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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Al-Beeb's Jerusalem distortion

The BBC presents another gross distortion - this one in Jerusalem. I've already discussed this report once here. CAMERA has an extensive report on this show, parts of which appear below. I urge you to read and view the whole thing.

Let's go to the videotape.

Parts 2 and 3 are below.

CAMERA adds:
Corbin's bias is evident from the start as she introduces the "battlefield," as she terms it. Those wielding "the weapons" are "the Israeli authorities," while the victims are the Palestinians whose homes are being demolished.

Bulldozers are seen dismantling a structure as Arab women cry, and Corbin breathlessly informs viewers that "demolitions have been increasing in recent days." She confides that she has gotten hold of "a list that shows there's another forty to go before the end of the year" and absurdly suggests that the reason for this is that the Jerusalem municipality "has a budget it has to use up for demolitions." Shockingly, she makes no mention of why these homes are being demolished, leaving viewers with the false impression that it is an official Israeli policy — complete with mandatory budget — to render Arabs homeless.

In fact, Jerusalem authorities demolish only structures that are built illegally — something Corbin does not bother to inform viewers until halfway through the program when she revisits the topic of home demolitions.


Corbin portrays the demolitions as stealth operations by Israeli authorities that suddenly and without warning force Arabs out of their homes. But in fact, such demolitions are subject to rigorous guidelines and procedures. According to the Israel's Planning and Building Law, a demolition order can be issued only after a municipal engineer or architect signs an affidavit stating that:
a. the structure was built without a permit or does not conform to building standards
b. the building is not yet finished or was completed within the last 60 days
c. the building is not yet inhabited or has been lived in for 30 days or less.
According to Justus Reid Weiner's study, Illegal Construction in Jerusalem, the Jerusalem municipality requires five signatures before such a demolition order can be carried out. Asked about the demolition process, the Jerusalem mayor's office informed CAMERA:
The first notification of an impending demolition is a sticker on the door that alerts the owners to contact the courts in 30 days. Then, if contact is made, the process can take many years before a demolition is decided and implemented. If no legal appeal is made, the courts decide after the original 30 days how long before the demolition must be completed.
Corbin either did not bother to clarify this or chose not to share it with viewers.

When Corbin finally does get around to mentioning Arab illegal building at the Silwan "stop," she presents the demolition of these structures as a move to harm Palestinians under the pretext of building a "tourist park."

She does not discuss why municipalities have the right to demolish illegal structures that threaten delivery of public services, provision of green spaces, and preservation of archeological, architectural and historical heritage. Governments all over the world regularly demolish structures that violate zoning laws or housing codes, do not meet planning standards, or stand in the way of urban renewal. The Palestinian Authority itself has demolished Palestinian homes that were built illegally on what it considers to be its state property.

Nor does Corbin discuss how illegal structures in Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods threaten the city's Arab residents. Indeed, many Arab residents of Jerusalem negatively affected by illegal building by their neighbors have issued formal complaints to the Jerusalem municipality. In his book, Illegal Construction in Jerusalem (Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, 2003), Justus Reid Weiner provides specific examples of complaints by Arab-Israeli residents who alerted the municipality to the illegal building of their neighbors.
There's lots more. Read the whole thing.

Here's Part 2 of the video. Let's go to the videotape.

Regarding the 88 'homes' to be demolished in Silwan, note this:
Progress has brought troubles along with it to the King's Valley. For hundreds of years floodwaters drained into the garden of the kings of Judea, east of the Shiloah Pool in Jerusalem. In winter it was a swamp, but in summer it became a blooming garden.

With a bit of imagination and with the help of varied historical sources it is possible to imagine King David strolling in the royal garden with its abundant greenery and water among the olive, fig, pomegranate and almond trees, singing Psalms.

According to one tradition, this is where the Book of Ecclesiastes was composed.

About 20 years ago, the Jerusalem municipality shored up the water runoff there, and in the open green area (al Bustan, in Arabic), which the Turks and the British took care to preserve for hundreds of years as a public area intended for preservation and development of parks and tourism, an illegal Palestinian outpost arose.

Within 18 years 88 buildings went up there, under the noses of mayors Teddy Kollek and now outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Under former mayor Uri Lupolianski, the construction was halted, after the municipality confiscated tractors and heavy machinery from the lawbreakers.

Last summer the director general of the Antiquities Authority, Shuka Dorfman, noted in a kind of "post mortem" that the construction in the King's Garden caused significant and irreversible damage to antiquities.

Representatives of the municipality and Dorfman admitted that they had no good explanation for what has happened in this lovely garden, which is described in the Books of Nechemiah and Ecclesiastes, in midrashim (rabbinic Biblical homiletics) and in many historical sources. Dorfman stressed that together with Tel David, the garden constitutes the only complete archaeological garden of first-rate importance.
Here's Part 3 of the video. Let's go to the videotape.

Since when is 'buying up of houses' a 'wrong' thing to do?

CAMERA discusses the case of Ahmed Qaareen at length. Don't miss it.

By the way, when all is said and done, the percentage of Arabs in Jerusalem is growing.

And finally, for some balance that was missing in the BBC report, please consider this. Let's go to the videotape.

Note: Both parties are trying to put facts on the ground. Is that so surprising?


At 12:57 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

"Within 18 years 88 buildings went up there"
could be a coincidence, but either way, the inclusion of 18 and 88 in that context are inflammatory to white supremacists (whether in the neonazi movements or in the church pew).

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

"Within 18 years 88 buildings went up there"
could be a coincidence, but either way, the inclusion of 18 and 88 in that context are inflammatory to white supremacists (whether in the neonazi movements or in the church pew).

At 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't expect anything else from the Balestinian Broadcasting Corporation.

At 8:11 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Ironically enough, the only people the world wants to impose apartheid on is Jerusalem's Jews.


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