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December 18, 2015 6:03 am

New York Times Arab Correspondent: Israel Oppresses Palestinians With Parking Tickets

avatar by Stephen M. Flatow /

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Office of The New York Times, in New York City. Photo: WikiCommons.

The New York Times building. Photo: Wiki Commons. – The Arab journalist whom The New York Times has hired to report on Israel has come up with the most “terrifying” example yet of Israeli oppression: the issuing of parking tickets to Palestinians.

The reporter, Diaa Hadid, who describes herself as “an Australian of Lebanese & Egyptian descent,” previously served as public relations officer for the pro-Palestinian group “Ittijah.” Its director, Amir Makhloul, is in an Israeli prison for espionage on behalf of Hezbollah terrorists.

Hadid’s resume also includes a stint as a columnist for the anti-Israel website Electronic Intifada. With that kind of track record, you almost expect her articles for the Times to exhibit a pro-Palestinian bias. And she has indeed lived up to those expectations.

But one would hope that her editors back in New York would exercise a little more discretion before rushing her dispatches into print. This week’s blast from Hadid is a good example of what I mean.

In her Dec. 17 report, Hadid played the usual moral-equivalence game with the casualty statistics: “Since the uprising began in October, Palestinians have killed 18 Israelis and an American citizen. More than 115 Palestinians have been killed in the same period.”

Get it? Six times as many Palestinians “have been killed” as Israelis. This, of course, makes the Israelis the bad guys and the Palestinians the innocent victims. Anybody who knows the casualty figures for Americans and Germans in World War Two will instantly understand that body counts tell you nothing about right and wrong.

Hadid later mentions that of those 115 dead Palestinians, “60 have been shot dead while attacking Israelis.” What about the other 55? Her implication is that 55 innocent, defenseless Palestinian civilians were murdered by Israelis.

Was there some horrendous Israeli massacre of 55 Palestinians that the rest of us never heard about? Not quite. Those 55 were shot dead while hurling deadly firebombs and rocks at Israeli soldiers, who fired back in self-defense. But mobs of Palestinians throwing Molotov cocktails don’t count as “attackers” in Diaa Hadid’s book. They’re “protesters.” So they were killed while “protesting.”

But the most inventive aspect of Hadid’s Dec. 17 article was the ghastly new example of Israeli persecution that she has uncovered:

“Palestinians say the Israelis are going too far, taking vindictive steps meant to remind them who is in charge. Residents of one East Jerusalem neighborhood awoke one day to find vehicles blanketed with parking tickets, in an area usually ignored by the police.”

Parking tickets on illegally parked cars! What will those dastardly Israeli oppressors come up with next?

If Diaa Hadid thinks that a parking ticket is an example of “vindictive” Israelis trying to show the Palestinians “who is in charge,” she ought to try a little experiment. On her next visit back home to her native Australia, or to her parents’ childhood homes in Lebanon or Egypt, or to meet with her bosses in midtown Manhattan, she should park her car illegally.

Then, when her car is “blanketed” with tickets, she can report on how the New York Police Department is persecuting her, an innocent Arab journalist, in order to show her “who is in charge.” Perhaps the Council on American-Islamic Relations will hold a press conference to denounce this outrageous example of “profiling,” and the American Civil Liberties Union can sue Mayor de Blasio. You think I’m kidding? Hey, crazier things have happened.

Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.

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  • Suzi

    I wonder if the Israelis issued parking tickets to the Palestinians who plowed their cars into crowds waiting at a bus stop or train station?

  • Dumb reporters are a-dime-a-dozen, but I think the editor who let this by has some explaining to do. Is the editor listed at the end of the article? My web browser is set up to block the NYT entirely, so I can’t check for myself. Is someone else willing to undertake this? If the editor cannot be contacted, then at least the NYT Ombudsperson, for what it’s worth.

    • Jeanne Gold

      Original NYT article:

      byline: DIAA HADID and RAMI NAZZALDEC. 16, 2015
      no editor listed for the online edition.

      Here’s the article, article correction and reference to print version:

      JERUSALEM — When the latest Palestinian uprising erupted in early October, set off by increasing fears that Israel was seeking to take over Al Aqsa Mosque compound, its locus was Jerusalem. The city was also home to the young men and women who carried out the attacks, stabbing, shooting and trying to hit Israelis with their cars.

      Now, however, the violence has mostly faded from Jerusalem, and when attacks occur, the perpetrators are usually from the West Bank.

      The change seems to be a result of actions taken by Israeli officials, who have focused on reducing tensions surrounding the compound, the holiest site in Judaism and one of the holiest sites for Muslims, while instituting a series of security measures that Palestinians have denounced as collective punishment.

      “The message is that nothing and nobody is immune,” said Rafik Husseini, director of the Maqassed Hospital, one of the last Palestinian institutions remaining in East Jerusalem.

      In recent weeks, the authorities have allowed most Palestinian residents of Jerusalem access to the mosque compound while removing a particular source of unrest by banning visits by incendiary politicians.

      They have also begun a series of security measures, restricting free movement in and out of Palestinian areas, conducting sweeping arrests and placing some suspects in administrative detention, rights groups say, under which they can be held without charge for renewable six-month periods. The authorities are closely monitoring social media, seizing anyone they see as inciting violence, as well as youths who express intentions of martyrdom. They have also revived the practice of destroying the homes of the attackers and have refused to return the bodies of most of the suspects, arguing that mass funerals for slain Palestinians lead to more violence.

      The authorities have instituted similar measures in hot spots across the West Bank, but they appear to have had more impact in East Jerusalem, where Palestinians are directly governed by Israel. The idea, analysts say, was to make it clear to the Palestinians not to take for granted the relative freedoms they have in East Jerusalem.

      “The price was made clear for them,” said Eitan Dangot, a former military coordinator for Palestinian civilian affairs in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. “The neighborhoods of East Jerusalem went back 20 years. They had no freedom, no work.”

      Palestinians say the Israelis are going too far, taking vindictive steps meant to remind them who is in charge. Residents of one East Jerusalem neighborhood awoke one day to find vehicles blanketed with parking tickets, in an area usually ignored by the police. And Israeli forces have repeatedly raided Palestinian-run hospitals in East Jerusalem, searching for suspects.

      Even a cigarette is now a problem, said traders in the alleyways of the Old City, who were fined by newly zealous inspectors enforcing a ban on indoor smoking.

      “It’s the pinnacle of frustration,” Amjad Ghrouf, a 42-year-old Palestinian trader, said with a sigh as he secretly puffed on a cigarette inside a sweet shop. “It’s just to screw with us,” muttered his friend, who kept watch by the doorway.

      Continue reading the main story

      Since the uprising began in October, Palestinians have killed 18 Israelis and an American citizen. More than 115 Palestinians have been killed in the same period.

      According to estimates from Israeli officials and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, 60 Palestinians have been shot dead while attacking Israelis, or being suspected of doing so, from Oct. 1 through early December, with 12 of the attackers thought to have come from East Jerusalem. All but two of those attacks were in the first three weeks of October. And while attacks were quite common in Jerusalem that month, they now account for less than a fifth of the estimated 135 attacks of this uprising.

      That is not to say attacks have ceased in Jerusalem. On Monday, a Palestinian man rammed his car into a crowd of Israelis at a bus stop, injuring a dozen people, including an 18-month-old baby. On Wednesday, two men tried to plow their vehicle into Israeli security forces conducting a raid in the Kalandia refugee camp.

      Quelling the uprising in East Jerusalem was particularly important for Israeli officials, who claim the city as their eternal, undivided capital, and who have sought to project an image of business as usual in the city.

      For Israel, violence by Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem is particularly troubling, because they may freely move about the West Bank and in Israel, in contrast to Palestinians in the West Bank, who need permits to enter Israeli-controlled areas.

      Yet, in throwing up new obstacles and checkpoints around East Jerusalem — 38 during the peak of the uprising, the United Nations counted — Israel’s security measures tended to underscore the divisions in Jerusalem.

      Palestinians say the new measures are only increasing the anger and alienation of East Jerusalem’s Arabs, which could fuel further attacks.

      “I would not be surprised if more violence happens,” said Yusef Mukhaimar, a leader of the Shuafat refugee camp, “because nobody is dealing with the underlying causes.”

      He gestured to alleyways with piles of rotting garbage and narrow, potholed roads rendered persistently gloomy by illegally built multistory structures in the camp that block the light.

      “The people think: We have no relation to you,” he said, referring to Israeli Jews. “They see this as a terrible occupation.”

      Israel captured the area from Jordan in the 1967 war, and expanded Jerusalem’s boundaries to 27 square miles from 2.3 miles. The annexation was rejected by the United Nations, and most of the world considers the territory occupied. Some 200,000 Jews live in annexed areas in communities that are widely considered illegal settlements, including Pisgat Zeev that can be seen from Mr. Mukhaimar’s office.

      Across the city, in the outlying East Jerusalem community of Jabal Mukaber, cars wove through the new concrete cubes at one entrance as riot police officers briefly blocked another entrance because youths were flinging rocks and demanding that the return of the body of an attacker.

      Continue reading the main story

      Continue reading the main story

      Drivers sped in the opposite direction as tear gas thudded near homes. “Go back!” one man yelled at other drivers. A 58-year-old cleaner shrugged. “Every day they put on a dance,” he said of the clashes.

      The restrictions appeared to have some effect.

      One activist from the Shuafat camp and another from Issawiya, a crammed Palestinian neighborhood on a sloping hill near the prestigious Hebrew University, said leaders from their areas had met with municipal authorities — they did not specify whom — and agreed to banish youths identified as inciting violence in return for the police agreeing to ease searches of women. The police could not confirm those claims.

      “We can lose the whole world, but our honor is not to be touched,” said Amir Dibs, a 22-year-old youth counselor in the Shuafat camp.

      The delays for thousands of Palestinian men working across Jerusalem also appeared to be a deterrent. Elias, 22, a mechanic, said he took part in violent protests for the first few weeks of the uprising. But after rising an hour earlier to get through the new checkpoint, he shied away.

      “We are tied to them,” he said, referring to the Israelis. If Palestinians rose up, “we would be killed, or we would die of hunger.”

      Israeli measures have upended life in East Jerusalem in other ways. In Silwan, a neighborhood near the old city, a 66-year-old Palestinian grandmother said she did not allow her grandchildren to visit her unsupervised anymore. She feared that the police would harass them — but also that the grandchildren might try to attack them.

      One of her sons was fired from his job at a Jewish-owned supermarket, and another married off his daughter at 17 just to keep her out of the protests.

      On a more positive note, residents said that being under fire created a sense of community long missing from Palestinian neighborhoods.

      One recent day in the Shuafat camp, young men hauled away rubble from the ruins of the home of Ibrahim Akkari. Israeli forces destroyed the house after Mr. Akkari ran over a man in November last year, killing him.

      “We were so sad when they did this, but now we have joy,” a 19-year-old volunteer said, gesturing toward the pile of rubble. “This gave us solidarity.”
      Correction: December 22, 2015

      An article on Thursday about Israel’s adoption of stricter security measures, which Palestinians denounce as collective punishment, referred imprecisely to access to the Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, the site of many clashes between the Israeli police and Palestinians in recent months. The Israeli authorities have recently allowed nearly all Palestinian residents of Jerusalem to visit, not most Palestinians in general. (Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip generally cannot visit the compound without a permit to enter Jerusalem.) The article also omitted attribution for a statistic about the 115 Palestinians killed since the uprising began. According to estimates from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, from Oct. 1 through early December, 60 Palestinians have been shot dead while attacking Israelis or being suspected of doing so.

      A version of this article appears in print on December 17, 2015, on page A8 of the New York edition with the headline: Attacks, but Not Palestinian Anger, Subside as Israel Clamps Down.

  • “In our efforts to appease radical Islam, we accept blame for its iniquities, or blame them on Israel. We pressure Israel to offer land-for-peace, naively assuming that radical Islam will stop thirsting for our blood.

    But history teaches otherwise: appeasement through territorial concession only strengthens the aggressor. In the run-up to World War II, Hitler understood this principle far better than did Chamberlain. The British Prime Minister served up Czechoslovakia to his German counterpart in exchange for peace, only to be repaid with war.

    But there is an even more dangerous lesson that appeasement teaches:

    It tells our enemy that there is no need to compromise with us.

    Whether in Israel, Spain, or Britain, appeasement hands radical Islam all the cards and says that we will play by its rules, [and] that concessions will come from our side.”

    SOURCE: They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It (Introduction Chapter, page 9) by Brigitte Gabriel, year 2008, year 2010, St. Martin’s Press, 288 pages, ISBN 0312571283, ISBN 9780312571283.

    PS: * * * *

  • Matty the K

    Where is the humanity? Tickets for parking infractions?

  • marcia klein

    What will they think of next? Laughable.

  • peretz baruch eichler

    Mr. Flatow continues to speak up when others remain unaware or indifferent about the preposterous notions put forth by this kind of yellow journalism…may he continue to do so,

  • Jerry G

    What is the next horror that those Israeli Jews will impose on those poor Palestinians? They might even require them to take out a building permit before erecting an illegal structure.

  • Rozanne Polansky

    I’m not an Arab, but I got a ticket while in the Bloomfield Science Museum and another one while getting a prescription from my doctor. I learned not to park without paying when the curbs are marked blue and white. Arab or Jew, illegal parking gets you a ticket in Israel and in the rest of the world.

  • avi leiman

    I am also oppressed by receiving parking tickets from Israeli Authorities

  • Mike

    I think that they come up with these ridiculous examples because in reality Israel doesn’t oppress them very much, and they have no idea what oppression really means.

    Parking tickets fall under the category of “White People Problems”.

  • Arty Cohn

    In NY City , it is more likely that in mid-town, she would find her car towed away.

  • steven L

    From now on, each time I get a parking ticket I will feel oppressed by the USA!
    The NYT must be using for their journalists the same vetting system as the US Adm.

  • Myron Slater

    The New York Times,a newspaper once respected in the world, has become a mouthpiece for terrorists. This is a paper that I used to enjoy reading many years ago when I lived in New York. Now I wouldn’t wrap my garbage in it!!

  • noanoa

    The palestinians oppress the Israelis by spewing out hatred, violence.
    They are using up the world’s Oxygen, yet they do NOT contribute anything to the world

    The NY Times is an extension of the old Pravda, infested with leftist Bolsheviks, and is trapped in the old Soviet Union mentality.

  • Scott Riemersma

    I used to live in Holland Michigan where I was issued a parking ticket. Was this an example of the Dutch persecuting me, a Jew.

  • nelson marans

    Does anyone expect anything different from The New York Times and its biased reporting on the Arab terrorist attacks, justifying the perpetrators and indicting the victims. The newspaper coverage has been a disgrace to journalism but unfortunately has wide influence among its ill-informed readers.

  • Francis Figliola

    Another validation for my NYTimes subscription cancellation and WSJ replacement!