Bob Simon - Nothing New Under the Sun (MYTHS AND FACTS) Eli E. Hertz 04/27/12)
MYTHS AND FACTS
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In January 25, 2009 he had this to say:
"Palestinians ... when they want to travel from one town to another,
they have to submit to humiliating delays at checkpoints and
roadblocks. There are more than 600 of them on the West Bank."
In April 22, 2012 he had this to say:
"For all Palestinians, just leaving Bethlehem is a struggle. Getting
to Jerusalem, only seven miles away, whether it´s to pray, go to a
doctor, visit family members, or work, means going through this
Israeli checkpoint. That can take hours but before Palestinians can
get even this far, they need a permit from the Israelis which can
take weeks or months to obtain and is frequently denied."
So Who is Humiliating Whom?
April 24, 2012 |Eli E. Hertz
Revised, originally published 2004 & 2009
Bob, you say Palestinian Arabs feel humiliated and harassed when
Israeli authorities search them and their belongings; when they are
prevented from traveling freely because of checkpoints, roadblocks,
closures and curfews. You say they feel "corralled."
Bob, in Israel, every Israeli is searched numerous times during the
course of a single day. Israelis are asked to open their bags and
purses for inspection. In most cases, they are subjected to body
searches with a metal detector every time they enter a bank or a post
office, pick up a bottle of milk at the supermarket, enter a mall or
train station, or visit a hospital or medical clinic. Young Israeli
men and women are physically frisked in search of suicide belts
before they enter crowded nightclubs.
As a matter of routine, Israelis´ car trunks are searched every time
they enter a well-trafficked parking lot. Daily, their cars pass
through roadblocks that cause massive traffic jams when security
forces are in hot pursuit of suicide bombers believed to have entered
Israelis are searched not only when they go out for a cup of coffee
or a slice of pizza, but also when they go to the movies or a
concert, where the term "dressed to kill" has an entirely different
These ordinary daily humiliations now extend to similar searches when
Israelis go to weddings or Bar Mitzvahs. No one abroad talks about
the humiliation Jews in Israel are subjected to, having to write at
the bottom of wedding invitations and other life cycle events, "The
site will be secured [by armed guards]" - to ensure relatives and
friends will attend and share their joyous occasion.
Bob, these ubiquitous security checks do not exist in Arab cities and
towns in Israel (or, for that matter, in Judea and Samaria) because
those places are not and never have been targets of Palestinian
terrorism. In fact, the average Israeli is "humiliated and harassed"
by being searched far more times a day than the average Palestinian.
Not one human rights group, nor you, has so much as noted this
massive intrusion into the rights of privacy and person imposed on
To date, no one protests the fact that, since the 1970s, Jewish
schoolchildren in Israel are surrounded by perimeter fences, with
armed guards at the schoolyard gates.
Not one Arab village in Israel or the Territories has a perimeter
fence around it. Guards are not required at Arab shops, cafes,
restaurants, movie theaters, wedding halls or schools - either in
Israel or in the Territories. Palestinians also do not need armed
guards to accompany every school trip, youth movement hike or
campout. They are not targets of terrorism.
Countless Israelis in sensitive areas within the Green Line - not
only in the Territories, but also in Jewish towns, villages and
bedroom suburbs - are "ghettoized" behind high fences.
Many Israeli motorists avoid major arteries that pass through Arab
areas of Israel, while Arab citizens and Palestinians from the
Territories continue to enter Jewish cities and go about their
business without peril. Israelis are told, in effect, to disguise
themselves when traveling abroad - not to speak Hebrew in public and
not to wear garments that reveal their Jewish-Israeli origins. Even
Israel ´s national airline - El Al - has been forced to remove its
logo from the tails of its aircraft at certain airports, out of
concern for the safety of its passengers. On the other hand, Arabs
who frequent Jewish cities and towns in Israel wear their traditional
Arab headgear without fear of being attacked or harassed.
Bob, all of this begs the question: Who is Humiliating Whom?
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