Amira Hass


Amira Hass

Amira Hass (Hebrew: עמירה הס; born 1956) is an Israeli journalist and author, mostly known for her columns in the daily newspaper ""Ha'aretz"". She is especially famous for living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and reporting on events regarding Palestinians in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The daughter of two Holocaust survivors (Bergen-Belsen), Hass was born in Jerusalem, and was educated at the Hebrew University, where she studied the history of Nazism and the European Left's relation to The Holocaust. Early in her career, she travelled widely and worked in several different jobs. Frustrated by the events of the First Intifada, she began her journalistic career in 1989 as a staff editor for "Ha'aretz" and started to report from the Palestinian Territories in 1991. As of 2003, she is the only Jewish Israeli journalist who lives full-time among the Palestinians, in Gaza from 1993 and in Ramallah from 1997.

Hass was the recipient of the Press Freedom Hero award from the International Press Institute in 2000, the Bruno Kreisky Human Rights Award in 2002, the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize in 2003, and the inaugural award from the Anna Lindh Memorial Fund in 2004.

Her reporting is often sympathetic to the Palestinian point of view and generally critical of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians. During the years of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, however, Hass published several highly critical articles about the chaos and disorder caused by militias associated with the Fatah party of Yasser Arafat and the bloody war between Palestinian factions in Nablus.

Her reportage of events, and her voicing of opinions that run counter to both official Israeli and Palestinian positions has exposed Hass to verbal attacks, and opposition from both the Israeli and Palestinian authorities. Recently she said Israel is an apartheid state with privileges reserved mostly for Jews. She says that

'The Palestinians, as a people, are divided into subgroups, something which is reminiscent also South Africa under apartheid rule,'cite news|title=Criticism of Israel Is not 'anti-Semitism'|date=2006-09-05|publisher=Arab News|url=http://www.arabnews.com/?page=7&section=0&article=75857&d=5&m=9&y=2006]

In June 2001, Judge Rachel Shalev-Gartel of the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court ruled that Hass had vilified the Jewish settler community of Beit Hadassah in Hebron, and ordered her to pay 250,000 shekels (about $60,000) in damages. Hass had reported Palestinian eyewitness accounts of settlers defiling the body of a Palestinian militant killed by Israeli police; the settlers argued that the event did not take place, and said that Hass reported the story with malicious intent. The presiding judge found in favour of the settlers. "Ha'aretz" indicated that it did not have time to arrange a defense in the case, and announced that it would appeal the decision. ["'Ha'aretz' journalist ordered to pay Hebron residents NIS 250,000", "Jerusalem Post", 8 June 2001. The "Jerusalem Post" asserts that Hass's story was contradicted by television reports.] Hass noted that she had brought forward sourced information from the Palestinian community, and said that it was the responsibility of newspaper editors to cross-reference it with other information from the IDF and the settler community. [Eli Pollak and Yisrael Medad, "The accomplice", "Jerusalem Post", 16 March 2003, 3.]

Books

* "Drinking the Sea at Gaza: Days and Nights in a Land under Siege" (Owl Books, 2000) ISBN 0-8050-5740-4
* (with Rachel Leah Jones) "Reporting from Ramallah: An Israeli Journalist in an Occupied Land" (Semiotext(e), 2003) ISBN 1-58435-019-9

References

External links

* [http://technosoc.blogspot.com/2007/12/lesson-of-journalism-from-amira-hass.html Lesson of journalism from Amira Hass]
* [http://www.unitedjerusalem.org/index2.asp?id=56404 Stepping Out of the Ring]
* [http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=6&x_journo=29 Criticism of Amira Hass by "Camera"]
* [http://www.commondreams.org/views01/0826-04.htm Interview by Robert Fisk] (2001)
* [http://www.npr.org/ramfiles/wesun/20010930.wesun.05.ram Interview by US National Public Radio] (RealAudio, 2001).
* [http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/04/12/1344230 Interview by Democracy Now] (RealAudio, MP3, and transcript, 2005)
* [http://www.google.com/search?q=site:haaretz.com+%22Amira+Hass%22 Search for recent "Ha'aretz" articles by Amira Hass]
* [http://student.cs.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/php/customSearch.php?sMask=ynnnnn&wMask=yyy&lv=1s1&d0=1&d1=n&w5=amira+hass&o1=n "Ha'aretz" articles by Amira Hass listed by date. From Palestine: Information With Provenance]
* [http://www.havenscenter.org/audio/727 Speech at University of Wisconsin-Madison: "Reporting the Middle East"] (.mp3) (Fall 2003)
* [https://www.euromedalex.org/prize/EN/news.htm Anna Lindh prize]
* [http://www.freemedia.at/IPIReport2.00/IPIRep2.00_cont.htm Press Freedom Hero award]
* [http://www.kreisky.org/human.rights Bruno Kreisky Human Rights Award]
* [http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php@URL_ID=10185&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html World Press Freedom Prize]
* [http://www.annalindhsminnesfond.se/ Anna Lindh Award]
*
* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7808034501457624491&hl=en Video: Amira Hass - From Occupation to Enclosure: Fragmenting the Palestinian State (Part 2)] (April 22, 2006)


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