Reading Roduren: “Unrest by Palestinians”

On September 18, 2014, NY Times journalist Jodi Rudoren wrote yet another article light on history and description (regarding Palestinian violence and Jewish history) entitled “Unrest by Palestinians Surges in a Jerusalem Neighborhood“.

The article mentioned an “Israeli-owned gas station that was looted by masked youths who broke a pump and smashed windows.” What Roduren failed to mention was that the Arab riot included dozens of youths and adults who repeatedly threw firebombs at the gas pumps in an effort to ignite them and blow up the entire station.

Roduren described “a hill near where Jesus is said to have sat under a carob tree”. There was no nod to Samuel the Prophet or dozens of Jewish leaders who lived and preached in the area.

In yet another egregious example of understating Arab violence, Roduren wrote that Palestinians were arrested for “throwing rocks and other actions.” Those “other actions” included Arabs throwing Molotov cocktails at Jewish homes. An uninformed reader might think they were simply making “crude gestures toward Israeli soldiers” as Roduren wrote in the preceding paragraph.

According to the article, the start of the “tensions” arose from “the abductions and murders of three Israeli teenagers, followed by the gruesome abduction and murder of a Palestinian teenager, Muhammad Abu Khdeir, from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat on July 2, by Jewish extremists.” Note that the Israeli teenagers were not mentioned by name whereas the Palestinian boy was. There was no adjective for the murder of the Israelis, but the Palestinian murder was described as “gruesome”. There was no blame on Palestinians for the murder of three Israelis, but the sole Palestinian boy was killed by “Jewish extremists.” (FYI, when the New York Times reported on the arrest of the murderer of the Israeli teens, the man was simply mentioned by name and was not described as an Arab, a Muslim or an extremist.)

Roduren ignores a lot of highly relevant history in describing “East Jerusalem”. She writes that “Palestinians claim it as their future capital. Israel captured it from Jordan, along with the West Bank, in 1967, and later annexed some 27 square miles.” Neglected from this quick overview was that “Palestinians” were Jordanians in 1967, as they had Jordanian citizenship since 1950. It was the Jordanians (and Palestinians) who attacked Israel first in 1967, and Israel responded in self-defense. To state that “Israel captured it from Jordan”, ignores the reality that the Palestinians, together with the Jordanians, launched the attack on Israel.  Additionally, by beginning the overview of Jerusalem in 1967, ignores that:

  1. Jerusalem has had a Jewish majority since the 1860s;
  2. Arabs initiated attacks and killed Jews throughout Jerusalem well before Israel was even created including in 1920; 1929; 1936-9
  3. Jerusalem was never intended to be a Palestinian city according to the UN plan in 1947;
  4. the Jordanians and other Arab nations attacked Israel in 1948;
  5. the Jordanians illegally seized and annexed the eastern part of Jerusalem in 1949;
  6. the Palestinians became Jordanians in 1950, and were complicit in expelling all of the Jews from the eastern part of Jerusalem and barring their entry to the city and Jewish holy sites;
  7. the Jordanians (together with the Palestinians) initiated the attack on Israel in 1967.

The fact the Jordan gave up all claim to Jerusalem in 1988, and Israel gave control to half of the Holy Basin as described by the UN – Bethlehem – 20 years ago is ignored.

When Roduren described “300,000 of Jerusalem’s 830,000 residents are Palestinians. They are not citizens,” she deliberately misrepresented that they were offered Israeli citizenship, but declined.

Regarding the Temple Mount, Roduren refers to it by its Muslim name, the “Al Aqsa compound in the Old City has long been the site of sporadic clashes between Muslim and Jewish worshipers”. Other than denying the Jewish name of the holiest site in Judaism, the “long” history of conflict dates back well before 1967 when Muslim men attacked and killed Jews. Further, it is untrue to paint it as a mutual clash between parties – it was Jews who were repeatedly attacked by Arabs, not the other way around.

In describing the “nearly 100 attacks on the light rail system”, no party is mentioned in the violence, even though all of the attackers were Arabs. Instead, Roduren wrote that “Palestinians report attempted kidnappings, aggression and racist taunts by Jews.”

Roduren repeated her long-running narrative of painting the Arabs as indigenous and Jews as recent settlers. In the article, she refers to an Arab community leader “whose family dates back 800 years,” (she presents this as fact, not something the man simply claims). The fact is that the area discussed barely had any people living there: in 1922, the census reported a grand total of 333 persons in the neighborhood (and also reported that Jews were the majority, making up 54% of all of Jerusalem). Consider that during the British Mandate, over 800,000 Arabs from the Middle East moved to Palestine – hardly making the Arabs indigenous. By ignoring Jewish ties (as in only reporting Jesus’s history and calling the Temple Mount only by a Muslim name), Roduren tries to distance Jews from being the actual indigenous people of the region.

Maybe one day, the New York Times will finally print the undisputed fact that Jews have been the majority in Jerusalem for 100 years before the Six Day War. Perhaps the paper will finally call out the Palestinians when they instigate the violence. Yeah, right.

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Sources:

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Masked-Arabs-throw-rocks-bottles-of-paint-at-Jewish-school-bus-on-Mt-of-Olives-375967

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4571547,00.html

Murder of Israeli teenagers arrested: http://online.wsj.com/articles/israel-makes-first-arrest-in-teens-murder-case-1407315912

NY Times coverage of arrest of Palestinian who killed Israeli teenagers: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/world/middleeast/israeli-arrest-made-public-in-abduction-of-3-youths.html?_r=0

From Jordanian king’s own site about launching offensive against Israel in 1967: http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/his_periods3.html

1922 census: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isawiya#cite_note-Census1922-7

FirstOneThrough on East Jerusalem history: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/east-jerusalem-the-0-5-molehill/

800,000+ Arabs moved to Israel under the British Mandate: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/whos-new-everybody/

1920 riots in Jerusalem against the Jews: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1920_Nebi_Musa_riots

Palestinian Xenophobia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQS1XVQR-Xc

Demographics of Jerusalem: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_history_of_Jerusalem

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2 thoughts on “Reading Roduren: “Unrest by Palestinians”

  1. Pingback: Israel’s Freedom of the Press; New York Times “Nonsense” | FirstOneThrough

  2. Pingback: In Inversion, New York Times Admits “The Truth is Hard to Find” | FirstOneThrough

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