“Democracy is tested in times of crisis”

December 26, 2013. Gisha’s executive director, Adv. Sari Bashi, research director, Iman Jabbour, and intake coordinator, Shadi Butthish, were interviewed for the Social Hour, a radio show on Israel Broadcasting Authority Reshet Bet.
"I think democracy is tested in times of crisis", said Adv. Sari Bashi in the interview. "A day on which an Israeli civilian is killed is, in fact, a test that shows how society deals with it. Israel must combat militants, armed individuals in Gaza, and the role of a democratic society is to make sure that the fight isn't against civilians".

According to Jabbour: "The difficulties related to movement between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank extend also to commercial goods. In Gaza, they can export goods to Europe, but they can't sell to the West Bank or Israel. Israel keeps talking about economic growth, and this [economic] segregation between Gaza and the West Bank isn't helping".

"I'm an intake coordinator with Gisha, so I receive calls from Palestinian residents, mostly from Gaza, but often also from the West Bank. They tell us about the troubles and difficulties they experience because of the access restrictions", Butthish said. "To hear the life stories of people who are, on one hand, entirely ordinary, and on the other, experience very hardships that are not normal at all: things we take for granted are not a given for them because military authorities don't allow travel between Gaza and the West Bank, except for very specific cases. A Palestinian resident can apply for a permit only if he wants to visit a first-degree relative who is ill. This means you can ask for a permit only if your parents, children or siblings are very ill".

For the full interview (Hebrew) click here.