Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Story of a Press Pass

Going through some old things, looking for a pair of glasses I could donate to my son-in-law for Purim, I refound a press pass:

The story?

Well, I was at the Madrid Conference in 1991 with the "unofficial delegation of the Jewish residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza".

From Sunday through Thursday we were locked-out of the press center and the Pals., led by Hanan Ashrawi, were doing quite well with overwhelming numbers despite the yeoman efforts of Bibi Netanyahu backed up in a hotel room-turned-into-an office by Yoram Hazony.

Israel Harel (with who I shared a hotel bed) worked very hard and with the assistance of a high Israeli diplomatic figure - not from the Right - we were granted for the last day permission to send some 10 press reps. The Pals. had all sorts of people there and the person on line in front of me waiting for authorization was Rashid Khalidi, the professor.

I used my position as editor of COUNTERPOINT and others used names of various local community publications, Gushpanka, Daroma, etc., and we were in.

I would say that we caused a bit of a stir. I and a few others, who had kippot, drew loads of stares and soon enough, there were loads of reporters gathering around. I was recognized by some of the correspondents based in Israel and for a few hours until we had to leave for Shabbat (and that is another story: the Smith family), we managed to upset the Arabs who thought they were running a PR monopoly.

Sort of a commando raid.


Anonymous said...

Brings back memories - maybe a reunion in 2011?

Anonymous said...

very nice! good for you!