- Two new reports provide more evidence besides volumes
- 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)
- 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
- 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
- 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
- PCBS defines violence as acts causing or threatening
"physical, sexual or psychological abuse," including actions
- 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
- 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
- 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
- "The sense of inequality is one of the most difficult
feelings. It harms the forces that unify society. It harms a person's self
- 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
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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