«Jewish Observer»
December 2002
5763 Tevet

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Covering the Israeli-Arab conflict in world and home mass media is an acute and painful theme. Partial and biased approach to interpreting the events of recent years generates anti-Israeli and revives anti-Semitic moods in most "educated" countries. That's why an information seminar, the Embassy of Israel and WJC organized for journalists and community workers, became a necessary and long overdue step.

The seminar was absolutely devoid of "easy" lectures and propagandist pathos. Objective information appears at times so significant that pathos is not needed at all. Ambassador of Israel Anna Azari told the listeners about the sources of Zionism and roots of the conflict with Muslim world. She underlined today's anti-Zionism of many media is only a poorly disguised form of anti-Semitism. The theme of Arab-Israeli confrontation found its continuation in the report by an Israel's most famous Russian-speaking journalist, political observer of the "Vesti" newspaper Dov Kontorer. He has repeatedly accompanied Israeli premiers during most serious talks with Palestinians. The ISU vice-rector Leonid Matsik dwelt on the conflict of civilizations and factors forming up a negative attitude towards Israel in Europe. Thus, few know that 65% of the authorized capital of BBC British corporation - probably, the biggest anti-Israeli channel in the world - belong to the Al Faied Egyptian family. Arab capitals are behind many other media and financial empires exerting an impact on Europeans' moods.

Mark Zaichik, a long-time editor of the popular supplement "Okna" ("Windows"), who now works on the "Russian" TV channel "Israel plus", told about "Who is who" in the Israeli press. The seminar participants got an opportunity to brood over the received information while working in groups. There were to cover one and the same event from the angle of a rightist Israeli, religious, Arab, "Russian" newspaper. This resulted in actual happenings the journalists played on he stage with the skill of professional actors.

In general, the seminar totally lacked emasculated academism. All the participants highly estimated this. The second secretary of Israel's Embassy Maks Shenkerman gave an interactive, rich in facts lecture on the history of Islamic terrorist groupings. A guest from Moscow, professor Oleg Budnitsky continued the theme of opposing world terror. As it appeared, the scenario of September 11 had been devised long before Ben Laden, to be more exact, in 1911. Russian anarchists ordered an airplane in Germany... for a kamikaze air attack at the Tsarskoselsky palace. Nothing is new under the sun...

The last day was, naturally, full of questions. This is very important, as it was not just another event in Pushcha Voditsa. People were deeply plunged into the problems, since problems of Israel may become tomorrow the problems of mankind.


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