Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Just another Karl Vick in the Wall ...

Really Karl Vick? Really Time Magazine? Did I really just read this idiotic article you put together?

I don't even know where to begin. Ok, that's not true, I do know.

Why oh why please tell me, do you refer throughout your article to Israel's security barrier as "the Wall" with the "W" capitalized? Is it the only wall in the world, earning it the right to be capitalized? Is the barrier so unique that it has been gifted with the status of being a proper noun like "The White House?"

Beyond that there is so much more. The article, "Palestinians, Contained," is not so much journalism as it is pro-Palestinian theater. It seems to rehash several pro-Palestinian memes that the media has conjured up throughout the last decade, throwing them all together into a pastiche of sympathy and pity for the poor, hapless Palestinians. As in the following:
The economic consequences of the Wall are plain: it has kept out of Israel hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who used to travel there every day, mostly to work. In the living room of Ramzi's father, family friend Taeser Ihmad complains that after 20 years earning 200 shekels ($55) a day as a gardener at a Jerusalem hospital, he now makes just 80 shekels ($22) building houses in Ramallah.
Is it really the barrier that has kept Palestinians out? Is it not perhaps due to Israel's decision to close of it's territory to the Palestinians, the logical and inevitable result of the war of terror the Palestinians waged against Israel's civilians?

Of course, this is not an anti-Israel article per se; Vick tries throughout to provide some sympathy to the Israelis as well. They are described as nice and pleasant by the Palestinians who used to visit them in Israel before the Intifada. But overall, the situation is described as deteriorating, and the problems are inevitably linked to the separation caused by Israel's barrier.
And a generation of Palestinians is coming of age without even knowing what Israelis look like, much less the land both sides claim as their own. The absence of familiarity, names, basic knowing — the absence of the foundations of empathy — does not bode well for the chances of the two peoples one day living as neighbors in peace.
Yes, the separation is truly terrible. Perhaps it would be best if we went back to the good old days when we were at each others throats and hundreds of people were dying every month. Clearly there was much more empathy back then.

What's really amazing is that out of the approximately 1,700 words that make up this article about the effects of Israel's barrier, the word "terrorist" is used exactly once. Also, the term "suicide bombers" is used exactly once. Is the entire reason for the barrier not relevant to the story, or of so little relevance that it need be mentioned only once?

Of course, beyond the typical pro-Palestinian mindset that frames the entire article, there are interesting clues that seem to betray a total lack of understanding on Vick's part of the basic history of the situation here. Take a look at these two examples:
Rabah attributes the shift partly to the rise of political Islam across the Muslim Middle East — and partly to Israel's pushing Palestinians into that very community, not least by taking as its own nearly the whole Mediterranean coast, which historically kept Palestinian elites, at least, oriented to the West.
As late as 1967, some Palestinians often saw impressed Israelis who on weekends would drive over to Ramallah to snap pictures of Rabah's grandfather's villa. "Now it's reversed," he says. High-tech Israel has an enviable quality of life, one that young Palestinians would like to experience for themselves. But neither side visits the other.
On the first paragraph I'm left asking, "What the hell are you talking about?"

The whole Mediterranean coast? When? In '48? What does that have to do with the barrier Israel built in 2003? How does Israel's creation and the nature of it's territory lead to the radicalization of the Palestinians? You mean they are more radical now than when they wanted drive all the Jews into the sea? And this is because they can't spend time at the beach?

On the second paragraph, I sincerely hope that it was just a typo and that he meant 1977, or '87, or 97. You know, cause, Israelis couldn't go into the West Bank before '67, when it was occupied by Jordan.

I really don't know what to say other than all in all this article is a piece of crap.

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