New Entry Law Is a Reminder That Palestinians Live in Israel’s Prison

Bethlehem checkpoint
Palestinian workers stand in line next to a portion of the separation wall, waiting to cross through the checkpoint from Bethlehem into Israel. (Miriam Alster / Flash90)

The reality in the West Bank is one that resembles a prison, where Israel controls the law, the security, who can leave, and now who can visit.

By Noam Sheizaf / Local Call via +972 Magazine
March 7, 2017

There is no peace process, nor is there a real discussion over one state or two states. Even discussions on whether Israel is an apartheid state have become intellectual fodder for Jews and leftists. The reality is one that resembles a prison, and the prisoners will continue to be held by force . . . .

The Knesset passed a law Monday night denying entry visas or residency rights to foreign nationals who call for boycotts against Israel or the settlements. The law won’t have much of an effect on entry into Israel proper, but rather will mostly affect those trying to enter the West Bank — a solid reminder that the ban is yet another example of the way Israel holds Palestinians prisoners. After all, one can assume that most people who enter the Palestinian territories oppose the settlements or support some version of the boycott.

Because Israel controls every point of entry into areas under Palestinian control in the West Bank, Palestinians cannot leave (without a permit) or come back (without a permit). With the passage of the law, they are no longer allowed to have visitors. In other words: they are prisoners, and these restrictions are just the tip of the iceberg.

Like a prison commissary, Israel allows the majority of the prisoners to manage their own affairs through the Palestinian Authority. This arrangement is maintained as long as the prisoners don’t act up, and on the condition that they agree to security coordination with Israel. Even if it so desired, the Palestinian Authority could not actually grant Palestinians their rights. Security coordination is a small bonus that decreases the pressure on Palestinian society, given in exchange for Palestinians accepting their status as perpetual prisoners.

In the meanwhile, Israel exports the knowledge, skills, and technology it has acquired through the exerting of control over humans against their will to the rest of the world. These are the kind of goods every leader wants to have — especially with the direction the world is currently going.

[Read the full article here . . . ]

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