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.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Israel passes la prohibiting discussion of 1948 from a Palestinian perspective

Mondoweiss - Israel is a country rift with multiple overlapping narratives. They drift into each other, defy one another and wrestle for the unachievable title of ultimate truth. And although there is no such thing, it appears as if the current Israeli government is working hard to officially establish one authoritative story as part of the ongoing construction of a Jewish-Zionist only national identity. Tuesday night, March 22nd, the Knesset passed a piece of legislation that seemed to go largely undetected, despite its significance. The “Nakba law,” which legislates the withdrawal of state funding from any institution that commemorates the Palestinian day of mourning, is discriminatory and threatening to Palestinian citizens, and harmful for Palestinians and Jews alike.

Nakba day marks the expulsion, displacement and loss of life and property that occurred in 1948 and coincides with the celebrations of the Israeli day of Independence. When asked for the reason behind the law, MK Alex Miller, of Yisrael Beitenu, who sponsored the bill stated, “I view Independence Day as a state symbol, but from an early age, some citizens of Israel are taught to view this day as a day of mourning! So either we want education for coexistence and peace, or we want pupils to be brainwashed and incited against [other] citizens of their state from an early age."

To use co-existence as the rational for a law that delegitimizes the collective memory of a minority indigenous population is absurd. It is an appalling step back when compared with advancements in minority education at the global scale. Post-colonial and post-conflict societies, such as Bolivia, Guatemala, Peru, South Africa, have begun to implement programs of intercultural and multi-cultural education that teach multiple historical narratives in an effort to work towards reconciliation and to build an inclusive national identity. Israel’s new law meanwhile officially solidifies the incompatibility of Palestinian history and culture with the current construction of the Israeli-nation state by promoting one history that is not to be questioned, debated or examined, and framing the Palestinian point of view as invalid, violent, antagonistic, and illegal.

This law’s concentrated effect on Palestinian citizens of Israel makes it easy for Jewish citizens to ignore. In fact, it passed with a 37 to 25 vote, as many liberal leaning MKs who would have opposed it simply did not show up to vote, because maybe it seemed like no big deal. However, I believe that the idea that it does not concern us is one of the biggest errors surrounding the commemoration of the Nakba. The Nakba narrative is a significant part of the Jewish Israeli history and it is crucial to recognize the tragedy that comes with violent victory in order for lessons to be learned from the past...
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