12 pretty good signs you’re vacationing in an apartheid country

Israel/Palestine
on 51 Comments

1. You are invited to go on a hike-and-picnic in what everyone in this land calls the Territories. You buy beautiful strawberries  in the market, then your host tells you that the hikers are almost all indigenous people who observe strict boycott rules for products of what they call the occupying country. The strawberries have a label in that country’s language. You leave them in your room.

2. Your host picks you up at 5:30 a.m., and drives you north along a high concrete wall separating one part of the Territories from another. It is topped with barbed wire and a steel fender to keep indigenous people from climbing over and getting into the occupying country. Sometimes they lower themselves by ropes, your host says, chuckling.

3. You meet the hikers and everyone climbs into three vans to take you to the trailhead. You pass a colony on a hilltop built by people from the occupying country– and several large menacing red signs warning the colonists that it is illegal and life-threatening for them to enter “village” areas where the indigenous people live.

4. The hike begins on a hillside. You and your host kick up two large black rubber bulbs. You are told these are teargas projectiles fired at indigenous people who demonstrate on this hill every week because the spanking new colony on the opposite hill has seized the village’s ancient spring in the valley, with the support of soldiers of the occupying country.  You pick up a rubber bulb as a souvenir.

5. The hikers are proud of their land. When you say the name of the occupying country, a pretty hiker turns to correct you, restating its name as a number, the year that the country was formed. The hike takes you on agricultural terraces past olive trees so massive and gray they look like boulders and that the leader of the hike says are hundreds, even thousands of years old, and past delicate cyclamen flowers that your host says are called gazelle horns in the indigenous language because the petals resemble the horns of the gazelle. More about them later.

6. The group takes a break. Half of the hikers do yoga in the grass. Others build a fire for tea. One tells the story of a nearby pesticide plant that was moved from the occupying country into the territories because its exhaust causes disease. The prevailing winds carry the pollution over a city of indigenous people. But now and then the winds shift toward the west and the pollution goes back toward the occupying power, and on those days the plant is shut down. You ask whether there has been any effort to challenge this arrangement legally. You are told that legal opposition has gone on for many years– and nothing has changed.

7. The hike ends at a hiker’s home on a hill. A delicious lunch made in a traditional oven is served. From the back yard you can see the biggest city of the occupying country. Just 20 miles away, it spreads up and down the seacoast. Its multitudinous skyscrapers project financial global might. But almost every one of the 30 people at lunch are forbidden to visit the great city, and the seashore too, because of their origins.

8. You meet the homeowner in the tiled kitchen. She has a lovely, welcoming spirit and speaks perfect English. Of course you ask about her family. She points to her children and grandchildren in the yard. Only her son is not here. She has not seen him in years. He was arrested as a youth for resisting the colonizers and spent two years in prison. Today he is a lawyer, but he is afraid to practice in the Territories because he would be sure to be stopped at military checkpoints and his prison record would come up and he might go back to prison. He practices law 2000 miles away.

9. You get in a minibus with eight other hikers to go back. Traffic is stopped at a checkpoint with a steel barrier across the road where the indigenous people’s road joins the colonists’ road. Some cars turn around. Three soldiers come up to the minibus holding rifles out before them, and a boy of 10 sitting next to you who you’ve never met before jams himself into your side and clutches your arm, saying “I scared.” The soldiers examine all the papers and wave you on. The boy finally lets you go. You wonder what he has seen that he was so terrified.

10. Your friend drives you back past another checkpoint, and along the concrete wall. You see two light-rail stations that were vandalized nine months or so before by indigenous rioters who were angry over a lynching. The stations have not been repaired since. Your host says, “They are not finished with us. I really think they will not be done with us till they have pushed almost all of us out.”

11. Well, you are getting out of here yourself in three hours. Shaken by all the checkpoints, you leave the black teargas bulb in the front room of the hostel lest anyone ask questions, and get a cab to the airport outside the great city you glimpsed from the hills. At the airport, the cab is motioned to the side by a soldier with a semiautomatic rifle and the driver has to produce his papers. You wait several minutes for him to be cleared. All the while, other cars stream through. The driver explains that it is because he is an indigenous person.

12. The airport has masses of people from all around the world passing through en route to the great capitals on the big electronic boards: Moscow Istanbul New York Los Angeles. But you cannot see a single indigenous person in any of the lines. You are cleared and pass down a long ramp. On the wall is a beautiful exhibit of the country’s flora: about 50 enormous high quality photographs of trees and fruits and flowers. The first two photographs are of the olive tree and the cyclamen. They are the national tree and the national flower of the occupying country. There is no mention whatsoever of the indigenous people, or the gazelle horns.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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51 Responses

  1. Susie Kneedler
    March 29, 2015, 11:38 am

    Heart-rending. Thanks, Phil, for This and Everything.

  2. pabelmont
    March 29, 2015, 11:39 am

    S “everal large menacing red signs warning those colonists that it is both illegal and life-threatening for them to enter “village” areas where the indigenous people live.”

    Phil — Do Israeli signs (in Hebrew?) actually tell the settlers that it is illegal (at Israeli law) (for them?) to enter the Palestinians villages? Is that what you’re saying? And if so, what do we make of the repeated attacks by settlers into Palestinian places?

    What’s legal and what’s illegal (at Israeli law) binding on settlers as to going here and there in the “Territories”? Does the army enforce this “illegality”?

    And, another question: whose life is threatened if they do go there?

    • Henry Norr
      March 30, 2015, 12:37 am

      pabelmont: Do a Google image search for “‘West Bank’ red warning sign” or some such and you can see scores of examples. There are are several variant texts, though all are red and have a similar style, The most common says “This road leads to Area ‘A’ Under the Palestinian Authority. The entrance for Israeli citizens is forbidden, dangerous to your lives and is against the Israeli law,” but I remember seeing one near Bethlehem where the somewhat awkward English wording was just “This Road Leads To Palestinian Village. The Entrance For Israeli Citizens Is Dangerous.” And there’s a slightly different text on the signs around “military zones,” and also, I think, for the ones right along the “separation barrier,” though I can’t remember the text on that kind or find any of my pix of it.

      A couple of years ago 972mag had a piece about some progressive Israeli women who covered over a bunch of these signs with an alternative text:
      http://972mag.com/israeli-activists-replace-threatening-military-signs-with-messages-of-peace-and-resistance/76431/

    • ziusudra
      March 30, 2015, 11:07 am

      Greetings pabelmont,
      Why question Phil?
      Be constructive, declare of him a persona non grata in Israel!

      ….what’s legal binding on settlers…….
      There is no legality equasion here, as the settlers are the conquerors, whereas the Israeli Army & Justice System support them!
      ziusudra
      PS Mr Phil Weiss, for airing these annotations, they may merit you with their accolade of ‘Persona non grata’ putting you in the good company of Mr. Finkelstein, you couldn’t ask for more appreciation.

    • DoubleStandard
      March 30, 2015, 12:15 pm

      In Israel the red signs say it’s illegal to enter Area A if you hold Israeli citizenship. They don’t want Israelis being kidnapped and ransomed back for prisoners.

  3. just
    March 29, 2015, 11:48 am

    You’ve outdone yourself, Phil. You always write so beautifully, but this is a masterpiece. It is everything and more. You’ve captured it all. Thank you.

    I will read it again, and then I’ll cry a little bit more.

    (I was hoping against hope that you would soon write of your recent trip…)

    • Annie Robbins
      March 29, 2015, 11:55 am

      i agree, it’s incredible.

    • DoubleStandard
      March 30, 2015, 12:16 pm

      If you cry that’s pretty pathetic. Do you weep for all of the 80% of the world that is oppressed (economically or militarily) or just for terrorists being fought by Jews?

      • ToivoS
        March 30, 2015, 3:39 pm

        I have virtually no influence over most of the horrors that are happening throughout the world. However, I do have a tiny bit of influence over the horrors that the US inflicts. It is my tax dollars that are being used to support Israel in its never ending wars against the Palestinians and their other Arab neighbors. And no, the Israeli Jews are not fighting against terrorists, they are fighting against the indigenous people of Palestine who are insisting on justice.

      • Leahj
        March 30, 2015, 3:57 pm

        Dear Double, It appears that most of the posters here are Jews. Can’t you see why they might shed tears of sadness & shame at the injustices, brutalities, & humiliations committed by a group of their own people, calling themselves the ‘Jewish state’, flying a flag with the Star of David on it, & whose highest leader claims to speak for all of world Jewry?

        As for ‘terrorists’, it should go without saying to any reasonable person, that the vast majority of Palestinians subjected to nearly 50 years & counting of Israel’s ‘belligerent occupation’ (the legal term), were not & are not terrorists. Many, perhaps most, of Israel’s victims are just ordinary babies, children, women, & the elderly.

        Plus, there is something to the idea that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. It’s said there are 3 main categories of terrorism, — non-state terrorism, Al-Qaeda for example, — pre-state terrorism like that employed by the Irish & the Zionists to gain their states, — & state terrorism. Bill Moyers (among others) has stated that Israel is guilty of state-terrorism. The question “Who is a terrorist?”, like the question “Who is a Jew?”, can have more than one answer, depending upon your perspective.

      • just
        March 30, 2015, 9:36 pm

        You can’t begin to imagine what I do.

        That’s obvious.

      • amigo
        March 31, 2015, 5:38 am

        “pre-state terrorism like that employed by the Irish -” Leahj.

        Leahj , just to clarify!!.

        Terrorism in Northern Ireland had two players.Firstly the IRA who were acting to gain freedom and equality from the Unionists , (UVF-UDR et al ) who were acting to prevent that freedom and control the nationalists, (mosly catholics) much in the same way Israel,s zionists are controlling Palestinians through State terrorism.

        Which group is worse ?. I will leave that to the readers to decide.

      • scott9854958
        March 31, 2015, 10:44 am

        I cry for all of our tax dollars being used to fund this apartheid regime that claims it’s a light unto nations.

      • Mooser
        March 31, 2015, 11:42 am

        “— pre-state terrorism like that employed by the Irish & the Zionist –

        Oh, please!

      • eljay
        March 31, 2015, 11:49 am

        || DoubleStandardeee: … Do you weep for all of the 80% of the world that is oppressed (economically or militarily) or just for terrorists being fought by Jews? ||

        He weeps at injustice – including the oppression of Palestinians by Jewish supremacist terrorists – while you cheer it on.

      • CigarGod
        April 2, 2015, 11:19 am

        Hey, DS (very appropriate different meaning). Since only 30 countries (all white except Japan) out of 200 on the planet classify these people a terrorists…I reject your designation.

  4. Kay24
    March 29, 2015, 12:55 pm

    Wonderful first hand account of life in zionist manufactured hell, and what the occupied people have to go through, Phil. It must have been a depressing sight for you, and to realize you are helpless in this never ending suffering for the indigenous people. This must have also opened your eyes to the fact that there are extremely important reasons for you, and so many others, to keep fighting for liberation, and rights ( long overdue), to the indigenous people. There seems to be no daylight seen inside this long tunnel, nor an end in sight. Sigh.

  5. gracie fr
    March 29, 2015, 2:43 pm

    ….Poignant and heartfelt piece on the realities of the Israeli Occupation..!!! Thank you!!!
    People have to see it and above all understand what they are seeing. Hopefully there will be more truthfully informed trips to Palestine in 2015

  6. JLewisDickerson
    March 29, 2015, 11:13 pm

    RE: “12 pretty good signs you’re vacationing in an apartheid country” ~ Phil’s post

    MY EXCLAMATIONS (accompanied by very dramatic hand gestures):
    Bellissimo!
    Stupendo!
    Magnifico!
    Molto bello!

  7. seafoid
    March 29, 2015, 11:54 pm

    “Its multitudinous skyscrapers project financial global might. But almost every one of the 30 people at this house is forbidden to visit the great city, and the seashore too, because of their origins. -”

    13. You stand on a hill near an indigenous village at night and look toward the forbidden coast which is bathed in electric light . You compare it to the darkness of the indigenous areas and remember that even light is political.

    • just
      March 30, 2015, 12:21 am

      yes.

      And the light of the indigenous peoples’ eyes is brighter than any electric ones.

      Azam Ali is not Palestinian, she is an Iranian- American. Her voice is haunting, her song is “Noor (The Light In My Eyes)”

      • seafoid
        March 30, 2015, 4:00 am

        14 .

        You notice that all the road signs in the indigenous area have the language of the conqueror first and that even when they use the indigenous language below they give the names of the towns as the conquerors pronounce them.

        http://www.malinikaushik.com/israel-jordan/album/10-Dead%20Sea/slides/P1020272.JPG

      • Mikhael
        April 1, 2015, 12:05 am

        seafoid
        March 30, 2015, 4:00 am

        You notice that all the road signs in the indigenous area have the language of the conqueror first and that even when they use the indigenous language below they give the names of the towns as the conquerors pronounce them.
        link to malinikaushik.com

        Seafoid is mistaken. The road signs clearly have the indigenous language (Hebrew) first. When the signs display the language of the minority population group in the country, which has official status despite it not being an indigenous language, they transliterate the Hebrew names of the towns as the Arab conquerors of the 7th century would have mispronounced them rather than the way it is pronounced in the indigenous Hebrew — e.g., “اورشليم” is shown on the image of the sign lined to –which would be transliterated in Roman letters as “Urshalaym” rather than “Yerushalayim” (ירושלים), as it is correctly pronounced in the Hebrew. Of course, in the image linked to by Seafoid, after the Arabic (mispronounced) transliteration of the indigenous Hebrew, it actually does give the Arabic name of the Israeli capital in parentheses as al Quds “(القُدس)”, which is an Arabic translation of the Hebrew “Ir ha Qodesh” (and is actually pronounced by Arab Jerusalemites as “al Uds”).

      • seafoid
        April 2, 2015, 6:12 pm

        Mikhael

        Hebrew is the language of the invaders.
        You can spin botulism around it but Hebrew wasn’t spoken as a patois around Jerusalem for over 2 millennia.

        And no Palestinian calls al uds Yerushaleyim, as the first name on the Arabic sign.

      • Mooser
        April 3, 2015, 5:14 pm

        Mikhael, skip the etymology and make sure those checks arrive on time!

      • Mikhael
        May 17, 2015, 5:41 pm

        seafoid April 2, 2015, 6:12 pm
        Hebrew is the language of the invaders.

        The sounds of spoken Hebrew were heard in our country for millenia before Aeabic was introduced by the invaders
        .

        You can spin botulism around it but Hebrew wasn’t spoken as a patois around Jerusalem for over 2 millennia.

        Maybe not as a daily, spoken vernacular, but, Hebrew, the national language of the Jews, was indeed used by the Jews who never left their country –as well as those who resided in the Diaspora. Not only for prayer and study, but as a lingua franca and market language between the various pre-State Jewish communities, Mizrahi, Sefaradi and Ashkenazi Jews in Jerusalem always were able to fall back on spoken Hebrew for communication well before the Jewish national renaissance (aka, Zionism). There’s a reason why the revival of Hebrew was so successful and took root very quickly, it had always part of the landscape in Jerusalem.

        And no Palestinian calls al uds Yerushaleyim, as the first name on the Arabic sign.

        “Al uds” comes from the Hebrew “ha qodesh” . “Urshalayim” is the way the Hebrew word would be mispronounced by Arabs. The picture of the sign you linked in does not say “Yerushalayim” (as it is correctly pronounced in Hebrew) but “Urshalayim” (the way the Hebrew word would be pronounced by Arabs). Of course, the Arabic in the sign also uses the Arabic “al Quds” after “Urshalayim”, thus acknowledging the Arabic connection (although of course this toponym is also ultimately derived from Hebrew). It’s too bad that some Arabs (and foreigners in Ireland) are only satisfied with an eradication of the Jewish and Hebrew connection with the country. Anyway, Happy Jerusalem Day!

  8. Pixel
    March 30, 2015, 4:46 am

    #9

    Heartbreaking.

    How fortunate for you both that you two were sitting next to each other.

  9. German Lefty
    March 30, 2015, 8:06 am

    A relative of mine, let’s call him Peter, recently spent 5 days in Jordan and 5 days in “Greater Israel”.
    Before the trip, he explained to me how the travel agency prepared him for the Israeli security controls. For example, Peter was told that he would get into trouble if he has passport stamps from Arab countries other than Egypt and Jordan. Luckily, he doesn’t have stamps from “suspicious countries”. Peter was also told that he will be interrogated and asked a bunch of yes-no questions. He was advised to keep his answers as short as possible and to really just reply “yes” or “no”. He must not start any discussion by replying “yes, but…” or “no, but…”. Furthermore, he was warned that the Israelis could demand to take a look at his e-mails. As Peter is politically conservative, he said to me that he doesn’t mind such controls because they serve Israel’s security.
    When Peter came back from the trip, he told me about his experiences. Here are the statements that relate to the conflict:
    – His tour guide in Jordan was a Palestinian whose parents were expelled in 1967. The tour guide could never visit his parents’ birthplace although it’s only 50 km away.
    – Peter entered the West Bank via Jordan. He said that the tour guide in Jordan took him to the border, then he had to cross the border on his own, and on the other side of the border the Israeli tour guide waited for him. Peter said that his two tour guides have never met.
    – Peter travelled through the West Bank from the east to the west. He said that there were checkpoints everywhere. When I carefully asked him about the settlements, he replied that he has not visited any settlement but that he saw them from the outside. He added, “The Wall is HIGHER than the Berlin Wall!” He also took some photos of the Wall.
    – Peter said that Jordan is a beautiful and expensive country. However, Israel is even more expensive. Peter told me that in Israel he drank his most expensive beer ever. So, the high cost of living are immediately noticed by tourists.
    – Peter passed the Israeli security controls at Ben Gurion without any problems. He also told me that he used two different memory cards when taking photos, just in case the Israelis wanted to check his camera.

  10. Terry Weber
    March 30, 2015, 9:09 am

    Good description of why I refuse to go through Israel and Ben Gurion to get to Palestine.

    • just
      March 30, 2015, 9:28 am

      +10!

      I wouldn’t either.

      (Thanks for your good work with ‘Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre’, btw.)

      • bintbiba
        March 30, 2015, 10:02 am

        Beautiful, poignant, nostalgia-provoking ,Phil !
        The cyclamens are particularly nostalgic. We used to love picking them as kids, when going on walks or picnics.
        As to the olive trees, I want to cry every time I see how they’re being so mindlessly and viciously destroyed !!

  11. just
    March 30, 2015, 10:44 am

    Must listen/see video!!!

    “Video: Palestine-Hong Kong hip-hop collaboration “Gaza Open Your Heart”

    I’ve long been a fan of Palestinian hip-hop duo Revolution Makers, brothers Osama and Mohammed Elsusi, ever since I heard them perform live in Gaza City in 2013.

    Their latest video is a collaboration with Hong Kong musician Barry Lam.

    Switching between English, Arabic and Chinese – with English subtitles throughout – “Gaza Open Your Heart” is musically upbeat.

    But the lyrics reflect the harsh realities of Gaza under siege, especially since Israel’s summer attack.

    Giving up on Gaza

    I found this lyric a poignant reminder that the siege of Gaza, where half of the 1.8 million residents are aged 18 or younger, destroys the possibilities that the rest of the world takes for granted:

    My dreams are so modest, and it’s no sin if they are realized. The sin is to kill the dreams that you can achieve.

    That’s enough. I’m done. For my dreams always turn into dust. I am emigrating because I need to live, to dream, to fly.

    But I promise to remember you [Gaza], and you will always be in my heart, and I’ll always ask God to protect you.

    Since Israel’s assault that killed more than 2,200 people and left much of Gaza devastated with, as yet, no significant reconstruction, more people than ever are trying to leave the besieged enclave….

    …Hong Kong hip-hop

    I was curious about the place of hip hop in Hong Kong. It is “not the main genre there,” Lam told me, but “rappers such as MC Yan and Farmer are famous and they make good quality music.”

    Hong Kong rappers address topics including politics, love, livelihood, night life and the government.”

    “We, in Hong Kong, are facing political problems, just like everywhere,” he said.

    “The huge amount of combinations of Chinese characters give the lyrics unlimited possibilities to develop, so Chinese rap can be ‘ghetto’ or elegant, and it is not easy to compose,” Lam explained.

    He also says the music coming out of Gaza is “amazing” and inspiring.

    “They use the folk idioms, their music languages, they are all new to me.”

    Lam talked about hearing online a Gaza youth musical ensemble. “My tears came out when I listened,” he said. “They played something that can never be found in Hong Kong – folk tunes passed from father to son – strong cultural roots which are neglected in Hong Kong.””

    http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/video-palestine-hong-kong-hip-hop-collaboration-gaza-open-your-heart

    It’s astonishing in every way.

    Here’s the direct link to the video, but I recommend reading Ali Abunimah’s article.

    • ritzl
      March 30, 2015, 1:10 pm

      Thanks, just.

      Riffing on this article title, one good way to tell that the Israeli version of Apartheid, Hafrada, is vastly more vicious, malevolent, and murderous than white South Africans ever dreamed of is the fact that Israel slaughters people in Gaza and then WILL NOT LET THEM LEAVE (or makes it so difficult that they die trying).

      That’s just a depth of societal (95% of Jewish-Israelis) sickness that nobody really fathoms fully. It can only lead to worse and worse acts as it goes unchallenged, unchecked, and/or untreated.

      • just
        March 30, 2015, 9:39 pm

        You’re welcome. It’s a great video, isn’t it?

        Thanks for the rest of your comment, too.

  12. Philip Munger
    March 30, 2015, 8:34 pm

    First read of this list: Awkward. Took me 400 words before I caught the tone and perspective. Yet a compelling read.

    Second read: Brilliant. As gracie fr wrote above, “poignant.”

    Philip W’s voice is becoming more resonant. He has always been a first-rate journalist. He is 3/4 of the way to being one of the most important commentators in print of our generation.

    Now – for a third read.

    • just
      March 30, 2015, 9:40 pm

      He’s got the gift.

      He’s capable of seeing so much in nuance, in the “little” things that are enormous, and write about them so clearly.

      He can walk in someone else’s shoes.

    • Philip Weiss
      March 31, 2015, 12:19 pm

      Thanks Philip I agree w you about Read 1. I am trying to improve my communication skills so as to get important news to a wider audience. There is no doubt blogging and the intense relationship with smart readers has helped me a great deal. The challenge to all communicators is to be able to be at the mike and in the audience at the same time, per this excellent analysis by Van Cliburn.
      http://mondoweiss.net/2008/11/van-cliburn-on-callas

      • Annie Robbins
        March 31, 2015, 12:34 pm

        thanks phil http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=87771963

        These days, Cliburn rarely plays in public, but still practices every day — often, he says, in the middle of the night.

        “You feel like you’re alone and the world’s asleep, and it’s very inspiring. I was never really the type that needed the stage. I love music. I love listening to it. But when you just listen, you can be 100 percent; when you have to serve music, you must be thinking of others, not yourself.”

  13. just
    March 30, 2015, 9:57 pm

    Apartheid/Occupation/Incarceration/What Refugee Convention?:

    “Israel will deport Eritrean, Sudanese refugees to Africa under new policy

    Authorities believe there is no legal barrier to forcing Eritrean and Sudanese citizens to leave Israel for a third country that is not their native country – even if this is done against their will.

    Israel will begin to deport Eritrean and Sudanese citizens to countries in Africa – even without their consent – under a new policy in the works at the initiative of the Israel Population and Immigration Authority.

    Until now the state would impose considerable pressure on Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers to leave on their own accord, either to their native countries or to other African countries, but refrained from deporting them. Those who have left Israel have done so only after signing a document declaring that their departure is voluntary. This is because Israel grants group protection to asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea, as it is bound to by the Refugee Convention the state has signed. Group protection means that Israel cannot deport people whose lives would be in danger in their own country.

    However, in the last few months the Population and Immigration Authority – a branch of the Interior Ministry – along with Justice Ministry representatives have been discussing a policy change. The authority believes that there is no legal barrier to forcing Eritrean and Sudanese citizens to leave Israel for a third country that is not their native country – even if this is done against their will. The Justice Ministry is expected to permit their deportation to neutral states. In the initial stage, the target countries are Rwanda and Uganda. The policy change will most likely not take place until it has the approval of the new interior minister, a post likely to go to Shas leader Arye Dery…..

    …..There are currently about 42,000 citizens of Eritrea and Sudan in Israel, of which some 2,000 are being held in the Holot detention facility in the Negev. According to data the state provided the High Court, 5,803 citizens of Sudan and Eritrea left Israel last year, 1,093 of them to third countries. Until now, Israel has not revealed the names of the third countries or the nature of the agreements, if any, reached with them, but it is known that asylum seekers have been sent to Rwanda and Uganda.

    A Haaretz investigation published last April revealed that those asylum seekers who left Israel for Rwanda and Uganda had no basic rights and no legal status in those countries. This made survival virtually impossible, prompting them to leave Rwanda and Uganda and resume being refugees once again, according to reports by human rights groups.

    According to the United Nations refugee convention, asylum seekers cannot be sent to any country unless there is an agreement with that country that ensures safeguarding their rights and welfare, notes Oded Feller, an immigration lawyer with the Association of Civil Rights in Israel.

    “The government of Israel has refused to expose any agreements with the governments of Uganda and Rwanda, and it is doubtful if any such agreements exist in writing. Those countries deny there are agreements at all,” added Feller.

    The Population and Immigration Authority declined to provide a response.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.649688?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    Happy Passover Israel!

    • Walid
      March 30, 2015, 10:46 pm

      Just, those Africans deported to Uganda went directly into UN refugee camps there, not a very promising future. This was part of deportations/ arms deal between Uganda and Israel last year or so wherein Uganda gets free arms from Israel in exchange of allowing Israeli deportees into the country and directly to refugee camps. It’s a modern form of slave trading only instead of cash being exchanged, it’s arms.

      • just
        March 30, 2015, 10:54 pm

        I knew about it before from David Sheen’s and Gideon Levy’s reports, but I can’t recall much else reported by the MSM other than the usual dismissals of the truth.

      • Walid
        March 30, 2015, 10:58 pm

        in 2013, Saudi Arabia deported 800,000 illegals most that had been there for years. It was believed that the departing illegals would create job openings for an equal number of unemployed nationals, which was somewhat absurd since illegals were mostly employed as street sweepers and garbage collectors and similar jobs that Saudis would never accept to do.

  14. just
    March 31, 2015, 8:35 am

    And in other apartheid news:

    “Although 19 percent of the residents of Upper Nazareth are Arab, municipal libraries in the northern Israeli town don’t have a single volume in Arabic. On Monday, two local residents filed a formal administrative complaint in the hope of changing the situation.

    The libraries in the town, located just outside the predominantly Arab city of Nazareth, have books in Hebrew, Russian, English, Spanish and French, but not Arabic. Moreover, Upper Nazareth’s libraries offer a range of enrichment activities for children, but few are conducted in Arabic for the estimated 2,000 native, Arabic-speaking young people in town.

    The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which filed the petition on behalf of the two residents, said that for some three years it has been in contact with the Upper Nazareth municipality and with the Ministry of Culture and Sport about this situation. …

    …Failed effort to find a building

    In response, the Culture Ministry stated: “The Ministry of Culture and Sports supports public libraries and works to develop them on behalf of all of the country’s populations and sectors, without regard to religion, gender or race. The support for public libraries is allocated in an equitable manner, to properly address the needs of the community.

    “Accordingly, more than 60 libraries, including the Upper Nazareth public facilities, which are located in Arab and mixed communities and serve the Arab sector, are supported on an ongoing basis by the Culture Ministry. The Upper Nazareth municipality designated a building at the time for a library that would serve the Arab sector of the city, but the building was not found to the suitable and therefore the purchase of books in Arabic was stopped.”

    The ministry noted that it was decided to establish an Arabic-language division at one of the local branch libraries, and that the ministry will continue to help underwrite the purchase of books and digital media in Arabic there. “…

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.649749?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    See, even though Arabic is an official language of official real people, they wanted to house the library away from the ‘good’ real people, so they couldn’t buy any books or materials in Arabic until they found a ‘suitable’ place for the “Arabs”.

  15. just
    March 31, 2015, 9:36 am

    Further proof: Holot Day ‘Care’ for Kids:

    “Israeli government’s apathy is killing foreign workers’ children

    There’s no limit to the authorities’ rolling of eyes and passing the buck in the case of the foreign workers’ offspring, who are dying in unsupervised day-care centers.

    Article 2 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is supposed to protect all children “without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child’s or his or her parent’s or legal guardian’s race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.”

    Article 6 demands that governments of all countries “ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child,” while Article 3 requires them to take responsibility for setting proper standards for institutions that care for children – especially “in the areas of safety, health, in the number and suitability of their staff, as well as competent supervision.”

    The gap between the self-image reflected in Israel’s ratification of the convention, in 1991, and reality is especially great when it comes to the children of foreign workers, who lack any legal status are transparent to the public eye. This is not just a symbolic matter: It has a clear and direct influence on people’s lives, on the chances of babies and toddlers to survive. The government’s apathy kills.

    Since February, five infants and toddlers have died in unlicensed and unsupervised day-care centers, also referred to as “warehouses,” which are run under the loose if not nonexistent supervision of the state. This is not a new phenomenon; it is well known to the relevant ministers and senior officials. Only the victims change.

    That is why it is difficult to accept the claims – which the Economy Ministry rushed to explain on Monday – that there is a problem of a legal lacuna that does not seem to allow government intervention. There is no limit to the authorities’ rolling of eyes and passing the buck, even to the point of hinting that the blame should be cast on the parents, most of whom are African refugees whose right to work and live, and to receive asylum has been stubbornly refused by the government.

    Eli Yishai and Gideon Sa’ar, as ministers of the interior, believed they had to make asylum seekers’ lives a misery, and abandoning some 2,500 children under the age of 3 became part of the policy that considers the refugees an enemy, and their children a cancer.

    Two years ago, the state comptroller determined that these “babysitters,” a euphemistic term for the unofficial day-care frameworks in Tel Aviv and elsewhere, neglect their charges for extended periods of time, so that they spend most of their days in cribs without any stimulation; they keep the babies and toddlers in harsh physical conditions of extreme overcrowding; and, in the absence of proper treatment, supervision and attention to the developmental needs of the children, the facilities delay their cognitive and motor development….”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.649736

    Uh, that’s not just “apathy”. It’s criminal, and a whole host of other things that may include some ‘simple’ apathy.

  16. just
    March 31, 2015, 10:20 am

    And more proof:

    “Israeli government spreads racist caricature of Arabs on Facebook, Twitter

    Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s supposed apology for his incitement against Palestinian citizens of Israel during Israel’s recent election campaign, his government continues to spread anti-Arab hatred.

    Israel’s verified Arabic-language Twitter account and Facebook account, titled “Israel speaks Arabic,” published the above caricature on Sunday, which asks “Which is better, relying on yourself, or relying on someone else?”

    It includes two stereotyped and demeaning figures, one representing a Japanese person, and the other an Arab.

    The headline says “Attitudes to work.” The text next to each figure, respectively, states:

    The Japanese attitude to work: “If there is someone else who can do a job, then I can do it too. And if there is no one else to do the job, then without doubt I will do it.”

    The Middle Eastern attitude to work: If there is someone else to do a job, then let them do it. And if no one else can do it, then dude, how do you think I can do it?!”

    In Israel, stereotypes of Arabs – often the lowest paid, least protected and most exploited workers – as lazy, reflect the kind of racist attitudes toward natives prevalent in other settler societies.”..

    more, including a screenshot of the racist message: http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israeli-government-spreads-racist-caricature-arabs-facebook-twitter

  17. Kathleen
    April 1, 2015, 11:38 am

    Great piece. Just amazed they let you in at all.

    Apartheid conditions growing along with awareness about those conditions. What a double edged sword. Hope you focus on Schumer’s efforts to undermine Iran negotiations.

    Leverett’s have a great piece up.

    Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory—The Case for U.S.-Iranian Rapprochement That Obama Must Still Make: Leveretts in The National Interest

    Posted on March 27th, 2015 under Uncategorized with 70 replies.

    As the Iran nuclear talks reach a critical juncture and Saudi Arabia invades yet another neighboring in its increasingly desperate efforts to contain the Islamic Republic’s rising regional influence, The National Interest has published our latest article, “Busted Stuff: America’s Disastrous Iran Policy,” see here; we’ve also appended the text below. The piece explains how the Obama administration, because of its continuing unwillingness to engage the Islamic Republic as a truly rising power, risks turning a possible nuclear deal with Tehran—which should be the greatest triumph of American diplomacy since the U.S. opening to China in the 1970s—into something that actually “ends up exacerbating America’s ongoing marginalization in the Middle East.”

    As always, we encourage readers to post comments, Facebook likes, etc., both on this site and on The National Interest’s Web site.

    Busted Stuff: America’s Disastrous Iran Policy

    By Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

  18. Chu
    April 2, 2015, 11:33 am

    great format to convey the story – and trolls will have a harder time dissecting this type of format, because it’s first hand observation and doesn’t fit into their worn out hasbara playbook rebuttals.

  19. Boomer
    April 2, 2015, 1:19 pm

    Is this a joke?

    • Mooser
      April 3, 2015, 5:19 pm

      Nope, jokes over, that was April 1st. Now it’s April 3rd and we’re serious again. It was fun while it lasted, as it should be.

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