Palestinian ‘freedom riders’: the protest we’ve been waiting for?

Comments (10)
  1. Channah Barkhordari says:

    I wholeheartedly agree that non-violent expression is absolutely a step forward, and the direction we are all hoping these issues will take. But that will require something wholly different than this protest, which sadly chooses a bus as its symbol when those same checkpoints were the sole measures bringing an end to Palestinian terror in the form of bus bombings ten years ago. What it will require is a generation of young Palestinians ready to demand the same services Israel provides to its citizens from their own government: education, democracy, employment opportunities, and yes, public transportation. For the present, when they are ready to hold their leaders to a standard that has an unequivocal intolerance for the kind of terrorism that makes checkpoints necessary, then they can move forward and make those demands in human rights.

  2. I agree with all of those recommendations. The PA really must start demonstrating that it can be an independent, democratic government that can take care of its people.

    However, even that would not make the change that these protesters seek to affect. The route of this bus will always be under Israeli authority as it runs from a settlement to Jerusalem. No matter how good the PA gets, it will be incapable of transporting Palestinians to and from [most of] Jerusalem. This peaceful protest is a good way of telling Israel that they are ready to comply with all Israeli laws except for the discriminatory ones. I just hope that these views are representative of the greater Palestinian population.

  3. Orly Zirinsky says:

    Wow, i am glad they are taking these kinds of protests instead of just violence-yet-one difference is-the reason they are checked at the border-is not racial they are not allowed to cross without being checked out of fear from suicide bombers-simple as that. Can anyone find a creative solution for this?

  4. Channah Barkhordari says:

    It’s a point well taken, Jacob, but it assumes that no matter what the PA will never prove themselves trustworthy enough for Israelis to allow Palestinians to have their own bus route in and out of all parts of Jerusalem; and that is where I think we miss the point. Palestinian society should be advocating an abdication of terror from their own leaders first, so that eventually Israel will have no reason to make distinctions between citizens and non-Citizens, and can trust their neighbors. The concept of limited mobility based on citizenship is nothing new to the world; here, the United States and Canada don’t allow just anyone to cross the border, and that has little to do with security and merely with quotas. The larger issues need to be addressed, and then Israel can coordinate with Palestinian leadership on cooperation over transportation.