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Feeling the Loss of Every Woman

Bara’ah Jaber Masarwa, 26, and her two sons, Amir, 2, Adam, 6 months were stabbed to death, most likely by her husband. Hanan Abu Hait, 24, was shot driving her car in Haifa.

Two Arab women, one killed at two in the morning by a raddled man, the other in broad daylight by members of a feuding family.

What ties these two killing together, beside the fact that one followed on the heels of the next that in May, the number of killings of women in the Arab communities is approaching the entire number for the previous year?

In both, they were failed by all of the systems and bodies that should have been protecting them. They were failed by an unequal education system and the discrimination -- rife in practice -- that Itamar Ben Gvir wants to enact in law. That has left unemployment among young Arab men dangerously high and has swelled the ranks of organized crime.

The welfare system and mental health providers failed in the case of Bara’ah and her sons. the question was not how a man "not known to the welfare authorities" apparently snapped and committed an unspeakable crime, but why was he not known to the welfare authorities?

The police? They are not unaware of long-standing family feuds, of the recent tendency to kill the best young members of the opposite family -- ones who generally have not participated in the feud and are only interested in suceeded in their studies. Why, in that case, have the killings continued? The courts and those who prefer to look the other way -- these have all played a role in allowing the killing to continue.

Over the weekend, women from Na'am Arab Women in the Center joined in protesting at the Taibe intersection. Women and men, Arab and Jewish came to demonstrate against the system that enables these murders to occur, with almost no prevention. Drivers heading up that road were inconvenienced for a few minutes as the protesters blocked the road. Hopefully some of them spared a minute or so for the memory of Bara’ah and Hanan, to think about their surving families who will live with the loss and the nighmare for years, to think about what we could be doing differently.

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