Today in the Gaza Strip, power is expected to be cut down to two hours a day. Two!
This should be big news - just think about what your life would be like: 22 hours with no refrigeration or lights, 22 hours a day without power even in hospitals. But as of now, the top headline out of Israel/Palestine is: Jared Kushner arrives “in pursuit of peace.”
This is absurd. There’s silence over a crushing humanitarian and political crisis in Gaza, and an hour’s drive away, a million cameras are focused on a settlement-funder whose only “diplomatic experience” is being friends with Benjamin Netanyahu.
But I think we can work with the media to our advantage right now. Tell the NY Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Ian Fisher to #AskKushner:
Will ending the Gaza blockade be part of your peace process?
This is wrapped up in a bigger question we shouldn’t even have to ask: What will it take for the Israeli government to respect Palestinian human rights in Gaza? The Times hasn’t been afraid to criticize Kushne before, and he shouldn’t get a pass when it comes to Palestine.
So now I want to see them ask: Would your “peace process” end the blockade of Gaza?
No matter how tenuous your trust in the mainstream media, the fact is we’re in a moment where they are responsive to pressure to ask tougher questions and give more context.
Otherwise...well, we’ve seen this story over, and over, and over again.
The US starts a peace process, which sucks up all the attention media and the general public have for the issue. And what happens happens? Israel’s control over Palestinian life deepens, Palestinians are asked to “negotiate” for human rights, and then blamed if they refuse.
One of the hardest things about working on the issue from here is that we’re so far away. Some days, it feels like there’s really so little we can do. But we do have leverage over The New YorkTimes and other media outlets.
We all need to be pressuring Kushner to answer this question: will ending the blockade of Gaza be part of your peace process?
To tweet or email such messages to the NY Times - find the links here: http://stanvanhoucke.blogspot.co.il/2017/06/jewish-voice-for-peace.html
Naomi Dann Media Program Manager
Jewish Voice for Peace is a national membership organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for the freedom, equality, and dignity of all the people of Israel and Palestine. Become a JVP Member today.