In yet another attempt by anti-Israel media to sow tension in the Holy Land, one of the world’s oldest news outlets is accusing Israel of purposefully dividing Jerusalem against Palestinians.
On Monday, BBC’s “Panorama”, the network’s current affairs program, broadcast a segment, called “The Train that Divides Jerusalem,” that highlighted the Jerusalem light rail. The program spun the story as a diatribe against Israel and the city of Jerusalem by claiming that the light rail not only divided the city, but gave Jewish residents access to Palestinian neighborhoods.
The opening segment of the program portrayed Palestinians complaining about the light rail. Later on it followed the journey of British and Jewish filmmaker Adam Wishart, who claims that the train is indeed “dividing” Israel’s capital.
According to Wishart, “Jerusalem, an ancient city with a sparkling new train. It was meant to help unite this place but the train is dividing it further. Now it’s easier for Jews to travel into Palestinian suburbs…But the Palestinians would rather they stay away.”
Israel based media watchdog Honest Reporting railed against the program, claiming that it was biased and skewing factual evidence while leaving out other important factors of how the light rail unifies the city.
What Wishart “failed to mention is that the light rail also makes it easier for Palestinian residents of Jerusalem to travel to parts of the city such as its hospitals, shopping malls, cafes, movie theaters or any other location in the city that Palestinians are not prevented from enjoying along with their Jewish neighbors.”
Honest Reporting further critiqued the BBC piece by pointing out that Wishart failed to address the benefits that Palestinian residents of Jerusalem have over their brethren who live in Judea and Samaria or in the Gaza strip.
Palestinians in Jerusalem receive the same national insurance and health coverage as all other Israelis, have the option of obtaining Israeli citizenship and enjoy the right to live and work in Israel. Palestinians are also free to rent or buy property, even in neighborhoods that are considered Jewish.
Wishart also neglected to mention the numerous terror attacks perpetrated by Palestinians against passengers on the Light Rail that have occurred in the past year. Wishart concluded his video by making the following statement: “My journey has been heartbreaking. When my grandparents campaigned for the state of Israel, they hoped for a place of refuge, of tolerance, and equal rights for all. As I take the last train I just can’t believe this could be the place that they dreamed of all those years ago.”