Haaretz has done something modest, but quite remarkable nevertheless. It has featured three blog posts, one of which is Unite. I could not locate links for the other two. They came from two different Lebanese blogs, Lebanese Blogger Forum and Beirut Notes. The posts are heartfelt cries of rage and sadness over the destruction of their beloved city, Beirut and nation, Lebanon:
Okay, you [Israel] needed to bring back your soldiers. Okay, you wanted to get rid of Hezbollah once and for all. But your soldiers are still missing, and you have made yourself into a far less secure place. You can argue that Lebanon brought it all upon itself, but that is exactly what people will hurl back in your faces in the future, ya Israel. You complicated the situation for yourself. You killed something fragile that you should have been nurturing: a liberal Arab neighbor.
Until a year ago or so, it used to be rare to find any newspaper which would feature articles about blogging since the enterprise was once so foreign to the print media. But that has gradually changed.
But I have never seen any Israeli media outlet feature blogs from Israel’s “enemies.” So I must take my hat off to Haaretz for making a bold statement that the words and thoughts of the enemy are worthwhile for Israelis to read. In a way, my own new blog aggregator, Israel Palestine Blogs fulfills a very similar function.
In fact, I’ve proposed to many media outlets that they write stories about the Israeli-Arab conflict from the differing vantage points of Israeli, Palestinian and Lebanese bloggers. Or alternatively, I’ve suggested to the Jewish press that they write a story about Israeli and Diaspora Jewish blogs dealing with the conflict–left, right and center. I’ve suggested these ideas to my local NPR station, KUOW. No response. I’ve suggested it to my local Jewish newspaper, JTNews. No response. I’ve suggested it to the the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. No response. I’ve suggested it to The Forward editor, J.J. Goldberg. Not interested. I suggested the idea to James Besser, a Jewish Week reporter. He actually was briefly interested in the idea and even told me his editor approved him writing about it. Then he never wrote to me again and hasn’t even responded to several e mails from me asking for clarification on what might’ve happened.
Why, in particular is the Jewish press so afraid of hearing from diverse viewpoints regarding this conflict? I can perhaps understand why they’d be unwilling to feature the views of Arab bloggers (though I would disagree with their perspective). But they don’t even want to consider the views of progressive Zionists within their pages. It’s so narrow-minded and provincial. And it does a disservice to their Jewish readers.
My only criticism of the Haaretz article is a technical one. Why are online media sources so damn leery of providing links to external websites referenced in their own web pages? It’s such a dumb-ass approach to the web. That’s why I’ve provided the links here to those blogs which Haaretz didn’t provide.