Jewish Journal

Introduction to Israel Social TV

Jeremy Elster

December 20, 2013 | 11:34 am

screen capture from video

Welcome to the blog of Israel Social TV (ISTV), the leading alternative TV news organization in Israel. Since our establishment in 2006 as a non-profit, independent, online news organization, we have produced over 1000 stories about Israeli society and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Hundreds of our stories have been translated into English. We produce regularly updated video news coverage, weekly magazines, and investigative reporting on pressing – often controversial – social, cultural, economic, human rights and political issues that shape public awareness in Israel.

In the coming weeks and months, I invite you, the readers of the Jewish Journal, to join me via the web at conferences, demonstrations and socio-cultural events up and down the Israeli street. The purpose of this blog is to provide a unique window, in the form of 2-5 minute video items, through which to view Israeli society through our lens -- the lens of Israel Social TV. Let's start with a creative initiative to bring Israeli and Palestinian citizens together in the heart of Jerusalem to discuss peace and reconciliation, which faced disruptions by right wing Israeli extremists. The event took place on October 25th, 2013.

While U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry successfully reconvened peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, delegations of Israelis and Palestinians have been conducting their own negotiations "on the street". Minds of Peace is an organization that brings together delegations of six Israelis and Palestinians, who represent a diverse cultural and political spectrum, to discuss reconciliation and points of agreement with the explicit goal of creating written peace pacts between the delegations. Israel Social TV attended day two of the 22nd Public Negotiation Congress, convened in Hamashbir Plaza in downtown Jerusalem, which was held at tables surrounded by a fence and police force after the prior day's negotiations led to violent confrontations between protesters and supporters of the talks.

Protesters waved Israeli flags, blew whistles, and yelled into voice amplifiers attempting to prevent the delegations from hearing each other. Dr. Sapir Handelman, founder of Minds of Peace, explained the importance of talking on the street, "Today there are negotiations between Tzipi Livni and Saeb Erekat...no one is preparing the public to accept the agreements...without inviting people on the street and the public, [acceptance of the agreement] will just not happen."  Despite the distractions, the two delegations were able to make one preliminary agreement and later reconvened on November 14-15 where they reached creative solutions to all core issues. 

Watch the video below for the Israel Social TV's coverage of the event, titled: Silencing the Peace Talks (Hebrew, English)

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Jeremy Elster is a Southern Californian native and New Israel Fund/SHATIL Social Justice Fellow working as the International Communications Coordinator for Israel Social TV...

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