Trump Should Ask, Who is Humiliating Whom?
On April 19th 2017, two Palestinian sisters from Gaza were traveling to Jerusalem for one of them to receive cancer treatment, when a routine search of their medical supplies uncovered explosive materials concealed in tubes of medicine.
It is as a result of instances like this one - in addition to stabbings and car rammings that have been frequently occurring at checkpoints - that Palestinian women and patients who appear to be in obvious pain are no longer exempt from thorough physical scrutiny when entering and traveling through Israel. This increased hardship for innocent Palestinians has been caused by their own leadership.
Mahmoud Abbas, the current President of the Palestinian Authority, claims that Palestinians 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. They say they feel "corralled" behind security fences and ugly concrete walls.
Israel is criticized for these measures even by those who understand the causal relationship that makes such security steps necessary. The cynical use of the movement of innocent Palestinians, including people in need of urgent medical treatment and Palestinian day laborers crossing to work in Israel is used as a convenient cover for the perpetration of terrorist acts.
Meanwhile in Israel, every Israeli is searched numerous times during the course of a 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. As a matter of routine, Israelis' car trunks are searched every time they enter a well-trafficked parking lot.
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.
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 Arabic 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.
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. This followed several attempts to down Israeli civilian aircrafts with missiles - one of which blew up a Swissair flight in mid-air from Zurich to Tel Aviv in February 1970, killing all 47 passengers and crew aboard.
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.
All this begs the question: Who is humiliating whom?