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Ben Ehrenreich: At the Checkpoint in Hebron, 29 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 ...

Diary

Ben Ehrenreich: At the Calais Jungle, 17 March 2016

... plywood flooring and right-angled walls of well-planed lumber. Others are improvised: dirt floors beneath pieces of particleboard and corrugated metal, scraps of blanket tied over frames of crudely cut branches, makeshift chimneys venting oil-barrel stoves. There’s mud everywhere, and small mountains of rubbish, and rows of portable toilets. There’s a lot ...

The Leveller

Ben Ehrenreich: Famine in East Africa, 16 August 2017

... 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 ...

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 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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... pressure on the Mexican government to staunch the flow. Even then, other motives were concealed beneath the American government’s apparent concern for the health of its citizens: Nixon’s chief of staff recorded in his diary that in the course of a briefing on drug enforcement in 1969, the president had ‘emphasised … that the whole problem is really ...

Diary

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 ...

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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