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If not for Mondoweiss, our new “Return Solidarity” movement would be dancing in the dark

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Why Mondoweiss?

As an Israeli Jew who opposes Israel’s systematic oppression of Palestinians, I appreciate Mondoweiss immensely. The site connects me with others, who like myself, want equal rights for all. It also serves as a platform for the Palestinian grassroots activists I work to support, as they work to free Palestine.

This year, when I responded to the call of Gaza activists and joined the Great March of Return with other Israeli activists under the banner “Return Solidarity,” I was surprised that our actions were not picked up by the mainstream media. Our movement grew, but journalists we contacted failed to show up. We were being stonewalled.

Mondoweiss, however, had our backs as always and covered our actions from Day 1.

Those of us who went to the Gaza fence this year were inspired by the courageous Palestinian mass mobilization. This is like the origin of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) when my activism began in the West Bank 18 years ago, in response to the Second Intifada.

The Israeli military responded to both the Intifada and the Great March of Return in the same way. By systematically murdering unarmed Palestinian demonstrators. And in both cases the official bodies of the international community stood by and continued doing business with Israel as usual.

But in those first months of the second intifada, Israeli protests were a novelty and the mainstream media swarmed to us. Journalists covered my actions who would not interview the Palestinians I was there to support. My access to the media is part of the privilege I hold as a white, Ashkenazi Jew living in a white supremacist system. And I’m sure part of the reason we got coverage was that journalists who fear being called anti-Semitic consider covering Israeli and international activists safer than reporting on Palestinians.

By contrast, “Return Solidarity” is being ignored by all but a few. Those few include Mondoweiss, to our gratitude and the good fortune of readers everywhere. Along with activists such as videographer Haim Schwarzenberg and Jewish Voice for Peace, Mondoweiss enables our message to reach many thousands of people around the globe despite the mainstream news blockade.

It took me time to understand why a growing movement of Israelis struggling together with Palestinians was being ignored. A journalist friend explained to me it was because of our message supporting the Right of Return. If we called just for lifting of the medieval siege of Gaza we would get covered.

This silencing enables people who consider themselves leftists to support continued ethnic cleansing by claiming that the Right of Return is “impractical.” Thanks to the media’s self-censorship, such people never have to admit their assumption that Jewish discomfort is real and should be avoided but Palestinian suffering doesn’t exist or doesn’t matter. They don’t need to consider whether it is it “impractical” to keep millions of people as refugees barred from their homeland—and kill whoever attempts to return.

If not for Mondoweiss and others who share our commitment to a just peace in Palestine, our new movement of “Return Solidarity” would be dancing in the dark. But Mondoweiss strikes blows that make cracks in the English-speaking world’s stone wall of silence about Israeli colonialism and apartheid.

I am grateful for Mondoweiss, and I consider it essential reading for anyone wanting access to more than what the mainstream is allowed to tell you.

P.S. I hope you agree with me that Mondoweiss provides a vital service to counter how the mainstream press has rendered invisible and irrelevant the plight of over 7.2 million people who were expelled and are still denied access to their homeland. Yes, we need Mondoweiss—and for the site to continue delivering the stories and images suppressed elsewhere, you and I must invest in its capacity. Please give today.

Neta Golan
About Neta Golan

Neta Golan is a co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement. She lives in the occupied West Bank with her Palestinian husband and their three beautiful daughters- an illegal act under Israeli apartheid law.

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  1. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson on December 29, 2018, 12:33 pm

    RE: “I hope you agree with me that Mondoweiss provides a vital service . . . Please give today.” ~ Neta Golan

    MY COMMENT: I just made a second donation.

    RE: “The Israeli military responded to both the Intifada and the Great March of Return in the same way. By systematically murdering unarmed Palestinian demonstrators. And in both cases the official bodies of the international community stood by and continued doing business with Israel as usual.” ~ Neta Golan

    SEE: “The Dogs of War: The Next Intifada”, By Uri Avnery, Counterpunch, 9/03/11

    [EXCERPT] . . . The second (“al-Aqsa”) intifada started after the breakdown of the 2000 Camp David conference and Ariel Sharon’s deliberately provocative “visit” to the Temple Mount. The Palestinians held non-violent mass demonstrations. The army responded with selective killings. A sharpshooter accompanied by an officer would take position in the path of the protest, and the officer would point out selected targets – protesters who looked like “ringleaders”. They were killed.

    This was highly effective. Soon the non-violent demonstrations ceased and were replaced by very violent (“terrorist”) actions. With those the army was back on familiar ground.

    All in all, during the second intifada 4546 Palestinians were killed, of whom 882 were children, as against 1044 Israelis, 716 of them civilians, including 124 children. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/09/02/the-next-intifada/

    P.S. ALSO SEE: “Netanyahu: Stupid Like a Fox?” | By Uri Avnery | Antiwar.com | June 13, 2011

    (EXCERPT) . . . Last week, there was a repeat performance. The Palestinians all around Israel have declared June 5 “Naksa” Day, to commemorate the “Setback” of 1967, when Israel spectacularly defeated the armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, reinforced by elements from the Iraqi and Saudi armies.

    This time, the Israeli army was prepared. The fence was reinforced and an anti-tank ditch dug in front of it. When the demonstrators tried to reach the fence—again near Majdal Shams—they were shot by sharpshooters. Some 22 were killed, and many dozens were wounded. The Palestinians report that people trying to rescue the wounded and retrieve the dead were also shot and killed.

    No doubt this was a deliberate tactic decided upon in advance by the army command after the Naqba Day fiasco and approved by Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak. As was said quite openly, the Palestinians had to be taught a lesson they would not forget, so as to drive any idea of an unarmed mass action out of their minds.

    It is frighteningly reminiscent of events 10 years ago. After the first Intifada, in which stone-throwing youngsters and children won a moral victory that led to the Oslo agreement, our army conducted exercises in anticipation of a second Intifada. This broke out after the political disaster of Camp David, and the army was ready.

    The new Intifada started with mass demonstrations of unarmed Palestinians. They were met by specially trained sharpshooters. Next to each sharpshooter stood an officer who pointed out the individuals who were to be shot because they looked like ringleaders: “The guy in the red shirt… Now the boy with the blue trousers…”

    The unarmed uprising broke down and was replaced by suicide bombers, roadside bombs, and other “terrorist” acts. With those our army was on familiar ground.

    I suspect very much that we are witnessing much the same thing once more. Again, specially trained sharpshooters are at work, directed by officers. . .

    SOURCE – http://original.antiwar.com/avnery/2011/06/12/netanyahu-stupid-like-a-fox/

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