October 26, 2014

High Israeli official pushing for segregated bus lines in the West Bank

Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss - Everything that’s wrong with the Israel lobby and U.S. public policy and Zionist Israel is in this story: An Israeli government minister whom the U.S. secretary of state had the fortitude to snub on his latest visit to the U.S. has come out for segregated bus lines in the West Bank. And we’re supposed to feel defensive about snubbing this character? And ambassador Samantha Power was compelled to meet with him? Cry my beloved country.

First, here’s the Kerry snub. Back in the spring Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya’alon called Kerry “messianic” in his pursuit of a peace plan. Arutz Sheva reports:
Ya’alon was denied meetings with top American officials during his visit to the United States this week, The Associated Press (AP) reported on Friday, citing officials in Washington.

While Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon did see Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, the officials said the White House and State Department rejected Israeli proposals for meetings with Vice President Joe Biden, national security adviser Susan Rice and Secretary of State John Kerry.
A pro-Israel news site is affronted by this treatment:
The Obama administration’s mass snubbing of Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon last week was designed to “humiliate” him, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported, adding that Obama officials would continue to “ostracize” him until Ya’alon further apologizes for off-the-record comments he made about Kerry more than nine months ago.

Barak Ravid, the diplomatic correspondent for the newspaper, compared the Obama administration move to a “hazing.”
Yes but who are we hazing? Haaretz reports that Ya’alon has come out for segregated bus lines in the occupied West Bank at the urging of the colonists there: “Ya’alon bans Palestinians from Israeli-run bus lines in West Bank, following settler pressure.” Yes, that’s the Defense Minister, making policy for brown people in the colonies who can’t vote.
Following intense pressure from settlers, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has issued a directive that bans Palestinian workers from traveling on Israeli-run public transportation in the West Bank….

The new guidelines prohibit Palestinian workers from using buses that run directly from central Israel to the West Bank; instead they will have to arrive at the Eyal Crossing, near Qalqilyah and far from populated settler areas, and continue to their final destination from there.

The Samaria Settlers’ Committee and local Jewish authorities have conducted an aggressive campaign in recent years aimed at banning Palestinian workers from public transportation used by Israelis in the West Bank.

Currently, Palestinian laborers who work in central Israel can enter only through the Eyal Crossing, where they undergo security checks and swipe a biometric I.D. card before continuing to their workplace.

The workers are not allowed to sleep in Israel, however they can return to the West Bank through various crossings. Hundreds of Palestinians who live in the central West Bank prefer to return on buses that run from Tel Aviv or Petah Tikva along the “trans-Samaria” road through the settlement of Ariel and on to their villages.
The settlers have tried on multiple occasions to prevent the Palestinians from commuting on those buses, and have released a video calling for them to be banned…

No comments: