Guest contribution by Bayan Founas
Dear women of the world,
I write to you today as a plea for help. You see I have a friend that needs our help as fellow sisters. Her name is Palestine. An oppressor has occupied her for 64 years now. His name is Israel. Now let me tell you about the awfully familiar relationship between these two.
Palestine calls me everyday to recount the abuses she is suffering. She’s too scared to live in her own home in fear of the constant domestic violence she faces from Israel everyday. Someone told me she always wears long sleeves to cover the bruises on her arms, but we all know Israel is the perpetrator in tearing out her olive trees.
She tried explaining to me that she couldn’t simply sit and talk to him about it, so instead she tried defending herself. This hasn’t proved successful considering he’s been cheating by working out everyday at the gym, automatically making him stronger. His gym is called the United States. It has great reviews, providing the best workout guaranteed for life. Although his gym trainer knows he’s been using his muscles inhumanely, the trainer doesn’t seem to mind. The gym continued to train him even when they heard about the incident in the winter of 2008 when Israel punched Palestine so hard in the stomach she spit out over 1,400 pints of blood! You’d think any gym in its right mind would cancel its client’s membership but this one had no choice since it was being cut at the throat by Israel’s best friend, AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). I asked Palestine her advice on how to cut ties between them; she said two words: Occupy AIPAC.
“I’m torn,” my friend continues. I ask Palestine what she means by this and she replies, “I have been split into two. He did this to me. Israel created a divide between my heart and my soul.” She explains how this interior border clouds her mind so much it stops her from daily life, “My heart has trouble beating from Israel’s harsh beatings. They are like bombs suffocating my breathing. And then there’s my soul. It’s being occupied by his forces of hypocrisy.” On top of all the domestic violence, she even said he controls when she can drink, eat, and use electricity! This torture and abuse must come to an end.
As I continue listening to Palestine’s story everyday, I promise her I will try my best to help her. Everyone around her continually neglects her when she cries for help. “I don’t know what to do anymore. I tried contacting the gym but they keep ignoring my calls. I tried other sources too but no one can help me kick Israel out my home.” I assured her I would make my own call for help and here women of the world is where you come in. It’s not to say that this is a matter only cornering women, but as a gender that has faced oppression by dominant forces it is our duty as women to liberate those that continue to suffer. We must liberate Palestine from her own dominant force, that being Israel, like we are in the process of liberating ourselves from male domination.
At least one in three women are subject to domestic violence and for over 64 years Palestine has been that one. This constant maltreatment is an unfortunate consequence of gender inequity. Whatever it is—harassment, domestic violence, or unequal pay—we have come a long way in liberating ourselves from male domination. But we are not done yet.
Women of the world, I ask you today, will you let another sister suffer?
Bayan Founas is an Algerian-American and second year undergraduate student studying biological sciences at the University of Michigan. She is a co-founder of MichiganBDS and an active member of SAFE (Students Allied for Freedom & Equality), the organization on her school’s campus dedicated to advocating for the rights and self-determination of the Palestinian people. She blogs at bayanfounas.wordpress.com and can be found on Twitter here.