This Is Not A Wall


wallOutside a Palestinian refugee settlement in Jersualum


That‘s a wall.

But the rest is chain-link.

Simon Plosker from pro-Israeli media watchdog HonestReporting writes::

[author and former diplomat] Eamon Delaney‘s book review for the Irish Independent of one author’s experiences in the Middle East does not appear at first sight to be contentious.

However, it includes the following statements:

‘Her first [Dervla Murphy’s book], entitled A Month by the Sea – Encounters in Gaza, described conditions in the crowded Mediterranean strip of Gaza, which is surrounded by Israel, run by Hamas and sustained by smuggling.’

Gaza is not “surrounded by Israel.” It also has a border with Egypt, which is also blockading the Hamas-controlled Strip.

Referring to the West Bank/Judea & Samaria, Delaney states that the territory is:

‘Surrounded by a huge wall and chopped into zones by the Israeli military.’

Except the area is not “surrounded by a huge wall.” Firstly, considering the territory borders Jordan, it cannot considered to be “surrounded.” Secondly, Israel’s security barrier is not a “huge wall” but is over 95 percent chain link fence.

As for the statement that the territory is “chopped into zones by the Israeli military,” this is also inaccurate.

The territory is divided into Areas A (under full Palestinian Authority civil and security control), B (Palestinian civil control and joint Israeli-Palestinian security control), and C (full Israeli civil and security control). These areas were created not by the IDF but as a result of the Oslo Accords as negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians.

Later, in what we hope is simply a careless typo, Yad Vashem is referred to as “the holocaust museum.” The Holocaust is commonly and correctly spelled with a capital “H” to affirm that it refers to a specific and unique historical event. To spell it with a lower case “h” is simply incorrect and in doing so makes the Holocaust of the Jewish people indistinguishable from other historical genocides.

Ultimately, Eamon Delaney’s book review is an example of how careless and inaccurate language can subtly alter even a relatively neutral piece of writing concerning Israel.


Irish Independent Gets Careless With the Facts (HonestReporting)

Dervla Murphy on life on the ground in the West Bank (Eamon Delaney, Irish Independent)

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51 thoughts on “This Is Not A Wall

        1. f_lawless

          “it was more mechanized, more inhumane than anything before or since”
          I’m in no way trying to belittle the suffering of Jews under the Nazi regime but I challenge you to back up that assertion.
          Mao’s cultural genocide in China killed up to an estimated 60-80 million people, with citizens subjected to unbearable hardships and sinking to unimaginable depths of depravity. Here’s just one example of the inhumanity (quoting from this article ) :
          “Deng Jifang had fled his village as a young boy after his brother and father, who belonged to the hated landlord class, were killed by the government in the 1950s.
          But in 1968, villagers trying to comply with a Red Guard frenzy for rounding up “class enemies” hunted down Deng, then 20, in a neighboring village. They carried him in a bamboo cage back to Sixiao, where the villagers beat him and poked him with hot iron rods until he passed out.
          The villagers then carried him to the river, and while he was still alive, Yi slit his chest and pulled out Deng’s heart and liver.
          “Because he was a class enemy, it wasn’t enough to kill him,” Zheng said. “You had to eat him. It was a symbol of loyalty to the party.” ”

          Also, in terms of intensity alone, the Rwandan genocide of 1994 probably ranks at the top with an estimated million people slaughtered within just 100 days.
          The sad reality is, that the Nazi’s mass killing of the Jews was not a unique event in human history.

          1. peterandrefan44

            yes we can all find examples of terrible things happening in history, but what a lot of the “blame Israel first” group are engaged in is a deliberate diminution of the scale of the Holocaust. it suits their political views.

          2. Paolo

            The holocaust has NOTHING to do with the apartheid of Palestine. Trying to relate every Israeli war crime to the Holocaust does not serve the memory of six million+ jews who were murdered.

            Zionists pointing out a journalist’s use of a lower case h while ignoring the ethnic cleansing on their doorstep says it all really.

      1. Sancho

        You can quite reasonably criticize much of Israel’s behavior in relation to the Palestinians but making light of the Holocaust just makes you look like an ignorant di*k, at best.

  1. Friscondo

    Honest reporting/dishonest propaganda. There are loads of these asshats making a living picking on perceived inaccuracies as if that absolves Israel of its criminal behaviour.

  2. Spartacus

    Never the shy retirng type when it comes to criticising the actions of the Israeli government when they deserve it, I must however agree with Mr. Plosker. Pedantry it may be, but he is correct.

  3. Truth in the News

    Its a “Concrete Curtain”, funny that countries that expound
    on democratic values like Israel and the USA have to hide
    behind walls and then complained so much about the “Iron Curtain”
    when it existed.
    Had CRH any involvement in its construction…..?

  4. Peguy

    What’s bizarre about this is that the review hints at only mild criticism of Israel and Delaney is usually regarded as one of the more pro-Israeli voices in the Irish media.

    1. Spartacus

      I don’t see any comment one way or the other from Plosker on Dervla Murphy’s books. Looking at it objectively, that’s a temperate and accurate (if somewhat pedantic) view of Delaney’s critique.

      Sorry, but I don’t see the problem here.

  5. The Lady Vanishes

    I note my post expressing the opinion that Eamon Delaney has elsewhere lacked thoroughness in fact-checking has been deleted.

    There could be many reasons for this, but let’s assume it’s the most reasonable one, namely that I did not give an example to support this assertion.

    Please find example here:-

  6. TransOpTrans

    He’s right to pull them up on this.

    Sinn Fein/IRA get bent out of shape when someone says “Northern Ireland” instead of the “north of Ireland” and they’re fellow travellers of Hamas and Co. So what’s sauce for the goose…

    Israel Rocks. Palestinians just throw them.

  7. Sancho

    The chain-link fence point is more than is a bit ridiculous but he’s right on the border points. No excuse for getting that wrong and frankly, it reflects poorly on the writer to ignore this. On the Holocaust point, I’m not sure what the convention is on this, if it should be a capital “H” so be it. If I were a Jew, I’d probably feel much more strongly on the point but I wouldn’t get bent out of shape on someone picking me up on using a lower case “h”. It was pretty horrific after all. Broadsheet picking up on the chain link fence comment, while ignoring the borders comment is a bit lazy and cheap.

    1. JimmytheHead

      Yes, how nice of israel (small i) to allow them an exit from their country through Jordan, or Egypt. Not really the point and actually makes me madder. I would imagine Delaney became quite biased once he saw the way things are over there, happy to forgive any mistakes such as not emphasizing the chain fence to concrete wall ratio. How plosker (small p) can talk so casually about the levels of segregation his people have forced upon the Palestinian people is disgusting – as if they were just getting some payback for the holocaust (small h).

      1. Sancho

        I think his point is that if the Palestinians are not allowed to exit Palestine through Jordan or Egypt, it is hardly Israel’s fault. Essentially there are three countries involved in preventing Palestinians getting out of Palestine- not just one- and it is curious that the author fails to note this. And, of course, it begs the question- “why don’t they allow it?” It is curious that despite their ties (Jordan and Palestine & Egypt and Palestine), neither Jordan nor Egypt want to allow any Palestinians in.

        1. Blublu

          Have you ever tried entering the West Bank through Jordan? The indisputable fact is that the IDF run that border. I had a friend who was doing a summer internship with the Guardian. He tried to enter Jordan from the West Bank to travel back to the UK. He had his laptop seized and destroyed. Ironically his paper wouldn’t publish it because he had no evidence.

        2. JimmytheHead

          Glossing over the fact that Palestine is occupied in the first place! And I dont want a history lesson, Im aware of their claim over that land but also aware that blowing the sh*t out of unarmed people in an illegal land grab is just not on, regardless of history or religion.

    2. delacaravanio

      The capital-h Holocaust to signify the Nazi orchestrated one is a common convention amongst not only Jewish people, but also amongst many academics.

      We do the same thing here: there was a lot of famines, but only one Famine.

  8. Praetorian.

    Cooommee on dooownn Simon…tonight you won a blue UN helmet & flack jacket,a rifle with 60 rounds and a mandate for peace keeping buddy…no…not peace enforcement…peace keeping…and a six month stay in beautiful south Lebanon.
    Watch and observe your yid buddies in action then write a pro Israeli article after that…i dare ya.

        1. rotide

          The word Yid is clearly racist. ‘paki’ is merely short for Pakistani however , You won’t see many people arguing that it’s not racist.

          Anyway, you’ve done a fine job of covering yourself in glory below, so I’ll leave you to enjoy your day pal.

        1. Spartacus

          noun, Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive.
          1. a contemptuous term used to refer to a Jew.

          Whatever issues you may have with members of the IDF, using the term Yid is clearly racist. Further, it is hardly appropriate to label all Jews (or all Israelis for that matter) based on your narrow viewpoint. If you (as you appear to be implying) wore the blue helmet, you were not (or should not have been) operating “against” the IDF or any other entity.

          1. Praetorian.

            Tell that to family members of the DF who served with UNIFIL who where murderd by the IDF.
            As a matter of fact pass it on to family members of murderd Fijibatt personnel who where slaughterd during ‘operation grapes of wrath’ in Quana,The Spanish peacekeeper murderd last year in the Golan…and if you have time the Palestinians in shatelia and Shabra stadiums in Beruit under the command of Ariel Sharon.
            you enjoy your day there pal.

          2. submissive acceptance of current conditionsNigel

            ‘Tell that to family members of the DF who served with UNIFIL who where murderd by the IDF.’

            How would that make the term any less racist/anti-semitic?

  9. shitferbrains

    In actual fact it’s – the security barrier – only a wall where it prevents line-of-sight sniping. And the barrier was only built during the 2nd Intifada to keep out suicide bombers. Like the so-called ” Peace Walls ” in Belfast were built to keep bombers and snipers from going about their grisly business.

  10. Blublu

    Fact 1 – Area A is not under full PA control. This is a myth that I have seen. IDF regularly enter these areas to police them.
    The other myth here is that the areas are modelled after the Oslo Accords. Very easy mistake to make admittedly but the Accords were never meant to be lasting. More importantly they never sanctioned restriction of movement between the areas which does happen. There are hundreds of IDF run internal borders in the West Bank. Most importantly, they also never gave Israel permission to occupy lands in Area C.

    Fact 2 – The west bank does have a geographical border with Jordan. But practically this is run by the IDF, this fact was unbelievably ignored by Plosker. Does this constitute a border? I think only a moron would think so. There is no freedom here. Plosker also leaves out that Palestinians need to apply to Israel for a Visa to leave the West Bank. Does this constitute a border for Palestine? Again only a complete moron would think so. Anecdotally is is impossible to cross. Even an English friend of mine who was doing an internship for the Guardian had his laptop seized and destroyed. Ironically they wouldn’t run the story because of a lack of evidence (amazingly the IDF wouldn’t admit it happened).

    Fact 3 – regarding the walls, of course the majority of it is not concrete (only for a lack of US funding). They also don’t stick to the UN agreed border (again a border agreed with the premise of a free Palestine on the other side). By definition it can be proved that we wall chops up Palestine. It separates houses from local villages : and runs right through (UN and Oslo agreed) palestinian towns:

    The irony of a “fact-check” being so factually incorrect is quite sad because it actually might legitimise his points with people who genuinely don’t know.

  11. bisted

    …oh dear…Malcolm Rifkind forced to resign as chairman of UK security committee…Netanyahu crying wolf and picking a fight with Obama…you’re gonna need a bigger wall.

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