A Palestinian man was fined more than $200 - or almost a month’s worth of wages - for going to an Israeli beach while dressed in underpants rather than a bathing suit.
Hakam Habash, a middle-aged factory worker from Nablus, was slapped with the fine as he attempted to enter a beach in Netanya after having been granted a rare permit to travel there during the month of Ramadan, Haaretz reported.
According to the newspaper, a beach inspector cited an obscure part of the city code forbidding clothing that were not “regular” on the beach – the provision apparently does not make specific reference to underwear.
Habash has said that he’s not sure whether he will ever be able to visit the sea again, as he does not intend to pay the fine. He also questioned why he had been subject to the fee.
“I showed the copy of the fine to Jews I know… and they were amazed,” he said. “This fine changed my opinion about the people of Israel. I thought they were cultured people. I guess I won’t be able to see the sea again, because I can’t make the payment, unless I use my pension or give up eating and drinking. This whole story is very unfair and foolish.”
Daniel J. Solomon is the former Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.
Palestinian Man Fined For Underwear On Israel Beach