Guardian Sells False Image of an Open Jerusalem

A Guardian essay on a new Israeli open-rooftops project in Jerusalem, part of a Season of Culture, sadly falls into a standard trap for feelgood articles of this kind. It fails to provide the main context for Jerusalem: that the native Palestinians live under a belligerent Israeli occupation that is ultimately trying to evict them from the city.

Ignoring that context when reporting on life for Jews and Palestinians in Jerusalem is gravely irresponsible journalism.

Does this misrepresentation simply reflect author Hannah Ellis-Petersen’s ignorance? Or is it a consequence of who is footing the bill: the Rockefeller Foundation sponsored the article.

Note these infuriatingly misleading introductory paragraphs:

For its Season of Culture, the ancient capital has thrown open its rooftops to encourage residents to see beyond their blinkered boundaries. But the reality is a city where the divides are growing deeper.

The standfirst sets the mendacious “balanced” tone, as though Palestinians could ever afford the luxury of choosing to be “blinkered” in a city where the Israeli-run, occupation municipality is openly hostile to them, and where their homes can be demolished for the smallest infraction of opaque, Israeli-imposed planning rules.

The city’s divides are not “growing deeper”. They were always deep in a city where the occupying power has sought for five decades to colonise Palestinian East Jerusalem with Jewish settlers. There are now more than…

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