Peace in our Time?

January 15, 2007

WORSE THAN APARTHEID: B. Michael writing in Israel’s leading newspaper

Filed under: Blogroll, Palestine, Uncategorized — angelajerusalem @ 2:50 pm


Column, B. Michael, Yediot Political Supplement, January 12

Next Friday, January 19, 2007, if the High Court of Justice does not redeem us of this shame in time, the most disgraceful ordinance ever to be imposed by the military dictatorship in the territories on the subjects of its occupation and on all Israeli citizens will go into effect: on that day, ordered Major General Yair Naveh, Israelis will be forbidden to drive Palestinians in their cars throughout the West Bank. Anyone who wishes to drive a Palestinian will have to ask for a note of permission from the occupation officials.

The weak, beaten up, false excuse is, as usual, security.

Nonsense. This abomination has nothing to do with security. This new edict by the evil empire in the West Bank and Gaza is nothing but further proof that there is no limit to the depth of depravity to which the occupation bureaucracy can sink, with no one to stop it. And this racist ordinance is merely one more particularly repulsive cog in the machine that is systematically and effectively stripping the Palestinians of their very humanity, isolating them, separating them, trampling on them and crushing to dust the remnants of their rights.

The details of the Naveh ordinance should be made clear: it is not about prohibiting Palestinians from being driven into Israel. The entrance of Palestinians into Israel has been, after all, prohibited for a long time, in any shape and form. Nor does it seek to prevent attempts to “sneak” Palestinians into some settlement or other, God forbid. After all, they are not allowed to go into those either. General Naveh simply wishes to forbid any joint travel. Even to a social affair in the West Bank. Or to help a friend transport a load to his home. Or just to go on an outing. Or to travel 200 meters to a coffee shop to sit down and talk together. And needless to say that traveling together to a demonstration against the occupation, or any other threatening event of conciliation and friendship, will from now on be forbidden.

There are, of course, exceptions: the feudal landowners from the settlements can continue driving their native slaves to their places of work. After all, it would be inconceivable to interfere with the comfortable daily routine of the master nation. Certainly not by a general, who in any, case allows that human riffraff to do whatever it likes (see the appearance of that loathsome creature from “the Jewish settlement of Hebron” who starred on the television screens this week).

The state of Israel has many laws, ordinances and military administration orders that smell of rot. But such a blatant trampling upon basic democratic norms, all the rules of warfare and all the values of human dignity and freedom has never been seen here yet.

Truth be told, even the word “apartheid” is too small to contain this abomination. There is no choice but to seek historic precedents in other places. Places where Jews themselves suffered from such wicked laws. Not the blacks of South Africa, or the Indians of America, or the Arabs of Algeria, or the Untouchables of India. We may learn from our own experience too. We are allowed to be alarmed, and to learn a lesson from our own history and past as well.

After all, the laws that burned our own flesh were often justified by the excuse of “security of the people,” and defense against the Jewish enemy, who was scheming to undermine the state and filthy its demographic security with his seed.

My forefathers too were forbidden to travel with members of the ruling nation in the same car. My forefathers too were forbidden from using means of transportation except to get to their places of work for the rulers. My forefathers too were forbidden from moving, working, studying, receiving medical treatment, vacationing and worshiping their God, unless the ruling Master deigned to give them a note.

And now I am holding in my hand the general’s edict, staring at it with gaping eyes and a convulsed stomach and reading:

Palestinians are forbidden from traveling in cars with Israelis.

Palestinians are allowed to travel in Israeli cars only to get to their work.

Oh the shame. Oh the disgrace. Oh the short memory. Woe to Judaism that so tramples itself to the dust.

A flag blacker than black waves over this order. And every civilized and a law-abiding person must beware from obeying it. Because it is not only manifestly illegal, it is also malignant.


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