This list provides an overview of news sources available to English-speakers who wish to know more about life, politics and events in Israel and Palestine. While Holy Land Conversations is not responsible for the material included in these publications, we do read or watch them regularly and believe that they generally strive for objectivity and accuracy in their reporting. Descriptions of each publication are taken from the organization’s website, or else from the source cited.
News Sources and Blogs
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs is a 100-page magazine published 9 times per year in Washington, DC, that focuses on news and analysis from and about the Middle East and U.S. policy in that region.
The Washington Report is published by the American Educational Trust (AET), a non-profit foundation incorporated in Washington, DC by retired U.S. foreign service officers to provide the American public with balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with Middle Eastern states. AET’s Foreign Policy Committee has included former U.S. ambassadors, government officials, and members of Congress, including the late Democratic Senator J. William Fulbright, and Republican Senator Charles Percy, both former chairmen of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Members of AET’s Board of Directors and advisory committees receive no fees for their services. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs does not take partisan domestic political positions. As a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli dispute, it endorses U.N. Security Council Resolution 242´s land-for-peace formula, supported by seven successive U.S. presidents. In general, the Washington Report supports Middle East solutions which it judges to be consistent with the charter of the United Nations and traditional American support for human rights, self-determination, and fair play.
Haaretz is Israel’s oldest daily newspaper, founded in 1918. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet. In America, it comes out weekly, combining articles from the Friday edition with a summary from the rest of the week. Less space is devoted to pictures, and more to political analysis. Its editorial pages are considered influential among government leaders.Apart from the news, Haartz publishes feature articles on social and environmental issues, as well as book reviews, investigative reporting and political commentary.The Hebrew edition has a core readership of 65,000. The English edition has a subscriber base of 15,000. Haaretz readership includes Israel’s intelligentsia and its political and economic leaders.Despite its relatively low circulation, it is more influential than Israel’s other major daily newspapers. The reporting is quite objective and straight forward, often covering Israeli Palestinian Issues with candor, and covering subject matter in the region which is deleted from U.S. media coverage because of political sensitivities.
Description amended from www.wikipedia.org.
The Electronic Intifada (EI) is a not-for-profit, independent publication committed to comprehensive public education on the question of Palestine, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the economic, political, legal, and human dimensions of Israel’s 40-year occupation of Palestinian territories. EI provides a needed supplement to mainstream commercial media representations of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Tracking efforts to stifle open debate about US-Israeli foreign policy. edited by Jewish Voice For Peace to expose and critique censorship in the media and identify those individuals and groups who are incapable of rational thinking and who will attack anyone who utters the J word as an anti Semite.
If Americans Knew
In a democracy, the ultimate responsibility for a nation’s actions rests with its citizens. The top rung of government – the entity with the ultimate power of governance – is the asserted will of the people. Therefore, in any democracy, it is essential that its citizens be fully and accurately informed. In the United States, currently the most powerful nation on earth, it is even more essential that its citizens receive complete and undistorted information on topics of importance, so that they may wield their extraordinary power with wisdom and intelligence. Unfortunately, such information is not always forthcoming.
The mission of If Americans Knew is to inform and educate the American public on issues of major significance that are unreported, underreported, or misreported in the American media. It is our belief that when Americans know the facts on a subject, they will, in the final analysis, act in accordance with morality, justice, and the best interests of their nation, and of the world. With insufficient information, or distorted information, they may do the precise opposite.
It is the mission of If Americans Knew to ensure that this does not happen – that the information on which Americans base their actions is complete, accurate, and undistorted by conscious or unconscious bias, by lies of either commission or omission, or by pressures exerted by powerful special interest groups. It is our goal to supply the information essential to those responsible for the actions of the strongest nation on earth – the American people.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the world’s major sources of instability. Americans are directly connected to this conflict, and increasingly imperiled by its devastation.It is the goal of If Americans Knew to provide full and accurate information on this critical issue, and on our power – and duty – to bring a resolution.
Council for the National Interest
The Council for the National Interest is a non-profit, non-partisan grassroots organization advocating a new direction for U.S. Middle East policy. As CNI Founding Chairman and former Republican Congressman Paul Findley notes, CNI is “motivated by the national interest of our country in Middle East policy. This organization provides a way for all citizens, regardless of religious affiliation or national origin, to speak out in an effective way.”Our membership consists of well-informed supporters from all ethnic, religious, social, and political backgrounds who strongly believe the American national interest is directly linked to upholding American principles and values, and strictly adhering to international law.
- Protect our national interest by encouraging and promoting a U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East that is consistent with American values
- Contribute to a just solution of the most pressing problems in the Middle East, namely the Arab-Israeli conflict
- Restore a political environment in America in which voters and their elected officials are free from the undue influence of foreign interest groups
- Diplomacy as thr primary method of problem resolution in the Middle East
- Elimination of unaudited aid to foreign countries
- Normalized relations between Israel, all Middle Eastern states, and regional organizations such as the Arab League.
- American recognition of a totally independent state of Palestine
- Total withdrawal of Israel from all occupied territory (the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights)
- A shared Jerusalem, the capital of two states, Israel and Palestine.
- An end to all acts of aggression, provocation, and retaliation (to include terrorism committed against Israelis as well as the state terrorism committed by Israel against Palestinians)
- A political atmosphere in which (1) a fair and objective media covers the Middle East without fear of retaliation by advertisers or foreign interest groups; (2) the American electorate is unafraid to debate the issues openly and frankly; and (3) our elected officials vote their conscience
CounterPunch is a biweekly newsletterpublished in the U.S. that covers politics in a manner its editors describe as “muckraking with a radical attitude”. It includes a website, updated daily, which contains much more material not published in the newsletter.
Running six to eight pages in length, the CounterPunch newsletter primarily publishes commentaries by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair with regular contributions by others such as Robert Fisk, Noam Chomsky… It is noted for its critical coverage of both Democratic and Republican politicians and its extensive reporting of environmental and trade union issues, American foreign policy, and the Israeli-Arab conflict. CounterPunch considers itself to carry on the tradition of muckraking journalism of earlier investigative journalists such as I.F. Stone and George Seldes.
Description from www.wikipedia.org.
The original Al Jazeera channel was started in 1996 by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa. In April 1996, the BBCs Saudi-co-owned Arabic language TV station, faced with censorship demands by the Saudi Arabian government, shut down after two years of operation. Many former BBC World Service staff members joined Al Jazeera, which at the time was not yet on air. The channel began broadcasting in late 1996. Al Jazeera’s availability (via satellite) throughout the Middle East changed the television landscape of the region. Prior to the arrival of Al Jazeera, many Middle Eastern citizens were unable to watch TV channels other than state-censored national TV stations. Al Jazeera introduced a level of freedom of speech on TV that was previously unheard of in many of these countries. Al Jazeera presented controversial views regarding the governments of many Persian Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar; it also presented controversial views about Syria’s relationship with Lebanon, and the Egyptian judiciary. Critics accused Al Jazeera of sensationalism in order to increase its audience share. Early on Al Jazeera was not generally known in the Western World, but where it was known, the opinion about it was often favourable and Al Jazeera claimed to be the only politically independent television station in the Middle East. Al Jazeera’s well presented coverage of the Lebanese Civil War in 2000-2001 gave its viewer ratings a boost throughout the region. However, it wasn’t until late 2001 that Al Jazeera achieved worldwide recognition, when it broadcast video statements by al-Queda leaders. Al Jazeera also offers excellent coverage of Midddle East affairs via its inter net site which offers objective coverage of regional issues excluded from American media reporting.
Description from www.wikipedia.org.
Just Foreign Policy
Just Foreign Policy is an independent and non-partisan membership organization dedicated to reforming U.S. foreign policy through coordinating the broad majority of Americans to advocate their interests and values. Although Just Foreign Policy will focus exclusively on foreign policy, we appeal directly to Americans for whom foreign policy is not a primary concern. We have seen through the Iraq war that unnecessary military actions can undermine civil liberties and democracy at home, and can be used to remove pressing domestic issues from the political agenda to the detriment of the great majority.
U.S. foreign policy therefore threatens to impede—perhaps as never before—the country’s economic and social progress. It has become extremely important to the lives of all Americans, and we cannot afford to leave it in the hands of the “experts” without influence from the public. Eventually the United States must move towards a more multilateral approach to foreign relations—one that relies less on raw U.S. military and economic power and more on international law and treaties, co-operation, and diplomacy. Our goal is to accelerate this transition through education, organization, and mobilization of concerned citizens.
THE PALESTINE CHRONICLE
The Palestine Chronicle is an independent online newspaper that provides daily news, commentary, features, book reviews, photos, art, etc, on a variety of subjects. However, it’s largely focused on Palestine, Israel, and the Middle East region.
The Palestine Chronicle is a self-sustained project involving professionals and volunteers from around the world, all striving to highlight issues of relevance to human rights, national struggles, freedom and democracy.
The Palestine Chronicle team consists of professional journalists and respected writers and authors who don’t speak on behalf of any political party or champion any specific political agenda.
The Palestine Chronicle website was established in September 1999 and has grown in its importance and scope of coverage mostly because of the support it received from socially conscious and progressive scholars, writers, activists, readers and communities around the world.
Endorsements: Noam Chomsky, a professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Hanan Ashrawi – Author and intellectual, Palestine Chronicle Honorary Editorial Board Member
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