I have written about Highway 443 before. This is the highway that connects Jerusalem through Modiin to the Ben-Shemen Interchange and the Jerusalem-Tel-Aviv road. It is built on expropriated Palestinian land, and Palestinians are not allowed to use it. Some people call it the most famous "apartheid road", but that's an insult to apartheid. I prefer the Hebrew term "hafradah," separation, which speaks of the complete separation of Israelis from Palestinians, unlike apartheid, which separated them in certain spaces.
Why haven't the Israelis let the Palestinians use the road? Oh, they will tell you that the reason is security, and there have been attacks on Israeli vehicles. After all, steal land, keep people under occupation, and, surprise, the neighbors get restless. Of course, if the issue were security, then security measures would be taken so that people of all sorts use the road. But it has never really been about security, has it, I mean, the Zionist enterprise. It has always been about control of the land.
So this is how it works: To expropriate land for a road, you need a reason that shows that the expropriation will be to the general benefit of the people whose property is being used. So you go to the court and say that those people will use the road. Then you build the road and – always for reasons of security – you deny those people the right to use the road. In the case of Highway 443, you actually make it almost impossible for people's villages to connect to the road, or to villages on the other side of the road. And all in the name of the convenience of the new road – for the Occupiers. Modiin is within the 47 armistice line, but settlements in the Modiin Illit block are not. The road, in any event, goes over the armistice line.
Yesterday, the High Court ruled that the Highway has to be opened to Palestinians in a few months. That is a good decision, but trust me, it will not be implemented. The Court's decisions are routinely ignored or circumvented, either through legislation, military decision, or whatever. And that is how the system of occupation works. The Court's decision will be trumpeted by liberal hawks like Alan Dershowitz to show the world what a grand judiciary system Israel has; on the ground, it will mean nothing.
This is not to say that the effort to open the road is wasted. On the contrary, a great Yasher Koah/congratulations to those NGOSs that brought the case to the High Court. Their actions may not effect change now, but at least some Israelis and Palestinians will be able to tell their children and grandchildren that in the dark night of injustice they lit some candles.