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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Jackson Diehl, "Building barriers to peace in Israel": Misleading

In a Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Building barriers to peace in Israel," Jackson Diehl concludes with respect to "the latest wave of Palestinian violence" (my emphasis in red):

"Israel has contributed to the trouble by preventing the rise of Palestinian leaders in Jerusalem, even though they would likely echo the moderate views of city residents. Now, in response to the violence, the Netanyahu government is constructing barriers dividing Arab from Jewish neighborhoods, which have the effect of punishing those Palestinians who just a few months ago were saying they’d be content to become Israeli citizens. Incitement, indeed."

Yet, as reported in Israel, the barriers and roadblocks are in the process of being removed. An October 19, 2015 Times of Israel article entitled "PM halts placement of barriers between Jewish, Arab areas of Jerusalem" by Judah Ari Gross and Adiv Sterman informs us:

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday ordered a halt to the placement of any more portable concrete slabs between the predominantly Jewish area of Armon Hanatziv and the adjacent southeastern Arab neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, after several MKs criticized the construction of a temporary wall as a de facto division of the unified city.

Netanyahu’s decision came after authorities already erected parts of a planned 300-meter long wall between the neighborhoods, in a bid to stem a series of terrorist and Molotov cocktail attacks carried out in the area over the past weeks. Six slabs of concrete were placed in the neighborhood Sunday. The move followed the placing of concrete blocks in roads leading out of many Arab East Jerusalem neighborhoods."

And in an October 21, 2015 ynetnews article entitled "Roadblocks removed in East Jerusalem" by Roi Yanovsky we learn:

"Wednesday afternoon barriers were removed from the neighborhoods of Wadi Joz and Sheikh Jarrah. These checkpoints were erected last week in the wake of the security cabinet's decision allowing police to impose closures on the exits of neighborhoods according to operational needs.

'In light of the quiet that has returned the roadblocks have been removed,' Jerusalem police said. 'We call on local leadership to demonstrate responsibility and leadership. Everywhere leadership is shown and quiet is returned – barriers will be removed.'

Police checkpoints are still deployed in neighborhoods such as Jabel Mukaber, Sur Baher and Isawiya, which, according to security assessments, have not yet calmed down and where there remains an operational necessity for them.

Acting Chief of Police Commander Benzi Sau said in a press briefing that he does not 'use the term closure. Our mission is to secure the country's citizens. We want to create security circles that eventually will stop those who pose a threat to the citizens in the city center.'"

Although there are those who have criticized the erection of roadblocks and checkpoints in East Jerusalem as "collective punishment," these barriers are currently being removed as quiet is restored, and they are not being "constructed" as Jackson Diehl writes.

I have asked The Washington Post to correct Diehl's opinion piece.

1 comment:

  1. "Israel has contributed to the trouble by preventing the rise of Palestinian leaders in Jerusalem..."

    seems a fairy-dust bit of reversionist history.

    The opinionmedia is just working from the WH Israel talking points as 'apartheid-settlers-occupation'. O'Dems will not change THAT meme. They are using same ideological blinders against American police departments.