Bearing Witness

Bearing Witness – Why?

In the last few weeks, talking to people about my planned trip to Nablus. I have been asked repeatedly, why? This is a question I have found hard to answer or at least put into words, often just stating that “it just feels right”, which it does. However reflecting on these conversations I have gained a level of clarity as to why?

Firstly, I must give credit to Project Hope. Who through their commitment to education, empowerment and non-violence. Motivated me from mere interest into action.

Secondly, I have a keen interest in social justice. Which to me is about fairness and equality, and when one looks at the statistics from the Palestinian-Israeli conflict it is anything but fair and equitable. Since the beginning of the second intifada in September 2000 until the end of July 2007 at least 5,848 people have been killed either directly or as an indirect consequence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Of those killed in the conflict, 4,228 have been Palestinians, 1,024 Israelis, and 63 foreign citizens.

* These figures are from the United Nations, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs [OCHA] Special Focus on occupied Palestinian territories.

Thirdly, is the distorted media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A study on the New York Times coverage of the conflict shows that in the first year of the second intifada The Times reported on Israeli deaths at a rate approximately three times greater than Palestinian deaths. During this period however, over three times more Palestinians were being killed than Israelis. While I could not find any statistics on Australian media sources, I have witnessed enough to tell you that most Israeli military operations in the occupied territories are framed as retaliation – an attempt to justify the often unjustifiable. However for some reason, that eludes me, Palestinian attacks are rarely framed in the same light.

* These figures are from a study entitled “Off the Charts,” the study was conducted by If Americans Knew, a non-profit organization that specializes in media analysis.
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October 14, 2008 - Posted by | My Thoughts | ,

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