FM: John Whitbeck
Transmitted below is an English translation of a forthright article,
published in YEDIOT AHARANOT, Israel's largest-circulation newspaper, by
Shulamit Aloni, who served as Minister of Education under Yitzhak Rabin.
As an Israeli writing in the Israeli press, she clearly feels no need to
pull her punches, as Jimmy Carter does, in discussing the reality of
Hebrew original: http://www.ynet.co.il/articles
*Indeed there is Apartheid in Israel *
/A new order issued by the GOC Central command bans the conveyance of
Palestinians in Israeli vehicles. Such a blatant violation of the right
to travel joins the long list of humans rights violations carried out by
Israel in the [Occupied] Territories. /
Jewish self-righteousness is taken for granted among ourselves to such
an extent that we fail to see whats right in front of our eyes. Its
simply inconceivable that the ultimate victims, the Jews, can carry out
evil deeds. Nevertheless, the state of Israel practises its own, quite
violent, form of Apartheid with the native Palestinian population.
The US Jewish Establishments onslaught on former President Jimmy Carter
is based on him daring to tell the truth which is known to all: through
its army, the government of Israel practises a brutal form of Apartheid
in the territory it occupies. Its army has turned every Palestinian
village and town into a fenced-in, or blocked-in, detention camp. All
this is done in order to keep an eye on the populations movements and
to make its life difficult. Israel even imposes a total curfew whenever
the settlers, who have illegally usurped the Palestinians land,
celebrate their holidays or conduct their parades.
If that were not enough, the generals commanding the region frequently
issue further orders, regulations, instructions and rules (let us not
forget: they are the lords of the land). By now they have requisitioned
further lands for the purpose of constructing Jewish only roads.
Wonderful roads, wide roads, well-paved roads, brightly lit at night
all that on stolen land. When a Palestinian drives on such a road, his
vehicle is confiscated and he is sent on his way.
On one occasion I witnessed such an encounter between a driver and a
soldier who was taking down the details before confiscating the vehicle
and sending its owner away. Why? I asked the soldier. Its an order
this is a Jews-only road, he replied. I inquired as to where was the
sign indicating this fact and instructing [other] drivers not to use it.
His answer was nothing short of amazing. It is his responsibility to
know it, and besides, what do you want us to do, put up a sign here and
let some antisemitic reporter or journalist take a photo so he that can
show the world that Apartheid exists here?
Indeed Apartheid does exist here. And our army is not the most moral
army in the world as we are told by its commanders. Sufficient to
mention that every town and every village has turned into a detention
centre and that every entry and every exit has been closed, cutting it
off from arterial traffic. If it were not enough that Palestinians are
not allowed to travel on the roads paved for Jews only, on their land,
the current GOC found it necessary to land an additional blow on the
natives in their own land with an ingenious proposal.
*Humanitarian activists cannot transport Palestinians either *
Major-General Naveh, renowned for his superior patriotism, has issued a
new order. Coming into affect on 19 January, it prohibits the conveyance
of Palestinians without a permit. The order determines that Israelis are
not allowed to transport Palestinians in an Israeli vehicle (one
registered in Israel regardless of what kind of numberplate it carries)
unless they have received explicit permission to do so. The permit
relates to both the driver and the Palestinian passenger. Of course none
of this applies to those whose labour serves the settlers. They and
their employers will naturally receive the required permits so they can
continue to serve the lords of the land, the settlers.
Did man of peace President Carter truly err in concluding that Israel is
creating Apartheid? Did he exaggerate? Dont the US Jewish community
leaders recognise the International Convention on the Elimination of all
Forms of Racial Discrimination of 7 March 1966, to which Israel is a
signatory? Are the US Jews who launched the loud and abusive campaign
against Carter for supposedly maligning Israels character and its
democratic and humanist nature unfamiliar with the International
Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid
of 30 November 1973? Apartheid is defined therein as an international
crime that among other things includes using different legal instruments
to rule over different racial groups, thus depriving people of their
human rights. Isnt freedom of travel one of these rights?
In the past, the US Jewish community leaders were quite familiar with
the meaning of those conventions. For some reason, however, they are
convinced that Israel is allowed to contravene them. Its OK to kill
civilians, women and children, old people and parents with their
children, deliberately or otherwise without accepting any
responsibility. Its permissible to rob people of their lands, destroy
their crops, and cage them up like animals in the zoo. From now on,
Israelis and International humanitarian organisations volunteers are
prohibited from assisting a woman in labour by taking her to the
hospital. [Israeli human rights group] Yesh Din volunteers cannot take a
robbed and beaten-up Palestinian to the police station to lodge a
complaint. (Police stations are located at the heart of the
settlements.) Is there anyone who believes that this is not Apartheid?
Jimmy Carter does not need me to defend his reputation that has been
sullied by Israelophile community officials. The trouble is that their
love of Israel distorts their judgment and blinds them from seeing
whats in front of them. Israel is an occupying power that for 40 years
has been oppressing an indigenous people, which is entitled to a
sovereign and independent existence while living in peace with us. We
should remember that we too used very violent terror against foreign
rule because we wanted our own state. And the list of victims of terror
is quite long and extensive.
We do limit ourselves to denying the [Palestinian] people human rights.
We not only rob of them of their freedom, land and water. We apply
collective punishment to millions of people and even, in revenge-driven
frenzy, destroy the electricity supply for one and half million
civilians. Let them sit in the darkness and starve.
Employees cannot be paid their wages because Israel is holding 500
million shekels that belong to the Palestinians. And after all that we
remain pure as the driven snow. There are no moral blemishes on our
actions. There is no racial separation. There is no Apartheid. Its an
invention of the enemies of Israel. Hooray for our brothers and sisters
in the US! Your devotion is very much appreciated. You have truly
removed a nasty stain from us. Now there can be an extra spring in our
step as we confidently abuse the Palestinian population, using the most
moral army in the world.
[Translated by Sol Salbe]