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Segregation in Israel does not begin or end on buses

Whether or not the plan is scrapped, the fact is that Israel is a country where senior ministers propose and implement segregation — and keep their jobs.

Palestinian workers board a new segregated bus line at the Eyal checkpoint, March 4, 2012.

Palestinian workers board a new segregated bus line at the Eyal checkpoint, March 4, 2012. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org) Israel began segregating buses carrying Palestinian laborers into Israel years ago. On Wednesday, authorities announced a pilot program to segregate buses taking them back to their homes.

There is something disturbingly disingenuous about the 12 hours of furor that erupted over the segregation — and subsequent “desegregation” — of a handful of Israeli bus lines Wednesday morning. When Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered the “unacceptable” segregation scheme suspended, a sigh of relief could be heard sweeping through mainstream Jewish Israel.

Democracy lives to see another day; the separation barrier once again kept segregation from infiltrating the Green Line.

The bus segregation sparked outrage in Israel not because of the segregation itself (a majority of Israelis support the idea), but because it took place within Israel proper. Palestinian workers’ morning commutes — originating in the West Bank — are already segregated. But heaven forbid that someone be discriminated against — on the basis of nationality — on a public bus originating in Tel Aviv, in Peter Beinart’s “democratic Israel.”

The international community might only recognize Israeli sovereignty within the 1949 armistice lines, but Israel makes no such distinction. True, the Israeli army — not the Israeli government — is technically the sovereign power in the West Bank. But the generals take their orders from the government. Thus, a single Israeli regime run by a single government with a single set of ministers, rules over the entire area between the Jordan River to the Mediterranean.

A Palestinian child watches as Israeli soldiers place a concrete and steel barrier to segregate Palestinian pedestrians from Israeli traffic along a road in the H2 section of Hebron, October 22, 2013. The road connects the Ibrahimi Mosque (Tomb of the Patriarchs) in Hebron's old city with the nearby Israeli settlement Kiryat Arba. Israelis are allowed to drive on the road, but Palestinians are prohibited from driving there without special permission. All settlements in the occupied Paletinian territories are illegal under international law. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

A Palestinian child watches as Israeli soldiers place a concrete and steel barrier to segregate Palestinian pedestrians from Israeli traffic along a road in the H2 section of Hebron, October 22, 2013. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Under this singular regime, not only do segregated bus lines already exist, there are also segregated towns, cities and villages; there are segregated legal systems. In the same small plot of land ruled by a single regime, one population has freedom of movement — the other does not. One population has freedom of political expression and the right to protest — the other does not. One population has a right to unionize — the other does not. One population has the right to live with their spouse and family — the other does not. One population has the right to walk down certain streets — the other does not. One population must live in fear of losing their home if a loved one commits an atrocious crime — the other does not. One population receives state support in establishing new communities — the other faces demolition and expulsion. One population has near impunity for committing hate crimes against the other — the other does not.

In a normal country that claims to have democratic values, an elected government official who planned and implemented a plan to segregate bus lines would be quickly fired, or at least shamed out of politics. Not in Israel. Not Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. Not even close.

Special coverage: The Apartheid Debate

And this is not the first time that Ya’alon has attempted to segregate buses. Prime Minister Netanyahu — and the rest of the country — can feign as much outrage and shock as he wants over the bus segregation, but Ya’alon made his plan public before the most recent elections. It was with full knowledge of those plans that Netanyahu once again made him defense minister.

On Wednesday, the prime minister called the bus segregation plan “unacceptable.” Has he ever used that word to describe the separate legal systems Palestinian and Israeli children are subject to in the West Bank? Has he ever declared the segregation of entire streets in Hebron as unacceptable? Has any Israeli minister, ever, denounced the imprisonment of Palestinian non-violent human rights defenders for the crime of organizing political protests?

As long as there is occupation there will be segregation. As long as the State of Israel interprets being a “Jewish state” as meaning some citizens should have more individual and group rights than others, then discrimination, segregation and inequality will be the norm, not the exception.

Issues like bus segregation get people angry. Activists start to plan freedom rides and massive campaigns, the international media starts to pay attention, and it seems that, for a fleeting moment, people care about the fate of Palestinians living under occupation. Until that same energy and anger and mobilization materializes around the occupation itself, against the concept of institutionalized supremacy and oppression, there will only be more symptoms over which to feign outrage.

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    COMMENTS

    1. David T.

      Well written article.

      Apartheid disguised as occupation. Not many people know that Palestinians on the western side of the armistice demarcation line were made to live under the same enclave, permit system and military law until Israel transfered this inhumane policy to the southern eastern side the following year.

      The only difference is that these western Palestinians acquired the nationality of the succesessor state while most of the others were expelled from this territory (some even beyond Palestine) and denationalized to exclude them from any democratic process to maintain a Zionist regime dominated by a factual ethno-religious minority group. So much for being a democracy. A more accurate term would Judemographethnocracy or Hafrada-heid.

      Allthough on the one hand the most extremist and fundamental supporters of this inhumane and discriminating lie involuntarily support its Apartheid character by denying that an occupation even exists and claim like Hamas that the whole land doesn’t belong to all of its citizens, the international community on the other involuntarily obscures the really or actual existing Zionism by putting the facts on the ground it into the frame of occupation. It claims that Jews had the right to create a smaller Apartheid state on the western side by force and expulsion, but that the same method is inhumane and illegal on the eastern side. Again, the extremists and fundamentalists from both conflict parties will claim that it is right and humane on both sides instead of neither of them.

      But if someone supports universal values based on equality instead of monothnic or monoreligious values based on supremacy one can only be shocked and disgusted by this lack of menschkeit and descency especially after 1945. We hust have to overcome Jewish and Arab nationalism in the whole of the country. Both will never be see the other as equal human.

      Reply to Comment
      • BigCat

        Brian Ben David T. Dekkers! Lol…..need your meds for multiple identity disorder? …..lol

        Reply to Comment
        • David T.

          I accept your intellectual capitulation, PalilaliaPussy. Again.

          Please continue to prove my point that Hasbarats resort to ideocies when overwhelmed by irrefutable arguments. 🙂

          Be a good kitten.

          Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            Oh, Brian Ben David T. Dekkers is now an “intellectual”?! Lol…..Check this out folks:

            “Allthough on the one hand the most extremist and fundamental supporters of this inhumane and discriminating lie involuntarily support its Apartheid character by denying that an occupation even exists and claim like Hamas that the whole land doesn’t belong to all of its citizens, the international community on the other involuntarily obscures the really or actual existing Zionism by putting the facts on the ground it into the frame of occupation. It claims that Jews had the right to create a smaller Apartheid state on the western side by force and expulsion, but that the same method is inhumane and illegal on the eastern side. Again, the extremists and fundamentalists from both conflict parties will claim that it is right and humane on both sides instead of neither of them..”

            Please Professor Dr. Brian Ben David T. Dekkers, stop killing us with your HUGE “intellectual” arsenals! We normal people have normal brains and you rambling mumbo jumbo is too difficult a science for us to understand ……LoL…

            Reply to Comment
          • dekkers

            To read your endless stupidity always makes my day. Please continue your stand up comedy hasbara nonsense. Lovin it bigsmile

            Reply to Comment
          • David T.

            There you go. Thank you for proving my point again that Hasbarats resort to ideocies when overwhelmed by irrefutable arguments.

            “We normal people have normal brains and you rambling mumbo jumbo is too difficult a science for us to understand.”

            It sure is overwhelming for YOUR brain which can’t be considered as normal, cause I was obviously not even talking about my intellect, but that I was accepting your usual intellectual break down.

            Just have a look at your utterly mindless logorrhea so far:
            “Brian Ben David T. Dekkers! Lol…..need your meds for multiple identity disorder? …..lol Oh, Brian Ben David T. Dekkers is now an “intellectual”?! Lol…..Check this out folks: Please Professor Dr. Brian Ben David T. Dekkers, stop killing us with your HUGE “intellectual” arsenals! We normal people have normal brains and you rambling mumbo jumbo is too difficult a science for us to understand ……LoL…”

            Considering the repeated total lack of any counter argument, your autistic ideocies and your juvenile call for attention: Do you really want to claim that this is the intellectual output of a normal brain?

            Please prove my point again and show what Hasbara trolls are made of.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “PalilaliaPussy”: le mot juste!!!

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            We are waiting for Brian to weigh in as well. Why are you not letting Brian speak? Please, Brian Ben David T. Dekkers, let Brian speak as well. Lol……

            Reply to Comment
          • David T.

            Nope, we are waiting for you to continue proving the point that Hasbarat trolls like you resort to ideocies when overwhelmed by irrefutable arguments. Add palilalia and logorrhea in your case. Your ““Brian Ben David T. Dekkers” delirium so far:

            “Brian Ben David T. Dekkers! Lol…..need your meds for multiple identity disorder? …..lol Oh, Brian Ben David T. Dekkers is now an “intellectual”?! Lol…..Check this out folks: Please Professor Dr. Brian Ben David T. Dekkers, stop killing us with your HUGE “intellectual” arsenals! We normal people have normal brains and you rambling mumbo jumbo is too difficult a science for us to understand ……LoL… We are waiting for Brian to weigh in as well. Why are you not letting Brian speak? Please, Brian Ben David T. Dekkers, let Brian speak as well. Lol……”

            Reply to Comment
    2. Ben

      The supposed “temporary” nature of the occupation is the main ruse by which the Israel coaxes the rest of the world into assisting the segregation regime by averting it’s eyes. But it’s not temporary.

      http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.657448
      “…A move so blatantly racist would have sparked harsh criticism of Israel’s policy of occupation, and the world would have understood this decision in the only way it could be understood – that Israel had decided to institute an apartheid regime in the territories.

      But despite the fact that this insane decision has been iced, it’s clear that segregated buses are just the tip of the iceberg…

      Segregated buses attract attention that the daily practices of the occupation don’t manage to attract. For instance, the dispossession of Palestinians from the village of Sussia in the South Hebron Hills, which was recently approved by the High Court of Justice, hasn’t sparked an outcry similar to that sparked by the bus plan, even though it is tainted with the same injustice.

      Thanks to the ostensibly temporary nature of the occupation, the international community assists the Israeli segregation regime by averting its eyes. Such injustices would not be viewed with understanding if they were directed at Jews anywhere in the world….”

      Reply to Comment
      • BigCat

        Brian Ben David T. Dekkers,

        “Any professor who calls Israel an apartheid state is guilty of ignorance, moral blindness, and an assault on the sacred memory of Nelson Mandela.” (…) The truth, of course, is that in Israel today there are 1.6 million Arab citizens who make up 20 percent of Israel’s population.

        These Arabs enjoy the same rights as their fellow Jewish citizens. They, along with Christians, Druse, Baha’i, Hindus, women and homosexuals all have equal rights to live their lives in freedom and safety. As my friend Mitchell Bard argues to rebut the Israel-is-apartheid lie, among the many notable Israeli Arabs there are two Supreme Court justices, the captain of the Israeli Hapoel soccer team, the Israeli ambassador to Ecuador and a general in the Israel Defense Forces. Arabs have their own political parties and have served in the Knesset as members of their own parties as well as the non-Arab parties.” http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/The-Israel-apartheid-lie-398723

        Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            Of course, Brian Ben David T. Dekkers, anyone who disagrees with the hate, virulent lies and anti-Semitism propagated by you and your ilk against Jews is a “right wing religious hustler and paid mouthpiece of Shel Adelson” including outstanding Jewish Rabis. That’s how intelligent you are. As to who takes me serious: look in the mirror – you psychotic moron.

            “Those who call Israel an “apartheid state” are morally, factually and historically inaccurate. Their mission is to delegitimize Israel.” http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/Israeli-Apartheid-the-new-form-of-anti-Semitism-343649

            Reply to Comment
          • David T.

            ““Those who call Israel an “apartheid state” are morally, factually and historically inaccurate. Their mission is to delegitimize Israel.”

            Israel Apartheid existence delegitimizes itself like the article of one of JP’s Hasbara trolls who acuses others of a new (read invented) antisemitism allthough nobody said anything negative about Jews as such. Its actually his own libel which is morally, factually and historically inaccurate.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Why yes my guess is that is in small part but only in small part the apartheid David is referring to. That is one creepy, hostile look Netanyahu is giving Odeh after having warned Odeh’s “hordes” were…gasp!…approaching the polls!–gevalt!
            (By the way it’s exceedingly poor manners to call someone a moron. Just thought I’d tell you since it appears you were raised in a very coarse and uncouth environment and do not know any better. Ciao.)

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Another day in Biggy’s meaningless photo tour. Biggy, you are the one who is constantly hateful and coarse, not us.

            Reply to Comment
          • David T.

            Nope. Let your parents explain my argument to you and also help you with your anger management issues.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            BigCat has admitted he’s not much older than 15. Explains some things, though the vast majority of 15 year olds are in better control of their behavior and their manners. It excuses nothing.

            Reply to Comment
        • David T.

          ““Any professor who calls Israel an apartheid state is guilty of ignorance, moral blindness, and an assault on the sacred memory of Nelson Mandela.””

          Not an argument but smear tactic from a different hasbara troll.

          “The truth, of course, is that in Israel today there are 1.6 million Arab citizens who make up 20 percent of Israel’s population.”

          That’s true, but irrelevant. 1.) They are not considered to be nationals of Israel or belonging to the Israeli nation, because Israel differentiates between nationals and citizens (similar to another famous country, which I was taught to never forget or forgive). 2.) They are only a minority, because Israel keeps the majority expelled with the purpose of maintaining a system of domination by Jews over Palestinians which constitutes Apartheid.

          “These Arabs enjoy the same rights as their fellow Jewish citizens.”

          A blatant lie, see “Discriminatory Laws in Israel
          http://www.adalah.org/en/law/index

          Pedro X smear tactic will be: Adalah is an anti-Israel NGO not funded by Israel. LOL

          “Arabs have their own political parties and have served in the Knesset as members of their own parties as well as the non-Arab parties.”

          That’s why this expellocracy has to keep their potentiontal voters expelled and disenfrenchized, too. It’s ethnical cleansing campaign is the fundamental part of its electoral campaign and again with the purpose of maintaining a system of domination by Jews over Palestinians which constitutes Apartheid.

          Reply to Comment
    3. Bar

      What a disingenuous argument. There is separation because the Palestinians live under Palestinian rule and the very small number who don’t live in areas under Israeli military presence. Unlike Israeli citizens who live on this land which still has no sovereign, the Palestinians aren’t citizens of Israel. They are also not citizens of a “Palestine” because such a state doesn’t exist. It doesn’t exist despite the fact that Israel offered Palestinians statehood…and end of the occupation…three times in the past 15 years only to be rebuffed every time.

      So guess what? If there’s separation, it’s because one side refuses to accept the other. And the side that refuses happens to be the one you’re claiming are the victims. So, according to you, Israel needs to what? Capitulate? Give the Palestinians the ability to destroy Israel? Permit terror attacks? What should they offer more than statehood and end of occupation?

      Reply to Comment
      • David T.

        “What a disingenuous argument. There is separation because the Palestinians live under Palestinian rule and the very small number who don’t live in areas under Israeli military presence.”

        What a disingenuous argument. 1.) It was the occupier who put the occupied under martial law and shoved them into seperated enclaves to prevent their free movement while the occupied land is being illegaly colonialized by illegal settlers not living under martial law. 2.) One occupied country, two different legal systems. Civic law for illegal settlers and martial law for the rest. Blatant Apartheid.

        “Unlike Israeli citizens who live on this land which still has no sovereign, the Palestinians aren’t citizens of Israel They are also not citizens of a “Palestine” because such a state doesn’t exist.”

        The State of Palestine or its statehood has been internationally recognized by the UN in 2012. The sovereign of this state are the Palestinians which have been Palestinians since the Palestine’s national law in 1925 unlike more than half of the Jews in 1948 which never acquired Palestinian citizenship in Palestine and as a consequence thereof never acquired the national right to determine its future.

        And read UN resolution 181, 3.1 which Israel declared to implement to become a member of the UN: “PALESTINIAN CITIZENS residing in Palestine outside the City of Jerusalem, as well as Arabs and Jews who, not holding PALESTINIAN CITIZENSHIP, reside in Palestine outside the City of Jerusalem shall, upon the recognition of independence, become citizens of the State in which they are resident and enjoy full civil and political rights.

        A state is still a state but not a sovereign state, if held under belligerent occupation, even if parts of it are granted autonomy or are controlled by partisants. Only the Security Council determines the end of an occupation.

        “Israel offered Palestinians statehood …”

        A state cannot offer statehood to a people, if its not the souvereign of their country and only holds it and them under belligerent occupation. Israel and its unrecognized capitol never offered to end the control of every aspect (border, air space, coastal water, etc.) of the recognized State of Palestine and its recognized capitol. It has never recognized the state of Palestine, nor its borders nor its people right to self determination, but only the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people after the PLO had recognized Israel 22 years ago.

        “…and end of the occupation… three times in the past 15 years only to be rebuffed every time.”

        Why don’t you tell us what Israel asked in return and is in accordance with international law and wasn’t allready demanded by the UN and international law decades ago, because its a violation of international law?

        Dismantlement of all settlements?
        Ending the occupation and rescinding the illegal annexation of East Jerusalem or the illegal de facto annexation by illegal settlements?
        Right to return as promised by Israel to become a UN member state?

        Israel has NOTHING to offer, but only to return, recompense or restore. Whether it’s land it never legally acquired, property it deliberatly destroyed or confiscated or basic human rights it deliberately violates since 1948.

        Reply to Comment
        • Bar

          Deflect all you like. Three offers. All rejected. There could be a several-years-old Palestine, on 97% of the land the Palestinians claim they want, already. And…no occupation.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            David T. is not deflecting, he’s confronting it head on. It seems you are deflecting, Bar. David has it right: Israel in truth has nothing to “offer,” but only to return, recompense or restore. Your argument is in fact from start to finish so disingenuous that it’s hard to know where to begin or to bother. It is instructive of the tales the Israeli Center-to-Right tells itself though. But here goes.

            “Palestinian rule”: Nice try. No, proxy Palestinian local administration surrounded by and totally dominated by Israeli rule and military control that restricts every movement and economic activity at every point. Look at a map. We have. That’s accomplished by Area C which snakes in, around and totally surrounds Areas A and B. Anyone can see that the Israelis signed Oslo with every intention of taking a “temporary” agreement and turning it into a stranglehold of permanent occupation. Let us also note that Area C is 74% of the WB and under the Wye River Memorandum Israel was to further withdraw from an additional 13% to reduce Area C to 61% of the WB but of course IIsrael never withdrew from more than 2% and then reoccupied all of that too. Because Oslo is not a stage on the way FROM occupation, Oslo IS the occupation.

            –“Israeli military presence”: nice touch there–“presence”–you mean like the delicate presence in Susiya? Oh. And that delicate Israeli “presence” aka apartheid in Hebron? Oh.

            –“This land which still has no sovereign”: Ah yes, that pseudo-plaintive “still.” Well, some are more sovereign than others let me put it that way. After all, the repellent Avri Ran, Ya’alon’s darling, calls himself “The Sovereign.” Why shouldn’t you?

            –“Israel offered Palestinians statehood”: interesting concept of barter, exchange and paying a price. I can offer you “a car” but whether you buy it depends just a bit on what car in what condition at what price. Ya think? In the same vein: “97% of the land the Palestinians claim they want, already” ==> if I were your surgeon and said look to fix this problem i’m just gonna cut out 3% of your body but that 3% includes your heart (read East Jerusalem, Ariel, Ma’aleh Adumim, etc.) what would you say?

            –“What should they offer more than statehood and end of occupation?” As everyone honest knows and has been saying for years ==> A return of a mere 22% of the land without endless quibbling and niggling and cadging over 3% of 22%, the green line as basis, a symbolic mutually agreed upon solution to the refugee problem, East Jerusalem as their capitol. These demands of theirs, in the framework of “return, recompense or restore” are so modest and compromising that Israel at this stage in the evolution of the conflict simply seems malevolent when it endlessly plays games around all this.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jon Aarbakke

            Why, if Israel really wants peace, does it continue to build settlements? To me this is pretty hard evidence of the complete absence of real willingness to renounce the tenets of zionism. Zionism implies exclusion and expulsion, ultimately destruction of the other civilization.

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            The “settlements” occupy less than 3% of the West Bank. That’s right, less than 3%! New constructions are inside existing settlements Palestinians have accepted in past negotiations that they will become part of Israel. It does not make sense because Israel builds inside those “settlements”, it does not want peace.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Anybody who can look at the Middle East and North Africa of today, not to mention key Muslim states in the surrounding region and still claim that “Zionism implies exclusion and expulsion, ultimately destruction of the other civilization” needs a new set of marbles.

            Reply to Comment
          • David T.

            “Anybody who can look at the Middle East and North Africa of today, not to mention key Muslim states in the surrounding region and still claim that “Zionism implies exclusion and expulsion, ultimately destruction of the other civilization” needs a new set of marbles.”

            If A can look at B and can still imply that C is D then A has lost its marbles.

            So much for lost marbles.

            Reply to Comment
    4. manley kiefer

      I don’t believe that Israel will survive as a vibrant society by being truly democratic and must curtail activities of many of its sworn enemies within its borders.

      Reply to Comment
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