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November 29, 2014 / 7 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘CAMERA’

Hecklers Flee Israeli Speaker at U of Florida

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Anat Berko is a small-framed woman known for her ubiquitous yards long braid.  She is also one of the world’s leading counter terrorism experts who has sat in prison cells next to some of the most dangerous serial killers and attempted homicide bombers who ever lived.

A handful of anti-Israel University of Florida students chose the wrong speaker to interrupt.

Berko was at the Gainesville campus on Thursday, Oct. 10, as the guest of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).

According to CAMERA fellow Avia Gridi, with approximately 7,000 Jewish students, the University of Florida has the single largest number of Jewish students at any university in the United States.

This is Gridi’s first year as a CAMERA fellow and the “More Hummus, Less Hamas” evening with Berko was her first event.

The Smarter Bomb is Berko’s second book about homicide bombers.  In it she tells the story of the women and children who are induced to attempt to become homicide bombers.  Berko knows the experience of those women well.  She spent decades inside Israeli prisons interviewing the women who failed to martyr themselves either because of a technical malfunction or because the authorities were able to disrupt the plans.

Berko gained the trust of dozens of such women in Israeli cells. Her particular interest in writing The Smarter Bomb was to uncover the motivation of the women and children to attempt to commmit such acts, especially the difference in motivations between women and men.

Having as your laboratory the prison cells of people who attempted to kill – they say “martyr” – themselves in order to murder Israeli men, women and children is not the choice of someone who is easily frightened.  But in addition to being a social scientist, Berko is also a Lieutenant Colonel (Res) in the Israel Defense Forces. That is also not a career choice for people who are easily intimidated. And Berko isn’t.

So eight minutes after Berko began speaking at Pugh Hall last Thursday night, when four students, who had arrived late, suddenly stood up, removed their outer shirts and began chanting accusations, Berko was having none of it.

“Hamas is not the Problem, the Israeli Occupation Is!” and “The IDF kills women and children!” were the slogans drawn on the students shirts, and chanted by the students.

“What is wrong with you?” Berko sharply addressed the four. “Sit down and listen to what I have to say and wait for the question and answer portion of this event to raise your issues!”

But the four students who later identified themselves as members of the seemingly ubiquitous, but certainly infamous, Students for Justice in Palestine were not interested in listening to Berko.  They came to make their own voices heard.

“She seemed disgusted by the display,” Gridi told The Jewish Press.

And then Berko really let them have it.

“You think the IDF kills children? You should go to Syria, where everyone knows they are murdering thousands of children with gas and other cruel weapons!  Go to Syria where there are actually thousands of real refugees. They need you to demonstrate in Syria, go!” Berko lectured the SJP hecklers.

And with that, the hecklers left the room and Berko continued her lecture. The people who came to hear about what could possibly motivate women and children (that’s the “smart bomb” Berko means) to want to kill themselves were able to hear from her first hand observations and watch video clips of many who attempted to be smart bombs.

And the four hecklers? They left the room with their tails between their legs, unable to grab the spotlight for their inane chants, unable to disrupt a carefully prepared evening of education which Gridi and CAMERA’s co-sponsors for the event, the ICC, MEMRI and the Gainesville Hillel put on.

“I’m used to sitting in jail cells with serial killers, did they think I would be intimidated by some American college students?” Berko said in a phone interview on Wednesday evening with The Jewish Press.

When asked about the Berko event, Gridi was both pleased and a bit nonplussed.

“The event went really well, although none of it went as expected.”

NYT Gets US Position on Israel Wrong, Reveals Additional Animus

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

The New York Times recognized that its correspondent in Jerusalem, Jodi Rudoren, had gone too far this time in blithely vilifying Jews who live and breathe beyond the so-called Green Line.

Rudoren ascribed a position to the United States government about Israeli policy which was flat out wrong. That was the only part of the otherwise slanted and deceptive article which merited a slap on the wrist.  Rudoren wrote that the position of the U.S. is that Israeli towns and cities beyond the Green Line are illegal, when in fact this government has taken no position on the legality of Israeli Jewish towns in that region.  The actual correction appears at the end of this article.

Before we get to the begrudging but still humiliating factual correction, take a stroll through the rest of her article.

In this article headlined, “Israeli Decree on West Bank Settlements Will Harm Peace Talks, Palestinians Say,” Rudoren not only originally falsely stated that the United States believes the “settlements” are illegal.  Her language throughout the piece makes clear her hostility to Jews daring to live beyond what the esteemed Israeli statesman Abba Eban had termed the “Auschwitz borders,” the lines drawn in 1949 at the end of the war against the newly-reborn Israel, when surrounding Arab states attacked it rather than permit a Jewish State in their midst.

For one thing, she described the early stage approval of subsidies to homeowners in various places including in “Jewish settlements in the West Bank territory that Israel seized in the 1967 war.”  You’d never know that in 1967 Israel (again) fought a defensive war and gained the land in a battle for its existence.  The verb Rudoren chose, “seized,” suggests an aggressive action by the belligerent in military hostilities.

Given that the New York Times is treated like Torah from Sinai by most American Jews, no wonder they and the organizations those Jews tend to support believe that Israel should give away that territory to people who never possessed it,  and never – until Israel legally acquired the land – expressed any interest in owning or governing it themselves.

And it was not until the sixth paragraph of a 10 paragraph story that Israel is even permitted a voice to counter what Rudoren already set up as a move by the Israeli government to expand “settlements” which upset the Arab Palestinians and may now torpedo the “fragile peace talks.”

In the sixth paragraph the reader – if he is still reading – learns that all that happened is the Israeli government has made a completely routine and preliminary decision to provide assistance to homeowners in authorized towns and villages for things like “education, housing, infrastructure projects, cultural programs and sports, along with better mortgage rates and loans for new homeowners.”  Isn’t that what governments are supposed to do?  Take care of their citizens?

Rudoren distances her readers from identifying with Israelis who might otherwise be considered normal homeowners. She points out that, “Among the newcomers to the list are three formerly illegal outposts — Bruchin, Rachelim and Sansana — that obtained government recognition last year.”  Rudoren chose not to more concisely and correctly refer to those three towns as “legal and legitimate villages.”

But before Israel was permitted to offer a different point of view, Rudoren first ran condemnations of the move by the infamous Hanan Ashrawi, whose latest evidence of Jew and Israel hatred was the promotion on the website of an NGO she founded which claimed that Jews drink Christian blood on Passover.

In the space of three sentences, Rudoren paints a clear picture with Ashrawi’s words.  Ashrawi describes Israel’s move as a “confidence-destruction measure,” “attempts to grab more Palestinian land,” “provide settlers with preferential treatment” and the announcement that “the decision would have ‘a destructive impact’” on the current Israeli-Arab Palestinian talks.

Of course, Mark Regev was given a cameo appearance in the sixth paragraph.  But not to worry, because in the concluding three paragraphs of the article there is plenty to ensure that the lasting impression is one of an intransigent Israeli government filled with “many right-wing settlement supporters” which “refused to formally freeze settlement construction” in order to induce the oh-so-compliant, peace-supporting Arab Palestinians to even sit at the table with the Israelis.

When Cameras See Everything

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Innocuous, hidden cameras are all around us.  I tell customers who are dressing/trying on clothes or undressing/dressing their kids in a corner of the store where I work that there are people watching and filming them.  It’s actually no secret that there are cameras all around.  There’s a screen alternating the various camera feeds for all to see at the קופה ראשית Cupah Roshit, “mini-office,” customer relations corner in between the entrance and exit of the Sha’ar Binyamin Rami Levy supermarket.  They’ve recently upgraded to color from blurry black and white, so I asked jokingly to the manager of the shift if I should now start worrying about wearing makeup to work.

Act of TreasonJust a couple of days ago when the American security authorities began asking the public who had been taking pictures of the Boston Marathon at the time of the bombing for all pictures, still and moving, so they could try to get a filmed record of what happened and who could have left the bombs, I thought of a book I had recently read, Act of Treason by .

In Flynn’s book, the fact that someone had placed himself behind a pole (or was it a tree?) at the time of the fatal explosion made one of investigators suspicious and ended up being the key to the successful investigation.  That summary of the book doesn’t do it justice.  I did enjoy reading it but had to throw it out, since my copy was old and falling apart.  Who would have thought that just a couple of months after I had read the book, it would be so timely?

Most of us are totally oblivious to the fact that in today’s world there are security cameras all over.  And even if there aren’t security cameras, there are other cameras filming us.  I remember reading that a philanderer was caught cheating when his wife saw him with another woman when they were watching the then popular Woody Allen movie Annie Hall.  Allen had filmed some real life street scenes, without asking each and every person’s permission and inadvertently included that man driving around with his lover.

Some more food for thought: Someone is watching us all of the time.  Why are we more afraid of being filmed and spied on by humans than the fact that God sees, hears and knows everything we do, all places and all times?  We can’t hide from God, even though men can’t always catch and punish the guilty…

Visit Shiloh Musings.

‘Judeophobia’ Asks: Why Do They Hate Jews?

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

For those tired of hearing that Jews are in danger and that Israel-hatred is only the latest form of Jew-hatred, this movie, Unmasked Judeophobia: the Threat to Civilization is for you.  That’s right, those really are the people who need to see this movie, but they need to see it only if they are willing to cleanse their minds of the countless layers of sediment that the New York Times, Haaretz, television network news, and Hollywood party chatter has built up over their eyes and stuffed into their ears.  Because for those crumbling pillars of western civilization, truth is false, big is little, careful is belligerent and right (and the right) is always wrong.



But everyone else should see it too.  There are three reasons why.

First, the film carefully and concisely packs into 81 minutes the birth, metamorphosis and metastasization of Jew-hatred.  It shows how the early anti-Semitism of the Catholic Church was fueled forward by the angry sense of betrayal of Martin Luther and the other Protestants, which was then transmogrified into racial hatred by the Nazis, which in turn was embraced and transformed into the hatred of the Jewish nation-state, or anti-Zionism, by the Arab Nazi-acolyte al-Husseini, which is now being fed back to the far left, the far right and much of Europe, as the loop is replayed and reinforced.

This film carefully and clearly reveals that process, through the use of expert testimony and documentation, explained by the leading thinkers in the field. And in it you will learn why Greenfield believes Judeophobia is a more accurate and more powerful term than is anti-Semitism, which, like the former universal guilt over the Holocaust, has lost its teflon-like ability to protect Jews from further harm.

The second reason why this film needs to be seen is that its very existence proves its thesis true.  The location of most of the screenings in England could not be advertised because of serious security concerns.  If a movie about Jew-hatred cannot be seen in 21st Century England without fear of physical assaults and mayhem, Houston, we have a problem.

And finally, the completely obtuse responses by the major movie critics of the English language – in the New York Times , in Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter make clear that the refusal to understand Jew-hatred is almost as powerful an affliction as is Jew-hatred itself.  It is hard to find another explanation for the fact that what appear to be otherwise intelligent people can watch a movie and then criticize it for proving what it sets out to prove.  Indeed, the mainstream critics simply refuse to acknowledge there is a problem, and instead prefer to blame the victim – for acknowledging they are victims!  Read on.

“Unmasked Judeophobia: the Threat to Civilization,” is Gloria Z. Greenfield’s second documentary.  The first,  released in 2008, was “The Case for Israel,” which showcased Israel as democracy’s outpost in the Middle East. Earlier in her career, Greenfield was deeply involved in the field of radical feminism.  But when, over time, the radical feminists made it clear to Greenfield that support of Israel would not be accepted within the fold, Greenfeld left the fold.

As she watched audiences respond to her first film, it dawned on Greenfield that whether or not Israel is a shining democracy in a sea of tyrannies, for most people the only issue that mattered was the conflict between the Arabs and the Israelis, and that for such people the conflict was about territorial policies.  The widely held belief – conscious or not – was that it is in the control of the Israelis to end the conflict – all they have to do is give up some (more, of course) of the land, and the problem would go away.  And everyone wants the problem to go away.

That way of thinking about the conflict has several advantages: it means there really can be a solution; it allows cursory observers to read and listen to the mainstream media with a nod and a flip of the page; and it allows what should be ancient history to remain buried.

But, Greenfield believes, it isn’t true.  And there still are people out there who want to know the truth who will, if you can make the solid case, comprehend the situation and begin to make a move towards addressing the problem.

Greenfield realized that she needed to produce a documentary that would educate “the good and decent people, provide them with the context for the hatred that was being expressed towards the nation-state of the Jewish people, and that would also give some context to the global resurgence of lethal Jew-hatred – this hatred towards the Jewish people and towards Israel as the collective Jew.”

Greenfield means for this film to be a modern “tekiyah gedolah” – the mighty shofar blast that warned the ancient Israelites of danger.  Because, she says, once again, the Israelites are in real danger.

In this documentary, Greenfield set for herself a mighty task.  She divided the eighty minute film into several different “chapters,” so that it can be stopped at various points in order to facilitate discussion, or simply to help viewers organize and understand the different permutations of  Judeophobia.  It is a disease that has traveled and adapted through time and space, shrinking in the wake of the Holocaust, adapting and transforming to the needs of whoever wished to vilify the Jews at whatever moment they most needed a convenient scapegoat.  Greenfield shows how Jew-hatred builds upon the evil lies of the past to create a new and detested monster that can be hated anew in the present.

How does she do this? Greenfield weaves together testimony from the most knowledgeable analysts of the day, people like Robert Wistrich, Ruth Wisse, Manfred Gerstenfeld, Natan Sharansky, Elie Wiesel and so many others who examine Jew hatred through the lens of human history.  This enable us to understand the moments of transformation and distribution, guided by those who have spent lifetimes and filled volumes meticulously reviewing the evidence.  But Greenfield is able to keep the narrative flowing with skillful editing and an ever-ready ability to snip out extraneous information under which the enterprise would otherwise collapse.

We also hear from contemporary commentators who share the view from their perspectives, people like Bret Stephens and Prof. Alan Dershowitz and Amb. John Bolton.  These are people with ringside seats – at the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Law School and the United Nations – to today’s attacks on Jews and on the Jewish State.

People who saw the film during its recent screenings throughout England were all wildly enthusiastic about its strengths.  Clyde Hyman is a Scotsman who has lived for many years in Golders Green, a Jewish suburb north of London.  Hyman was unabashed when he told The Jewish Press that the film, “scared the [deleted expletive] out of me.”  Hyman is an activist who generally denounces fellow pro-Israel Brits whom he describes as “practitioners of dynamic apathy,” but, he said, this film “really put all the pieces together in a wonderful way, like a jigsaw puzzle pulls together what look like unrelated bits.”

Simon Barrett is a British television journalist and Christian Zionist.  Barrett interviewed Greenfield last week on his show, “The Middle East Report,” a weekly current affairs show on Revelation Television.  Barrett is a skilful interviewer and on his show he allowed Greenfield to talk frankly about her hopes and plans for “Unmasked Judeophobia,” interspersed with extended clips from the movie.

When Barrett spoke to The Jewish Press, he expressed dismay that the people who hosted screenings of the movie in Manchester and in Birmingham would not publicly disclose the locations.  As he put it, “the haters have already won if people are too afraid to publicize this film.”  While Barrett acknowledged that it is very different for him to sit in a television studio and not have to live with the possible negative consequences of public attacks, “they’ve got to overcome that spirit of fear, or we really will all watch as the world goes mad.”

Even the film’s score is worthy of note.  Sharon Farber created a subtle musical accompaniment that never overpowers the visual, but rather weaves in and out, ominously rising where the drama increases and then fluttering to a whisper when more sensory stimulus would be a distraction.

One of the few criticisms this reviewer heard from knowledgeable pro-Israel activists such as Helene Fragman Abramson, of Princeton, New Jersey, is that the documentary lays out the problem, but then viewers are left without a game plan. Abramson saw the documentary last year in New York City, at an event hosted by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.  Senior leadership at CAMERA are co-producers of the film.

As if in answer to Abramson’s complaint, just last week Greenfield’s production company, Doc Emet Productions, released With Clarity and Courage – An Activist’s Guide as a companion to the film.  The publication is available here.  It was written by Anna Kolodner, former executive director of the David Project Center for Jewish Leadership, and contains detailed information on how to combat Judeophobia.   So in addition to delivering an absolutely first rate, must-see documentary, Doc Emet Productions has now provided a follow-through game plan, or at least the tools for activists to use to create their own.

Upcoming Screenings

Newton, Massachusetts
January 6, 2013
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Orange County Internatlonal Jewish Film Festival, California
January 16, 2013
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Port Elizabeth, South Africa
January 20, 2013
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Durban, South Africa
January 21, 2013
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Cape Town, South Africa
January 24, 2013
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Modi’in, Israel
January 27, 2013
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New York, New York
February 6, 2013
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New York, New York
February 7, 2013
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Dallas, Texas
February 10, 2013
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Winchester, Massachusetts
April 21, 2013
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Scarsdale, New York
May 6, 2013
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New Hyde Park, New York
May 11, 2013
Read more

To rent the movie for public events or private screenings, or to see where the film is being shown in  your area, go to www.unmaskedthemovie.com.

Guardian Newspaper Bans Pro-Israel Watchdog from Site

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

The British newspaper The Guardian has banned Adam Levick, the managing editor, of the pro-Israel media watchdog, CiFWatch, from its website, deleting all prior comments on Guardian articles and disabling his ability to contribute opinion pieces to the site and further comments.

CiFWatch monitors the Guardian’s coverage of Israel and is affiliated with the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. “CiF” stands for “Comment is Free” the opinion section of the Guardian where anti-Israel articles often appear.

In a posting on the CiFWatch website, Levick said that he had been a contributor to the Comment is Free section of the Guardian’s website for years and that his user account, and all prior comments on Guardian articles – many of which pointed out anti-Israel bias –  was terminated without any explanation.

Levick’s work at CiFWatch has led in the past to corrections of many Guardian articles.

Levick noted that “occasionally I sensed that I may have annoyed the CiF moderators by violating the Guardian Prime Directive: Thou shall not write the name ‘CiF Watch’ or link to it in any way…”

Anti-Jewish, Anti-Christian Amanpour to Host Prime Time Bible Special

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

The CNN/ABC television journalist Christiane Amanpour has been the focus of numerous exposes for her repeated gratuitously nasty and false reporting on Israel and about religious Jews and Christians.

Back in August, 2007, Amanpour hosted a three part CNN series on “God’s Warriors.”  Each segment of the series focused on the “extremists” of a different one of each of the three major monotheistic religions: Jewish, Christian and Muslim.  Amanpour equated the Jewish and Christian fundamentalists with the fundamentalist Jihadi Muslims.  In the segment on “God’s Jewish Warriors,” Amanpour focused on the Jews living in Judea and Samaria, and those in the United States who financially support them.

Andrea Levin, the widely respected executive director of the Committee for Accuracy in Media for Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) described Amanpour’s reporting in that series as, “the most poisonously biased and factually shoddy feature to air on mainstream television in recent memory.”

Levin writes:

Throughout, Amanpour hammers the claim that Jewish settlements violate international law and she seeks to paint this position as a universally accepted view with a lopsided parade of like-minded commentators.

Yet apart from any judgement about the political advisability of building or not building settlements, many legal scholars argue these communities are, in fact, legal and do not violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention as the detractors claim …  But not one scholar of this viewpoint is given voice in a two-hour feature largely devoted to decrying settlements and their residents.

Now ABC has chosen Amanpour to host a two part series called “Back to the Beginning.” In this series, ABC describes Amanpour as traveling to the land of the biblical stories from Genesis to Jesus.

Using the Old Testament as a guidebook, “Back to the Beginning” peels back the layers of history and faith that has inspired billions. Amanpour, the veteran war correspondent, wanted to investigate the roots of those stories that have created so much conflict, and at the same time so much of the healing she has seen across her career. It is an extraordinary journey through the deserts and cities of the ancient world, to the historical and pilgrimage sites associated with the epic tale that is the backbone of Judaism, Christianity and Islam today.

But perhaps Amanpour’s anti-Israel bias has abated.  It’s been more than five years since her last foray into an exclusively religious focus on the Middle East.  Not bloody likely, as her reporting from the Middle East about the recent Hamas-Israel conflict confirms.

Rather than the result of Hamas’s escalating rocket attacks on Israel – more than 130 in the 72 hours before Israel finally responded – Amanpour described the eight day military exchanges as caused by Israel ratcheting up the conflict.

Amanpour presented Israel’s Pillar of Defense as an offensive move, and the “first target was Ahmed El Jabari, a military chief of Hamas, the Islamic political party that governs the Gaza Strip which Israel and the West call a terrorist organization.”

Israel and the West recognize Hamas as a terrorist organization, while Amanpour’s description of Jabari made him sound like a noble Indian chieftain, rather than the mastermind of dozens of Israelis’ deaths, including small children, and of the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit whose release in exchange for more than 1000 Arab Palestinian prisoners catapulted Jibari to Hamas leadership.

In this upcoming series, Amanpour is going to be looking at the “historical and pilgrimage sites associated with the epic tale that is the backbone of Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” according to ABC’s press release.  The series is likely to be promoted as fact-based, but Amanpour’s history gives little comfort to those who fear it will be wildly dismissive of Jewish and Christian claims, and naively accepting of Muslim claims.

The ABC series “Back to the Beginnings” will air on Friday evenings, Dec 21 and Dec 28.

E-1 Contiguity Fallacy Returns

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

With Israel’s announcement that it plans to proceed with construction in Area E-1, east of Jerusalem, earlier falsehoods about that land reemerge. Thus, Ha’aretz reports that construction in E-1

would effectively bisect the West Bank and sever the physical link between the Palestinian territories and Jerusalem.

Similarly, the New York Times reports:

Construction in E1, in West Bank territory that Israel captured in the 1967 war, would connect the large Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim to Jerusalem, dividing the West Bank in two. The Palestinian cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem would be cut off from the capital, making the contiguous Palestinian state endorsed by the United Nations last week virtually impossible.

So is it true that construction in E-1 would bisect the West Bank, and severing Palestinian contiguity, and cutting off Palestinian areas from Jerusalem? The answer is no. As CAMERA pointed out in 2005 (“The Contiguity Double Standard“):

Palestinian contiguity in the West Bank would be no more cut off with the so-called E-1 corridor than would Israeli contiguity if Israel were to withdraw to its pre-1967 borders, even with slight modifications.

Here’s why. First, take a look at this map of the region:

e1 continguity.jpg

As CAMERA earlier explained:

The black X marks the approximate location of the new neighborhood near Ma’aleh Adumim. To the west of the X is Jerusalem. The red line surrounding the X is the planned route of the security barrier, which will encircle Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem.

Those who charge that Israeli building in Ma’aleh Adumim severs north-south contiguity disregard the fact that Palestinian-controlled areas would be connected by land east of Ma’aleh Adumim (marked on the map) that is at its narrowest point ~15 km wide.

Moreover, Israel proposes to build tunnels or overpasses to obviate the need for Palestinians to detour to the east through the corridor.

Ironically, many of those who argue for greater contiguity between Palestinian areas, at the same time promote Israeli withdrawal to its pre-1967 boundaries, which (even with minor modifications) would confine Israel to a far less contiguous territory than that of the West Bank. As shown on the map above, there is a roughly 15 km wide strip of land separating the Green Line (and the Security Fence) from the Mediterranean Sea (near Herzliya). Also shown is the circuitous route necessary to travel via this corridor between northern and southern Israel. (e.g. from Arad to Beit Shean.)

Nor is it true that the construction would cut off Palestinian areas from Jerusalem. Access to Jerusalem through Abu Dis, Eizariya, Hizma and Anata is not prevented by the proposed neighborhood, nor would it be precluded by a string of neighborhoods connecting Ma’aleh Adumim to Jerusalem.

Originally published at CAMERA.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/guest-blog/e-1-contiguity-fallacy-returns/2012/12/02/

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