Oy! Breaking the Silence! Why do you Lie About This Now?
Breaking the Silence wants you to think that Israel is an apartheid state. How do I know that? Because they sent out an email to subscribers about the last elections, bemoaning the fact that 30,000 Arab residents of Hebron’s H2 sector could not vote in Israel’s last election while their Jewish neighbours did. First what they wrote; then my comments pointing out their lies:
In total, 215 votes were cast [in Hebron in the Israeli national election]; every one of them by Jewish Israelis. The 220,000 Palestinians in Hebron – 30,000 of whom live in H2, the area under direct Israeli municipal and military control – were not asked their opinion.
They went on to say that nobody knows what the next government will look like. But they do know that:
… when a group of people has no power to vote you out, you can do whatever you want with them without any fear of the electoral consequences. That’s the essence of occupation: military rule over a civilian population who have no choice in the matter.
We know, because we were the ones sent to enforce it. And we know that things must change.
What Breaking the Silence apparently does not know — and why should they, because they do not care about details or facts — is that the Arab residents of H2 are not Israeli citizens but citizens of the Palestinian Authority along with all the other Arab citizens of Hebron in H1. In other words, all Arabs who live in Hebron vote in the Palestinian Authority elections and not in Israeli elections.
Therefore, when Breaking the Silence cries at the injustice that Arabs did not vote in this last election but do not tell you that the Arabs are not Israeli citizens according to the Oslo Agreement signed by their late leader, Yassir Arafat, they are lying and making you think Israel is an apartheid state. Do I need to write that again? That the Arabs of Hebron do not vote in Israeli elections because they are citizens of the Palestinian Authority and not Israel? That the Arabs of Hebron vote in elections that take place in the Palestinian Authority? Do you need to hear that again?
And mentioning the “220,000 Palestinians in Hebron” is totally irrelevant even to their own argument regarding H2. They just add that number for effect.
Let me offer further clarification and point out another misconception that Breaking the Silence wants you to have. They write above that the Arabs of H2 are “under direct Israeli municipal and military control”. However, according to the Hebron Protocols of 1997, H2 Arabs are under Arab municipal auspices and not Israeli rule. The relevant paragraph in the agreement states that:
In Area H-2, the civil powers and responsibilities will be transferred to the Palestinian side, except for those relating to Israelis and their property, which shall continue to be exercised by the Israeli Military Government.
This means that all Arab citizens in both parts of Hebron, H1 and H2, vote in Hebron municipal elections and in their most recent municipal election they elected a former terrorist as mayor. That means that the Arabs of H2 are not under Israeli municipal or military control. Israel controls the checkpoints between H1 and H2 and patrols H2 and the Israeli security forces work in conjunction with the PA security forces who operate in H1 to maintain order. As long as the Arabs do not try to kill Jews, the Israeli military will not have anything to do with them.
Just to be clear, the Arabs’ Jewish neighbours in H2 do not vote for the Hebron mayor and yet, as residents of H2, they are under the umbrella of municipal responsibilities of the mayor they did not vote for.
But go ahead, Breaking the Silence….keep on lying about Hebron and distorting the truth so that your gullible audience believes that Hebron’s commercial center is made up of one street that is now off limits to Arabs and that Israel does not let Arabs living alongside Jews in Hebron vote in Israeli elections. And tell me, why do you want people to believe Israel is an apartheid state? Does that do you any good other than keep your NGO coffers filled with European funds?
Now look at another distortion. Here is the same message they sent in an email, then posted on the Facebook page that has since been taken down and now available on YouTube. They write that Ahel does not get to vote. Ahel lives in the Jordan Valley and not in Hebron. But this is still the same issue — Ahel does not get to vote in Israeli elections because Ahel is a citizen of the Palestinian Authority and votes in the PA elections. This is not apartheid. Are you Canadian and want to vote in American elections, or a French citizen and want to vote in elections in The Netherlands? Same deal. You vote where you are a citizen. End of story.
My appreciation to Yishai Fleisher, Spokesman for the Hebron Jewish Community, and to Yosef Hartuv of Kiryat Arba, for contributing to the accuracy of my statements here.
Feature Image Credit: screenshot from the Breaking the Silence Facebook page.