Israeli envoy: Media is anti-peace

Speaking at Limmud UK, Daniel Taub says press not interested in stories about co-existence.

foreign press 248 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
foreign press 248
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The media is partly to blame for the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, Israeli Ambassador to the UK Daniel Taub told a crowd of British Jews on Sunday at Limmud UK, a Jewish educational confab held in Coventry.
The diplomat said “the media is anti-peace” because of its preference for controversial stories over those relating to co-existence.
“I was the head of a peace-negotiating team and I had journalists call asking what’s happening,” he said. “I would say ‘I cannot tell you but there are a couple of good stories about Israelis and Palestinians co-existing.’ The response I got was always ‘nobody wants to hear about it.’”
He later added that while he did not believe the media was the main reason why Israel and the Palestinians have not signed a peace agreement, it didn’t help. A bigger hindrance, he said, was the inability of both sides to reach the middle ground based on past experiences.
During his speech the British-born diplomat spoke about the disparity between how Israel is perceived in the world and how it is in reality.
He said the Jewish State was “Woody Allen, not Charlton Heston.”
That perception, he said, has now been “reversed.” Its complexities and, at times, stark contradictions are much better represented.
Taub also shared his own experiences making aliya decades ago and his first job in the country, writing speeches for the late Israeli president Chaim Herzog.
He said that while living in an absorption center he naively sent a letter to Herzog offering his services. “Miraculously,” they called him back and hired him.
“Only in Israel,” he said.