Financial Times

Financial Times evokes myth of ‘Jews-only roads’ in the West Bank


There are not, nor have there ever been, anywhere in Israel or the West Bank, roads exclusively for Jews.  False claims over the years at multiple media outlets suggesting the existence of such religiously exclusive roads have been refuted repeatedly by CAMERA.  Indeed, CAMERA has prompted corrections to such claims at The Boston GlobeAssociated Press (AP), The Washington Post and elsewhere.

Here’s the CAMERA prompted correction to a 2010 Washington Post article:

The latest variation of this false charge was made in a long article by Adam LeBor published in the FT Magazine (Israel at 70: my return to a divided country, Oct. 27).

Here’s the paragraph:

What does it mean to be a Jewish democracy ruling over 2.9 million Palestinians in the West Bank, in the territories captured in 1967? One that subsidises paramilitary settlers who appropriate that captured Arab land under claim of a divine mandate, and then construct an infrastructure of roads, water and electricity supplied exclusively for Jews?

Whilst the propagandistic characterisation of settlers as “paramilitary” is absurd, and the claim regarding exclusively Jewish water infrastructure is extraordinarily misleading, the suggestion of religiously exclusive roads is an especially insidious lie because it evokes the greater lie that Israel is an ‘apartheid’ state.

Here are the facts:

  • For security reasons, a very small number of West Bank roads (about 40 km in total) are indeed prohibited to Palestinian traffic.
  • However, the overwhelming majority of roads in the West Bank are open to Palestinian traffic.
  • All roads are open to Israeli citizens, foreigners and tourists of all faiths (Muslim, Christian, etc.), not just Jews.

An Arab shuttle bus travels on Highway 443, a road incorrectly described as “Jewish-only” by AP before they issued a correction.

We have complained to Financial Times editors about the error, and Tweeted the journalist.

Early today, an editor at Times of London informed us that they are looking into the matter.  

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