This year’s Human Rights March rally takes place today [Friday, December 7] in Tel Aviv. One year ago, the words of Avihu Medina echoed from the stage of the Human Rights March rally in Rabin Square: Lo were I fortunate / to ask for a fate / then I would ask / to be human. Indeed we are fortunate enough to have adopted this very song – “To Be Human” – as the anthem of this year’s – and future! –human rights marches. (for more details in English, please click here.)
To open this year’s rally, Neta Alkayim will perform a special version of the song, “To Be a Woman, To Be Human,” to a crowd of thousands. The moving video of Alkayim’s rendition to “To Be Human” has already been watched thousands of times in just a week.
I came to this world, they did not ask me
What is it that I want nor what does my heart desire.
I came to this world and everything already existed
None of us was asked before being brought into this world – a world in which everything already existed. A world in which so many barriers stand between us and our dream of being human: racism and inequality, social and economic injustice, education gaps and glass ceilings. Were we born into a family of refugees? In a villagewithout a kindergarten, a water main or a paved road? Did we grow up in a society that allowed us to play an equal role in the political decisions about our future? If we decided to start a family, were quality health services made available to us? Did we suffer from discrimination and inequality, or did we benefit from privileges denied to many others? When we stood on our principles and sought to express ourselves, could we do so without fear? Were “laws” enforced upon us with cynical arbitrariness or did they deliver true justice?
There is so much injustice, and all of it too already existed before we were born. But so too does the dream of being human. To realize our potential as equal humans, we believe in human rights – not as an abstract concept, not as a subject reserved for experts, and not as a distant vision, but rather as an inherent truth, a human-scale promise within our reach. We strive to be humans that not only breathe the same air, walk the same earth and share the same homeland, but first and foremost we strive to be humans who respect the rights of the people and communities around us, and who demand dignified existence based on the recognition of human rights, equality and democracy.