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The morning commute (through the checkpoint)

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Recently a Finnish photographer who had worked in the region sent us these photographs that were posted at his/her blog Ubuntifada. They were taken in late June, at the Bethlehem checkpoint to enter Israel. They depict the everyday experience of hundreds of Palestinians who go to work in Israel. I am respecting the photographer’s desire for anonymity because of employment/funding issues. He/she wrote the following at that site to explain the photos: 

Morning blues in the checkpoint

5:00 in the morning in Bethlehem. The rising sun is replacing the blue morning mist with its first warm rays. Hundreds of men are standing in a cage, holding the metal bars like prisoners and anxiously waiting. The atmosphere is as blue as the air.

Actually, it could be just a crossing between two countries – though a very disturbing one with its iron gates and cages, bars and burrows, loud PA systems and shouting, soldiers and police and private security guards all armed to the teeth. But instead of being in the border, checkpoint 300 stands 2 kilometers south of the green line, deep inside of the occupied West Bank.

Every working day from 4:00 to 7:00 around 4000 Palestinians cross this illegal checkpoint on their way to work in East Jerusalem or in Israel. And the ones standing in line are actually the lucky ones – they have been able to even get a permit.

It’s inhumane. They treat us like animals. Every morning I feel like an animal in a cage.

Adel, who crosses the CP five mornings a week

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61 Responses

  1. seafoid
    August 13, 2013, 2:53 pm

    Hebrew is always first on the occupation’s signs. Arabic is always last.
    The Zionists are so afraid of parity of esteem.

  2. giladg
    August 13, 2013, 3:00 pm

    Arriving at JFK or LAX, US citizens are directed to a separate section at passport control. The non citizens are herded of to another and stand in long queues, sometimes for hours, especially at 5am in the morning when only 2 border policemen have maned their booths. Why is it that the line for US citizens always seems to be short and those standing in line never stand for long? I can only imagine how unpleasant it must be to stand in those those long lines. And don’t even think of using your phone or speak too loudly.

    • Citizen
      August 13, 2013, 5:49 pm

      @ giladg
      The native born and documented US citizens go right through at JFK or LAX. The native born non-Jews at Israeli airports are herded to another and stand in long queues.

    • Xpat
      August 13, 2013, 6:08 pm

      Giladg, As a US citizen I have waited in line at US international airports for up to 45 minutes. Last time during the sequester – I came in late at night and the Americans also had two stations. Your analogy fails because Israeli nationals are waved through the Israeli checkpoints while Palestinians are submitted daily to these lengthy, difficult delays. There is no border for Israelis; there is daily humiliation for Palestinian commuters.

      • Darcha
        August 14, 2013, 9:33 am

        Can we please get this Nazi out of here?
        Holocaust denial is morally wrong.
        Nakba denial is morally wrong.
        Denying the very existence of a people is morally wrong.
        We shouldn’t let moral reprobates speak here.

      • annie
        August 14, 2013, 1:45 pm

        sorry darcha, i am not sure who moderated that comment. deleted.

      • RoHa
        August 14, 2013, 9:26 pm

        “Holocaust denial is morally wrong.”

        Maybe bad history, but what is morally wrong about it?

        “Nakba denial is morally wrong.”

        Maybe bad history, but what is morally wrong about it?

        “Denying the very existence of a people is morally wrong.”

        Maybe bad sociology*, but what is morally wrong about it?

        (*Modulo the concept of “a people” and the dubious implication that there is any good sociology.)

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        August 14, 2013, 1:20 pm

        “Israelies do not explode themselve among civilia population. ”

        No, they make their idf terror squads do it with munitions given by the US.

    • tree
      August 13, 2013, 6:31 pm

      From the article above:

      “But instead of being in the border, checkpoint 300 stands 2 kilometers south of the green line, deep inside of the occupied West Bank.”

      Did you miss this point in the article, gilad, or are you just trying to divert any way possible? I have never seen a US passport control point set up inside another country. And none of the passport control points have ever looked as depressing as this one inside of Palestine. It would be like having a barricaded US checkpoint deep inside Mexico, where only Mexicans had to stand in line for hours but US citizens could come and go (in Mexico) as they please.

      • giladg
        August 14, 2013, 12:58 am

        What are you talking about? There are busses right next to the checkpoint. The green line was never a border. It was the ceasefire line after Israel was attacked and was successful in defending herself. And Mexicans aren’t intent on wiping the US off the map, as are a majority of Palestinians towards Israel.

      • tree
        August 14, 2013, 9:10 pm

        The green line was never a border.

        Then why are you comparing a checkpoint to a border control? Oh, yeah, that’s right, what you meant was that the green line was never a border for Israeli Jews. Different rules apply to the Palestinian untermenschen.

        And Mexicans aren’t intent on wiping the US off the map, as are a majority of Palestinians towards Israel.

        I suspect that the majority of Palestinians would just like to live with equal rights in their own territory, as opposed to being under the boot of the Israelis. However, if the US was occupying Mexico, establishing kill zones and blockades, dispossessing Mexicans of their land and giving it to rabid Americans who attack their Mexican neighbors, steal their crops and kill their livestock, I would surely be surprised if there weren’t a lot of Mexicans who would love to wipe us off the map. If you act like an unrepentant bully for 65 years, its insanity to think that people won’t come to hate you. Why are so many Israelis so socially challenged?

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        August 14, 2013, 1:17 pm

        “considers should be subject to negotiations, territorial flops, etc.”

        The phrase you’re looking for here is “plans to steal.”

    • Qualtrough
      August 14, 2013, 2:03 am

      Your analogy fails on a number of levels, but particularly on waiting times. I pass through LAX from overseas once or twice a year. The lines for US citizens are rarely that much shorter than that for foreign nationals, and I usually wait for up to an hour. One time the wait with customs inspection was just shy of two hours. In any case the facilities are air conditioned and completely the same for citizens and non-citizens. I can’t speak for JFK, but at LAX I have never seen fewer than a dozen or so immigration officers, and there are always a number of other officials to direct people in lines and field questions. Having said that, the experience is sub-optimal at LAX for everyone, but orders of magnitude better than the illegal checkpoint in question here. Nice try though.

    • talknic
      August 14, 2013, 3:02 am

      giladg “Arriving at JFK or LAX, US citizens are directed to a separate section at passport control”

      Going to work? BULLSHIT!

      • giladg
        August 14, 2013, 6:29 am

        Exactly talknic. Now you are touching on the real issue here. Where are those Palestinians going? Assuming that deal is worked out between Israel and the Palestinians, the same Palestinians that you see in the images above will be looking for work inside Israel. As terrorism shows no sign of abating, special security measures will still need to be taken when Palestinians pass through passport control. What did you think will happen after a deal is finalized?

      • Bumblebye
        August 14, 2013, 10:23 am

        gilad the git says:
        ” As terrorism shows no sign of abating”

        Ya mean, there’s been so many deaths to Israelis from terrorism, non-stop, unabated since 2000????? How did we miss that news????? All those Palestinians sneaking thru the porous Apartheid wall with their bombs and making for the bars and nightclubs frequented by IOF youth, while israel patiently steals their land, demolishes their homes and villages, destroys crops and livelihoods, oppresses, humiliates, prevents free movement WITHIN Palestine (NOT Israel), and practices it’s “eye for an eyelash” military philosophy against stone-throwing Palestinians protesting the endless theft?

      • eljay
        August 14, 2013, 10:31 am

        >> As terrorism shows no sign of abating …

        …so, too, does the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State’s” 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder show no sign of abating.

    • eGuard
      August 14, 2013, 5:34 am

      giladg, this is for going from Bethlehem to East Jerusalem. There is no international border.

  3. August 13, 2013, 3:09 pm

    Do you understand why is this happening? Do you know that before Oslo tens of thousands of palestinians worked freely in Israel? Entered freely, went back freely, no blocks, no checkpoints. What happened? Arafat invented suicide bombings and we began to be fearful of any palestinina – may be he carries explosive belt under his shirt. So – road blocks and checkpoints were erected. They forced us to behave this way. This is exactly what happened in airports. Dont we all feel humiliated having to wait in long lines with our shoes in hands and belts taken out of our pants. WHO CREATED THIS HUMILIATION FOR US? Same groups, same sick minds. So – dont blame us. Blame those who forced us to behave this way. It will not matter if we will withdraw to 67 or 48 or 36 borders. They will force us do these things because they will come to work and some will blow themselves and we will have to roadblock them. Golda Meir once said – when peace comes we will perhaps be able to forgive them that they killed our sons but it will be much harder to forgive that they forced us to kill their sons. This is our DNA and they are demanding that we set free killers of civilians.

    • Citizen
      August 13, 2013, 5:57 pm

      @ fnlevit
      Did the native Palestinians invite the Jews to take over their land, and yet again, to erect Jews-Only policies on land they stole and work they made? Get to basics, like where did most of the Jews come from, and when, as compared to the non-Jewish natives in the Palestine Mandate area lands? And did this happen in the 19th Century, or after WW1, WW2, and Nuremberg and progeny Genva?

      • August 14, 2013, 6:41 am

        We are already past that and there is no point to argue. Israel is now 8 mln large (close to, say, Austria). It is not a small country any more – dont hope to get us out. It is already third/fourth degeneration oafter thefirst settlers so there is no point to go back there. We could (and you will be summarily be bitten in your sloppy arguments) but there is no point. It is now that counts. And I am explaining how this particular situation which we all hate came into being. It is a fairly recent thing like line in all airports after 9-11. Similar in character.

    • tree
      August 13, 2013, 5:58 pm

      Wow, you really are captured by hasbara aren’t you? Is it even possible for you to think for yourself rather than simply regurgitate the same old dishonest Zionist talking points?

      The checkpoint and closure system started in 1991, well before Oslo, and also well before any suicide bombing.

      Here’s a reprint of an Amira Hass article in Haaretz that discusses the evolution of the closure system in the West Bank and Gaza:


      In its simplest definition, “closure” (seger in Hebrew, ighlaq in Arabic) as it has evolved over the last decade in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) means to deprive the Palestinian inhabitants of their right to free movement. It involves a pass system first introduced in early 1991 and which has been refined and perfected ever since. Needless to say, in the same Palestinian territories where Palestinians need special permits to move around, Israeli citizens circulate freely.

      On the eve of the Gulf War in 1991, an Israeli military order canceled an earlier order that granted all Palestinian inhabitants a “general exit permit” to Israel. Issued in the West Bank in the early 1970s, the general exit permit, which in effect assured Palestinians free movement in Israel, was extended to Gaza only in the mid-1980s, but in practice Gazans had enjoyed a similar freedom of movement almost since the West Bank order. This free movement was not “conferred” in the interests of equality-Jews were allowed and, indeed, encouraged to settle in the 1967 occupied territories, but Palestinians had no reciprocal right in Israel-but was one of Moshe Dayan’s measures for economically integrating the OPT into Israel with the aim of toning down Palestinian national aspirations and undermining the feasibility of an independent Palestinian state. But whatever the motives, freedom of movement meant a great deal for the individual Palestinian, both economically and socially. It also proved extremely valuable to the three hitherto separated Palestinian communities of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Israel proper, allowing them to reestablish direct contacts and reconsolidate the national and cultural common ground that endured despite the differences that had developed or been accentuated during the years of separation.

      It is true that even at the outset there were exceptions to the blanket rule of general exit permit: “security” suspects were prevented from free movement at various times, as were criminals, unless they joined Israel’s army of collaborators. But these were exceptions, and in general the Palestinian right to freedom of movement was respected by the Israeli authorities. Even when there were fierce Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians in Israel, no one demanded that entrances to Israel be sealed off.

      Some broader exceptions to the rule were introduced with the first intifada as of 1988. In Gaza, a magnetic card was imposed on anyone wishing to travel to Israel. This second identity card, renewable yearly for a fee to Palestinians presumed not to represent a security threat, tightened control over the Gazan population. Meanwhile, at about the same time in the West Bank, the “green identity card” (as opposed to the ordinary orange one) was introduced for “security cases”–former prisoners and activists–preventing them from crossing the Green Line. But the majority of the population continued to be able to exercise their right to free movement throughout the entire territory, just as Israelis did.

      It was the Gulf War that provided the occasion to reverse this situation of free movement for the many and prohibition for the few. From then on, there was a blanket denial of the right for all Palestinians, with exceptions being made for certain explicit categories–including workers, merchants, people in need of medical treatment, collaborators, and important Palestinian personalities–which were granted passes. In principle, this has been the rule since then, though its practice has been modified and tightened with time.

      Between the revocation of the general exit permit in 1991 and March 1993, when Israeli police began launching relentless pursuits to capture and arrest “infiltrators” and military courts started imposing heavy fines on those caught without the proper pass, the regulations were still vague. Checkpoints were not systematic and there were no “borders” per se; it was still fairly easy to sneak out, even from the Strip. Moreover, the new rules seemed to be enforced mainly concerning entry into Israel, with travel between the West Bank and Gaza being more tolerated. Still, during those first two years of closure, the number of Palestinian workers in Israel was slashed, setting off a chain of economic blows to individual Palestinian families and the community. Trips to Israel for shopping or other normal activities were already becoming a thing of the past. Gradually, travel between the West Bank and Gaza also became increasingly difficult and, finally, almost impossible.

      A second “novelty” was introduced in March 1993: the entire municipality of East Jerusalem, which Israel greatly expanded and annexed in 1967, was incorporated de facto into the no-entry Israeli territory. Ever since that time, the Palestinian cultural, religious, institutional, economic, and commercial capital has been encircled, with ever-expanding bureaucratic measures and regulations forbidding or “thinning” Palestinian entry into the city. At first, only men under forty needed permits, then women as well, and finally everybody of all ages required them.

      The Israeli pass system, introduced not long before the Madrid peace conference and at a time when the Palestinian-Israeli negotiating process was already in the planning stages, was consolidated during the Oslo years. Indeed, it was with the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 1994 that the special bureaucratic-military machinery of the pass system was developed, with heavy input from Shin Bet. Palestinian officials became the middlemen who either transferred the Israeli-approved permits to their fellow Palestinians or transmitted the rejection.

      The pass system turned a universal basic right into a coveted privilege–or portion of a privilege–allotted to a minority on a case-by-case basis. For the privilege was not whole: it had gradations. Some passes permitted an overnight stay in Israel, others required return by dusk, a few were for an entire month. Some restricted means of transport to the special group taxis parked outside the Erez checkpoint in the Gaza Strip; a handful allowed the use of private cars from door to door. The hand that giveth also taketh away: some months as many as 1,000 businessmen might be granted passes, other months only 300; sometimes the passes for Gazans would be for Israel and the West Bank, sometimes only for the West Bank. It was thus that an entire society was stratified and segmented on the basis of whether one had access, and in what portion, to the “privilege” of freedom of movement.

      more at link

      Its obvious that the system was not the result of suicide bombing, since it pre-dated the bombings, but was instead a well developed Israeli plan to further separate and enfeeble the Palestinians.

      It should further be noted that prior to 1991, various Jewish terrorists had been attacking, wounding and killing Palestinians in the West Bank. Clearly, if you believe that Israel needs to punish a whole ethnic group because of the violent actions of individuals, then you must believe that Israel should have instituted the same checkpoints and closures on Jewish Israeli settlers. Where’s the “symmetry”? Why is it OK in your mind for collective punishment to be used against one ethnic group but not the other? Why is it acceptable for the IDF (and sometimes Jewish settlers) to kill thousands of Palestinian civilians with no repercussions, but the actions of individual Palestinians calls for (more) oppression of the already oppressed Palestinians? Can’t you understand how that is but one element of apartheid in Israel?

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        August 14, 2013, 1:15 pm

        “That was established by KGB back in USSR when I was sentensed to two years in prison and Mordovia camps for teaching Hebrew. ”

        Then go back to your damn homeland and stop stealing from the Palestinians.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        August 14, 2013, 1:32 pm

        “YES, THANKS! I am a very proud Zionist.”

        Disgusting. Like expressing pride in being a Klansman. But without any of the self-awareness.

      • SQ Debris
        SQ Debris
        August 14, 2013, 1:36 pm

        fnlevit flogs supposed “free access” prior to 1991. That is inaccurate. Palestinian refugees from West Bank or Gaza camps could enter and work in their actual hometown in those days, but they were not “free” to sleep there over night. They were “free” to be exploited, then re-warehoused in the camps at night.

        This supposed “VERY COMPLICATED” situation is complicated, the verb, not the adjective – as in to confuse, muddle, obfuscate, muddy, thwart, and confound. The hasbara that ziopimps throw at this list doesn’t fool anyone. It’s a form of public self-abuse. Maybe it’s time to stop responding to them categorically, and let them tug away in the corners of the site undisturbed.

    • bufallobiff
      August 13, 2013, 6:00 pm

      Suicide bombing was used long before Yassir Arafat. You only have to go back to WW II and the Japanese Kamikazes. The Tamil Tigers were the first to implement suicide bombings as a tactic in war. Casting Israelis as victims is quickly losing its’ effectiveness with the advent of social media bypassing the MSM. Golda Meir also said that there was no such thing as a Palestinian. Who are those people in the picture ??

      • Cliff
        August 14, 2013, 8:21 am

        it doesnt matter

        no one exists before they exist

        you are a real pissant to judge them

        the fact of the matter is that however you label them, they were still the majority population and were living there prior to the wave of Jewish colonization

        the Arabs were and are indigenous

        YOU are not. you are a thief

    • Bumblebye
      August 13, 2013, 7:45 pm

      Do tell us, Perfesser of Ignerant Biggitry, how the people of Palestine should protest the theft of their nations lands, the oppression and humiliation, the maiming and murder of their people on a daily basis by such as yourself (in your case, the kids you’ve obviously raised to be proud bigots, just like papa)? What recourse do you suggest is available to them from a country whose govt, put in place by people like you, continuously ignores their rights to absolutely anything, which looks for excuses to test its ‘new, improved’ weaponry every few years? When there is no violence, you and yours steal their lands, deprive them of normal rights of movement between towns, villages and cities in their OWN land, NOT yours. When their IS some violence, most of it comes from Israel, has invariably been STARTED by Israelis, and will be fanned by Israelis! Do you, Perfesser Bigot, believe in international law? Or do you believe in “Greater” Israel and the ultimate expulsion of as many Palestinians as possible from their own country? You into annihilation of a nation?

    • eljay
      August 13, 2013, 8:00 pm

      >> Do you understand why is this happening? … They forced us to behave this way.

      The rapist kidnapped his victim, chained her in his underground bunker and sexually assaulted her for weeks without any serious trouble from her. Then one day she started slapping and punching him whenever he tried to rape her.

      So he started beating her as well as raping her.

      Of course, he didn’t want to behave this way – he was quite content to simply rape her – but that bitch forced him to behave brutally toward her. It’s all her fault. He should not be held responsible for the consequences of her insubordination.

      After all:
      – she was a woman without a man for a man without a woman;
      – “god” told him that she was rightfully his for the taking; and
      – he was simply self-determining himself in her.

      If ever he sets her free, he might be able to forgive her for punching and slapping him, but he will find it very hard to forgive the fact that she forced him to beat her as well as rape her.

    • just
      August 13, 2013, 8:13 pm

      You were dealt some bad “DNA”.

      “They will force us do these things”.

      FAIL. Stop blaming your victims. Old Goldy was wrong. I know plenty of Arabs that love their children………and many Israelis as well.

      • seafoid
        August 14, 2013, 3:36 am

        “Golda Meir once said – when peace comes we will perhaps be able to forgive them that they killed our sons but it will be much harder to forgive that they forced us to kill their sons. This is our DNA ”

        Trauma is not DNA.
        It can’t be forced through eternity.

      • August 14, 2013, 11:02 am

        I am sorry but you dont understand what Golda said. Please read again and THINK. Unfortunately many participant on this site forgot this function, It is (in best case) just pure fiountain of emotions and (in worst) just hatred.

      • just
        August 15, 2013, 10:31 pm

        You’re “funny” fnlevit. Lots of folks here, there and everywhere THINK a lot and know the truth.

        Golda Meir was the grandmama of Zionists.

        I fully understand what she said. She blamed the victims.

      • Donald
        August 15, 2013, 11:40 pm

        “I am sorry but you dont understand what Golda said.”

        I’m not who you’re talking to, but it’s obvious what Golda did there–it’s a self-serving, self-dramatizing excuse for Israeli violence, nothing more. She could have been critical of Palestinian violence while acknowledging Israeli crimes, but that was beyond her.

        A friend of mine, a total sap when it comes to Israeli propaganda, once repeated Golda’s words with a sort of reverence, like she’d said something deep. It was embarrassing–you’re just some anonymous spouter of propaganda on the internet, but what am I supposed to do with a friend who repeats this crap like it was a deep insight? I think I called it bovine fecal matter, actually.

    • talknic
      August 14, 2013, 3:24 am

      fnlevit“Do you understand why is this happening?”

      Yes. Humiliation of the occupied is common to belligerent occupiers and colonizers

      “Do you know that before Oslo tens of thousands of palestinians worked freely in Israel? Entered freely…”

      1948 law of entry says you’re spouting bullsh*t

      “Arafat invented suicide bombings”

      More twaddle..

      “They forced us to behave this way”

      Ah yes, ‘come, please dispossess us, occupy us, illegally annex our territory, illegally settle, steal our land’ they cried and Israel obliged…

      “This is exactly what happened in airports”

      Many people go to work daily via the international entry of many airports?

      “It will not matter if we will withdraw to 67 or 48 or 36 borders”

      Israeli borders in 36? WOW!!! BTW withdrawing to Israel’s actual proclaimed and Internationally recognized borders has NEVER BEEN TRIED.

      “Golda Meir once said – when peace comes we will perhaps be able to forgive them that they killed our sons but it will be much harder to forgive that they forced us to kill their sons.”

      You believe the bigoted war time propaganda mantra of someone who wasn’t even from the M East? WOW!!

      The stupidity of her statement is obvious. No one forced Israel to illegally acquire any non-Israeli territory by war. Israel could have stopped slaughtering non-Jews in order to acquire non-Israeli territory and adhered to the law at any time of its own choosing. It hasn’t. 65 years is a long time to be living beyond one’s boundaries.

      • August 14, 2013, 9:04 am

        Look in the article from Haaretz which your friend “tree” quoted above.
        It explains exactly how such roadblocks evolved from nothing before 1988 to just ID card of different color (OH, what a rasist crime, except that was not so for 1.2 mln of Israel Arabs) to hunt of those who aided in terror, etc. About the rest – I am just too tired repeating trivial truths and listening to half baked lies on your part. Stop bothering me. Just read what I write and THINK.

      • tree
        August 16, 2013, 1:10 am


        It appears I overestimated your intelligence (although I never set the bar very high, considering your pride at regurgitation), since you keep insisting that Amira Hass’ article detailing the origin and development of the the pass and closure system supports your claim that the system was developed in response to suicide bombings. It says exactly the opposite.

        The system pre-dates the suicide bombings of the second intifada. “Pre-dates”, BTW, means that the system of checkpoints and closures were in place BEFORE there were any suicide bombings for Israel to “react to”, thus they were not an Israeli reaction to suicide bombing, as you allege. They were put in place to segregate and punish the general Palestinian population, in an attempt to get them to accept the unfair conditions that Israel was offering under Madrid and Oslo, and to create greater segregation between Jews and Palestinians while increasing the number of Jewish settlers illegally dwelling on land owned by Palestinian individuals and villages. The whole point was to create greater hardship, and that greater Palestinian hardship was the genesis of the second intifada. In other words, the pass and closure system was a cause of the second intifada rather than a reaction to it. And the first hundreds of casualties of the second intifada were the Palestinians themselves, killed by the IDF overreaction to Palestinian protests that led to the firing of over a million IDF bullets within the Occupied Territories within the first month of the intifada. (Over a million bullets was the estimate of the IDF itself.) The harsh IDF closures, and the attacks on Palestinian cities during this time also pre-date the suicide bombings. All of this pre-dates the first suicide bombers of the second intifada.

        Meanwhile, also prior to the second intifada, Jewish terrorists were attacking and killing Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Israel did not institute any kind of pass or closure system upon Israeli settlers, even though settler violence toward Palestinians was a continual problem during the 1980s and early 1990s. The pass and closure system was complete discriminatory on the basis of ethnicity and a prime example of the apartheid system that Israel had set up in the Occupied Territories.

        Additional note: SQ Debris is right. Prior to the pass and closure system, although most Palestinians could enter Israel freely in order to work, or shop, they were prohibited from staying in Israel overnight. (Rather like the “sundown towns” that peppered the segregated US prior to the civil rights era, but this was-and is- Israeli law throughout all of Israel.) At the same time during this “free movement” period of the occupation, Palestinians were denied permits to create businesses and industries within the West Bank and Gaza that might compete with Israeli businesses, thus making the Palestinians dependent on Israeli jobs, rather than being able to develop an independent economic foundation.

      • August 14, 2013, 11:17 am

        By the way withdrawing to Israel’s actual proclaimed and Internationally recognized borders was TRIED. By Barak. In Lebanon. He was very careful to get UN confirmation that we withdraw to the last centimeter. And whathappen? We got thoudands of Hezbollah rockets on our borders which then were fired into our CIVILIAN population. 4000 Hezbollah rockets! So – stop all this emotional working yourself us staff. Really like in a cult. Do some reading and serious thinking

      • justicewillprevail
        August 15, 2013, 1:10 pm

        tsk, you are wasting time posting illiterate nonsense, when you should be studying. Are you on bonus payments for quantity and not quality?

      • talknic
        August 16, 2013, 4:06 am


        “… such roadblocks evolved from nothing before 1988…..”

        Problem…. Israel had controls on the 1949 Armistice Demarcation Lines from 1949 – 1967

        ” I am just too tired repeating trivial truths..”

        BS doesn’t wash here

        ” and listening to half baked lies on your part”

        Quote one

        ” Stop bothering me. Just read what I write and THINK”

        Oh… you poor poor poor little propagandist wants to spread BS and get away with it

        ” withdrawing to Israel’s actual proclaimed and Internationally recognized borders was TRIED. By Barak. In Lebanon. “

        Israel has never legally acquired ANY territory beyond its Internationally recognized borders. Those it asked to be recognized by May 15th 1948 ” as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947, ” Israel has had troops and civilians illegally settling beyond those borders for 65 years

        “We got thoudands of Hezbollah rockets on our borders which then were fired into our CIVILIAN population.”

        Odd… the IDF Memorial site. It shows far more military than civilian casualties

  4. Obsidian
    August 13, 2013, 3:15 pm

    Arabs nabbed at checkpoint with hidden machine gun.

    • just
      August 13, 2013, 8:18 pm

      Israelis are “nabbed” or even prosecuted very infrequently. When they are, Israelis scream “foul”. The US petitions for their release endlessly, even when they are guilty as sin itself.

      • just
        August 13, 2013, 8:36 pm

        See Shalit’s happy release– he was an unfortunate IOF’er. I’m glad he’s now a sports journalist, and glad for his family. I think that more IOF & US soldiers should consider conscientious objection and peace making………….

        Read who petitions for Pollard’s “RoR”. When was the last time that the US petitioned Israel for the release of any Palestinian?

    • eljay
      August 14, 2013, 7:47 am

      >> Arabs nabbed at checkpoint with hidden machine gun.

      According to the article:

      … IDF soldiers seized weapons and guns from Palestinian Authority Arabs. … In the incident, a taxi driven by a PA Arab was stopped at a checkpoint by Border Guard officers. Inside the taxi, that was stopped at the Ein Yabrud checkpoint in Samaria on Road 60, was a computer laptop case that turned out to contain a loaded machine gun.

      1. A taxi full of “Palestinian Authority Arabs” was stopped at a Zio-supremacist Occupation checkpoint deep inside Palestinian territory.

      2. Initially, “weapons and guns” were seized!!!!

      3. And then there was only “a loaded machine gun”.

      4. And the picture embedded in the article shows only a rifle, and the accompanying caption reads “Rifle and bullets”.

      5. And this massive arsenal of “a single machine gun” / “a rifle with bullets” “may have been used in terror attacks”. Or it may not. By “Palestinian Authority Arabs” riding in a taxi deep inside Palestinian territory.


      I wonder if the “Palestinian Authority Arabs” were also humming Assaf’s song at the time…

      • August 14, 2013, 11:11 am

        That is crazy. Single mashine gun is nothing? A knife is enough to kill. I mean kill whom they typically try – not IDF soldiers. No, thank you that is too hard. Old man or a woman. Here they are real heroes.
        Remember – you are not allowed bottles of water when you pass security in Aitports.

      • justicewillprevail
        August 15, 2013, 1:12 pm

        Yes, water is deadly. Especially when access to it is used by Israel as part of its ethnic cleansing apparatus.

      • Ecru
        August 16, 2013, 7:01 am

        There was no machine gun. As usual the WaffenIDf makes things up and when asked for evidence pull out a photo that doesn’t even back up their story. Then ziombies like you eat it up because it feeds into your pre-existing bigotry against Palestinians (and everybody else on the planet who isn’t “chosen”). As for “old men and women” well you should know, that’s what your jackbooted stormtroopers specialise in.

      • eljay
        August 17, 2013, 8:31 am

        >> That is crazy. Single mashine gun is nothing?

        “Israeli Defence Forces Jews” carry a lot more weapons than a single machine gun, but you never see the Palestinian military arresting these “Israeli Defence Forces Jews” at Palestinian military checkpoints inside Israel. Funny, that.

  5. W.Jones
    August 13, 2013, 3:23 pm

    I didn’t know Finnish had to worry about employment issues when it came to tracking brutality against Palestinians. I guess it’s more extensive that I thought.

  6. MHughes976
    August 13, 2013, 4:39 pm

    ‘Ubuntifada’ presumably after the grotesque tyrant Ubu Roi? People treated like cattle, reminiscent of the cattle trucks that play such a part in the story of another outrage.

  7. Madrid
    August 13, 2013, 4:45 pm

    Appalling treatment. Note that Bethlehem has a substantial Christian population as well.

    If any non-Christians need any evidence either of how ineffectual or how clueless Christians are politically (I can’t decide which) in this country, here is exhibit number 1. I tend to lean towards Christians being incredibly ineffectual, given that I don’t meet a fellow-Christian that is not aware of the deplorable situation in Bethlehem.

    On that note, Phil, are you ever going to do an accounting of the progress that this website has made in bringing this to the attention of the American people? Don’t get me wrong– you have obviously done incredible things here, getting together a terrific group of writers for this site, getting the money to run it, maintaining an interested readership year after year, but really isn’t the state of American attitudes towards Israel largely unchanged, with those who don’t know just as anti-Palestinian as ever and those who do too hesitant to risk being called anti-Semitic to speak up?

    Moreover, has there been one iota of change in the way that the American gov’t responds towards Israeli settlements or blockades or even injustices that it perpetrates against fellow Americans? When are you going to take stock of your successes and not-such-successes? Now that we are going through another round of ridiculous peace talks, isn’t this a good time to offer some historical context?

    Also, have you been able to write any longer articles on the evolution of this website and the evolution of your politics with regard to this issue to a magazine like Harpers or the Atlantic? After all, you used to write for those kinds of magazines? Might they be interested in your successes (and struggles) with this website?

    • August 16, 2013, 8:28 am

      This is specially for you, Madrid. You were asking what this website has actually achieved. In my understanding the original general goal was to try and reeducate American Jews of the situation in the Middle East conflict such that they would not just wholeheartedly support of Israel. And here are the results of the three recent studies :
      Young U.S. Jews feel closer to Israel, studies find. Young American Jews have closer ties to Israel than ever before, while Israelis who have moved to the United States are raising the Jewish consciousness of all Jews in the New World. Such upbeat conclusions may run counter to more prevalent pessimistic views , but they are bolstered by three new research studies.

      So – judge for yourself if this website was successful. Also just look at the number of Likes the facebook page of MDWS has – pitiful 6800. Look at a typical israel supporting site like Israel Fans – 74000. Ten times. And look at the number of likes per each post – 2-3 almost no shares. Actually most of my comments are not posted… I am not sure you will see this comment (unless you are a moderator too).

  8. MRW
    August 13, 2013, 4:56 pm

    It looks so Nazi-ish.

  9. DICKERSON3870
    August 13, 2013, 5:45 pm

    RE: The morning commute (through the checkpoint)

    MY COMMENT: Looking at the pictures, I am reminded of the “chutes” they run cattle through at feed lots and such (except that they are sometimes nicer).

    FROM WIKIPEDIA [The Cattle Call]:

    [EXCERPT] “The Cattle Call” is a song written and recorded in 1934 by American songwriter and musician Tex Owens.[1] It became a signature song for Eddy Arnold.
    Owens wrote the song in Kansas City while watching the snow fall. “Watching the snow, my sympathy went out to cattle everywhere, and I just wished I could call them all around me and break some corn over a wagon wheel and feed them. That’s when the words ‘cattle call’ came to my mind. I picked up my guitar, and in thirty minutes I had wrote the music and four verses to the song,” he said.[2] He recorded it again in 1936. . .

    SOURCE –

    The Original CATTLE CALL by Tex Owens 1934 [VIDEO, 03:02] –

  10. DICKERSON3870
    August 13, 2013, 6:09 pm

    RE: “Actually, it could be just a crossing between two countries – though a very disturbing one with its iron gates and cages, bars and burrows, loud PA systems and shouting, soldiers and police and private security guards all armed to the teeth. But instead of being in the border, checkpoint 300 stands 2 kilometers south of the green line, deep inside of the occupied West Bank.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: It is an excellent way for Israel to imbue Palestinians with “learned helplessness”*.

    * FROM WIKIPEDIA [Learned helplessness]:

    [EXCERPT] Learned helplessness is the condition of a human or animal that has learned to behave helplessly, failing to respond even though there are opportunities for it to help itself by avoiding unpleasant circumstances or by gaining positive rewards. Learned helplessness theory is the view that clinical depression and related mental illnesses may result from a perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation.[1] Organisms which have been ineffective and less sensitive in determining the consequences of their behavior are defined as having acquired learned helplessness.[2]
    The American psychologist Martin Seligman’s foundational experiments and theory of learned helplessness began at the University of Pennsylvania in 1967, as an extension of his interest in depression. Quite by accident, Seligman and colleagues discovered that the conditioning of dogs led to outcomes that opposed the predictions of B.F. Skinner’s behaviorism, then a leading psychological theory.[3][4]

    In the learned helplessness experiment an animal is repeatedly hurt by an adverse stimulus which it cannot escape.
    Eventually the animal will stop trying to avoid the pain and behave as if it is utterly helpless to change the situation.
    Finally, when opportunities to escape are presented, this learned helplessness prevents any action. The only coping mechanism the animal uses is to be stoical and put up with the discomfort, not expending energy getting worked up about the adverse stimulus. . .

    SOURCE –

    P.S. FROM ALISTAIR CROOKE, London Review of Books, 03/03/11:

    [EXCERPTS] . . . It was [Ariel] Sharon who pioneered the philosophy of ‘maintained uncertainty’ that repeatedly extended and then limited the space in which Palestinians could operate by means of an unpredictable combination of changing and selectively enforced regulations, and the dissection of space by settlements, roads Palestinians were not allowed to use and continually shifting borders. All of this was intended to induce in the Palestinians a sense of permanent temporariness. . .
    . . . It suits Israel to have a ‘state’ without borders so that it can keep negotiating about borders, and count on the resulting uncertainty to maintain acquiescence. . .

    SOURCE –

  11. sandhillexit
    August 13, 2013, 7:49 pm

    Make no mistake, this is what the overlords have in mind for all of us, the Western hoi polloi. 25% unemployment in Spain, 35% in Greece, and men will put up with a lot for family. The treatment of the PALs is just a controlled experiment by the global Ubermenschen to see exactly how much people will swallow before they crack. Americans remain blithely unconcerned because we are still deluded that we will be among the privileged. But you don’t have to spend too long among the uninsured in America before you see the disturbing lines and similarity to the appalling I/P health “system” (caste system) already pencilled in. Raise your voice in the workplace and you can be instantly uninsured and uninsurable. They’ll just pay an Indian fellow to tell you, via Skype or the corporate equivalent.

    • SQ Debris
      SQ Debris
      August 14, 2013, 2:18 pm

      sandhillexit, Israel’s dehumanizing treatment of Palestinians doesn’t appear on the ground as an experiment to see how much humans will bear until they’ll crack. More like a program of incitement to precipitate such “cracking.” Every day that goes by without what most humans would consider a reasonable response to murderous occupation makes it tougher for Israel to prance around in its Supreme Victim Veil. Zionism needs that victim-hood narrative as a cover, so the occupation’s behavior is calibrated to generate an unpleasant response, not as a controlled experiment. Palestinian restraint in the face of that incitement has been historic in its dimensions.

  12. Qualtrough
    August 14, 2013, 2:11 am

    I want to make a general point, namely that this thread and all the threads here are perfect examples of what a game changer the Internet has been. In the past the rare positive articles dealing with this issue in newspapers would be quickly followed up with hasbara letters, and that would be the last word on the subject. Now, the minute Zionists try to spin events with their BS ‘facts’ readers can respond to point out their lies. I am surely not the first to say it, but the rise of the Internet is probably the worst thing to happen to Zionists since they pulled off their heist.

    • giladg
      August 15, 2013, 9:00 am

      Qaultrough, you got the story all wrong. The heavyweights who have been strongly pro-Palestinian, namely Newsweek, Time Magazine, NY Times, Washington Post, have either practically disappeared or have lost their readership. These publications have been setting the tone in the US for a long time. What they also did was to let the Palestinians off the hook. The internet now enables those who were previously brainwashed to have access to other points of view, if they go out and find them. Unfortunately there are still far too many who singularly follow news media on the net who reinforce their existing views. Like most of you on MDWS.

  13. biorabbi
    August 14, 2013, 12:30 pm

    Phil, you should try the commute in Cairo this morning.

    Breaking News: Liberal Rabbi has angst over settlements page 1. Page 2 thousands die in Egypt and Syria… moving right along.

  14. giladg
    August 15, 2013, 5:38 am

    Few Israeli’s doubt that the suicide bombings have stopped. The use of suicide bombers is rampant throughout the Middle East. If you follow events in the region you have probably read about one that occurred yesterday. Palestinian Jihadists will use them again against Jews. They are trying a different tactic for a while. Other lower key terrorist acts are being carried out all the time. And I can only imagine what is being planned.

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