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Originally published at Tikkun Daily |

Israel's Transportation Ministry is under fire for creating what appear to be racially segregated bus lines in the West Bank. According to the ministry, these newly-created lines will transport Palestinian workers to central Israel and are intended to mitigate passenger traffic for Jews on the existing lines. The Palestinian-only routes will officially be considered "general bus lines," and the ministry contends that Palestinians will still be legally allowed to ride the regular lines on which Jews travel.

However, several bus drivers told Israel's Ynet that Palestinians who choose to ride on the normative, "mixed" lines would now be asked to leave them and opt for the Palestinian-only lines, which have only been advertised in Palestinian villages via signs in Arabic.

While the Transportation Ministry is claiming that the new bus lines have been created merely to relieve congestion and provide Palestinians with more affordable commuting options, the move is clearly an attempt to further segregate Jews and Arabs in the West Bank, with a ministry source admitting that the move came in part due to complaints from Jewish passengers about Palestinians posing security risks.

According to Ynet (with emphasis mine):

The ministry reportedly considered several alternatives before deciding to opt for designated lines - knowing that the issue of so-called "Palestinian lines" would be highly controversial.

Legally, however, there is no way to stop Palestinians from boarding "regular" lines: "We are not allowed to refuse service and we will not order anyone to get off the bus, but from what we were told, starting next week, there will be checks at the checkpoint, and Palestinians will be asked to board their own buses," a driver with Afikim - the company that holds the routes franchise for the area - told Ynet.

The volatile nature of the decision was not lost on the driver: "Obviously, everyone will start screaming 'apartheid' and 'racism' now. This really doesn't feel right, and maybe (the ministry) should find a different solution, but the situation right now is impossible."

The creation of these new, Palestinian-only bus routes - and the intended segregation they represent - are surely evocative from an imagistic standpoint. In truth, though, they are simply a metallic reflection of the separate systems of justice and service that have existed for some time in the West Bank - systems that will continue until and unless the occupation ends.

Originally posted to Writing by David Harris Gershon on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 07:42 PM PST.

Also republished by Adalah — A Just Middle East.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Actually this is nothing new (9+ / 0-)

    Jerusalem has two completely separate bus systems, one serving Jews, the other serving Arabs. And that will never change because the Arab bus system operates on the Jewish Sabbath while some of the influential religious leaders will not permit a bus system serving Jews to operate on the Sabbath.

  •  This sounds eerily like (10+ / 0-)

    separate and unequal.
    We know it's definitely separate.
    What the hell is wrong with politicians?

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 07:53:06 PM PST

  •  Plessy v. Ferguson (9+ / 0-)

    SCOTUS in 1896 upheld, 8-1, a Louisiana law requiring blacks to ride in separate but equal railroad cars "reserved for the coloured race."  Link here.   Some excerpts:  

    A statute which implies merely a legal distinction between the white and colored races -- a distinction which is founded in the color of the two races and which must always exist so long as white men are distinguished from the other race by color -- has no tendency to destroy the legal equality of the two races, or reestablish a state of involuntary servitude. . . . .

    The object of the [14th] amendment was undoubtedly to enforce the absolute equality of the two races before the law, but, in the nature of things, it could not have been intended to abolish distinctions based upon color, or to enforce social, as distinguished from political, equality, or a commingling of the two races upon terms unsatisfactory to either. Laws permitting, and even requiring, their separation in places where they are liable to be brought into contact do not necessarily imply the inferiority of either race to the other, and have been generally, if not universally, recognized as within the competency of the state legislatures in the exercise of their police power. . . . .

    We consider the underlying fallacy of the plaintiff's argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority.  If this be so, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 08:10:11 PM PST

  •  I can't wait to find our... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AllisonInSeattle, Diane Gee

    ... Palestinian version of Nelson Mandela.

    That's going to be awesome when it happens.

  •  More evidence (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hey338Too, Sue B, Matt Z

    that a two-state solution is essential.

    •  more evidence (6+ / 0-)

      that a two-state solution is impossible.  

      And remember folks, we already have the one-state solution.  It's called Israel.

      •  Only those who (0+ / 0-)

        oppose a two-state solution claim it is impossible.

        Something the extremists on both sides have in common.

        Funny how that works . . .

        •  When the opposition includes the Government (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Diane Gee, Celtic Merlin

          Damn right a two state solution is impossible.  There's no way Nutty Yahoo and his even nuttier cohorts will allow a fully sovereign Palestinian state on their border.

          You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

          by Johnny Q on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 02:09:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  You have a point, but overstate it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Sure, there are plenty who don't want a two-state solution, so they deny it's possibility.

          But you could be very reasonable and patient indeed, and still lose all hope, after so many years of frustration and thwarted progress.

          I believe there will eventually be a two-state solution. Realistically, there are huge obstacles (e.g. the two sides have almost irreconcilable views on the right of return - and on many issues) in the way.

          "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

          by Brecht on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 11:57:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't disagree that it will be difficult (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            to achieve. And expressions of frustration about the lack of progress and the obstacles are more than understandable.

            But any other "resolution" is a wet dream of those who don't believe in it, and never have.

            And those claiming it is "impossible" typically come from those who have an agenda to see it not happen.  The lack of honesty in that regard is rather blatant.

            •  On the "lack of honesty": I haven't scrutinized (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              many of those who claim it's "impossible".

              I have found, the longer I look at I/P, the warier I become of guessing what others really think. Many, whom I once thought were liars, turned out to be firmly entrenched in world-views remote from my own.

              Otherwise agree with your comment.

              "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

              by Brecht on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 09:46:35 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  "This Really Doesn't Feel Right" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Flyswatterbanjo, corvo, Matt Z, Diane Gee


    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 08:26:52 PM PST

  •  Long after all vestiges of segregation (8+ / 0-)

    Have died out in the Western world, Israel will afford all young people of the West the opportunity to come to Israel to see segregation as it was practiced by our ancestors. It'll be like the Williamsburg of the middle east, a place where nothing changes after thousands of years. A living museum, really.

  •  Israel = Apartheid State, like the former (11+ / 0-)

    South African regime.

  •  I've been thinking about this a lot lately - (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AllisonInSeattle, Matt Z, Diane Gee

    how history repeats itself. I've always thought that the US constitution was full of a bunch of irrelevant stuff about jailings and searches etc that just didn't fit the times.

    But here we are again right back at those times.

    Perhaps every country is doomed to repeat the behaviour of their oppressors.

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

    by ZenTrainer on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 09:45:58 PM PST

  •  Awww! Isn't that cute? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, too many people

    What's not to be proud of?

    This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

    by AllisonInSeattle on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 10:39:54 PM PST

  •  I admire people for voicing their thoughts on this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    omplex situation.  I must say however I never learn anything from these discussions, it is the same old stuff.  A friend of mine said, there is nothing new and won't be until the two in conflict decide to make peace with each other.  It will take both of them as it stands since a military solution is out of the question for either group.  Sounds like a stand off to me.  I certainly empathize with both sides and have a concern for Israel given the location of their country and for the many Palestinians living in sub-standard conditions, but when will they both relent and make peace for the good of their mutual survival together, The stalemate is deading, but I think I betray my fatigue with the situation more than anything else.  How can any one be an "honest broker" when there is nothing to really broker, but tit for tat defensiveness.  So we content ourselves with nitpicking about bus service because we really know the two parties do not want to make peace for the forseeable future.  

    •  I do appreciate your thoughts on this. (12+ / 0-)

      One thing though--I think it's a mistake to think of it as "two sides" who can't settle their differences. That's because one side is occupied, and the other is the occupier, with one of the strongest militaries in the world, the unconditional backing of the US congress, and the largest foreign aid from the US of any country in the world.

      The best way to prevent abortions is to arm fetuses.

      by Flyswatterbanjo on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 11:05:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't see where Israel for all that is better (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        off, all that advantage has not worked in it's favor, in fact it has facilitated a justified sense of support for the Palastinians.  The Palastinians are not powerless; however, or they would have capitulated long ago.  The Six Day War has left it's mark, but they are both locked in a struggle neither can win without a major effort to come to peace which for the time being is not a mutual need and probably needs to be for a big change to occur.  Certainly,  I know  that Israel is the stronger of the two, but they have both elected to continue a cold/hot war instead of getting to peace.  Israel builds settlements where they have been barred from doing so.  Palastinians refuse to accept the state of Israel, want them all to leave, period and lob bombs into them.  And so it goes stalemate and on-going hositility.  I am aware that it is possible to make arguements to all I have said and people do, but we are still left with two peoples who do not want to mutually make peace with each other so they are left to stew in this mutally painful situation.  i am very pained for both of them whenever I read about this terrible situation.  Perhaps, a read of the Bible takes some of the sting off because this area of the world has had a long history of conflict over many generations and it seems, not to be too biblical about it, we need, not devine intervention but leaders who say peace is more important than this cold/hot war.  We don't have them either so maybe devine intervention is all we have left to hope for.

    •  Congratulations (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, Fire bad tree pretty

      You sound like the Village media talking about the sequester.

      This aggression will not stand, man.

      by kaleidescope on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 08:06:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Apartheid (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, protectspice, Diane Gee

    This is disgusting. Just like the mandatory birth control for Ethiopian Jews.  Where is the outrage?

    wall Street Casino is the root of the problem. Don't call them banks.

    by timber on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 01:08:26 AM PST

  •  may not be motivated by thinking one race is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hey338Too, Diane Gee

    but result ends up doing that.

    motive is likely FEAR and desire for security rather than repugnance of the other race.

  •  Hierarchical people simply do not get that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, corvo

    social strata and segregation are inimical to human rights. I suspect it may be because the use of force and the impulse to assert dominance are perceived as natural -- i.e. the creation of a hierarchy of power is a natural component of social organization, akin to the organization of the bee hive or the termite mound.
    Also, instinct-driven people are responsive to prompts. So, if a subordinate population (e.g. the Palestinians) demand transportation and the superior population responds by providing a bus system, that's supposed to be seen as positive. That the subordination is perceived as a wrong, regardless of whether it is manifest as punishments or rewards, simply does not register in the hierarchical mind.

    For comparison, consider that parents are presumed to have authority over children. If so, then for the children to challenge that authority is wrong. The presumption or preconceived notion determines how people behave. That one human exercising authority over another by virtue of superior force is wrong, simply doesn't occur to people who perceive their reliance on force to be good. That it is wrong for some people to presume the right to punish and/or reward others doesn't register. Punishment and reward is what their instincts lead them to do. And force leaves them inviolate, unless there is an intervention from outside.

    Will it be understood that a segregated bus system is wrong? Probably not. Exclusive communities in the U.S. don't understand that it is wrong to bus in their workers, either.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 04:27:41 AM PST

  •  The Real Elephant in the Room (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Diane Gee

    It’s always so sad to see the periods of violence in the Middle East. They’re usually followed by a brief period of wishful thinking of a permanent peace. The main items needed for peace are indisputable. First is a Palestinian State. That’s a given. Second are borders. Borders have been essential agreed upon for years, starting with the 1967 borders with adjustments for settlements and defendable security concerns.

    The real elephant in the room that is rarely discussed out loud is Jerusalem. Most objective people would agree that Jerusalem should not be a divided city. Israel and the Palestinians would both like to have Jerusalem as a Capital. Jerusalem is arguably the most holy city on Earth and should not be allowed to be mixed with any politics. It’s a city that’s too important to too many people. While I’m sure Israel would be a fine steward for Jerusalem, that circumstance would surely be a sore spot of contention with others in the region, and thus it’s impediment to peace.

    What would be best for Jerusalem, and a huge step towards peace, is for Jerusalem to become an autonomous state of its own. It should be controlled by a panel of religious leaders of Jewish, Islamic, and Christian faiths with its sole goal of preserving the religious history for all. Panel members would have to be approved by the other religions as a person who could preserve the history of their own religion while showing tolerance and understanding to the other religions.

    This should not be viewed by Israelis as just another concession for peace, but as the way to best preserve Jerusalem for religions sake. Jerusalem should be a holy city first and only. This would be an epic moment in history and would be the biggest step ever to bring religious peoples together. So much religious history is marked by violence. A unified Jerusalem could bring peace not just between Jews and Arabs but would be an example that could literally spread around the world and usher in a peace beyond anything ever been imagined. It would also remove the wind from the sails of the detractors of peace.
    This elephant in the room could become the best gift to the world ever. It’s time to break the cycle.

  •  Why not just call them 'Colored' lines, instead of (0+ / 0-)


    And of course Israeli society has nothing to do with South African apartheid.  Just plain old Jim Crow Vanilla here. Oh sorry, Jim Crow 'Colored'.

  •  The real answer here is for BDS to boycott... (0+ / 0-)

    ... these new lines and ANY bus line that brings Palestinians into Israel for work, right?  Don't these lines provide revenue for Israeli entities?  Isn't that the point behind the BDS movement, to prevent anything which provides benefit to Israel?  So let's see some consistency from BDS.

    I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

    by Hey338Too on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 12:12:14 PM PST

    •  You'll be happy to know that (4+ / 0-)

      West Bankers do boycott Israel. For example, the PA has outlawed settlement goods, building upon existing boycott groups. There is even debate in the Palestinian community about making it illegal to work in settlements and this is a tough issue since it will mean many unemployed and the PA does not have the resources to care for them. I'm sure that boycotting the buses will be next on the agenda. So glad to see that you are interested in the principles and consistency of the BDS movement, which is always striving to ensure that it meets the highest ethical standards.

      •  Good to know... (0+ / 0-)

        Why should there be ANY debate?  If BDS is successful then the Palestinians going into Israel to work will lose their jobs eventually anyway.  Why wait?  Let them start their boycott tomorrow - certainly you have faith in your plans.

        I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

        by Hey338Too on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 07:15:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Stopping work in settlements (4+ / 0-)

          will mean that lots of families go without incomes. Which means no food, education for your children, healthcare, paying bills etc. Palestinians will need to find other resources, including international assistance to keep body and soul together while they do this. Are you interested in helping out?

          •  Nope, I am interested in a two state... (0+ / 0-)

            ... solution.  With two independent entities living side by side in peace.  If you're interested in boycotts then go for it.  Put your money where your mouth is.  Obviously there is going to be collateral damage on both sides using your strategy, so why wait?  Is the pain going to be any less next week than it will be tomorrow?  You've been at this for almost 10 years right?

            I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

            by Hey338Too on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 08:46:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Most Palestinians favor 2 states (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Diane Gee, Flyswatterbanjo, poco

              as does the Palestinian leadership which has gone to the UN for recognition of Palestine along 1967 borders. I'm surprised that you don't get such a basic fact. You are creating enemies that you are arguing against rather than listening to what Palestinians say.

              •  Forgot the polling link (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Diane Gee, Flyswatterbanjo, poco


                It's important to note that the Palestinian support for 2-states is still the majority, my understanding is that it has dropped considerably in the 2 decades of the peace process which has only brought worsening conditions for Palestinians in what is now the State of Palestine.

              •  Way to change the subject! (0+ / 0-)

                So, I'll indulge you.  Are you for a two state solution with two independent entities living side by side in peace?

                As for the subject at hand, you didn't answer my questions.

                I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

                by Hey338Too on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 09:09:47 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You're the one who brought up the subject (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Flyswatterbanjo, poco

                  of 2-states, not me. You don't know my views on what the solution could be and made a fool of yourself by assuming that my comment was about two-states or one or had anything to do with they type of state solution when it was actually about supporting Palestinians getting rid of the occupation.

                  And whatever strategies that Palestinians want to undertake at whatever costs - like the current hunger strikes of prisoners for example - is not for me to dictate but rather for me to support, since I am not arrogant enough to instruct the Palestinians in how they should overthrow their oppressors. And I suggest you lose the arrogance that makes you think that it's acceptable for you to do so.

                  As for 2-states, I've been a supporter of it since I was first exposed to the Palestinian refugee problem in the mid-1970s when I actually met many Palestinians. The fact that Israel and its supporters only came late to the party in the 1990s and used the process to expand their settlements in what should have become the State of Palestine shows me that Israel is not actually serious about allowing a sovereign state of Palestine to exist.

                  And that's my last comment to you since this is a dead diary and there's no need to extend a discussion with you.

    •  And (4+ / 0-)

      here is an article about how Gazan students are organizing boycotts in Gaza despite the fact that the the Israeli government uses the siege to ensure that Israeli goods are the only ones that are available in Gaza.

      •  But according to Muhammad Dahlan... (0+ / 0-)

        ...a former Palestinian security commander:

        Dahlan said that the tunnels under the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt were a source of income for Hamas leaders who have no interest in closing them down.

        The Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip do not benefit from the tunnels, Dahlan added. He called on the Egyptians to hold Hamas and its leaders, and not the entire Palestinian people, fully responsible for harboring terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip and threatening Egypt’s national security.

        Dahlan said that the Gaza Strip was not under siege and its residents were not lacking anything. “Hamas is laying siege to the Gaza Strip,” he charged.

        Dahlan said that a pro-Hamas Sudanese minister who visited Gaza recently told him that he wished that Sudan had as much basic goods as the Strip.

        I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

        by Hey338Too on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 07:43:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The tunnels do not and cannot supply (4+ / 0-)

          all the needs of the Gazans. And right now, the Egyptians are busy flooding them so that they cannot be used. Dahlan is not only wrong, he is epically wrong. He has a political axe to grind re Hamas (being a Fatah member and someone intimately involved in the coup that prevented Hamas from coming to power after they one the elections) and he is also wrong about the facts. See these articles below for more:

          B'tselem on the medical system in Gaza

          UNHCR on  malnutrition in Gaza

          FAO on effects of seige and war on agricultural sector

          Guradian: Israel used 'calorie count' to limit Gaza food during blockade

          Juan Cole's Israel's strangulation by the numbers

          Not everything you read in JPost is accurate.

          •  arrgghhh (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Celtic Merlin, Diane Gee, poco

            'won the elections'!!!!

          •  How about this guy's assessment? (0+ / 0-)
            Journalist Ashraf Abu Al-Houl wrote in Al-Ahram: "I was last in Gaza in mid-February. Returning three weeks ago, I found it almost unrecognizable... and the greatest surprise was the nature of that change. I would have expected a change for the worse, considering the blockade – but the opposite was the case; it seemed as if it had emerged from the blockade.

            "A sense of absolute prosperity prevails, as manifested by the grand resorts along and near Gaza's coast. Further, the sight of the merchandise and luxuries filling the Gaza shops amazed me. Merchandise is sold more cheaply than in Egypt, although most of it is from the Egyptian market, and there are added shipping costs and costs for smuggling it via the tunnels – so that it could be expected to be more expensive.

            "Before I judge by appearances, which can be misleading... [I would like to point out that] I toured the new resorts, most of which are quite grand, as well as the commercial markets, to verify my hypothesis. The resorts and markets have come to symbolize prosperity, and prove that the siege is formal or political, not economic. The reality [in Gaza] proves that the siege was broken even before Israel's crime against the ships of the Freedom Flotilla in late May; everything already was coming into the Gaza Strip from Egypt. If this weren't the case, businessmen would not have been able to build so many resorts in under four months."

            I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

            by Hey338Too on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 08:55:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, and since Ashraf Abu Al-Houl's visit... (0+ / 0-)

              here's a link to all of the shipments from Israel during the "seige":
              Note that even during the rocket attacks Israel was shipping material per instructions from the Gazans - "A wide variety of commodities - including spices, cakes and candies, toys, cosmetic products, housewares and other items according to the demands of the vendors and the customers"

              I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

              by Hey338Too on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 09:07:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Once again (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Diane Gee, Flyswatterbanjo, poco

                most Gazans do not have the money or the income to pay for these goods. Just because some goods get smuggled in by tunnels and are available in one shop or several does not mean the supply is sufficient for the demand. Now please go and read the links I provided to you and get your facts straight, rather than your anecdotes. When you realize just how large a percentage of refugees there are in Gaza and just how the unemployment rate is, you might actually begin to grasp the scale of this Israeli-made tragedy and stop trying to defend a policy that has left 10% of Gazan children's growth stunted.

                •  So in Gaza the basic law of supply and demand... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... is suspended?  Business is business, if there isn't demand there will not be supply.  No one orders and pays for products to have them sit, or worse, to spoil.  There are tons and tons of goods coming from from Egypt AND Israel.  That does not sound like a siege by any definition.  It appears that there is wealth and money to be made in Gaza, how that wealth and money is distributed is not Israel's fault.

                  I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

                  by Hey338Too on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 09:49:15 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I checked out the link you (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Diane Gee, Flyswatterbanjo, poco

                supplied and even they admit that there was a point in the seige where supplies were much more restricted than they are now. Not that they are generous now by any means. But if you go back to diaries here at around the time of the last Israeli attack on Gaza, you'll find a lot of talk here about 'terrorist crayons' and 'terrorist lentils' since those were basic items that the UN could not get into Gaza at the time. And while the Jewish Virtual Library bills the shipments as 'Israeli Humantarian Aid' it's actually the UNRWA and other aid organisations who actually supply it and have the frustration of coordinating it with the Israeli authorities.

                And despite what your link says abut the recent increases in goods supplied, Gazans are still chronically short of medical and educational supplies as well as many other goods. There are still issues with electricity and sewage. Additionally, for years, Gazans were not allowed to export anything and only just recently were some shipments of strawberries allowed to go to Europe.

                The point is that the economic devolution imposed on Gaza and the West Bank has been documented in innumerable World Bank, IMF, EU and reports by many NGOs. The fact that this situation exists, that Palestinians have their right to work and earn their living made difficult to impossible by Israel is a mark of shame for Israel. Just imagine if this was being done to Jews.

            •  Sigh (4+ / 0-)

              once again, you provide anecdotes, not data. I worked for an international organisation many years ago where part of my job was to travel to developing countries. In the many poor countries I went to, there were elites who were wealthy and lived extremely well while the rest of the population did not. If you go to the links I provide by the FAO, WHO and UNHCR, what  you will find is the conditions lived in by the majority of Gazans.

    •  work in Israel proper and in the settlements is (0+ / 0-)

      one of the few job opportunities available to Palestinians.  This is in part caused by the control of goods and services that the Israeli government maintains over the Occupied areas.  

  •  The Troubadour, you scooped the NY Times. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Celtic Merlin, WattleBreakfast

    Their blog is now covering it:

    The best way to prevent abortions is to arm fetuses.

    by Flyswatterbanjo on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 07:38:39 PM PST

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