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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fisking the "anti-Arab traffic light" story (Bender)

There's an old Jewish joke that some Jews are so quick to blame everyone for anti-semitism that they call traffic lights "anti-semites" when they turn red on them.

That was the first thing I thought of when I saw the Arab story about how evil Zionists are programming traffic lights in a large city, deliberately, to humiliate Arabs.

But in case you have the slightest inkling that the stories are accurate, Dave Bender sets the record straight....

  • The so-called "Israeli settler road" shown in the story is used by West Bank Palestinians coming into town from their cities, towns and villages, and Israelis, alike.
  • It has to be wider at the intersection, since it carries much more traffic throughout the day, into, and around the city center: the traffic artery links up with the two main western and northern exits from the city.
  • The rail line is part of the Jerusalem rail system which all Jerusalemites are "suffering" from, including traffic delays across much of the city, years-long delays, cost overuns, and gridlock - for Israeli Jew and Palestinian Muslim alike.
  • Oh, and the rail line workers? Palestinians. Willing to bet. Good jobs with a major construction company, bringing home the, umm, bacon, as it were to their families.
  • The Jerusalem Municipality, at a cost to taxpayers (note: mostly not the Palestinians embroiled in the AM traffic jams) of tens of millions of dollars to improve traffic flow around town, including Palestinian towns of Beit Hanina, and Shuafat, noted in the story.
  • The same Palestinians in Beit Hanina and Shuafat will also have use of the rail system - whenever it's completed.
  • No Jerusalem traffic official is quoted about the computerized monitoring system that changes to timing to reflect the varying traffic loads throughout the day.
  • I used to live in the immediate area, and am familiar with the issues of traffic on and around this junction, and I say: the woman's talking unmitigated rubbish.
  • I could fisk more, but why bother - since this is what passes for "hard news" from here.
  • Sigh.