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Dismal Corrections

Security Barrier

Error (Los Angeles Times, Saree Makdisi op-ed, 11/21/04): When it [the West Bank separation barrier] is finished, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians will be trapped in enclaves in dozens of separate enclaves, each surrounded by concrete slabs three times the height of the Berlin Wall . . .

Attempted Correction (1/16/05): Israeli wall — A Nov. 21 commentary about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict said that, when it is finished, the separation barrier being built by Israel would trap Palestinians in enclaves “surrounded by concrete slabs three times the height of the Berlin Wall.” In fact, the material that will be used to construct future portions of the barrier is unknown, as is their eventual height. However, in places where the barrier now consists of concrete walls, the slabs are approximately 19 to 26 feet high; the Berlin Wall, by contrast, was about 13 to 15 feet high.

CAMERA: This correction does not address Makdisi’s exaggerated claim that “dozens of separate enclaves” will be entirely surrounded by the barrier, when only a few communities will face that situation. Moreover, it wrongly states that the final percentage of the concrete portion of the still uncompleted barrier is unknown. In fact, the final percentage is not a mystery. According to Col. (res) Danny Tirza, who is responsible for the planning of the security fence, eight meters–or 5 percent–of the 700-kilometer barrier will be made up of concrete upon completion (see, for example, Jerusalem Post, June 16, 2004). In addition, the correction appears to gratuitously tack on Berlin Wall figures, without informing readers that the writer had erred on this matter.