Monday, October 19, 2009

A study in deceit, part III

In our second installment of "A study in deceit", we noted how Reuters both adopts and deploys the term "occupied" territories to arbitrarily assign ownership of the land in the West Bank (also Judea and Samaria) to the Palestinian Arabs when in fact, the territory remains formally unallocated to any nation or people and a portion of the land is privately owned by Jews having been purchased from its previous Arab owners or in some cases, the Ottoman authorities.

In the case of the story presented in the Reuters' video, the narrator takes care not to identify the featured community, saying only:

Many of the settlements like this one [panoramic footage of community] near Bethlehem are built by Palestinian workers.

As the community goes unnamed, the video does not enable us to assess the history of ownership of the land; however, the companion article appearing on Reuters' website on the same day refers to the settlement of Elazar which is part of the community of Gush Etzion. As we noted previously, Gush Etzion was founded in the modern era in 1927 by a group of Yemenite Jews and re-established several times following violent attacks and destruction at the hands of neighboring Arabs.

Thus, it may be that the community featured sits not only on land formally unallocated per international law, but on land as well which was acquired nearly a century ago; land that has been cultivated, developed and redeveloped over the last 80 years not by Palestinian Arabs -- but by Jews.

A possibility Reuters conspicuously fails to mention.

Part IV to follow.

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