2 thoughts on “Peace in the Middle East: Imminent

  1. I’m surpised no one commented on this yet. But then – it was really hard to watch. The subtitles don’t do justice to the drama.
    Towards the end, after the ‘journalist’ insults Dr. Zahalka and abuses him on a live program, Zahalka says ‘this is Sheikh Munis.’
    Educational Television in Israel is part of Tel-Aviv University (sort of) which is built on a ridge that used to be the Arab village of Sheikh Munis. Zahalka, who clearly lost his cool, seemed to be saying ‘how can you Jew/Zionist treat me like this on the site of a Palestinian village you ethnically cleansed to have your little studio on it.’
    And Margalit picks up on it right away! He takes it to mean that Zahalka is affirming Palestinian ownership over ‘everything’, refuting Israel’s right to exist and calling for the right of return – in Sheikh Munis, as well as everywhere else.
    Zahalka shouts back, no, I want a democratic society to live side by side! But the shouting match obscures further discussion. I take it to mean (because I know the discourse) that Zahalka wants to say to the mostly Jewish audience: I want to live in peace and democracy with Jews, but you can’t do it while the untreated wound of expulsion lies everywhere, and just raising it brands me as some kind of monster.
    I despise Margalit. His contempt for the interviewee comes across clearly. His mental world simply can’t encompass respect for the opinions his guest raises. But I’m also sad/angry about Zahalka. When the conversation took that nasty turn towards calling Ehud Barak a baby killer (sigh), he might have said:
    Meir, you represent a media discourse in which rockets over Sderot function as judge, jury and executioner for 400 dead Palestinian children. Will you allow your viewers to hear the pain of Palestinians for those children? If those rockets, which caused a small fraction of the damage that your bombs caused, are enough to lay waste to Gaza – why do you think those dead babies are not merely another invitation for endless war?
    Sometimes it is hard to have an objective, calm discussion. Can you imagine a reverse scenario where an Arab talk show host in Israel shouts down an Israeli Jew for expressing feelings about the Jewish dead?

  2. This is what passes for journalism (and by extension free speech and democracy) today (not to distract from the specific mortification of this exchange, but this kind of crap goes on daily on Fox as well)…and no doubt this will do nothing to stop the endless wondering aloud in the op ed pages and AIPAC summits, “where are the moderate Arabs?”
    If this were another era Margalit would be out on his ass, instead the only hint that something’s amiss in this broadcast is the squirming and obvious embarrassment and discomfort of the younger anchor next to him….poor guy, probably thought he was coming to work in a real profession when he got up that morning…

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