Ned Hanauer in Memorium: Premier media activist for Palestinian Human Rights
Mazin Qumsiyeh 9/7/06
Our dear friend Ned Hanauer passed away on August 10th. IMHO, he was the most active US media advocate for Palestinian rights (always emphasizing the rights of refugees and the root causes of the problems in the Middle East). Ned founded Search for Justice and Equality in Palestine/Israel (SEARCH) over 30 years ago. In the past few years, and by diligent work and determination, he has published hundreds of letters to the editor and hundreds of editorials in newspapers around the country. He also made thousands of calls and wrote thousands of letters/emails to editors and journalists in many cases managing to get them to (almost single-handedly) to adjust their coverage of Middle East issues to be closer to reality. Ned was also not content to work by himself - though he did work very hard and very effectively alone. He also provided workshops and tutoring to activists in media work around the country. He even arranged meetings for others with editorial boards. In December 2000, he arranged a meeting for me and Noam Chomsky with the editorial board of the Boston Globe. As a result of that networking, I was able to place two op-eds in the Boston Globe in the pivotal years of 2001 and 2002 (see http://www.qumsiyeh.org/aseasonofmayhem/ and http://www.qumsiyeh.org/beyondrage/ ). Ned was very helpful in many other areas behind the scenes which helped us begin to challenge the well-organized Zionist media lobbies. Ned’s persistent phone calls to activists (including myself) prodding us to do more still tugs at the cords of our hearts. He always said that it is so critical to make phone calls and write to editors and journalists and be persistent in follow-ups (“the squeaky wheel gets the grease”). SEARCH website with some of Ned’s writings is http://www.searchforjustice.org/
The Steering Committee of SEARCH noted that “Ned's July 19 letter in the New York Times, his August 4 letter in The Christian Science Monitor, and his July 6 op-ed in USA Today (which they asked him to write!) are the most recent evidence of his skill in presenting the issue, his persistence in working with the newspapers, and the respect that he was justly given.” USA Today op ed is at http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2006-07-05-oppose_x.htm The Steering Committee of SEARCH asked that memorial gift to SEARCH in honor of Ned's life-work.
Let us pledge to redouble our efforts in the media in honor of this fine gentleman who taught us so much. Ned’s brief instructions on media work (including key talking points) are at http://www.searchforjustice.org/media.html
Links to media can be found at http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/media/
A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, October 8, 2006, at 4:00 PM at the First Parish in Cambridge, 3 Church Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In sadness but renewed energy.
Edmund R. Hanauer, 68, life-long peace and human rights activist
Edmund R. (Ned) Hanauer, a life-long peace and human rights activist, died after a short illness on August 10, 2006. He was 68.
Dr. Hanauer dedicated his life to peace and human rights issues and worked in particular for reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis. Realizing that this work required full-time attention as well as an organizational base, he left teaching in 1971 and, in 1972, started an organization - Search for Justice and Equality in Palestine/Israel (SEARCH) - whose mission was to inform members of Congress, journalists and other opinion makers about aspects of the conflict between the Palestinians and Israeli Jews that did not always get a hearing in the political establishment and the media. In the early years of its existence - before the internet - the organization published a newsletter, the Palestine/Israel Bulletin. In cooperation with Dr. Israel Shahak, the chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights, the Bulletin brought many articles from the Israeli press that were critical of Israeli policies to journalists, members of Congress, and the general public. The lead article of the first issue published in February of 1978 was entitled “Israeli Settlements: Obstacle to Peace.” In his writings and in his talks to American audiences, Mr. Hanauer frequently drew a parallel between the fate of the Native Americans and that of the Palestinian people.
Mr. Hanauer's op-ed articles and letters-to-the-editor appeared over the years in many newspapers and magazines, such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, The International Herald Tribune, and Newsweek.
Mr. Hanauer stands in a long line of Jewish critics of Israeli policies from Achad Haam, who believed that one cannot push the native population out of its homeland without resistance, to Martin Buber, who sought reconciliation of Palestinians and Jews, to Rabbi Elmer Berger, Israel Shahak, and many, many others too numerous to mention.
Mr. Hanauer's concern about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict dated back some 50 years. As a pacifist he was committed to bringing about reconciliation between the parties by nonviolent means, something SEARCH consistently advocated. For the last 34 years, SEARCH has carried out its work according to its motto: “SEARCH believes that justice for Palestinians and security for Israeli Jews are not mutually exclusive, but interdependent.”
Edmund Raas Hanauer was born on March 1, 1938, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He earned a B.A. in history from Dartmouth College and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in political science from American University, Washington, D.C. His dissertation with the weighty title An Analysis of Conflicting Jewish Positions Regarding the Nature and Political Role of American Jews, with Particular Emphasis on Political Zionism indicates his abiding preoccupation with the many aspects of the issue. Before forming SEARCH, Mr. Hanauer taught political science at the University of Maryland European Evening Division, a program for the U.S. Armed Forces, and at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
In his spare time, Mr. Hanauer was an avid gardener, hiker and bird watcher. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Renate (Lehmann) Hanauer of Framingham, Massachusetts, his father, Edmund M. Hanauer of Rancho Santa Fe, California, his brother and sister-in-law Peter and Harriet Hanauer of Berkeley, California, his niece, Elly Hanauer of San Francisco, his nephew, Andy Hanauer, of Berkeley, and many like-minded activists who will carry on the work. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, October 8, 2006, at 4:00 PM at the First Parish in Cambridge, 3 Church Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts.