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SEEN ON TV
UMKR has collected some indicators of change in public understanding of the Palestinian struggle for justice and freedom and changes in how that subject is treated in the media and in halls of power. This is just a sampling of that shift and is not intended to be a comprehensive collection.
We welcome your suggestions for what could added here. Please contact us at: email@example.com.
ON THIS PAGE:
• Below: Commentary on the shift in media and society
• On the right: Seen on TV
Ripples of Hope, Page Two:
• Signs of change in general U.S. public opinion
• Signs of change among the American Jewish community
Ali Velshi On Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Right To Exist Goes Both Ways
MSNBC • 15 May 2021
Chris Hayes reports: How A Pro-Israel Lobby Group Spent Millions To Sway Democratic Primaries
MSNBC • 18 May 2022
on the shift in media and society
‘Equality’ is finally breaching Washington’s debate on Israel- Palestine
972 Magazine • Mitchell Plitnick • 6 May 2021
A policy paper centering equal rights for both peoples marks a radical break
from the Israel-centric discourse of mainstream U.S. think tanks.
"But now, a new policy paper issued jointly by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the U.S./Middle East Project has broken out of the confines of the traditional debate in the world of Washington think tanks. Co-authored by analysts Zaha Hassan, Marwan Muasher, Daniel Levy, and Hallaamal Keir, the
landmark paper calls on the Biden administration to make a drastic overhaul in U.S. policy by placing “a rights-based approach at the center of its strategy.”
"This framing might seem elementary to many who have advocated for Palestinian rights, but it is a significant departure from the parameters of the mainstream discourse in Washington. It stands in stark contrast, for example, to a December 2020 report issued by well-known experts from the Israel Policy Forum, the Center
for a New American Security, and the Brookings Institution, which claimed to offer “A New Strategy for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” but whose proposals would effectively maintain the status quo in the hopes that the failed Oslo process would eventually be revived."
How Online Activism and the Racial Reckoning in the U.S. Have Helped Drive a Groundswell of Support for Palestinians
Time Magazine • Sanya Mansour • 21 May 2021
"Tens of thousands of Americans protested in cities across the U.S. over the last week—including in Washington, Dearborn, Dallas, Sacramento, Philadelphia, New Orleans and more. Video and imagery of the destruction in Gaza was shared and amplified on social media by prominent racial justice activists, many of whom have a greater platform after the Black Lives Matter protests over the last year and the subsequent broader racial reckoning in the U.S.
Seeing the injustice of people being brutalized in Jerusalem, or homes being destroyed in Gaza on social media really helps people understand that, okay, maybe there is complex history behind this, but what I’m seeing is wrong, and we need to speak out against it,” says Kristian Davis Bailey, communications manager at Palestine Legal, which provides legal advice and support to pro-Palestinian activists in the U.S. Bailey, who co-founded Black for Palestine, has worked extensively on building Black-Palestinian solidarity.
Even beyond activist circles, many say there is a greater understanding of systematic oppression today thanks to the work of BLM and other movements for equity. “We really have to credit our partners… in Indigenous movements and…the Black liberation movements who have taught the world—taught the U.S. certainly—about state violence, [and] how settler colonies oppress,” says Sandra Tamari, executive director of Adalah Justice Project, a U.S. based Palestinian advocacy organization. “That analysis was there. And then Palestine enters the picture. People are primed. They know how to protest.” "
Palestinian-Americans are turning the tide of US policy
972 Magazine • Tariq Kenney-Shawa • 16 Sept 2021
Overcoming distance and fragmentation, a new generation of diaspora Palestinians is dismantling Israel's monopoly over the U.S. conversation.
"Many of the reasons for this seismic shift are well-known. The power of social media has broken the hegemony of mainstream outlets, providing alternative sources of news and opinions far from the reach of media gatekeepers. American Jews are increasingly contesting their community’s longstanding support for Israel, with a growing number even challenging Zionism up front. Intersectional activism unleashed by the Black Lives Matter movement, and bolstered by resistance to the resurgent global far right, has pushed Americans to act on the belief that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Just as Israeli security forces share tactics with their U.S. counterparts through joint programs, Palestinian and American activists are doing the same for opposing goals — the former toward streamlining oppression, the latter toward liberation."
The US Debate on Israel/Palestine Is Changing
Washington Watch • James Zogby • 21 May 2021
"Polls now show that the majority of Democratic voters hold deeply unfavorable views of Benjamin Netanyahu, oppose many Israeli policies, and favor conditioning US aid to Israel based on their treatment of Palestinians. Not only have attitudes changed, but progressive Jewish groups and organized Arab Americans have been empowered by this new political environment and have been engaging their elected officials. This has emboldened Members of Congress to speak out. In response to both Israel’s recent policies in Jerusalem and the bombardment of Gaza, this split is having an impact in Congress."
"The result: for the first time in thirty years, a dozen Members took to floor of Congress to denounce Israeli efforts to evict Palestinians from their Jerusalem homes and the killings of civilians in Gaza; more than one-half of the Democratic Senate caucus has called for an immediate Israel-Hamas ceasefire; and progressives in the House are calling on the President to stop a proposed US arms’ sale to Israel. Also noteworthy has been the muted responses of normally pro-Israel Democratic Senators and Representatives. They know where their base voters are on this issue and they, therefore, are treading carefully.
The US press has given extensive coverage to this development."
A Tectonic Shift
Mondoweiss • Michael Arria • 20 May 2021
"There is a great disturbance in the force. For decades Israel has been able to confiscate homes, occupy land, and kill civilians. There's never been much mainstream debate about this in the United States, the country that finances Israel's atrocities with billions of dollars in taxpayer money. If someone makes the mistake of objecting to the violence with too much vigor, they're promptly denounced as an antisemite and effectively censored.
For the last two weeks there's been signs of a rapture. Thousands of people hit the streets in solidarity with Palestine, the media is actually occasionally criticizing Israel, and lawmakers are getting called out by their constituents. We've even seen some American celebrities show support for the Palestinian cause, which has long been perceived as a third rail cause capable of ending careers."
2021: The Year Palestinians Entered America’s Debate over Israel-Palestine
Peter Beinart • 3 January 2022
"For my entire adult lifetime, the mainstream American conversation about Israel-Palestine—the one you watch on cable television and read on the opinion pages—has been a conversation among political Zionists. Its participants have argued over how the Jewish state should behave, not whether it should exist. Last year that began to change. Palestinians entered America’s public discussion in an unprecedented way, and with their entrance, anti-Zionism entered too. In 2021, the terms of US discourse began to shift. The ramifications of that shift will likely be with us for decades to come."
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict won’t be the same again
Washington Post • Ishaan Tharoor • 21 May 2021
“Let’s make the rights the central argument for people,” Muasher countered, pointing to an evolving conversation within the Palestinian movement and abroad, including among U.S. Democrats, where the focus is shifting away from the Palestinians’ lack of statehood to their lack of equal rights within Israel. “Let’s keep talking about the shape of a solution, but ignoring the rights of the people is not sustainable.”
"But, Munayyer added, the unrest and mass protests have confronted Israelis with a new reality: “Palestine is not ‘over there’ but is everywhere around them.” "
States Can’t Control the Narrative on Israel-Palestine Anymore
The Intercept • Murtaza Hussein • 12 May 2022
"States still wield a lot of power in this information war, but attempts to counteract social media with state-driven online messaging tend to be viewed as inorganic, leaving them at a disadvantage in an information environment where authenticity is key.
“Broadcast television has been tightly controlled from its inception by political and commercial elites. The digital revolution exploded this top-down model.”
A recent U.S. Army War College report spelled out the magnitude of this transformation, which has accelerated as the internet has grown more powerful and become as much a visual medium as a textual one.
“In the modern era, broadcast television has been tightly controlled from its inception by political and commercial elites who wish to shape public discourse and protect the audience from messages they find harmful or unprofitable,” the report stated. “The digital revolution exploded this top-down model. Vastly more individuals and groups across the globe now have access to inexpensive cameras, sophisticated visual media tools, and a virtually free delivery system on the Internet.”
As a result, the report’s authors continued, “The dominance of state and industrial information producers has receded, and a new crop of visual communicators has swept aside the old rules and relationships.” "
Stunning ‘NYT’ report on Israel’s occupation causing Palestinian ‘misery’ was a long time coming
Mondoweiss • James North • 24 May 2021
"New York Times readers were astonished yesterday at what was on their front page — a very long, moving account of how Palestinians experience Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. The article’s headlines set the tone: first, “The Misery at the Heart of the Conflict,” followed by “. . . for millions of Palestinians, the routine indignities of occupation are part of daily life.” The report continues, and spreads over two entire pages inside the paper."
"So far, the Times report has stunned the pro-Israel lobby into silence. The article has attracted 825 comments, the crushing majority of which indict Israel’s occupation and sympathize with the Palestinians."
The Palestinians Will Not and Cannot Be Ignored
Foreign Affairs • Rashid Khalidi • 1 July 2021
"Western media coverage of events in May also departed from the norm. For once, broadcasters and newspapers did not blindly repeat Israeli talking points about indiscriminate Palestinian terrorist rocket fire against Israeli civilians—a claim of Palestinian instigation and culpability that such outlets ritually invoke as soon as the first Hamas rocket is fired, in the process effacing 54 years of Israeli military occupation and 73 years of Palestinian dispossession."
"Alongside this media awakening, people in the West seemed more understanding of the real politics at work in Palestine. Israel’s apologists in Washington, London, and Berlin naturally trotted out the standard clichés about Israel’s right to self-defense, but they could not mask the changing tone both in the political arena and in the large demonstrations in support of Palestinians in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, and elsewhere. For perhaps the first time, public discourse in all four of those countries (which share legacies of dispossessing indigenous peoples) featured discussion of the settler colonialist nature of generations of Israeli policies toward the Palestinians."
"The recent upheaval has brought about a unique moment, with both the growing shift in international public opinion and the nascent reunification of the Palestinian people at the grassroots level."
See more (enter email address, to get through the paywall)
“I Did Have Some Trouble Reporting the Truth”
Some journalists covering Israel and Palestine say an “illusive concept of impartiality” led them to face persistent doubts and skewed editing for years.
Is that changing now?
Slate • Ayman Ismail • 22 May 2021
“I think there’s a bit of an awakening among journalists who aren’t so quick to believe the shiny government narrative that’s put in front of them. I think now with social media being so prevalent, people can see with their own eyes what’s being recorded by people who are actually there. And you’re not so dependent on government press releases,” Salam said."
"Wilder, like a lot of reporters, has been closely watching the most recent news, and has been particularly interested in whether the language used to describe Israel’s grip on the daily lives of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza is shifting. She thought things might be different now.
“And then this happened,” she said. “I’ve seen people be braver with the words that they’re using. And regardless of this happening to me, I do think there’s a movement in that direction. I think that’s evidenced by the fact that I’ve gotten a lot of support that I’m really appreciating.” "
Israel is Losing the Misinformation War
Novaramedia • Hamza Ali Shah • 29 June 2022
"Em Hilton is an activist and organiser with the Center for Jewish Non-Violence who works on the ground inPalestine and Israel. She senses a positive shift, not only regarding solidarity with Palestine across theworld, but also a push to document Israel’s human rights violations despite the state’s sustained assault onhuman rights organisations.
“Those living within Israel and combating the state genuinely fear for their personal safety at times,” shesays.
“But it has not hampered the growing mobilisation efforts for the Palestinians, especially [among] leftwingIsraeli society and international Jews […]
“[I]nstead,[state repression has] fostered a renewed commitment and motivation to reshape the perceptionsof the occupation and end the apartheid regime.”
There appears to be some optimism in the quest for Palestinian liberation. As Tal from Forensic Architectureconcludes: “The technological realm will be a vital device for present and future resistance. Together with theever-deepening community spirit, it is a two-pronged attack that will hold Israel to account and keep theliteral and metaphorical Palestinian flag flying.” "
It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring,those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Robert F. Kennedy
University of Cape Town, South Africa
6 June 1966
We Need to Talk About Israel
Comedy Central • Jon Stewart • 22 July 2014
On the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh
MSNBC • Ayman Mohyeldin
Ripples of Hope
Ayman Mohyeldin and Peter Beinart report and discuss mass expulsions planned for Masafer Yatta
MSNBC • 6 May 2022
John Oliver explains Israel vs Palestine
HBO • Last Week Tonight • 19 May 2021