EI Reader Appeal: You count on us, can we count on you?

A Palestinian boy walks past an Israeli soldier in Jerusalem. (MaanImages)

[Eyad] will never see the face of the Israeli soldier who killed his father, nor receive reparations for the life he will live. And the Israeli soldier will never realize what he has done or whom he has hurt, for he has dehumanized Palestinians as well as himself. For a fellow human being would at least consider for a brief second while he aimed his rifle that the man in his sights was someone’s father and was loved dearly by his wife and had a whole life ahead of him, one cut short with the pull of a faceless soldier’s trigger.

— Yassmin Moor, writing about Eyad, a five-month old boy who will grow up without his father Jamalat, shot dead by an Israeli sniper while sitting on the porch of his house in the town of Sufa, occupied Gaza Strip. “A life cut short,” The Electronic Intifada, 24 October 2007

For 365 days each year, the Electronic Intifada (EI) team works hard to tell the stories of the people of Palestine and to provide a forum for them to speak for themselves. We are determined to ensure that they are not silenced, nor are their lives and struggles forgotten. As the year draws to a close, we count on many of our readers to make a donation to allow us to continue our educational work for another year. Without that support EI simply could not exist.

As the leading online publication in English on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, EI receives over sixty thousand visits each month from readers in virtually every country in the world. Widely respected for providing sober analyses, eloquent commentaries, and breaking news reports from trusted on-the-ground reporters, EI has become a key resource for journalists, diplomats, activists, educators and all who feel ill-served by conventional media which produce a lot of noise about Palestine-Israel and the Middle East but very little light.

Here are some highlights of our work in 2007:

  • Responding to the bloody battles between Hamas and Fatah, which peaked during the summer with Hamas’ takeover of the Gaza Strip, EI served as a forum for critical debate and introspection regarding the future of the Palestinian national movement. EI thoroughly covered the human rights and legal dimensions of the internal divisions, and published first-person narratives by and about those affected, including the impact on thousands of Palestinians stranded on the borders of Gaza. We helped readers make sense of the violence by providing facts and analysis about the interference of Israel, the United States and regional actors as Palestinian civilians found themselves caught in the middle.
  • The crisis in Palestine was heightened by the suffocating economic sanctions imposed on the Palestinian people by Israel and the US-led Quartet. EI provided original reporting on the devastating effects of this siege. Thanks to the financial support of dedicated readers, we were able to give stipends to independent Palestinian journalists for reporting and photography. We plan to expand our direct coverage in 2008 so that Palestinians can speak without the distortion of the mainstream media.
  • While the Palestinian economy further declined as a result of this siege, there was no respite from Israeli incursions and violence destroying lives, livelihoods and property. In February, Israel launched “Operation Hot Winter,” targeting Nablus. EI featured breaking news video of the attacks, published only hours after they occurred. One of these videos featured an interview with a child used as a human shield by Israeli soldiers.
  • During 2007, it wasn’t just Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip who were under attack. EI covered the struggles of Palestinian citizens of Israel — such as former Knesset member Azmi Bishara — as they faced an increasingly vicious Israeli government backlash to their demands for full equality in a state of all its citizens. Bishara, a key leader of this movement, wrote an eloquent commentary about his case after he was forced into exile to escape prosecution on political charges.
  • As participants in the Palestine solidarity movement and prominent personalities such as President Jimmy Carter generated growing debate about Israeli “apartheid,” a one or two-state solution, boycott and divestment, and the role of the Israel lobby, EI covered all these issues, as well as the campaigns by US pro-Israel groups to intimidate university students and academics into silence.
  • EI continues to provide unrivalled coverage of Palestinian culture, including arts and music and reviews of the newest films and books on Palestine.

Because so many people place their confidence in us, EI runs a very tight ship. Seventy five cents of every dollar we receive goes to support the dedicated staff of editors and reporters who keep EI going day after day. The rest is used to pay for servers, computers, subscriptions, internet and other services and equipment we need. To find out more, please visit the About EI section on the website.

Many readers tell us that they rely on EI’s quality and consistency, and above all its independence and integrity. We have exciting plans to improve the site in 2008. To maintain our work and continue to grow we must raise $55,000 from individual donors towards our 2008 costs. We do a lot of work with modest means, so every donation counts.

The EI Project is a program service of the Middle East Cultural and Charitable Society, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. Donations by US taxpayers are tax-deductible.

It’s easy, quick and secure to make a donation online. Just click on Donate Now. You can make a one-time credit card donation in any amount you choose. Or, you can make a recurring monthly donation at a level that is sustainable for you. It’s a great way to support EI all year round and you can cancel or update it at any time. Online donations are processed by Groundspring, a service operated by the Tides Foundation, a highly respected nonprofit organization which will automatically send you a receipt for your tax records.

With deep appreciation and best wishes for the Holiday Season and the New Year.