Guardian

Guardian falsely claims that most new Israeli immigrants move to the West Bank


A recent edition of The Observer (sister publication of the Guardian) published their weekly top 20 photographs, which included this image of a new Israeli immigrant being greeted outside the old airport terminal by a cheering crowd:

aliyah

The photographer is Oliver Weiken of EPA.  Here’s the Observer caption:

An Israeli immigrant from the US is cheered by a crowd after her arrival at the Ben Gurion airport, near Tel Aviv. New immigrants predominantly move to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, a key negotiation point in potential new peace talks between Israel and Palestine

So, a photo depicting a joyous occasion for a new arrival to the Jewish state was contextualized by the editor to suggest that since such immigrants disproportionately become “settlers”, they can be seen as injurious to the peace process.   

However, contrary to the claim made in the caption, most new immigrants do NOT move to “settlements” in the West Bank. As statistics over the last several years published by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics indicate, the most popular destinations are Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa, with a small minority going to the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).

In 2012 there were 16,557 new Israeli immigrants, out of which only 664 moved to the West Bank.

In 2011 there 16,892 new Israeli immigrants, out of which only 540 moved to the West Bank.

In 2010, there were 16,663 new Israeli immigrants, out of which only 666 moved to the West Bank.  

In 2009, there were 14,572 new Israeli immigrants, out of which only 675 moved to the West Bank.

So, over this four-year period, out of 64,684 new Israeli immigrants (Olim), 2,545 (about 4%) decided to move to communities across the green line – a figure which corresponds (roughly) with the total percentage of all Israeli citizens who live in the “settlements”.

The claim made in the Observer photo captions is false, and we will be seeking a correction.

(UPDATE: CiF Watch obtained a correction to this photo caption on August 6.)

34 replies »

  1. The Guardian is spreading false information about Israel trying to show to its Jew hating fan club the evil nature of the Zionist entity. They must be proud – to be considered the most antisemite English language mainstream media of the world is not a small achievement.

  2. Ah, but Adam. You forget one thing. According to the Observer/Guardian (or the Ob/Guyn as they could be called), Jerusalem is a “settlement on the West Bank” too. So all the thousands of olim who went to live in that Holy City are also “settlers”.

  3. You have to wonder how they can be so wrong.
    Was it laziness, they didn’t bother to check their facts. Or
    Stupidity, they are too stupid to be left in charge of a keyboard without Adult supervision. Or
    A clumsy attempt to throw muck at Israel in support of an anti-Israel agenda.

    I suspect it is a combination of the three.

  4. Date-less on Tu B’Av, the Jewish “Valentine’s Day,” I needed something to do. So when a Palestinian man that I met through an Israeli tour guide offered me to take me to Jericho that night, I took him up on it. After all, Jericho is the oldest city in the world, famous for date production, the first city Joshua conquered as he entered the Holy Land to possess it.

    Canaan, as I’ll call him, must have been in his 40s. Pleasant face. Strong body. Sweet smile. Runs a family-operated business. Likes long walks in the Judean Hills.

    I’ve been longing to check out Area “A” (Palestinian Authority controlled territories) because I always like to do what I’m not supposed to. Israelis are forbidden from entering those areas, which include Ramallah, Shechem (Nablus), and Bethlehem. But I came to live in Ariel as a peace activist, and true peace can only occur when Arabs and Jews feel safe to travel through each other’s towns in the West Bank, as they did in the 1990s.

    Of course, it wasn’t really a date. The man is married with children. Maybe he was looking for some thrills, too. Eager to assure me of my safety, he even offered a reference—an Orthodox Jewish friend of his. He offered me to meet his wife and children.

    “But I’m a Zionist settler!” I pleaded, getting it all on the table.

    “So? Just say you’re an olah hadasah (new immigrant),” he said in perfect Hebrew.

    He promised to protect me. How manly.

    But it sure felt like a “date.” He treated me exactly as a courtier should. He showed me the hot spots, periodically checking my comfort level: the town square, the brand new hotels, the Palestinian “army” training areas, the fancy villas locals are building, the checkpoint into Jordan. No crying about Palestinian poverty here. He put his best foot forward.

    He said no one really cares who enters Jericho. The Palestinian police don’t ask for passports, checking to see who is Jewish, who is Arab. It’s a tourist town. He pointed out many yellow “Israeli” license plates. (Palestinians have white/green plates.) Arab Israelis come here all the time. European tourists, too. Jews, that’s another story.

    It was after the Ramadan break-the-fast, and the place was happening. Shops were all open, including the barber shop where Canaan gets haircuts. Tourists were enjoying a late dinner. Canaan took me to a mini-amusement park where kids were riding bumper cars even at 9:30 pm. There’s a camel for tourists to ride. An outdoor café serves up nargilas to Arabic music.

    “But I don’t see women around,” I asked. “And I don’t have a veil.”

    He pointed to a couple; the woman wore an off-the-shoulder top. “See?”

    We fit right in.

    We had coffee (well, I had bottled water) on a bench and talked about our lives in Israel (the PA, for him). He talked about the good times when he was able to work in Israel “proper” before checkpoints went up in response to the second intifada. He showed me on his phone pictures of his good-looking children.

    He complained about the days-long bus ride to Mecca years ago for the “Haj.” He’s more traditional, and even offered to have a beer with me one day.

    He was ready to stay out until late, but my Israeli security friend who was remotely surveying our route through the Waze app was getting nervous. We are both duly aware of the Islamic “mitzvah” of deceiving infidels into submission.

    “It’s getting late,” my friend texted me.

    Canaan showed me the grand Intercontinental hotel that was attached to the former Jericho casino. Then he offered to take me to a lookout point. This date was becoming too perfect. I told him it’s late, that I have a long ride home to Ariel.

    On the way out, we passed the sign for the historic “Mount of Temptation.” Anxious to show me English signage to demonstrate how Americans should feel comfortable there, he asked: “What does it say?”

    “Oh, it’s a sign to some mountain.” I dare not utter the word.

    He asked me if I was married, if I had a boyfriend, if, as a single woman, I just wanted to have fun.

    “I want to get married,” I assured him.

    Back at my car, I thanked him for a truly magical night. I got to see a place so many Jews never dare see, despite their historic roots to the city. He gave me something no tough Israeli soldier can give: entry into the most ancient city on earth. He displayed the type of chivalry that can make a woman fall for a man.

    He offered to take me to Ramallah and Shechem, and while I really want to go, I’m worried—not that he’ll kill me, but that he’ll like me too much. The next day, when I was chatting with a Western-looking Arab journalist who lives in Jerusalem, I told her about my trip and how my friends are scared to go into PA areas. She was not concerned about my safety going in—she often invites her Israeli Jewish friends to Ramallah.

    “Don’t trust Palestinian men,” the divorcee warned. I pressed the issue and she corrected herself. “You shouldn’t trust any man. Men should be segregated into barns and we should use them only for babies.”

    I probably won’t call Canaan again, as much as I want to see Ramallah, which I hear is really happening. I really don’t want to have the “let’s just be friends talk.”

    Still, I’ll never forget Tu B’Av in Jericho where walls came tumbling down. I conquered the city, as did Joshua, by not allowing myself to be conquered by fear, prejudice, and world leaders’ attempts to divide people by their race or religion. However, if they attempt to divide us by gender, I’d understand.

    • True peace can only occur when Arabs and Jews feel safe to travel through each other’s towns in the West Bank, as they did in the 1990s.?
      You should tell that to the tousands Palestinian who work in Jewish settelment and to all Israeli who were killed traveliing in arab cities like those 2 soldiers Lynched in Ramalla. Or those being killed while travelling on the WB roads.

  5. The International consensus on Jerusalem –
    The chief dispute revolves around Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem, while broader agreement exists regarding the Israeli presence in West Jerusalem.[2] De jure, the majority of UN member states and most international organisations do not recognise Israel’s ownership of East Jerusalem which occurred after the 1967 Six Day War, nor its 1980 Jerusalem Law proclamation, which declared a “complete and united” Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.[4] As a result, foreign embassies are generally located in Tel Aviv and its suburbs

    • “The International consensus on Jerusalem..”
      Even IF it was ‘Rafi’, so what?

      I’d sooner be guided by the wise words of Marcus Aurelius
      “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

    • The International consensus on Jerusalem –

      Erm … which has bollock-all to do with this article.

  6. Rafi aka Nazisse Sharon/Jane/Catherine/Samantha aka HarpalSingh/AaronPatel/AnrewBird/Jeremy Bowles/AlanThornton aka NS-
    Ismail/Alan/Deborah/Jim/Jason/Dirk/Nick/Natzie/Rob, amended by Gerald with Dopey/Grumpy/Sneezy/Sleazy/Tosser/Dorothy/Straw Man/Dick Head/Drek is a poor lunatic.
    http://cifwatch.com/2013/07/30/the-guardian-asks-if-4-9-million-palestinian-refugees-will-return-to-cities-where-they-never-lived/comment-page-1/#comment-132005
    http://www.worthychristianforums.com/topic/38025-nazis-arabs-planned-final-solution-for-pre-state-israel/

    • I normally am very hesitant to ascribe deliberate motive for such “errors” but this one is so blatant, it is hard to see any other reason for it, unless the sub who drafted the caption simply made it up, thinking he/she had heard it somewhere.

  7. “Haaretz” correspondent Alex Somech reports in the June 5th issue of “Haaretz” that in recent months “Peace Now” has organized 4 bus trips for new immigrants to see settlements. Mossy Raz, Political Secretary Peace Now, told Somech that Peace Now has raised several hundred thousand shekels “and we plan to bring thousands of immigrants, who are principally exposed to the Right, to see what is happening here.”

    Somech joined a bus trip and reports that – “What really interested the immigrants was principally the prices of housing in the settlements. ‘The government gives grants to those who come to live there,’ explained Raz, ‘for 40 thousand dollars it is possible to buy a house, but more than 5,000 houses stand empty and there are no buyers.’ He added ‘when Yitzhak Rabin came to power in 1992, many of the settlers wanted to leave, but the prices of their homes crashed and they couldn’t sell them.’

    • Anecdotal evidence is always very interesting, Rafi. Interesting that you choose to share an anecdote that goes to support the point of this article – that most new immigrants DON’T live in the “settlements”.

  8. Rafi aka Nazisse Sharon/Jane/Catherine/Samantha aka HarpalSingh/AaronPatel/AnrewBird/Jeremy Bowles/AlanThornton aka NS-
    Ismail/Alan/Deborah/Jim/Jason/Dirk/Nick/Natzie/Rob, amended by Gerald with Dopey/Grumpy/Sneezy/Sleazy/Tosser/Dorothy/Straw Man/Dick Head/Drek is a poor Antisemite.

  9. Labenal I suppose all facts can be viewed through tainted glasses and depending on the proficiency of the tainter(liar) things can look exactly the opposite. Zionist tainted lenses are the best. Enjoy your tainted glasses while they last.

    When asked about the political implications of NBN’s support for Americans moving to the West Bank–where construction is considered by both the international community and the US State Department to be a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention–Levine responded that where the immigrants move to is “up to them. We do not promote one location over the other. We are an apolitical organization.” But how can a US-based nonprofit that works in conjunction with the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency, and does not differentiate between the West Bank and Israel, possibly consider itself to be “apolitical”?

    Read more: Israeli Settlements: Obama Should Know Better | The Nation http://www.thenation.com/article/israeli-settlements-obama-should-know-better#ixzz2aizH6tpz
    Follow us: @thenation on Twitter | TheNationMagazine on Facebook

    • . Labenal I suppose all facts can be viewed through tainted glasses and depending on the proficiency of the tainter(liar) things can look exactly the opposite.

      Indeed your tainted glasses are obvious for all of us to see. LOL

  10. Tell me are Palestinians allowed to build settlements around Tel-av iv or is settlements are only for those of the Jewish race. It sounds such a fair system, I wonder why in South Africa such a system was dismantled finally?

    • Tell me can Jews allow to buid settelments in Gaza or in area A and B in the Judea and Samaria or are those allow only for arabs?

  11. Aren’t there actual laws that stand between lying to incite hate and what journalists purport to ascribe to?

  12. Rafi aka Nazisse Sharon/Jane/Catherine/Samantha aka HarpalSingh/AaronPatel/AnrewBird/Jeremy Bowles/AlanThornton aka NS-
    Ismail/Alan/Deborah/Jim/Jason/Dirk/Nick/Natzie/Rob, amended by Gerald with Dopey/Grumpy/Sneezy/Sleazy/Tosser/Dorothy/Straw Man/Dick Head/Drek is a lying Antisemite, which is quite self evident.