Another American Geography Gaffe: Where is Ramallah ?

The recent influx of American journalists to the middle east covering Barack Obama’s tour has shown me their gross unfamiliarity of the basics of this world arena and its geography. Yesterday i posted about their confusion between Iraq & Jordan, two very distinct countries; one which they are occupying with more than 100k troops and is drenched in sectarian violence, and the other is a quite sovereign nation. You’d imagine they would know more about Iraq since they have so many people there 🙂 .

Anyway, today Obama is visiting Israel & the West Bank. Ramallah is in the West Bank, and this area is usually referred to in news reports using any of the following terms: Palestine, West Bank, Palestinian Territories, or Occupied Territories. At least the term “West Bank” is very politically neutral. Not like this:

For God’s sake, you just said that you are sitting infront of the Palestinian President’s building 🙂

Leave a comment ?


  1. not surprised at all !! Not too long ago, they were talking about Beirut and showing pictures of the Taliban which prompted a friend of mine to ask me if when I travel home I put my burka3 on before landing in Beirut Airport..!!

  2. Whoah, two blunders in one day? American journalism is on its way to the TOP, yo!

  3. That’s some fine reporting

  4. Everybody: Thanks for your comments.

    Mafish: I have mentioned previously that i am more than willing to have a real civilized debate. But, i would not tolerate racism or hate speech. Now, if there is no such thing as Palestine as you claim, and if Ramallah is in Israel as you claim, then why are the citizens of Ramallah treated differently than anybody else ?

  5. Racism is that according to YOUR law, it is illegal for Jews to live in Ramallah- or anywhere else in the Arab-occupied areas, and that SELLING land to a Jew is a capital offense.

    Debate that.

  6. Mafish: I really don’t know why am i answering your comments, because you clearly don’t want anything but to shout and spew your hate speech without listening.

    Who said that Jews are not allowed to live in Ramallah or any other Palestinian city ? Are you out of your mind ? Jewish Samaritans have been living in Nablus for a long time, and they even have representation in the Palestinian parliament.

    Also, are you not aware of your Israeli settlements (that are illegal by the way) ? Are you not aware of the roads (in the West Bank) that only Jews can travel on ? So if you want to call one side racist, you should check the facts please.

  7. Who said that Jews are not allowed to live in Ramallah or any other Palestinian city ?

    Your “government”:

    Arabs Who Sold Home to Hebron Jews Arrested, Face Death Penalty

    Two Arabs involved in the sale of a Hebron building to the Jewish community have been placed under arrest, one by the Palestinian Authority, the other by Jordan.

    The arrested Arabs now face capital punishment, as Palestinian Authority law dictates the death sentence for anyone found guilty of selling property to a Jew…

    It’s nothing new- or secret.

    Death penalty urged in land sales

    Last month, Palestinian Justice Minister Freih Abu Medein urged the death penalty for those who illegally sold land to Israel. There was precedent under Jordanian law which allows someone who sells land to an enemy to be killed.

    The Palestinian National Council is considering several proposals to legally prohibit the land sales.

    Abu Medein said Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel would be brought to trial.

    The Palestinian attorney general, Khaled Kidreh, said Palestinian police have arrested 15 Arabs who would be brought to trial on suspicion of selling land to Jews.

    Even Human Rights Watch admited it:

    The PA also says it arrests Palestinians who sell land to Israelis….In the context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the PA has declared all such alienation of land as a threat to national security carrying a lengthy term of imprisonment, or even the death penalty.

    Jewish Samaritans have been living in Nablus for a long time, and they even have representation in the Palestinian parliament.

    Samaritans aren’t Jews. Do you know what the Arabs did to the Jewish community of Hebron in 1929 in order to ethnically cleanse them?

    From a memorandum presented to the British High Commissioner by Hebron’s community:

    “…the rabbis, Meir Kastel, 68 years old, and Tzvi Drabkin, 70 years old, and five other young men… were robbed, castrated, tortured and murdered… The baker, Noah Immerman was roasted alive on an oven, Rabbi Ya’akov Orlanski HaCohen… was found… praying… they took his brain from his skull and his wife’s intestines were crushed… the pharmacist, Ben-Tzion Gershon, lame, unable to move, who served in Hebron for 40 years, kindly assisting many Arabs, they cut off his nose and fingers, killed him, raped his daughter and murdered her with awful torture. The teacher Dubkinov and Yitzhak Abushdid were strangled with a rope… six synagogues… including 64 Torah scrolls, many of them ancient, from the Spanish exile, all were stolen and desecrated….”

    In fact, the Arabs ethnically cleansed ALL Jews from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza between then and 1948.

    Also, are you not aware of your Israeli settlements (that are illegal by the way) ?

    They are “illegal” because according to your “law”, Jews aren’t allowed to live in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

    Even though Jews always did- except for the period of 1948-1967, when the Arabs ethnically cleansed ALL Jews.

    THAT was illegal.

    Are you not aware of the roads (in the West Bank) that only Jews can travel on?

    There’s no such thing, as we all know. If you still want to make that claim, tell us which exact roads.

    So if you want to call one side racist, you should check the facts please.

    I cann your side racist and I know the facts well.

  8. Mafish: This is nonsense.

    #1: The news sources you gave are either outdated or from an israeli source. So their credibility is questionable. If you want to make such claims, at least use some credible news sources maybe Reuters or the AP. Even that cnn story is 11 years old and has no other sites to back it up.

    #2: When was the last time that Israel has bought any land from the Palestinians ? All the settlement building and expansions are not made through sales, on the contrary, they are made by forcefully grabbing the land from Palestinians.

    #3: Israeli settlements are illegal by the UN Security council, International Court of Justice, European Union, Amnesty International, and the Human Rights Watch. Your claim otherwise is pure ignorance.

    #4: Yes, there are roads in the west bank that only jews can travel on .. and here is a document by an Israeli organization that talks about them:

    #5: I urge you to stop feeding your self propaganda, and look at what is happening in reality on the ground. Go see what is going on instead of making and believing false claims. If you really think that Palestinians are being treated humainly, then you are living in a dream land. Yes this conflict has cost the lives of many innocent Palestinians and Israelis, and we can not put all the fault at one side .. but sitting behind closed doors and making racist remarks will not help anything.

    This is the last comment i will leave on this subject, and i hope that you open yourself to real dialouge without any hate speech or propaganda.

  9. This is absolutely true. You can’t deal with the truth:

    1. The sources are very varied- from all types of sources. And like I showed you, even according to Human Rights Watch, the PA admitted it. Arafat did, Tirawi did, Abu Medein did. This is no secret.

    I always think it’s funny that those whose own “news” sources lie the most try to use that pathetic excuse.

    2. When Israelis buy land from you, as you know, the seller will be killed by your “police” unless he can escape. It’s therefore done quietly. By the way, we do pay a premium so that you can leave and live, so if you have any land that you want to sell, I can arrange it.

    3. Jews lived in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza straight for thousands of years before the Arabs ethnically cleansed all Jews in 1948 (1929 in Hebron, part of Gaza, part of jerusalem, etc…).

    THAT was illegal. Us living here isn’t.

    You’ll just have to get used to it. I realize that coming from your “culture”, that will be difficult to accept.

    4. So sorry, but Israeli Arabs use ALL roads. Because you try to murder us, you can’t. According to your own source (which you obviously didn’t read):

    The research relates only to the travel of Palestinians in vehicles with license plates that are issued by the Palestinian Authority (hereafter: Palestinian vehicles). It does not relate to the rules applying to travel by Palestinians in vehicles bearing yellow [Israeli] license plates (hereafter: Israeli vehicles), or in vehicles bearing international plates.

    On the other hand, there are PLENTY of roads that are forbidden to ALL Jews to travel on- because your terrorists will murder Jews who do.

    5. I urge you to urge your leaders and the other terrorists to stop and change- before you suffer the mother of all naqbas. Our patience is wearing thin.

  10. Mafish:

    #1 & #2: Look, i am not saying that this can not happen at all. But what i am saying is that this is not a systematic thing. Our law does not dictate a punishment for this, and it is not carried out. Yes there might have been some cases here and there, but these are the exceptions not the rule. For example, some places in old Jerusalem were sold by Arabs to Jews. People know the names of the sellers and their families. Nothing happened to them. Similarly, earlier there was some land that was sold out to Jews directly or indirectly. This is only a small fraction of how Israel got its land (as i hope you know). Yes, it is generally frowned upon if an Arab sells his land in the West Bank to Israelis, and that is because people see that as diminishing the hopes of any Palestinian future.

    So the point is that it is not a systematic thing as you claim. Go to Jerusalem and ask around.

    #3: How on earth can you claim that Arabs ethnically cleansed the Jews in 1948 or prior ??? Just read a little bit about the hundreds of villages that the Jewish gangs wiped out in 1947 & 1948. I don’t know how to even respond to such ignorance honestly. I mean, come on. You can’t be that blind to the truth. Yes i understand that you are probably still in high school and that you didn’t get to see much .. but at least you should know this very basic fact !

    #4: Hahahaha … well mr. How many Israeli Arabs or International tourists do you see traveling settlement roads in the west bank ? Don’t think too hard .. i can help you with that .. the answer is ZERO. These roads are built throughout the west bank to connect between your illegal settlements. In the west bank there are no Israeli Arabs .. so it is just us Palestinian Arabs .. and we can’t travel on these roads. Oh, and regarding those roads that “jews can’t travel on” .. this is a law by the israeli government not the palestinians .. and if you even just travel 2 hours to reach the west bank, you will see that there are plenty of israeli cars there .. so of them are for arabs, but many others (on the roads between cities) are actually for jewish israelis .. i know because i have seen them. so please get out of your shell and see the world around you.

    By the way, i see you have fell silent to see that the UN, International Court of Justice, and the European Union considers these settlements in the West Bank illegal 🙂

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