There is no question that many everyday Palestinians experience disruption in their daily lives because of Israeli security measures against infiltration. It could not be otherwise but that Israel's need to restrict terrorist access to its citizens would also impact on the mobility of those workaday Palestinians. There also can be no question that the overhanging Palestinian terrorist threat is the reason for the stringent Israeli security measures. So, although we have come not to expect too much objectivity these days from The New York Times, the “paper of record” outdid itself on Tuesday. For The Times, the only story to be told about Israel's security measures was the impact they are having on Palestinian civilians.
Entitled, “For Palestinians, A Daily, Dirty Obstacle Course,” and appearing on the front page, it began with,
This is where the miserable part of Dr. Dima Amin's day kicks in, on the stretch of a broken road running past a Palestinian refugee camp. This is where she finds out if it will take forever for her to get to work in Jerusalem, or just horribly long.
“You never can tell,” Dr. Amin said.” “Sometimes it's easy, other times…” She did not have to say more. A roll of the eyes said it all.
“It makes you so stressed,” she said, “every single day.”
And so it went.
But is that really the story to be told about lives being intruded upon? What about ordinary Israelis being at risk when walking the streets, or going to work, or to a cafe or pizza shop? What about kids going to school, to a sports event, or on a bus? After all, Israel is reacting defensively while its citizens are being threatened by purposeful terror. For Heaven's sake, the Palestinians regularly proclaim their intentions to kill Jews! And incredibly, The Times story quotes the very same Palestinian leaders, complaining of the restrictions, who are complicit in the suicide bombings.
In a larger sense, of course, Israel's actions are no where as onerous as America's immigration policy. For economic reasons, we restrict access of foreign nationals altogether. In Israel's case, Palestinian workers are merely regulated in their comings and goings.
Yet, the Middle East being what it is, this reality is not the one that rises to the surface.