This is not the Israel I grew to know

In 2008, I was living in New York working as a freelance journalist for an Australian publication; I had to think long and hard as to whether to accept the project or not. I decided to do so for two reasons. First, it was a worthwhile undertaking that tapped into my expertise as a broadcast journalist, to share it with local Palestinian journalists to create a flagship weekly investigative current affairs program that would eventually extend its reach into the region. Second, as a journalist of Lebanese heritage everything I knew about Israel was tempered by the media’s coverage of the conflict. After a week, I decided it was time to tackle this story and to find out if the Israelis were really the “monsters” I was led to believe and confront my fear and prejudice.

During the five-month assignment I witnessed and experienced both sides of the wall, which I named “Shock and Awe”. It symbolised the divide between the two sides; the frustration of the Palestinians and the cynicism of the Israelis. Living on Heleni Hamalka Street in Jerusalem, I immersed myself as much as I could in the Israeli way of life, and at work, it was an immersion in everyday life for Palestinians. I did not think either would be easy, but the surprise was that it wasn’t difficult either.

Read the article by Neheda Barakat in The Canberra Times.

[Editor: Jmedia Online would be very happy to receive a contribution in response to this misleading article that misrepresents Israel and excuses Palestinian intransigence.]