Saturday, July 5, 2014

"Riots in Arab-Israeli Towns"

The Israeli press has reported -- and US media repeated without further confirmation -- that "Israeli-Arabs" (that is, Palestinian second-class citizens of Israel) in the segregated towns in the north-central part of the country are rioting violently in response to the gruesome murder of a Palestinian youth from Shuafat.

Here's a typical story, which was repeated almost word-for-word by the NPR correspondent in Tel Aviv:

Israelis attacked, car set on fire during riots in Arab Israeli towns
During riots overnight Friday-Saturday in the central Arab-Israeli town of Kalanswa, masked men attacked a number of cars belonging to Jewish Israelis, setting one on fire.
On Friday night and into Saturday morning, Arab Israelis burned tires and clashed with security forces in Kalanswa, and other central and northern towns including Taibe, Tira and Baqa al-Gharbiya, in protest of the death of Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir, 16. Police made 31 arrests and said more were expected.  and so on (see the link for the rest).

Al-Quds Street in Qalansuwe, also spelled out phonetically in Hebrew
I've been visiting the town of Qalansuwe ("Kalanswa") for many years and I have some long-time friends there, as well as in nearby Tira and Taibe.  I phoned one of them who spoke -- ironically -- of the local "intifada."  What the press did not report was that Qalansuwe and the other towns were invaded by right-wing Jewish-Israeli provocateurs before any of the "riots" began.

The Jews drove into the towns yelling "Death to the Arabs" and other slurs, and were followed by Israeli police to "protect them" and arrest local youths.  Then the protests -- that is "riots" -- began.  My friend says that the roads into and out of Qalansuwe remained closed by the police as of this afternoon.

Just a small example of how the news from Israel gets distorted.  The  Palestinian towns are a 30-40 minute drive from Tel Aviv and local testimony is just a phone call away.  But that is apparently too much to ask from US so-called news correspondents based in Israel.  Much easier to repeat the press releases of the Israeli security forces or copy from the Jewish Israeli media.

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