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The stories we keep telling – with your help – despite efforts to silence us

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For our summer fundraising drive, “One Story At A Time,” Mondoweiss staffers are sharing stories we’ve published that inspire their work to share the truth about Palestine. Today’s message is from Phil Weiss, Founder and Senior Editor of Mondoweiss. Read on to learn about what drives Phil — and please give now. A loyal donor has pledged $20,000 if we can raise $60,000 by August 1.

It is said that the Polish-German Jewish Communist Rosa Luxemburg claimed “The most revolutionary thing one can do is always to proclaim loudly what is happening.” I’m deeply moved by that statement. I share the conviction that to achieve much-needed change in supremely unjust conditions, we are called to shout from the rooftops all that we know of oppression.

At Mondoweiss, we believe that by giving a megaphone to those suffering for a free Palestine, we are serving the cause of justice. And this summer, we are highlighting the best examples of what we publish as a basis for asking you to contribute today. Can you donate to help us meet the current challenge from one of our most steadfast supporters? Reader support is the lifeblood of Mondoweiss, and your gifts make our work possible.

Support Mondoweiss's work today.

We don’t tell Palestinians’ stories for them. They tell their stories for the world. Here’s an example of what I mean. Whether you are immersed in the movement or are an occasional reader, you have likely heard about the unjust detentions of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners. But Mondoweiss was able to take you beyond the number, to share the story Dareen Tatour told about her friend Shorouk Duyat, whom she met and became close to while being held in Hasharon Prison.

Thanks to Mondoweiss, these women shared with you their memories of laughing sadly while bonding over poetry and painting, dreaming of a different life, of a friendship under different circumstances. Dareen was released from prison in 2018, and we are proud that she is now a regular contributor to Mondoweiss, but her dear friend Shorouk is still imprisoned. Dareen says: “Shorouk Duyat is a story that I will keep telling. I will always remember her.”

Those words from Dareen stuck with me: “a story that I will keep telling.” That is how I view our fight to tell the truth about Palestine. It is a story that we must keep telling, despite efforts to drown us out, to silence us, or to whitewash and erase what is happening.

Dareen spent nearly three years jailed and under house arrest on charges of incitement and support for terror organizations after she published her poem “Resist, My People, Resist Them” on social media. We covered her imprisonment and trial, and contacted her to write for Mondoweiss soon after her release. Contributors like her are the heartbeat of the work we do. These snapshots of their lives and relationships, like Dareen’s friendship with Sharouk, are the real human stories that can change minds about Palestine.

I’d like to express my gratitude to you for everything this site has managed to do. Thanks to you and your donations, our passionate, creative, and energetic staff continues to grow, and our reporting reaches all corners of the world. We wouldn’t be able to spread the truth about Palestine without our readers and supporters. Each story that you read, share, and contribute to make possible is a story that we can trace to another story, connecting the dots into something much larger.

Each small snapshot of humanity adds up to one great truth about what is happening in Palestine. Thanks to you, we have the amazing opportunity to make a difference in one of the great issues of our time, one story at a time.

Support Mondoweiss's work today.

I hope you understand how important it is that you continue to support the work we do, so we can keep sharing these stories, featuring voices like Dareen and Sharouk, with the world. I ask you today to invest in Mondoweiss as a community and as a tool for change, because stories like these can and do drive change. All it takes is one.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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5 Responses

  1. eljay on July 22, 2019, 7:31 am

    Donation made. Keep up the good work.  :-)

  2. Misterioso on July 22, 2019, 9:27 am

    I just received this timely article from a Canadian friend:

    https://www.straight.com/news/1269001/martha-and-marty-roth-two-jewish-canadians-fear-freedom-condemn-israels-brutal

    Commentary: “Martha and Marty Roth: Two Jewish Canadians fear freedom to condemn Israel’s brutal occupation today may be hate speech tomorrow”

    The Georgia straight, July 20/19, Vancouver, Canada

    “Two elderly Jewish Canadians are writing this opinion piece against the motion to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, which Vancouver city council will consider at their meetings on July 23 and 24.

    “The definition in question reads as follows: ‘Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.’

    “The definition addresses Jewish antisemitism only, ignoring the more flagrant expressions of racist hatred targeting the Muslim, First Nations, East or South Asian and black communities of Canada. But more to the point, the examples of antisemitism appended to the definition mostly concern criticisms of Israel rather than anti-Semitic statements, and thus, we believe, serve as serious checks on free speech.

    “As Canadians who lived through the Second World War, we are extremely sensitive to antisemitism, but what disturbs us almost as much as antisemitism itself are the manufactured incidents of antisemitism and the inflated fear of antisemitism that have been increasing of late, often at the expense of our Muslim fellow citizens.

    “We remember a time when Jewish students changed their names before applying to medical school or law school, because these had quotas for Jews; a time when a boatload of Jewish refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe was turned away from North American ports, because ‘none is too many.’ These are examples of genuine antisemitism, and we don’t believe their equivalents can be found today in Canada or the U.S. But minor slurs, the kind that are protected by our charter’s guarantees of free speech, are solemnly reported as major incidents.

    “A relevant case in point is Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung’s contention that ‘Statistics Canada reports that members of the Jewish community are the most frequently targeted ethno-cultural group when it comes to police-reported hate crimes.’ We have searched the Internet for Statistics Canada postings, and we can find no such statement.

    “The most recent of these covers police-reported hate crimes for 2017 and what it tells us is that in 2017 reported hate crimes targeting Muslims increased more than 207 percent, crimes targeting black populations more than 84 percent, and those targeting Jewish populations more than 41 percent, and that hate crimes in 2017 represented only 0.1 percent of the more than 1.9 million non-traffic crimes reported by police services that year.

    “In Alberta and British Columbia combined, there were only 68 reported anti-Jewish hate crimes. In Vancouver that number was 19. But what we should bear in mind is that 85 percent of the anti-Semitic hate crimes were acts of mischief, that violence is enacted against Muslims not Jews. Organizations like B’nai B’rith go to extravagant lengths to convince us that antisemitism is a growing problem in Canada. It isn’t. What is growing is disapproval of Israeli policies as recent surveys indicate.

    “While it is true that antisemitism along with other prejudices have no place in Canadian society, the IHRA definition is both too broad and too vague to combat these hatreds. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (and the Ontario Civil Liberties Association) has judged the definition too vague to serve as a basis for administrative or legal action. The City of Vancouver already has sanctions in place that discourage or outlaw declarations of Islamophobia, white supremacy, antisemitism, and other forms of racism. They should be invoked in instances of genuine antisemitism.

    “Today, if we say that Israel has been engaged for 61 years in the brutal occupation of lands conquered in war and held in defiance of international law, that is protected speech, even if you disagree with it. Will it be a hate crime tomorrow?”

    Martha and Marty Roth are residents of Vancouver.

  3. Misterioso on July 22, 2019, 9:38 am

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-israel-s-right-wing-is-worse-than-europe-s-1.7540538?utm_term=20190719-03%3A08&utm_campaign=Zeev+Sternhell&utm_medium=email&writerAlerts=true&utm_content=www.haaretz.com%2Fopinion%2F.premium–1.7540538&utm_source=smartfocus

    Opinion “Israel’s Right Wing Is Worse Than Europe’s” by Zeev Sternhell, Haaretz, July 19/19

    “From the end of the 19th century, radical, anti-liberal nationalism – after serving as a basis for fascism throughout Europe and Nazism in Germany, and despite calling itself an ideology of national unity – essentially became an ideology of civil war. Hostility toward different categories of citizens, not just ethnic minorities but ideological adversaries, became a primary tool of nationalists. So it was in the past and so it is today in countries where vicious nationalism rules: From ostensibly democratic India, which abuses its minorities, to Poland and Hungary, to Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israel, which is consciously moving toward becoming an apartheid state.

    “In truth, the Israeli right, which maintains the settlements with their racist, backward rabbis, is much worse that the European nationalist right, which is wary of displaying open racism and anti-Semitism, lest it be accused of fostering an ideology akin to Nazism. Here we have no such problem because hey, we’re all Jews, and who would dare accuse a Jew of approximating the kind of Nazi ideology that preceded World War II? Therefore we get an education minister who is ignorant, not just on sexual matters but also of history, feeling no qualms about calling for the annexation of millions of Arabs while cynically denying them of political rights.

    “In all Europe, the pre-fascist and pre-Nazi nationalists were united in their hatred of human rights and enlightened principles, of socialists, intellectuals, pluralism and democratic government based on a division of authority. The Polish government and the Netanyahu government are similar not only because both foster hatred among their citizens as a tool of governing, but because they are both promoting a historical fabrication industry on a colossal scale.

    “It is thus highly significant that radical nationalism, which fueled Europe’s disaster in the 20th century, developed not only in Germany in the form of revolutionary conservatism but also in the France of the human rights revolution of 1789. The Jews were its greatest victims but not its only victims. Anti-Semitism was not an accident that happened to European history, nor did fascism and Nazism suddenly land from outer space.

    “The craft of lying and fabrication is an accepted operating method by radical nationalists for inventing a narrative that meets the needs of nationalist politics. Anything goes for the sake of establishing this narrative – from censoring archives, as is the case here, to unprecedented legislation that distorts history, as in Poland (and supported by Israel). Even if everyone knows that atrocities occurred in the War of Independence, the Haaretz investigative report showed us that the Israeli government, like the Polish government, is not only working to conceal facts, but also to ensure that today’s governmental fabrication becomes tomorrow’s truth. Following in the ways of the Poles is a triple betrayal: of the Holocaust’s legacy, of the fight against anti-Semitism and of historical truth.

    “Just as the Poles define anti-Semitism to suit the needs of their national narrative – to their thinking, the nationalist underground that refused to help Jews was not in the least anti-Semitic – so, too, the Israeli right has invented its own definition: Any criticism of Israel; of the occupation; of the call to annex millions of people in total disregard of their desires, their identity and their rights; and of the Bible as the basis for our claim to the territory – is anti-Semitic. The same goes, of course, for a boycott of the settlements and their products, of West Bank tourism and its ‘university’: Likening such a legitimate political act with anti-Semitism is just another fabrication of Jewish history for the sake of Israeli nationalist politics.”

    Zeev Sternhell is a Polish-born Israeli historian, political scientist, commentator on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, and writer. He is one of the world’s leading experts on fascism. Sternhell headed the Department of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and writes for Haaretz newspaper.

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