When we launched +972 in the summer of 2010, I did not quite realize what its impact would be — that we would soon find our articles quoted in State Department communiques and prominent media outlets like the New York Times and the Guardian; that diplomats and think tanks would invite our contributors to speak at high level events; and that we would break stories that moved the news cycle.
I still remember the first time we succeeded in moving the news cycle. On December 31, 2010, a Palestinian woman named Jawaher Abu Rahmeh, a healthy woman in her mid 30s, collapsed outside her Bil’in home after inhaling tear gas; she died later that day. The Israeli army spokesperson claimed she had had a pre-existing condition, and further insisted that the soldiers had not used any unusual crowd control tactics that day. The media published the army’s statement as fact.
But several of us from +972 had been at that demonstration. We had seen that soldiers were using enormous quantities of tear gas, creating clouds that reduced visibility to nearly zero. We also knew that no reporter from any other Israeli media had been present at the protest, and that no-one had interviewed the Palestinian physician who attended Ms. Abu Rahmah at the hospital. We had photos of the tear gas clouds, and we obtained medical records from the hospital. We published our photos, the hospital records, and statements from the physician. Ultimately we forced the army to change its story, and the Israeli media had to acknowledge that none of its reports were based on firsthand information.
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Over the ensuing months and years, we continued to publish groundbreaking reports and analysis. +972 Magazine also became the only Israel-based, English-language media outlet to prominently feature Palestinians writing in their own voice about the events affecting their lives. Samer Badawi’s moving first-hand reports from Gaza during the 2014 war are a standout example of the kind of reporting that no other Israeli media outlet dares to publish.
I am extremely proud to be part of a collective where Palestinians and Jews write forcefully, without editorial censorship, about the critical issues that will decide what direction this land takes in the years to come.
After seven years of publishing as a volunteer collective, we have come to realize this is no longer a sustainable model. We need to pay our writers. And we want to hire a full-time native Arabic speaker to grow the number of Palestinian voices on our site. For this, we need money.
Earlier this month we launched an online campaign to raise $50,000. As of this writing we have raised over 75 percent of that goal. We have a week left. If you are in a position to make a donation, now is the time. As nearly everyone’s mother said at some point, “every little bit counts.”
Make +972 Magazine more sustainable: Donate here.
I know that you care about +972, and I am deeply appreciative of any support you can offer, whether it’s through a donation of your own or by taking the time to encourage your friends and relatives to make a donation. If you have any questions or ideas, please just ask. I’m here.
Writer / Co-Founder