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.