Amira Hass, an award-winning Israeli journalist, will speak at 6 p.m. Feb. 13. at the University of Florida’s Pugh Hall, home of the Bob Graham Center for Public Service.
The program is being co-sponsored by the Bob Graham Center, the UF International Center, and The Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica Endowment Fund, among others. The event is free and open to the public.
The daughter of two Holocaust survivors, Hass has been noted for her unparalleled reporting and courage in covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As a foreign correspondent, she has literally lived “behind enemy lines” in covering the decade-old conflict between Palestinians and Jews. Hass has lived in Gaza and in the West Bank among Palestinians for years – something unheard of and seen by many as dangerous for a Jewish citizen of Israel.
“In doing so, Hass is celebrated by some Israelis as a national conscience and condemned by others as an ideologue or even a traitor,” the Los Angeles Times wrote in a profile of Hass.
Even at the height of the second intifada – the bloody uprising of Palestinians in 2001 — Hass openly worked as a lone Israeli journalist covering the conflict for Ha’aretz, Israel’s oldest and most liberal daily newspaper.
Describing why she does it, Hass has written that “my desire to live in Gaza stemmed neither from adventurism nor from insanity, but from that dread of being a bystander, from my need to understand, down to the last detail, a world that is, to the best of my political and historical comprehension, a profoundly Israeli creation. To me, Gaza embodies the entire saga of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; it represents the central contradiction of the state of Israel – democracy for some, dispossession for others; it is our exposed nerve.”
Hass is a recipient of the International Press Institute’s World Press Freedom Hero Prize, the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award and numerous other awards. She is the author of “Drinking the Sea at Gaza: Days and Nights in a Land under Siege,” and co-author of “Reporting from Ramallah: An Israeli Journalist in an Occupied Land.”