No amount of Tweeting, tagging, posting or liking will save Gazans from an Israeli ground invasion. So why bother? By Corey Sherman Recent political upheavals in the Middle East tend to have a social media subplot, whether it's how savvy youth use it to subvert harsh authority, or how states manipulate access to it so as to stop such subversion. There’s the story about how State-Department-Official-cum-Google-Ideas-Chief, Jared Cohen, requested that Twitter delay a scheduled maintenance of their network to enable Iranians to continue to use the platform to organize during the harsh crackdown on post-election protests in 2009. Or how…Read More... | 10 Comments
Israel has detained over 7,000 Palestinian children over the past 12 years. Many of them report beatings, abuse and a denial of rights by security forces. It's time to put things in the wider context. The detention and abuse of Palestinian children by Israeli security forces has, for a change, been all over the international news media. Unfortunately, it took the severe beating of a 15-year-old boy who happens to have American citizenship for that to happen. Tariq Abu Khdeir was beaten by Israeli Border Police officers in Shuafat last week, during a protest against the brutal killing of of his…Read More... | 15 Comments
Details under gag order could have suggested early on that the abducted teens were murdered. The government-led campaign calling for their release helped the legitimacy of Israel’s military operation in the West Bank. Local and even international media played along. The following issue is not the heart of the kidnapping affair, the Israeli military operation or its aftermath -- but it does carry an important lesson, especially for journalists. The bottom line is this: the Israeli public has been manipulated. Details of the '100' call (the local equivalent of 911) and what investigators discovered in the car used for the…Read More... | 43 Comments
By Tal Schneider countup Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not given a single interview to the Israeli press since January 19, 2013. Not one question answered at a press conference, not a single one-on-one, and forget about a roundtable. In a democracy, this is incomprehensible. Amit Segal’s Channel 2 story on the matter (‘A year since the elections – the prime minister refuses to be interviews’, [Heb]) says it all. Nothing happened even after that. Netanyahu grants numerous interviews in many languages to the foreign press -- but not in Hebrew to Israeli reporters. As a political blogger, I…Read More... | 17 Comments
The media fallout from the Ya'alon story in Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth revealed that for some weeks now the defense minister has been conducting private briefings to journalists, diplomats and politicians in which he has been speaking out against Secretary of State John Kerry, using the same terms that were revealed earlier this week. Yedioth’s diplomatic correspondent Shimon Shiffer quoted Ya’alon as saying that the secretary of state's is “messianic and obsessive” with his peace efforts, accusing Kerry of being unfamiliar with the issues ("The U.S. security plan is 'not worth the paper it's written on'"), and adding that “the best thing that could…Read More... | 31 Comments
The problem is not that Israel releases Palestinian prisoners, but how few it releases. Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth gives its readers a daily question, argued by two competing op-eds. On Monday, the question had to do with the coming release of Palestinian prisoners as part of the government’s commitment to Secretary of State John Kerry. Journalist Merav Batito wrote in favor, while Hagai Segal was against freeing terrorists; readers were asked to vote on Facebook. Segal knows a thing or two about the issue -- he is, after all, a released terrorist. In the eighties, Segal was part of what was…Read More... | 17 Comments
The Israeli army still refuses to comment on several incidents in which journalists affiliated with Hamas, but with no connection to military activities, were targeted. In response to an inquiry by an Israeli journalist, an IDF Spokesperson representative wondered why he cares about a couple of Palestinians that died 'a million years ago.' On November 20, during the Israeli army’s last operation in Gaza ("Pillar of Defense"), the IDF targeted a car on a Gaza City street with two cameramen from al-Aqsa TV - Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama - killing them both. Al-Aqsa is the official television station of…Read More... | 2 Comments
Several analysis are linking the resumption of the peace talks with Prime Minister Netanyahu's desire to legitimize a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. Some even claim that the U.S. administration is in the loop. There were at least three articles in the Hebrew media this week speculating on the option of an Israeli strike on Iran. All pieces linked those scenarios to the peace process, and to the Wall Street Journal's report on reactor in Arak, which is due to become operational in the coming months and could be used for the creation of a plutonium bomb (those reports were already disputed,…Read More... | 13 Comments
Poll finds Israeli public extremely misinformed on Bedouin issue, majority believes land claims to be five times bigger than they really are. Media personality and talk radio host Avri Gilad is one of the recent favorites of the Israeli right. Gilad, a Tel Aviv celebrity, has voiced extremely conservative opinions on a variety to topics, from asylum seekers to Islam. In late April, Gilad posted on Facebook his impressions from a tour to the South with the settlers non-profit group Regavim: I came back from a tour of the Negev conducted by Regavim. I am appalled by what I saw. There’s no…Read More... | 7 Comments
One Palestinian journalist's meditation on being forced to pay for Haaretz, the only paper he can rely on, but one that also espouses a nationalist ideology he cannot accept. 'I'm fated to be a reluctant reader -- and a reluctant citizen.' By Hakim Bishara It’s morning and I desperately need the news. Where I live, one needs to know what awful things to expect outdoors before leaving the house. I often think of those people who have a favorite newspaper of choice. They develop an easy kinship to the paper: “Have you seen my newspaper?”, they ask around the house;…Read More... | 18 Comments
In my third post about publishing--or, rather, not publishing--my book about migrant workers and African refugees in Israel, I examine the role of violence in the media and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And then there was a ray of light. In the wake of the May 2012 race riot in Tel Aviv, the mainstream media was suddenly paying attention to African refugees in the Jewish state. My agent called to say that we might be able to ride the wave of violence to sell my book about migrants in Israel. There’s something wrong with an industry that only sits up and takes…Read More... | 10 Comments
+972 Magazine and Israel Social TV are happy to announce the beginning of a new partnership in which Social TV's grassroots, independent video reporting and content will be published and presented in English on +972 Magazine. Like +972, Social TV is an independent media organization working to promote social change, human rights, social justice and equality as well as to mobilize its viewers toward activism. Social TV was established in 2006 out of the belief that objective and diverse media is crucial for a healthy democracy in Israel. It seeks to report on social injustices and human right violations, and…Read More... | 3 Comments
Tuesday's Haaretz editorial calls on Arab citizens to vote in the Israeli elections, despite the feelings of failure and disappointment they may have toward the Israeli parliament. The piece (accurately) states that voting numbers are relatively low among Palestinian citizens of Israel, resulting in a Kensset representation that is roughly half of their share in the populations. Quote: Therefore, the Arab public has no better alternative than the civic struggle, which demands patience. Despair and abstention are the worst enemies of such a struggle, and they are luxuries that Israel’s citizens can’t afford. Massive Arab turnout in this election would…Read More... | 17 Comments
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Assault on Gaza
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