Israel considers racially-segregated bus lines in West Bank

on 23 Comments

Don’t call it apartheid, but…. Israel is weighing segregated bus lines in the West Bank, which is occupied territory, to separate Palestinians who live there from the Jewish settlers who now call the land home. (Thanks to Ilene Cohen)


Police have begun ordering Palestinian laborers with legal work permits off buses from the Tel Aviv area to the West Bank, following complaints from settlers that Palestinians pose a security risk by riding the same buses as them.

The Transportation Ministry says it is considering adding bus lines between West Bank roadblocks and central Israel; these would be geared toward Palestinian laborers. Still, such a plan would take at least a few months to go into effect.

Mairav Zonzsein at +972:

Thousands of Palestinians travel from the West Bank to work in Israel every day using Israeli public transportation. The buses are overcrowded. At times there are tensions and even confrontations between Israelis and Palestinians. And Israelis can’t stand the sight of Palestinians anyway. So why not create a separate bus line for them? This is the logic behind a new proposal being considered by the Ministry of Transportation:  Additional bus lines for Palestinians that go between checkpoints in the West Bank and central Israel, as Walla reported on Monday..

B’Tselem decries it:

Following disclosure that the Ministry of Transport is considering separate bus lines for Palestinians in the West Bank, Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has stated that the ministry, like all other governmental bodies, may not provide services on a discriminatory basis. There is not, nor can there possibly be, legal justification   for separating Palestinians from Israelis.  Services provided by the state must be available on an equal basis to all and any who require them.

In response to the planned segregation, B’Tselem executive director Jessica Montell said, “The attempt at bus segregation is appalling, and the current arguments about ‘security needs’ and ‘overcrowding’ must not be allowed to camouflage the blatant racism of the demand to remove Palestinians from buses.”

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23 Responses

  1. AhVee
    November 27, 2012, 1:48 pm

    Times like these I wish Rosa Parks was still around to weigh in on the matter…

    • AhVee
      November 27, 2012, 1:54 pm

      Also, since when are either the Palestinians or the Israeli Jews a race? Wouldn’t “ethnically segregated” have been the better choice of vocabulary?

      • pabelmont
        November 27, 2012, 3:11 pm

        “Race” is not biological.

        As to ‘race”, whatever that may be, in America, the notion of a “black” “race” has long made little sense, as people with 7 “white” great-grandparents and 1 “black” great-grandparent are deemed to be “black” for purposes of ‘race”. (Hitler, of course, deemed people “Jewish” on a similar basis.) “Blackness” is clearly (in America) a matter of “taint”, something “bad” in a person’s blood or genes. If “whiteness” was the “taint”, most of today’s African Americans would be disdained as “white”.

        Hitler was also mistaken about “blood” or “genes”, since many of the people he regarded as “Jews” were descendants of Khazars, a Turkic people without “blood” or “genetic” connection (or, anyway, not since Adam, so to speak) with “Jews” whose ancestors came from the Holy Land.

        I use all these quote-marks to emphasize that I believe that I am speaking of social “construct”, not of genetic facts.

        To conclude: bus segregation is a matter of a social construct, and there are surely Palestinian Arabs with closer genetic convergence with some Jews (with ancient Holy Land genetic origin) than the same Jew has with Khazarian Jews (or Ethiopian Jews).

        To the back of the bus with them! Yay! It’s all about power and hatred anyhow, whatever words are used.

      • Shingo
        November 27, 2012, 5:40 pm

        No, racism includes discrimination against ethnicities too.

      • AhVee
        November 28, 2012, 2:39 am

        ““Race” is not biological.”
        “racism includes discrimination against ethnicities too.”

        I disagree wholeheartedly. Yes, some people may use the term to denote ethnic differences too, officially though, the term is disputed and most often used to mean just what it says on the box.

        Oxford dictionary:
        “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races:”

        There’s the wikipedia article too with some decent references.

        It is indisputable that a significant amount of people are gonna pick up “racism” as meaning “racial characteristics / genetic differences” and using a controversial term when one could be using the term “ethnically” and getting it over with is in my view, still a weak choice.

      • Ellen
        November 28, 2012, 9:26 am

        Yes, it was a strange headline. Ethnic separation would be correct. Ideas of Race are really something from the 19th century, with no real biological foundation.

        50 years from now, it will be a meaningless term.

      • AhVee
        November 28, 2012, 11:29 am

        “50 years from now, it will be a meaningless term.”

        I sincerely hope so, though made up things do have a disturbingly extensive history of overstaying their welcome…

  2. Woody Tanaka
    November 27, 2012, 1:50 pm

    What are they going to do with die Mischlinge? What busses do they ride?

  3. seafoid
    November 27, 2012, 2:09 pm

    The upshot of it all is that it will be Zionism that ends up under the bus. Life can be funny like that. Btw am waiting to hear any rabbi anywhere call this trash bigotry for what it is.

  4. Kathleen
    November 27, 2012, 3:12 pm

    How much evidence do people need to convince them that the methods used by the state of Israel are methods of apartheid? Oh yeah Rachel Maddow and the rest of the MSM talking heads will not be airing this on their programs. Link this one everywhere you can. Israel out of the West Bank and E Jerusalem if they want to save Israel based on the 67 border

  5. Bumblebye
    November 27, 2012, 3:19 pm

    How many foreign international companies are invested in the Israeli public transport system? Such outright segregation policies would make them even bigger targets for BDS activists.

  6. Nevada Ned
    November 27, 2012, 4:35 pm

    Here comes the bus.
    Next stop?

    Mississippi and Alabama!

    Obama is too young to have “enjoyed” the Jim Crow era.
    Maybe he should ask an old timer what it was like.

    I was living in NYC in the early 1970’s, when the UN passed the resolution stating that Zionism was “a form of racism”. The whole town went crazy.
    Now the Israelis are going to a lot of effort to demonstrate the Zionism really is racism after all.

  7. LanceThruster
    November 27, 2012, 5:02 pm

    How soon before they (the Palestinians) are required to have some sort of identifying mark sown onto their clothing?

    • Franklin Ryckaert
      November 28, 2012, 9:34 am

      What about a crescent sign?

      • RoHa
        November 28, 2012, 7:07 pm

        “What about a crescent sign?”

        A yellow crescent for Muslims and a yellow cross for Christians. Maybe a wheel of Dharma for the few Buddhists around. But what symbol for those sneaky Baha’is? Their nine pointed star is too similar to … [ahem]

  8. amigo
    November 27, 2012, 5:17 pm

    Hmmm, Jews only buses on Jews only roads moving between Jews only Settlements.

    And that is not Apartheid.

    Go figure.

    • Kathleen
      November 27, 2012, 10:07 pm

      Bingo…When it looks like apartheid acts like apartheid then it is apartheid.

      • Franklin Ryckaert
        November 28, 2012, 9:35 am

        You should apologize like Jimmy Carter.

      • Kathleen
        November 28, 2012, 3:17 pm

        Jimmy Carter is a brave man

      • Franklin Ryckaert
        November 28, 2012, 7:16 pm

        Was. He apologized.

  9. RoHa
    November 27, 2012, 8:16 pm

    Segregated buses! What a brilliant idea! Why has no-one thought of this before?

  10. talknic
    November 27, 2012, 11:31 pm

    Ah yes, separate bus lines instead of getting f%^k out of Palestine. Goode olde Israeli ingenuity

  11. Siusaidh
    November 28, 2012, 12:51 pm

    PLEASE don’t refer to this is race segregation. It is segregation based on religion.

    Using the term ‘race’ suggests that it exists. It does not.

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