Monday, October 10, 2011

Wire services: Only Palestinian Arabs grow olives

If you search for the word "olives" in wire service photos, you would get the impression that there is only one people on Earth who grow and harvest olives.

A Palestinian farmer empties a bucket of olives onto a pile, in a field outside the West Bank village of Al Araqah near Jenin, Monday, Oct. 10, 2011. Palestinians began to harvest olives in October, a staple for many local farmers that also use them to make oil.

A Palestinian woman picks olives during harvesting season in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza StripOctober 9, 2011.
A Palestinian man collects olives at the start of the annual harvest season in Khan Yunis in the southernGaza Strip on October 8, 2011.

Indeed, you will look in vain if you try to find any photos of people in Italy or Spain harvesting this year's olive crop from news agencies. 

Only one type of people, apparently, still harvest their own olives. By implication, only one set of people love their land so much as to still harvest olives the way that their ancestors did for centuries.

As I pointed out last year when this same phenomenon occurred, this is a subtle type of media bias that is pervasive, and no less pernicious than the more blatant types of bias we are used to.

It just so happens that Jews have been growing and harvesting olives for quite a long time in that area:
Olive press in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem

And they still do

So why are there no photos - and I mean zero - of Israeli Jews harvesting olives from wire services?