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Israeli Journalist Gideon Levy Comes to Palestine with Message of No Hope.

Bethlehem -- PNN - "I don't see any kind of hope from any direction." That was the conclusion of veteran Israeli journalist Gideon Levy when he visited the Alternative Information Center in Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem, on Tuesday night. Speaking on all manner of topics but with a focus on what he saw as the complicity of the Israeli media and society in crimes of occupation, Levy said he would try to strike an optimistic tone but could not dismiss realities. "We used to joke that two Israelis would share three views, but today three Israelis all share one view," he said. "When it comes to the unofficial religion of Israel, namely securityC*the Israeli media has betrayed its mission. Many foreigners who come here are amazed to see how little the Israelis discuss their future, how little they know what's going on a half an hour away from their homes, how little they want to know, how little they care."Levy bemoaned a widespread lack of interest in the occupation that he perceived in Israel as well as weakness on the Israeli political left and a dominance of the ideologically extreme in government. He said settlers were "the only effective, active group" left in Israeli society and that "one should not expect any sort of change" as long as the status quo remained silent.Levy cautioned that he was not a natural pessimist, but simply did not see a reason to see bettering circumstances."One must be realistic enough to believe in miracles," he said. "If we were in the late eighties and I told you that very soon Soviet Russia is going to collapse, the Berlin Wall is going to collapse, and the apartheid regime in South Africa is going to collapse within months, without bloodshed--you would have thought that I was out of my mindC*The only problem is that neither in South Africa, nor Soviet Russia, not even in Berlin, were there 300 or 400,000 settlers. It makes me quite helpless in describing an optimistic scenario."Levy said he fears mostly that viewpoints like his own are becoming endangered in Israel. He did add, however, that his physical safety might be in danger as well."I was almost attacked twice last week, but I ran away," he said. "I can feel it, I can sense it, it's becoming less and less pleasant--maybe more dangerous, I can't judge it. I sleep well at night, and maybe out of stupidity. Maybe there are dangers around that I don't see."

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Publication:Palestine News Network (West Bank, Palestine)
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Dec 28, 2010
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