Help EI keep the light shining on Palestine in 2009

A Palestinian girl near the seaport in Gaza City. (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages)

As you read this, one and a half million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are without access to food, medicine or fuel from outside the tiny territory. Half of the bakeries in Gaza have shut down, and others have resorted to baking bread with animal feed. This is not the result of a natural disaster, but the intended consequence of a political decision by Israel’s government.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip an “abomination” and said that the international community’s “silence and complicity” about the crisis in Palestine “shames us all.”

For almost eight years, The Electronic Intifada (EI) has worked to break the silence, expose the complicity, and give voice to those working for a different world. Every day, educators, activists, journalists, diplomats, students and thousands of others turn to us knowing they will find independent and original news, comment and analysis from leading reporters and writers.

We often hear from readers all over the world how they are using our work to educate and motivate people in their communities to join the urgent quest for justice. But while the information moves freely — and that’s how we want to keep it — it is not free to produce. As the year closes, we count on many of our readers to make a donation to allow us to continue our educational work for another year. We would like to tell you why your support for independent, fearless reporting and analysis about Palestine is needed now more than ever.

EI scooped the world in April when it revealed a secret plan by a well-known and well-funded pro-Israel group to manipulate and erase Palestinian history from Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia. Due to EI’s reporting, the plan was foiled and Wikipedia took steps to ban the editors involved. The story we broke was reported by The Boston Globe, The Jerusalem Post, Spain’s El Mundo, and Harper’s magazine among others. This is just one example of how EI reaches beyond its own audience. The Los Angeles Times credited EI as an important platform for debate and discussion about the one-state and two-state solutions, and our articles are referenced by newspapers, websites and blogs all over the world.

The year 2008 — the 60th anniversary of the Nakba, the expulsion of the Palestinians — has been one of the most challenging for Palestinians, and for us to cover their lives. In January, EI brought you original coverage when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians broke through the Gaza border wall into Egypt for a few tumultuous days of freedom. But Gaza’s brief joy was soon overshadowed by horror as Israeli bombing killed hundreds of people including dozens of children, and Israel’s deputy defense minister threatened a “bigger holocaust.”

As international journalists have been shut out of Gaza or have ignored the worsening situation, EI’s own correspondents have helped ensure that Israeli-imposed darkness in Gaza does not mean that violations of people’s basic rights are carried out in the dark. We show the humanity behind the headlines and the deceptions behind the diplomacy. We give people the information they need to act. (For some highlights of EI’s coverage, see the links below).

The coming year presents new challenges. People are asking whether a new US administration that is talking about “change” at home and abroad will actually change its policies towards Palestine. What will happen in the Israeli elections, and how will Palestinians cope with ongoing internal conflict as well as occupation? How are activists forcing governments and corporations that support military occupation to change their policies? They will turn to The Electronic Intifada for incisive, independent analysis not found anywhere else. And, nowhere but EI can you find such diverse reviews and coverage of arts, films and books related to Palestine.

Our goal is to raise $65,000 from individuals by January. It’s a big challenge for us, but a tiny amount when you compare it to the budgets of major media organizations. Please consider making a donation now to ensure that our uncensored coverage of Palestine, Israel and the Middle East continues in 2009. Your donation is tax-deductible if you are a US taxpayer.

We don’t have major corporations backing us up, and we won’t get a government bailout, so we rely on reader support to stay strong and independent. Please help us to keep the light shining on Palestine.

With thanks and best wishes for 2009

The Electronic Intifada Team




This is a small sample of the hundreds of original articles published by EI in 2008: