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06 May: Tair Kaminer starts her fifth spell in gaol. Send messages of support via Reuven Kaminer

04 May: Against the resort to denigration of Israel’s critics


23 Dec: JfJfP policy statement on BDS

14 Nov: Letter to the Guardian about the Board of Deputies

11 Nov: UK ban on visiting Palestinian mental health workers

20 Oct: letter in the Guardian

13 Sep: Rosh Hashanah greetings

21 Aug: JfJfP on Jeremy Corbyn

29 July: Letter to Evening Standard about its shoddy reporting

24 April: Letter to FIFA about Israeli football

15 April: Letter re Ed Miliband and Israel

11 Jan: Letter to the Guardian in response to Jonathan Freedland on Charlie Hebdo


15 Dec: Chanukah: Celebrating the miracle of holy oil not military power

1 Dec: Executive statement on bill to make Israel the nation state of the Jewish people

25 Nov: Submission to All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism

7 Sept: JfJfP Executive statement on Antisemitism

3 Aug: Urgent disclaimer

19 June Statement on the three kidnapped teenagers

25 April: Exec statement on Yarmouk

28 Mar: EJJP letter in support of Dutch pension fund PGGM's decision to divest from Israeli banks

24 Jan: Support for Riba resolution

16 Jan: EJJP lobbies EU in support of the EU Commission Guidelines, Aug 2013–Jan 2014


29 November: JfJfP, with many others, signs a "UK must protest at Bedouin expulsion" letter

November: Press release, letter to the Times and advert in the Independent on the Prawer Plan

September: Briefing note and leaflet on the Prawer Plan

September: JfJfP/EJJP on the EU guidelines with regard to Israel

14th June: JfJfP joins other organisations in protest to BBC

2nd June: A light unto nations? - a leaflet for distribution at the "Closer to Israel" rally in London

24 Jan: Letter re the 1923 San Remo convention

18 Jan: In Support of Bab al-Shams

17 Jan: Letter to Camden New Journal about Veolia

11 Jan: JfJfP supports public letter to President Obama

Comments in 2012 and 2011



You have to be blind not to see apartheid in West Bank

Traveling through the occupied West Bank on an Israelis-only road

Video of apartheid roads in the West Bank

By Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss
August 12, 2012

I took this video last week from the back seat of a cab traveling from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv on a highway through the occupied West Bank. I was struck by the architecture of apartheid: the complete separation of one group — the Israelis allowed on the Israelis-only road — from Palestinians, the villages we pass through whose residents are not allowed access to a road on their own lands.

The extent of the barrier was staggering to me. The video culminates at 3:15 with views of Ofer Prison. I’ve been to several demonstrations at Ofer, but never seen it from the apartheid road.

You will notice that the cabdriver goes in for a lot of racist characterizations of Palestinians as ill-educated and incapable of work. I wish I could say his attitudes are atypical.

Here is a B’Tselem report on Route 443 that describes much of the architecture you see in this video.

Background on the restriction of movement
By B’Tselem
First published January 2011, updated July 15, 2012

Since the early 1990s, Israel has restricted Palestinian movement in the West Bank. Prior to the second intifada, the restrictions were primarily intended to prevent Palestinians from entering Israel and East Jerusalem. During the second intifada, Israel established dozens of checkpoints and hundreds of physical obstructions inside the West Bank, including dirt mounds, concrete blocks, and trenches, and began construction of the Separation Barrier and its crossing gates. These restrictions are unprecedented in the history of the Israeli occupation in terms of the scope, duration, and severity of harm to the daily lives of Palestinians living in the West Bank.

In 2009, Israel reduced the number of checkpoints and obstructions in the West Bank, but as of February 2012, B’Tselem still counted 98 checkpoints in the West Bank, including:

16 military posts in the area of Hebron in which Israeli settlements have been established (H-2), which restrict Palestinian movement into and out of the area.

41 positions serve as the last checkpoint before entry into Israel, although most are located a few kilometers east of the Green Line or the entrance to Jerusalem.

Four posts restrict access for Palestinians to the Jordan Valley – Tayasir, Hamra, Ma’ale Efrayim and Yitav. The first two are staffed permanently and the army does not allow Palestinians to cross in vehicles unless their ID cards list them as residents of the Jordan Valley. The other two were staffed only intermittently during 2011, but Israel has thus far refrained from officially announcing that they are open to Palestinian movement, hence only a few Palestinian vehicles cross at these two points. The security value of these restrictions to Israel is unclear since Palestinian vehicles are allowed to enter the Jordan Valley and Jericho, on condition that they use alternate routes that are much longer.

In addition, according to data from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), between January and May 2012 there were also 450 unmanned physical barriers – mounds of dirt, concrete blocks, gates, and road segments closed to Palestinian traffic. There are also, in May 2012 some 256 temporary checkpoints erected in the West Bank for a few hours at a time, without permanent infrastructure at those locations. In March 2012, 340 such checkpoint were counted.

Along the route of the Separation Barrier there are, as of the end of 2011, 60 agricultural gates allowing Palestinians very limited access to areas west of the barrier, defined as closed military zones. Twelve of the gates are opened daily for a few hours, and the others are opened only during certain agricultural seasons.

These restrictions reflect Israel’s approach over the years that freedom of movement is not a right, but a privilege that Israel may grant or deny as it sees fit.

The restrictions still in place in the West Bank impede Palestinian access to areas where Israel is interested in retaining control, such as East Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley, enclaves west of the Separation Barrier and settlements in the heart of Hebron. These restrictions prevent Palestinians from using some of the main roads and highways in the West Bank – including parts of Route 60 and Route 443. Settlers travel freely along these roads, while Palestinians are shunted to longer routes using side roads.

In the areas where Israel still maintains restrictions on Palestinian movement, the restrictions create a situation of constant uncertainty for Palestinians regarding their ability to carry out everyday activities, such as going to work or school in the nearby town, marketing farm produce, obtaining medical treatment, or visiting relatives. Many actions also require complex bureaucratic processes, at the end of which the Civil Administration often denies the request.

In addition, Israel continues to prevent Palestinians from traveling between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in almost all cases, and makes it very difficult for West Bank Palestinians to enter Israel or to travel abroad.

International human rights law requires Israel to respect the right of residents of the Occupied Territories to move about freely in the occupied territory. This right is recognized in Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and in Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Furthermore, international humanitarian law requires Israel, in its capacity as the occupier, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the local residents, and to maintain, to the extent possible, normal living conditions.

Freedom of movement is also important because it is a prerequisite for the exercise of other rights, which are set forth in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Among these are the right to work (Article 6), the right to an adequate standard of living (Article 11), the right to health (Article 12), the right to education (Article 13), and the right to protection of family life (Article 10).

Israel is entitled to protect itself by using various means, including restrictions on Palestinian movement, when these are absolutely necessary in order to meet military needs. However, given the breadth and duration of the restrictions it has imposed and the resulting grave harm they have caused to the local population in all aspects of life, Israel’s policy of restrictions on movement flagrantly breaches its legal obligations.

Furthermore, Israel’s policy is blatant discrimination based on ethno-national origin since these restrictions apply only to Palestinians. Jewish residents are permitted to move about freely in areas where Palestinian movement is restricted. Thus, Israel ‘s policy violates the right to equality that is prescribed in all the human rights conventions to which Israel is party.

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