At a session I gave to an AUJS Birthright group on Saturday night, we looked at Israel's relationship with the media. To a great extent, we looked at Western media but I did point out that even in Israel itself, each newspaper, TV station and the like present a different view on a specific event.
A case in point is Disengagement, where some news outlets demonized the Israeli residents of Gaza ("settlers", as the unhelpful label reads). Similarly, we have a situation unfolding now in Judaism's second holiest city, Chevron, where IDF police and soldiers are facing off against their brothers and sisters.
From one side of the Israeli media spectrum, we are receiving reports of egg throwing, rock hurling, Nazi salutes, masked crazies and extremist Jews who are being removed from homes occupied by Palestinians until a few years ago. From other sources, we are told of police abuse and brutality against excitable ideological Jewish teenagers and the subsequent loss of historic Jewish sites that extend back to before the 1929 murder and expulsion of Chevron's Jewish community by Arabs residents. And then there are the Palestinians who claim that the IDF is allowing attacks by Jews.
Still there are others like President Katsav and the Mafdal (National Religious Party) who have called for an end to any violence against IDF soldiers. Attacking an IDF soldier is a big major taboo in this country and there are Rabbis who are coming out strongly to warn against crossing those red lines and others. These are people who would tie orange ribbons on their cars and yet they educate to a more widely-appreciated tune.
What is clear is that what we are talking about, in the words of Police Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi, are "small groups of hoodlums," and that "we met them during the disengagement and we will continue to deal with them appropriately." He added that most Hebron residents were "law-abiding citizens".
We should not therefore allow ourselves to be taken in by any naive blanket condemnation of a certain people or group thereof.
All this is Israel's democracy and freedom of speech and press at work and I'm proud that such exists. Such a wide range of opinion never surfaces from (or is permitted to surface from!) Palestinian or other Arab societies. Yet it leaves the onlooker confused at best and judgmental at worst. It's not difficult to predict how the international media (and Joe Smith of surburbia) will make up his mind.
Having received these unique clips (below) from a man who also recorded Disengagement with his own video camera, I invite you to delve into his live take on Chevron and beyond. I took a tour of the Gaza Jewish communities with him before Disengagement and while he is a tremendous guy, I leave it over to each KICreader to evaluate Shlomo's commentary, footage and analysis.
I have to say that his Chevron footage as it stands does not indicate any horrific police treatment. In fact, what I can see is a sad repeat of Disengagement whereby we are sadly forced to watch Jew challenge Jew. Our political views aside, it's simply a KIC in the guts to watch it all unfold again and we all know who benefits the most from the internal strife.
Take a look at the video clips and so on through the link below and leave a comment on the KICblog to let us know your thoughts.
Michael and the KICteam
URGENT UPDATE FROM CHEVRON FROM EDITOR SHLOMO WOLLINS
ARMY INVADES MAIN AVRAHAM AVEINU NEIGHBORHOOD IN CHEVRON
This is Shlomo Wollins reporting from the Holy City
of Chevron,which has just been invaded (contrary to promises
from security forces) and the army has taken control of the Avraham Aveinu
neighborhood...the army has locked down all the buildings and is going house
to house toforcefully evict the children...
I have posted massive update, with 13 video clips (ranging from 30 seconds
to 11 minutes in length--in streaming format) as well as 3 audio clips....
go to this link to view and listen
This situation here is very dangerous.... pls forward this link to EVERY
person in America that cares about Chevron and the Jewish children here, who
with great bravery and injury are defending the land of ALL the Jews... also
pls post to blogs, forums, and forward to journalists...we must involve
American Jewry here, or Chevron will be entirely lost in the Olmert
regime, that misguided Israelis are about to elect in landside...
The state of Israel is in dire peril....pray for us...
Shlomo Wollins, Publisher & Editor