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Peace Not Walls

What is it with American news media?

Pastor Fred and Diaconal Minister Gloria Strickert, ELCA missionaries at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Jerusalem, discuss American church groups that visit the Holy Land who wonder why they haven’t seen the realities on the ground in the US media.  In their most recent blog post, the Strickerts update us on current stories that haven’t made it into the American media. 

“What is it with American news media?” the question was addressed to me by an American tourist this past week.  Visitors often raise similar questions.

“We never hear about these things in the newspapers or on television news.”

“We have seen it with our own eyes.  The wall.  The checkpoints.  The inequalities.  You never hear about this back home.”

“Why is American news so slanted?”

Every week I meet with visitors from the States, who come to hear about the work of the church in Jerusalem.  Usually by the end of the conversation a hand goes up.  “But what about the political situation?” or “This trip has been an eye opener.”   or  “What is it with our American media?’

I don’t attempt to answer the why question.  I’m not an expert on media.  I simply affirm these visitors’ perceptions, relating that my experience with the media over several decades has been much the same.

I encourage them to go online and to try to read a number of sources.  “Multiple perspectives are always good,” I usually tell them.  I always point them to where a person can quickly see that in Israel a healthy debate can occur in a single newspaper, something rare in American sources.

Here are some websites Fred suggests:
americans for peace now
Churches for Middle East Peace

For more on recent happenings in the Holy Land that haven’t been reported in the US, including US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta telling Israel to “get to the damn (negotiating) table,” read the rest of their blog.