Oct 29, 2009

Kudos: the Daily SHow

John Stewart and his staff are to be congratulated for interviewing Mustafa Barghouti and Anna Baltzer this past week. For once, national television made an effort to provide a platform for the voice of the Palestinians' peaceful non-violent resistance. A significant portion of the Palestinian people have carried out non-violent resistance for years and find themselves the targets of violence from the Israeli military--a number of Palestinian demonstrators have been killed in the past year; one young American male protester is still in a coma after brain damage when he was hit by a tear gas canister. (Canisters these days sometimes get fired on a flat trajectory at body level, not lobbed into the air. Non-violence never receives the coverage that violence does, and the absence of coverage of the non-violent protests tends to perpetuate the misconception that all Palestinians are a violent. This is preposterous, of course. I am glad that both Barghouti and Anna Baltzer were able to state the case for a movement that those of us who are for justice, equality, and humanity in the Middle East have been making for many years now.

I urge all of you to access the interview through Philip Weiss's Mondoweiss website. Adam Horowitz, Weiss's associate, was in the audience and witnessed the kerfuffle that occurred during the show with a member of the audience being ushered out. But whether you access it through the Daily Show website or Mondoweiss, please make sure you check out the 10 minutes or so of the joint interview. Some people ridicule that the Daily Show is not the real news but is looked upon as a news show. In this case, it's the real news.

This is especially significant this week, which saw the J-Street convention, where there were about one thousand attendees expected, be an enormous success with over 1500 attending.

This installment of the Daily Show will be seen as a brave act years from now when progress has been made for peaceful and just co-existence, whether in two states or one.