Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tough to be a journalist in Palestine

There has been a little bit of a lull in the postings because recently Israel cut a telephone and internet connection which passed from '48 into the West Bank/'67. They wouldn't let Palestinian repair crews nearby for some time, so it's been tough to access any media. Hamdulillah, we're back online.

I start first with a post on the difficulties of being a journalist in Palestine. If you're one of those people who upon hearing my stories or messages find yourself confused or uncomfortable about the things I have to tell - often it's because those in the Western world see or hear very little of the truth of the situation. For the most part the story in the Western Media is of a poor beleaguered Israel who is always the victim. This pervades even what people would consider the "liberal" media in the US due to a rather complex interaction of political power, money, and media. So as not to sound conspiratorial, I suggest the reader checkout the freely available movie "Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land" to better aquaint themselves with why the story of this amazingly historic place is mistold. (it is an hour and fifteen minutes, so take some time tonight to watch it if you're interested)

When you're on the ground though, it's a much different situation. As a part of and in addition to the legal work I'm doing, there is a healthy dose of media collection I'm involved with. It's not easy - forget about about major media covering the daily invasions here - worse though, is that the local and regional media are attacked by the Israeli Occupation Forces when trying to pursue their profession.

Journalists and observers are routinely shot at, arrested, and more frequently (in my case) told that my camera will be smashed by one soldier while the other points a gun at me. Recently, in Gaza, the Israelis shot a cameraman - not only did they shoot him once to drop him, they continued to shoot him while he lay on the ground nearly life-less, with a massive 50 Cal nonetheless. He has since had both of his legs amputated due to the massive damage the huge bullets caused. (one minute video)

With hopes of Peace from the Promised Land,


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