Independent Arabia depicts Austro-Hungarian WWI soldiers as Jews immigrating to Palestine

A photo that Independent Arabia claims is Jews immigrating to "Palestine" is in fact Austro-Hungarian soldiers marching next to the walls of Jerusalem during World War 1.

A November 30th article at Independent Arabia – a joint venture of the UK based Independent and the Saudi media group SRMG – by their analyst and editor (Cairo-based) Ahmad ‘Abd al-Hakeem, included the following photo and caption:

The caption, under a photo depicting uniform-wearing men marching in perfect order while carrying rifles, claims they are in fact “Jews during their immigration to the State of Palestine”.

However, the photo (which originates in the Library of Congress collection) in fact depicts Austro-Hungarian soldiers marching next to the walls of Jerusalem during World War 1.

Apart from the erroneous photo, two issues arise here (the first more outrageous than the second):

  • Jewish civilian immigration into Israel and Jerusalem is presented to Arabic readers of the Independent as a well-organized and well-armed professional army. Whether done deliberately or not, this false presentation paints a grossly distorted history of the period.
  • Contrary to the language in the caption, a “State of Palestine” never existed at any point in history. Additionally, even the article itself observes that a Palestinian state doesn’t currently exist, in the very first words:

“Since resolution 181, also known as the ‘Partition [Plan]’ resolution of ‘historic Palestine’, [was passed] on November 29th, 1947, Palestinians have been searching the maps after what is left from their ‘hoped for’ State.

Research and writing by CAMERA Arabic.  Edited by UK Media Watch.

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