Over the past week
since the onset of operation “Cast Lead” in Gaza, my friend, Aryeh Green, Executive Director of MediaCentral
has carried out a number of special activities to help ensure journalists are
able to cover the story accurately – which in this case means including the
context history, and correct chronology of the Hamas rocket fire and Israel’s
defensive operation(s) as well as using unbiased terminology when relating to
the ‘proportionality’ and ‘legality’ of Israel’s military actions (and to the
actual war crimes of Hamas’ placing military equipment among and firing rockets
from civilian areas).
have included sending staff down to Sderot, Ofakim, Netivot and the Gaza border
areas, a presence at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs press center in Sderot,
augmented staff hours both at MediaCentral and at the American Colony hotel in
eastern Jerusalem as well as at the Government Press Office and Jerusalem
Capital Studios – in addition to a more-than-usual number of requests for assistance,
from connecting journalists with families whose houses were hit by Kassams and
Grad Katyushas through arranging drivers and translators for visiting
correspondents to setting up interviews for an Israeli doctor in Ashkelon
treating Palestinian wounded.
MediaCentral held 3 special briefings for the foreign press, the first (in Jerusalem) with former Israeli Air Force
commander Avihu Bin Nun on military issues, and the other two (in Sderot) with
Professor Avi Bell on legal issues and with Dr. Michael Oren on strategic
issues. MediaCentral also facilitated a press conference for foreign media by
Minister Isaac Herzog with the MFA in Sderot during his visit to the city.
A video (amateur) with excerpts of some of
these events and scenes when Aryeh Green was in a Sderot shelter during a missile attack
and with an ABC News crew reporting live from Sderot can be seen a http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9123846971370092701.
Media Central plans to hold a
number of additional briefings this week and next, depending on developments,
including with Doron Almog, former commander of the Southern Command, another
with a former resident of Gaza paired with a resident of Sderot, and others on
the topics of the Hamas-Iran connection, analysis of Palestinian society and
Hamas’ ‘culture of hatred’, Arab-Israeli support for the operation, and missile
defense. In addition, we are highlighting a number of related stories,
including the plight of Gush Katif ‘expellees’, humanitarian aid shipments for
Gaza facilitated by Israel, and the current status of victims of rocket attacks
from previous years.
Kudos to you, Aryeh and the great work you are doing in order to help tell an accurate and fair story on the current situation in the Middle East.