Saturday, March 1, 2014

How the Rightwing CAMERA got the NY Times to Invent A Jewish Neighborhood of Jerusalem

Phil Weiss reported last week about how the rightwing media “watchdog” CAMERA got the New York Times to change its reporting on the Soda Stream factory at the Atarot Industrial Zone. After CAMERA weighed in, this was the version that was on the web.

Israel opened an industrial zone in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Atarot, which had been Jewish before 1948, shortly after recapturing it along with the rest of the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 war.

One sentence, three mistakes:

  • There was no East Jerusalem neighborhood of Atarot before 1948.
  • There was no Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem called  Atarot before 1948.
  • The Atarot industrial zone does not even overlap  geographically with the tiny Jewish settlement  of Atarot that fell to the Jordanians in the 1948 war.

After Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967 it expanded the municipal boundaries to include territory that had never been part of Jerusalem, expanding northward to claim the Qalandia airstrip that Jordan had used, but being careful not to include more Arabs necessary within its borders. The abandoned Atarot settlement was not included within the expanded municipal borders of Jerusalem (see picture below.)

The Atarot settlement that was captured by the Jordanians in 1948 consisted of around a dozen settlers on approximately 132 acres. According to the  Atarot Industrial Zone website, the zone  is today built on 1500 acres, with over 180 factories and 4500 employees – every single one of them is on Palestinian land.

CAMERA took credit for the The New York Times’ correction.

CAMERA had informed The Times that the neighborhood, Atarot, was a Jewish owned farming village before 1948, when Jordan occupied the area and destroyed the village’s homes. Atarot is in sovereign Israeli territory as part of the country’s unified capital, although Palestinians claim it as their own….

I am not sure whether CAMERA knowingly duped the NY Times, or whether it is simply woefully ignorant about the facts on the ground. The purple on the map below is the territory annexed by the Israelis in 1967. Pre-1948 Atarot is to the left, in Area C – not yet annexed by the Israelis, although maybe that’s just a matter of time….

 

Atarot

2 comments:

Brendan McKay said...

Although I agree with your principle here, you are not correct about the pre-1948 location of the Jewish moshav. I don't know what the map you link to labels with "pre 1948 Atarot"—maybe it was the farmland of Atarot, but the houses of Atarot were located a few hundred meters south of the centre of the present runway. For proof, see <a href="http://cs.anu.edu.au/~bdm/yabber/100K/10Jerusalem.jpg>this 1944 map</a> at 1705/1414. It was 1km WNW of Qalandiya. The location is now inside the expanded municipal boundaries. Everything else you write is correct.

Brendan McKay said...

Although I agree with your principle here, you are not correct about the pre-1948 location of the Jewish moshav. I don't know what the map you link to labels with "pre 1948 Atarot"—maybe it was the farmland of Atarot, but the houses of Atarot were located a few hundred meters south of the centre of the present runway. For proof, see this 1944 map at 1705/1414. It was 1km WNW of Qalandiya. The location is now inside the expanded municipal boundaries. Everything else you write is correct.