Back when we launched Alma nearly two years ago (wowwww time flies), we knew there were certain topics we’d definitely cover on a site for Jewish millennial women, like dating and Jewish identity and Broad City (sometimes all three at once). And then there were those topics we planned to shy away from, ones that prove to be pretty divisive and could potentially alienate some of our readers.
Yes, I’m talking about Israel.
Not wanting to ruffle any feathers, we steered clear of talking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, instead occasionally covering Israeli culture (and of course our many feelings about Birthright). But something shifted last May, when protests and violence erupted in Gaza. Suddenly, friends and readers were turning to us for answers about what was going on. So, we did a little experiment, publishing an article titled “What’s Happening in Israel and Gaza Right Now?” that broke down what was happening at the time for those who may not follow every move in the Middle East, but still want to stay informed.
The response was overwhelming. Readers reached out over email and social media to thank us for elucidating the conflict in a clear, accessible, and unbiased way. It’s proven to be one of our more popular articles to date. It was then we realized the error of our ways. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is too big, too important, to ignore, and our readers are hungry for this kind of information, no matter what “side” of the conflict they fall on.
And so, over the past several months, while still writing about our favorite Jewish celebrities and rituals, we’ve also been hard at work on a guide to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that we are so excited to share with you today. It includes over a dozen articles breaking down the basics of the conflict, from what Zionism actually means to how it relates to the intersectional feminist movement. As we write in the guide, our aim was to make these articles as unbiased and factually-based as possible; our only agenda is to make a complicated issue easier to understand.
We hope that this guide will give readers the tools to better understand the conflict and more confidently engage in discourse, whether they’re on a college campus or Twitter or just among friends. I can certainly attest to its power: I’ve been working in Jewish media for nine years, but after reading each article in this guide roughly 924 times, I feel incredibly more competent in my understanding of the complexity and history of the conflict (I even recently got a question right on Jeopardy! that I definitely wouldn’t have known before, which we all know is what this is really all about).
In all seriousness, I’m incredibly proud of the work that the Alma team and the rest of 70 Faces Media accomplished with this guide, and I hope you start clicking around today and continue to come back and use this resource whenever you need (also, did I mention it’s beautifully illustrated?!). If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you think. And as always, thanks to our readers for pushing Alma to be better than we could have ever imagined.