Earlier this month, CAMERA wrote about the incredible claims Rawan Eewshah made in Teen Vogue about her family’s history. After hearing from CAMERA members, Teen Vogue has updated the article, explaining in an Editor’s Note, “this article has been updated to reflect factual corrections on historical details within the text.”
The author had originally stated that Israeli soldiers regularly interrupted her father’s soccer games with his friends. At the time this was said to have occurred, however, Jordan was occupying the West Bank. The corrected article now reads, “the only thing that would stop the never-ending games of footy is if his mother called him in for dinner or if they saw a soldier approaching.” And instead of making an unqualified claim that members of her father’s family were killed by Israeli soldiers, as it did originally, the article now says they were killed by people “they believed to be Israeli forces disguised in keffiyehs.”
This is a step in the right direction, and CAMERA commends Teen Vogue for taking it. However, the article still does not explain that the West Bank was occupied by Jordan at the time. It will still be easy for Teen Vogue’s readers, who have already read so many negative things about Israel in that publication, to wrongly assume the soldiers in question would have been Israeli.
In her original article, Eewshah had written, “it’s been more than 50 years since the day Israeli soldiers marched to my father’s door in al-Jib with the intention of seizing his family’s home and subsequently rendering him homeless.” As CAMERA noted previously, we can’t know the circumstances of Eewshah’s family, but we do know that in most cases, Arabs who became refugees as a result of the Six-Day War had fled in fear of a war that Arabs started, and were not expelled. The description of the incident has now been edited to reflect that this is the story that Eewshah was told, and not an undisputed fact.
The magazine also corrected the claim that during the 1948 war, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq, fought “for Palestine,” which would have been impossible as there was no sovereign entity known as “Palestine” at the time. Instead, the article now reads that those countries, “invaded Israel and began fighting on behalf of Palestinians.” Of course, that’s not really accurate either; as explained previously, Jordan and Egypt seized territory for themselves, and made no attempt to grant the Palestinian Arabs sovereignty.
Teen Vogue has also removed the false claim that Ahed Tamimi does not have a lawyer. It kept, however, Eewsha’s implication that Tamimi was arrested “for being Palestinian.” Tamimi was arrested, not for being Palestinian, but for assaulting a soldier.