Photo: Alisdare Hickson / Flickr
Photo: Alisdare Hickson / Flickr

Reporting Palestine

The Southasian press is growing increasingly attuned to the history of the Palestinian struggle.

Over the past two weeks, the vocabulary used in the Southasian press has reflected a reckoning with previous reporting on Israel and Palestine. Terms such as 'apartheid', 'settler colonialism', and 'occupation' have filtered into publications throughout the region, demonstrating a larger effort to report on the violence of the present moment, as well as its historical conditions. Such language demonstrates a growing contrast to the default vocabulary of 'conflict', 'clash', 'fighting', and 'exchange' that has dominated headlines in the American and the larger Western public discourse on Palestine for several decades.

Since words as specific as 'apartheid' or 'colonialism' are still considered 'explosive' when used to describe Israel, these descriptors have typically entered articles through the voices of non-governmental organisations and organisers or activists. Most recently, rights group Human Rights Watch described Israel as an apartheid state in a report, which was cited in publications ranging from the The New York Times to the New-Delhi-based to the Dhaka-based Daily Star.

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Himal Southasian