We have always been transparent and, to the best of our ability, tell it like it is. This column is no different.
When we decided to make a public appeal on Facebook for support for This Week in Palestine, we knew well that we risked raising a few eyebrows by exposing our fragility in the midst of the current conditions. We also knew that a good number of our readers believe that we’re a financially solid project. I personally have heard claims that we are recipients of blanket support from some United Nations agency or governmental body. The appeal for support shatters this image and illusion. There was actually one comment on the Facebook post that read: “You? Having financial difficulties after such a long time?” I’m not sure whether to take the comment at face value or assume that the person simply does not believe us. Probably both! But anyway, we made the appeal.
In all honesty, the biggest risk in making a public appeal is that it might cause some uncertainty among advertisers and sponsors. This should be a concern, of course, but we hope that with time, when they keep seeing one powerful issue of This Week in Palestine after another, the uncertainty will vanish. Rest assured, we have no plans to fold. Our long track record has proven that we are resilient and resourceful.
With the pandemic in full gear, however, in addition to its ramifications during the past two years, the timing of our appeal may not have been ideal. We are grateful to those who went out of their way to support This Week in Palestine, but in all honesty, I am disappointed with the overall results. I believed that we had more clout. This will only strengthen my resolve, though, and give me an incentive to use my magic wand (I wish I had one)! One fan shared very sincerely that although his heart is with us, his financial situation does not allow him to contribute. You have NO idea how much this message touched my heart. On the other hand, … well, maybe I shouldn’t!
Prior to my call for support, I consulted a few people. One very good friend said that because this is a private-sector project, we should be able to come up with business solutions to solve our financial problems rather than make a public appeal for support. I couldn’t really argue with him, but I went through with the appeal anyway since I believe that This Week in Palestine adds great value to the public good, and therefore we have the right to ask for public support. We’re not asking support for a private hotel; we promote and document Palestine after all. It was worth taking the risk.
Long live Palestine!
By Sani Meo