Thursday 23 June 2011



Palestinian women enjoying a day at the beach with Israeli women who refuse to accept Israel's racist laws that prohibit Palestinian freedom of movement (photo: "Civil Disobedience")
More brave Israelis who go up against the laws of their country! These people deserve commendation and most certainly support wherever possible. It seems that the educational community of Israel is standing behind them in complete solidarity. We can only pray for their success and offer them support as we can. I know it is just a day on the beach, but it is, in actuality, pure civil disobedience in the best of traditions according to Thoreau. Further down you will find some of my favourite quotes on one of my favourite activities ~ civil disobedience.

Interestingly, almost all links to this group have disappeared. Well, perhaps not at all surprising under the circumstances.

Every actual state is corrupt. 
Good men must not obey laws too well. 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

By Adam Horowitz
June 23, 201

The following press release offers an update on the Israeli civil disobedience campaign to illegally transport Palestinian women and children into Israel to enjoy the beach. Although many Palestinians living under occupation live just miles from the Mediterranean, Israeli law prevents them from traveling freely. These actions were inspired by reporter Ilana Hammerman who planned the first of such trips and wrote about it in Ha'aretz. The press release follows:

300 Academics Join 40 "Civil Disobedience" Women Willing to Break Israel's Entry Laws

About 300 lecturers and teachers from institutes of higher education throughout Israel have signed a public advertisement in support of civil disobedience actions of a group of women who openly infringe the law of entry to Israel. The academics put their full names in an advertisement which was published in Ha'aretz newspaper last Friday, 17 June 2011, next to an advertisement ~ the third in recent months ~ published by the women's group called "Civil Disobedience". (For the advertisement itself, see attachment.)

The women, who have all been investigated by Jerusalem police and who now have official criminal records, called for the Israeli public to join them in their protest activity which consists of driving Palestinian women and children for a day at Israeli recreational sites and the beach. These actions come in the wake of writer and translator Ilana Hammerman's initiative, who started publicizing such activities last year.

"The last photos show them about two hours after the trip to the flea market, running in the darkness on Tel Aviv’s Banana Beach. They didn’t want to stop for even a minute at the restaurant there to have a bite to eat or something to drink, or even to just relax a bit. Instead they immediately removed their sandals again, rolled up their pants and ran into the water. And ran and ran, back and forth, in zig-zags, along the huge beach, ponytails flying in the wind. From time to time, they knelt down in the sand or crowded together in the shallow water to have their picture taken."
"We recognize neither the legality, nor the morality, nor the wisdom of the walls between us and our neighbors which have been erected with brute force," stated the group in its advertisement.

Alongside the women's statement, a support letter from the academics appeared, including the following words:
We, the undersigned women and men, state that we are willing to collaborate with the actions of the "Civil Disobedience" women.
In these dark hours, we are willing to drive their guests, Palestinian women and children, to hide them and to support their challenge in any other way, whether in deeds or in words.
The action of these women shows the right way for any Israeli citizen who truly supports a democracy respectful of human rights.
Should Israel's legal system find it appropriate to prosecute and penalize these women we shall be willing to support them, to join them and to be tried alongside them. 


Dare to do things worthy of imprisonment if you mean to be of consequence.  ~Juvenal

Laws control the lesser man.  Right conduct controls the greater one.  ~ Chinese Proverb

Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.  ~ Albert Einstein

No radical change on the plane of history is possible without crime.  ~ Hermann Keyserling

When leaders act contrary to conscience, we must act contrary to leaders.  ~ Veterans Fast for Life

It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.  ~ Voltaire

If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.  ~ Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, 1849

You're not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality.  Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it.  ~ Malcolm X

Human history begins with man's act of disobedience which is at the very same time the beginning of his freedom and development of his reason.  ~ Erich Fromm, Psychoanalysis and Religion

Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn't.  You cannot shirk this and be a man.  To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may.  ~ Mark Twain

Integrity has no need of rules.  ~Albert Camus

If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable.  ~ Louis D. Brandeis

Laws are only words written on paper, words that change on society's whim and are interpreted differently daily by politicians, lawyers, judges, and policemen.  Anyone who believes that all laws should always be obeyed would have made a fine slave catcher.  Anyone who believes that all laws are applied equally, despite race, religion, or economic status, is a fool.  ~ John J. Miller, And Hope to Die

Disobedience, the rarest and most courageous of the virtues, is seldom distinguished from neglect, the laziest and commonest of the vices.  ~ George Bernard Shaw, Maxims for Revolutionists

Every actual state is corrupt.  Good men must not obey laws too well.  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal."  ~ Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail," Why We Can't Wait, 1963

We cannot, by total reliance on law, escape the duty to judge right and wrong.... There are good laws and there are occasionally bad laws, and it conforms to the highest traditions of a free society to offer resistance to bad laws, and to disobey them.  ~ Alexander Bickel

It is necessary to distinguish between the virtue and the vice of obedience.  ~ Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays, 1911

I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward.  It is not so desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right.  ~ Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience, 1849

As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever.  ~ Clarence Darrow

It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do.  ~ Edmund Burke, Second Speech on Conciliation, 1775

I am free, no matter what rules surround me.  If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them.  I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.  ~ Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Ordinarily, a person leaving a courtroom with a conviction behind him would wear a somber face.  But I left with a smile.  I knew that I was a convicted criminal, but I was proud of my crime. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr., March 22, 1956

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.  If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.  ~Bishop Desmond Tutu

It is not a man's duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and, if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support.  If I devote myself to other pursuits and contemplations, I must first see, at least, that I do not pursue them sitting upon another man's shoulders. ~ Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

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