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FeaturesThey Fear The Truth: We Report It

Recently a Mondoweiss writer based in Palestine—we’ll call her “Alaa”—described to us her firsthand knowledge of Israel’s efforts to suppress reporting from Palestine. She reports on the daily atrocities of the Israeli occupation under her own byline, but when we asked to share her own personal experiences with our readers, she told us, “I don’t dare publish these stories under my own name.”

You understand, no doubt. “Alaa” is eager for people to know the situation for journalists in Israel/Palestine, but feels describing her experience under her own name would pose “a big risk…. Anyone working in the country who describes the state’s repression of free speech is risking being kicked out for good.

Bullying, prison, violence, exile. As Omar Barghouti wrote in Mondoweiss in April, “The latest savage, even irrational, attacks on our movement indicate, more than anything else, that we are indeed prevailing.”

You know that we who fight for justice in Palestine are tearing down the wall of lies brick by brick. And you know that the attacks show our success—and require that we continue. Every effort to silence the truth shows the urgent need to invest in more truth-telling.

We ask today that you donate to help Mondoweiss continue and increase our work informing the world of what happens in Palestine, and how U.S. policy underwrites the oppression.

Every time Israel’s guardians lash out to silence truth, their fear testifies that our reporting is making a difference. Please give today to help us keep them shaking in their shoes.

Between overt censorship, physical intimidation and the culture of silencing all dissent, Israel is working harder and harder to try to control reporting and other discourse. They fear truth. We report it.

Over the next few weeks, Mondoweiss will share the experience of Alaa and many other journalists and activists working in Palestine. The clampdown proves it: The work Mondoweiss presents daily, from hundreds of brave reporters and photographers, makes a real difference. So we ask for your contribution to sustain and expand this essential service.

Filmmaker Lama Ghosheh, who works for the Jerusalem-based Elia Youth Media Association, was arrested twice in May. Once it was after she posted on Facebook, “IDF intelligence is surrounding the headquarters of the Elia Foundation and threatening its director Ahmed Safadi to break into the institution at any moment.”

Later, she provided an update. “After I posted this post, I went to eat a shawarma sandwich, and within minutes an Israeli military force arrived, arrested me and detained me for hours. The investigating officer told me that reporting the army’s location on Facebook is a crime. I replied, ‘The occupation is a crime against humanity.’”

To be sure, violent retaliation by the Israeli government against independent journalists is not new. Jamal, a Mondoweiss contributor who worked as a reporter in Israel in the early 1980s, still has dental problems decades later from the beating he received from government forces. They knocked his front teeth out with a gun for daring to photograph a peaceful, silent protest.

Yet Jamal considers his experience hardly worth telling, because he is so acutely aware of how much worse the repression has become. During the 2014 Gaza war, 17 journalists were killed despite wearing press badges and driving marked vehicles. Agence France-Presse reporter Adel Zaanoun said, “As journalists, we understood that the massive war was against our pens, cameras, laptops…it was not against Hamas or the people.”

Recently, an independent watchdog of media repression reported 429 Israeli violations against journalists in Gaza and the West Bank in a single year. Lana Shaheen, a reporter for the Lebanese Al-Mayadin TV, says that Israel deliberately targets the media, “but there is a strange insistence that grows within us on covering and conveying the truth.”

Their attacks are intensifying because they are scared. Just a couple months ago, Electronic Intifada published “The Assault on Israel’s Legitimacy,” a secret report by the Anti-Defamation League and the Reut Institute that laments the failure of massively increased spending over recent years to silence Palestine solidarity work. The report even acknowledges that “arguments that challenge the foundations of Zionism” are “appealing and sophisticated.” The panic is obvious.

BDS and other activism have truly changed the nature of the struggle by making visible powerful non-violent resistance to Israeli atrocities. And these strategies make a massive difference because they are disseminated through news shared round the world. The power of every form of resistance is multiplied by ensuring that thousands—millions—of people learn about the struggle and its context.

Mondoweiss is proud to be one of the responsible and thriving media outlets covering the movement for justice in Palestine. Documenting atrocities for the global audience—and documenting effective resistance including BDS—is the most powerful means of accelerating change.

We need your help to continue spreading the word. Join us in amplifying the voices of Alaa and her colleagues. To invest in justice in Palestine, please donate to Mondoweiss today.

We salute Alaa, Jamal, and all those who persist in telling the truth despite the risks involved. Palestinian reporters face daily threats not only to their livelihood but to their bodies, their freedom, and their families. Mondoweiss is privileged to provide these brave people a means to get their words, photos and videos to the audiences who need to see them. We ask for your support if you agree that Mondoweiss plays a unique role, reaches a unique audience, and is a leader in the essential work of social change for Palestine.

Our thanks to Ahmed Kabariti.

About Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz

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26 Responses

  1. lonely rico
    June 19, 2017, 12:10 pm

    I support Mondoweiss with pleasure, an essential voice to help us find a way to justice in Palestine and an end to the tragedy of Zionism.
    Regret Yakov Hirsch no longer around, not heard from since the end of last year; always appreciated his incisive analysis. Come back Yakov, we miss you.

  2. bintbiba
    June 19, 2017, 4:13 pm

    me too, Yakov !

  3. Eva Smagacz
    June 22, 2017, 5:07 am

    Mondoweiss has changed.

    • Talkback
      June 22, 2017, 9:20 am

      How?

    • Mooser
      June 22, 2017, 4:55 pm

      Mondoweiss is a pretty nice site, but it changes from day to day.

      • Eva Smagacz
        June 22, 2017, 6:27 pm

        Mondoweiss had a raw honesty to it at the beginning. I remember stumbling upon it very very early on and being blown away at the writing.
        Then I was blown away at the intensity and engagement of the comments.
        As the number of people got involved, it started changing from personal site to a site that has more, shall I say, corporate feel to it?
        And the fact that I have to constantly self-monitor and self-adjust what I am writing in comments and wonder if anyone would read it , is something that is new and different.
        One does not need to go more than few of my comments back to know what I mean.

      • Bont Eastlake
        June 22, 2017, 9:57 pm

        It should be a good thing if a site grows and changes as time progresses and more knowledge is discovered. The intellectual rigour of Mondoweiss of recent is greater than it has ever been as a result of Phil Weiss’ unrelenting dedication for truth and justice.

        When facing an enemy like Zionism who fights dirty and hard, we cannot remain stagnant in our moral growth. Problematic ideals and concepts must be identified and chipped away from the raw political conciousness.

      • Eva Smagacz
        June 22, 2017, 10:47 pm

        Bont Eastlake, you wrote:

        “Problematic ideals and concepts must be identified and chipped away from the raw political conciousness”.

        And this job has been delegated to moderators. This is not a job that Phil does himself.
        This is what I mean when I say that Mondoweiss has changed.

        I totally agree with you when you say “Zionism (…) fights dirty and hard.”

        This is clearly visible in changing nature of comments. Anyway, I already wrote about it in late April.

      • Sibiriak
        June 23, 2017, 1:36 am

        Mooser: Mondoweiss is a pretty nice site, but it changes from day to day.
        ——————————

        Yes, but tell me, where do the children play?

      • Sibiriak
        June 23, 2017, 1:42 am

        Bont Eastlake: Problematic ideals and concepts must be identified and chipped away from the raw political conciousness.
        ————–

      • Bont Eastlake
        June 23, 2017, 8:51 am

        Eva,

        With regards to the comments, I am unsure how they have changed since I visit the site mainly for the articles. I feel there is a more coherent outlook and vision when it comes to the choice of writers published here. Very few contradictory or incompatible ideas and concepts can be found despite the ever growing number of articles as well as increasing depth and complexity of their contents.

        I really can’t fault Phil for choosing to delegate the moderation process. I’m sure its not an easy job, and its certainly a thankless one!

      • Mooser
        June 23, 2017, 2:55 pm

        “I visit the site mainly for the articles”

        Of course you do, “Bont”

        So that’s why you change your user-name after getting banned, so you can read the articles. Makes perfect sense.

      • Keith
        June 26, 2017, 10:23 am

        EVA SMAGACZ- “And the fact that I have to constantly self-monitor and self-adjust what I am writing in comments….”

        Tell me about it! When the moderation process first went in, I had no problem at all. No surprise as I never consciously violate the rules. Within the last year or so, I have had periodic difficulties discussing particular topics (already under discussion) or using taboo words, even though my comments were very moderate compared to some. A recent example was on the “Burning Zionist” thread where I responded to Jonatan Sousa’s statement that “because Jews could not be safe around the world – in Europe, in Russia and in the Arab world.” This is pure Zionist mythology. I made what I thought was a good response, even quoting Israel Shahak, but to no avail. I changed one word which might offend. No luck. Lately, Mondoweiss seems to be moderated by “kinship” anti-Zionists. Some things just can’t be discussed by certain folks. Some things can no longer be discussed at all. Appeal to Phil? Not my job, not my problem. Mondoweiss is what it is for better or worse and, yes, it has changed, particularly of late. And will this pass moderation?

      • YoniFalic
        June 26, 2017, 12:07 pm

        It’s too bad that Keith and Eva have problems with the moderation. While I occasionally disagree with their postings, they are two of the most historically well-informed commenters.

      • Mooser
        June 26, 2017, 1:26 pm

        “Lately, Mondoweiss seems to be moderated by “kinship” anti-Zionists. Some things just can’t be discussed by certain folks”

        Well, that will certainly help them look favorably on your comments. You told them off, right down to the obfuscatory quotes on “kinship”.

      • Keith
        June 26, 2017, 4:02 pm

        MOOSER- “You told them off, right down to the obfuscatory quotes on “kinship”.”

        Obfuscatory quotes? So when you put “Keith” in quotes you are obfuscating? Who knew? “Kinship” is a term once used frequently by Phil which has a particular meaning other than the generally accepted use of kinship as regards to blood relations. Where I once tended toward “tribalism,” I now agree with Phil that reference to Jewish tribalism no longer captures the essence of the situation in multicultural America where the “tribe” is not formal nor easily identifiable. Rather, “kinship” better captures the informal nature of Jewish communal solidarity, normally including at least some anti-Gentile bias. A quote for you.

        “Therefore, the real test facing both Israeli and diaspora Jews is the test of their self-criticism which must include the critique of the Jewish past. The most important part of such a critique must be detailed and honest confrontation of the Jewish attitude to non-Jews.” (p103, “Jewish History, Jewish Religion,” Israel Shahak)

        As for telling them off, you are the only one with the moxy for that and the juice to pull it off.

      • Mooser
        June 26, 2017, 4:42 pm

        When a comment does not “pass moderation”, is there a “does not pass moderation ” notice, or does the comment simply not get published and eventually disappears from the page?

        How, exactly does it happen?

        “Keith” in quotes…”

        When I put “Keith” in quotes, I am quoting your user name. Since a user-name can be almost anything, from a name to a common word, (“just”) they need to be delineated as a name.

      • Keith
        June 26, 2017, 7:17 pm

        MOOSER- “When a comment does not “pass moderation”, is there a “does not pass moderation ” notice, or does the comment simply not get published and eventually disappears from the page?”

        Oh…my…God! Are you implying that you have never had a comment NOT pass moderation? My man! My MAIN man! FYI, there is no notification or reason given. The comment appears (to you only if logged in) as awaiting moderation. It will then either be posted for all to see or simply disappear. I began to copy and paste my submittals to a submittal file. I delete the ones approved while transferring those which don’t pass moderation to a “Mondoweiss Rejected” file which I started a couple of years ago to keep track of this relatively new phenomenon. My total rejected are not all that high, however, I have to guess as to why and try to recognize some sort of pattern. I can say pretty much anything I like on the global political economy, however, comments regarding Jews and Jewishness are another matter. Jewish history versus Jewish mythology appears to be a very sensitive area.

      • echinococcus
        June 26, 2017, 8:28 pm

        I agree. Most particularly mythology, obscurantism, and tribalism.
        Wold be nice to have advance notice, in the form of some “moderation” document, where the exact rules are written so as not to waste time. I suppose the “moderators” need that, too, as different censors happen to disagree widely about what to censor in the name of Phil.

      • Mooser
        June 27, 2017, 11:20 am

        “Oh…my…God! Are you implying that you have never had a comment NOT pass moderation?”
        .” I delete the ones approved while transferring those which don’t pass moderation to a “Mondoweiss Rejected” file which I started a couple of years ago”

        I’m sure it has happened, many times, but I make it a practice not to check. Been a long time, many comments. Moderation may take five minutes, it may take five days, depending on circumstances. A comment may get lost. Maybe I’m late on my cable bill, and Xfinity is pissed.

        If a comment doesn’t go to the page right away, or I don’t see it next time I look, I shrug, and say (to my cat or dog, I do not talk to myself out loud on a regular basis, no matter what my wife says) “They must be busy bringing us news and information” and forget about it.

        And “Keith” what if I only dreamed or hallucinated that I wrote a comment, and then launched all kinds of angry missives the next day over a comment which was never there in the first place? That would not improve my credibility.

        But I do recognize the basic unfairness in the commenting system: Mondo can delete my comments anytime, before or after publication, whereas we get about 15 minutes, and we’re stuck with it.

      • Mooser
        June 27, 2017, 12:13 pm

        “Keith” I just took a good look at my comment archive, and I intend to start keeping track like you do.
        I am absolutely positive I did not write some of those comments. They’re ridiculous, and the jokes are, well, awful.

      • Keith
        June 27, 2017, 3:41 pm

        MOOSER- “Keith” I just took a good look at my comment archive, and I intend to start keeping track like you do.”

        With the number of comments you make that will be difficult, perhaps not even possible. Better to continue what you are doing and simply overwhelm the system with old jokes. If even half are approved, you will continue to be numero uno. Time to resurrect “big of me”?

      • Mooser
        June 27, 2017, 5:39 pm

        “If even half are approved…”

        I’ll know it’s time to go on the stage! The next one out of town, that is.

  4. Mooser
    June 26, 2017, 1:07 pm

    “Jonatan Sousa!” My Dad used to sing a song by him. Started like this:

    ♫”Be kind to your web-footed friend, for the duck may be somebody’s Mother…”♫♪

    But he never would sing the rest, I think it got pretty NSFW after that.

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