+972 Magazine is a left-wing news and commentary group blog that was established independently in August 2010 by a group of writers based in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
+972 has 11 regular writers and editors. The editors job does not include review of submissions, fact checking or quality control, as the magazine's website states, the individual "bloggers alone are responsible for the content posted on their channels." It also publishes contributions by guest contributors. The enterprise is jointly owned by the authors and editorial team and is non-profit. The content on +972 Magazine represents a point of view that is left wing and progressive. Writer Noam Sheizaf, +972 chief executive officer, described the impetus for +972 as a "will to sound a new and mostly young voice which would take part in the international debate regarding Israel and Palestine."
The name of the magazine is derived from the 972 international dialling code that is shared by Israel and the Palestinian territories. The plus sign indicates the international prefix; it also symbolizes the magazine’s guiding ethos of providing an additional perspective to the Israeli news scene, one that was missing from the discourse about Israel and Palestine.
History, goals, management structure
According to Liel Leibovitz writing in Tablet, +972 was founded in August, 2011 when 4 working journalists who also blog and hold progressive political views agreed to create a shared platform. +972 has a horizontal, collaborative organizational structure, and an, "unorthodox journalistic ethos: All the magazine’s bloggers have complete freedom to write whenever and whatever they want." All members of the collaborative work "gratis". The editor has authority neither to hire nor to fire members, rather, the collaborative hires and fires the editor. According to Leibovitz, "the magazine’s reported pieces... adhere to sound journalistic practices of news gathering and unbiased reporting," while its commentary and essays, like its members, are, dedicated "to promoting a progressive worldview of Israeli politics, advocating an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, and protecting human and civil rights in Israel and Palestine," and "support specific causes and are aimed at social and political change." According to The Nation, the editors read copy only to scan it for typos and legal problems, they do not fact-check or monitor for accuracy, or tone; these responsibilities are left ot the individual bloggers
According to Leibovitz, +972 reporters are well-positioned to report from the West Bank because several member of the cooperative are "frequent participants in joint Israeli-Palestinian demonstrations behind the Green Line," and work closely with, "the activists who coordinate such protests."
Gerald M. Steinberg writing in The Algemeiner describes it as a "a blog pushing a radical fringe agenda," and "engaging in extreme polarization and hate speech," while Sarah Wildman writing in The Nation calls it, "purposefully, uniformly progressive."
Israeli leftist political activists Akiva Eldar and Merav Michaeli told The Nation that Israelis have never heard of +972, Michaeli describing it as simply "not relevant" to Israeli politics. The magazine's staff asserts that the vast majority of +972's readers are outside Israel, with about 40% in the United States and 20% in the Palestinian Territories.
The pro-Israel organization NGO Monitor criticized +972 as being antisemitic "because it seeks to strip the Jewish state of its legitimacy" by using the apartheid analogy regarding Israel. Noam Sheizaf answered to the criticism: "The attack on +972 is being carried out in the standard way NGO Monitor, Im Tirzu and similar organizations work these days: Not by debating the content of our reports and commentary pieces, but by trying to delegitimize and silence us". In February 2012, Sheizaf said "Jewish American liberals are not on our side. [Most Americans] will only support my liberalism to a certain degree. When I fight for the right of an Arab woman to become a doctor, you will stand by and donate to the New Israel Fund. But if I say 'Jerusalem is an apartheid city,' which it is—Jerusalem is the worst place in the world in terms of citizenship laws—American liberals get goosebumps."
- "About". +972. +972. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
- Leibovitz, Liel (19 January 2012). "Wake-up Call". Tablet. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
- Israel's New Left Goes Online
- "Young, Hip, and Progressive: Online Magazine +972 Celebrates its First Anniversary". Palestine News Network. 6 June 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2011.
- Steinberg, Gerald (23 September 2012). "The New Israel Fund, Jewish Values and Atonement". Algemeiner. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
- NGO Monitor slams funding of '+972' blog
- NGO Monitor slams funding of ‘+972’ blog
- Right-wing group, Jerusalem Post launch public attack on +972