The eye of Ramallah, a collective of journalists who question the origins
Whether in the analyzes of a Ramadan, in the findings of Antoine Sfer, in the developments of Michel Onfray or the conclusions of Alain Finkielkraut, the media coverage of the Israeli-Arab conflict is questioning.
This conflict will soon celebrate its sad 65 years of existence.
Even if it occupies only the 64th position in the counting of the number of dead of the wars of the XX th century, this conflict is at the origin of a series of crises including the oil shock of 1973, but not only; it is also the catalyst for all the frustrations of the Arab-Muslim world.
The Eye of Ramallah, a group of journalists engaged in the study of the Arab world agreed to receive me.
They look like this:
Eye of Ramallah – We are a collective of independent French and Arabic speaking journalists and observers specializing in the study of media and diplomatic movements from the Arab world to the European audience.
Eye of Ramallah
We have chosen the name “Eye of Ramallah” because the Palestinian cause is one of the most catalyzing media drivers.
Among them, Mustapha Shabih whom I interviewed for laic.info :
Laic.info: Hello Mustapha Shabih, you are the spokesperson for the Eye of Ramallah, could you present the line of your collective?
Mustapha Shabih: In essence, the Eye of Ramallah aims to offer thinking about the Middle East as a whole by proposing sources that contradict certain obvious facts. For example, who knows about the Cairo Campaign of 1967? Very few people. Yet the Arab world keeps in its archives a multitude of documents and reports which help to overcome the Arab-Israeli question.
Laic.info: Your goal is to lower the tension in the Middle East? Isn’t it daring?
Mustapha Shabih: Taken from this angle, of course. But we work day after day with the journalistic corpus in the hope of improving the coverage of this conflict which is all too often instrumentalized for political ends. Since the Arab revolutions, peoples have expressed themselves and thirst for authenticity. The Palestinian cause moves but is not in the priorities of the Arab people who ardently wish to live in abundance and especially security.
Laic.info: How do you access the sources you mentioned above?
Mustapha Shabih: This requires taking the approach, peeling the period newspapers and building up archives. In Europe, we only study the conflict in the light of the European press. We can see it on Wikipedia, the sources must be necessarily European. Thus, if for reasons X or Y France had not deemed it useful to cover an event – the info disappeared. The pieces are therefore missing from the puzzle.
Laic.info: Do you actually want to globalize sources?
Mustapha Shabih: Absolutely . This also makes it possible to compare looks on the same event.
Laic.info: Then I ask you the angry question, do you think that the Palestinian people are a creation?
Mustapha Shabih: The Palestinian people as we know them today are the result of diplomatic and media creation. On the other hand, there was indeed an Arab population present on the spot at the arrival of the first Zionists. But this population did not consider itself as a Palestinian people, neither in 1890, nor in 1940, nor in 1967, but as an Arab people.
Laic.info: What then happened in 1967?
Mustapha Shabih: In 1967, Kamal Abdel Nasser, then president of Egypt, initiated the process that we can translate from Arabic, “the small in the big”.
Laic.info: that is to say?
Mustapha Shabih: (smile) “the little in the big” is the name of the method used by Nasser. Going back to the 1960s, Israel was no doubt rightly perceived by the European media as the “small state against the great Arab space”.
The Soviets then advised their ally, Nasser, on the ideal method of communication in order to achieve the objectives set by the Arab League: to obtain the support of the Western world against Israel.
At the same time, the revolutionary Marxist movements were supported by European editorial staff.
Che Guervara and his revolution were on the rise. Yasser Arafat was therefore “cast” among the Egyptian candidates, to become the independence leader of the “small in the big”.
Arafat’s communication was not made to wait, he quickly defined himself as a socialo-progressive, he put on a military trellis, put on his headgear from local traditions. Just like Ché Guévara.
It was the birth of the “little Palestinian people” against “the great state of Israel”. Israel then became the powerful and the Arab warrior, the weak, to be protected.
Laic.info: Why is this historical reality so little mentioned?
Mustapha Shabih: I think that the hope of peace of the 90s has removed from the debate, the question of legitimacy or non-legitimacy, of the Arabs of Palestine to obtain a territory in the West Bank. It seems, however, that this question resurfaces in the light of the failures of the peace process.