The latest entry in the “Texts from Hillary” meme.
I was shocked this morning when I began my usual google search for news from Israel. The very first story as I scrolled down to “news” was an AP article titled “Israel airport asks traveller to open email to inspection” which began, “JERUSALEM—When Sandra Tamari arrived at Israel’s international airport…”
I practically jumped off the mattress! It was published by an outfit from CTVWinnipeg. Upon further search I realized this article by Josef Federman and Diaa Hadid had saturated the mainstream media. And it picks up the deportation, first reported on our site, of Najwa Doughman and Sasha al-Sarabi.
Israel has become increasingly strict following a series of run-ins with international activists in recent years, highlighted by a deadly clash two years ago between Israeli naval commandos and a flotilla trying to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. Both sides accused the other of provoking the violence in which nine Turkish activists were killed.
Since then, Israel has prevented international activists from arriving on similar flotillas as well as a pair of “fly-ins” by pro-Palestinian activists. Israeli officials acknowledge they used social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter, to identify activists ahead of time and prevent them from boarding flights to Israel.
Emanuel Gross, a law professor at Haifa University, said such a practice would seem to be illegal in Israel.
“In Israel, you need a search warrant to go into somebody’s computer,” he said. “I’m skeptical that the security guards asked a judge first for a warrant and I’m skeptical that a judge would give it.”
Let’s be clear, the byline on this scoop was Najwa Doughman and Sasha Al-Sarabi. This is about all of us working together in so many ways to change the discourse. It’s citizen journalism, people telling their stories in their own voices. Stories arrive in our inboxes or land in our twitter feeds because we all know if we do not speak up, who will speak for us? Here’s Kishawi:
At this year’s Google Zeitgeist conference, former Al Jazeera producer and current Huffington Post columnist Ahmed Shihab-Eldin spoke about citizen journalism and its growing effect on mainstream media. He drew attention to the emergence of independent blogs as a crucial medium for reportage, one that expands the depth of today’s journalism and “democratizes” the discourse. …
It is important to note that had Tamari, Doughman, or Al-Sarabi remained silent about their grueling experiences under interrogation, Mondoweiss wouldn’t have had any stories to run. And had Mondoweiss not helped push the narratives to a wider public, the Associated Press wouldn’t have had a story to put on the wire.
Let this encourage everyone to share their stories—good or bad—because, for now at least, this might be the only efficient way to publicly document injustice.
Sometimes the personal humiliation becomes too much to bear so how can we put it on the internet and share what is most fragile to us? Especially knowing for the rest of our lives we will remain exposed. But it is precisely those experiences, of Doughman breaking into tears, and the hopelessness of Tamari’s realization our embassy would do nothing to assist her, that reaches the commonality of all of us because ultimately, we share more in common than not.
For years we have relied on reporters such as Amira Hass– who covered this report today in Haaretz ”Israel airport security demands access to tourists’ private email accounts”–and in turn Hass has relied on people on the ground who experience and witness. Journalists may have more training, but they don’t have a corner on the truth, or on human expression, or independence of thought. If we keep speaking, they will hear us because we are not the sound of one hand clapping. We are millions clapping and shouting and demanding justice.
A huge shout out to Josef Federman and Diaa Hadid for hearing the voices of Tamari, Doughman and Al-Sarabi. A huge shout out to everyone who tweets and shares and won’t shut up. And to activists on the ground doing the yeoman’s work, everyday you change our hearts. If it were not for the real people documenting atrocities, who would believe us?
So thank you everyone for giving me faith we can change the world. Hillary and Barack, can you hear us?