by Daniel Pipes
April 29, 2010
updated May 2, 2010
No contemporary state faces such an array of threats as does Israel – indeed, probably no state in history ever has. Consider their range:
- Weapons of mass destruction: Iran, Syria
- Conventional military attack: Egypt
- Terrorism: Hizbullah, Fath, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad
- Economic blockade and boycott: the Arab League
- Demographic assault: Palestinian demands for a “right of return”
- Ideological undermining: “Zionism is racism”
But it’s not just the range of the assault, it’s also the depth and the, well, creativity. Israel gets attacked for real and imaginary transgressions that no one thought of before. Here’s the latest one, a real attention grabber, as reported by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA):
The Economist, with Al Jazeera hot on its heels, has dug up a new Israeli villain: traffic lights. This joins aphrodisiac bubble gum, poisonous candy, super rats, and stripper assassins in Israel’s purported arsenal of tools to oppress Arabs. According to a March 6, 2010 article in the mainstream British news magazine, traffic lights in Jerusalem “flick green only briefly for cars from Palestinian districts while staying green for cars from Jewish settlements for minutes.”
To its credit, CAMERA undertook a detailed research project on the allegedly racist traffic signals.
A CAMERA field investigation reveals that the Economist and Al Jazeera claims are absurdly false — the latest examples of how even the most benign irritations encountered in quotidian life are manipulated to demonize the Jewish state. In fact, the discrepancy between the timing of red and green lights is related, as in cities across the world, to street size and traffic flow, affecting cars from both Arab and Jewish neighborhoods equally.
The report then goes into excruciating but necessary specifics to refute the allegations. An excerpt about an intersection on Route 60 in Jerusalem:
Cars approach the intersection on one side from the Jewish neighborhoods of Mea She’arim (Moshe Sacks St.) and on the other side from the predominantly Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah (Van Paassen St). Both encounter a 15-second green light and a one-minute-23-second red light.
This entry will document on an occasional basis other unique assaults on Israel. (April 29, 2010)