22 July '15..
In an alternate universe, had Israel decided that Jerusalem’s light rail would discriminate against Palestinian residents of the city by avoiding their neighborhoods, you can bet that the BBC (and many others) would be up in arms. In reality, the light rail serves all populations of Jerusalem, be they Jewish, Muslim or Christian.
But that hasn’t stopped the BBC from focusing on the light rail as a means to portray Jerusalem’s Palestinians as the victims of some malevolent scheme to “Judaize” the city at their expense. And all led by the development of Jerusalem’s transport network.
BBC Panorama, the network’s flagship current affairs program, broadcast “The Train That Divides Jerusalem” on July 20. It is a biased and one-sided look at Jerusalem.
SPEAKING ‘AS A JEW’
Filmmaker Adam Wishart makes sure to point out at the very beginning of the program that he is a British Jew who has previously been on a Zionist educational tour of Israel some three decades ago as if this gives him some special authority to discuss the issues at hand based on his identity. It becomes clear throughout the program that Wishart neither speaks for British Jews nor has any special knowledge about Jerusalem.
The opening segment provides a good idea of where Wishart is going. Interspersed with clips of Palestinian complaints he narrates:
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.
This sets the framework through which Wishart views Jerusalem – a city that should be divided along ethnic lines. If he is so concerned that the light rail makes it easier for Jews to travel into “Palestinian suburbs,” has he considered the fact 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 Arabs are not prevented from enjoying along with their Jewish neighbors?
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