On Oct. 21, the Observer (sister publication of the Guardian) published a review, by film critic Philip French, of the film ‘5 Broken Cameras,’ a documentary produced by a Palestinian about his “resistance” to Israel’s security fence in Bil’in.
French writes the following:
“Emad Burnat, the peasant and smallholder who spends his days and nights recording life about him in his native Bil’in, the township where his family has lived for generations
Like Filip in Camera Buff, Emad bought his first camera when his fourth son, Gibreel, was born in 2005. He initially used it for home movies and then, at their invitation, to make similar pictures for his neighbours.
But fairly soon Emad developed a sense of empowerment and a duty to serve his community. His camera became a way of uniting his fellow [Bil’in] citizens, publicising their struggle and becoming a witness for posterity when the Israeli authorities sent in troops to deprive them of land to create a defensive barrier of steel and wire that later became a high concrete wall.”
Background not provided by French includes the fact that, before the fence was erected, terrorists moved freely from Palestinian cities such as Bil’in to Israeli ones killing hundreds of innocent Jewish civilians.
French also fails to note the 2011 relocation of the fence bordering Bil’in due to a ruling by Israel’s Supreme Court, which enlarged Palestinian territory, making the village more suitable for Palestinian agricultural.
However, in addition to the story’s predictable Palestinian narrative, the most absurd claim is made by French in the following passage:
Emad developed a sense of empowerment and a duty to serve his community. His camera became a way of uniting his fellow citizens, publicising their struggle and becoming a witness for posterity when the Israeli authorities sent in troops to deprive them of land to create a defensive barrier of steel and wire that later became a high concrete wall. Inevitably, seeing this barrier going up in Israel we think of the wall surrounding the Warsaw ghetto, the one that appeared overnight in Berlin…
Of course, any sane commentator would dismiss out of hand the notion that Israel’s security wall evokes (in any conceivable manner) the Jewish ghetto walls erected by the Nazis.
The Warsaw Ghetto, the largest Jewish ghetto in Nazi-occupied Europe, was established in the Polish capital in 1940. Eventually, over 400,000 Jews resided in an area of 3.4 km. From there, at least 254,000 ghetto residentswere sent to the Treblinka death camp over a period of two months in 1942.
Average food rations in 1941 for Jews in Warsaw were limited to a mere 184 calories, and, among the Jews who weren’t sent to Nazi death camps, over 100,000 of the ghetto’s residents died due to disease, starvation or random killings.
Bil’in is a Palestinian administered town, and is not a ghetto in even the broadest sense of the word.
The Warsaw ghetto walls were designed to keep Jews from escaping.
Israel’s security fence was designed to keep terrorists from infiltrating Israel and murdering Jews.
Israel’s security fence would only evoke a Holocaust-related comparison for those inebriated by the constant drumbeat of Guardian anti-Zionist propaganda.
About the Author: Adam Levick serves as Managing Editor of CiF Watch, an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), and is a member of the Online Antisemitism Working Group for the Global Forum to Combat Antisemitism. Adam made Aliyah from Philadelphia in 2009 and lives with his wife in Modi'in.
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