Photo: Zoom 77
Hagai Segal
Photo: Zoom 77

What about Jewish rights?

Basic rights of Jewish residents in Judea and Samaria severely undermined

Arab Israelis bitterly complained last week that the IDF forbids them from entering the Jewish street in Hebron. Despite the security motive behind the ban (security alone and nothing else,) this is a bothersome phenomenon. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the old South Africa, and it doesn’t only hurt Arabs – many roads in Judea and Samaria are closed off to Jews.


We should note that in Hebron there is one street that is partly closed to Arabs and hundreds of streets that are completely closed off to Jews. If a Jew insists on getting there, he will risk being lynched. Should such Jew be able to get out of there, he will immediately be detained by the police for entering a zone that was closed off via an order signed by a general.


Officially speaking, this order refers to “Israelis,” yet it unequivocally addresses Jews. Arabs possessing an Israeli ID are allowed to enter Ramallah or Nablus as often as they want. Yet Jews are not allowed to do so. Isn’t that apartheid? And what’s the reason for the silence displayed by Breaking the Silence members in the face of ethnic discrimination against Jews?


Up until 10 years ago, Jewish motorists could drive from the community of Dolev to Jerusalem in half an hour. Today, they are forced to drive for an hour and a half, because the High Court of Justice endorsed the IDF’s recommendation to close off a shortcut that passes through the Palestinian village of Ein Arik. Arab motorists are allowed to drive through the village, but Jews are not.


Not too long ago, High Court judges forces the IDF to open Highway 443 to Arab traffic, yet they accepted the military explanation for keeping the Ein Arik road closed off to Jews.


Military rule

Yet beyond the roads, the major harm to Jewish freedom of movement beyond the Green Line is only a tiny part of the overall harm to their basic rights. In fact, the Jews in Judea and Samaria are the only population group in the area still wholly subordinated to a military administration.


Since Oslo, most Palestinians enjoy civilian self-rule, yet 300,000 settlers cannot build a balcony without getting an IDF permit. Only recently, a military court ruled that Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom does not apply to a Yitzhar resident who was slapped with a restraining order from his home. The same is true for the law on freedom of occupation.


In order to complete the grim picture of the situation of Jewish human rights in the territories, we should mention the words of Professor Yedidia Stern, a member of the commission of inquiry into the handling of Gush Katif evacuees. Last week he characterized the injustice caused to the uprooted residents as “the gravest blow to human rights in the State of Israel’s history.”


For some reason, Stern’s words elicited almost no public response. Yet next week, tempers will flare again around here because of an Arab who underwent a humiliating security screening at Ben-Gurion Airport.


פרסום ראשון: 06.21.10, 12:00
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