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New York Times Wipes West Bank Off Map

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: news-media, media biasnews, occupied West Bank, occupied Palestine, illegal occupation of Palestine, David D. Kirkpatrick, ethnic cleansing-Palestine, Jerusalem-West Bank-Palestine, journalism, reporting, The New Yorker, nytimes, usa, u.s., americans )

- 276 days ago -
Misleading the public. This map published in the 4 February print edition of The New York Times omits the occupied West Bank.


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fly b (26)
Thursday February 8, 2018, 12:01 am
New York Times wipes West Bank off map .
5 February 2018

Sunday’s print edition of The New York Times includes a map of the Middle East in an article by David D. Kirkpatrick about how “unmarked Israeli drones, helicopters and jets have carried out a covert air campaign, conducting more than 100 airstrikes inside Egypt, frequently more than once a week,” with the approval of Abdulfattah al-Sisi, the Egyptian army chief who seized power in a 2013 military coup.

It’s a fascinating article in line with recent reporting by Kirkpatrick on efforts by the Egyptian government to prime its population to accept US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

But cartographers at the newspaper have detracted from the article and raised serious questions about the paper’s editorial policy by publishing a map of the region that includes Israel, but has wiped away the West Bank.

Questions from The Electronic Intifada to the foreign desk Sunday afternoon had received no response at the time of publication.

Is this a new policy by The New York Times or simply an egregious error?

If a mistake, how did it happen?

If Israel annexes the West Bank will the newspaper show the West Bank as Israeli?

Will the newspaper’s decision depend on whether the Trump administration accepts such an annexation?

Misleading the public

Notably, the online article does not include the map, but includes a different image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, apparently attending a Jerusalem Post event, in which he is standing in front of a map of the region:

That map has also depicted the region as if the West Bank does not exist. It is difficult to tell, but it appears the occupied Golan Heights are included as part of Israel – and the Dead Sea is missing just as it is in the print newspaper’s map.

The photo caption included by The New York Times does not comment on the omission of the West Bank in the map behind Netanyahu that he appears to be using as part of his December 2017 presentation.

The online and print maps in question do depict the occupied Gaza Strip.

One possible conclusion is that Netanyahu and The Jerusalem Post are promoting a future in which some two million Palestinians are squeezed into a Gaza Strip bantustan while even more Palestinians in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) are forced into a greater Israel in which they may or may not have voting rights.

By carving away Gaza, Israeli leaders may conclude that they can maintain a Jewish majority far into the future. Demographic indicators all the way back to 2005, as reported by The Electronic Intifada at the time, suggest Palestinians between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea may already outnumber Israel’s Jewish population.

Whether Palestinians are a majority or not, the “two-tier system” of laws and services identified by Human Rights Watch in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem – is one clear marker of the apartheid that Palestinians face.

Explanation owed

Having run the photograph of Netanyahu in front of a map erasing the West Bank, The New York Times owes its readers an explanation as to what this signifies.

And, having run almost precisely the same map itself, the newspaper must promptly explain to readers whether it accepts Israel’s erasure of the West Bank. The absence of a public editor is keenly felt at such times.

The New York Times has previously shown the occupied (and Israeli-annexed) Syrian Golan Heights as part of Israel and has made no move to issue a correction.

In a private letter to the newspaper about that illustration, I noted, “The map raises concerns for me that should Israel ever unilaterally annex all or part of the West Bank that New York Times maps might begin to show that annexed territory as part of Israel rather than as occupied territory seen as such by much of the international community.”

The map printed on Sunday dramatically escalates those concerns and, in fact, outstrips the pace at which I feared the newspaper might contribute to further dispossessing Palestinians.

If this new map was an error – as it could well be – a correction and explanation should quickly be presented to readers, many of whom will be alarmed at the West Bank’s disappearance and wondering why the newspaper has accepted the efforts of Netanyahu and The Jerusalem Post to mislead the public.

Animae C (507)
Thursday February 8, 2018, 2:31 am

TY Fly

Darren Woolsey (218)
Thursday February 8, 2018, 3:06 am
Shared article over social media to raise and spread awareness.

Jonathan Harper (0)
Thursday February 8, 2018, 4:24 am

Richard A (2)
Friday February 9, 2018, 9:20 am
Thank you.

Janet B (0)
Friday February 9, 2018, 1:51 pm

John B (185)
Friday February 9, 2018, 4:11 pm
Thanks Fly for sharing the link to the informative article by Michael F. Brown. Share and post noted.

fly b (26)
Sunday February 11, 2018, 4:17 pm
Women and girls bear brunt of Israel’s crimes in Jordan Valley.
8 February 2018

This short documentary by the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq focuses on the life of a family in al-Hadidiya, a Bedouin community in the northern Jordan Valley.

Titled Sumoud – Arabic for steadfastness – it is named after the youngest daughter of the Bisharat family, which has resided in the same occupied West Bank community for generations.

Sumoud talks about how she loves the family’s rural lifestyle, the only life they know, surrounded by trees and animals that she plays with and looks after.

But their life has been badly disrupted by Israel destroying their home and gradually encroaching on the land they live on, threatening to push them out completely.

There are now just 53,000 Palestinians in the Jordan Valley, according to a new Al-Haq report on Israel’s colonization of the area, down from 250,000 prior to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank in 1967.

Not only has Israel prevented the return of most residents forced to leave because of the war, but in the 50 years since, the human rights group says, it has created an “increasingly unlivable environment for Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley, often forcing them to relocate.”

Sumoud’s family and a handful of others are trying to stay in al-Hadidiya despite repeated demolitions as Israel colonizes the land around them.

Their village is home to 112 residents, but is deprived of access to water or electricity. Community members are forced to purchase water brought in by tankers to ensure a supply.

Al-Hadidiya is located in Area C, which constitutes roughly 60 percent of the West Bank. It is surrounded by three Israeli settlements: Roi and Beqaot in the west and Hemdat in the east.

Israeli politicians are increasingly calling for the permanent annexation of Area C, which would leave the majority of Palestinians in the West Bank corralled into tiny islands of territory.

Violence against women

In Jordan Valley communities like al-Hadidiya, “women are designated the responsibility to secure food and water, thus carrying the burden of compensating for food shortages, notably following a demolition,” according to a second report by Al-Haq, complementing the film and focusing on the gender violence of Israel’s policies.

Israel’s assaults, demolitions and harassment have forced the village’s residents “to live with little to no privacy, in overcrowded, unsanitary and uninhabitable environments, which do not meet the minimum conditions” for adequate housing, Al-Haq states.

One woman in al-Hadidiya recalled a particularly violent and traumatic demolition in November 2015 when Israeli soldiers assaulted her and her pregnant daughter.

“They brought female soldiers with them to attack us. I was pushed down by a female soldier and fell to the ground,” the woman said.

“My daughter, who was six months pregnant at the time, came to defend me, and she [the woman soldier] cocked the gun at us and pushed my daughter to the ground too.”

The daughter started bleeding and, according to her mother, it took more than an hour for an ambulance to arrive.

No access to healthcare

Due to Israel’s restrictions on their movement, mothers in another northern Jordan Valley community, Ein al-Qilt, can’t access adequate healthcare.

The closest clinic is about an hour away and women must make an arduous trip by donkey to the nearest public transportation.

“We truly suffer, especially during extremely hot and cold weather,” one woman told Al-Haq.

Urgent medical care is unavailable and most women are forced to give birth at home with no medical supervision.

“How can a woman walk or ride a donkey for such a long distance during labor?” another woman said, adding that she has given birth to 12 children who survived, while another eight died, as she gave birth at home, unable to reach a hospital.

Denial of schools

Israel denies Palestinians under military occupation the right to build on their own land. They are forced to build without permits and live in constant fear that their roads and homes will be demolished.

In 2015 and 2016 alone, Al-Haq documented the demolition of 240 structures and the displacement of almost 650 Jordan Valley residents, including more than 300 children.

Israel even forbids the construction of schools.

As a result, children in Ein al-Qilt are forced to attend school in Aqbat Jaber refugee camp approximately 10 kilometres away, according to Al-Haq.

But with no transportation, the children are forced to separate from their families, spending weeknights at the refugee camp and returning home on weekends. Women in the community rotate the responsibility of accompanying the children and looking after them while they are away from home.

In winter, makeshift dirt roads turn to mud, making journeys to schools and hospitals even more difficult. Israel also puts military checkpoints between these communities and the schools their children attend.

These Israeli restrictions have a disproportionate effect on girls’ education. According to Al-Haq, once they reach puberty, families tend to withdraw girls – though sometimes boys as well – from school, “out of fear for their safety, or in some cases, to comply with the social custom that renders it inappropriate and unsafe for girls to live and sleep outside of their homes and away from their parents.”

Basic needs

Israeli forces also raid and monitor areas to stop residents from rebuilding demolished structures and they confiscate their belongings.

During and after the November 2015 demolition in al-Hadidiya, Ruqaya Bisharat, Sumoud’s mother, says in the video that Israeli soldiers destroyed the family’s bread oven and television, and did not allow them to retrieve anything from the house.

Sumoud says that soldiers destroyed the house while animals were still in it, killing some doves.

The family’s clothing was also damaged with mud and rain. When Ruqaya attempted to hang them on a laundry line, soldiers destroyed that too.

“I used a plastic sheet as a carpet and cover for my children to sleep, soldiers came and pushed my kids off the plastic sheet and confiscated that too,” Ruqaya says.

When one community member in Ein al-Qilt built a restroom out of brick to give people some privacy and improved hygiene, Israeli forces ordered him to demolish it.

Ein al-Qilt has no access to electricity either, making it very difficult to preserve food. Women, who traditionally do these chores, are forced to use fire for cooking, wash clothes by hand and purchase food the same day they plan to cook it.

Sexual harassment

Israeli settlers, who surround most of these communities, are given free reign to harass Palestinians with impunity and sometimes with the protection of Israeli forces.

Settlers have delivered death threats through loudspeakers, mocked Palestinian funerals and engaged in indecent exposure to intimidate Palestinians, especially women.

“Such acts are clearly intended to create a hostile, degrading and humiliating environment, particularly for women and girls, and may amount to an act of sexual harassment, thus a form of violence against women,” the Al-Haq report states.

Despite the violence they face, these communities are determined to stay on their land.

“We have a beautiful life,” Abd al-Rahim Bisharat, Sumoud’s father, says in the film. “Our rural lifestyle is not what makes our life difficult, the occupation is what makes it difficult.”
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