The Israeli government has decided to withdraw any privileges associated with the fifth class citizenship status of Palestinians living in areas under Israeli control, in response to last week’s general strike in protest at the latest bombing campaign against Gaza.
Occupation authorities in the Middle East’s only democracy said they would no longer provide any of the services they generously offered to those who were living in the country when it was taken from them in 1948, including education services that do not teach them the history of their dispossession and the ethnically segregated health services, in addition to cutting off their access to the job market that discriminated against them.
A government spokesman said the retribution would be even more far-reaching, including by increasing poverty rates and systemic violence targeted at Palestinian ghettos, a deeper bias by Israel’s fair judiciary against Palestinian defendants and plaintiffs, more frequent arbitrary and administrative detentions to limit their contact with relatives in the West Bank and Gaza, and further restrictions on cultural Palestinian content that does not adhere to the ethnically superior values and principles of Israel.
The government’s decision came in response to losses that amounted to US$40 million daily in the services, construction and other industries due to the strike, as well as the failure of an initiative by Israeli businessmen who offered $150 grants to any Palestinian workers willing to break the strike.
This last week led Israeli economists to discover that their economy is not actually built on start-up and entrepreneurial culture, but rather on low-wage jobs with high risk and long hours made specifically for Palestinian citizens.