent of those who were murdered visited police stations and begged for protection beforehand. In the end, they met their deaths.

These women were aware of their rights. Those “cultural barriers” were cleared on the way to college, and the only limitation is that we women do not run the police stations and we do not have the budget for a gender-based police force that can arrest every violent man in the neighborhood.

We have entrusted our lives to the “security experts” – a minister who is busy with a brilliant plan to kill those launching kites from Gaza and a police chief who has employed an army of spokespeople and PR officials at our expense.

But that’s it, enough! We’re sick of it. This slaughter must end.

Samah Salaime is a social worker, feminist activist and blogger.