Definitions of citizenship and what it means to be a citizen of a particular nation has been used to justify discrimination against various groups of people for centuries. These people are generally in the minority in a particular region and are seen as an underclass, and/or something to be dealt with in whatever manner those in the majority deem appropriate. History is full of examples where this thinking has led to egregious levels of discrimination and violence aimed at the minority or undesirables; from the Catholics in Northern Ireland to the Tutsi in Rwanda, where in both cases discrimination and ostracisation eventually led to full-blown violence. This is also the case when it comes to the Palestinians in what was historic Palestine and is now, for the most part, considered the modern state of Israel.
(Originally Published on Indymedia.ie in December 2010)
A new report from Human Rights Watch once again clearly, and succinctly, lays forth the discriminatory and downright apartheid laws which the Palestinian people daily have to live under. The 166 page report, entitled Separate and Unequal, describes in detail the “two-tier system of laws, rules and services that Israel operates for the two populations in areas of the West Bank (and East Jerusalem) under its exclusive control, which provide preferential services, development and benefits for Jewish settlers while imposing harsh conditions on Palestinians.”