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Tikun Olam fights for transparency, free press, and human rights for all Israelis and Palestinians.
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Tikun Olam was founded in 2003 in the midst of war. I needed to find a voice to express my horror at George Bush's Iraq invasion. But the mainstream media was an echo chamber. I had a voice, but no one could hear it.
Blogging was a new phenomenon using a new technology. It democratized media. It gave voice to anyone who had something they needed to say. I don't have a journalism degree. I've never worked in the mainstream media. But I have a passion for justice. And I had something personal to offer: a progressive voice on Israel-Palestine. At the time, there were only a handful of blogs offering such a perspective. I began my journey which led to independent journalism and political activism.
Building a blog was not easy. In those days, you had to learn code. You practically had to build your own site. You failed. You started over again. You did research. You reached out to others who achieved what you wanted to achieve. I spent years and thousands of hours learning how to create a blog that represented not only my ideas, but my artistic vision.
Tikun Olam soon became the leading source of news stories from Israel suppressed by military censorship or judicial gag order. It penetrates the secrets of the national security state. Through well-informed confidential Israeli sources, it breaks exclusive stories which often embarrass the military-intelligence apparatus. Days, weeks or months later army censors or judges permit Israelis to read these stories in Israeli media. The blog is a key news source for Israelis who believe their media either lies to them, or cannot publish the truth. It is also a key source for anyone interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In 2009, I began collaborating with an Israeli-American Justice Department translator, Shammai Leibowitz, who told me that Israel was laying the groundwork to invade Iran. Its prime target was American political leaders who it hoped to recruit to the cause. He gave me secret transcripts of internal Israeli embassy communications being intercepted by the FBI. I published stories based on them in the Guardian and my blog.
The Obama administration ruthlessly pursued government leakers and whistleblowers and Shammai became one of them. He ended up serving 20 months in federal prison, sacrificed on the altar of government secrecy. He paid a price no one should have to pay.
Tikun Olam fights for transparency, free press, and human rights for all Israelis and Palestinians: a nation of all its citizens. I'm proud that my work has been featured in profiles in almost every major Israeli newspaper including Yediot Achronot, Maariv, Makor Rishon and Kol Ha'Ir.
The blog is the heart of a 'mini-media empire.' I also publish at Jacobin Magazine, The New Arab, Middle East Eye, and Al Jazeera. I've also been interviewed for Flashpoints (KPFA Berkeley), Bob Scheer's Scheerpost (KCRW Santa Monica), Heroes and Patriots (KMUD Mendocino), Between the Lines (WPKN-Bridgeport CT), Understanding Israel-Palestine (KKFI Kansas City), Middle East in Focus (KPFK), Arab Talk, and Muslim TV.
There are no advertisers busting down the doors. No foundations supporting this work. Tikun Olam is citizen-powered. You're here because you care about justice and human rights in Israel-Palestine. And I couldn't be here without you. Individuals donations from people like you make all the difference. Please give generously.
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