As we also reported strong>here on our other blog, South Africa’s Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu has said at a literary conference in England that it was urgent to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: “If we don’t solve that problem, you can give up on all other problems. You can give up on nuclear disarmament, you can give up on ever winning a war against terror, you can give it up. You can give up any hope of our faiths ever working clearly amicably and in a friendly way together. This, this, this is THE problem, and it is in our hands”. The full report was posted on The Guardian website here.
These are tough times to be a journalist in Jerusalem. For months, Israelis have been gloating at how the media is “bored” by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is progress, they say; this is great. Nobody cares about the Palestinians, they say. The game is up. As a result, apparently, American news organizations are closing their offices — a large part of their international news budget goes to Iraq. British news organizations say that their budget to cover international news in 2007 has been totally consumed by coverage of the peculiar case of the missing British girl, Madeline.
But, apparently, there are consequences. Today, Haaretz reports, “American Jews are losing interest in Israel according to figures released Tuesday in the American Jewish Committee 2007 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion”.
Of course, the decline is not really dramatic: Haaretz says that “Figures showed that 69% of Jewish Americans agreed with the statement ‘Caring about Israel is a very important part of my being a Jew’ in 2007, compared to 74% last year and 79% in 2005”
The report, Haaretz added, also reveals that “This year, 55% said they did not believe peace is possible, down one percent from 56% last year. On the question of whether Israel should be willing to compromise on the status of Jerusalem, 58% said no and 36% said yes, showing an increase in opponents since 2006. The majority still believed that ‘The goal of the Arabs is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction of Israel’.” The Haaretz report on this latest survey is published here.