Monday, July 29, 2019

  • Monday, July 29, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon


From AP:

The Israeli military has installed the face scanners as part a multi-million dollar upgrade of the Qalandiya crossing that now allows Palestinians from the West Bank with work permits to zip through with relative ease.

But while the high-tech upgrades may have eased entry for Palestinians going to Israel for work, critics say they are a sign of the ossification of Israel’s 52-year occupation of the West Bank and slam the military’s use of facial recognition technology as problematic.
Israel’s Defense Ministry poured over $85 million into upgrading Qalandiya and several other major checkpoints between Israel and the West Bank in recent years — part of a strategy it says is meant to maintain calm by improving conditions for Palestinians.

Thanks to the upgrades, crossing through Qalandiya takes roughly 10 minutes, even during the early morning rush hour, and has the feel of an airport terminal. 
How many articles have we seen over the years about how terrible Qalandiya is? And now that Israel has spent tens of millions to fix it, how inevitable is it that people will complain anyway?

There are two supposed issues mentioned. One is that this entrenches the "occupation." This is too silly to mention - if by some miracle there is a peace, then either it will stay as a new border crossing or it will be dismantled to be replaced by another. No one is going to say, oh, sorry, we won't accept peace because it will be too expensive to replace Qalandiya.

The other comes from B'Tselem:
B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, said it was unacceptable that the Palestinian laborers have no ability to object to the use of facial recognition technology. Roy Yellin, a spokesman for the group, called the company’s development of its product through “unwilling subjects” immoral.
Aren't there lots of other checkpoints, according to B'Tselem? If Palestinian workers want to avoid facial recognition and instead wait in hours-long lines, they have that choice.

By any measure, this is a victory for Palestinian human rights. It saves tens of thousands of man hours every single day. But Israeli "human rights groups" like B'Tselem aren't interested in human rights, but in bashing Israel on whatever flimsy pretext they choose.




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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



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