Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Love in the Time of Apartheid - a Wedding at the Wall

Today, as we in Colorado are celebrating the passage of the civil unions bill, allowing for gay couples to express their love by forming families that will be recognized by the state, Palestinians are still fighting for the right to marry.
If a Palestinian who is a citizen of Israel (living in Israel) wants to marry a Palestinian who lives in the West Bank, the marriage is prohibited under current Israeli policy. In May, 2002, Israel’s cabinet suspended the family reunification law, which provided a process for Palestinians to apply for marriage if the couple were not both citizens of the same jurisdiction.

Last Saturday, a new campaign was launched to draw the world’s attention to this discrimination— “Love in the Time of Apartheid.” Protesters gathered at the Hizma checkpoint for a wedding—one which could never take place.

The story was reported in PNN, the Palestine News Network—

“The bride [see photo], a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, the groom, a Palestinian from the West Bank, accompanied by tens of activists approached Hizma checkpoint from its two sides and demanded their right to love and live without racist and separation policies.

Using tear-gas and sound bombs, Israeli soldiers at the checkpoint prevented the bride and the groom from meeting and completing the wedding ceremony, which highlights Israel’s apartheid policies, separating between Palestinians from two sides of 67 borders.

Basil Mansour, 36, a member of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and settlements in Bil'in and the head of Bil'in local council, was arrested while participating in the wedding, along with dozens of Palestinian and international peace activists.” Read more.....

Watch a video of the demonstration at the Hizma checkpoint

The campaign calls upon the international community and people of conscience around the world, to meet their international legal obligations and hold Israel accountable to its policies, in all regional and international forums in order, to:

·         force Israel to revoke the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order),

·         end all policies preventing Palestinian family reunifications

·         adhere to international human rights laws

·         put an end to all forms of racial discrimination towards Palestinians

Read more about the law preventing family reunifications:

Mazin Qumsiyeh, a Palestinian Christian and non-violent peace activist, who lives in Beit Sahour, writes, “My wife and I applied for Family reunification over 5 years ago and the Israeli authorities still did not answer to this day.” Read his blog...

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