A short film dramatizing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is drawing traffic at Upworthy. In the film, “No Way Through,” by the left-wing outfit Ctrl.Alt.Shift, a man hits a woman with his car, calls for an ambulance, then is forced to drive her to the hospital himself through the streets of London. When he arrives, he is turned away by soldiers, who eventually beat him senseless while the young woman suffers on the back seat of his car.
The film closes with the claim: “Around Jerusalem the average ambulance journey time for a Palestinian is now almost 2 hours, compared to 10 minutes in 2001.” It adds that the hundreds of checkpoints in the West Bank make passage difficult for Palestinians needing immediate medical attention and claims that some of those Palestinians are even “shot dead.” The viewer is meant to draw the conclusion that Israelis are cruel and evil.
Here are some facts that the film leaves out. In 2000, Palestinians launched a deadly intifada that included relentless terror attacks on Israeli cities, resulting in over one thousand deaths. The checkpoints were set up to catch would-be terrorists. As the intifada wound down (largely through successful Israeli military efforts), the number of checkpoints was decreased. Today, Palestinians in the West Bank travel increasingly freely.
In addition, Israeli soldiers regularly usher Palestinians needing medical attention through checkpoints–not just in the West Bank, but into Israel proper. Israel also brings in Palestinians from Gaza for special medical treatment, and it has even admitted Syrians injured in that country’s civil war for that purpose. There is almost no other country in similar circumstances that has extended such humanitarian assistance to its enemies.
Finally, there is the grim fact that Palestinian terror groups have sometimes used ambulances to carry bombs and other weapons, just as they frequently use civilian infrastructure (such as schools) to launch rocket attacks or to hide weapons and fighters. Just last week, an inadvertent explosion at the Palestinian embassy in the Czech Republic revealed the storage of illicit weapons there, in likely violation of the Vienna Convention.
The fact that critics of Israel have to resort to lies and distortions to attack the Israeli occupation is proof itself of the weakness of their case. No doubt, there are occasional human rights violations at checkpoints, but they are the exception. It is telling that the author who posted the video on Upworthy felt compelled to admit: “This is a dramatization.” That is putting it mildly–and the film’s silence about Palestinian terror speaks volumes.