Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats
1 comment

General News

Putting Palestine on the Agenda: The Russell Tribune in New York

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 3 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   News 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H3 10/8/12
Become a Fan
  (49 fans)

opednews.com

Putting Palestine On The Agenda: At The Russell Tribunal In New York

By Danny Schechter

New York, New York: The needs and concerns of the Palestinian people are not in the news much in the United States, even though the issues have been around for decades here in the city that hosts the United Nations and where there have been, over the years, persistent resolutions based on allegations of international law violations and apartheid-like abuses in the territories occupied by Israel.

In this same period, there have also been many detailed studies, as well, of media coverage that prove that our media rarely covers Palestinian concerns, or features Palestinian perspectives in talk shows or even news programs unless and until violence erupts.

Criticisms of Israeli behavior raised by foreign leaders are also largely ignored unless they are cast as controversies about noisy and invented allegations of anti-Semitism rather than any exploration of the underlying issues that are always treated as matters of contention, not of facts.

Advocates of Palestinian rights and critics of violations of International law seek, often without much success, to call attention to oppressive realities on the ground but not just in an ideological debate.

They want to change a US policy that often marches in lockstep with Israel, in part, because of the power of the Israeli Lobby and regional military calculations.

One of the more visible organizations trying to fill the gap is the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, an "international peoples' tribunal modeled on the initiative by the late British philosopher, Lord Bertrand Russell, an esteemed lecturer, author and moral leader who first created the Tribunal concept in the 1960's to feature well-known intellectuals to expose war crimes in Vietnam.

I covered that event when it took place in Stockholm with a jury made up of the likes of Jean Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Swedish Playwright Peter Weiss and American anti-war activist David Dellinger among other cultural and political luminaries.

It drew global attention and denunciations by the US government and media when Vietnamese witnesses testified about the chemical defoliation of their country, and systematic and often deadly human rights abuses.

 I remember American TV correspondent Morley Safer doing a "stand-up' after one session when the audience left, denouncing its allegations of U.S. war crimes and dismissing the Tribunal as nothing but communist propaganda.

Thirty years later, his own news magazine, 60 Minutes, carried reports confirming that there were indeed brutal atrocities being committed in places like MyLai where American soldiers slaughtered innocent civilians including many children. Had Safer not been so eager to discredit Vietnamese experiences back then, something might have been done about the abuses or at least made them known.

Today, this Russell Tribunal is focusing on "the complicity and responsibility of various, national and international and corporate acts and the perpetuation of Israel's impunity under international law.' It seeks to provide a platform for "international personalities who advocate for an end to Israeli occupation and the denial of Palestinian rights."

It met this past weekend in The Great Hall of Cooper Union where President Abraham Lincoln debated his political adversary in 1860 just as the civil war was building steam.

The packed event in New York followed earlier sessions in Barcelona (focused on EU complicity), London (on corporate complicity) and in Cape Town likening Israeli policies to apartheid era crimes in South Africa.

South African supporters of Israel mounted an angry protest that drew major media attention. Perhaps that's why the always vociferous pro-Israel lobby in New York stayed away this time, hoping the Tribunal and its findings would be ignored. Perhaps, their members were exhausted by days of screaming at the United Nations. 

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at Amazon.com. See (more...)
 
Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Is There A Threat of Fascism in the USA?

Free Marketers Going After Occupy Wall Street --Danny Schechter

COG OR COA: WHY IS OBAMA MORPHING INTO BUSH 2?

WERE THE BANKS TOO BIG TO FAIL OR THE BANKERS TOO BIG TO JAIL?

WHO OWNS OUR MEDIA AND WHY IT MATTERS

HARD TIMES ARE GETTING HARDER. ARE THEY EVER!

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Excellent job by the great Danny Schechter for wri... by Dar Gary on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012 at 9:23:39 PM