Israeli Rockets and Palestinian Blogs

10 Nov

Is new media the new battleground for the Palestinian/Israeli conflict? And if so, how has blogging affected the public debate on the conflict and how has blogging responded to the main stream media and vice versa? To better understand the results this interaction has had on the public discussion of the Palestine/Israel conflict, one can easily seek out dozens of high quality blogs which explore commentary and debates from both Israeli and Palestinian perspectives.

Do traditional media outlets ask the right questions when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian saga, and do they grasp the significance of the regions complexity? I prefer to think that blogs like Jim Lobe’s, biased and all, do a better job at exploring issues such as the contest of leadership in the Middle East than mainstream media, and by doing so, provide greater platforms for all parties to voice their concerns. These blogs portray both sides aggressively projecting their story. Wherein the unbalanced way major US networks and press cover the Israeli-Palestinian story, new media provides new possibilities where many sectors of the US public (young people, women and minority communities) are more open than ever before to hearing a counter narrative to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Popular pundits in the Middle East blogosphere, such as Tony Karon, Juan Cole, and Tom Engelhardt impartially focus their blogs on both sides of the debate. More biased blog-based sites such as, Electronic Intifada provide a predominately Palestinian perspective of analysis and reporting of events in Israel and Palestinian territories, while more Jew-centric blogs like Haaretz and Mondoweiss cover American foreign policy in the Middle East from a non-Zionist Jewish context. The magazine blog, +972 offers independent commentary by on-the-ground Israeli journalists.

I’m curious to know your thoughts. Do you think blogging/new media matter to the policy making elite? What about Congress, lobby groups? How has the increase in participants in the discussion changed policy calculations if any? Does the openness created by blogging/new media, which was not present in the past, make elected officials think twice about their actions? And most of all, do you think there will one day be Peace in the Middle East?

Lastly, check out this short video by Culture’s of Resistance. It follows two musicians, one Iraqi and one Palestinian through New York as they make radio appearances, hit the studio with Public Enemy producer Johnny Juice, and perform together at CoR-ally Norman Finkelstein’s book tour event. Their multimedia tour was designed to publicize the truth about the Israeli military’s attack on the Gaza Strip. Lowkey and Mansour are two artists who place the plight of the Palestinian people at the center of their creative work, encouraging young Palestinians to express themselves through art, music, and creative forms of protest.

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