Guardian publication contributor evokes Warsaw Ghetto in describing Israel’s security fence


On Oct. 21 the Observer (sister publication of the Guardian) published a review, by film critic Philip Frenchof the film ‘5 Broken Cameras, a documentary produced by a Palestinian about his “resistance” to Israel’s security fence in Bil’in.

French writes the following:

“Emad Burnat, the peasant and smallholder who spends his days and nights recording life about him in his native Bil’in, the township where his family has lived for generations

Like Filip in Camera Buff, Emad bought his first camera when his fourth son, Gibreel, was born in 2005. He initially used it for home movies and then, at their invitation, to make similar pictures for his neighbours.

But fairly soon Emad developed a sense of empowerment and a duty to serve his community. His camera became a way of uniting his fellow [Bil'in] citizens, publicising their struggle and becoming a witness for posterity when the Israeli authorities sent in troops to deprive them of land to create a defensive barrier of steel and wire that later became a high concrete wall.”

Background not provided by French includes the fact that, before the fence was erected, terrorists moved freely from Palestinian cities such as Bil’in to Israeli ones killing hundreds of innocent Jewish civilians. 

French also fails to note the 2011 relocation of the fence bordering Bil’in due to a ruling by Israel’s Supreme Court, which enlarged Palestinian territory, making the village more suitable for Palestinian agricultural.

Map outlining the new security fence route bordering the Palestinian village of Bil’in

However, in addition to the story’s predictable Palestinian narrative, the most absurd claim is made by French in the following passage:

“Emad developed a sense of empowerment and a duty to serve his community. His camera became a way of uniting his fellow citizens, publicising their struggle and becoming a witness for posterity when the Israeli authorities sent in troops to deprive them of land to create a defensive barrier of steel and wire that later became a high concrete wall. Inevitably, seeing this barrier going up in Israel we think of the wall surrounding the Warsaw ghetto, the one that appeared overnight in Berlin…”

Of course, any sane commentator would dismiss out of hand the notion that Israel’s security wall evokes (in any conceivable manner) the Jewish ghetto walls erected by the Nazis.

The Warsaw Ghetto, the largest Jewish ghetto in Nazi-occupied Europe, was established in the Polish capital in 1940. Eventually, over 400,000 Jews resided in an area of 3.4 km. From there, at least 254,000 ghetto residents were sent to the Treblinka death camp over a period of two months in 1942.

Average food rations in 1941 for Jews in Warsaw were limited to a mere 184 calories, and, among the Jews who weren’t sent to Nazi death camps, over 100,000 of the ghetto’s residents died due to disease, starvation or random killings.

Starving Jewish boy in the Warsaw ghetto, 1942.

Bil’in is a Palestinian administered town, and is not a ghetto in even the broadest sense of the word. 

The Warsaw ghetto walls were designed to keep Jews from escaping. 

Israel’s security fence was designed to keep terrorists from infiltrating Israel and murdering Jews.  

Israel’s security fence would only evoke a Holocaust-related comparison for those inebriated by the constant drumbeat of Guardian anti-Zionist propaganda.

22 comments on “Guardian publication contributor evokes Warsaw Ghetto in describing Israel’s security fence

  1. “the Israeli authorities sent in troops to deprive them of land”

    How about this claim. It takes quite a bit of chutzpah.

    • I can only encourage Adam Levick to go and watch Emad Burnat’s wonderful movie.

      It is a powerful account of Palestinian life under Israeli occupation and the plague of settler violence.

      The movie is making its way around the world, and rumor has it that it will be nominated for the Oscars.

      Better watch it before it wins.

      • “The movie is making its way around the world, and rumor has it that it will be nominated for the Oscars.”

        So was E.T. and many other fictional films. Being nominated for an Oscar does not mean it is factually accurate, or guarantee it is a good film.

        One day Nat, if you ever mature into an adult, you will learn there is a difference between fact and fiction.

  2. There’s no hint that Israel might have had a legitimate reason for her actions.   There’s no context.  This is a morality play.

    Israel has been turned into the representative of the devil for the masses.  I have no desire to be melodramatic but if I didn’t know how bloody murder and terrorism has been  deliberately stripped from the tale I would be incensed by the evil of the soldiers and the country that had causelessly, evilly, harmed these good people.

    The reviewer says:
    the receiving end of oppression and dispossession, administered by the unyielding, stony-faced representatives of those convinced of their own righteousness
    He is as stony-faced as the soldiers he describes, as convinced of the righteousness of the moral stance of the film, as blind to the humanity of the other side.

    This is not a review, it is a paean of praise to the poor suffering Palestinians.   It does not suggest that there could have been another approach.  There is no consciousness of Israelis as people protecting their own:  they are the soldiers and the wall
    ” when the Israeli authorities sent in troops to deprive them of land to create a defensive barrier of steel and wire that later became a high concrete wall”

    He talks of “injustice on a massive scale”, which is what the Guardian and the Observer and all their hired hands are perpetrating against Israel

      • Nat, what can be an appropriate response to people using the previously free access to Israeli towns and cities to bomb buses, nightclubs and restaurants, deliberately massacring civilians?

        • Labenal, how come the Wall is not built between Israel and the Palestinian territory, but partially inside the Palestinian territory?

          The International Court of Justice considers the route of the Wall as illegal, because it is not built along the border but inside the Palestinian territory, in contravention of international law.

          When the USA built a fence between its territory and the Mexican territory, it built it along the border, not in the middle of Mexico..

          • I am not privy to all the facts on the ground or the reasons for that choice of route.

            In some cases, however, it’s blatantly obvious why the 1967 ceasefire line was not followed precisely, as that would have left some towns inhabited by Israelis unprotected and vulnerable to attack by the terroists.

            In other places, the ceasefire line ran in such a way that a barrier would leave an Israeli town vulnerable to attack from high ground that overlook them. In order to be of any use whatsoever, therefore, it was necessary to prevent access to that high ground, so the barrier would have to deviate from the ceasefire line.

            These are just two examples. I am sure that the route chosen could be criticised, but my main point is that the barrier itself is absolutely justified. Now please answer my question. What do you think a responsible government should have done when its citizens were being blown up in hotels, nightclubs, buses and restaurants?

  3. I’m sure a lot of people are genuinely reminded of the Berlin Wall – although a lot of that has to do with the physical similarity and it dating from recent history. The big difference between it and the Israeli barrier, of course, is their function, i.e. keeping people in (GDR) and out (I/P) respectively.

    But “we think of the wall surrounding the Warsaw ghetto”?? No, Mr. French, speak for yourself there.

  4. Of course, the additional matter that seems to have escaped French is that walls are being built all over the world, for the same reason – to keep certain people out.

    Even between places like India and Bangladesh.

    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/india/111225/india-bangladesh-border

    Behind Rahim, a couple hundred meters into the Indian side of the border, is the world’s longest — and bloodiest — barbed wire fence.

    Dubbed the “wall of death” by locals, the 4,000 km barrier spans the length of the fifth-longest border in the world, and is manned by India’s Border Security Force (BSF), whose guards kill both Bangladeshis and Indians with impunity.

    Or – gulp – Spain and Morocco (I bet you can’t figure out why that is needed – aren’t the Straits of Gibraltar enough?)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melilla_border_fence

    The Melilla border fence is a separation barrier between Morocco and the Spanish city of Melilla. Constructed by Spain, its stated purpose is to stop illegal immigration and smuggling.

    And need I mention the “Peace Wall” in Belfast?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/gallery/2012/jan/22/belfast-peace-wall

    The biggest peace wall in Belfast runs along Cupar Way. It divides the east Belfast loyalist area of Shankill Road from the Catholic Springfield/Falls Roads area of west Belfast

    • Walls are built along borders.

      Israel’s Wall is NOT built along its border with the West Bank, but partially inside the West Bank, confiscating Palestinian land in violation of international law.

      This is why the route of the Wall was declared illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004.

      • Nat – there ARE no legally recognised “borders” between Israel and the West Bank. There is a cease-fire line. Is that what you mean?

        • Israel’s Wall is NOT built along its border with the West Bank, but partially inside the West Bank, confiscating Palestinian land in violation of international law.

          This is why the route of the Wall was declared illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004.

          • I can repeat things just as well as you can, Nat, so here goes.

            “Israel’s Wall” (Note – only a small part of the barrier is a wall, most of it is a fence) “is NOT built along its border with the West Bank”

            Nat – please point me towards the document/treaty/law that states that the 1967 ceasefire line (which is, I presume, to what you are referering) is a “border”?

            • I also look forward to your documenting the “border” that exists between the Shankhill Road and Falls Road to substantiate your claim that “walls are built along borders”.

              I won’t hold my breath.

              • there is no border because its all the one country. The so called border you speak of only to make it more difficult for two political groups from clashing.There’s nothing to stop either side from going around the barrier .

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