Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Israeli Apartheid... in The Sun-Herald!

When was the last time you saw journalism on Palestine/Israel like this in the normally don't-go-there Fairfax press?:

"This is the occupied West Bank, the putative Israeli-occupied Palestinian state as described by the 1967 war and contemplated in the 1993 Oslo Accords between the Israeli government and the PLO. Some souls live up here. Dotted hither and thither as the highway snakes eastward are Jewish settlements, invariably holding commanding hilltop positions. And lower down, perched awkwardly in the treeless gullies closer to the highway, there are Bedouins. Their ad hoc micro-settlements are untidy off-grid affairs. Illegal shanty towns of tin and tarps, marking out these itinerants as the most dispossessed of the 2.9 million Palestinians in the West Bank.

"In one such community, just 20 minutes from First World Jerusalem, a mud-brick school clings to a hillside. Its defiantly permanent adobe structures use solar panels for electricity, fake grass for play areas, and rely on donated equipment, most notably from Italy. But even that international recognition has not protected the tiny school from capricious treatment. A community leader displays a children's swing reduced to a useless frame after its parts were allegedly confiscated because the concrete footings had breached the rules - an example of the countless small ways in which officialdom makes life hard for non-Jewish persons in the hope they simply give up.

"Overlooking all this sits a gleaming white hamlet of Jewish settlers, replete with valuable water rights, extra security and private service roads - just some of the 600,000 state-subsidised outliers intent on expanding the Jewish state into the West Bank permanently per force of occupation." (Blind support for Israel does it no favours, Mark Kenny*, The Sun-Herald, 19/2/17)

Have you ever seen phrasing like this before in the normally black-is-white, Israel-is-a-democracy, up-is-down Fairfax press?:

"Israel is a... purportedly democratic nation..." (ibid)

When was the last time you read plain talk on Israeli apartheid like this in the normally afraid-of-its-own-shadow Fairfax press?:

"This... is conflict central. A place where rights are dependent on race and religion." (ibid)

Or this:

"The comprehensiveness of Israel's suppression of the local population is staggering. Yet it occasions little serious study from governments like Australia's, which has succumbed to the self-serving binary that there are only two critiques of Israel: unqualified support or anti-semitism." (ibid)

Or this:

"... it's not just Cold war-style partitioning to which much of the world has turned a blind eye, but now a new South Africa." (ibid)

[*"Mark Kenny is chief political correspondent. He travelled to Israel in 2014 courtesy of the Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs Council and to the occupied territories in 2016 courtesy of the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network." (ibid)]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh to be the proverbial fly on the wall in the editors office for the ballistic and menacing phone call followed by the visit of the three angry men in suits.

Here's a tip for the hapless editor: Fairfax newspapers in New Zealand routinely describe the occupied Palestinian land as 'occupied'.

Why so coy about it in Australia?