Israeli Court Rules Against Segregated Road
By ETHAN BRONNER
JERUSALEM — Israel’s Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that a major access highway to Jerusalem running through the occupied West Bank could no longer be closed to most Palestinian traffic.
In a 2-1 decision, the court said that the military had overstepped its authority when in 2002, at the height of the second Palestinian uprising, it closed the road to non-Israeli cars. The justices gave the military five months to come up with another means of ensuring the security of Israelis that permitted broad Palestinian use of the road.
“The court was saying that you can’t reasonably find every Palestinian inhabitant to be a security risk,” noted Moshe Negbi, a legal commentator for Israel Radio, in a telephone interview. “The security considerations are legitimate but they have to find other solutions.”
...Limor Yehuda, the lawyer who argued the case for the civil rights group, said that she hoped the court would apply the ruling to all segregated roads in the West Bank in order to end the dual system there.
“We can see that as a society we are going in the wrong direction and endangering our basic values of a rule of democracy and rule of law,” she said.
...She had told the court that the rise of segregated roads in recent years approached apartheid but the chief justice, Dorit Beinish, chided her for using that term, calling it inappropriate and extreme.
...The dissenter in Tuesday’s case, Justice Edmond Levy, argued that the court should leave the situation in the hands of the military and defense ministry, and worried that five months were not enough time to create a new system.
Israeli settler leaders expressed alarm at the court’s decision, saying it would endanger Jewish travelers. They charged that the justices “never missed an opportunity to blame Jews for racism and provide Arabs with convenient conditions for the next terror attack.”
As peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians remain stalled, the threat of violence has risen slightly in recent weeks. Last week, an explosive device made of a gas canister and fireworks was found on Highway 443.
"Restricted" isn't good enough so that we don't have snide hints at racism or the American experience after the South African linkage?