Five Days To Go!


Dear readers,

New Matilda has got just five days to go before our fundraising campaign winds up. We’re on the edge of our seats trying to work out whether or not we’re going to meet our target of $175,000 by Wednesday. To do this we’ll need to raise a little over $50,000 in five days. $50K in five days — it’s got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Please encourage your friends, colleagues and family to sign up for NM. The fundraising page is here.

Some of you who tried to sign up yesterday reported some problems with Paypal. It seems that our fundraising facility has been caught up in the hacking fallout of Julian Assange’s arrest. All transactions that have been processed are secure. If your payment wasn’t processed, we’ll follow this up with you via email.

There’s one international territorial dispute that hasn’t featured so prominently in the Wikileaks cable releases: that between Israel and Palestine. Will further leaks shed light on the conflict and the role played by other nations, particularly the United States? And if so, how will they be reported? The relationship between Israel and Palestine — and its flow-on effects in the Middle East — has not been reported in an even-handed fashion.

The articles that New Matilda has run on Israel/Palestine have been among the most controversial we have published. We receive reams of correspondence when we examine, for example, the situation of those living on the West Bank or in Gaza City. We were appalled to find racists and Holocaust deniers jostling for space in comments following articles and — and we decided to pre-moderate all comments on Israel/Palestine articles.

In 2009 New Matilda was attacked in federal parliament by MP Michael Danby for our coverage of Palestine.  (Danby was, incidentally, named by Wikileaks alongside Mark Arbib as a source for the US Embassy in Canberra.) Our commitment to filling in the gaps left by other media outlets means that we’ve run more articles which represent the Palestinian point of view than the Israeli — though to reduce this highly complex conflict to "us" vs "them" is dangerous.

As we wrote at the time, "We believe balance is desirable where it is approriate – but we do not attempt to provide a "for" and "against" analysis of every issue we cover. That is because we believe that some things are simply wrong, and should not be justified on any terms. Bombing innocent civilians is, in our minds, one of those wrong things. The Holocaust is another."

If we meet our fundraising target, we will continue to provide tough commentary on Israel/Palestine no matter what pressure is applied to us.

Meanwhile, students are are rioting in the UK over higher education changes. As Tammi Jonas reminded New Matilda readers last month, there’s a review of higher education funding underway in Australia and the changes in the UK may be echoed in Australia. We’ll be watching these developments closely in 2011.

We haven’t given Wikileaks the blanket coverage that other outlets have over the last 10 days and we’ve received emails asking us why. The simple answer is that we’re stretched to the limit as we approach the end of our fundraising campaign and we simply don’t have the resources to do so. More importantly, we know that the significance of this latest raft of Wikileaks releases will take months, if not years to become clear. There’s a role for quick response commentary but we’re looking forward to taking the longer view in 2011 and examining the lasting impact of the cables on media and international relations.

Finally, New Matilda cartoonist Fiona Katauskas has offering New Matilda readers signed prints of her December cartoons for $40 (including postage). These hi-res A4 prints usually sell for $45. Choose from this on WikiLeaks  or today’s Christmas special. Email us at and we’ll take your order. If we receive your order by next Wednesday, you’ll get your print in time for Christmas.

Five days to go, readers! Help us raise the last $50,000 and keep NM online in 2011.

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New Matilda is independent journalism at its finest. The site has been publishing intelligent coverage of Australian and international politics, media and culture since 2004.