Lately, there has been a torrent of AP reports, connecting to hot and fiery anti-Israel protests, themselves slandering and demonizing Israel. After so many recent AP attacks on Israel, we started to read with disbelief your “Separate roads push West Bank Arabs to the byways.”
This was not in the news; your reporter had been investigating and created a story. Again it was most critical of Israelis. What we wanted to know was, was this report truthful and unbiased, for a change?
We’ll give you a number of points that are really off.
1. The ONLY reason for bypass roads is the drive-by shootings during the Second Intifada that murdered hundreds of Israeli civilians, including friends of mine. Why is this not prominently stated in the article? The whole worldwide unknown separation of roads according to ethnicity, outside of this context looks racist, while it is in fact pure self-defense.
You do refer to this in the Fourth Paragraph, but look what happened to the truth: “Israel says the system is meant to reduce friction and fire-fights between Palestinians and Israeli settlers.” It’s like saying that all the security checks for people boarding planes is “to reduce friction and fire-fights between hijackers and the other passengers.” This is a textbook case of revolting moral equivalence.
This kills the story. Any details after this are relative superfluous. Perhaps the abstract to this report should have been: “We all know that Israelis are a bunch of power-hungry, murderous, racist, ruthless land grabbers; let’s see what they do with roads in the occupied territories.” Then it would have open and honest propaganda, and then anyone looking for real information could have skipped the rest.
2. “The Israeli establishment itself is divided over the extent of the separation.” The reporter doesn’t know the (unique, Israeli) situation. He counts as “The Israeli establishment” the Supreme Court and the Army. In Israel, they both are not! (This is one of the many surprises here, but a reporter should know the basics.) So we will lay it out for you:
- The establishment is best represented by the Government.
- The Army is a people’s army with both Left and Right wing soldiers on every level. (In fact most generals in Israel are Left-leaning; Rabin and Barak are no exceptions.) As in any serious democracy, the Army has to obey the political echelon, but in itself it is not pro-establishment.
- The Supreme Court is anti-establishment, closely related to the extreme Left in Israel.
Therefore it’s only logical that the High Court of Justice forces the Government to open up a road to Palestinian traffic where it was closed because otherwise the Armey saw no way to ensure the safety of the people travelling there – after many political murders. The Government had no choice. The Army had to comply too. So no one is divided here. They all play their own role wholeheartedly.
The reporter reports many Arab drivers not taking the danger of the road into account. He blames the roads (and with it the Israelis who should provide better). A missed chance to point out a serious lack of regard for life in these drivers.
3. The road this reporter describes is in Area A or B and so forbidden for Israelis. Therefore, we cannot check out the situation ourselves, to see how much the reporter stuck to the facts. (That the part we can check is so unbalanced doesn’t promise much for the impartiality about these details.) So what did we do – we talked to our Palestinian friends.
We hear that Wadi Nar does have steep parts that burn the brake shoes. But the Israeli Tsur Hadassah Beit Shemesh road is equally steep and also bad for the brakes. This does neither imply Nature’s nor Israeli hatred for the travelers. In every other aspect is this an ordinary Israeli winding two-lane road that we find anywhere in the land.
Further, since the start of the new Israeli government lead by Netanyahu, traffic on the Wadi Nar road has improved. Previously there was a checkpoint with stern personnel, good for a 40 car line at least. Now traffic is just slow. (Which could save many lives on a dangerous road.) The crew now at the checkpoint are regular Israeli soldiers (- they are the sweetest). And as soon as Palestinians manage to eliminate the terrorists among them, there won’t be any checkpoint at all.
4. In conclusion: The report is unfair to the point of incitement. It shows that the reporter does not know the basic specifics of the political reality in Israel. It’s another attempt to foster pity for Palestinians (the long-whining/winding road) and hatred against Israelis. AP is on a collision course with the Truth.
We encourage all good-willed, decent AP reporters to free themselves from this minority of hate-mongering, lying colleagues.
Shalom from Jerusalem,