Israel’s Bus Service and Liberal Rage

March 5, 2013 9:31 pm 6 comments

This is the bus struck by a suicide bomber in Israel on January 29, 2004, killing 11 and wounding 50. Photo: wiki commons.

Those of you who prefer to get your news about Israel from somewhat more reliable sources than “Haaretz” or the Lede blog of the New York Times, could have missed a new Israeli atrocity du jour this week – namely, the addition of two bus lines that run from the Arab areas in western Samaria to Tel-Aviv via the Eyal crossing point near the Palestinian city of Kalkiliya. The predictable crowd of liberal “friends of Israel” and foreign-sponsored “human rights defenders” within the Jewish state erupted in predictable rage, protesting “the apartheid” against the Palestinians and blaming “the settlements.” The self-appointed prophet of Israeli doom Jeffrey Goldberg, whom the New York Times insists on calling, rather hilariously, “a staunch defender of Israel,” pronounced Israel guilty of some not entirely clear “double standard” over Judea and Samaria and demanded on behalf of Palestinians either “a state, or a vote in Israel.” The pro-Palestinian surrender movement “Peace Now” called for “a Palestinian Rosa Parks to sit on Jewish bus lines.”

First, note the last statement. America’s historical obsession with issues of race and the history of the greatest democracy on Earth overcoming the shameful disease of bigotry aren’t really common knowledge in Israel. By conjuring up the ghost of Rosa Parks “Peace Now” seeks not to advance any legitimate internal debate about the treatment of Palestinians or the future of Judea and Samaria, but to besmirch Israel in the eyes of millions of good and naïve men and women all over the world who are potty-trained from an early age to abhor racism instinctively and know almost nothing about the reality of Arab-Jew relations.

It is a criminal waste of space to point out that the liberal rage over the new bus service (provided BY Israel FOR Palestinians coming to work IN Israel) was completely baseless. All relevant Israeli authorities denied immediately that they are seeking to abolish the Palestinians’ right to use all existing bus lines. The Israeli Transportation Ministry reminded those who wanted to listen that until now, Palestinian workers had to use local taxis which cost them about 40 NIS one way, while the new bus fare will be between 5 and 11 NIS, depending on distance.

Moreover, the whole problem has only arisen because over the last years Benjamin Netanyahu’s “right-winger” government increased the number of permits for Palestinians to work in Israel. The Jewish State has managed quite well without Palestinian labor, and Israel is not obliged to allow Palestinians free access to its labor market. In fact, the influx of Palestinian workers is and has always been detrimental both to the Israeli wage-earners in the lower brackets and the technological efficiency in the affected industries – especially agriculture and construction. The consent of Israel to take on board the surplus of the Palestinian labor force was a freebie which Israel granted to the “moderate” Palestinian leaders Salam Fayyad and Mahmoud Abbas to prop them up, and to compensate for their conspicuous failure to push through an adequate program of job creation, despite Israeli measures to allow freedom of movement of people and goods throughout the PA territory. Instead the Palestinian “moderates,” acutely aware of their complete lack of legitimacy, prefer to keep their people occupied by anti-Israeli provocations – first in UN and now closer to home.

The most interesting part of this mini-scandal has to do not with official Israeli policy, but with complaints that in some cases, the Palestinians were forced to leave the buses because Jewish passengers or drivers demanded that they leave. Those incidents are being paraded as evidence of ingrained Jewish racism, because those who report them take particular care not to provide any context. Jews are evil, arrogant and violent; Palestinians are poor, meek, and submissive. If, after seeing and reading those reports, you don’t feel an urge to burn some Israeli flags, you must be an AIPAC stooge.

The truth is, of course, quite simple. There’s no elaborate race theory behind the Jewish desire to avoid any contact with Palestinians (by the way, right now it remains the only drive behind the support Israelis give to the concept of a Palestinian state). There’s only fear – a well-justified product of several years of horrifying bloodshed, unleashed by the Muslim Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza against Jewish civilians on both sides of “the Green Line.” While the minority of Palestinians committed war crimes against Israelis, the majority of Palestinians gave them their full-throated support. For all those years of indiscriminate killing of Jews, there was no public protest in “Palestine” or among Palestinians abroad against the strategy of “resistance” which recruits women and adolescents to become murderers and suicide bombers and forces, among others, Palestinian workers to strike at their Jewish employers and co-workers and Palestinian patients to try to murder their doctors.

It wasn’t always like that. In 1991, I remember travelling on an Israeli “Egged” bus from Jerusalem to the Golan Heights. Travelling along the Dead Sea road, the bus stopped at a station in Jericho, took on board some locals and proceeded North via the Jordan Valley. Even after a few years of the “first Intifada,” at the height of “occupation,” any animosity towards Arabs was absent. Even today, the same spirit might be observed at the Jerusalem light rail, which has linked Arab and Jewish neighborhoods together (and was boycotted for it by the usual crowd of “friends of Israel”). Only when it became increasingly clear that almost any Palestinian, regardless of age and sex, can transform from a seemingly normal person into a ravening homicidal beast, did the Jews start to fear – and, yes, hate – their former neighbors. When ordinary, functioning people can butcher small Jewish children and their parents without compunction or remorse, and their society and authorities have no meaningful objections to make, that can force you into some unfortunate but well-grounded generalizations out of concern for your own safety.

The bleeding-heart liberal critics of Israel – from MERETZ leader and MK Zahava Gal-On to Jeffrey Goldberg – know this, of course, but they prefer, in essence, to blame the victim. According to the Left, since the settlement enterprise is in itself a monstrous crime against Palestinians, the proper way to ensure that Jews are not harmed is to remove them from “Palestinian land” altogether. Since, according to this view, the Palestinians are waging a just war against Israel and the Jews in settlements are war criminals and offenders against the cause of peace, the security of the latter troubles the liberals not a one tiny bit.

Today, to enforce the liberal dream of Palestinians and Jews sharing the same bus service will get Jewish passengers and drivers killed. This, in the liberal eyes, will be a small price to pay to convince the rest of the Jewish settlers to leave so “justice for the Palestinians” will prevail.

6 Comments

  • Personally I find it a stupid and counter productive move, especially from a security point of view.

    A- It will enforce the stance of those who believe that Israel is an apartheid state.
    B- Palestinian suicide bombers have been boarding our buses disguising as Jews, in fact if they see Arabs on the bus they might have a second thought whereas they wont hesitate blowing themselves to hell if it was full of Jews only. In another word we’ll become an easier target.

    • Jerry Hersch

      Personally I find walking past those bearded guys in long coats in Summer suspicious..especially those that mumble and grumble under their breath..obviously angry- and who knows whats hidden under those wraps..
      But I’m sure the profilers look at Everyone

      • when grumbling under someones breath kills dozens at a time your statement will rise from the bigotted cesspool it currently resides in. Until that time all it does is show you hate jews.

    • Those aren’t the same buses. The traffic from Palestinian areas is for special purposes, the civilian buses from Ariel continue to be mixed. And in the past, suicide bombers detonated themselves regardless of Arab presence.

  • Jerry Hersch

    You make some good points Arik..But could you please explain
    ” in the eyes of millions of good and naïve men and women all over the world who are potty-trained from an early age to abhor racism instinctively….”

    Most people are marginally acquainted with a few issues to which they bring their prejudices..naive or semi-ignorant at best..we all wallow

    But “potty-trained from an early age to abhor racism” ??Would you have it another way ?? Perhaps to learn remorsefully in senility..

  • Fear inflates passion, explanation deflates fear, but to outsiders it is always easier to grasp the racist canard despite evidence to the contrary.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Book Reviews Opinion Robert Gates’ Memoir is a Jaw-Dropping Read (REVIEW)

    Robert Gates’ Memoir is a Jaw-Dropping Read (REVIEW)

    Former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates’s memoir follows the classic form, telling the story of his years at the Pentagon during the Bush and Obama administrations. He focuses on what he did and experienced personally as secretary, neither writing a broad policy treatise nor recounting the entire history of the administrations in which he served. In so doing, Gates provides penetrating insights about the inner workings of US national security decision-making. Had I been George W. Bush, I would [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews The Media, Israel, and Anti-Semitism (REVIEW)

    The Media, Israel, and Anti-Semitism (REVIEW)

    Pressing Israel: Media Bias Exposed from A-Z by Lee Bender and Jerome Verlin (Pavilion Press, Philadelphia, Pa. 2013) Sophocles said, “What people believe prevails over truth,” Pressing Israel: Media Bias Exposed from A-Z is ideal for the arm chair reader who would like a basic grasp of the terms used in the mainstream media’s presentation of the Arab-Israeli situation as is reported today. This is a book whose time has come. This is a book where the reader gains a [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs William Shatner’s One Man Show Keeps Him in the Limelight (INTERVIEW)

    William Shatner’s One Man Show Keeps Him in the Limelight (INTERVIEW)

    JNS.org – On Thursday, audiences around the country can feel what it is like to be William Shatner, the Jewish actor best known for his portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk on “Star Trek.” Shatner’s one-man show “Shatner’s World”—which was on Broadway and toured Canada, Australia, and the United States—will be presented in nearly 700 movie theaters nationwide for one night only on April 24. Sponsored by Fathom Events and Priceline.com (for whom Shatner has famously served as a pitchman), [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews The Origins of Palestinian Refugee Relief Efforts (REVIEW)

    The Origins of Palestinian Refugee Relief Efforts (REVIEW)

    Romirowsky and Joffe’s book Religion, Politics and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief is an important volume for those interested in truly understanding the origins of the Palestinian refugee issue. Utilizing a treasure trove of newly released documents, the authors link UNRWA’s (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine) origins to the Quakers/American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). For those readers who thought they knew most of the Middle East story, Romirowsky and Joffe’s version provides another twist. The authors meticulously [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports Israeli Soccer Team Faces Prospect of International Ban

    Israeli Soccer Team Faces Prospect of International Ban

    The Israel National soccer team could be facing a World Cup ban, and other soccer sanctions, unless it alleviates travel restrictions and increases field access for Palestinian players and coaches. The head of the Palestinian Football Association is pushing for international soccer’s governing body, the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), to issue a ban on Israel competing internationally, claiming Israel’s restrictive travel for Palestinians is equivalent to a form of oppression. “It’s not only the athletes,” Jibril Rajoub explains. [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews Jewish Author of ‘Eat to Live’ Dishes on Health Care, Nutrition, Disease Prevention

    Jewish Author of ‘Eat to Live’ Dishes on Health Care, Nutrition, Disease Prevention

    JNS.org – While the national debate on “Obamacare” rages on past the recent March 31 sign-up deadline, bestselling Jewish author Dr. Joel Fuhrman says the “current disease care model of what we call ‘health care’ cannot possibly be sustained.” “There is simply not enough money available to support a system in which the lion’s share of expenditures is devoted to acute care, with virtually nothing being spent on preventive medicine, i.e. health care,” Fuhrman says in an interview. “To make [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity ‘Tears of Color’ Art Exhibit Shows Struggles of Israelis With Eating Disorders

    ‘Tears of Color’ Art Exhibit Shows Struggles of Israelis With Eating Disorders

    JNS.org – “This is how I want to be—without fear. Independent. I want to be like a bird. I want to spread my wings.” So reads part of the description beneath one of the 30 paintings on display until the end of May at the ZOA House in Tel Aviv. The collection represents the first-ever art exhibit of its kind: an exhibit created entirely by Israelis in treatment for eating disorders. Dubbed “Tears of Color,” based on one of the [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews Overprotective or Loving? Daughters Reflect on Jewish Mothers in New Anthology

    Overprotective or Loving? Daughters Reflect on Jewish Mothers in New Anthology

    JNS.org – Rachel Ament noticed that she and her friends often shared humorous anecdotes that were typically variations on a theme: overprotective, worrying Jewish moms who smothered them with love. That included Ament’s own mother. “My mom is probably every Jewish stereotype scrunched into one,” the Washington, DC, resident tells JNS.org. “At the root of all these stereotypical, worrying, overprotective moms, is love.” A social media writer for Capital One, as well as a freelance writer, Ament decided about three years [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.