Bob Simon - Nothing New Under the Sun
In January 25, 2009 he had this to say:
"Palestinians ... when they want to travel from one town to another, they have to submit to humiliating delays at checkpoints and roadblocks. There are more than 600 of them on the West Bank."
In April 22, 2012 he had this to say:
"For all Palestinians, just leaving Bethlehem is a struggle. Getting to Jerusalem, only seven miles away, whether it's to pray, go to a doctor, visit family members, or work, means going through this Israeli checkpoint. That can take hours but before Palestinians can get even this far, they need a permit from the Israelis which can take weeks or months to obtain and is frequently denied."
So Who is Humiliating Whom?
April 24, 2012 |Eli E. Hertz
Revised, originally published 2004 & 2009
Bob, you say Palestinian Arabs feel humiliated and harassed when Israeli authorities search them and their belongings; when they are prevented from traveling freely because of checkpoints, roadblocks, closures and curfews. You say they feel "corralled."
Bob, in Israel, every Israeli is searched numerous times during the course of a single day. Israelis are asked to open their bags and purses for inspection. In most cases, they are subjected to body searches with a metal detector every time they enter a bank or a post office, pick up a bottle of milk at the supermarket, enter a mall or train station, or visit a hospital or medical clinic. Young Israeli men and women are physically frisked in search of suicide belts before they enter crowded nightclubs.
As a matter of routine, Israelis' car trunks are searched every time they enter a well-trafficked parking lot. Daily, their cars pass through roadblocks that cause massive traffic jams when security forces are in hot pursuit of suicide bombers believed to have entered Israel.
Israelis are searched not only when they go out for a cup of coffee or a slice of pizza, but also when they go to the movies or a concert, where the term "dressed to kill" has an entirely different meaning.
These ordinary daily humiliations now extend to similar searches when Israelis go to weddings or Bar Mitzvahs. No one abroad talks about the humiliation Jews in Israel are subjected to, having to write at the bottom of wedding invitations and other life cycle events, "The site will be secured [by armed guards]" - to ensure relatives and friends will attend and share their joyous occasion.
Bob, these ubiquitous security checks do not exist in Arab cities and towns in Israel (or, for that matter, in Judea and Samaria) because those places are not and never have been targets of Palestinian terrorism. In fact, the average Israeli is "humiliated and harassed" by being searched far more times a day than the average Palestinian. Not one human rights group, nor you, has so much as noted this massive intrusion into the rights of privacy and person imposed on Israelis.
To date, no one protests the fact that, since the 1970s, Jewish schoolchildren in Israel are surrounded by perimeter fences, with armed guards at the schoolyard gates.
Not one Arab village in Israel or the Territories has a perimeter fence around it. Guards are not required at Arab shops, cafes, restaurants, movie theaters, wedding halls or schools - either in Israel or in the Territories. Palestinians also do not need armed guards to accompany every school trip, youth movement hike or campout. They are not targets of terrorism.
Countless Israelis in sensitive areas within the Green Line - not only in the Territories, but also in Jewish towns, villages and bedroom suburbs - are "ghettoized" behind high fences.
Many Israeli motorists avoid major arteries that pass through Arab areas of Israel, while Arab citizens and Palestinians from the Territories continue to enter Jewish cities and go about their business without peril. Israelis are told, in effect, to disguise themselves when traveling abroad - not to speak Hebrew in public and not to wear garments that reveal their Jewish-Israeli origins. Even Israel's national airline - El Al - has been forced to remove its logo from the tails of its aircraft at certain airports, out of concern for the safety of its passengers. On the other hand, Arabs who frequent Jewish cities and towns in Israel wear their traditional Arab headgear without fear of being attacked or harassed.
Bob, all of this begs the question: Who is Humiliating Whom?