“I’ve had my picture taken with Arafat, Abu Mazen, Kofi Annan, and even Clinton himself. But it’s made a dime’s worth of difference. I told Kofi last time he came through here that its time he shut down his charitable society [The United Nations]. The whole world enjoys human rights except the Palestinian people. In America they even fight for the rights of animals. But here we are less than animals…. And you reporters - when we hold a vigil, or decide to go on hunger strike, you ignore us and only show up when the big shots come by to have their picture taken with us. Even when you do interviews with us you never broadcast what we say.”
— Um Ibrahim, the mother of a Palestinian prisoner, speaking after she and several other women seized the microphone at a Palestinian Authority press conference on Gaza “disengagement” (The Electronic Intifada, 22 August 2005)
Dear Friends and Supporters,
The words of Um Ibrahim sum up the frustration that so many Palestinians feel today. Just a few days ago, the European Union decided to suppress publication of a major report it had produced documenting the devastating effect of the separation wall and settlements Israel continues to build in Occupied East Jerusalem. “When the barrier is completed,” the document reportedly stated, “Israel will control all access to East Jerusalem, cutting off its Palestinian satellite cities of Bethlehem and Ramallah, and the West Bank beyond,” creating irreversible facts that rule out a Palestinian state. Yet EU foreign ministers decided to shelve the report over fears that it might hurt Israeli sensitivities! This is just one example of how all commonsense and fairness seems to have drained out of the debate about Palestine/Israel.
While diplomats talk about a ‘peace process,’ the hard realities of life under occupation, or in the forgotten refugee camps of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan are simply ignored. Thousands of journalists showed up to cover the choreographed scenes of Israeli settlers being pulled from Gaza by unarmed soldiers, but few returned to report on just how little life has changed for Palestinians who continue to live in the world’s largest open-air prison.
For four years, The Electronic Intifada has, with your support, worked to bring light to this darkness through award-winning original investigative reporting, sound analysis and features. At a time when the mainstream media’s attention is increasingly dominated by repetition of cliches and conventional wisdom, EI remains committed to making intelligent noise. Some days we feel that our job has only gotten harder, but the reward is hearing from so many of the individuals who have been educated by our efforts, and who have educated others. In 2005, the Electronic Intifada saw over two million visitor sessions and the original material we produce continues to be picked up and used by journalists, activists and educators all over the world.
We are writing now to ask you to renew your generous support for the Electronic Intifada’s educational work. We have so much more work to do, and we can’t do it without you. Donations are tax-deductible for U.S. taxpayers. Virtually all of our $50,000 annual budget is raised ‘the hard way’ — dollar by dollar — from conscientious individuals like you. This is what makes us strong, determined and independent. No matter what happens EI will tell it like it is.
All the information you need to make a quick, easy and secure donation via PayPal, bank transfer or check is available on the website at: electronicintifada.net/v2/article2162.shtml
With best wishes for a more peaceful world in 2006,
Ali Abunimah and Nigel Parry
for The Electronic Intifada