Some side effects of the Gaza crisis

Jordan Prime Minister Nader Dahabi has formally apologized with Al Jazeera‘s Amman bureau chief Yasser Abu Helalah who was beated by the police, together with  other Jordanian staff member of the channel,  during a massive demonstration pro-Gaza on friday. Many Jordanians are Palestianians or of Palestinian origin and we can immagine to what extent the Gaza attacks are effecting them. Yesterday there were massive demonstrations all across the countries -one of them, in Amman, being organised by the Muslim Brotherhood is reported to have hosted more than 100.000 people- protesting against Israel and calling upon the abrogation of the 1994 peace treaty between Jordan and Israel.

With the hostilities continuing in Gaza and the anger of the “Arab streets” growing, this would reflect also on Arab governments that are reputed -now more than ever-  to be guilty for what’s happening by the Arab public opinions, fostered by Arab TV channels or leaders like Nasrallah that is claiming Arab governments’ responsibility in this crisis.

Many Arabs are demostrating those days across the Arab world. They are expressing an anger that has always been there -an anger which is aimed at their own goverments as much as it is aimed at Israel-.

With the escalation of violence in Gaza, and if the Arab governments are perceived not to do anything for the Gaza people, the situation risks to become explosive fro many other Arab countries. The risk of destabilising all the Arab region is there.

Hasan Nasrallah said, in one of his last speeches, that the only “positive thing that we are witnessing in the Arab world during those days is that the Arab people are alive, are demostrating all across the Arab world, and they are putting pressure on their governments”.

Nasrallah reminded  the Arabs, during the Ashura, that Chavez has expelled the Israeli ambassador proving himself to be more Palestinian that all the Arab governments.


Yesterday night..

..the most incredible mix of images was offered by Al Jazeera Mubasher which is Al Jazeera’s live channel where they broadcast only events -like press conferences, official meetings, etc- live, without any cuttings or comments. Yesterday night the celebrations for the Orthodox Christmas going on in the amazing beautiful church of Bethlhem were live on their screens, without any editing or comments.  It was almost surrealistic, not only because you see all those beatiful celebrations and you think that Bethlhem is only few miles away from what’s happening in Gaza, being also a part of the same Palestinian country. It was surrealistic, too,  because at the bottom of the screen there was a smaller window, where the United Nations conference in New York was about to be broadcasted live, featuring the discussion of the UN Security Council about the Gaza issue. Those two images  put together without any comment and going on parallel -the Bethlhmen church and New York UN office- were just so distant one from each other, either if both being related to the same tragedy happening in Gaza. The Strip was not appearing itself  on the screen ever during this live broadcast but virtually it was everywhere in those Nativity celebrations as it was everywhere spread in the words of the world nations’ diplomats. At the same time, even if being everywhere, its tragic reality of violence and death was still so faraway from those rejoicing people of one side and from those debating people on the other side. Some time TV can make you think even without saying a word. It was a very interesting job what Al Jazeera Mubasher did yesterday.

Hasan Nasrallah’s speech to be delivered tomorrow during Ashura

I am currently out in Beirut and I will assist tomorrow to the big demostration for the Ashura religious celebration that is going to become a political demostration against Israelis’ attacks on Gaza. Everybody is waiting for Hasan Nasrallah‘s speech cause it is clear that it will have a political added value. In this moment Hezbollah’s position on what’s happening in Gaza is very key. Hezbollah is the only power that could respond to Israel by opening a new military front. For the moment, Hezbollah’s spokeperson Husein Rahhal has denied that a military response is going to happen by saying that: “Our position has been expressed by our secretary general” he told The Daily Star, referring to Nasrallah. “There is nothing new to add”. But the same magazine reported about Israel intensifying violations of Lebanon airspace which could raise the tension if Hezbollah decides to “answer”.  Hasan Nasrallah’s speech will go live on Al Manar, Hezbollah’s TV station headquartered in Beirut.

Facebook war happening in parallel to Gaza war

As Global Voices reports today, it seems that many “pro-Gaza” Facebook groups have been hacked, apparently by the Jewish Internet Defense Force (JIDF) who states to be  “leading the fight against antisemitism and antiterrorism on the web” and “promoting jewish pride, knowledge and unity”. So it now seems that a parallel “war” is now happening on the virtual world of the Internet..

To know more about Gaza..

..have a look to those websites: Menassat, which is a Lebanon based project very much focused on media. They have a very good Arab media community which you could eventually join. Today their homepage headlines is:  “Ground offensive continues amid media blackout”. Global Voices’  Middle East section is also doing a great job and gives an idea of how the bloggers’ community here in the Region has been very active trying to fill the information gap on Gaza.

Al Jazeera alone doing the job

It seems that Al Jazeera is now alone reporting from Gaza. We are witnessing a massacre through its screens. Few minutes ago it was also broadcasting Gaza live on one side, and President Sarkozy on the other side, involved in many diplomatic talks to stop Israeli’s attacks. Also Al Jazeera English is doing a good job, after many months -and some years- of not so brilliant news coverage- is now like revitalised, doing a very extensive coverage with interesting political analysis and live reports. Where are Western channels??Is it Gaza not a “story”in journalistic terms?