by Helen Schary Motro

Through a Different Lens

Women Bring the News from Israel

When Israeli journalist Inna Shapiro was commissioned by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz to write a feature about the Intifada, she chose as her subject Alecia Sorokin, newly arrived as an immigrant from Russia. Alecia was a nurse and a wife—and mother of Sasha, a five-year-old with an angelic face. In May 2001 a terrorist bomb exploded as Sasha entered a Netanya mall along with his parents and sent him to the intensive care unit. Alecia was seriously injured, suffering extensive burns and two broken legs. Shapiro followed Alecia on the difficult journey of physical and emotional rehabilitation. She also explored Alecia’s sad new status: since Sasha s father was instantly killed by the bomb, Alecia was no longer just a new immigrant to Israel, but also a young widow. Shapiro called her story “One Year in Israel.” Shapiro was not alone in focusing on Alecia to symbolize the tragedy of human loss in Israel. Deborah Sontag, New York Times correspondent at the time, wrote a dramatic piece about the family headlined “In a Fatal Flash, Immigrant Dreams Turn to Dust.” The Netanya bomb had killed five and injured over a hundred, yet both women journalists chose to focus on the human element of little Sasha and his parents. Lilith asked some of the numerous women in the media who cover the Israeli/Palestinian conflict: Do they have a unique viewpoint, experience, and approach, influenced by gender?

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