New Israeli regulation makes justice for Palestinians and migrant workers more difficult, “carries shades of apartheid”
First, some background on the new regulation from Tomer Zarchin in Haaretz (click through via Google):
Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman has signed on regulations that require plaintiffs to cite their Israeli ID numbers or foreign passport numbers on the documents they file. Although the ministry said the cases of individuals such as migrant workers, Palestinian residents of the territories and stateless individuals who have no passport will be referred to a registrar or judge, civil rights activists say the new regulation will bar those without foreign passports from filing lawsuits in Israeli courts.
And now, Ofer Shelach, the defence correspondent for Ma’ariv, Israel’s third largest newspaper: (emphasis mine)
Many people in Israel and in the land it controls don’t possess either an Israeli ID card or a foreign passport: Palestinians who don’t have a Palestinian Authority passport and migrant workers in Israel [...] Our justice system will be closed to tens if not hundreds of thousands of people who live under Israeli control [...] The mood in Israel began to change in the last 20 years: The declared aim to be a “light unto the nations’ has been replaced by a feeling of victimhood justifying everything: “justice” and “morality” became something that is ours and only ours, or something we must do only because the world is evil. IDF commanders talk about combat morality as if it were something we were committed to in the past war, but in the next war we will be much harder; the judicial system has gotten to such a point that there is no choice but to see it as carrying shades of Apartheid. It’s a terrible word, I know, but that’s what you call a regime where some people have the right to defend themselves in court and others don’t.
Massive words, especially from a senior reporter in Ma’ariv, which tends to lean right. But it’s not difficult to define a country that makes it so difficult (according to the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, quoted in the Haaretz article above) for Palestinians to seek justice against immoral Israeli actions in territory under its control/administration/occupation as apartheid. We wouldn’t accept it in any other country, so why should we in Israel? It’s eerily reminiscent of Arizona’s SB 1070 legislation, signed more than two years ago.
(English translation of Shelach article from Americans for Peace Now’s daily news review, News Nosh)