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Israel Segregates Buses for Palestinians


Israel Segregates Buses for Palestinians

 

The bus was among the first ways I realized there was a black world and a white world.—Rosa Parks

 

By www.roitov.com

 

I apologize to my American readers for this short introduction; yet, most Israelis have no idea whom Rosa Parks was. On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, she refused to obey bus driver James Blake’s order to give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger after the white section was filled. She was arrested for civil disobedience in violating Alabama segregation laws.

This small act triggered civil rights protests across America and earned Rosa Parks the title “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement;” she became an international symbol of resistance to racial segregation, achieving prominence in the civil rights movement together with civil rights leaders, including National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

She died in 2005 and became the first woman and second non-U.S. government official to lie in honor at the Capitol Rotunda. On March 1, 2013, the Israeli Ministry of Transport inaugurated two lines of buses to be used exclusively by Palestinians and created the opportunity for a Palestinian Rosa Parks to spark the struggle for Human Rights in the Holy Land.

Israeli Transportation Ministry Strikes

Israelis may not know whom Rosa Parks was, but the Israeli Transportation Ministry is clearly aware of that it is dealing with pure TNT, not even degraded into dynamite. The news was published in Hebrew media with a lot of defusing clauses. Officially, the new lines are defined as “general bus lines;” yet, they are meant to transport Palestinian workers from the Eyal Crossing, near the West Bank city of Qalqilya, in the West Bank, to the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area. Jewish settlers will continue to use existing lines. The ministry alleges that this is an attempt to ease the congestion on “mixed” bus lines, as well as the existing tension between Jews and Palestinians. Bus drivers who have already been instructed by the ministry, told Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonoth that Palestinians who will choose to travel on the so-called “mixed” lines, will be asked to leave them.

Even in Israel, the described plan is illegal. Thus, in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense, it was decided to renew the identity checks to Palestinians at the Eyal Crossing. If traveling in one of the “mixed” lines, they would be requested to step down and pass the check. From there, they would be allowed to continue only in a Palestinian bus. The ministry issued an oddly racist statement, claiming, “The new lines are not separate lines for Palestinians but rather two designated lines meant to improve the services offered to Palestinian workers who enter Israel through Eyal Crossing.” The statement continued, “The Transportation Ministry is forbidden from preventing any passenger from boarding any line of public transportation.”

In this case, it wasn’t referring to the Palestinians but to the settlers. The Palestinian lines are being hidden from the Jewish population; maybe in a sad attempt to let them think that they live in a democracy. The picture below shows a Transportation Ministry pamphlet announcing the new lines. The Transportation Ministry logo and the Afikim bus company data appear in Hebrew, but everything related to the buses is in Arabic. Most Israeli Jews cannot read Arabic, despite it being an official language, thus unless reading the March 2 newspapers, they won’t know that the lines exist.

“The new lines will reduce congestion and will benefit Israelis and Palestinians alike,” the ministry continued to justify its crimes. I was about to drop the entire issue, when the ministry’s last sentence strike like a lightning on a TNT barrel, “Instating these lines was done with the knowledge and complete agreement of the Palestinians.” I am sorry, but no Palestinian has the right to renounce his rights, in the same way that no Israeli has the right to violate them; Israel is so deep down the path of Apartheid that it cannot understand even this elementary truth. What else needs to happen, to dismantle Israeli Apartheid?

It always seems impossible until its done.—Nelson Mandela

Roi Tov

Roi Tov is a graduate—among others—of Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute of Science. In addition to his memoir, Tov is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Molecular Physics and other scientific journals. He won various travel writing and photography awards.

In his writings, he tries to reveal life in Israel as a Christian Israel Defense Force (IDF) officer—from human rights violations to the use of an extensive network of underground agents. He was recognized first as a refugee and subsequently as political prisoner of Bolivia.

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7 Responses to "Israel Segregates Buses for Palestinians"

  1. blakehamilton  March 4, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd, the South African PM in 1961 and architect of apartheid itself, said this at the time: “The Jews took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. Israel like South Africa, is an apartheid state”
    (Rand Daily Mail, 23 November 1961).

  2. blakehamilton  March 4, 2013 at 5:24 am

    Must be hell being a Palestinian in occupied Palestine.

    • Jim W. Dean  March 6, 2013 at 8:14 am

      It can be hell being an American in America !!!

  3. Sami Jamil Jadallah  March 4, 2013 at 5:22 am

    I wonder what Mr. Cohen of the Southern Poverty Law Center would say about all of this. I am sure those Jews who traveled the South risked their lives to defeat such racists laws would be scratching their heads and would say, are Jews capable of doing this? Would a delegation from the SPLC travel to Israel and argue against such laws before the Israeli Supreme Court. Ah well, let us start once again with a segregated buses, for Blacks only, for Jews only, for Hispanic only, for Arabs and East Asians only and of course for Whites only. Welcome to the only Democracy in the Middle East.

  4. Charlotte NC Bill  March 4, 2013 at 2:11 am

    If they threw the arabs, the real semites who have always been there, into gas chambers -real ones..not Holohoax ones-the neocons in the US would back them up….

  5. maria  March 3, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    They are working on it to be hated all over the world.

    • Xiongnu  March 3, 2013 at 9:26 pm

      Hate is the only wall that will keep people apart. Hence it can be quite handy, when you identify with a culture that fears mixing and integration.

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