30, January 2009 CBS’s, 60 Minutes – A Middle Perspective
In a recent broadcast, Bob Simon of the CBS Minutes team provided a strikingly honest perspective on the Middle East crisis. A map of the West Bank was shown with hundreds of illegal settlements built on confiscated Palestinian land making it impossible for the Palestinians to ever establish their own state. “This is the goal. And this is the reality," Weiss, who is mayor of a large settlement, told Bob Simon. Bypass roads have been constructed for the exclusive use of Jewish settlers forcing Palestinians to use older roads and pass through hundreds of military checkpoints causing humiliating delays.
Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, a former candidate for Palestinian president, told Bob Simon that his repeated requests to visit relatives in Jerusalem, his birthplace, had been denied. No such restrictions apply to Jewish residents. Such draconian laws bare a strong resemblance to those that were imposed by the white apartheid government in South Africa restricting the movement of native Africans.
Simon was shocked to learn that Israeli troops routinely enter the homes of Palestinians, without notice, and hold them hostage for extended periods of time. This practice is well documented in Jerrold Cohen's book on the Israeli occupation.
It is now up the Obama administration to charter a new course based on respect for human rights and dignity. As a first step, the Gaza siege must be lifted to allow humanitarian aid to reach the imprisoned population.