AMIRA HASS

I want to introduce to you an Israeli journalist who is as well known as respected throughout the Arab World for her tireless work to expose the horrors of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza as well for her efforts to describe the Palestinian people as they REALLY are – warm welcoming though resiliant people who do their best to plain survive.

I briefly met Amira in 1997 and then again I believe in 2002 and remember her as an outspoken as well as brilliantly eloquent person who vehemently rejects the occupation and, ideologically, sides with the occupied. Residing in a city adjacent to Ramallah/occupied West Bank as the ONLY Jewish/Israeli journalist, Amira doesn’t receive any “benefits” from the Israeli government but “tastes” the occupation as well as the life as an occupied on a daily basis and thus is able to inform the public while speaking out of own experiences!

Sadly enough I am not in touch with Amira. She certainly did earn my respect and admiration through her honesty, capturing outspokenness and tremendous knowledge.

BIOGRAPHY – SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

Amira Hass (Hebrew: עמירה הס; born 1956) is an Israeli journalist and author, mostly known for her columns in the daily newspaper Ha’aretz. She is especially famous for living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and reporting on events from the Palestinian perspective of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The daughter of two Holocaust survivors (Bergen-Belsen), Hass was born in Jerusalem. She began her journalistic career in 1989 as a staff editor for Ha’aretz and started to report from the Palestinian Territories in 1991. As of 2003, she is the only Jewish Israeli journalist who lives full-time among the Palestinians, in Gaza from 1993 and in Ramallah from 1997.

Hass was the recipient of the Press Freedom Hero award from the International Press Institute in 2000, the Bruno Kreisky Human Rights Award in 2002, the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize in 2003, and the inaugural award from the Anna Lindh Memorial Fund in 2004.

Her reporting is often sympathetic to the Palestinian point of view and generally critical of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians. In June 2001, the Jerusalem District Court ordered Ha’aretz and Hass to pay 250,000 shekels (about $80,000) for slandering the Jewish community of Hebron. Hass had reported on an incident in which Israeli Border Police killed a wanted Palestinian terrorist, Shabber Hassouna al-Husseini. Hass reported that Jews from Hebron kicked, spit on and danced around the dead body.

Following an investigation, the Israeli Army determined that the accusations were false. Hebron’s Jewish community demanded a written apology from Ha’aretz, but when the request was denied, the community turned to the courts. Judge Rachel Shalev-Gartel concluded in favor of the Hebron residents, ruling that Haas’ report – disproven by several televised accounts of the incident – damaged the community’s reputation.

During the years of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, Hass also published several very critical articles about the chaos and disorder caused by militias associated with the Fatah party of Yasser Arafat and the bloody war between Palestinian factions in Nablus.

Due to her frequent reporting of events or voicing of opinions contrary to the official Israeli and Palestinian position, Hass has often been the target of verbal attack and has encountered opposition from both the Israeli and Palestinian authorities. Recently she said Israel is an apartheid state with privileges reserved mostly for Jews. “The Palestinians, as a people, are divided into subgroups, something which is reminiscent also South Africa under apartheid rule,” she says.

This is the link to a Google-video from 2004, an interviw with Harry Kreisler, welcoming the Israeli journalist and author Amira Hass. She talks about her personal background, her life in Gaza as well as the Israeli occupation and the consequences for the daily lives for both, Israelis and Palestininans.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1698401720504600023&q=Conversations+with+History%3A+Occupation+and+Terrorism%2C+with+Amira+Hass


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