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Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Absence of News Stories

I have been reading email posts for some years now from Christian Peacemaker Teams, describing their efforts to bring enemies together in peace.  Currently I follow three streams: the CPT efforts in Kurdistan, Colombia, and Palestine, and occasionally the plight of the "First Nation" or aborigines, in Canada.  These accounts are gripping because of the blatant injustices ignored by those in power.  Not only are these places not given the attention they deserve by governments and other influential groups, but news services seem intent upon ignoring these situations, yet similar kinds elsewhere are covered thoroughly.

A short while ago I sent messages to some television news networks and our own government asking why the plights of the Kurds and the Palestinians mistreated by Israeli settlers are never publicly addressed.  Not one response.  Yet each post from CPT members telling of the Palestinian olive trees and other crops being regularly destroyed by Israeli settlers (on the land illegally), of Palestinian children harrassed on their way to school, and of seriously ill patients delayed in their attempted haste to hospitals, speaks of the neglect by authorities.  The stories demonstrate the apparent collusion between settlers living illegally on Palestinian land and Israeli military police.  The latter are seen in videos standing around watching destructive behavior take place by settlers, and making no effort to interfere.  This is merely one example of a lack of news stories.

Another instance of media neglect is taking place in Kurdistan: CPT members have joined Kurdish demonstrators seeking justice from the leaders in scenes very similar to those in Egypt, Libya, and other places in the mid-East. The "Arab Spring" has its counterparts -- yet they are ignored by the media. In addition,  Iranian troops have overrun Kurdistan borders, with military actions against the Kurds.  Yet who in the international systems of justice are addressing these dangerous and violent incidents?

These examples are simply a few among many more where peacemakers risk their lives to bring about non-violent gatherings of those on all sides of serious issues affecting these countries.  The accompanying videos with these stories are powerful witnesses to the injustices being committed daily in important areas, yet which receive little or no media coverage by western news organizations, nor are they addressed by the leaders of western governments.  This non-intervention, lack of acknowledging such events, and ignoring such newsworthy moments is unacceptable.  We must do what we can to bring more light onto the stages where injustice and violence occurs.  If not, we are watching events that have the potential to grow quickly into situations which could dangerously affect attempts to bring peace to an uneasy world.

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