Rodgers, James. Headlines from the Holy Land: Reporting the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
Tied by history, politics, and faith to all corners of the globe, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict fascinates and infuriates people across the world. Based on new archive research and original interviews with leading correspondents and diplomats, Headlines from the Holy Land explains why this fiercely contested region exerts such a pull over reporters: those who bring the story to the world. Despite decades of diplomacy, a just and lasting end to the conflict remains as difficult as ever to achieve. Inspired by the author’s own experience as the BBC’s correspondent in Gaza from 2002-2004, and subsequent research, this book draws on the insight of those who have spent years observing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Starting from a historical perspective, it identifies the challenges the conflict presents for contemporary journalism and diplomacy, and suggests new ways of approaching them.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Rosemary Hollis
1 Reporting from the Ruins: The End of the British Mandate and the Creation of the State of Israel
There are many who doubt that the current Israeli-Palestinian negotiations will lead to a solution, in spite of US secretary of state John Kerry’s efforts and the presumed commitment to peace of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. What has characterized the intractability of the conflict in the past, including the future of Jerusalem, the Palestinian refugees, Israel’s national security concerns, and, in particular, the psychological dimension behind these conflicting issues, still remain in play. That intractability has been further aggravated by a faulty framework for the 2014 negotiations, the absence of leadership, the continued public recrimination of each side toward the other, mutual distrust, and the lack of commitment to reach an agreement that of necessity requires mutually painful concessions. This essay proposes a number of mechanisms and corrective measures that could appreciably enhance the prospect of reaching a peace agreement. Undergirding these proposals is the need for the United States to put its foot down and warn both the Israelis and Palestinians that, unless they negotiate in earnest based on Kerry’s proposed framework, there will be serious consequences resulting from a reassessment of its bilateral relations with both parties.