israeli settlers

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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?” 

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It seems that Christians are now being targeted by settlers, and church officials are speaking of a ‘teaching of contempt’ that is current in Israeli society.

The ‘price-tag’ attack outlined below is not an isolated incident. Another article published this week tells of a monastery set on fire by angry settlers.

One can only assume that such a teaching will erode popular support for Israel in the US if it is allowed to develop.

Father Dave

Catholic Church condemns ‘price-tag’ attack on monastery, urges Israel to change ‘culture of contempt’

Source: www.haaretz.com…

Statement by top clerics, including Jerusalem’s Latin Patriarch, urges authorities to apprehend those responsible; Netanyahu: Israel will punish perpetrators severely.

By Nir Hasson | Sep.04, 2012 | 6:01 PM

The Catholic Church condemned the so-called "price-tag" attack against an Christians monastery on Tuesday, with high-ranking church offices denouncing the "teaching of contempt" against Christians prevalent in Israeli society.

Earlier Tuesday, the door of a Christian monastery in Latrun, the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Sept-Douleurs, near Jerusalem, was set on fire on morning and anti-Christian slogans were found spray-painted on the monastery’s walls.

The arson and graffiti are suspected to be a “price tag” attack, following the recent evacuation of Migron, a settlement outpost in the West Bank.

Monks residing at the monastery noticed the burning door on Tuesday morning, and called police after extinguishing the flames. Graffiti sprayed on the monastery walls included the words “Migron,” and “Jesus is a monkey.”

In a statement released later in the day and signed, among others, by the Latin Patriarch for Jerusalem Fouad Twal and Gerogio Lingua, Apostolic Nuncio for Jordan, and former Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah, the Catholic Church severely condemned the attack, saying it was the results of an Israeli tendency to scapegoat Christians.

"The Christian community awoke this morning… to discover with horror that once again it is the target of forces of hatred within Israeli society," the missive said, adding "what happened in Latrun is only another in a long series of attacks against Christians and their places of worship."

Further on, the statement asked: "What is going on in Israeli society today that permits Christians to be scapegoat and targeted by these acts of violence?," questioning why the unknown assialtants chose to " vent" their anger over the dismantling of West Bank outposts "against Christians and Christian places of worship?"

"What kind of ‘teaching of contempt’ for Christians is being communicated in their schools and in their homes? And why are the culprits not found and brought to justice?" the statement asked, urging Israeli "authorities to act to put an end to this senseless violence and to ensure a ‘teaching of respect’ in schools for all those who call this land home."

The Church’s condemnation was followed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s denouncement of the act, saying in a statement earlier in the day that that attack was "a criminal act" and that "those responsible for it must be severely punished."

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Continuing the efforts to make Palestinian life impossible!

 

Settlers taking over Palestinian springs: UN report

(AFP) – 11 hours ago

JERUSALEM — Israeli settlers have taken over dozens of natural springs in the West Bank, limiting or preventing Palestinian access to much-needed water sources, a United Nations report said on Monday.

The report produced by the UN’s Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said at least 30 springs across the West Bank had been completely taken over by settlers, with Palestinians unable to access them at all.

In most instances, the report said, "Palestinians have been deterred from accessing the springs by acts of intimidation, threats and violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers."

The report said an OCHA survey carried out in 2011 identified a total of 56 springs that were under total or partial control of Israeli settlers, most in the part of the West Bank known as Area C, which is under full Israeli civil and military control.

"Springs have remained the single largest water source for irrigation and a significant source for watering livestock" for Palestinians, OCHA said, noting that some springs also provide water for domestic consumption.

"The loss of access to springs and adjacent land reduced the income of affected farmers, who either stop cultivating the land or face a reduction in the productivity of their crops."

The report said in most cases where settlers were trying to limit Palestinian access to springs, they have undertaken to turn the area into a tourist attraction, constructing pools, picnic areas and signs carrying a Hebrew name for the spring.

"Such works were carried out without building permits," the report said.

OCHA said the takeover of springs was an extension of settlement activity in the West Bank, which it pointed out is illegal under international law.

And it added that settler actions including "trespass, intimidation and physical assault, stealing of private property, and construction without a building permit," are also violations of Israeli law.

"Yet, the Israel authorities have systematically failed to enforce the law on those responsible for these acts and to provide Palestinians with any effective remedy," it said.

OCHA called on Israel to stop the expansion of settlements, "restore Palestinian access to the water springs taken over by settlers," and to "conduct effective investigations into cases of settler violence and trespass."