Friday, July 14, 2017

'Their Land'? The LA Times and the Bedouin of Khan Al Ahmar - by Tamar Sternthal

...Were the European Union to abandon its policy of constructing illegal shelters lacking basic infrastructure, and to instead assist the Bedouin to move to nearby legal homes with running water, electricity and sewage, Bedouin may no longer be “caught in the middle.” Nor would 12-year-old Nasrin have to wash her hair with a bucket in her dilapidated shack.

Tamar Sternthal..
CAMERA Media Analyses..
11 July '17..

“Bedouins in the West Bank hold fast to their land — as pressure builds for them to leave,” is the specious Los Angeles Times online headline last week about Khan Al Ahmar, the Jahalin Bedouin encampment in the contested E1 area east of Jerusalem.

It contradicts The Los Angeles Times own past reporting about the Jahalin in the area. In January 1994, the newspaper noted: “No one, not even [Jahalin member Mohamed Ahmad] Hairsh, claims that his tribe has a legal right to be there."

Nevertheless, as The Times’ article this week notes, the “rugged, sparse landscape”

is at the center of a political tug of war. The region is coveted by Israelis who want to expand Jewish settlements and to solidify control over Jerusalem, as well as Palestinians who see it as part of their own state someday.

The Bedouins, caught in the middle, may soon be forced from this land.

It is precisely because the strategic land sits at the center of a political tug of war that it is particularly critical that journalists responsibly report the relevant history and facts. For instance, how long have the Khan Al Ahmar homes at risk of demolition sat on “their land,” as the headline put it? From time immemorial? Before or after the 1948 war? After the key 1967 war?

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