Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Reuters regressing with use of racist epithet

Less than a week since we commended Jeffrey Heller and Reuters on their decision to omit the tendentious term "Arab East Jerusalem" from an article on Jewish building outside of the 1949 armistice lines, Reuters correspondent Dan Williams and Bureau Chief Alastair Macdonald are back in the mire:
Israel captured Jerusalem's Old City and the rest of Arab East Jerusalem from Jordanian control in 1967.
Remember, "Arab East Jerusalem" is a fabrication intended to deceive the reader into viewing the eastern part of Jerusalem as Arab property.  The term derives from the ethnic cleansing of Jews following the invasion and conquest of Jerusalem by the Arab Legion under Jordanian command in 1948-49.  Here's how Wikipedia describes the scene:
A few days before the war, Legion troops were involved in the Kfar Etzion massacre. At Latrun, the Legion blockaded the Jerusalem highway. On May 28, 1948, they conquered the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City (i.e. inside the walls of the Old City), expelled the Jews who lived there and took part in the destruction of the Synagogues therein. The Legion also secured the West Bank for Transjordan.
Deploying the alias "Arab East Jerusalem" to describe the eastern portion of the city is like characterizing American cities where blacks were expelled between 1890 and 1930 as "Caucasianland" or referring to the south side of Chicago as "Negroidville".  If that makes you shudder, Reuters racist reference to "Arab East Jerusalem" should as well.

Jewish families leaving the Old City of Jerusalem through Zion's Gate. June 1948. John Phillips, LIFE Magazine.

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