1 May 2012


What difference will it make to the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank when the world meets their demands for freedom and self-determination?
One difference it will make: like other peoples of the world, the Palestinians will get to decide who they can invite to visit them.
Right now, if you, as a citizen of the United States, Canada, Australia or Europe, decide that you want to visit Bethlehem, a Palestinian city in the West Bank - the same Bethlehem that Christians believe to be the birthplace of Jesus.

You have two ways to begin your journey. You can fly to Israel, and cross the 1967 border to the West Bank. Or you can fly to Jordan, and cross to the West Bank over one of the bridges.
Whichever way you go, you cannot pass to Bethlehem without the permission of the Netanyahu government, which controls all paths you can take to Bethlehem.

If you are a Likud supporter, flying into the Israeli airport should present no problem, anyone else who knows.

If you are a supporter of Palestinian rights, the Netanyahu government could stop you from going to Bethlehem on purely political grounds - even if you have never committed any crime or have no intention of ever committing one.

Even if you have never attended a Palestinian protest in the West Bank and have no intention of attending one, you could be barred by the Netanyahu government from going to Bethlehem simply for "the thought crime of supporting Palestinian human rights".

Indeed, even Jews from the US can be barred by the Netanyahu government from travelling to Bethlehem for the "thought crime of supporting Palestinian rights".

Given the economic, political and diplomatic support  given to the Netanyahu government by North America and Europe, this is a spectacular state of affairs.

You might think that governments and media in North America and Europe would express forceful concern if their citizens' right to travel were obstructed by a government they were doing so much to support.

Given this economic, political and diplomatic support.What power does the government of Israel have over all these countries.

Many of these countries are even blocking people from boarding planes in their own countries, this means that the Intelligence agencies of Israel are dictating to these countries who can travel..and they apparently can read minds."Thought crime"

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