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Why I Do The Work, And Why I Need Your Help

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In spite of the dark news from so many directions, I feel compelled to write my thanks today. Thanks to you and so many other people who believe in Mondoweiss, I feel deeply fortunate, humbled and yet—yes—proud, for the community and work I’ve been drawn into these past several years.

For decades as a journalist, I operated as a loner. I interviewed people about their lives, and did my best to convey their experiences accurately and vividly for readers. But then I retreated to my own private world. My personal ties were to a fairly small set of others also living in atomized, privileged circumstances.

Today, I feel that I am part of a joyful, creative, energetic movement and community. You are among thousands, tens of thousands of people around the world who share my passion for telling the truth about Palestine and U.S. policy. You and I work daily to channel our grief and outrage at intolerable acts into meaningful information and action that can lead to changes on the ground.

I am lucky. Lucky to have found the cause that penetrated my bubble, awakened me to the real difference I could make using the skills I’ve developed. Lucky to have found partners in the work who have taken the blog I created, thirteen years ago, and helped grow it to become an institution: a trusted news source and forum for broad discussion. And deeply grateful to be accepted as an ally and a friend by those whose world has been damaged beyond belief—destroyed in key ways—by people and a state who claim to represent me.

Because of you, Mondoweiss has grown to serve beyond what I imagined it could. Because of you, I can describe with immense pride the work we’ve done this year to tell the truth of the Great March of Return. The New York Times should have been at the fence, telling the stories of people like Anas Minerawi and Dalia Khalifa. Instead, they chose to repeat the lies of the oppressors. But we found ways—thanks to you—to get firsthand stories of Gazans who risked their lives for freedom.

I am proud that we published these stories, and that we paid the people who reported on these essential facts. Thanks to the remarkable community who believes in this work, we have hired talented journalists and helped emerging writers and photographers in Palestine spread urgently needed information while also developing their skills.

I never dreamed that in my sixties, I would be part of a scrappy little organization, strengthened by others who would work with me to jab constantly at the injustices and hypocrisies of powerful establishments. I liked the description of journalism’s mission as “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,” but I did not see myself working for this mission side by side with others who know and are among the afflicted.

Thank you for making Mondoweiss a tool for liberation far beyond what I thought it could be, and for embracing me and joining me to a larger community. Thank you—and please don’t stop.

Sometimes in the past I have been shy about asking for donations. There are so many wonderful organizations that deserve your support, and mine. But when I look at the function Mondoweiss performed this year—at the stories we shared and the brave people we paid for their work, using your contributions!—I realize that the time for shame or shyness has passed.

I ask you today, as I have before and will in the future, to invest in Mondoweiss as a community and as a tool for change. So many people in Palestine and around the world depend on our work, and we depend on you. Thank you for all you’ve made possible, and please—give now.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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7 Responses

  1. Danaa on December 27, 2018, 9:30 pm

    Eloquent. Now I better go and find a few $’s in cupboard for another worthy cause.

    Phil, I know you get criticized not just for what is put out but also for what isn’t. I know many consider this to be a limited hangout” for those with a “dog in the fight” – Jews and Palestinians.

    But as a commenter – and a sometime poster – I have been grateful to have this place, both to voice my opinions and to take on others’. The forums and the many capable commenters over the years have been critical to the development of my own thinking about many more topics than I can mention. I have actually learnt a lot and also acquired not a few friends over time (oh, enemies too. can’t help but love them too!). I often send people to Mondoweiss to learn about the I/P conflict and am probably responsible for not a few lurkers.

    That being said, I just wish more people from israel proper would care to interject now and then. I realize it’s not easy and the language barrier is substantial (the many erudite contributors here probably discourage those who are perhaps less fluent in English). Perhaps, one possible undertaking could be to offer a weekly Hebrew language compendium of some of the posts of the week? Oh, I know what some of the commenters from there would be like (when allowed to speak Hebrew) but despite the trouble, it may be worthwhile to find a way to appeal to the few fellow thinkers over there?

    • philweiss on December 31, 2018, 11:49 am

      Hi Danaa, thanks I have learned a ton here too, so that’s good to hear.
      I like the idea of the HEbrew language compendium, but there is inevitably an issue with the Arabic compendium, I think it would be hard for us to do one without the other. Though yes: I think it is more important to convince Hebrew speakers than Arabic speakers of what is going on!!
      Thanks for your presence on this site over the years, I have learned from you, best, phil

  2. bcg on December 27, 2018, 10:34 pm

    Careful, Phil – “After legal threats and false allegations from Shurat HaDin-The Israel Law Center, the donation platform Donorbox has temporarily suspended the BDS National Committee’s account, disabling its ability to fundraise for its human rights advocacy at the height of the charity season.”

    Lawfare at its best.

  3. JWalters on December 28, 2018, 12:42 am

    $175,000 is small budget for an enterprise of this size. Clearly it is being sustained to a very great degree by love for the work. It is inspiring work. And I’m sure the people who add the comments often feel a surge of satisfaction when they advance the discussion with a cogent fact or insight. And the readers equally feel surges of inspiration from the many steps toward justice they read about on these pages. These surges of satisfaction and inspiration are literally nourishing. They reward our natural intuitive awareness that we are more than animals in the wild. They help give our lives meaning and make us feel alive. Let’s take care of this important source of nourishment for justice, society, and ourselves.

  4. Generalist on December 29, 2018, 9:16 am

    @Danaa, @bcg and @JWalters, thanks so much for your thoughtful and generous responses.

    Tova here, the team member responsible for managing these fundraising campaigns and other aspects of our community outreach. I just wanted to clarify that while JWalters is right, Mondoweiss is absolutely being sustained by love for the work (I agree with Phil that we are incredibly lucky to do it), we should be clear that $175,000 is not our entire annual budget. We set that number as our year-end goal as just one part of our fundraising efforts for the whole year – for which our plan this year is $610,000 total.

    If you’re interested in seeing how we will spend the $610,000 (our largest budget yet, thanks to committed supporters), check out And if you’d like to see how the funds come in, have a look at

    Cheers and thanks again!

  5. philweiss on December 31, 2018, 11:50 am

    Thanks Generalist! phil

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