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The heavy price of segregation and occupation

Israeli police forces at a checkpoint restrict Palestinians from entering Jerusalem's Old City, October 6, 2015. (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Israeli police forces at a checkpoint restrict Palestinians from entering Jerusalem’s Old City, October 6, 2015. (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

In Jerusalem nowadays, Palestinians stay on the east side, Israelis on the west, and Netanyahu’s right-wing government is smack in the middle racking up political points.

Much of the violence taking place at the moment begs the question: who actually benefits from the occupation? We know it’s not the Palestinians, and it’s definitely not the Israelis.

Watching the video clip of young Israelis rooting for the killing of a 19-year-old Palestinian by Israeli police (see below), and listening their cheerful applause once he is gunned down, I am reminded how Israelis fail to see the tragic moral consequences the occupation has on the occupier.

How can Israelis not be affected when racial discrimination is practiced systematically but written almost nowhere explicitly, thus forcing nobody to be accountable for it?

Israelis won’t find that racism in their history books that deny the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948. They won’t find it in the media. It is not explicitly stated in the boycott law, the Nakba law, the force-feeding law, administrative detention, and countless other policies that ooze of racism, but only if you know how to read between the lines.

One has to follow the bloodshed to find answers. One must look behind the stacks of law books and peer into the excuses used to indemnify Israelis — police, soldiers or settlers — who kill unarmed Palestinians, or even those “armed” with stones.

These are the same racist excuses the state mutters when it fails — or refuses —  to indict the terrorists who burned to death an entire family in Duma.

Palestinian blood is simply cheaper than Israeli blood. Only a fool would argue differently. And Palestinians citizens of Israel are no exception. The families of the 13 young men killed 15 years ago during October 2000 watched helplessly as the Israeli police officers who killed their sons walked free.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the United Nations General Assembly, October 1, 2015. (Avi Ohayon/GPO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the United Nations General Assembly, October 1, 2015. (Avi Ohayon/GPO)

So why does the UN so “obsessively” pass resolutions against Israel and not Syria, as Benjamin Netanyahu lamented in his UNGA speech last week?

Despite Netanyahu’s apparent intelligence he somehow remains blind to see that he is overseeing a segregation regime. It shouldn’t be that difficult to see. Surely he understands that a regime based on ethnic superiority reminds the world of history’s ugliest and most painful lessons.

What kind of regime does Israel think the world sees when it segregates streets in the West Bank along ethnic lines? When it builds shameful walls of apartheid? When it keeps one of the world’s most densely populated strips of land under siege? When it builds illegal, segregated settlements on stolen land?

Israel’s undemocratic state practices and policies will eventually undermine its international legitimacy. Meanwhile, the Palestinians may soon face yet another righteous-sounding military operation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, costing more innocent people their lives.

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    1. antoine

      good article but you should talk of Israeli Jewish blood not just Israeli blood given that 20%of Israelis are Palestinian.

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