Palestinian-Americans Experience Unrest in their Homes from Afar

Monday, November 19, 2012

Several hundred Palestinian-Americans show their support for PA President Abbas's bid for UN recognition of a Palestinian state. (Bob Hennelly/WNYC)

The death toll from fighting between Israel and Hamas continues to rise. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry and our partner The New York Times, the death toll in Palestine had reached 91 as of Monday. Three Israelis have been killed since the beginning of the conflict. It's one thing to watch the violence up close, but what's it like to be a Palestinian watching from afar?

Lena Ibrahim is a first generation Palestinian-American and activist.

"The death toll just keeps rising every hour," Ibrahim says. "People feel like there's no safe zone in Gaza."

"I follow the news very closely when it comes to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and things have been very quiet," she says. "When I heard of the attacks, it became very disturbing, to see it happen from my computer screen, and to be so helpless." Many of Ibrahim's friends still live in Gaza, and she has been following their updates on Twitter

"I don't justify by any means the Hamas rockets, but I do understand the resistance in Gaza," she says. "People in Gaza feel very hopeless, and they feel very angry… I think when they look at Hamas, they see some form of resistance that might lead them to liberation, because it's forceful." 

Guests:

Lena Ibrahim

Produced by:

Ellen Frankman

Comments [8]

Predictably biased, sophomoric and clownish reports from the news departments of BBC, NPR and WNYC. Expected a bit more from The Takeaway, w its relatively experienced and well compensated reporting staff and lead time.

Instead we got the ol' retread, endless loop of Arab propaganda talking points being mouthed alternatively by Arab leaders and "on the ground journalists." Brings one back to the invasion of Iraq (replace Arab w Bush admin), when the American press just repeated the Bush/Rumsfeld/Powell logic. Where is the taking a deep breath? Where is the thought and analysis?

1. Israel was hit with 1000 rockets this year coming from Arab launchers January through October. So why does it "become a story" only when Israel hits back? Is it a "non-story" to bomb a sovereign nation every day for a year without it retaliating? Wouldn't it warrant at least a feature story? ("Look at this boob of a country that doesn't fight back?")

2. Suddenly reporters are scrambling to collect the precious pearls of geopolitical wisdom sprinkled around by Arab and Muslim leaders on the subject of Palestinian vs. Israel. Yet right next door these Arab and Muslim thought leaders are deeply involved with the slaughter taking place in Syria. You couldn't ask them ONE QUESTION about SYRIA -- since you had them on the line? Instead you interview Nicholas Kristoff (wonderful reporter but not exactly a petrol puppet master).

3. For a bit more gravitas, why not remind listeners that in every European poll on the subject, the majority of respondents state they do not believe that Israel has a right to exist? Given the biases, how can smart, ethical news teams cover Israel with dignity and utility? And -- beyond chasing "the story" -- to what end?

As I said, I'm getting the "Lead up to the Invasion of Iraq" chills all over again -- boring and scary.

Nov. 19 2012 05:31 PM

Predictably biased, sophomoric and clownish reports from the news departments of BBC, NPR and WNYC. Expected a bit more from The Takeaway, w its relatively experienced and well compensated reporting staff and lead time.

Instead we got the ol' retread, endless loop of Arab propaganda talking points being mouthed alternatively by Arab leaders and "on the ground journalists." Brings one back to the invasion of Iraq (replace Arab w Bush admin), when the American press just repeated the Bush/Rumsfeld/Powell logic. Where is the taking a deep breath? Where is the thought and analysis?

1. Israel was hit with 1000 rockets this year coming from Arab launchers January through October. So why does it "become a story" only when Israel hits back? Is it a "non-story" to bomb a sovereign nation every day for a year without it retaliating? Wouldn't it warrant at least a feature story? ("Look at this boob of a country that doesn't fight back?")

2. Suddenly reporters are scrambling to collect the precious pearls of geopolitical wisdom sprinkled around by Arab and Muslim leaders on the subject of Palestinian vs. Israel. Yet right next door these Arab and Muslim thought leaders are deeply involved with the slaughter taking place in Syria. You couldn't ask them ONE QUESTION about SYRIA -- since you had them on the line? Instead you interview Nicholas Kristoff (wonderful reporter but not exactly a petrol puppet master).

3. For a bit more gravitas, why not remind listeners that in every European poll on the subject, the majority of respondents state they do not believe that Israel has a right to exist? Given the biases, how can smart, ethical news teams cover Israel with dignity and utility? And -- beyond chasing "the story" -- to what end?

As I said, I'm getting the "Lead up to the Invasion of Iraq" chills all over again -- boring and scary.

Nov. 19 2012 05:30 PM
Jeff from Middleton

Today's show was so one sided I could not believe I support this station.
Has anyone checked who fired first? How many missiles does Israel have to suffer before she gets to protect her citizens? The point is Hamas received the Gaza from Israel as a peace offering. Hamas has not brought a better way of life to their people. All they do is work the press, shame on you. Such poor reporting has no place for NPR. Its time to report the Truth. All Hamas wants is to kill all Jews and destroy Israel. Then they can turn their attention to the United States.

Nov. 19 2012 05:13 PM
allen

SHAME ON NPR FOR BRODCASTING THIS INTERVIEW.
It justifies the Palestinians right to launch rockets at innocent civilians. Let me tell you something while Israel may mistakenly kill civilians as well they don’t intend too. Hamas wants to kill innocent women and children Israel only does so accidently.
Regarding Lena’s response that Gaza residents have no choice and are provoked due to the blockade. Three pointers;
1) That’s no excuse to kill
2) You want to end the blockade simple denounce terror stop importing rockets and Israel will open all borders
3) Let’s remind everyone in 2006 what happened when Israel disengaged from Gaza. They left the Palestinians beautiful orchards and green houses to plant large vegetable gardens. It was all intact. Instead of expanding it and building a large export hub and business center, Hamas wrecked it and used those lands to launch missiles.

Nov. 19 2012 05:10 PM
cynthia ehrenkrantz from westchester

I waited to hear someone from Israel contribute to this segment and was stunned at your omission which must have been intentional. If Miami was being peppered with rockets from Cuba, how would you expect the U.S. to respond? This was one of the most biased reports I have ever heard on NPR.

Nov. 19 2012 03:36 PM
davidspiel

This is shoddy journalism pure and simple. One of your guests said that Israel had a "truce" when they killed the head of The Hamas military wing. Yeah, after they had launched hundreds of rockets!

This shows you what a truce with Hamas means. You as journalists should counter false statements or who needs you.

This is why many of us call NPR, National Palestinian Radio.

Nov. 19 2012 03:25 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

What does the chessboard of the middle east really look like? Do other Arab nations really want to help the Palestinians in The Gaza, or are the Palestinians a good distraction for Israel and American interests in The Middle East...

Are there Arab Nations who really want a solution or is there so much turmoil in their own situation that another Palestinian - Israeli conflict benefits them...

Nov. 19 2012 01:36 PM
Sarah from New York City

So I just listened to your report on the situation in Gaza. I heard from a Palestinian American young woman, I hear from various experts from he Arab world. it seems so odd to not hear anyone expression the Israeli point of view.

Your report is beyond skewed. You don't even give a voice to the Israeli perspective. On most issues "the take away" is actually fairly balanced and thoughtful. This blindness to the fact that Israel has been living under a constant barrage of rocket fire for months...seems uncharacteristically small minded on your part.

Nov. 19 2012 09:28 AM

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