bus lines

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Zionists are always keen to reject any suggestion that the state of Israel is practicing Apartheid. Indeed, in California it is illegal to even us the word ‘Apartheid’ in connection with the State of Israel!  Even so, it’s hard to think of anything that characterises an Apartheid regime better than a bus service restricted to one race of people!

The transport ministry claims, of course, that the intention of the new service is simply to ease congestion and that no one will be denied entry to the regular bus service on the basis of their race. Even so, according to this report from Ynet, Palestinians who choose to travel on the so-called “mixed” lines, will be asked to leave them.

Father Dave

source: www.ynetnews.com…

Ministry launches ‘Palestinians only’ buses

Transportation Ministry sets up designated bus lines for Palestinian passengers in West Bank; insists lines are for general public, but only Palestinian villages have been advised of their existence

by Itamar Fleishman

Racial segregation or transportation mitigation? The Transportation Ministry announced that starting Sunday it will begin operating designated lines for Palestinians in the West Bank.

The bus lines in question are meant, according to the ministry, to transport Palestinian workers from the West Bank to central Israel. The ministry alleges that the move is meant to ease the congestion felt on bus lines used by Jews in the same areas, but several bus drivers told Ynet that Palestinians who will choose to travel on the so-called “mixed” lines, will be asked to leave them.

While officially the new lines are considered “general bus lines,” Ynet learned Saturday that their existence has been made public only in Palestinian villages in the West Bank, via flyers in Arabic urging Palestinians to arrive at Eyal crossing and use the designated lines.

The Transportation Ministry defended the plan, saying it was the result of reports and complaints saying that the buses traveling in the area were overcrowded and rife with tensions between the Jewish and Arab passengers.

A ministry source said that many complaints expressed concern that the Palestinian passengers may pose a security risk, while other complaints said that the overcrowded buses cause the drivers to skip stations.

The ministry has also gotten reports of scuffles between Jews and Arab passengers, as well as between Palestinians and drivers who refused to allow them to board their bus.

The ministry reportedly considered several alternatives before deciding to opt for designated lines – knowing that the issue of so-called “Palestinian lines” would be highly controversial.

‘Buses meant to improve service’

Still, the ministry eventually decided to launch the lines, which will run from Eyal crossing – near the West Bank city of Qalqilya – to Israel.

Legally, however, there is no way to stop Palestinians from boarding “regular” lines: “We are not allowed to refuse service and we will not order anyone to get off the bus, but from what we were told, starting next week, there will be checks at the checkpoint, and Palestinians will be asked to board their own buses,” a driver with Afikim – the company that holds the routes franchise for the area – told Ynet.

The volatile nature of the decision was not lost on the driver: “Obviously, everyone will start screaming ‘apartheid’ and ‘racism’ now. This really doesn’t feel right, and maybe (the ministry) should find a different solution, but the situation right now is impossible.”

Another driver said that, “Driving a bus full of only Palestinians might turn out to be tricky. It could be unnerving and it might also create other problems. It could be a scary thing.”

The Judea and Samaria Police is reportedly gearing for the move as well, and will deploy additional forces in Eyal crossing to maintain public order.

Police sources said that it is highly unlikely that Palestinians would be excluded from riding on existing bus lines, adding that the forces would “Do their best to execute the ministry’s decision.”

Afikim issued a statement saying that, “This plan aims to ease travel for Palestinian passengers and offer a solution that counters pirate bus companies that charge exorbitant prices. As for any question about removing Palestinian passengers from buses – that has to be addressed by the enforcement and security bodies.”

The Transportation Ministry issued the following statement: “The new lines are not separate lines for Palestinians but rather two designated lines meant to improve the services offered to Palestinian workers who enter Israel through Eyal Crossing.

“The new lines will replace irregular, pirate lines that charge very high prices from Palestinian passengers. The new lines will reduce congestion and will benefit Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

According to the statement, “The Transportation Ministry is forbidden from preventing any passenger from boarding any line of public transportation, nor do we know of a directive to that effect. Instating these lines was done with the knowledge and complete agreement of the Palestinians.”

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Some of you may remember that just over a year ago there were some Palestinian ‘freedom riders’ who attempted to mimic the actions used so successfully by the Civil Rights movement in the 1950’s in America by riding busses normally reserved for Israelis (as recounted in this article in the Washing Post).

A number of Palestinians were arrested, but apologists for the State of Israel were quick to point out that there was technically no segregation on Israeli buses. Technically, Palestinians are permitted to travel on the same bus as Israelis. They just aren’t allowed to travel to all the same places on those buses (a distinction that is explained well in this article in Salon).

The protest received little attention from Civil Rights activists in the US, and one suspects that this was in part due to the way this distinction was used to deflect criticism. As the following incidents make clear though, any distinction between what bus you’re allowed on and where you’re allowed to take it is pure semantics. Palestinians are being blocked from traveling on the same buses as Israeli settlers and are being labeled as ‘moneys’ in the process. Is this any different from what those Civil Right activists in the US stood up against?

Father Dave

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King will be turning in their graves!

source: www.haaretz.com…

Police order Palestinian workers off buses to West Bank, at request of Israeli settlers 

Settlers say these Palestinians pose a security risk; Transportation Ministry says it is considering adding bus lines between West Bank roadblocks and central Israel; these would be geared toward Palestinian laborers. 

By Chaim Levinson

Police have begun ordering Palestinian laborers with legal work permits off buses from the Tel Aviv area to the West Bank, following complaints from settlers that Palestinians pose a security risk by riding the same buses as them. 

The Transportation Ministry says it is considering adding bus lines between West Bank roadblocks and central Israel; these would be geared toward Palestinian laborers. Still, such a plan would take at least a few months to go into effect. 

Earlier this month a bus operated by Afikim, a company with a government tender to serve West Bank settlements, pulled up at a police roadblock near the settlement of Elkana. The police, who later cited security reasons, ordered all the Palestinian passengers off – leaving them to walk several kilometers to the nearest checkpoint and pay for a taxi home, said an Israeli army reservist who was posted at the checkpoint. 

He told Haaretz that the laborers, most of whom work in the Tel Aviv area and usually take the bus home, were angered by the incident. That wasn’t the only time the workers were pulled off the bus, though. 

“Friends at the checkpoint told me that the same thing happened the next day,” said the reservist. “The police confiscated their ID cards, brought the IDs to the checkpoint, and the Palestinians had to get off the bus again and walk several kilometers to the checkpoint.” 

When asked about the incidents, the police said they wanted to make sure Palestinian workers were returning to the West Bank from the same place they left it. They said it was necessary to “close the circle” to ensure the Palestinians weren’t staying in Israel overnight, which requires a separate permit. 

“The fact that a laborer has a legal work permit doesn’t allow him to travel directly to the territories without going through an established crossing point,” the police said in a statement. “That’s why there is enforcement activity, for security purposes.” 

The number of Palestinians working in Israel has increased in the past two years to 29,000 a day, up from 22,000 in 2010. 

Palestinian workers generally do not enter the settlements to get on and off the bus, since that would require special authorization. Usually they get on and off along the Trans-Samaria Highway (Route 5). 

All the same, Ron Nachman, the mayor of the West Bank settlement of Ariel, has announced on his Facebook page that he has spoken with the army, police and Transportation Ministry about “stopping Palestinians from boarding the buses that go to Ariel.” 

“All of them are working on this problem, and we hope that they will soon find a solution to the reality that is bothering our people,” he wrote. 

Commenters left offensive responses to the post, with one referring to the Palestinian passengers as terrorists and another as monkeys. 

“On the Ariel lines there are more terrorists than Jewish residents,” said one. A woman wrote that she couldn’t visit her parents in Ariel because she was too scared to get on the bus, and another commenter said “finally you remembered that we have buses filled with Arabs?”