By the Company He Keeps

This is a guest post by Israelinurse
If, according to the old saying, one can judge a man by the company he keeps, can one also judge a writer by the sources he chooses to use? If so, self-styled Israel ‘expert’ Ben White has scored several serious own-goals in his latest shabby attempt to demonise Israel.
White’s first source comes from no less than the ‘Electronic Intifada’. Of course no sane person would expect to find credible, objective information on that site, but the caption under the picture on the linked page made me chuckle.

“A waterstation in front of an unrecognized village, 5 km from Bir Saba. Bedouin do not have access to this waterstation. (Photo: Ameer Makhoul)”
This of course implies that other people – presumably evil Zionists – do get water from it. Not so, I’m afraid; look at the valves on top of the water pipe. These clearly indicate that this is not a water station from which people obtain water; they are in fact air-release valves designed to eliminate air from, and therefore regulate pressure in, water pipelines.
Now you are doubtless wondering how a woman in the healthcare business like myself knows so much about air-release valves. Well it just so happens that these valves are made in one factory in Israel by a company called A.R.I. and by complete coincidence, I was a shareholder in that factory for 21 years, so I would recognise them from 100 meters. Nice try, Mr. White.
White’s next link is to a Y-net article about the closure of ‘Tipat Halav’ clinics in Bedouin villages. Although a statement in the article declares that “no-one would close a clinic located in a Jewish community”, it is quite clear from the same article that exactly that has happened too, so White’s implications that the “official reason” is somewhat suspect fall short. As explained in an equivalent article from the Jerusalem Post, the Israeli Ministry of Health is trying to solve the problem of a severe shortage of staff by training nurses from the Bedouin sector and is considering offering existing nurses incentives to relocate to the Negev.
As a former employee of ‘Clalit’ myself, I can vouch for the fact that there has been a shortage of nurses in Israel for at least 15 years that I know of. In the (predominantly Jewish) rural area in which I practiced government run ‘Mother and Baby’ clinics, or ‘Tipat Halav’ as they were formerly known, have closed down too and the services are now outsourced to the general clinics run by Clalit Health Services in a bid to combat staff shortages and increase efficiency.
White’s third, fourth, and sixth come from Adalah, his seventh from Ha’aretz – an article written by an Adalah employee – and his sixteenth source from an Adalah Urban and Regional Planner.
Adalah is an NGO operating in Israel with a very specific political agenda. In 2007, Adalah called for the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees whilst simultaneously proposing an end to Jewish immigration except under humanitarian circumstances. In other words, Adalah wishes to see the end of Israel as a Jewish state.
For his twelfth source, White uses a Human Rights Watch report, the link to which does not open, but no matter; seeing as the HRW report was largely compiled from material supplied by Adalah, the reader will get the general idea, particularly as by now we are all aware of HRW’s reliance upon some rather suspect NGOs for its information.
Of course those familiar with the shoddy work of Ben White in his infamous book will not be in the least surprised by this latest missive. In all fairness, what would we expect from a man who recommends the writings of a Holocaust denier such as Garaudy?
Ben White is on a mission to persuade the world that Israel should not exist, so it hardly comes as a shock that he would stoop to the lowest possible sources in order to ‘prove’ his point.
In his final paragraph, White claims to have exposed the “myth of Israel as the region’s only democracy”. Anyone who can persuade himself of that needs a serious reality check. And anyone who publishes such ridiculous propaganda, based on such obviously suspect sources, even more so.

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