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Media Analyses

Video: A Drive Through Jerusalem Reveals Economist, Al Jazeera Obfuscation

CAMERA has looked into the allegation, trumpeted by the Economist and Al Jazeera English, that traffic light patterns at a northern Jerusalem intersection (and elsewhere) are evidence of Israeli discrimination against Arab Jerusalemites. A March 6, 2010 article in the Economist claimed lights in Jerusalem "flick green only briefly for cars from Palestinian districts while staying green for cars from Jewish settlements for minutes," and an April 27 segment broadcast by Al Jazeera English argued the same.

As noted in CAMERA's article, "Economist Demonizes Israel with Racist Traffic Light Accusation," those news reports disingenuously twisted a universal urban frustration — traffic — to demonize Israel.
Our video below of the not-so-mean streets of Jerusalem likewise zooms out from the Economist and Al Jazeera's distorted close up, visually revealing that in Jerusalem, traffic snares Jews and Arabs alike. Sometimes cars from Jewish neighborhoods encounter longer green lights and sometimes those from Arab neighborhoods do. Much of the time, though, they encounter at the exact same lights, waiting longer at intersections with major, modern roads while passing quickly through intersections with smaller roads. The video, which can also be viewed on Youtube here, follows:

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