By Jamie Jackson
More than 100 people gathered May 3 at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church to watch the documentary film “Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States.”
The film explores how our understanding of the 70-year conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has been shaped by a largely one-sided viewpoint. Audience members stayed for nearly two hours after the film to ask questions of four panelists chosen to reflect diverse views in the community about the media’s role in shaping American opinion. Panelists were the Rev. Sam Mann, retired pastor with a lifetime devotion to civil rights; Fatima Mohammadi, Islamist activist; Peter Morello, UMKC professor of journalism; and Richard Hellman, former editor of the Jewish Chronicle.
Here are links to short video clips by Brian Sullivan from the Q&A with the panel (Fatima Mohammadi answered a comment by Linda Vogel Smith):
Question by Linda Vogel Smith:
Fatima Mohammadi answers:
An audience member’s experience:
Citizens for Justice in the Middle East and the Social Responsibility Board of All Souls co-sponsored the event, and PeaceWorks-KC helped publicize it. The film is expected to be shown again at the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church in Lenexa, KS (date to be announced).
—Jamie Jackson is a member of Citizens for Justice in the Middle East, in the Kansas City metro area.