Harriet Sherwood can see Palestine from here.

Harriet Sherwood’s recent Guardian story, ‘Winston Churchill sculpture unveiled in Jerusalem‘, Nov. 4, reported on a new statue of Churchill, and a plaque proclaiming him “a friend of the Jewish people and the Zionist cause”. 

Sherwood notes that the bust was unveiled at Mishkenot Sha’ananim, “outside the walls of the Old City, in recognition of the contribution made by Britain’s wartime leader to the creation of the state of Israel“.

Sherwood added that the commissioning of the bust followed the publication five years ago of ‘Churchill and the Jews’ by Martin Gilbert.

While Sherwood’s report is mostly straight forward, she decided to take an odd detour in the penultimate paragraph, where she wrote the following:

“The bust is situated close to the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City and within distant sight of the 8m-high concrete wall which cuts off Palestinian communities in east Jerusalem from the rest of the city.”

Hmm.

My guess is that Sherwood is likely referring to this view of the wall, as seen from Mishkenot, beyond which are Arab communities such as  Shu’afat.

(Note to those of you who actually rely on Harriet Sherwood for “news” about Israel: The mysterious upside down red building, seen way, way in the distance, umm, isn’t actually there.)

As a colleague observed about Sherwood’s interesting criteria for selecting her landmarks, she could just as easily have written that the bust is within walking distance of the Mahane Yehuda market (The Shuk), which was the site of several terror attacks. 

Her urge to make an unrelated reference to some aspect of Palestinian suffering was evidently beyond her ability to control.

In fact, Sherwood’s selective vision made me think of what other arbitrary links she could have made in order to make a political point, and I thought it would be fun to see how far we can take it – using the same sentence.

So, here’s my effort.

The bust is situated near Keren Hayesod St, where you can find the number 8 bus, which takes you to Jaffa St, where you can catch the Jerusalem Light Rail which serves Arab neighborhoods such as Shu’afat – part of a deliberate plan to link the East Jerusalem settlements to the city centre, thus consolidating Israel‘s grip on the eastern part of the city that Palestinians want as a capital of their future state.

I’d like to see what tales of Israeli oppression you can contrive from the words, “The bust is situated”. The possibilities are endless.