On Dec. 6th the Guardian published a profile of Leila Sansour, the Bethlehem born, British director of the documentary Open Bethlehem.
The article, by Nick McGrath, included some background on the Christian holy city, as well as a paragraph describing the director’s return home.
Leila first returned to Bethlehem in 2002 to direct her debut feature film, Jeremy Hardy Versus the Israeli Army, which was set against the backdrop of the Israeli siege of Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity in 2002. By the time she returned in 2004, 180km of concrete wall, eight-metres high, built by the Israelis to “protect” increasing numbers of Jewish settlers from Palestinian attacks, now dominated the landscape and Leila’s cousin Carol was the only family member still in the city.
First, note the bizarre use of quotes around the word “protect“.
Is the Guardian’s McGrath suggesting that Israel’s decision to build the security fence may NOT in fact have been motivated by the desire to protect its citizens from waves of deadly suicide bombings during the 2nd Intifada? As CAMERA has demonstrated, there’s simply “no shortage of statistics pointing to a drop in suicide bombings” following the construction of the fence. In fact, terrorist leaders themselves have openly acknowledged that the fence impairs their capacity to launch such attacks.
Note also, in the passage we’ve highlighted, the Guardian’s suggestion that the fence was built only to protect “Jewish settlers”.
Again, this simply is not true, as the fence around Bethlehem was built in large measure to address the disproportionate number of suicide attacks in Jerusalem (and other cities within Israel’s pre-1967 boundaries) originating from Bethlehem. (Jerusalem’s city centre is a mere 8 km from Bethlehem.)
The “landscape” in the Guardian protagonist’s hometown was irrevocably changed during the first few years of the 2000s for one simple reason: Palestinian terrorists had exploited the previously “open Bethlehem” to launch murderous attacks against innocent Israeli civilians.