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.”
Starting in June 2017, in the series “They fear the truth–we report it,” Mondoweiss is sharing the experiences of journalists and activists working in Palestine who have been attacked by the Israeli government and its defenders. The clampdown proves it: The work Mondoweiss presents daily, from hundreds of brave reporters and photographers, makes a real difference. So throughout this series, we are also asking for your contribution to sustain and expand this essential service.
Every effort to silence the truth shows the urgent need to invest in more truth-telling. We ask that you donate to help Mondoweiss continue informing the world of what happens in Palestine, and how U.S. policy underwrites the oppression.
Following are excerpts and links to each of the messages in this series. We are grateful to the thousands of individuals who have supported Mondoweiss in so many ways over the years.
Post #1: Support Mondoweiss to keep brave journalists reporting news, by Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz
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.
I felt nervous and scared. What could an intelligence officer want from a new journalism graduate who had not started his career yet? Part of me thought he would arrest me and put me in jail. Would this officer put an end to my dream career? Many questions came to mind and all were frightening.Just about every Palestinian journalist has had at least one experience similar to mine. Israel’s attempts to neutralize our profession take many forms, from bullying to physical force to bribes.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an independent nonprofit dedicated to defending journalists’ rights worldwide to report without reprisal, monitors eight types of government action against journalists. They track cases where journalists are attacked [physically]; censored; expelled; harassed; imprisoned; killed; subject to legal action; or threatened. Every one of these kinds of violation has been documented on the part of Israel—some by Mondoweiss, some by CPJ and other independent watchdogs.
Post #5: ‘A camera and not a gun’: photojournalism as my weapon for justice, by Hamde Abu Rahme
Post #6: ‘It’s a privilege to report through Mondoweiss’: risks of working as a foreign-based journalist in Palestine, interview by Tova Perlmutter
Once when I was leaving a closed village, the way we had sneaked in was blocked. After a while we realized the only way out was a dirt path guarded by Israeli military. We stopped the car a couple hundred meters away as the soldiers yelled. They pointed their guns at the car and gestured for us to retreat.
I slowly got out of the car, with my hands in the air. I stood there, screaming “American” and “English” at the top of my lungs. Finally, the soldiers called me over.
Mondoweiss is able to publish news from Palestine only because contributions from people like you support brave reporters in the field delivering the news only they can. This year, we are spending well over $100,000 to recruit, translate, edit and of course pay the freelance journalists who take such risks to share the truth with you and the world. We are a nonprofit operation, with a shoestring budget, and we spend as much as we possibly can to keep reporters and photographers in the field doing their best work.
When my student feedback came in after the term, one student was bold enough to write “This guy is against Israel, so I stopped going to class.” I realized the students probably learned about me from Facebook pages that post photos of “traitors.” They intended to send me a message: If I won’t toe the line of supremacist ideology, I can be no part of Israeli society.
Post #9: Who could have known how right I was? Why they fear the truth, by Adam Horowitz
Last year, I wrote a satirical post titled “Birthright ends trips to Israel — ‘American Jews are better off imagining Israel than seeing it.’” Who could have known how right I was! Last month, a PR group that works closely with Birthright released a study that they admitted shows that the more Americans learn about Israel, the less they support it. This explains why Israel’s supporters fear the truth: people who learn about Israel’s actions understandably come to reject them. And that’s why Mondoweiss is committed to spreading the truth far and wide.