You are here
Don't slam Carter; Israel's grip is real
Former Israeli cabinet minister
Published on: 01/24/07
Jewish self-righteousness is taken for granted among ourselves to such an extent that we fail to see what's right in front of our eyes. It's simply inconceivable that the ultimate victims, the Jews, can carry out evil deeds. Nevertheless, the state of Israel practices its own, quite violent, form of apartheid with the native Palestinian population.
The U.S. Jewish establishment's onslaught on former President Jimmy Carter is based on him daring to tell the truth which is known to all: Through its army, the government of Israel practices a brutal form of apartheid in the territory it occupies. Its army has turned every Palestinian village and town into a fenced-in, or blocked-in, detention camp. All this is done in order to keep an eye on the population's movements and to make its life difficult. Israel even imposes a total curfew whenever the settlers, who have illegally usurped the Palestinians' land, celebrate their holidays or conduct their parades.
If that were not enough, the generals commanding the region frequently issue further orders, regulations, instructions and rules (let us not forget: they are the lords of the land). By now they have requisitioned further lands for the purpose of constructing "Jewish only" roads.
Wonderful roads, wide roads, well-paved roads, brightly lit at night — all that on stolen land. When a Palestinian drives on such a road, his vehicle is confiscated, and he is sent on his way.
On one occasion I witnessed such an encounter between a driver and a soldier who was taking down the details before confiscating the vehicle and sending its owner away.
"Why?" I asked the soldier.
"It's an order. This is a Jews-only road," he replied. I inquired as to where was the sign indicating this fact and instructing [other] drivers not to use it.
His answer was nothing short of amazing. "It is his responsibility to know it, and besides, what do you want us to do, put up a sign here, and let some anti-Semitic reporter or journalist take a photo, so he then can show the world that apartheid exists here?"
Indeed apartheid does exist here. And our army is not "the most moral army in the world" as we are told by its commanders. Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh, renowned for his superior patriotism, has issued a new order. Coming into effect on Jan. 19, it prohibits the conveyance of Palestinians without a permit. The order determines that Israelis are not allowed to transport Palestinians in an Israeli vehicle (one registered in Israel regardless of what kind of number plate it carries) unless they have received explicit permission to do so. The permit relates to both the driver and the Palestinian passenger. Of course none of this applies to those whose labor serves the settlers. They and their employers will naturally receive the required permits so they can continue to serve the lords of the land, the settlers.
Did man of peace, former President Carter truly err in concluding that Israel is creating apartheid? Did he exaggerate?
Don't the U.S.-Jewish community leaders recognize the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination of March 7, 1966, to which Israel is a signatory?
Are the U.S. Jews who launched the loud and abusive campaign against Carter for supposedly maligning Israel's character and its democratic and humanist nature unfamiliar with the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid of Nov. 30, 1973? Apartheid is defined therein as an international crime that among other things includes using different legal instruments to rule over different racial groups, thus depriving people of their human rights. Isn't freedom of travel one of these rights?
From now on, Israelis and international humanitarian organizations' volunteers are prohibited from assisting a woman in labor by taking her to the hospital. And volunteers of Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights group, cannot take a robbed and beaten-up Palestinian to the police station to lodge a complaint. (Police stations are located at the heart of the settlements.)
Is there anyone who believes that this is not apartheid?
Shulamit Aloni is a former Israeli cabinet minister. This column originally appeared in Yediot Aharonot, a daily newspaper in Israel.