Studies show that US coverage is Israeli-centric. The main bureaus for CNN, Associated Press, Time, etc. are located in Israel and often staffed by Israelis. The son of the NY Times bureau chief is in the Israeli army;"pundit" Jeffrey Goldberg served in the IDF; Wolf Blitzer worked for AIPAC. Because the U.S. gives Israel over $8 million/day - more than to any other nation - we feel it is essential that we be fully informed on this region. Below are news reports to augment mainstream coverage.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Opinion: 'Coexist' bumper stickers – A message of distortion

By Henry Herskovitz – One popular sticker adorning American cars is a stylized rendition of "Coexist". The sticker features a crescent moon and star representing Islam, a hexagram/"Star of David" representing Judaism, and a cross representing Christianity. While on the surface it appears to be a peaceful message, it can further misunderstanding, whether intentionally or not.

In the case of Israel's ongoing conquest of Palestine, "Coexist" can strengthen the notion that the problem is simply an inability of the parties involved to get along with each other. Like observing two children squabbling during kindergarten recess, we are unable and unwilling to understand the cause of their struggle. We see the disagreement from afar, and just want it to end. So we say "Can't you children just get along?" and hope they heed our advice.

The fact that a Jew and a Palestinian can get along is well documented. Elias Chacour's Mar Elias schools in Ibillin, the Neve Shalom / Wahat al Salam village in Palestine, as well as so-called "dialogue groups" here in the U.S. are examples; others abound. Getting along is not the issue.

The cause of discontent – to use the mildest of descriptors - in Palestine is far from a simple failure to get along. The cause is rooted in the ideology of Zionism, which argues Jewish supremacy in Palestine and has supported violent land theft and appropriation for over 62 years. Palestinian resistance to this oppression, supported by a vast media campaign and funding from the world's single superpower, is solely a reaction to this physical onslaught.

Stopping Zionism and stopping Jewish aggression will thereby free Palestinians from the Apartheid conditions they face. These are the core issues that need to be discussed, not camouflaged by misleading words like "Coexist", which serve only to undermine true understanding and appreciation of the issue. Bumper stickers deliver short messages, to be sure. "Boycott Israel", or "Stop U.S. Aid to Israel" are also short but deliver a more direct and truthful message.

"Coexist" is faulty, perhaps by design, and portrays a false picture of reality in Palestine. It does not address ways towards a just solution, nor does it hold the guilty parties accountable. It is a diversion, and should be rebutted by Palestinian solidarity activists, not slapped on the bumpers of their cars.

Henry Herskovitz is an Ann Arbor activist and on the Board of Advisors of Deir Yassin Remembered.