May I tell you a story?
A reporter sits outside a Palestinian refugee camp waiting to be allowed in as a curfew is being lifted. Palestinians have been caged in their homes for days– a common collective punishment. They risk being arrested or shot if they emerge during curfew.
A delivery truck pulls up to the gates of the camp. Israeli soldiers tell the driver to open the back, which is filled with bread. Soldiers pull the bread from the truck, rip open the bags, and methodically stomp the fresh loaves into the dirt. Hungry Palestinian children watch.
It’s 1987. The camp is in Gaza. The reporter is me.
The callous inhumanity of that moment shocked me to the core. It still does today.
Like many, I was raised to believe in Israel as the valiant little democracy in a sea of hate. Thanks to Israel’s efforts to erase Palestine and Palestinians, western education systems and media fail miserably to unmask systemic oppression in Palestine. For most of us not born to it, it often takes a spark — something specific we can point to — that begins to untangle the knot and make us dig deeper for the truth.
For many people Mondoweiss is that spark. A story forwarded. A link clicked. Questions begin to form. Wheels start to turn.
Since I joined Mondoweiss last month, many of you have generously shared with me your own stories. How you have been barred from returning to the land where you were born. Your grandfather’s vibrant memories of the family home in Jaffa. Or the watershed moments when you began to question your assumptions: a child reading Noam Chomsky in college; a brief, unplanned side trip to the Holy Land during a visit to Jordan; an obscure book picked up at a library sale.
Whatever the experience, you came to Mondoweiss for the voices and stories that aren’t found in mainstream media – the stories that keep Palestine visible.
It’s a privilege to hear these stories – each one a powerful reminder of the importance of truth-tellers and justice seekers. Mondoweiss keeps Palestine visible and Palestinian voices loud. That takes a cadre of courageous writers and editors and you — all of you — who read and support Mondoweiss, who post and share stories, who talk to your friends and colleagues.
Now in its 15th year, Mondoweiss stands bravely as a critical, necessary voice challenging the myths that go unquestioned and un-examined.
Please continue to give generously now to keep Mondoweiss strong – and Palestine visible.