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A Letter to 60 Minutes

A Letter to 60 Minutes

Bob Simon, who is humiliating whom?


Bob Simon said on 60 Minutes, Jan. 25, 2009, "Time Running Out For A Two-State Solution?":

"Palestinians ... when they want to travel from one town to another, they have to submit to humiliating delays at checkpoints and roadblocks. There are more than 600 of them on the West Bank."

Bob, you say Palestinian Arabs feel humiliated and harassed when Israeli authorities search them and their belongings; when they are prevented from traveling freely because of checkpoints, roadblocks, closures and curfews. You say they feel "corralled."

Bob, in Israel, every Israeli is searched numerous times during the course of a single day. Israelis are asked to open their bags and purses for inspection. In most cases, they are subjected to body searches with a metal detector every time they enter a bank or a post office, pick up a bottle of milk at the supermarket, enter a mall or train station, or visit a hospital or medical clinic. Young Israeli men and women are physically frisked in search of suicide belts before they enter crowded nightclubs.

As a matter of routine, Israelis' car trunks are searched every time they enter a well-trafficked parking lot. Daily, their cars pass through roadblocks that cause massive traffic jams when security forces are in hot pursuit of suicide bombers believed to have entered Israel.

Israelis are searched not only when they go out for a cup of coffee or a slice of pizza, but also when they go to the movies or a concert, where the term "dressed to kill" has an entirely different meaning.

These ordinary daily humiliations now extend to similar searches when Israelis go to weddings or Bar Mitzvahs. No one abroad talks about the humiliation Jews in Israel are subjected to, having to write at the bottom of wedding invitations and other life cycle events, "The site will be secured [by armed guards]" - to ensure relatives and friends will attend and share their joyous occasion.

The average Israeli is "humiliated and harassed" by being searched far more times a day than the average Palestinian.

One out of four Israeli children, ages 11 to 15, fear for their lives. One out of three report they fear for the lives of their family members, and more than a third report they have changed their patterns of travel and social lives due to security concerns.

Bob, these ubiquitous security checks do not exist in Arab cities and towns in Israel (or, for that matter, in Judea and Samaria) because those places are not and never have been targets of Palestinian terrorism. In fact, the average Israeli is "humiliated and harassed" by being searched far more times a day than the average Palestinian. Not one human rights group, nor you, has so much as noted this massive intrusion into the rights of privacy and person imposed on Israelis.

To date, no one protests the fact that, since the 1970s, Jewish schoolchildren in Israel are surrounded by perimeter fences, with armed guards at the schoolyard gates, as if their schools were the domiciles of Mafiosi.

Not one Arab village in Israel or the Territories has a perimeter fence around it. Guards are not required at Arabic shops, cafes, restaurants, movie theaters, wedding halls or schools - either in Israel or in the Territories. Palestinians also do not need armed guards to accompany every school trip, youth movement hike or campout. They are not targets of terrorism.

Countless Israelis in sensitive areas within the Green Line - not only in the Territories, but also in Jewish towns, villages and bedroom suburbs - are "ghettoized" behind high fences.

Many Israeli motorists avoid major arteries that pass through Arab areas of Israel, while Arab citizens and Palestinians from the Territories continue to enter Jewish cities and go about their business without peril. Israelis are told, in effect, to disguise themselves when traveling abroad - not to speak Hebrew in public and not to wear garments that reveal their Jewish-Israeli origins. Even Israel's national airline - El Al - has been forced to remove its logo from the tails of its aircraft at certain airports, out of concern for the safety of its passengers. This followed several attempts to down Israeli civilian aircraft with missiles. On the other hand, Arabs who frequent Jewish cities and towns in Israel wear their traditional Arab headgear without fear of being attacked or harassed.

Bob, all this begs the question: Who are the victims and who are the victimizers? Who are the ones being harassed and humiliated? Palestinian Arabs or Israelis?

January 31, 2009

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Visitor Comments: 114

(114) Brian, June 5, 2011 11:46 PM

I am currently watching the 60 minutes episode of the city of david archaelogical dig, and I felt the compelling need to comment on the blatant media bias. I already know the mainstream media is in the tank for the far left liberal cause, but to watch the one sided biased uninformed interview by leslie stahl made me sick. I'm not jewish either, it was just a statement on how the sad state of affairs for what is supposed to be journalism. Here's an interesting concept when reporting, why not present both sides, ask questions, ie- why might israel be taking such position. Last time I checked it's not the israeli's blowing themselves up to be welcomed into heaven with virgins awaiting. Unfortunately, far too many people rely on the cable media as their newsource which explains why my fellow americans are so dumbed down and uninformed.

(113) Linda, March 14, 2009 11:17 AM

In reality, the arabs are the protected ones

It seems the arabs are always crying about something aren't they? After Gaza, now they have something to cry about. they really are the protected ones, they don't have to worry about bombs, or Israli suicide bombers coming into their wedding parties, they live in peace, while causing all the trouble to others, (all over the world) it's dificult (as an american) to have an unbiased opinion of muslims in general when they cause so much heartache to everyone, even their own, they can't get along with, and try to destroy. God sees and God protects you Israel, because you are keeping His ways, God bless you all forever.

(112) Yoshe Revelle, March 7, 2009 2:15 PM

Both sides suffer ...

I am Jewish, I am Palestinian, I am human. Both sides suffer in Israel/Palestine. Both sides need to see the other as a fellow human being. Peace and Courage, Yoshe :)

(111) Ma. de Consuelo R. de Sabre, March 5, 2009 10:29 AM


Isn't it necessary when palestinians many times are not human, rather human bombs? On the other hand, when we mexicans go to the United States, we have to stand in big lines and be checked thouroughly, what does Bob thinks about this?, (I do not mention all whan happens to indocumented mexicans who try to go for working purposes)!

(110) Jeff Bernhardt, February 27, 2009 1:15 AM

I too tried to contact them

I tried to email but could not get through so I sent a letter and of course heard nothing. During the broadcast I kept waiting for them to report the other side...they never did....a very frustrating report to watch.

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