Where Are the Voices of Peace?

Author(s): Haas, Dr. John
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The Marginalization of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Movements in the U.S. Media
Originally aired Wednesday April 21st 9:30-11a.m. PST on 3CTV

Americans depend heavily upon the news media to understand international events. News, particularly television news, exerts a powerful influence upon our perceptions because the news media controls the stories and images that we receive. The U.S. plays a significant role in the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to dominate news coverage of world affairs in the U.S. Given the fact that television news is our primary source of information on international affairs, it is imperative that we investigate whether the stories and the images projected in the news media reflect the "actual reality" on the ground. Violence, conflict, suicide bombings, death and destruction are the images that saturate our news of the Middle East. In the news, if it bleeds it leads. But where is the news coverage of Israelis and Palestinians working together for peace? The Women's Peace Camp in Israel organized a mass march of "women in black," two thousand strong both Israeli and Palestinian through Jerusalem to the walls of the Old City. There they hung banners of peace in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. What a phenomenal image to show the world. Guess what? This story was never covered by the media. Why are some voices never heard? Why are efforts at peace marginalized in the press? What role does the U.S. media play in the conflict? What are the chances of a lasting peace?

The Global Consortium for Sustainable Peace(tm) is proud to bring together three experts with first-hand experience of war and peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Robert Jensen is a professor in the School of Journalism and Director of the Senior Fellows Honors Program of the College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin. Professor Jensen is an expert on U.S. media and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Lucy Nusseibeh, is the Director and Founder of Middle East Nonviolence and Democracy (MEND). Located in Jerusalem, MEND promotes active nonviolence and encourages alternatives to violence among youth and adults throughout Palestine. Gila Svirsky is an Israeli Jew deeply involved in peace and human rights activism. Gila's efforts are focused on two organizations: Women in Black, which hold a weekly vigil (for 22 years) holding signs that say "End the Occupation" and B'Tselem, which is an organization for human rights in the Occupied Territories. Please join us for an interactive discussion on the media in the U.S., the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the serious efforts for peace.