Israel's Separate Bus Line For Palestinians: 'Freedom Rider' Provides First Hand Account (VIDEO)

03/05/2013 12:52 pm ET

Israel's introduction of a separate bus line for Palestinians traveling from the West Bank into Israel has prompted claims of segregation, though the Israeli Transportation Ministry cites overcrowding and security as the motivators behind the move.

Fadi Quran, a Palestinian-American activist and self-proclaimed Freedom Rider, joined HuffPost Live to share his experiences of discrimination while attempting to travel on buses in Israel.

"We tried to ride an Israeli bus, and while we stood at the bus stop we were cursed at, we were basically abused in different ways by Israeli settlers," Quran told HuffPost Live's Mike Sacks and Ahmed Shihab-Eldin. "About five buses passed by and none of them stopped to allow us on."

"As an American, I'm embarrassed that I'm contributing with my tax dollars to support a government militarily and economically that in 2012, while it claims to be a democracy, is building walls, is segregating buses," Shihab-Eldin said. "I think it points to the short-sighted nature of Israeli politicians."

Quran says his outrage extends beyond short-sighted politics, and is more focused on the discrimination embedded deep within the system.

"I live that bigotry on a day-to-day basis," Quran said. "I don't have water in my house four days a week because of that bigotry and it exists. There is an institutional regime in place to maintain it. The only way to put an end to it is to end the incentivized system that is put into place to allow people to profit from it."

The Ministry says the two bus lines are optional and simply meant to “relieve the distress of the Palestinian workers” and combat unauthorized transportation.

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