Days of Rage: The Young Palestinians (documentary)

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Date: 1989

Region: North America

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Television


Artist: Jo Franklin-Trout

Confronting Bodies: United States Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Israeli-American advocacy and lobbying groups

Dates of Action: 1989

Location: The United States

Description of Artwork: Days of Rage: The Young Palestinians is a 90-minute documentary which shows a number of different viewpoints on the Intifada. Palestinian leaders and Palestinian people are shown in the movie saying they have nothing left to lose and that they need a state.

The Incident: Originally WNYC had agreed to host Days of Rage for a broadcast on June 5, 1989, the twenty-second anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. WNYC thought it would be necessary to have a panel discussion after the broadcast with "additional context" provided, especially on the Israeli side. While the network was putting together the panel the Israeli embassy got a copy of the tape and it began circulating both in the United States and in Israel. Local and national Jewish-American groups began to lobby their local public television stations to get the broadcast canceled. WNYC then pulled its sponsorship of the documentary calling it "propaganda". A prominent television critic, Howard Rosenberg, of the Los Angeles Times, then wrote a column praising the documentary. In his article Rosenberg suggested that WNYC might have cut the program because there are a large number of Jewish-Americans in New York who they depend on for donations. Arab-American groups then began campaigning to get the documentary put back on the air.

Results of Incident: Finally they decided to air Days of Rage in a special package. Hodding Carter, assistant secretary of state was the host and led the panel so as to try to neutralize any controversial views in the film.

Source: "Censorship: A World Encyclopedia"