As you’ve probably heard, Israel has for some time now been constructing a “security fence” — i.e., giant wall — to keep Palestinians in the Palestinian territories and Israelis safe on the other side of the wall. Reasonable enough, in my view. The only problem is that they’ve also peppered the Palestinian territories with Jewish settlers and the government isn’t about to abandon them to danger. The result is the situation described in this fantastic Washington Post article on Hebron, a place where “the separation is enforced not only by Israeli barriers but also by military checkpoints and curfews intended to protect the roughly 700 Jewish settlers living within the city’s most historic and religiously important areas.”
These 700 Jews, voting, passport holding citizens of Israel, live in the same city as 150,000 Arabs, citizens of noplace, but subjected to the political authority of an Israeli government which makes every decision about how to administer Hebron with the interests of the 700 in mind, irrespective of the ways in which “securing the small Jewish minority has a potent impact on the lives of the city’s 150,000 Arabs.” I take the view that, taken as a whole, the “apartheid” rap on Israel is seriously unfair. But take a closer look at the specific situation in Hebron and I don’t see what else you could call that particular state of affairs. And there’s just no legitimate anti-terrorism reason for any of this. Far and away the easiest way to provide security for Hebron’s 700 Jews would be for them to leave and go live in Israel.