Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Israeli/Palestinian Winners of the 2010 International Media Awards

The International Media Council Awards of the Next Century Foundation were presented at a ceremony on 8 May 2010 at the Oxford and Cambridge Club, Pall Mall. The following prizes were awarded to Israeli and Palestinian journalists.

1. The Peace Through Media Awards

The Peace Through Media Awards are given to journalists or broadcasters of outstanding calibre. They are selected because their work is of such quality that it has helped to foster a climate of peace and understanding.

AKIVA ELDAR - the Chief Political Columnist for Haaretz. His columns also regularly appear in the Haaretz-Herald Tribune edition and the Japanese daily Mainichi. Before taking up his current role, Mr. Eldar lectured at the School of Journalism in Tel Aviv, as well as working as Haaretz US Bureau Chief and Washington correspondent, covering the peace process, US-Israel relations, American issues and Israel-Diaspora relations. Prior to this, he spent ten years as Diplomatic Correspondent. Mr. Eldar is the co-author of two books; a biography of Shimon Peres and Lords of the Land: The War Over Israel's Settlements in the Occupied Territories.

2. The Cutting Edge Awards

The Cutting Edge Awards are an acknowledgement of the work of media professionals who have risen to prominence through the outstanding quality of their work and their balanced and considered coverage.

MOEEN EL HILOU - currently Gaza Producer for Israel's Channel 10 TV, as well as being a director for the Hebrew News Department at Palestine TV. Fluent in Arabic and Hebrew, he has had an eventful career as a journalist, covering all interviews between the late Yasser Arafat and Israeli officials, as well as himself interviewing important Israeli figures including Ehud Olmert (when he was Sharon's Deputy Prime Minister) and Shimon Peres.

ITAI ANGHEL - senior correspondent for the weekly current affairs program "UVDA" on Israel's Channel 2 television, the Israeli equivalent to BBC's "Panorama" or CBS's "60 Minutes". Beginning his career as a foreign correspondent, and later Chief Editor of Foreign Affairs, for the GLZ radio station during the pivotal years of 1987-93, Mr. Anghel covered conflicts in former Yugoslavia and the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Since his move to Channel 2 in 1993, he has covered numerous significant conflicts and political events, including the first post-apartheid elections in South Africa, the Rwandan genocide, the aftermath of September 11th in the United States, an Israeli exclusive on the funeral of Yasser Arafat and the Second Lebanon War. Mr. Anghel has become known for his objectivity in reporting, and his determination to make the voices of all sides heard. He has also been actively involved in humanitarian work, setting up the Humanitarian - Israelis for Congo organisation and bringing concerts and medical delegations to the country.

MOSSI RAZ - Israel Coordinator for All For Peace Radio, a joint Israeli-Arab radio station which seeks to bring the accumulated experience and expertise of both the Jewish-Arab Centre for Peace and the Palestinian Biladi organisation to bear through the mass media, creating hope and finding common ground between the neighbouring peoples. He is a well-known peace activist in Israel and was elected to the Knesset for the liberal Meretz party in 2000, serving for three years. He is also the director of the non-profit Ir Shalom co-existence program, bringing together various volunteer professionals from the field of town planning and construction to create an equitable planning model for the Palestinian community.

MAYSA SINIORA - Palestine Coordinator for All For Peace Radio, a joint Israeli-Arab radio station which seeks to bring the accumulated experience and expertise of both the Jewish-Arab Centre for Peace and the Palestinian Biladi organisation to bear through the mass media, creating hope and finding common ground between the neighbouring peoples. Maysa began her political activism in London, heading the London Palestinian student organisation. After returning to Jerusalem in 1996, she became a reporter on Biladi's Jerusalem Times and was recently named by Haaretz's Marker business magazine as one of the top 40 women in the country for "making a difference". Throughout her career, she has sought to involve "people on the street," rather than concentrating on Palestinian or Israeli politicians.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Israel moves to the Right

The inexhorable drift to the right in Israel seems unstoppable. In student polls the results at universities are astonishing - showing that most of the young generation are more right wing than their parents and back Lieberman. David sent us the following from Jews for Justice:

May 2nd, 2010
A mixed bag… The worst news is that the rightward drift in Israel continues apace with a bill before the Knesset to outlaw NGOs that provide evidence of human-rights violations. But there is the hope that protest about the Sheikh Jarrar evictions might see the emergence of a new Israeli left. (See also Bradley Burston's moving analysis of the situation.) Ten Israel Prize laureates and more than 50 academics and intellectuals wrote to the Israeli Defence Minister protesting against Israel’s sweeping ban on Palestinian students from Gaza studying in the West Bank. And Al Jazeera’s Jacky Rowland reports on the differences in access to central Jerusalem for residents of the illegal settlements and Palestinians from Shuafat and Beit Hanina. In Europe there is a liberal Zionist move to launch a new Jewish peace movement under the name of J Call on 3rd May in Brussels. On the Palestinian side: Rachel Shabi assesses the attempt of the Palestinian Authority to reinvent itself as a popular movement but suggests it is skin-deep; there is a new International Crisis Group report on the changing strategy of the PLO; and the fifth Bil’in International Conference on the Popular Struggle committed itself to establishing legal accountability, promoting a BDS strategy and building an international network in support of Palestinian popular non-violent resistance. In the US the most high-profile campaign yet to organise divestment from companies profiting from the occupation has been temporarily halted at Berkeley. But there is no doubt that the divesters won both the argument and majority support, and the issue will no doubt return to the agenda soon. (See also the essay by refusenik Joathan Ben Artzi on taking sides.) In the States, too, Elie Wiesel’s call for Jerusalem to be taken out of current political discussions did not receive the response he wanted from the Obama government. In South Africa in the barred-mitzah-gate saga, Justice Richard Goldstone, author of the UN report on Gaza, was effectively barred from attending his grandson’s forthcoming barmitzvah by the Zionist and Orthodox Jewish establishment. Howls of outrage have forced a reversal… Alan Dershowitz, scourge of Norman Finkelstein and other critics of Israel, has now turned his attentions to Richard Goldstone and to JStreet which he accuses of having “gone over to the dark side”. Some other interesting essays and analytical pieces that appeared this week: Stephen Maher on the Israel lobby thesis that “does little to explain US foreign policy in the Middle East”; Noam Chomsky provides an overview of recent history of Gaza, of the settlements and of Washington’s changing responses to Israel; and a special issue of the Badil Resource Centre journal al-Majdal devoted to the Jewish National Fund was published.