|September 2000 - Return to Monthly Index MiddleEast.Org 9/03/00|
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MER WEEKEND READING:
COMPLETE SEPARATION OF ARABS AND JEWS IS GOAL
ONE MORE RESULT: "BEACH APARTHEID"
"Now, with the date for a final settlement looming,
Israel is trying to affect the complete separation
of Palestinians and Jews."
MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 9/2/00:
Don't expect anyone in the "mainstream" American press to use the term "apartheid" to apply to what the Israelis are doing in what was once the Holy Land. Too corporate controlled, advertising propelled, and Jewish afraid.
And don't expect the Arab media to really tell it like it is, even about the Palestinians a little further from home. Too regime controlled and scared. And in fact that's now the state of the Palestinian press as well.
Once and awhile someone in the Israeli press will speak up. But it's usually a columnist and even then the punches are pulled, the analysis incomplete.
More often, it's the British media we all have to turn to, even with all the various problems and restrictions British journalists face these days.
There was the remarkable John Pilger documentary about the destruction of Iraq this year. Shame on the American media for not even showing it, especially as it the Americans who are doing it.
There are courageous writers like Robert Fisk and David Hirst.
The British may have brought about today's problems in what was Palestine during their reign; but at least some of their newspapers and journalists are today telling us what is actually going on there since they departed.
Under guise of "peace process" the real goal of Israel is to rob the Palestinians of the great majority of what once was their country; to get a Palestinian "leader" to put his name to "treaties" accepting this "reality"; to concoct a complete separation between Israelis and Palestinians, including a new high-tech fence to surround the Palestinian bantustans; and to permanently prevent the "right of return" for the great majority of Palestinians, supposedly endorsed by future interpretation of the very documents the Palestinians "leaders" sign.
This article from The Guardian earlier this summer about "Beach Apartheid"
tells an important part of these largely spiked realities:
PALESTINIANS FEEL THE HEAT AS POLICE ENFORCE BEACH APARTHEID
With peace looming, Israel is keen to
establish areas for Jews only
Suzanne Goldenberg in Tel Aviv
The GUARDIAN - June 3, 2000:
In these early days of a sweltering summer, the long palm-dotted
beaches of Tel Aviv are a natural escape. But if you are a
Palestinian, a family day out can mean a night in jail.
As Israeli Jews were unfolding their deckchairs yesterday morning
to begin a weekend of lolling on the sand, the Tel Aviv police were
out in force, detaining dozens of Palestinian day trippers, and
scaring away many more in a zealous enforcement of beach apartheid.
The operation to create Jewish-only beaches began four weeks ago,
and has been rigorously pursued every Friday since then. Last week
more than 1,100 Palestinians were detained, including children on
school trips. Ten Israeli coach drivers face charges under the
One east Jerusalem family's day at the seaside ended in tears and
a fog of exhaust fumes at 10am yesterday when the police confiscated
their car, marooning them with their picnic basket on a traffic
island in a busy avenue.
The family, who were afraid to give their names, have the legal
right to travel anywhere in Israel. But when police officers hauled
them over for the customary questioning of every Palestinian who
dares to visit the beaches, they discovered that the father owed
91,000 shekels in back taxes on his shop.
They seized his car and put his wife and two teenage children under
armed guard until a relative could arrive to ferry them home.
"Officially, they cannot prohibit us from coming here," said the
father. "But they are determined to harass us even if we do have
legal rights. They just do not want us to be happy."
Since the early days of the peace process, Israel has kept
Palestinians penned into the stifling and crowded confines of the
West Bank and Gaza by imposing a permit regime to shut out all but
those workers who perform jobs considered too lowly for Jews. In turn,
Israeli Jews are barred from visiting Gaza, although they can travel
freely in the West Bank.
Now, with the date for a final settlement looming, Israel is trying
to affect the complete separation of Palestinians and Jews.
In the Pisgat Ze'ev area of Jerusalem, the police routinely stop
Palestinian children playing in the park. In the central Israeli
town of Ranana, the council recently banned non-residents from
visiting the amusement park, to keep out Palestinian tourists. In
the occupied territories there are no recreation facilities.
In Tel Aviv the pretext is security. A police spokesman said they
were simply enforcing the permit regime, intended to stop the
entry of potential terrorists to Israel.
But three Gazans who arrived at the beach with permits yesterday
were brusquely told to leave the busier sections patronised by Jews
and swim in the rocky and rubbish-encrusted bay near the twin city
of Jaffa, which has an Arab majority.
And off they meekly went. Other Palestinians do not leave so easily.
In a strange game of beach roulette, some of the people arrested
yesterday said they had been thrown out earlier but were determined
to keep on coming.
"They said it was illegal for us to come here," said Firas, a
computer science student at al-Quds University in Jerusalem.
Arriving with seven friends in matching New York Yankee baseball
caps, they were arrested near the dolphinarium before they could
even set foot on the sand.
"But this is so unfair. The Israelis come to Jericho, they come to
Ramallah, they come to Nablus. Nobody stops them. But we cannot go
to the beach."
Apartheid on the beach
Monday June 5, 2000
You report how Israel "has kept Palestinians penned into
the stifling and crowded confines of the West Bank and
Gaza by imposing a permit regime" (Palestinians feel heat
of Tel Aviv beach apartheid, June 3). A few pages later
you reproduce the letters of a Jewish family in the
unspeakable horror of a Nazi concentration camp (Letters
from Belsen). How is it possible that Jews, of all people
given the racism they suffered, can be so cruel and racist
towards the Palestinian Arabs? And get away with it so
Suzanne Goldenberg helps to explode the myth about Israel
being a "liberal democracy". How can one explain the absence
of international condemnation, economic boycotts and
demonstrations we used to in response to South African
apartheid? Perhaps it is because the victims are only
Palestinians and therefore are potential terrorists anyway.
As I read yet another story about how the Nazis deprived Jews
of their everyday rights and then their lives, I wondered how
unbearable it must be to be in the Middle East with a
functioning memory. Chinese rulers have always recognised
history as amirror by which they know they must be judged. Who
will look in the mirror of persecution in the Middle east and
learn to see?
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