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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Friday, October 21, 2005

Approaching apartheid

Chris McGreal, Guardian, October 20

"The Israeli military has blocked Palestinians from driving on the main artery through the West Bank in a first step towards what Israeli human rights groups say is total "road apartheid" being enforced throughout the occupied territory.

"The army sealed off access to Route 60 after the fatal shooting of three settlers near Bethlehem on Sunday. No private Palestinian cars are permitted on the road although public transport is still allowed.

"The Israeli newspaper Maariv yesterday said the government quietly gave the military the go-ahead earlier this week for a plan to culminate in barring all Palestinians from roads used by Israelis in the West Bank. "The purpose is to reach, in a gradual manner, within a year or two, total separation between the two populations. The first and immediate stage of separation applies to the roads in the territories: roads for Israelis only and roads for Palestinians only," the newspaper said."

18 Comments:

Blogger Ibrahamav said...

On Sunday, Palestinian terrorists killed three young Israelis in a drive-by terrorist shooting in the West Bank (pictured at right). In response to pointed warnings of more attacks of this type, the IDF imposed restrictions on Palestinian traffic on certain West Bank roads.

Though the road closures were temporary and aimed at preventing further loss of life, several media outlets quickly spun this story in a different direction ― suggesting they are part of a larger Israeli plan to implement 'road apartheid' in the West Bank. The Guardian stated:

The Israeli military has blocked Palestinians from driving on the main artery through the West Bank in a first step towards what Israeli human rights groups say is total "road apartheid" being enforced throughout the occupied territory.

The New York Times also quoted a Palestinian official making the 'road apartheid' claim, and The Scotsman said:

On the ground, the condition of Palestinian civilians seems to be deteriorating further... Israel is moving ahead with plans to make permanent a ban on Palestinian use of main roads in the West Bank.

Two falsities are disseminated with these media-driven claims:

1) Israel is not 'moving ahead' with plans to 'permanently ban' Palestinian traffic on West Bank roads. What has occurred ― in the wake of Sunday's shooting and the many others that preceded it ― is further discussion of a how separate road systems might make the West Bank safer for travel, given the ongoing threat of drive-by terrorist fire. Such discussions are always conducted while balancing the humanitarian concerns to peaceful Palestinians.

2) The term 'apartheid' is once again, absurdly brought into the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. HonestReporting previously provided a side-by-side comparison of the two situations that debunked the association vis-a-vis the security fence. That comparison is just as relevant here. And as former US Mideast negotiator Dennis Ross stated in an op-ed this week:

Yasir Arafat loved to equate the Palestinian struggle for statehood with the struggle of South Africans against apartheid, but his was always a false analogy. In South Africa, less than 15 percent of the population controlled all the power and wealth and subjected the other 85 percent to a degrading, inhuman and segregated existence...

Compare that to the Palestinian movement for self-determination. Arabs today remain a minority in the area that encompasses Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. To be sure, given demographic trends, Jews will become a minority in that area within this decade, but even by 2050, Arabs would outnumber Jews by only 60 percent to 40 percent.

The international community supports a two-state solution because it recognizes that there are two national movements with populations in rough equality. That was never the case in South Africa.


As Israel continues to consider methods of protecting its citizenry from Palestinian terror, HonestReporting encourages subscribers to be on the lookout in your local media for unfounded claims of West Bank 'apartheid roads', and respond with the facts if they appear.

Friday, October 21, 2005 11:55:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Thankls for mentioning the honestreporting link. I wasn't familiar with it. It looks interesting. Can anyone vouch for the credibility of this source?

Saturday, October 22, 2005 1:05:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Honest Reporting is a pro-Israeli site that fact shecks various stories regarding the Israel.

They don't check the veracity of anti-palestinian stories.

And why wouldn't I mention the link?

Saturday, October 22, 2005 2:40:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

You misundrstood me. I thanked you for the link. I was unfamiliar with it and was curious to learn what other people's experince on the forum has been with regard to this source.

Saturday, October 22, 2005 2:51:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Honest Reporting? Spare me. A partisan side with no credibiliy run by rabid US Zionists. Any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, in their enlightened view.
The usual...

Saturday, October 22, 2005 12:41:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Thanks Antony. Imagine my surprise!!

Saturday, October 22, 2005 1:07:00 pm  
Blogger anthony said...

A partisan side with no credibiliy run by rabid US Zionists.

From my experience, Honest Reporting does not try to hide its partisanship. It merely reports on the bias of others in the media- and especially the media's tunnel vision.

The point it, HR has shown the Guardian's article to be a load of crap, as well as the failure of your post to point out that this is a temporary measure.

HR has no credibility? Not for a rabid- anti-Zionist, no.

Your 'surprise' Andre? Ibrahamav made no attempt to hide its pro-Israeli agenda. Surely you dont restrict your reading to Chomsky, Said (bless his rotting corpse), Loewenstein (I apologise for the spelling), and Green Left Weekly?

Saturday, October 22, 2005 4:32:00 pm  
Blogger Ian Westmore said...

Ibrahamav said...

On Sunday, Palestinian terrorists killed three young Israelis in a drive-by terrorist shooting in the West Bank

Their deaths are a tragedy for them and their families!

However, at the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, it wouldn't have happened if they weren't illegally occupying the West Bank.

Saturday, October 22, 2005 5:11:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

How racist of Ian to state that the murder of Jews is justified because they were living in the wrong place.

Sunday, October 23, 2005 1:57:00 am  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Ibrahamav, Ian is not justifying anything. He is attempting to identify the root cause of the event. The shooting is a result of violence in the region, which itself is a result of military occupation.

Sunday, October 23, 2005 9:03:00 am  
Blogger Comical_Ali said...

Let me get this straight, they have no right to live in the West bank because of their religion/ethnic identity. If they happen to be murdered than its their bad luck, because as you say, they have no right to live their in the first place. How is that not justifying murder and advocating ethnic cleansing?

And who said they were living there illegally? Jews always maintained a continous presence in this area (for thousands of years), until they were all either murdered or thrown out during the Hussieni led pogroms and massacres of 1929. They were barred from living there until Israel liberated the area from Jordan in 1967. And if we talk about “illegal settlement” - concidentally, those who led the pogroms and riots of 1929 were Syrian workers who illegally came and settled the land at the expense of Jewish blood. They and there descendents continue to illegally inhabit homes and areas which once belonged to Jews. And surprise, surprise they still continually advocate ethnic cleansing -- aiming to make the whole of Israel (from the rive to the sea) Jew-free. And you support them.

“which itself is a result of military occupation.”

In a neighboring Lowy rant - "Who runs the country" - I posted a link listing terror attacks prior to 1967 and even prior to the creation of Israel itself. From 1949-1956 ALONE over 8000 terror attacks were launched against Jewish civilians inside Israel. That was over 11 years before Israel “occupied” “Palestinian territory.” Are you able to explain how terrorism is a result of “military occupation” if the terrorism actually pre-dates it?

Sunday, October 23, 2005 10:55:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

How is is Comical_Ali that you refers to Arad aggresion/retaliatio as terrorism when perpetrated against Israelis, yet you refer to
Israeli's aggresion/retaliation as an act of liberation?

Sunday, October 23, 2005 12:46:00 pm  
Blogger Comical_Ali said...

simple: Arabs purposly aim to commit indiscriminate mass genocide against civilians -- time and time again their leaders have made this loud and clear and have put it in to practice.

Israelis on the other hand, dont.

Otherwise, with Israel holding the uperhand, the Palesitnians would not have the highest birth rate and life expectancy rate in the world.

If the Arabs had the upperhand, there would be no Jews.

Sunday, October 23, 2005 6:32:00 pm  
Blogger Comical_Ali said...

"Palesitnians would not have the highest birth rate and life expectancy rate in the world."

oops, I ment "Arab world." sorry

Sunday, October 23, 2005 6:33:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Have you looked at the respective deaths of Arabs vs Israelis as a result of the conflict? I think you'll find the Palestinian numbers close to an order of magnitude higher.

Even if the Arab's aim is as you say, to commit indiscriminate mass genocide against civilians, they are failing miserably. It's arguable whether Isealis do not target civialians, when the result of their tagertting of individuals often results in the deaths of dozens of innocent bystanders.

Monday, October 24, 2005 2:58:00 am  
Blogger anthony said...

During the second Intifida, dozens of suicide bombers were thankfully caught before they could detonate- thus reducing the numbers of dead Israelis.

Under Arafat, the Israelis were not allowed to treat Palestinians, and had to take them to Arab hospitals, rather than often-closer Jewish medical facilities.

Israel is a first-world country, the Magen David Adom and Israeli doctors are very good at their work. Thus, many victims of terrorist attacks live- thankfully reducing the number of deaths among the targeted Jews.

The death toll, as counted by many organisations, during the Intifida includes the bombers themselves, and survivors who died under Palestinian ‘care’, or who we are told died.

The same death toll is sometimes made up of numbers given by the PA- obviously tainted- with Palestinian doctors first priority being to the PA propaganda machine rather than patients.

The Palestinian use of human shields is well documented, and increases the Pal. death toll, especially among civilians.

The numbers of dead Arabs are higher- because the Palestinian leadership likes it that way (witness Jenin, the Palestinians were un-burying bodies to add them to the death toll).

Monday, October 24, 2005 3:10:00 pm  
Blogger Ian Westmore said...

Comical_Ali said...

Let me get this straight, they have no right to live in the West bank because of their religion/ethnic identity.

Can I bring a couple of Chinese to live in your house?

No? Why, because of their "religion/ethnic identity"?

Monday, October 24, 2005 7:31:00 pm  
Blogger Ian Westmore said...

Ibrahamav said...

How racist of Ian to state that the murder of Jews is justified because they were living in the wrong place.

LOL

Justification? No.

Just a statement of fact.

Monday, October 24, 2005 7:34:00 pm  

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