Tina K. Russell

March 29, 2008

Shed a tear… or two

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Tina Russell @ 12:43 am

Palestinians Fear Two-Tier Road System – New York Times

BEIT SIRA, West Bank — Ali Abu Safia, mayor of this Palestinian village, steers his car up one potholed road, then another, finding each exit blocked by huge concrete chunks placed there by the Israeli Army. On a sleek highway 100 yards away, Israeli cars whiz by.

“They took our land to build this road, and now we can’t even use it,” Mr. Abu Safia says bitterly, pointing to the highway with one hand as he drives with the other. “Israel says it is because of security. But it’s politics.”

That is just gross. As much as I can sympathize with the plight of the Israeli people, attacked with guns and rockets by ruthless terrorists, that’s merely a convenient excuse for the government to build a highway on Palestinian land and then restrict it to Israeli nationals and kick Palestinian citizens to the curb. Apparently, the Israeli government is okay with keeping Palestine in the kind of economic hole that breeds terrorism and prevents peace. It’s an entirely unstable situation that this two-tier highway is exacerbating.

You can cover your ears and sing “la la la” and pretend that being under siege by terrorists means you have no moral responsibility to your people and your neighbors, but sooner or later you have to deal with the real conditions on the ground. The Israeli government is living in a fantasy land, where not a single concession can be made to people whose number includes terrorists and criminals. Moreover, discrimination like this is only going to help create the kind of seething tensions that lead to violence. I really don’t want to make the terrorists sound blameless; people who fire rockets at innocent civilians are scoundrels, QED. As it happens, though, we cannot control them and Israel must make every effort to ensure security on the ground, even if that means giving up a worthless and inhumane doctrine of collective punishment and a feeble excuse that the actions of terrorists can or should keep an entire people off of your cozy fast line.

I hardly see why “driving while Palestinian” should be an offense… especially not in Palestine.

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