It is difficult to visit any news outlet right now and not see coverage of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. As you may have noticed, we have yet to publish anything on the situation. This has been intentional, though not because of a lack of care.
We as an organization completely understand the impact and severity of the conflict, and we feel deeply for all the lives that have been threatened and lost, and that will continue to be lost. It is not because I do not deem the conflict important enough to cover that I have chosen not to include any coverage in Georgia Voice.
Our mission at Georgia Voice is to create a space for LGBTQ Atlantans to see themselves. We are hyperlocal because we believe that small-scale community matters, and we very rarely, if ever, cover issues of global scale. In the age of social media, where the importance of place continues to dwindle as news from all over is always available to us, I believe it is deeply important to scale back and connect to what is right around you. I hope to make Georgia Voice a landing place for y’all to do just that.
From a resource perspective, we are made up of a very small team, and we simply do not have the capacity — the money, the access, the contacts, the education, or the experience — to cover complex stories of international geopolitical conflict like what is happening between Israel and Palestine in a way that is nuanced and accurate. And quite frankly, I would not deem it an ethical practice to make money off this very real and deadly conflict, off the Middle Eastern lives that are being lost, by sharing another white Western perspective, especially when I recognize this resource dearth exists.
While I do personally have my own opinions on the situation, I recognize that I am a white Western woman; just because I have a platform does not mean the world needs to hear what I have to say about it. The belief I am willing to share, and that I try to imbue in all our coverage regardless of topic, is that colonialism is unethical, violent, murderous, and wrong, and how those impacted by colonialism respond to it is not for me or any other white American to deem right or wrong.
With all that said, if the opportunity arises to share a personal, local story of a queer Jewish or Palestinian Atlantan relating to the conflict, we will not shy away from it.
If you are interested in keeping up with the situation on a more regular basis, I suggest @Jewishvoiceforpeace, @muchachafanzine, and aljazeera.com. You can also read the article by Sukainah Abid-Kons we published last spring, “Emory Professor Dr. Sa’ed Atshan’s Research Delves into the Queer Palestinian Reality,” on our website.
And if you are an American who is struggling with feelings of dread and impotence at the constant inundation of this horrifying news, take a step back and breathe. There is little if any power you have over global affairs, and scaling back and focusing on your community is a good thing, even if it feels small in comparison. Check on your Middle Eastern friends, especially those of Jewish or Palestinian descent, to make sure they’re safe and coping. If they need help, help them. Volunteer at or donate to a local organization, like Palestine Children’s Relief Fund Atlanta. Engage in local politics. Just because the impact isn’t global doesn’t mean it’s not important.