NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics


  • Separate Bus Lines for Palestinians and for Colonists in the West Bank


    During the global protests known as "Israel Apartheid Week," the Israeli government launched a segregated bus service, forcing Palestinians in the West Bank to travel only on buses designated to them -   October 3, 14
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


    Audio

    Share to Facebook Share to Twitter



    Honest, truthful, never doublespeak, news. - Elin
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Bio

    Shir Hever is an economic researcher in the Alternative Information Center, a Palestinian-Israeli organization active in Jerusalem and Beit-Sahour. Hever researches the economic aspect of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory, some of his research topics include the international aid to the Palestinians and to Israel, the effects of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories on the Israeli economy, and the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns against Israel. His work also includes giving lectures and presentations on the economy of the occupation. He is a graduate student at the Freie Universitat in Berlin, and researches the privatization of security in Israel. His first book: Political Economy of Israel's Occupation: Repression Beyond Exploitation, was published by Pluto Press.

    Transcript

    Separate Bus Lines for Palestinians and for Colonists in the West BankSHIR HEVER, ECONOMIST, ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER: Two new bus services were launched in Israel on March 4, separate bus services for Palestinians and for Jewish colonists in the West Bank.

    Between late February and the end of March, Palestinian solidarity groups in campuses around the world commemorate the “Israel Apartheid Week”, a week of events to raise awareness to the discrimination and oppression of Palestinians by Israel and to demand equal rights.

    In South Africa especially, it was noteworthy that the African National Congress Youth movement and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) both endors the event and join the protest against apartheid in Israel/Palestine.

    Israeli officials deny the existence of apartheid, but surely an accusation by South Africans who have had firsthand experience with racial segregation cannot be easily dismissed.

    And indeed, as if on cue, the Israeli Ministry of Transportation launched a new policy just as protestors around the world called to end apartheid in the area: separate bus lines for Jews and for Palestinians.

    Over the past 20 years, the Israeli authorities developed a complex array of mechanisms to separate between the Palestinian population of the West Bank and the illegal Israeli colonies. The Israeli colonists, nearly all of them Jewish, command approximately 70 percent of the West Bank, although they are less than a fifth of the West Bank's population.

    Such mechanisms include checkpoints, special roads for the colonists on which Palestinians are not allowed to travel, the Wall of Separation, and numerous fences and obstacles.

    ~~~

    SOLDIER (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): It's forbidden. Go from here.

    MAN (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): But from here it's easier.

    SOLDIER: This is for Jews here. Only for Jews.

    MAN: And there it's only for Arabs?

    SOLDIER: Exactly. Get going.

    ~~~

    HEVER: In November 2011, Palestinians launched the “freedom Riders” Initiative in protest of the separation. Palestinians insisted on riding in buses in the West Bank. There is no official legal restriction preventing Palestinians from using the public transportation services, but in practice, bus drivers tend to drive past the bus stations if they see that Palestinians are standing there waiting for the bus.

    Because Palestinians are not allowed to approach the colonies, they have to make the trek on foot to a few stations placed outside the colonies. The colonists usually use the bus stations inside the colonies, and so the bus drivers can drive past Palestinians if they wish.

    But over 30,000 Palestinian workers who are employed inside Israel have no choice but to keep trying. They take the hours-long journey into Israel and back every day in order to make a living, because the job market in the West Bank is plagued by high unemployment.

    In the past decade there was no case in which Palestinian passengers attacked the colonist passengers, and yet colonists continued to send complaints that they have to share the bus with Palestinian passengers. These complaints increased after the “Freedom Riders” Initiative.

    One colonist wrote that "On the buses there are more terrorists than Jewish residents, and they all attack the poor driver." Another wrote, "I can't go visit my parents in Ariel because I'm afraid."” "The buses are full of Arabs," added a third. "There are many monkeys in the bus”," wrote a fourth.

    Israel Katz, Israel's minister of transportation, responded to these racist remarks by launching new bus lines for “Palestinians only.” At the same time, soldiers were instructed to take every Palestinian they find on a normal bus off of the bus and put them onto separate Palestinian-only buses.

    An added benefit of the separation for the Israeli occupation policies is that the Palestinian-only buses can be stopped at checkpoints, and all the passengers can be required to undergo prolonged and humiliating security checks, all this without delaying the regular buses, which can drive past without delay, carrying the privileged colonists to their destination.

    Unlike the apartheid regime in South Africa, Israeli apartheid policies are more concealed. No law exists which prevents Palestinians from taking buses inside the West Bank, but the soldiers have clear instructions not to allow them.

    An Israeli couple challenged the ethnic separation by getting on the Palestinian-only bus inside Israel. The driver tried to prevent them from getting on the bus, but admitted that he had no authority to prevent them from taking the bus. However, he told the couple that after picking up Palestinian passengers, he is not allowed to make any stops until he reaches the occupied Palestinian territory.

    A few critical comments made in the world media about the apartheid buses have been covered by the Israeli press, which raised some concern that such overt discriminatory policies can hurt Israel's image in the world.

    The apartheid bus lines are operated by the Afikim company, which is a privately owned company operating in the occupied West Bank and serving the colonies. Two of the buses belonging to the company were set on fire on March 5 as they were parked during the night, possibly a retaliation for the humiliating segregated bus lines.

    This is Shir Hever for the Real News.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    My Reports on 1995 Human Rights Abuses in Bahrain Ignored by State Department - John Kiriakou on Reality Asserts Itself (3/8)
    Eduardo Galeano Ruptured the Veins of Imperialism in Latin America
    Janis Varoufakis, Greek Finance Minister and Economist Joseph Stiglitz on Disruptions in the Eurozone
    Organizations Fight the For-Profit Video Visitation Industry
    The Global African: Martese Johnson and the World Social Forum
    Yanis Varoufakis and Joseph Stiglitz
    How I Joined the CIA - John Kiriakou on Reality Asserts Itself (2/8)
    Obama to Get "Fast Track" for Trade Pacts
    Official: Baltimore Cutting Water to Hundreds of Residents and Zero Corporations
    Welfare System Designed to Keep the Poor Poorer
    The UK Election Debate: "Hamlet Without the Prince"
    BREAKING: US Senate Advances the Trans-Pacific Partnership
    I Believed America Could Do No Wrong - John Kiriakou, Former CIA Official, on Reality Asserts Itself (1/8)
    TRNN Covers Historic National Day of Action for Fast-food Workers
    The Rich Get Richer If House Republicans Repeal the Estate Tax
    The Fragmentation of Canadian Climate Policies
    Lincoln and Black Self-Emancipation
    Pentagon Declares Airstrikes against ISIS a Success in Iraq
    Why Did Russia Sell S-300 Missiles to Iran?
    Safe Streets: Baltimore's Secret Crime Fighting Weapon
    Obama To Remove Cuba from "Terror" List
    Is Rand Paul Still a Libertarian?
    Fast Food Workers Gear Up for Nationwide Strike for $15
    Blackwater Guards Sentenced for the Murder at Nisour Square, Baghdad
    Growing Calls for Reparations for the International Slave Trade
    Sen. Marco Rubio Unveils His Candidacy and Platform for "A New American Century"
    Ethiopia Accuses Eritrea of Backing al-Shabaab
    Lessons from the Summit of the Americas
    Empowering Baltimore Youth with Media, Art, Activism, and Pan-African Culture.
    TRNN Replay: Why, Senator Clinton? October 18, 2007

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting