Thursday, August 5, 2010

(BLOG) Understanding Israel By Talking With Real Israelis

"The vast majority of foreign journalists who come to Israel to cover events are utterly clueless about this country, the conflict(s), the society and everything else when they arrive –and remain that way. They remain that way because they generally arrive and spend the majority of their time in Jerusalem, hanging out in the American Colony Hotel with other foreign journalists, getting most of their information and perspectives about what is going on here from one another and from a tiny handful of very unrepresentative sources. They don’t understand the history, they don’t understand the contexts, the complexities, and they certainly don’t understand the culture. So it is not surprising that the majority of what is written in the news about Israel is so far from reality as to be unrecognizable. Michael Totten is not your typical journalist.

Totten, who is vastly knowledgeable about Lebanon and other points in the Middle East, having not only spent considerable time in those places, but spent that time with the locals –lots of locals from lots of different areas and backgrounds, religions, and perspectives — is a guy I would call a real journalist. He does what journalists are supposed to do but generally don’t: learn about the history(s), the many different perspectives that exist in the tapestry of any country, and the culture and to do so not by getting that information from other journalists or other foreigners or those who live completely disconnected not only from the rest of the country but also from the hebrew-speakers in their own city, but from going out in the field and talking extensively with the locals…lots of locals and in lots of different parts of the country, and doing the same in the West Bank with our partners in conflict A. Further, he actually puts what he learns and newsworthy events into context –something that is utterly lacking in your average MSM report on the region. Totten deserves the title of Journalist.

Now, I’ll refer you over to an excellent interview he’s done that shows exactly why it is that Totten, unlike 99.9% of other foreign journalists, gets Israel and the events resulting from the conflicts here right. Enjoy!" (source)

Click Here for the interview

Want alerts for new videos?
Like us on Facebook.