True Story No Room on Israeli Bus for Jewish Passengers

Batya Medad ,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Batya Medad
New York-born Batya Medad made aliyah with her husband just weeks after their 1970 wedding and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Political pundit, with a unique perspective, Batya has worked in a variety of professions: teaching, fitness, sales, cooking, public relations, photography and more. She has a B.S. in Journalism, is a licensed English Teacher specializing as a remedial teacher and for a number of years has been studying Tanach (Bible) in Matan. Batya blogs on Shiloh Musings and A Jewish Grandmother. ...

True Story: No Room on Israeli Bus for Jewish Passengers

This past Friday I found myself sitting on the steps in a #86 bus from the Yarkon Junction to Ariel. Happy to finally be on my way home, I just sat down on the steps near the driver. I really felt much more comfortable in more ways than one. Here's the story...

On Friday I got stuck trying to get home. I had been to a "simcha," a festive occasion not too far from the Yarkon Junction. I calculated that I'd have no problem getting home on one of the Israeli buses to Ariel that stop at the Yarkon Junction. The only problem was that the buses didn't stop. They were full of Arabs who work in the Tel Aviv-Petach Tikva areas. I don't know what percentage of them have work permits or not or how they get to work. But there are times of the day when the buses are so full of them, there's no room for any more passengers by the time they reach Yarkon Junction. 

Finally one stopped for me. I happily got on the bus and paid the driver. Then the driver said: 

"There's no room. I just let you on since someone got off from the back."

Then I look around and saw that I was possibly the only Jew on the bus. I wasn't about to stand until they got off, most probably just before Ariel. So I calmly sat down on the steps near the driver. It's not the cleanest place to sit, but it's comfortable. 

Since there wasn't a free seat, and I didn't feel like doing the staring until someone got up thing. 

A few miles down the road, after we had passed a couple of stops without stopping at all, some passengers got off. I had to get off the bus to let them off. And I realized from the conversations some had with the driver, that he was also an Arab. I was happy to be on my way home and prayed for the best.

After another group of Arabs got off, finally I sat down on a proper seat, yes, next to an Arab. It was in the front row. And then at the bus stop at the entrance to Ariel, before the security check, the bus emptied almost completely. Then there were about three of us, all who looked like Israeli Jews, left on the bus. By the time I got off near the Ariel University I was the only passenger left. The bus driver and I discussed which stop was best for me. The driver was polite to me the entire trip, and I did feel safe. What bothers me is that the bus fares are subsidized by Israeli taxpayers. These are Israeli buses, public transportation. And it's not right that Israeli citizens should find themselves waiting at bus stops without bus service. 

In Jerusalem there are these gorgeous new modern white buses that are part of an Arab bus company that connects Jerusalem to nearby Arab towns. Why can't there be something like that in the Petach Tikva area to Samaria? That way there will be room on the Israeli buses for Jews?