B’Tselem is the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. B’Tselem strives to end Israel’s occupation, recognizing that this is the only way to achieve a future that ensures human rights, democracy, liberty and equality to all people.
The current violence throughout Israel/Palestine is an outcome of the apartheid regime that controls the entire area. Under this regime, about half of the people who live between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea – Jews – are able to lead full lives and enjoy protection of their human rights, while the other half – Palestinians – cannot.
The appalling street violence we are seeing is heartbreaking, terrifying and must be forcefully condemned. Any violence against civilians is absolutely reprehensible. Yet the violence runs deeper than what can be captured on camera. The range of measures the Israeli regime employs to ensure Jewish supremacy throughout the area is inherently violent. Airstrikes, shooting and stun grenades are visible, while the laws, military orders, bureaucrats, policy makers and judges who uphold the system remain mostly invisible. “Restoring order” means that Jews will go back to their peaceful lives, while Palestinians continue to live under a boot: subjected to constant, relentless violence that is invisible to Jews.
A reality that is based on organized violence is not only immoral – it is a danger to us all. That is why the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed, in 1948: “It is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected…”
We are all entitled to live under a regime that ensures justice and quality for both peoples. A regime that allows all the human beings who live here to exercise their right to life, to security, and to the freedom to create, learn, dream and love.
We all desire life. For every single one of us.