Saturday, March 4, 2017

Vibrant Apartheid Israel

From the horse's mouth, aka Assaf Harel of the truth-to-power Israeli TV program, Goodnight with Assaf Harel, Wake up & smell the apartheid (2/3/17):

"If you look at our life in Israel, it's pretty great. Yes, it's expensive, and we're far from earning what we'd like. Clearly, the healthcare system could be better, and yes, the politicians could be more impressive and less embarrassing. But if you look at our life from a bird's eye view, we're doing just great. Really. Great weather, great food, great people, great beaches, not bad at all,

"And that's exactly the point - that we're doing great but there are a couple of million people, that we're responsible for, who are in a horrible state - infrastructure, food, healthcare, education. Millions who are living in abject poverty. Gaza is on the verge of plague, and hours on end without electricity or water. Israel controls everything that goes in or out.

"'But they chose Hamas, let them pay for it.' 'Humaneness? What does that have to do with us? What are we, Arab lovers?' Ever since the right wing took power, more and more voices are warning of apartheid. Are you kidding? Apartheid has been here for ages. Ages. It's just that we're on its good side, so it doesn't really bother us. We've been abusing the Palestinians on a daily basis for years, denying them their basic rights. In Judea and Samaria [West Bank], we're taking their lands from them. Once, we used the Jewish National Fund to raise money to buy the lands. Today, we just pass a law saying we can just take their lands and that's it.

"Soldiers shoot stone-throwers because they're a real threat, but if, in Israel, someone throws stones they won't even be charged. Palestinian journalists are put on administrative detention without trial because they wrote something. Every time we have a holiday, they're under closure. God forbid they ruin it for us. For years we've been deepening the hatred, the same hatred that we later complain about in peace talks. 'Why do you incite your children against us? Why don't you teach your children to love us?

"Israel's most impressive innovation, more than any high-tech project or Rafael weapon, is an amazing ability to ignore what is happening mere kilometres away to our neighbours. A whole people, transparent, like it doesn't exist. Not in the news, not online, not on social media, and definitely not in the hearts of the people. Nothing.

"We've got a great country, and great restaurants, and it's fun to travel abroad, just don't tell us what's really happening. We're good, don't bum us out. But there are a few righteous in Sodom. People who see the Matrix and are trying to yell, to let us know what's happening. Maybe we'll wake up. Breaking the Silence, B'Tselem, Yesh Din... "

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