Journalist Bill Moyers is a
master communicator about practical matters of life on Earth, and of the
spirit -- what connects us with one another, what works and what does not.
Forever in our memory of the '80s is public television's "The Power of Myth" -- Bill Moyers exploring extraordinary Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) for down-to-Earth examples of how myth's power influences us.
MOYERS: Mother Earth. Will new myths come from this image?
CAMPBELL: Well, something might. ... And the only myth that is going to be worth thinking about in the immediate future is one that is talking about the planet, not the city, not these people, but the planet, and everybody on it. That's my main thought for what the future myth is going to be. ...
MOYERS: So you suggest that from this begins the new myth of our time?
CAMPBELL: Yes, this is the ground of what the myth is to be. It's already here: the eye of reason, not of my nationality; the eye of reason, not of my religious community; the eye of reason, not of my linguistic community. Do you see? And this would be the philosophy for the planet, not for this group, that group, or the other group. When you see the earth from the moon, you don't see any divisions there of nations or states. This might be the symbol, really, for the new mythology to come. That is the country that we are going to be celebrating. And those are the people that we are one with.
Myths are powerful stories that
form us from within.
Myths are true, but may never have happened, giving us heroes and lessons that shape our character and life decisions.
"People become the stories they hear and the stories they tell," is how Elie Wiesel said it.
"All For Peace,"
the first Palestinian-Israeli radio station gives us such a myth -- a
powerful symbol for us -- with its own heroes and co-founders, Israeli Shimon
Malka ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) and Palestinian Maysa Baransi-Siniora (
By the magic of the Internet, at http://www.allforpeace.org -- and soon FM radio, after government snags are overcome to get its antenna and transmitter across borders -- the station helps two peoples hear one another's news, music and stories.
And Joseph Campbell prescribed listening to more than your own stories.
"Read other people's myths, not those of your own religion, because you tend to interpret your own religion in terms of facts - but if you read the other ones, you begin to get the message. . .this experience of being alive. . .what it is. . .the reunion of the separated duad (a unit of two objects; a pair). Originally you were one. You are now two in the world (duality), but the recognition of the spiritual identity is what marriage is."
Israeli-Palestinian "All For Peace" radio is a marriage. Call it an inter-marriage.
Once we were living as one and cooperating, not so long ago.
Now once again look how possible and close-at-hand engagement is in our time.
"All For Peace" radio and its courageous founders and staff have created a new myth for a new time.
This creative idea of a few people shows us what it means to be fully alive and engaged -- married to a life worth living.
At age 70, preparing for his 50th
wedding anniversary, Bill Moyers recently did his last broadcast.
Speaking about the importance of each of us, here is what Moyers prescribed upon receiving an award from Harvard Medical School, on December 1, 2004:
"The news is not good these days. I can tell you, though, that as a journalist I know the news is never the end of the story. The news can be the truth that sets us free -- not only to feel but to fight for the future we want. And the will to fight is the antidote to despair, the cure for cynicism, and the answer to those faces looking back at me from those photographs on my desk. What we need. . .is what the ancient Israelites called "hochma" -- the science of the heart ... the capacity to see ... to feel ... and then to act ... as if the future depended on you.
Believe me, it does.
In other words of Eckhart Tolle in "The Power of Now:"
"You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are!"
is our 400th message to you since 1998 about successes in Jewish-Palestinian
relationship-building, all remembered at http://traubman.igc.org/messages.htm
May their memories -- the courageous people and new myths -- remind you in this season of deep meaning that your own light matters more than you can imagine.
Associated Press -- Sunday, 19 December 2004
Article at: http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20041219/ap_en_ot/radio_for_peace_2
Photo at: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/041219/480/nyr10112191518
Palestinian-Israeli Radio Aims to Unite
By DEEPTI HAJELA, Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK - The studio is in East Jerusalem, the transmitter in Ramallah, in the West Bank. Half the staff is Israeli, the others Palestinian. Some on-air programs are in Hebrew, others in Arabic.
From its founders to its employees to its musical offerings, the mission is equality and peaceful coexistence at All For Peace radio, the only jointly run Israeli-Palestinian radio in the Middle East.
The station started broadcasting music and talk radio over the Internet in April, and says it gets up to 10,000 hits a day. A few weeks ago, a radio transmitter was put in place to send its signal out over FM radio.
In many of the 18 to 21 hours each day the station plays music, at least one Arabic song and one Hebrew song are played. On talk shows, 30 hours throughout the week, newspaper headlines in Hebrew are read in Arabic, and vice versa. Interview subjects run the gamut, from members of the Israeli parliament to representatives of the militant group Hamas, said station co-directors Shimon Malka and Maysa Baransi-Siniora.
The point is to help Israelis and Palestinians know each other. "We're not doing this work for people who are with us," said Baransi-Siniora, 28. "We want to reach the people who don't know where they stand."
Malka and Baransi-Siniora visited the United States this month to raise funds. They launched the station with a grant from the European Union (news - web sites) that covers about 80 percent of the budget, but that money will run out soon. They say they need about $750,000 a year to run the operation.
"We started with no clue about what we were going to do," said Malka, 37, an Israeli whose prior media work was in television. "Every day we're climbing a bit higher, a bit deeper."
The station is a joint project of the Jewish-Arab Centre for Peace at Givat Haviva and the Palestinian organization Biladi, which publishes The Jerusalem Times. The organizations have previously partnered to put together Crossing Borders, a youth magazine.
In a region where the other side's perspective is often drowned out by inflammatory words, All for Peace wants to teach listeners to disagree respectfully. Even in the interview, Malka and Baransi-Siniora had different opinions on why a radio transmitter they bought worth thousands of dollars has been tied up for months in Israeli customs.
The Palestinian thought the Israeli government was trying to discourage their effort to bring the sides together. The Israeli thought that because the overall situation is so tense, the bureaucracy doesn't want added complications from a joint Israeli-Palestinian radio station.
Malka criticizes the Israeli and Palestinian media alike as one-sided. "People are consuming media almost as a bible, 'If it's on television, it must be true,'" he said.
He and Baransi-Siniora are committed to covering the day's events, but also providing perspective from both sides. They point with pride to their handling of the recent death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
People "were just amazed at how we covered it," Baransi-Siniora said.
The station runs with a small staff of 14 people, Israeli and Palestinian, plus volunteers. Its founders have faced skepticism that the station could ever get off the ground, and sour responses from some relatives and friends.
Malka said his mother "can't believe this is what her only son is doing."
But he and Baransi-Siniora are determined to keep on, and to reach as many hearts and minds as possible.
"I want my kid to be raised in a secure, democratic place, to recognize herself as a Palestinian and to understand and accept that there are Israelis as neighbors," Baransi-Siniora said.
Malka echoed the thought, describing how he and his family never travel together to avoid all being caught in a bombing or other violent event. He said working at the station was a way to take responsibility for making things better.
"I could keep working in Israeli television; I choose not to," he said. Through the radio station, "I can leave something behind me by taking more people to see the other side as equals."
On the Net at http://www.allforpeace.org