Israeli Racist Aparthied Regime Moves To Bar Palestinians From Buses And Establish Segregated Buses

Israeli Racist Aparthied Regime Moves To Bar Palestinians From Buses And Establish Segregated Buses

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | return to: WebExclusive

Controversy follows Israel bus segregation plan for Palestinians
by Abra Cohen, J. staff
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Palestinians living in the West Bank who commute to work in Israel would be barred from riding buses with Jewish passengers, according to new guidelines proposed by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

Instead, Palestinian commuters would ride in separate, segregated buses, and would have more limited options for returning conveniently to the West Bank.

The guidelines are being framed as a security measure that will prevent terrorism, but they may not be enforceable under Israeli law, and have been condemned as racist by a diverse array of critics.

According to wire reports, Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has asked Ya’alon for “clarifications and explanations” regarding the guidelines by November 9.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Weinstein is concerned that the Defense Ministry lacks the authority to unilaterally make such a decision.

Jewish West Bank settlers have long complained about women being sexually harassed by Palestinians on buses, but Ya’alon denied charges in the newspaper Ha’aretz that settler pressure forced his hand.

The newspaper also reports that Israeli military officials say that Palestinian bus passengers are not a security threat, thanks to existing screenings by the Shin Bet security service and Israeli police.

However, Ya’alon draws a direct line between Palestinian ridership and terrorism.

"You don't have to be a security official to understand that when there are 20 Arabs on a bus with a Jewish driver and two or three passengers and an armed soldier, that's a guarantee of a terror attack," Ya’alon was quoted in Ha’aretz.

Ya’alon’s proposal, which comes on the heels of last summer’s Gaza War, has been condemned by Israeli human rights groups, including B’Tselem, which called it “a discriminatory measure against the Palestinians,” according to an Associated Press report, and an Israeli NGO leader, who called the guidelines “an ugly logic of ethnic division.”

A Jewish Daily Forward headline referred to the ban as a possible form of “apartheid.”

Roundup sources:

“Israel Attorney General Probes Palestinian Bus Ban”
Associated Press, October 28, 2014

“Attorney-General to Ya'alon: Who Says You Can Order Separate Buses?”
Jerusalem Post, October 27, 2014

“Israeli Official Questions Palestinian Bus Ban”
JTA, AP, October 30, 2014

“Israel Bars Palestinians from Riding ‘Jewish’ Buses in the West Bank”
JTA, The Jewish Daily Forward, October 26, 2014

“Ya'alon: Putting Palestinians, Jews on Same Bus in West Bank Guarantees Terror Attack”
Ha’aretz, October 29, 2014

“In Israel, Palestinian Bus Ban Slammed as Racist”