Rosa Parks Day – Rosa Parks made history on this day in late November 1955, while riding home from work on a public bus in Montgomery Alabama, she refused to acquiesce to the bus driver’s regular demand that she either leave the bus or give up her seat for a white passenger.
She bravely stayed put and was arrested for disturbing the peace and fired from her job. However, she became an icon of the African American civil rights movement that began close to 100 years after the date of the 1865 Emancipation.
Fifty six years later, in late November 2011, in an orchestrated and pre-publicized media opportunity, five Palestinian Authority Arabs boarded an Israeli Egged bus to Jerusalem at a bus stop near a Samaria Jewish community, and upon arrival at a checkpoint, refused to acquiesce to the IDF soldiers’ request that they leave the bus after inspections showed that they lacked the requisite permits to enter Jerusalem. They were taken off the bus, along with reporters and the usual bevy of anarchists who had accompanied them.
The group explained that they were emulating Rosa Parks and the civil rights movement in which she took part. The media waxed enthusiastic at the comparison. One online news site outdid itself, posting an oped calling them “Freedom Riders”.
Comparisons can be useful guides, as long as they are not based superficially on a stage setting. So – in order to ensure the new “Freedom Riders” know what they are getting into and what that comparison is all about, below a short list ofÂ principles to adoptÂ that will bring them in line with Rosa Parks, rather than insulting her memory. A challenge for the Palestinian Authority, if you will.
African Americans fought to obtain civil rights in the United States of America, to become an equal part of its society, not to establish a new country in place of the USA or on its land. The thought of a new country never entered their minds, would never have succeeded if it had and would probably have cost them their lives.