Is Israel and Palestine the next great South African apartheid?

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Israeli’s newest policy against the Palestinians involving segregation through Palestinian-only buses has brought thoughts that Israel and Palestine will be the next great apartheid similar to the apartheid in South Africa. In defining the classification of apartheid, this involves political, legal, and economic policy that discriminates specific groups of people (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/apartheid). In this newly imposed act upon the Palestinian people, the issue has created quite the stir between both sides of the issue. Palestinians and Israeli rights activists are calling this action on the part of the Israeli government both racist and unfair segregation, while supporters of the issue as well as the Transport Ministry call the policy an improvement to service and not racially backed.
According to Haaretz, which is an Israeli paper, the bus lines are created in response to “relieve the distress of the Palestinian workers”. However, many people inside and outside of Israel feel that this is not the case. Speculation is that this change in transportation stems in response to Israeli settler’s recent claims that Palestinian passengers are a “security risk” http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/03/04/israels-palestinian-only-buses-draw-accusations-of-segregation-apartheid/). While this policy is currently not mandatory and the Ministry of Transport is not authorized to prevent any Palestinian passengers from using whichever public transport services they choose, many believe that two possibilities will come from this policy in the future. First, many speculate that by creating this non mandatory policy the Ministry of Transport will first see how the operations go and if successful will make the policy mandatory creating permanent segregation and further escalating the conflict between the two. On the other hand, many Palestinians and critics of the Israeli plan believe that while the policy is not mandatory if a Palestinian boarded a regular bus line, Israeli police at checkpoints in the West Bank would remove them and order them to use the new Palestinian-only lines (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/03/20133414315434321.html). As stated by bus drivers and witnesses at checkpoints, individuals who ride the regular line “mixed lines” will be asked to leave the bus and in some cases have been removed from the line at checkpoints by police even though the police deny any claims of doing so (http://972mag.com/photos-israels-new-palestinian-only-segregated-bus-lines/67068/).
In my personal opinion, I believe that this policy is just one more attempt by the Israelis to further segregate and suppress the Palestinians. While supporters and the Ministry of Transport state that they have created this to alleviate the overcrowding and created this line as a non-mandatory policy, I feel that this is not the case. By enacting this policy, Israel is further extending their dominance over the Palestinians both politically and legally. Through making this policy non mandatory on the legal surface, this allows the government to claim that they are not infringing on individual human rights when in reality they are doing it behind the scenes. To further enforce that this is a mandatory policy behind the scenes, both drivers as well a police are not only pressuring Palestinians to leave, but they are also in some cases personally removing these individuals. According to other circulating news articles and opponents position on the issue, it has been stated that “a Palestinian Rosa Parks is needed to insist upon sitting on Jewish bus lines, (someone) who won’t surrender to discrimination(“http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/05/17194265-a-palestinian-rosa-parks-is-needed-israels-segregated-buses-spark-outrage?lite). Similarly, in my own belief I feel that this is needed to show both the Israeli government as well as the people of Israel and Palestine that this segrigation and suppression of Palestinian individuals will not be allowed as well as will not continue to go any further. In addition, this action will also show that the Palestinians are willing to stand up for their rights and will test the Israeli government against forms of policy that are unjust.

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