Ali Abunimah on electronic journalism and Palestine

13 May

Ali Abuminah asserted that there is often a lack of context in most reporting of Israel- Palestinian conflict. For example, major news agencies tend to become less personal when reporting Palestinian casualties while Israelis harmed in the cross fire are often reported as helpless victims.

At the public forum ‘Electronic journalism on the path to peace with justice in Palestine’, which was held at the UTS building on 13 May, the writer and commentator of Middle Eastern affairs, also traced the origins and development of the website he co-founded, Electronic Intifada. Today, the website received, on average, 2,500 – 5000 hits on a daily basis and has grown from mainly reporting against unfair media news on Palestinian issues to include a more comprehensive coverage that includes investigative stories and contemporary analysis.

During the lecture, he also dismissed the myths that are associated with the Palestinian struggle for independence. The Palestinian’s struggle for peace, he argued, has been unfairly portrayed by the media and mainstream politicians, as part of the global Islamic jihad; and which Bush, has declared, as part of the ‘war against terror’.

During the question and answer session, Ali also answered questions about his new book, ‘One Country: A bold proposal to end the Israeli- Palestinian Impasse’. He opined that a one-state solution is the only possible solution to the current conflict and that it is impossible to divide Israel and the Occupied Territories as this would only lead to more coercive population transfers. While the Israel lobby is financially powerful and wields considerable influence in the corridors of power in Washington, he argued that independent journalism is still crucial to reach the masses and change opinions. Israel has tried to curb such objective reporting by denying independent journalists their work visas or pressurising major news agency journalists to ‘toe the line’.

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