Palestine invokes apartheid on Obama tour

2013-03-22 07:41

Ramallah - Palestinians sour at Barack Obama's perceived failure to honour their historical struggle have invoked the US civil rights movement and South Africa's apartheid in a bid to win his sympathy.

At a news conference earlier this week, Palestinian MP Mustafa Barghuti said it was clear that the US president would not be visiting the grave of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat when he came to Ramallah on Thursday.

The grave, which is located inside president Mahmud Abbas's Muqataa compound where Obama's helicopter landed on Thursday morning, is frequently on the itinerary of visiting dignitaries.

"I feel very sorry because that means unequal treatment for Palestinians. Regardless of whether (Obama) agrees or disagrees with President Arafat, he is a symbol of the Palestinian people and he was their president," Barghuti said.

"It's another negative gesture, especially given that Obama will visit the grave of Yitzhak Rabin," Barghuti said referring to the Israeli prime minister who signed 1993 Oslo peace accords with Arafat then was shot dead by a Jewish extremist in 1995.

So far, Obama has already toured Israel Museum and seen the Dead Sea Scrolls, and on Friday morning he will visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum and the grave of Theodore Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism.

Barghuti also took aim at the visit to the Israel Museum, saying it contained "stolen materials" from the Palestinian territories, pointing to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

‘Stop apartheid’

Obama had also turned down a request to meet the families of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

"Several families of prisoners asked the US consulate to organise a meeting with President Obama, but he refused, apparently for reasons of protocol," Palestinian prisoner affairs minister Issa Qaraqaa told AFP.

In an op-ed published in Haaretz newspaper, negotiator Nabil Shaath lamented the fact Obama's visit would only last "a few hours" including a stop in Ramallah and a brief visit to Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity on Friday.

The trip "would have been a great opportunity for President Obama to visit more of Palestine and see the current reality 20 years after the beginning of the peace process," he added.

"He would also see segregated roads, just one example of one of the worst combinations possible: Apartheid under a belligerent occupation" - a reference to West Bank roads reserved for Jewish settlers and off-limits to Palestinians.

Invoking the US civil rights movement of the 1960s, he said: "Racial segregation, including that enforced on public transportation, was a dark period in US history. This is happening today in Palestine."

During a demonstration on Wednesday in the southern West Bank city of Hebron calling for Israel to open a key road to Palestinian access, dozens of people donned Obama masks and carried photos of Martin Luther King, with one holding up a banner reading: "Stop Apartheid".

The Palestinian media have even railed over the political dimension of the food Obama will eat on his trip, pointing out that regional dishes he will eat such as tehina and hummus are often claimed as being exclusively Israeli.

"They're serving him hummus, our traditional meal!" railed Ashraf al-Najjar, a 30-year-old demonstrator in Ramallah. "Israel has stolen everything from us, even our food."

  • - 2013-03-22 08:15

    Islam’s supersessionary doctrine catalyzes destruction, oppression and hemorrhaging of Christians in eastern lands. While there were moments of laxity in applying this domination, Islam did not recoil from razing churches in ancient Damascus and slaughtering Christians in the Sub-Saharan plateau, inflicting atrocities in Aleppo or Mesopotamia. A potential genocidal Christianophobia is spreading through Islamic lands. Today there is only one country in the Middle East in which Christian numbers are not declining but continues to increase: Israel. The Jewish State hosts a multitude of Christian creeds, confessions and cultures. Funnily enough the Arabs call Israel an Apartheid state – I see the only apartheid in the Middle East to be the Arab nations themselves. "Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality." MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR

      imraan.chothia.7 - 2013-03-22 08:25


      imraan.chothia.7 - 2013-03-22 08:25


      imraan.chothia.7 - 2013-03-22 08:25


      tebogo.kumalo.3 - 2013-03-22 08:52

      This should be no surprise to the oppressed Palestinians, as the US are pro Israel.

      Avremel Niselow - 2013-03-22 11:10

      No, he just doesn't believe the anti Israel propaganda. There are no separate busses, Palestinians are perfectly entitled to ride Israeli busses, all that happened were that new bus routes were added to enable Palestinians, who previously were unable to take busses to work, due to a lack of suitable routes, to do so.

      Avremel Niselow - 2013-03-22 11:42

      The truth is that you are so consumed by your hatred of Israel, and the West in general, that you continue to believe everything you hear about Israel, no matter how many times the lies are exposed. Think back to the pictures of dead Syrians captioned as Gazans. In this instance though, read this.

      Avremel Niselow - 2013-03-22 17:05

      Well done for addressing my link. Great job!

  • Wikus Erasmus - 2013-03-22 08:18

    Both sides aren't doing themselves any favors.... When have hawks on both sides you won't find peace anytime soon...

  • dave.garth.52 - 2013-03-22 08:31

    How is the Palestine/Israel issue Apartheid? Since when is Israel limiting the rights of Palestine, limiting their movement, disregarding their ownership of land or discriminate based on ethnic lines? Oh wait

      Ari - 2013-03-22 14:10

      Read the facts - not what amerika publishes. A fool is someone who cannot think; a bigot is someone who will not.

      Avremel Niselow - 2013-03-22 14:25

      So where are your "facts" from? Press TV?

  • Lynn Skinner - 2013-03-22 08:38

    Boo hoo. Cry me a river.

  • Peasant McPoor - 2013-03-22 08:44

    Lol- apartheid. I think we should just rewrite history. Apartheid is responsible for WW1, WW2, opium wars, cold war, global warming, the ice age, continental drift, dinosaur extinction, nuclear bombs ha ha

      Fidel Chavista - 2013-03-24 04:44

      Clear cold incisive logic, brilliant!

  • Ernest - 2013-03-22 08:46

    Long live Israel.

      Dave Smith - 2013-03-22 09:39

      agree 100% with you Ernest - when Palestinians start to teach their own children with respect (which excludes brainwashing them in hatred and tying bombs to their stomachs), maybe they will be able to treat others same.

      Avremel Niselow - 2013-03-22 11:11

      "Bully"? The neighboring countries have repeatedly made concerted efforts to destroy Israel.

      Ron Dos - 2013-03-22 13:12

      Hell Dave, not even the ANC does that to their kids!

      Ari - 2013-03-22 14:11

      There is no such place - it is an illegitimate creation.

      Avremel Niselow - 2013-03-22 14:25

      And the award for most irrelevant and ignorant comment goes to Ari.

  • AllcoveredinNinjas - 2013-03-22 09:03

    Interesting when Nazi offshoots call the most liberal and democratic state in the region an Apartheid state especially when Gaza is "Judeinfei" and proudly so .

      Ari - 2013-03-22 14:12

      Israel learned from the Nazis - and are perfecting their ways.

      Fidel Chavista - 2013-03-24 04:46

      The Nazis in their finest hour never oversaw anything on a par with Israel's mindless savagery. If Hitler could have hung around for a while longer, if he could have seen Israel he probably would have been enraptured by the Israelis....

  • Ron Dos - 2013-03-22 13:19

    The bottom line is, when the Palestinians starts behaving like educated, decent human beings and stop acting like the terrorists they are, even Israel will live in peace with them. Which country in the world will tolerate daily rockets fired into countries, suicide bombers causing chaos etc? Definately not the countries making such a noise about Israel!

      Ron Dos - 2013-03-22 19:56

      Palestinians are killing themselves by blowing themselves up. Stop firing rockets into Israel, stop throwing stones like hooligans etc. Sickening is the Muslim extremists.

      Fidel Chavista - 2013-03-24 04:49

      If someone were stealing your land...what would you do!

  • Larry - 2013-03-23 07:03

    The greatest confusion in the minds of the misinformed, is that the West Bank IS NOT ISRAEL. The policies of seperate roads applies in a few instances linking large Jewish areas in the West Bank to Israel proper. There is no such road within Israel and all are equal. The policies within the West Bank are there because of the necesity to protect Jewish communities from so-called Arab Palestinians, who would otherwise be attacked incessantly because they are Jews. It basically comes down to the issue of hummus and tahini. In the article, the Palestinians are complaining that Israel have stolen even the traditional food of the Palestinians. Hummus is a Mediteranean food, enjoyed by all from greece to Morocco. The irony is that 'Palestinians' are the ones who have only emerged and existed since the late 1960's.

      keith.minter.90 - 2013-03-23 13:08

      "The policies within the West Bank are there because of the necesity to protect Jewish communities from so-called Arab Palestinians, who would otherwise be attacked incessantly because they are Jews. " I think the reason the Palestinians attack Jews is because of the constant illegal settlement expanding (according to the UN). Similarly to what the once terrorist Nelson Mandela did to fight for his rights. I don't understand your sentence, "The irony is that 'Palestinians' are the ones who have only emerged and existed since the late 1960's." Please explain.

      keith.minter.90 - 2013-03-23 13:09

      Please see

      Larry - 2013-03-23 21:20

      There was no Palestinian entity or identity until after the 1967 war. The Arab inhabitants of the West Bank were happy to be Jordanians when Jordan annexed the territory between 1948 and 1967. The Arabs of the Gaza Strip were Egyptians. The region loosly known as Palestine was a geographic region and Arabs existing in the undelineated Ottoman Empire were just nomadic Arabs, and only become Syrians and Jordanians when these countries were made sovereign with fixed borders after WW2. To this day, there is no Palestine and actually therefore, there are no Palestinian people.

      keith.minter.90 - 2013-03-24 01:07

      Actually, according to wiki... "The boundaries of the region have changed throughout history, and were last defined in modern times by the Franco-British boundary agreement (1920)"

      keith.minter.90 - 2013-03-24 01:16

      "just nomadic Arabs"? Nice

      Larry - 2013-03-24 07:34

      Keith, the Arabs have attacked Israel since its inception and have continued to have hostile intentions of eradicating its existence. Not just because of Jewish sttlements in the West Bank. This is evidenced by several wars against Israel pre-occupation when there were no Jewish presence in so-called Palestinian territories. Fidel, there could have been a Palestinian state alongside Israel back in 1948 if the Arabs had accepted the partition plan. Instaed they opted to attack Israel so that they could claim it all for themselves. Now they have nothing, and their continued beligerence will ensure the status quo.

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