What actual change will look like is not for journalists to decide. What we can do, however, is invite those who care about this land and its people to reckon with the inconvenient questions before us.
The night before I traveled to Gaza to cover the 2014 war for +972 Magazine, I received a call from Noam Sheizaf, +972’s executive director at the time. “I want you to know we are all behind you,” he said.
“We” were the collective of mostly Jewish-Israeli bloggers that, six months prior, had invited me to become a regular contributor to the site. By the time I’d had my first conversation with Noam, I had only ever met one of them in person, but I felt a deep and mutual kinship with each and every one of my fellow writers.
To understand why, one need only read Lisa Goldman’s open-hearted reflections about Nabi Saleh published this week, in which she describes her experience as the lone Israeli journalist covering the weekly protests there. As Lisa’s piece demonstrates, +972 is not only challenging Israel’s official narratives about the occupation, it is doing so through the kind of writing that goes beyond platitude to evoke empathy and reflection.
Anything less would disrespect you, our readers, and—more to the point—do little to generate new ways of thinking. The brutal truth is that bravado is too much with us in this conflict, and so much of what we read or hear leads to further entrenchment, not change.
Of course, what actual change will look like is not for the blogger or social media personality to decide. I, for example, am in no position to barter my Palestinian mother’s right of return for a few bylines, especially in a language that is not her own. Neither can I presume to speak on behalf of the Palestinians I met in Gaza three years ago.
What I and my fellow contributors to +972 can do, however, is invite those who care about this land and its people to reckon with the inconvenient questions before us: how is it that, in Gaza, the killing of more than 500 children in 50 days...Read More