↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Monday, December 29, 2008

Gaza and Israel: Interview with Amira Hass

What motivated you to dedicate your life to this conflict and becoming the only Israeli journalist living in the territories?

Let me correct you, I'm not the only Israeli journalist, I'm the only Israeli Jew journalist. But it's not a decision, this conflict is our life. It's not by choice, it's there all the time. Also, before becoming a journalist I was very active in the Israeli left-wing and workers right advocacy groups. It has always been a part of my life.

Hass: Gaza is a big prison, and it has been so for the last 18 years.

Reading you and, for instance, Gideon Levy, and knowing Neve Gordon and Illan Pape, one might think that there's a lot of freedom of press in Israel. Surprisingly, I learned it's not like that at all. What's the problem with self-censorship in the Israeli press?

It's not that there is official censorship, it's just that there is an unwillingness of most Israelis to know. So, we have to fight, because nowadays it's more difficult because the papers used to understand their role in the past: to monitor the centers of power. The Israeli media did its role, and let journalists write about occupation. But now, because of changes in the press and political changes, the papers feel that they are not representatives of ideas and the idea of freedom of information, but that they represent the readers. And the readers are not interested, the average Israeli doesn't want to know about these things. You have to fight for everything that you publish, and there is much more space for leisure and "light" information, but nothing concerning the occupation. It's like writing in South Africa during the apartheid, but not about the apartheid.

I noticed a big indifference from Israelis to what happens in the territories. What could be done about it?

Look, people are interested when there are Palestinian attacks, but only interested in the form of "Oh, see how Palestinians attack us", but they don't pay attention to the permanent attack that is involved in occupation. This goes largely unnoticed. You know, this is not a question of journalism. Is a question of activism, a question for the world.


Post a Comment

<< Home