is a story about Change.
How big Change begins with a few creative, inspired, communicating citizens with vision -- working together.
How life-giving paradigm shifts do not wait for treaties, legalities, paralyzed institutions.
It is more than "no," "anti" and "against," but inventing the "yes" of how life will be.
Israel21C (21st Century) -- http://www.israel21c.org/ -- says it helps readers "focus beyond the conflict."
Today it describes young
Duet. Get it?
Get it. Read it.
See inspiring Du-et online from
Read Du-Et special editions in English: http://caf.org.il/PressFrg.asp?Sec=288 .
Du-Et receives e-mail at Yachad@netvision.net.il . Yachad means "together."
Du-Et was, of course, foreshadowed by ground-breaking Arab-Jewish youth-produced publications.
Courageous, ongoing magazines in Hebrew and Arabic like:
More than any other newspaper, writers and readers come from all sections of Israeli society - Christian, Muslim, and Jewish, religious and secular.
This independent Hebrew-Arabic newspaper brings together leading Arab and Jewish voices to study and bridge the social and cultural issues of inevitable Jewish-Arab co-existence.
In a culture were one in five is Arab, yet only 0.3% of the journalists employed by the mainstream national press are Arab.
Where Israel's Arab's have almost "no voice in the mainstream press. . .almost no coverage of Arab society or culture. . ."
Du-Et's goal is not to "win" or "capture the market," but to "make their newspaper redundant" and duplicated broadly, and soon.
To heal the stark near-absence of sustained, in-depth human relationship between Jews and Arabs, in
Read how Du-Et -- Two-Pens, in Hebrew, and (Lahen-Muzdwag) Two-Tunes, in Arabic -- is already seeding and speeding up more change in the culture, including across borders.
This year, Du-Et plans to introduce a new Palestinian component with 20 percent of the publication devoted to Israeli-Palestinian affairs.
If all goes well, then Du-Et will be published as a supplement in the
Relating, humanizing, through relationships.
Nearing a readership of 1,000,000.
Published by Israel21C -- Monday, 15 January 2005
Bringing a common language into the headlines
By Nicky Blackburn
The goal of the editors of Du-Et, Israel's only newspaper written and produced jointly by Jewish and Arab journalists, is to make their newspaper redundant in two years.
This may seem like a strange objective for a two-year-old newspaper, but to the founders who set this paper up in 2003, it is very clear. They want to create so many positive changes in Israel's mainstream media that there is no longer any need for a specific publication that brings together top Jewish and Arabic writers to discuss some of the most sensitive interracial issues affecting Israel today.
The Israeli press mirrors the segregation that exists between its Jewish and Arab citizens. Some 20 percent of Israeli society may be Arab, but only 0.3% of the journalists employed by the mainstream national press are actually Arab.
The Citizens' Accord Forum between Jews and Arabs in
"People were frightened of being too closely affiliated with Arab society," Zeffert told ISRAEL21c. "They were scared of losing readers or viewers and were conscious that they did not want to introduce too much change too suddenly."
In the end they agreed on creating an independent Hebrew-Arabic newspaper that would bring together leading Arab and Jewish voices, which could broach the social and cultural issues behind Jewish-Arab co-existence.
The first newspaper was launched in October 2003. Funds came from The European Union, UNESCO, The German Federal Foreign Office, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, and the Beracha Foundation.
The first edition of Du-Et was only 12 pages long, and contained mainly op-ed pieces. They were very few graphics, and Zeffert admits it was a challenge to persuade leading journalists to write for the publication. "People were very reticent to get involved because it was so new and had never been done before," she says. The paper was distributed as a supplement inside two major Hebrew newspapers, Ma'ariv and Ha'aretz, and Kul al-Arab, the country's leading Arabic newspaper. At Ma'ariv, the editors were so concerned about what readers might think of this new window into Arab life, that they insisted their lawyers go through the paper word for word before publication.
The next issue came out six months later, and since then the publication has gone from strength to strength, coming out regularly every quarter. Today the paper is 32 pages long. Du-Et publishes between 200,000 to 300,000 copies per issue in Ha'aretz, Ma'ariv, Kul al-Arab, As'sennara, and Panorama, and the founders claim that readership is approaching one million. Recently Du-Et was included in the online newspaper, Nana, which is designed for a young readership, and there are also plans to launch an English version on-line with one of
"The newspaper is generating more interest than ever," says Zeffert. "Now we have to turn journalists away. We just don't have enough space in each issue to feature everyone who wants to write." Contributors to Du-Et include Moti Shaklar (West Bank resident and CEO of Channel 2 TV & Radio), Eeta Prince-Gibson (Jerusalem Post), Rafik Halabi (Channel 2 TV), Danny Rubenstein (Ha'aretz), Rubik Rosenthal (Ma'ariv), Gideon Eshet (Yediot Aharonot), Nazir Majali (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat) and Salem Jubran (Al-Ahaly).
Correspondents write on any number of controversial issues, ranging from terror attacks, to the Arab-Jewish divide, inequality in the Hebrew media, and a possible Bedouin intifada. Other articles include items on Arab culture and life, such as women's magazines in Israeli Arab society, the nightlife of
One of the most popular regular features is an item called 'Crossing the Lines'. Zoheir Andrawous, editor of Kul-al-Arab -
"These are places where Arabs and Jews would not normally travel and people they would not normally meet," says Zeffert. "The journalists write about what they find, how they feel, and what they experience on these visits. Often their reactions are not necessarily what you would expect. It opens the door to a new type of dialogue between very different sectors of Israeli society."
There is also a poignant section called 'Pictures Speak', where photographer, Alex Rozovski examines the wretched state of Arab sector schools, the poor state of the roads, and the garbage dumps where children play. The pictures were taken in large Israeli-Arab towns like Sakhnin, Rahat, Fureidis, or Jisr al-Zarka'a, which have tens of thousands of inhabitants - all citizens of
"We don't present one policy view," says Zeffert. "Our writers and readers come from all sections of Israeli society - Christian, Muslim, and Jewish, religious and secular. We don't edit the writer's language or change their views, Instead we print everything. There have been diverse opinions towards the newspaper, both positive and negative, but the important thing is that it is exposing people to aspects of Israeli society that they would not normally see. It gets people thinking. It makes an impact. It creates different responses and most important of all, dialogue."
Aside from the newspaper itself, the press group has also launched a number of other initiatives to try to help Arab editors and journalists receive better access to
The founders of Du-Et believe the paper has already had a substantial impact on the Hebrew media. "For the first time Jewish and Arab editors are working together on a very high level," says Udi Cohen, a co-director of the Citizens' Accord Forum, and chair of the Du-Et editorial board. Ma'ariv no longer requires its lawyers to trawl through the paper checking for problems. Indeed, points out Cohen, Ma'ariv recently published a supplement written by Mossawa, one of the largest Arab organizations in
"This is a large step forward," says Cohen. "In two years, Ma'ariv went from being afraid to print a newspaper written by Arab and Jewish journalists together, to printing an all-Arab supplement without thinking twice."
In addition, there has been increased reporting on Arab issues in most of the national newspapers and growing employment of Arab and minority journalists. Ha'aretz recently issued a supplement of its own devoted entirely to Jewish-Arab relations in
Recently, the Keshet television network and Du-Et launched a new media fellowship program for six young aspiring Arab journalists to participate in a two-year internship course. The initiative is designed to encourage employment of Arab journalists in the Hebrew print and television media. At the end of the internships, Du-Et will pay half of the intern's salary as an incentive to media organizations to hire them. During their fellowship, the interns will produce a series of programs on Jewish-Arab issues. The government-run radio station, Reshet Bet, has also now approached Du-Et with plans to open a similar program to encourage Arab journalists.
This year, the newspaper plans to introduce a new Palestinian component to the newspaper, with some 20 percent of the publication devoted to Israeli-Palestinian affairs. When this takes place, Du-Et will also start publishing the newspaper as a supplement in the
The founders of Du-Et firmly believe in what they are doing. "We are creating a major impact inside
"Our view is that if we are still publishing Du-Et by issue 20 then we have failed to do our job," says Zeffert. "We hope that by then there's enough integration of Arab journalists into the Hebrew media, that there will be no need for a separate newspaper raising Arab issues."
Zeffert pauses for a moment's reflection. "It's a tall order," she admits finally. "But that's our goal."