August 26, 2015
In Blog News
Byline is delighted to announce that Norman Finkelstein has successfully raised $100,000 for his crowdfunding campaign with Byline. The money will be used to buy much needed medical equipment for Al-Awda hospital in Gaza. Norman has also committed to writing for Byline for the next year.
Norman G. Finkelstein’s statement on the success of his campaign:
“In 1965, Mao Tse-tung, the titular head of the Chinese Communist Party, met with French Minister of Culture Andre Malraux in the Forbidden City. At the time, Mao was a pariah in the party and preparing the ground for what came to be known as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. As he escorted Malraux to a limousine, Mao whispered, “I am alone, with the masses.”
I have always savored that line, not least for its personal resonance.
Although I have been studying the Israel-Palestine conflict for more than three decades, and have published a fair amount on the topic, I have never been interviewed on national television or radio, and just barely in the major alternative/progressive media. Because of intractable differences with dominant elements in the Palestine solidarity movement, I am no longer asked to speak in support of Palestinian rights. But, judging by my daily email correspondence (which consumes the better part of each morning; if someone takes the trouble to write me, I am not so important as not to have the time to respond), it appeared as if there was still some interest in what I had to say, although more and more confined to the Arab-Muslim world, which seems less inclined to administer loyalty oaths on would-be supporters of the Palestinian struggle.
When Byline.com offered me a venue to reach this potential audience on a regular basis, I leapt at the opportunity. What made it yet more enticing, I could simultaneously raise much-needed funds for causes in which I believed. That, in short, is the genesis of the crowd-funding project for Al-Awda hospital in Gaza. But I would be remiss if I omitted mention of a critical factor in our success: the wonderful, brilliant, dedicated, but unsung team that accompanied and assisted me every step of the way. Were it not for Sana, Ahmad, Maren and Jamie, we would not have reached the finishing line. It was a collective effort, which is always the best one: it’s no fun to stand alone and aloof at the rendezvous of victory, while it’s one of the most exhilarating of life’s experiences to celebrate en masse a triumph of human decency. It’s not just our little team, however, that will be celebrating. The nearly 1,000 people who gave so generously will also be there. I will not say thank you: we are all equals in this struggle, the only difference being, some capture the limelight while others give of themselves in the shadows.
The past few months I have been perusing human rights reports on Operation Protective Edge, the protracted massacre that Israel unleashed on Gaza during summer 2014. It humbles to witness, via these reports, the courage of the people of Gaza. People often praise my bravery; I am always inwardly embarrassed, because I am one of the world’s most distinguished cowards. I dread death almost as much as I fear standing between Alan Dershowitz and a television camera. If you want real courage, read the stories of Gaza’s doctors, nurses and rescue teams driving ambulances into an inferno in the full knowledge that they are being targeted by Israeli precision missiles.
I bow my head to the people of Gaza. Although a resolute atheist, I still want to say: May God bless them.”
Byline CEO Seung-yoon Lee said:
“It is marvelous to see so many people come together to buy desperately needed medical equipment in Gaza’s Al-Awda hospital. More importantly, it is a clear testament to market failure in our media environment. Norman Finkelstein was ignored not only by mainstream American press but also by progressive outlets like The Nation, NPR, and others. However, close to a thousand of his supporters, including Noam Chomsky, have put together 100,000 dollars for this campaign to see his writing on Byline continue for the next year. Byline will continue to serve the voices excluded from the mainstream media.”