Santa’s Little Helper

This is a guest post by AKUS

Have you ever wondered why little Jewish children in the Holy Land do not get Christmas presents?

It’s not Santa’s fault, actually. Like the Tooth Fairy, his little helpers seem unfamiliar with the geography of the Holy Land, and despite his best efforts they misdirect him. Israel is so technologically advanced I suspect that some elves unfamiliar with technology may be programming the GPS on his sleigh incorrectly.

For example, one of Santa’s little helpers, Rachel Shabi, yet another Israel-bashing Johnny (or Jill) come lately from Britain, who seems to have to made aliyah only in order to write nasty articles about Israel for the Guardian (one wonders if these Guardianistas receive the usual assistance from the Aliyah Desk in London to help them get to Israel) gave Santa the wrong directions to the little town of Modi’in.

Apparently concerned about the possibility of further violence in Gaza following the shooting of three Palestinians, Shabi wrote the following for the Guardian:

According to Israeli officials they had been scouting the area for a possible infiltration operation, but according to Hamas officials and medics they had been searching for scrap metal to salvage.

(You have to be pretty naïve to buy that scrap metal story but I suppose it was the best Hamas could come up with at short notice … unless they were looking for remnants of Kassams that didn’t make it over the fence)

More serious in its implications, however, was the shooting dead of three members of Fatah’s armed wing – the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades – in a raid on the northern West Bank city of Nablus, apparently in retaliation for the shooting of an Israeli driving near the settlement at Shavei Shomron. …

…It also follows the discovery of an improvised explosive device on a busy road leading to the huge Israeli settlement at Modi’in with a letter from an al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades unit claiming responsibility. [emphasis added]

Well, let’s leave the politics aside for once, and focus on the geography, since its Christmas time, and Santa needs to know how to find the good Jewish children in the little town of Modi’in.

Here’s a map of Modi’in:

Notice two statements in Shabi’s article that probably confused Santa:

1. It is west of the dashed 1949 Armistice Agreement Lines (the Green Line) (there is a double line around a “bulge” or former non-man’s land in that area). Since we typically use the word “settlement” for areas built up by Israel to the east of the Green Line, it is misleading to call it a “settlement”, just as Tel Aviv is not a “settlement”

2. It is not huge. It is about 1 mile square. If you include the entire Modi’in-Reut-Maccabim complex, it is about 19 sq miles, or about 4 miles by 5 miles. I am sure many of my readers drive greater distances to work where they live.

Those basic errors in location and geography explain why Santa couldn’t deliver the Christmas presents this year to the good Jewish children of in the little town of Modi’in.

For those who don’t believe in Santa Claus, or at least those who don’t believe he gives Christmas presents to good Jewish children, the moral of the story is, like the story of the Tooth Fairy.

On the rare occasions that the Guardian prints a “fact” about Israel:

If you want “the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth” – check it.

Very often their “facts” are – wrong.

Categories: Guardian

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18 replies »

  1. A scribbler, by name Rachel Shabby,
    Writes rubbish both flabby and scabby,
    When her scribblings reach print
    The rustbucket goes scint,
    Cif knows she writes like a babby.

  2. She must have meant Modi’in Illit or Kiryat Sefer, which is just over the Green Line. Guardian reporters apparently are too lazy to check their geography. Modi’in is within pre-1967 Israel and is NOT at all a “settlement.” I’m not waiting for Rachel Shabi to issue a correction.

  3. Modiin Illit is indeed a settlement and is large in comparison to others. But “huge” is a absurd term – it covers less than 2 square miles, and has a population (41,900) less than that of hundreds of UK towns.

  4. Nice work but…

    Jews do not live in settlements. Period. We live in towns, cities, farms, kibbutzim, moshavim, or rurban areas, etc. One place we do not live are hamlets. Most of us stay away from anything to do with pigs. I prefer “communities”.

    But I found that some term Arab residential areas as “settlements” (like here: – “During a recent visit to Israel Waters spoke out against the wall on the West Bank, which aims to prevent terrorism but some argue actually harms Palestinian settlements”) but I have a better idea: I suggested terming Arab villages inside Israel as “settlements”. Then, when the demand is raised to evacuate “Jewish settlements” for “Palestine”, you respond, only if “Arab settlements” in Israel are treated equally.

  5. The explosive device Shabi was referring to was on route 443 a main road within the confines of pre-1967 Israel, that connects Jerusalem, Modiin and Tel Aviv – not Modiin Ilit.

  6. Shabby’s article talks about the ceasefire being in jeopardy because six Palestinians were shot, but she isn’t worried that a settler was shot last week and doesn’t consider that a reason to put a ceasefire in danger. Is her message that the death of an Israeli is no cause for alarm?

    The explosive device she talks of so incorrectly should have caused death and chaos on a main road, timed as it was to go off at peak hour, had its creators not been incompetent. This however does not seem to worry our dear new immigrant to Israel.

  7. Does it really matter to the Guardian if there is a simple error that may not be, say, perfectly truthful? The key word is “SETTLEMENT”. AKUS, another really good job of finding the tooth. Also, good to see you back writing articles…….

  8. It is interesting that this opinionated piece was published as an article, i.e. no reader feedback, and not on CiF, the place where Schabi usually posts her self-hating personal opinions. Has she been hired by the Guardian as their newest asajew reporter living on the scene in the large Israeli settlement of Tel-Aviv?

  9. She actually has three such articles on the Guardian that has slipped under the CiF radar screen.

    I suspect her previous ones were torn apart so thoroughly they feel its safer not to let people coment about them

    However,there are other places to comment … like here … they haven’t been able to shut down the Internet … yet …

  10. Actually, Margie, Route 443 does go through what was Jordanian-occupied Judea-Samaria up to 1967, although it runs close to the 1949-1967 armistice line. Of course, all of this area was part of the internationally designated Jewish National Home [San Remo 1920, League of Nations 1922]. The reason why there were not more Jews living along the route of 443 before the UN general assembly partition recommendation of 29 November 1947 was that the UK had violated its mandate to govern the country, violated international law [according to the League’s Permanent Mandates Commission] by forbidding Jewish land purchase in most of the country –including along the route of 443– by the 1939 “Palestine White Paper”. This policy also restricted Jewish immigration into the Jewish National Home to 15,000 per year for the next 5 years.

    Actually, the UK government of the Land of Israel, the Jewish National Home, did not allow even that quota of 75,000 Jews to come in, even during the height of the Holocaust which the UK was well informed about. In short, the UK prevented Jewish refugees from finding refuge in the Jewish National Home when the Jews most needed a home, thus dooming hundreds of thousands, if not millions, who might have otherwise been saved from the Nazi murder machine.

    Shabi’s article is offensive for several reasons. One is that a murder is described as a “shooting,” not even “shooting dead” which she reserved for the three terrorist murderers killed after refusing to give up. So the reader would not know from Shabi’s article that the “shooting” victim was shot dead, whether she chose to call that a murder or not.

    Another offensive item is that the victim is described as a “settler,” a term meant to delegitimize his life and justify his murder.

    Of course, calling Modi`in a “settlement” rather than a “city” or “town” is offensive and also meant to delegitimize those living there and justify murdering them as foreign intruders, maybe like the original Anglo-Saxon settlers in Britain, or the original British settlers in North America and the ANZAC lands.

    Further, it is foolish or dishonest to accept Hamas’ explanation for why men were crawling on the ground near the security fence along the Gaza Strip, even if such a claim comes from “medics.” Medical professionals in the zones ruled by the PLO/PA or by Hamas have often lied in accord with the policy of PLO/PA and Hamas. And everybody in Gaza knows that it is dangerous to approach the fence along the Gaza Strip armistice line. The 3 men killed there were hardly there to collect scrap metal, especially since they were carrying weapons and explosives.

  11. As others have pointed out, much of Rachel Shabi’s writing in the Guardian is either factually wrong or misleading. Here is another example, phrased in such a way as to imply that the Israeli security forces made a random choice in killing three Fatah members instead of indicating that all three were the suspected killers of Meir Hai.

    ……..shooting dead of three members of Fatah’s armed wing – the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades – in a raid on the northern West Bank city of Nablus, apparently in retaliation for the shooting of an Israeli driving near the settlement at Shavei Shomron……

  12. Before CiF Watch came on the scene,the Shabbies,the Freedmans and the Ben Whites could write anything that they wanted or felt like about Israel,without fear of being pulled up.Now it’s a different ball game,the biased and crooked referees of the Guardian,don’t count here.

  13. AKUS – you have a result – well done! (I have also posted this on the Shabby Shabi thread):

    The Guardian/Observer makes the most grudging of corrections at the foot of the online article and changes the article accordingly:

    • This article was amended on Tuesday 29 December 2009 to correct an error introduced in the editing process: Modi’in is not a settlement. Also, an editing change removed the information that the shooting of an Israeli in his car near Shavei Shomron was fatal. This has been corrected.

    The paragraph that had read “…It also follows the discovery of an improvised explosive device on a busy road leading to the huge Israeli settlement at Modi’in with a letter from an al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades unit claiming responsibility” now reads “It also follows the discovery of an improvised explosive device on a busy road, the highway 443, with a letter from an al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades unit claiming responsibility.”