Saturday, December 02, 2006

ID Issues

IRIN reports on issues dividing Jerusalem and West Bank Palestinians:
"The physical hindrances of the wall are mirrored by psychological barriers going up in the minds of Palestinians, according to Karine MacAllister, a lawyer with Badil, a Palestinian refugee rights organisation.

“'The Israelis are cutting the Jerusalem Palestinians off more and more from the West Bank Palestinians, physically and culturally. They want the Jerusalemites to identify more with Arab-Israelis and become quieter,' she said.

"MacAllister has interviewed women and children on both sides of the wall. 'They are starting to think of each other as different. Those with Jerusalem IDs begin to think that the West Bankers don’t like them because they can get into the city. But they are the same Palestinians from the same land and culture,' she said."

Based on what I've seen so far, however, most Israelis don't see the inhabitants of East Jerusalem as Palestinian-Israelis. The attitude of many Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem when I make reference to going there for something makes me feel like I've said something insulting, and the ID checks at Zahal Square, one of the connections between the eastern and western portions of the city, and pretty rigorous. I've seen several confrontations between Israeli security and Palestinian, especially younger ones. On the other hand, last night a middle-aged man who was stopped for an ID check looked at the Israeli security person almost like he felt sorry for her.


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