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.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Palestinian nonviolent movement continues despite crackdown

The Huffington Post - Mohammed Khatib and Jonathan Pollak- The January 1st death of Palestinian protester Jawaher Abu Rahmah from Israeli tear gas, and efforts to imprison people like us illustrate the Israeli government's intensifying crackdown on the unarmed Palestinian protest movement. Though threatened, this movement of Palestinian men, women and children, along with Israeli and international supporters, has grown too much to be easily stopped.

Over the last eight years a Palestinian-led movement using a strategy of nonviolence has coalesced around marches by unarmed civilians in a number of West Bank villages to reclaim land Israel is seizing for its wall and settlements. As one example, six years ago the village of Bil'in began weekly protests opposing Israel's seizure of 60 percent of the village's land. Even Israel's own Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the wall must be rerouted to return some of Bil'in's land. Yet the decision remains unimplemented.

These protest marches by unarmed civilians are generally met by heavily armed Israeli soldiers with arrests and violence -- tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, and live ammunition. The Israeli army has killed 21 unarmed Palestinians in these protests since 2004, the majority with live ammunition -- not to mention hundreds of other innocents in Gaza and the West Bank.

Eyewitnesses and medical records show that Jawaher Abu Rahmah was overcome with tear gas at a protest in Bil'in, leading to her death. Jawaher's brother Bassem was killed in April 2009 when he was shot directly in the chest with a tear gas canister during a peaceful protest. In 1988 during the first Palestinian intifada, Amnesty International documented 40 tear gas related deaths over seven months. However, judging from the mainstream media and Israeli military justice system's response, one would think that the rocks sometimes thrown on the margins of these protests are the deadly weapons and the soldiers the victims of the people whose land they occupy.

When Jonathan and his friends first came to Bil'in, we Palestinians were surprised to meet Israelis who believed in our rights. But after we saw these Israelis injured and arrested, the people of Bil'in opened homes and hearts to them. We became partners in a joint struggle against Israel's occupation.

Though Palestinians are primarily targeted, Israel's crackdown reaches even Jewish Israelis who enjoy significantly more rights. I, Jonathan, started three months in prison on January 11th of this year for riding my bicycle along with many others in a 2008 protest in Tel Aviv against Israel's siege of Gaza. Read more