Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Evidence of Israel Being Apartheid

...won't be found on my blog because, having lived here for 21 years, I can tell you that Israel is anything but apartheid. In fact, most people go out of their way to ensure that there is no prejudice shown or expressed.

Almost daily, I ride the Jerusalem light rail and, nearly every day, I see at least one and often several young Arab men (and women) who get on the train and do not pay. The way the system works is that you can buy a plastic "debit" card that you fill with points and then swipe it past the machines. The machine deletes one point and tells you how many are left. It's the honor system...unless you get caught. So regularly, there are inspectors who enter the train along the path and meticulously go person by person. They never go directly to anyone - even if they suspect them of not paying.

Only once did I see a man rise from his seat and rush past the inspector - the man was Jewish and explained he had forgotten to swipe it. Another time, I saw an inspector approach an Arab teenager. As soon as the teenager was asked to present his ticket, he pushed the inspector, walked past to the machine, and swiped his card.

Today, I saw three Arabs who did not pay; yesterday in the evening, I saw one yesterday in the morning I also saw one. A few days ago, I saw a young Arab couple smiling and talking - neither had bothered to pay for their ticket. They traveled only one stop, so I guess they didn't feel they were obliged to pay. When they got off, there was an inspector there, who was about to get on - he asked for their tickets and the couple started arguing. I don't know what happened, as the train pulled out of the station.

Yesterday, on the way home, one stop passed where the train was attacked with tear gas in July. We heard the impact of something (most likely a rock) hitting the side of the train. A woman said she saw two Arabs on the side and had seen one throw something. It hit the window - I can't tell you if it cracked the "rock-proof" glass that is designed to crack but not shatter. Almost every window has at least one area that is cracked on every train I ride.

Over 85 reports of rock throwing have been reported in the last 260 days - and that probably doesn't count ones like yesterday where it was a single rock, ignored by the driver and security.

And through all of these incidents and violence, on almost every train, Arabs safely ride the train from their homes to work and shopping and back again. The streets are full of shoppers now - Jews, Arabs, Christians, residents and tourists. All are safe; all are treated equally; all are respected.

That they do not respect the train or the city in no way effects how they are treated. Despite riots that crippled the train and forced several neighborhoods to be cut off the path (because the Arabs had rioted, burned the tracks, the stations and machines), the track was repaired and the train now runs again through two Arab neighborhoods.

Regularly, the train is attacked as it passes through these two neighborhoods. Jews who want to go to the neighborhood beyond the two Arab ones often get off early and switch to buses rather than risk going through and getting stoned.
“Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Jews
are not under any circumstances”
Cafe in Belgium, July 2014.
(Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism)

A trip to any hospital in Israel - every hospital in Israel, will find Arab nurses, Arab doctors and thousands of Arab patients. Many outside Israel throw around the ridiculous label of apartheid when speaking of Israel.

The use of this term is more a reflection of their ignorance and prejudice than ours. More than 10% of the Israeli parliament consists of Arabs - when, during the dark days of apartheid in South Africa (1948 - 1994).
Wikipedia will tell you that during apartheid rule, "the government segregated education, medical care, beaches, and other public services." Education is not separate in Israel - Arabs attend ALL universities in Israel and are eligible to attend schools in the neighborhoods in which they live, irrespective of whether the neighborhood is predominantly Jewish or Arab. I've already mentioned medical care and other public services and I've often seen Arabs on the beaches and shores, barbecuing just as we were, enjoying the breeze and the beauty, just as we did.
Based on recent anti-Semitic attacks in Germany, Belgium, France and the UK, it is clear that these countries are much more apartheid-minded than Israel. But in all truth, the champions of apartheid in this day and age are the Arabs themselves. Just Google how they treat Jews and Christians who live in their lands...or even their neighborhoods.

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