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Bedouins in Al Araqib.(Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times)

Yesterday, it was How To Write a Yiddish Trend Piece. Today’s lesson? How To Write a Mideast Trend Piece.

Headline implying this can all mostly be chalked up to the narcissism of small differences: Check.

Opening anecdote involving peaceful practice of benign religious ritual: Check.

“Then the bulldozers arrived at dawn”: Check.

Justify article by noting that this small conflict is in fact microcosmic of the larger one: Check.

Note that yet at the same time this one conflict is unique and idiosyncratic (in this case, the Arabs in question are Israeli Bedouins, not Palestinians): Check.

Quote Israeli spokesperson to the effect that Israel is acting within the law: Check.

Quote esteemed left-wing Israeli professor begrudgingly agreeing but nonetheless disagreeing with Israeli policy: Check.

Buttress that with prominent left-wing Israeli novelist (in this case, Amos Oz): Check.

Close on Jews and Muslims protesting Israeli policy together: Check.

A Test of Wills Over a Patch of Desert [NYT]
Earlier: A Settled Schtick





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