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Ben Ehrenreich: At the Checkpoint in Hebron, 30 June 2016

... I was​ surprised a few weeks ago to find everyone I knew in Hebron feeling cheerful. Perhaps it was the weather. Four months had passed since my last visit to the city, the largest, and lately the bloodiest, in the West Bank. It was January then, and cold, and everyone had seemed distant and shaky, glassy-eyed with trauma. The previous November, most of the neighbourhood of Tel Rumeida had been declared a ‘closed military zone’, a convenient legalism that allows the Israeli army to exclude Palestinians – and journalists and foreign activists – from a predetermined area for a predetermined period ...


Ben Ehrenreich: At the Calais Jungle, 17 March 2016

... Baraa Halabieh​ could recall almost every detail of the long journey from his family home in the Syrian city of Hama: every bus and taxi fare, where he slept or failed to sleep each night, how many hours he walked to cross each border and how long he stood crammed on a stationary train waiting to pass into Hungary. He remembered the friend of a friend who stole all his money in Turkey and the children screaming as water leaked into the small boat that was ferrying them to Lesbos ...

The Leveller

Ben Ehrenreich: Famine in East Africa, 17 August 2017

... In Haro Sheikh​ the journalists kneeled to photograph a tortoise. It was nearly a metre long, with short, spikily scaled legs tucked beneath its shell. A black liquid stained the dry red earth around it. Beside it was the carcass of a donkey, white bone showing beneath what little flesh remained. A few metres away a warthog lay rotting, and beyond that a camel ...

A Lucrative War

Ben Ehrenreich: Mexico’s Drug Business, 21 October 2010

The Last Narco: Hunting El Chapo, the World’s Most Wanted Drug Lord 
by Malcolm Beith.
Penguin, 261 pp., £9.99, September 2010, 978 0 14 104839 0
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... On 15 September, the eve of Mexico’s bicentenary, President Felipe Calderón threw the country a $3 billion birthday party. An hour before midnight, he took the tricoloured flag from his honour guard, stepped onto the balcony of the Palacio Nacional and delivered the traditional Independence Day grito: a long succession of vivas echoing those of the soon-to-be-martyred priest Miguel Hidalgo at the beginning of Mexico’s 11-year war with Spain in 1810 ...


Ben Ehrenreich: Who killed Roque Dalton?, 24 June 2010

... In March 2009, the former television journalist Mauricio Funes became the first leftist to win the presidency of El Salvador. ‘Now it’s the turn of the aggrieved,’ Funes said, addressing hundreds of thousands of red-clad supporters. ‘Now it’s the opportunity of the excluded.’ He was paraphrasing the poet Roque Dalton, one of the patron saints of the Latin American left ...

The Israelis were shooting from one direction, the Palestinians from the other

Nathan Thrall: Life and Death in Palestine, 1 December 2016

The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine 
by Ben Ehrenreich.
Granta, 448 pp., £14.99, August 2016, 978 1 78378 310 6
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... against the occupation itself. The reason they failed to do so is one of the central questions Ben Ehrenreich poses in his eloquent account of popular resistance and Israeli military repression in the West Bank. His book gives a vivid portrait of Palestinian life under occupation and the enormous challenges faced by those who choose to confront ...

A Giant Still Sleeping

Lorna Scott Fox: Mike Davies, 4 April 2002

Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the US City 
by Mike Davis.
Verso, 202 pp., £10, November 2001, 9781859843284
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... success led to reprisals by the powerful sectors in LA he had upset by his exposures. According to Ben Ehrenreich, he was ‘driven from the city by a campaign of Red-baiting disguised as fact-checking’. His portrayal of a region wrecked by systematic racism, profiteering and environmental irrationality, now controlled by an urban planning of ...

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