When media meddles


Continuing on the subject of the excellent, well, relatively, Jewish Media Summit 2014 ---


A morning session on Wednesday


Credit: Y.Medad


on the theme of Israeli Views of Diaspora Jewry was interesting and Yossi Klein-Halevi''s remark that the new neo-Orthodox music is something to keep on eye/ear on.


Over at Haaretz, Judy Maltz reported on the visit of journalists to the Gush Eztion region, "beyond Israel’s internationally recognized borders'', a silly and factually incorrect statement, par for Haaretz, (hint: Israel''s pre-1967 boundaries had no recognition except as cease-fire line) under the headline:


Explaining the occupation to polite Jewish journalists  ||   Settlers were only too happy to tell their story to a rather bemused audience.
From her piece:

...We live in harmony with our Arab neighbors, local resident Shuli Moalem reassures the delegation of Jewish journalists as they admire the view from the scenic lookout. We ride on the same roads, we shop at the same supermarket, and we get treated at the same infirmary down the road there in Efrat...Despite what you hear and read in other media, these journalists will be told, life is good here for all sides concerned, which is why the recent kidnapping of three Jewish teenagers came as such a shock to us, and which is why the two-state solution is unnecessary, not to mention unviable. To hear it from some, the primary reason these Jewish settlers are disinclined to uproot themselves from these disputed areas is that they would miss their Arab neighbors too much if they did so.


Back on board the bus, the chaperones promise the journalists they are about to witness with their own eyes the greatest symbol of coexistence in this part of the world: The Rami Levi supermarket in Gush Etzion – a place where Jews and Arabs shop together and work together. And as icing on the cake, they will hear about it all from none other than the man behind the blockbuster brand.

OMG! You mean there actually is some sort of coexistence?  I can inform you all that Arabs from Jordan come to Rami Levy''s Yafiz clothing shop at Shaar Binyamin.  Isn''t that just terrible, Judy?
By the way, the Miri here:

Meanwhile, Miri, a woman from Neve Daniel who has joined the group for part of the day, shares some of her personal experiences about standing in line at the Rami Levi cash register.

is not from Neveh Daniel but grew up in Neveh Tzuf.  She will be from Neveh Daniel in two months time.  Maybe Judy didn''t hear quite well.  Or her penicl needed sharpening just then.  It happens.
And then we learn that the bad-bad Israeli officials had them travel to Rawabi.  Rawabi?

The visit to Rawabi is clearly intended to lend some balance to the itinerary – showing the journalists not only how Jews live in the West Bank, but also how Palestinians live, or at least how a very specific group of Palestinians could live one day if Masri is able to obtain all the permits he needs from the Israeli government to proceed with his super-ambitious project...Masri[''s] project shows a different face of the occupation. What’s also clear is that Masri needs the government because without its approval, he can’t get basic things for his city like water. That doesn’t prevent him, though, from opening his remarks to the journalists by declaring that the creation of this new city does not mean that the occupation is acceptable or sustainable. Oh, and by the way, as the journalists were later informed, everything he said they could eventually quote on the record.

Imagine that, Rawabi.
And then her facts get a bit mixed:

Uzi Dayan, the former deputy chief of staff and national security adviser...was called away, to be replaced at the last minute by his more militant cousin, Dani Dayan...

Dani is indeed related.  His grandfather and Uzi''s grandfather were cousins which means cousins-thrice-removed, I think.  That''s strethcing things a bit.
What was Dani''s message?

Dayan’s message is a variation on the overriding theme of the day, expressed in some form or another by the other settler representatives. “The bad news I have for you is that I don’t see any peace agreement in the foreseeable future,” he says. “The good news is that that’s not as bad as it sounds.”

Well, the journalists did come to hear what Haaretz rarely informs its readers.  Terrible.
On the other hand, Jane Eisner of The Forward was hosted by the Yesha Council External Affairs Unit, through my mediation.
She saw/spoke with 
- a director of the Psagot Winery and saw secular Israelis on tour from Haifa and preparations for a Bar Mitzva for a family from Panama;
- Ruchie Avital at Ofra
- AY Kazof at Esh Kodesh
 Credit: Y. Medad
- Dani Dayan at Tel Shiloh
 Credit: Elie Pieprz
- Yigal Cohen-Orgad, Dean of Ariel U. at the university 
 Credit: Y.Medad
and saw a lot on the way back and forth.
Eisner is not pro-Yesha, not at all.
Credit: Elie Pieprz 
But I am sure she appreciated being able to do her journalism rather than producing propaganda.