NSWJBD/Honest Reporting Israel Mission Day 2
Today’s report brought to you by Michael Foley and Antoinette Collins…
Today began at Media Central who are the watch dogs against media inaccuracy. Misunderstanding in public opinion is often a result of media oversimplifications and yet 90% of American government foreign policy is informed by and comes from the media.
To summarise Aryeh Green, Director of the MediaCentral, “I do not believe that people understand the complexities of the Middle East and to simply frame the issues as ‘good guys Palestinians and bad guys Israel’ is not honest or in any way helpful. And in relation to honesty and future ‘honest reporting’ accuracy is Israel’s best ally.
This was further explained to the group by Israeli government spokesman Miri Eisen when she stressed that Israel’s best advocacy is still a one-on-one discussion.
Miri Eisen also raised the all important question “what should Israel’s policy be” with turmoil on her border with Egypt and a civil war on the border with Syria? Currently the policy with Syria is to accept no refugees. However a military field hospital was set up on the Syrian border – about 3,000 Syrians have so far been treated in the hospital.
The above highlights the problem with closed or polemic arguments and the need for a Hegelian process to understand clearly our own agenda or thesis. This will require, as Miri Eisen herself asked- for us ‘to look in the mirror at ourselves’ and then to attempt to see what others see, this will more often than not be the opposite to our agenda or thesis. Here we see or discover the Hegelian antithesis. When the thesis and antithesis are seen together or held in tension as in the current Israel and Palestinian causes we can attempt to move to the Hegelian synthesis. There is no right or wrong – we should not make people choose.
Melanie Robbins of Peace Now strongly presented the difficult issues of disputed territories and Israeli settlements. This presentation raised a number of deep questions and much engagemtnet with the group.
Lee Glassman’s tour of Old Jerusalem provided further insights into the disputes over territory particularly regarding the Jordanian presence up to1967, as well as some stories of profound depth and wisdom associated with this part of the city. Lee spoke with such passion and entertainment it was impossible not to be touched and involved in the history and perspectives he so artfully delivered.
The geo-political situation may all seem impossible to resolve, but at the end of this second day of the mission we had the great privilege of being taken to the top of the Aish Ha Torah Study Center looking out over the Temple walls. This overview was the very spiritual gift we needed to see as God sees- the synthesis of all humanity.