Terrorizing Palestinians and Israeli Arabs – by Stephen Lendman
Two new reports provide more evidence besides volumes already available.
Explaining daily life in Occupied Palestine, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said about half of Palestinian households experience Israeli and other forms of violence.
For Gazans, it’s slightly higher than in the West Bank – 49.1% – 47.8%. In Qalqiliya governorate, however, (in northern West Bank) it’s 60%.
Youths are especially affected, notably males. From July 2010 – July 2011, about 10% were targeted, including about 3% of children aged 12 – 17.
About 6% in this age category experienced psychological trauma during the same time frame.
Violence happens often at checkpoints. Over 13% of males are affected. Women face sexual harassment. However, street violence is most common, affecting about 20% of youths aged 18 – 29. About 29% of males are exposed.
In addition, physical and/or psychological violence can occur anywhere, including at home. Over 14% of youths are affected. In educational institutions, 9% suffer psychological trauma. Over 20% experience physical violence.
Other physical and/or psychological violence is committed by one family member against another. Women are mostly affected. So are children witnessing it. Elderly females more than males experience it through “health negligence.”
PCBS defines violence as acts causing or threatening “physical, sexual or psychological abuse,” including actions generating fear.
It can also be economic, political, verbal, and in other forms by anyone, including occupiers, settlers, household members or others.
Deprivation of basic rights are also included “such as shelter, food, drink, clothing, education, freedom of movement and loss of self-determination and self security.”
Life in Palestine is harsh and intolerable. Imagine being repressively occupied under a system of institutionalized racist persecution.
As a result, Palestinians have no power over their daily lives. They live in constant fear. They’re collectively punished and economically exploited. Free expression, assembly, movement and other basic rights are denied.
Gazans are besieged. West Bank and East Jerusalem residents face militarized state terror, cantonized separation, closed borders, imposed curfews, roadblocks, checkpoints, electric fences, Separation Wall land theft and isolation, neighborhood incursions, other forms of land theft, home destruction, dispossessions, targeted assassinations, mass arrests, torture, and virtually all other forms of abuse and cruel indignities.
Crimes against humanity occur daily. Troops, tanks, heavy armor, and other militarized equipment enter neighborhoods dozens of times weekly. Middle-of-the-night arrests are made, including children young as 10 treated no differently than adults.
Under siege, Gazans experience regular air, ground, and sea attacks, as well as suffocating isolation.
Throughout the Territories, mostly civilians suffer horrifically. Blamed for the crimes of their occupier, they’re criminalized for their faith, ethnicity and presence in a land Israel wants only for Jews.
Their durability and redoubtable spirit alone let them persist and survive, no matter Israel’s unspeakable daily terror, violence and slow-motion genocide.
Discriminatory Hardships Israeli Arabs Endure
About 20% of Israeli citizens are Arabs. However, the chasm between Jews and Muslims is enormous.
Jews alone have rights, though increasingly fewer of them in one of the industrialized world’s most unequal societies.
In contrast, Arabs are marginalized, exploited, isolated, and treated like fifth column threats.
In November, the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights published a Rawyah Handaklo report titled, “Security Inspections, Racial Profiling, and the Violation of the Basic Rights of Arab Citizens of Israel,” saying:
Institutionalized racism is virulent inside Israel. Arabs aren’t wanted. At best they’re tolerated, just barely at times, and at others not at all.
For example, “Arab students, academics and ordinary citizens often undergo a humiliating physical inspection when they leave the country through the airport, sea ports or land border crossings” because they’re “Israeli citizens of Arab nationality.”
Israeli security services and other authorities classify them as “dangerous,” based on racial, ethnic and national characteristics.
Arabs are also affected entering commercial centers, tourist sites, entertainment facilities, workplaces, educational facilities, and other locations where security inspections may occur at entrances.
Arabs anywhere, including on streets, buses, in cars, work areas, schools, mosques, open spaces, and other locations can be accosted, harassed, interrogated, and racially denied basic rights.
From 1948 – 1966, Israeli Arabs lived under militarized rule to monitor and control their lives repressively. In his Knesset speeches, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion called Israeli Arabs more threatening than “the Arab enemy outside.”
Nothing changed since then to today. “Over the years, the State has maintained a light hand on the trigger in all matters regarding Arab citizens.”
Under Israel’s stringent security system, there’s “no real possibility of concealing one’s national and ethnic background.” In public, especially when traveling, Arabs are rigorously monitored, often interrogated, and subjected to humiliating harassment and indignities as common practice. Questions and other procedures pertain to security.
Arabs simply aren’t trusted, liked or wanted. “Racial profiling has one end result: violation of the rights of Arab citizens of Israel.” As a result, Jews and Arabs face mirror opposite treatment.
Former Israeli Supreme Court Chief Justice Aharon Barak addressed the right to equality in one of his rulings, saying:
“The need to ensure equality is not natural to man. It is based on considerations of justice and decency. One who asks for recognition of his rights needs to recognize the rights of the others to ask for a similar recognition.”
“The need to maintain equality is vital to society and to the social pact it is built upon. Equality protects the regime from arbitrariness. Therefore, there is no greater destructive element in a society than the sense her subjects have that they are being treated with discrimination.”
“The sense of inequality is one of the most difficult feelings. It harms the forces that unify society. It harms a person’s self identity.”
Racially profiling its own citizens is only exceeded by daily Gaza/West Bank/East Jerusalem state terror against a people whose only offense is not being Jewish.
Decades of state terror and institutionalized racism earned Israel its pariah status.
Inaction by world leaders makes them complicit in Israel’s worst crimes and discriminatory practices.
As a result, Palestinians and Israeli Arabs have been on their own for decades. Nonetheless, they’re buoyed by growing millions everywhere who stand with them for justice.
It’s coming. It’s just a matter of time.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.