Here is the latest message in our series, “Be The Mondoweiss Megaphone.” As we provide examples of how individuals can use their own personal stories and network to amplify voices published in Mondoweiss, we also ask that you contribute financially to help us get the word to thousands more people.
The goal for this midyear campaign is to raise $50,000 by July 15. As of today, with one week left, we have received 210 donations totaling $17,585. We can make our goal—but only with your help.
When you give to Mondoweiss, what are you investing in?
You are helping bring to light stories like the piece Dan Cohen wrote about two-year-old Ahmad Najjar and his family, forced to live in a metal shipping container since Israel bombed their home in 2014. Billions were pledged for rebuilding, but almost none has started. The uninsulated containers were iceboxes in winter, dangerously hot now, and have been flooded with rainwater and sewage.
You are making possible coverage like the photo essay by Abed Al Qaisi that we published on Nakba Day 2015, revealing the lives of Palestinian refugees in Iraq never seen in mainstream American media. Here, Khadra Ibrahim shows her refugee documents. Now in her fourth refugee camp, Ibrahim was born in a refugee camp in Syria several years after the Nakba.
You are enabling us to provide essential information such as Allison Deger’s reporting on the Joint Arab List which won a historic number of seats in the Knesset but was virtually ignored in other press outlets.
Here’s what it takes to bring you the news no one else provides about Palestine and Israel. In 2014, operating Mondoweiss cost about $250,000. Sixty percent of that budget—less than $160,000—was used to provide our staff of five with some livelihood. The remaining expenses were split fairly evenly between freelance content; web hosting; travel and equipment; and legal and financial services.
For 2015, we are on track to significantly expand what the site offers. By increasing our budget to $300,000, we will improve our web tools, so that they have the flexibility and reliability to provide more content, faster, in new and original ways. We will work with social media experts to increase our reach to hundreds of thousands who don’t yet see the content available on Mondoweiss. And we will visit cities where we can get to know members of the Mondoweiss community in order to serve you better.
Here is an excerpt from the message we received from one reader sharing his goals for the site, and his experience spreading the word about the vital issues we cover.
“As I see it, both of the main things you do—covering the American Jewish community and covering the occupation/apartheid in Israel/Palestine—are so absolutely necessary.
“In terms of your organizational priorities, anything you can do to elevate your own investigative journalism has very high returns, IMO, even if it’s expensive to run in the short term and the stories are legitimately very difficult to run down. For instance, that story about how the IDF violently targets Palestinian soccer players…If it’s a matter of hiring experienced people to run that kind of thing down, I would think that’s worth it in the end (not to mention a compelling priority for at least this contributor).”
“More generally, the most gratifying thing to me for which I can thank you is what just happened to me last weekend and has several times before: I was in northern NJ, where I grew up, for my elementary school best friend’s engagement party. Two of our other friends who were at the party, both black—whom I hadn’t seen in 10 or so years—said to me, basically: ‘You’re the only Jew I know with the balls to post about Palestine on Facebook.’
“That triggered 45 minutes of talking about how screwed up things are in Palestine and Israel proper, with them repeatedly saying ‘but we can’t talk about this,’ and I said outright, ‘but I can.’ Meaning that, the reason I link to your stuff and engage in the online flamewars is because we need to create a shield for the rest of the country to have their voices heard as a counterweight to organized Zionism.
“I had an almost identical conversation a few months ago with an extremely wealthy and well-connected woman I went to high school with. My point is that I’m convinced a huge latent, bipartisan and diverse mass of people exists who think Israel is screwed up. They would be ripe to be plucked (to use an unfortunate metaphor) in the service of overturning our disastrous foreign policy, when the time comes for organized political action (hopefully ASAP).
“So anyway, please continue to make all the nice Jewish boys and girls who grew up at their fancy suburban temples uncomfortable. It’s amazing to me that almost the entire Jewish establishment is on board with the ongoing mission to make Judaism identical with Israel’s policies and existence. As more people realize that and the horrors they’re being signed up for unknowingly, they’ll polarize into the aggressive self-delusionists who stick with it and the conscientious who seek out an alternative Judaism.”
We are touched by this story, which shows once again the impact when one person discloses to others, simply and sincerely, their personal feelings and stake in justice for Palestinians.
Each of you has your own reasons for visiting Mondoweiss, a unique news operation that serves an amazing community of activists and thinkers. Please donate today to help us raise $50,000 by July 15, and tell us what Mondoweiss means to you. Without your support, none of this would be possible.
Previous messages in Be The Mondoweiss Megaphone included
- “Help Mondoweiss Turn Up The Volume,” which launched the campaign;
- “My journey from Zionism to Palestine solidarity,” personal reflections by Mondoweiss co-editor Adam Horowitz;
- “Spread the Word,” in which we announced the weekly Mondoweiss newsletter;
- “Real-World Impact,” where we offered ideas on how to boost the volume of Mondoweiss voices through daily conversations and public expressions of your views; and
- “I believe I can make a difference in my lifetime,” the story of Mondoweiss team member Annie Robbins.