Friday, 11 July 2014

Knowledge is power

Dear All,
I've recently promissed you to write an article on kibbutzim, the bygone socialist Israeli utopia, but  I'm afraid I'm going to let you down on this one. The kibbutz communities are fascinating indeed. However, given the current situation in the Middle East, getting all excited about books and lectures as if nothing was happening just wouldn't feel right. The situation is getting more and more serious and cannot be left without a commentary.
I don't feel in a position to present you with summaries, analysis nor opinions - I don't want to stuff you with some second-hand, subjective mash of 'events in a pill'. I would like to encourage you all to  get some in-depth knowledge about the issue and (re?)shape your very own point of view. The Internet is literally crammed with biased news, fierce arguments and thoughtless statements. Not only that people quarrel about their opinions, they also tend to disagree about the reality. Which is why... please, do not rely on one single source of information. Read as much as you can, search for the facts, understand the position of both sides. I don't know how it is in your countries, but in Poland the media tend to simplify things a lot, omitting many seemingly inconsequential details that are an essential part of the whole picture. My advice is to read either the Middle Eastern newspapers (they will give you firsthand, immediate information but may be quite biased, accordingly to their country of origin and political stance) or the Western ones that focus exclusively on the international affairs.
Here's a couple of useful links:
Haaretz - the oldest Israeli newspaper, left-winged and critical about the Israeli policy
Israel National News - quite the opposite 
Israel Herald - somemwhere in the middle, criticizing aggression towards civilians
Palestine News Network and Palesstine Chronicle - the most popular Palestinian media available online in English
Ma'an News Agency - a Palestinian News Agency, slightly more moderate, provides with detailed news from every district of the PA
Middle East Monitor - seems to have a non-sensational, research approach (*correction: as I started to follow it on daily basis, it turned out to be strongly pro-Palestinian)
Foreign Policy - my favorite global affairs news agency with a decent Mideast Brief daily newsletter
These are just a few suggestions how to get access to news of various, contrasted perspectives. Of course, in the online media world, there is much more: BBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera, etc. I wholeheartedly recommend you to use some of them and get deeper into this ongoing conflict. Sure, it takes a lot of time and effort and you will probably start to take it all personally, getting very irritated, terrified or touched. But at least you will form your own, independent opinion and get a little bit closer to the tricky truth. I believe it is worth a lot. 


  1. Dear Julia!
    Although I don't have enough time now to follow the news (after two weeks home I'll be out again on sunday), I'm really happy to read these words - so enthusiastic and powerful. I hope you do your best there (especially in hebrew) and you'll bring a lot of memories and stories.
    By the way - "Haaretz" is a brilliant title for newspaper, this word has very important meaning in the Bible :-)

    See you as soon as possible.... :)

    1. Marcin!
      It took me some time to figure out who's writing... until I read your tricky 'philr' puzzle properly :D It's so great to hear from you, thank you for your kind words and Hebrew support - big hugs for the best family e v e r !!