+972 Magazine » +972 Blog http://972mag.com Independent commentary and news from Israel & Palestine Sun, 21 Dec 2014 15:34:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8 Scarlett Johansson, West Bank workers need a Christmas miracle! [satire] http://972mag.com/scarlett-johansson-west-bank-workers-need-a-christmas-miracle-satire/100326/ http://972mag.com/scarlett-johansson-west-bank-workers-need-a-christmas-miracle-satire/100326/#comments Sun, 21 Dec 2014 13:15:20 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=100326 In the wake of SodaStream’s apparent capitulation to BDS, an open appeal to ScarJo to save yet another group of West Bank workers. (Satire)

Text by Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org

Dear ScarJo,

Can I call you ScarJo? It’s been a great year for you: you had a baby, you got married, you turned 30. But I know a painful anniversary is just around the corner. For it was almost a year ago that you put your good name on the line to defend the jobs of SodaStream’s West Bank Palestinian workers.

The controversy surrounding your Super Bowl ad raised much needed awareness of both home soft drink carbonation and also how the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement unfairly singles out Israeli settlements for violating international law when there are so many other Israeli violations of international law to consider.

A Norwegian activist in a Santa suit uses a sledge hammer to smash SodaStream appliances in front of the Norwegian Parliament building in Oslo, December 6, 2014. Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists have targeted SodaStream, which makes home soft drink carbonation appliances, because one of their factories is located in the West Bank industrial settlement Mishor Adumim. All Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are illegal under international law. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

A Norwegian activist in a Santa suit uses a sledge hammer to smash SodaStream appliances in front of the Norwegian Parliament building in Oslo, December 6, 2014. Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists have targeted SodaStream, which makes home soft drink carbonation appliances, because one of their factories is located in the West Bank industrial settlement Mishor Adumim. All Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are illegal under international law. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

As you said at the time (actual quote, not satire), “SodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights.”

Until your brave and accurate words, most people didn’t know that SodaStream’s Palestinian workers are welcome to carry assault rifles when they visit their Israeli neighbors. Or that if Palestinians decide to create a new outpost on any hilltop in the West Bank, it’s instantly given full access to the water and electrical grid. Or that SodaStream’s Palestinian and Israeli workers all take weekend trips together to Eilat to go water skiing.

So strong was your commitment to this “fantastic sanctuary of coexistence” (actual quote) that you were willing to forgo your global ambassadorship with Oxfam to protest that humanitarian organization’s narrow-minded and prejudicial adherence to Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

At the time Oxfam released a statement saying: “We’re sorry to see Scarlett Johansson go, but we’ve got plenty more poverty-fighting star power where she came from. Who can ignore Syrian refugees when they’re being accompanied by Michelle Dockery. … Yes, THE Michelle Dockery. … You know … from Downton Abbey? Lady Mary. The one who married Matthew Crawley…. And then he died in the Christmas special — I cried my eyes out. … That Michelle Dockery. Very famous. And classy.”

As coverage continued to hit major media, awareness of BDS shot up while SodaStream’s profits and stock prices plummeted. You shouldn’t take it personally, ScarJo — those activists had some very clever memes. You were in most of them!

#Sodastream presents their new ambassador Scarlett Johansson! #sharedvalues#BDShttp://t.co/XxZ8LuUtFbpic.twitter.com/rEIfTQWosn

Now SodaStream says it will move its operations across the Green Line to Israel’s Negev desert. The company says the move is purely for “purely commercial” reasons unrelated to BDS. But can you really believe that, ScarJo? You, who chose a paid endorsement deal over a humanitarian NGO? Would the SodaStream you know abandon its Palestinian workers for “purely commercial” reasons?

By the way, targets of BDS citing “purely commercial” reasons for changing policy is like a disgraced politician saying they’re resigning from office in order to “spend more time with their family.” If BDS ever succeeds, you can bet that the Israeli army and settlers will all say they’re withdrawing from the occupied territories in order to “spend more time with their families.”

But ScarJo, I digress.

Now that SodaStream is abandoning its West Bank workers, another group of Palestinian beverage makers desperately needs your help. The Cremisan Monastery, which includes a winery that employs local Palestinians, is threatened by the Israeli separation wall. If built as planned, the wall will cut off the monastery and winery from the West Bank town of Beit Jala, leaving the grapes on one side and the workers on the other!

Palestinians work in the winery of the Cremisan monastery, Beit Jala, West Bank, February 4, 2014. Israel plans to build the separation wall between Cremisan and the rest of the town of Beit Jala. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Palestinians work in the winery of the Cremisan monastery, Beit Jala, West Bank, February 4, 2014. Israel plans to build the separation wall between Cremisan and the rest of the town of Beit Jala. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

This Palestinian Christian community has tried everything. They’ve filed legal appeals. They’ve petitioned the Pope. They’ve had public prayer vigils every week for three years in the sun, rain and even snow.

So far, no dice.

As years of court battles enter their final chapters, the last hearing in the case came on November 30 — the first day of Advent. As these Palestinian Christians have been waiting for Christmas, they’ve also been waiting for a verdict.

And so ScarJo, now they’re waiting for you.

Palestinian Christians and solidarity activists gather for a Catholic mass to protest the Israeli separation wall that will cut off the Cremisan monastery and winery from nearby West Bank communities, November 18, 2011. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Palestinian Christians and solidarity activists gather for a Catholic mass to protest the Israeli separation wall that will cut off the Cremisan monastery and winery from nearby West Bank communities, November 18, 2011. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

In your Super Bowl ad you (actually) said, “like most actors, my job is saving the world.” And your past statements about “building a bridge to peace” show that you couldn’t possibly be in favor of walls that divide! Won’t you please use your powers of international celebrity to save Cremisan — and save Christmas for its Palestinian workers?

They’ve already tried the Pope, God and the Israeli High Court of Justice. Who else can they turn to? Michelle freaking Dockery? You couldn’t save SodaStream, but maybe now you can save Cremisan! All they need is a Christmas miracle!

Related:
5 things I learned from the Scarlett Johansson/SodaStream affair
Scarlett Johansson chooses SodaStream over Oxfam
How does SodaStream treat its Palestinian workers when the media isn’t looking?

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Palestinian family in Lydd faces home demolition http://972mag.com/palestinian-family-in-lod-faces-home-demolition/100336/ http://972mag.com/palestinian-family-in-lod-faces-home-demolition/100336/#comments Sun, 21 Dec 2014 12:18:06 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=100336 The Naqib family has been living on their land since before 1948. That, however, didn’t stop the municipality from serving them with an arbitrary demolition order. 

By Rami Younis

After a relative period of calm in which the local authorities have refrained from demolishing homes of Palestinian citizens of Israel, the Lydd (“Lod” in Hebrew, “Lydda” in English) Municipality has returned to threatening residents with demolition. The war in Gaza has ended, and now the authorities have returned to their day-to-day war against Arab citizens.

The aftermath of a home demolition in Lod, Israel, September 2, 2011. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The aftermath of a home demolition in Lydd, Israel, September 2, 2011. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The home belongs to the Naqib family and was built on land that they own, according to the state land registry. The demolition order, which stated that the house was built illegally, was served back in November. The city announced it would carry out the demolition on Sunday, when police arrived on the scene.

Attorney Qais Nasser submitted an urgent appeal to a district court on behalf of the family, along with a request to delay the demolition. The court rejected the request, but delayed the demolition until today (Sunday) at 1 p.m., in order to give the family time to submit an appeal to the Supreme Court. UPDATE (2:45 p.m.): The Supreme Court has delayed the demolition until Thursday.

The Naqib family lives on land near the Ganei Aviv neighborhood, which was expropriated from Palestinian families in a procedure whose legality has been in doubt ever since. The family has lived on the land since before 1948, and the local urban building plan gave a green light for building the new neighborhood years ago. The city, however, has yet to approve a master plan, and even destroyed a house in the 1990s.

According to a map of the urban building plan, one can see that the house was built on land slated for residential construction. Thus, the city’s decision regarding “illegal construction” seems especially arbitrary:

The Lod master plan. (photo: Said Abu Hamed)

The Lyd master plan. (photo: Said Abu Hamed)

Should the Supreme Court reject the request to delay the order, the city will be able to demolish the house at any moment. According to a member of the Naqib family, the order is part of a general trend of political harassment. “The city claims that the house is in the way of the road,” he told +972. “But according to the urban building plan, one can see clearly the house was built on land that was previously approved. How can you view the city’s decision as anything but political harassment?”

Local activists have already met to discuss further actions to prevent the threatened demolition, including mass demonstrations and establishing a protest tent.

Palestinian family in Lod erects a tent where their home used to be, after it was demolished by Israeli authorities, September 2, 2011. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinian family in Lydd erects a tent where their home used to be, after it was demolished by Israeli authorities, September 2, 2011. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

According to activists nearly 80 percent of Palestinians in Lydd live in “illegal conditions” according to the state’s definition, due to the fact that their homes do not have building permits. This situation allows authorities to use the threat of demolition against a large part of the local population, in accordance with the needs of the political establishment.

The author is a Palestinian activist and writer. Read this article in Hebrew on Local Call here.

Related:
House demolitions: Zionism’s constant background noise
Punitive home demolitions are racist — and just plain wrong
Rights groups to High Court: Home demolitions are collective punishment

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How long must Palestinians pay for the Holocaust? [op-ed] http://972mag.com/how-long-must-palestinians-pay-for-the-holocaust-op-ed/100309/ http://972mag.com/how-long-must-palestinians-pay-for-the-holocaust-op-ed/100309/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 17:34:07 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=100309 A man leading an occupying state, a racist state in which mixed marriages are protested, doesn’t get to teach lessons to others. Mr. Netanyahu, stop exploiting the Holocaust at every political opportunity; pick up a book and learn that we weren’t there in those darkest days of European and Jewish history.

By Samah Salaime Egbariya

On the eve of a historical day for the Palestinian people, when the international community has finally figured out that there is no point in waiting for Israelis to recognize their neighbors’ right to independence, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu chose to preach to the Europeans  – to teach them a lesson he himself has yet to learn.

And he is right. There really are people who have not learned a thing; not in Europe, but right here in Israel.

The time has come to put everything on the table and talk about the Palestinians and the Holocaust.

For years we have been keeping our heads down and avoided facing the issue. We were careful never to shout “Nazis” in protests against the occupation, against house demolitions, and on Land Day, when we speak up and resist the oppression and racism against Arabs in Israel. We are forbidden from even approaching that sensitive Jewish wound, the ultimate political trump card. We the Arabs were and still are vulnerable, weak, defeated, and yes – scared we would be blamed for taking part in or even for identifying with the horrors that took place in Europe.

But khalas. Enough. No more. I am no longer willing to carry the burden of the Great Sin on my shoulders. It is no longer possible to punish us in every way possible for nearly 70 years and then hide behind the black curtain of European Jewish history.

The prime minister of a state where rampant racism is raising its head in every corner —under the government’s patronage — has no right to preach to others. When in every city conquered in 1948 – Lydd, Acre, Jaffa – there is a neighborhood called “the ghetto,” meaning the old city where the Palestinian residents were kept and enclosed, you Mr. Prime Minister cannot speak of learning lessons.

In a state where every bill produced in your racist breeding ground reeks of hatred and fear mongering toward “the Arabs” – you don’t get to preach about learning lessons. When thousands of Palestinians begin their days at 2.30 a.m., turning into a single mass of human flesh pushed as one through a metallic sleeve at the end of which stands a soldier, only in order to earn a day’s wages and return home via the same route in the evening, don’t talk about learning lessons.

When in a single month you murdered thousands of innocent Palestinians, you must know that Umm-Muhammad from Gaza, whose four sons were murdered on the beach, does not believe you have learned your lesson. In a country where schools in which Arab and Jewish children study together are set ablaze, in a place where hooligans protest against the marriage of an Arab man and a Jewish woman, no lesson has been learned.

Stop taking every opportunity to wave the flag of Holocaust horrors at every turn of your political career. Go open up the history books and learn that we were not present in Europe at the time and took no part in any anti-Semitic plan. A million and a half Gazans imprisoned for nine years will not create another Holocaust against you or your people, even if Article 6 of the Hamas Charter calls for the annihilation of the Jewish state. Neither will Iran when your democratic state is the only nuclear power in the Middle East.

I expect nothing more of you, Mr. Prime Minister. I am relying on the people who will learn the lessons and choose to reroute the train heading full-speed toward oblivion. Such a shift may be bold and terrifying, but it is the only option left.

Samah Salaime Egbariya is a social worker, a director of AWC (Arab Women in the Center) in Lod and a graduate of the Mandel Leadership Institute in Jerusalem. This article was first published on +972′s Hebrew-language sister site, Local Call. Read it in Hebrew here.

Read more:
Being a Mizrahi Jew, an Israeli and touching the Holocaust
In Israel, Holocaust obsession prevents real change

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With your support, we can do so much more in 2015 http://972mag.com/with-your-support-we-can-do-so-much-more-in-2015/100274/ http://972mag.com/with-your-support-we-can-do-so-much-more-in-2015/100274/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 13:42:38 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=100274 +972 bloggers
2014 was a bad year in Israel/Palestine.

Immediately after the collapse of peace talks came the kidnapping and murder of four teens – three Israelis and a Palestinian – followed by months of violence. Israel launched the third war on Gaza in six years, which took the lives of more than 2,000 people, the majority of them Palestinian civilians. Mosques, synagogues and schools were attacked. Relations between Jews and Palestinian citizens of Israel fell to an all-time low.

The media generally failed to grasp the nature of these developments, treating them as isolated events or “security” problems. They don’t get that violence and instability are the product of the political status quo. Peace won’t come without justice, freedom and equality.

Throughout this year, +972 Magazine presented a hard-hitting alternative to the dominant media narrative. We documented the effect of the violent escalation on the civilian population, critically examined the line touted by politicians, and highlighted the work of activists and grassroots leaders. We presented a critical view of the dominant discourse, placing a strong emphasis on human rights and democracy.

+972 Magazine was visited this year by millions of readers from all across the world. We launched a new Hebrew site, operated by a collective of Israeli and Palestinian contributors, in partnership with Just Vision and the photographers’ collective Activestills. Stories we broke were cited by local and international publications, such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Haaretz, and more.

With your support, we can do much more: break more stories, expand to more platforms, and reach more readers.

+972 Magazine is a non-profit, which depends completely on grants, donations, and on a community of volunteer bloggers, editors, and translators. We wouldn’t be able to accomplish a fraction of what we do without the support of our readers.

The New Israel Fund has kindly set up a page to make it easy for people like you to make tax-deductible donations to +972 Magazine through the NIF. Alternatively, you can also make a Paypal donation directly to +972 Magazine here.

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Your feedback is just as important to us. Please contact me directly at noam@972mag.com with any thoughts, ideas or questions. You will find contact information for all our bloggers on their channels, and you can contact the site’s editors at info@972mag.com.

To a better 2015,

Noam Sheizaf signature

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For Israeli media, even the memory of the Nakba poses a threat http://972mag.com/for-israeli-media-even-the-memory-of-the-nakba-poses-a-threat/100255/ http://972mag.com/for-israeli-media-even-the-memory-of-the-nakba-poses-a-threat/100255/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 18:52:37 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=100255 A new study reveals that although Israeli newspapers present an array of views on the Nakba, the most common one sees it as nothing less than a threat that seeks to delegitimize Israel.

By Oren Persico / ‘The 7th Eye

An ultra-orthodox Jewish man walks in the depopulated Palestinian village of Lifta, located on the edge of West Jerusalem, Israel, March 4, 2014. During the Nakba, the residents of Lifta fled attacks by Zionist militias beginning in December 1947, resulting in the complete evacuation of the village by February 1948. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

An ultra-orthodox Jewish man walks in the depopulated Palestinian village of Lifta, located on the edge of West Jerusalem, Israel, March 4, 2014. During the Nakba, the residents of Lifta fled attacks by Zionist militias beginning in December 1947, resulting in the complete evacuation of the village by February 1948. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

A new study reveals that Israel’s mainstream media maintains the state’s official stance toward the Nakba, and “puts full responsibility on the tragedy that occurred in 1948 on the Palestinian leadership, thus purifying Israel from any responsibility for the outcome of the war on the Palestinian people.”

The study, conducted by Amal Jamal and Samah Basool and published earlier this year by the I’lam Media Center for Arab Palestinians in Israel, is based on the way Israel’s five main newspapers – Yedioth Ahronot, Ma’ariv, Israel Hayom, Haaretz and Hamodia – describe the Nakba (the Arabic word for “catastrophe,” which Palestinians use to describe the expulsion of over 750,000 Palestinians from their homes during the 1948 War). The researchers looked at how the newspaper articles refer to the Nakba during the period in which the term comes up most naturally – two weeks before Israel’s Independence Day, and two weeks after May 15, Nakba Day. The study took place between 2008-2012 in an attempt to understand the “patterns of perceptions of the Palestinian Nakba in the Israeli collective consciousness, as they are reflected in Israel’s media discourse.”

In their study, Jamal and Basool stress that the goal is not “to argue over the stances in the articles sampled, but rather to classify their contents according to parameters of attitudes.”

As one could probably guess, the newspaper that publishes the highest number of articles relating to the subject is Haaretz. Surprisingly, Israel Hayom published a relatively high number of articles on the Nakba, as opposed to Yedioth Ahronoth and Ma’ariv.

“The data is surprising, on the one hand, since Yedioth Ahronoth is seen as a centrist newspaper that deals with the major issues of the day,” write the researchers. “[…] on the other hand, the large number of articles published in Israel Hayom does not ostensibly align with the nationalistic, hawkish worldview of the newspaper.

Jamal and Basool explain the findings:

Yedioth Ahronoth tries not to upset its readers, and thus refrains from dealing with controversial issues. On the other hand, Israel Hayom serves as a comfortable platform for expressing hawkish opinions toward Arabs and Palestinians. While this fact raises the amount of attention paid to the Nakba, it does so by framing it in a very negative light, which invites a contemptuous attitude toward it.

Jamal and Basool divide the media’s views of the Nakba into five categories, with the first two categories subdivided into two categories each.

Palestinian students lead a Nakba commemoration ceremony at Tel Aviv University. (photo: Activestills.org)

Palestinian students lead a Nakba commemoration ceremony at Tel Aviv University. (photo: Activestills.org)

The first view is one of denial, which views the Nakba as an invention based on propaganda and historical distortions. This view is subdivided into two subcategories: (1a) Denying that that the events of 1948 amount to a Nakba; (1b) The Nakba is an invention based on propaganda and historical revisionism.

The second view is one of denying responsibility for the Nakba, while not denying the it took place. This view is also subdivided into two categories: (2a) The Palestinians are to blame for their situation; (2b) The Nakba is the result of a war that Israel was forced into.

WATCH: Palestinian students commemorate Nakba at Tel Aviv University

According to the third view the Nakba was a tragic occurrence that continues until today. According to the fourth view the Nakba is a continuing threat whose goal is to delegitimize Israel. According to the fifth view, the Nakba is a part of the collective memory that needs to be respected.

The study shows that the most common view in the newspapers (that are not published in Haaretz) is the fourth one, according to which the Nakba is nothing less than a threat that seeks to delegitimize Israel.

“The prominence of the view that sees the Nakba as a continuous threat whose goal is the delegitimization of Israel is connected to the growing emphasis on Israel’s public, diplomatic struggle against the boycott, which has grown in the last years,” say the researchers. According to them “the view that the Nakba is a threat and delegitimizes Israel is intended to mobilize Israeli public opinion – to mold the public’s consciousness against the most central expression of Palestinian identity: the memory of the Nakba.

Right-wing nationalists from the group Im Tirzu protest as Palestinian students living in Israel and Israeli supporters commemorate the Nakba outside Tel Aviv university, May 11, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Right-wing nationalists from the group Im Tirzu protest as Palestinian students living in Israel and Israeli supporters commemorate the Nakba outside Tel Aviv University. The sign reads: ‘Nakba is Bullshit.’ May 11, 2014. (Activestills.org)

The prominence of this view along with the relative prominence of other views, creates what the researchers describe as an “array of public stances, which deny the truth behind the catastrophe that the Palestinians underwent in 1948, and Israeli responsibility for this catastrophe.”

On the other hand, one also encounters views that place the blame on Palestinians for what took place in the 1948 War. “In other words,” write Jamal and Basool, “there are two basic stances that are not necessarily coherent. The first stance denies the existence of the Nakba, while the second one denies Israel’s responsibility for what happened to the Palestinians.”

After analyzing the headlines of the articles included in the study sample, the researchers created a world cloud that presents the most popular terms in different sizes, according to the number of times they appeared. The most common terms that appeared (aside from “Nakba” itself) are: “Israel,” “IDF,” “in the territories,” “were wounded,” “borders,” “riots” and “were killed.” Jamal and Basool claim that “this testifies to the context in which the Nakba is raised, and reflects Israeli public discourse as a whole, particularly the one most intensively engaged in issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Read: What do Palestinian refugees want?

Jamal and Basool provide various quotes to back their central premise. However, one of the articles “Nakba Carnival,” by Assaf Geffen and published in Yedioth Ahronoth, was misread by the researchers. Geffen’s satirical article, which called on readers to “stop denying the existence of the Nakba and begin to enjoy it,” and wrote that Israel’s Independence Day celebrations should be turned “into a day of celebrations of the Palestinian catastrophe,” was understood by Jamal and Basool as a serious op-ed. Thus, in the study they claim that Geffen is “trying to make a convincing argument that we must recognize the Nakba and use it for the sake of Jewish nationalism, in order to ensure the future of the Zionist project, with no need to apologize.”

According to Jamal and Basool, the data they collected points to the Israel public’s complex relationship with the Nakba. “On the one hand the view that denies the Nakba as a historical event and opposes taking any responsibility for it is clearly dominant. On the other hand, there is also support for the need to admit not only to its existence, but also its continuation as well as recognizing the legitimacy of memorializing it,” they write.

Jamal and Basool write that the public discussion that arises from these contradictory stances abets the official Israeli stance. “Despite the different attitudes toward the Nakba, the data allows us to differentiate between the general atmosphere, which suggests a fruitful discussion taking place among the Israeli public… and the power of the hegemonic view, according to which not only did the Nakba not take place, but it is a clever Palestinian invention whose sole purpose is to delegitimize Israel,” they write.

Palestinians demonstrate on the 66th anniversary of the Nakba in the West Bank city of Nablus, May 14, 2014.

Palestinians demonstrate on the 66th anniversary of the Nakba in the West Bank city of Nablus, May 14, 2014.

“The array of stances ostensibly ‘whitewashes’ the discourse of denial and repression of the past and its memory. That way the official position wins twice: it is able to affirm itself in the wider public’s consciousness, while presenting itself as liberal and tolerant. The very existence of this range of positions gives a feeling of pluralism, which grants legitimacy to the dominance of a denouncing position, which in the end leads to the legitimate conclusion of denial.”

Jamal and Basool write that “despite it taking place six decades ago, the Nakba is evident even today. This evidence only strengthens the claims of the minority in the media, according to which the Nakba is an event that has continued from 1948 until today, and thus neither denial nor responsibility have been able to become normative views. The Israeli anxiety vis-a-vis the Nakba, which is manifested through symptoms of past trauma and the return of that that has been repressed in various ways, is an expression of how relevant the Nakba is, despite the attempts to push it out of the public discourse.”

The two conclude by writing that “viewing the memory of the Nakba as a threat to the legitimacy of Israel mean that Israel needs Palestinian recognition in order to be at peace with itself. This need reflects the deep chasms in the moral strength of the narrative, as well as how Israelis view themselves.”

This article was first published in Hebrew by The 7th Eye media watchdog website. It is reproduced here with permission.

Related:
Liberating Israeli Jews from the dark legacy of the Nakba
The Palestinian Nakba: Are Israelis starting to get it?

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Israel’s marriage police: An aberration from Jewish tradition http://972mag.com/israels-marriage-police-an-aberration-from-jewish-tradition/100251/ http://972mag.com/israels-marriage-police-an-aberration-from-jewish-tradition/100251/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:51:00 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=100251 From interrogations to blacklists to computerized databases, Israel’s rabbinical authorities have adopted a coercive system of oversight that punishes violators of Jewish law’s bans on ‘certain’ kinds of relationships.

By Akiva Miller

Everyone knows that Israel’s Jewish-Orthodox-controlled marriage system must change. But while activists, lawyers and politicians struggling to reform it have won some important battles in recent years, one of the most important factors behind the crisis — the rabbinical authorities’ system of databases, investigative methods, and coercive powers — has received too little attention.

This system is best understood as a marriage police, motivated by an unprecedented zealousness to detect, enforce and punish would-be violators of Jewish law’s ancient bans on certain kinds of relationships as if they were criminal offenses — most notably the prohibitions on intermarriage and the marriage of a mamzer, the offspring of illicit relations. While the Jewish prohibitions date back two millennia or more, Israel’s marriage police is a new phenomenon of recent decades. It is not rooted in law, but almost entirely built upon a patchwork of administrative regulations and decisions by Israel’s rabbinical courts.

The first and best-known process for policing marriage prohibitions is the pre-registration interview. This interview is at times more like an interrogation; witnesses and relatives of suspect couples are brought before the marriage registrar to give testimony, asked to bring evidence, and are carefully cross-examined on the couples’ Jewishness. This can be a humiliating process, and makes ordinary Israelis feel that the religious authorities of the Jewish state are calling their Jewish identity into question.

If an individual is suspected of being subject to a marriage prohibition, their case is brought before the rabbinical courts. Ordinarily, these cases involve only adults who have applied to marry and were turned away. In recent decades, however, rabbinical courts have adopted the view that they have the authority to initiate investigations into the marriage eligibility of minor children who were born under circumstances that may make their marriage prohibited – whether suspected mamzerim or children of suspected non-Jewish or convert parents. Once any person — adult or child — is caught up in the rabbinical courts, the ordeal can last for years and extracts a heavy financial and emotional toll.

The system of marriage police relies on modern information technologies. One such tool is the “blacklist,” a national database containing thousands of individuals suspected of being under marriage prohibition. A single official, the Administrator of Rabbinical Courts, controls the blacklist. By official policy, every couple applying to marry anywhere in Israel is checked against this list. Placing individuals on the “blacklist” (temporarily pending investigation or permanently) serves as a de-facto sanction to compel cooperation with rabbinical court proceedings.

Like the sad reality in other kinds of policing, the Israeli marriage police also has its suspect classes — primarily recent immigrants and converts to Judaism. These groups are treated with immediate suspicion and suffer excessive enforcement and on the part of rabbinical authorities. Several sources of data allow rabbinical authorities to identify their “suspects.” Marriage registrars enjoy full access to the National Population Registry, which allows them to know, for example, when and where the couple and their parents were born, if they immigrated to Israel, or if they changed their religious status. Official rules on the registration of newborn babies flag suspected mamzerim from birth in official records by omitting the name of their biological fathers.

When individuals of questionable Jewishness (a category expanded since the 1990s to include all immigrants from the Former Soviet Union) seek to marry, the rabbinical courts rely on the opinions of four state-appointed “Jewishness investigators,” who are tasked with investigating and determining who is Jewish and who is not. Officially acting only as expert advisors, the four investigators have unfettered discretion to collect any information — and their opinions are almost never challenged. They apply a body of “expertise” on Jewish genealogy that was never subject to public scrutiny or debate. The investigators use a computerized database called Maayanot to perform their investigations, and receive assistance from the Israel Police’s forensic investigators to examine genealogical documents they suspect as forgeries.

The treatment of converts, always a touchy social issue, took a dramatic turn for the worse after a 2008 landmark decision of Israel’s Supreme Rabbinical Court held that any rabbinical court was authorized to retroactively annul the conversion of a parent and her children and at any time if the court believes the convert was insincere. Consequently, every and any contact by a convert — or her children — with Israel’s rabbinical authorities becomes an opportunity for the rabbis to closely scrutinize the converts’ level of religious devotion.

While every marriage denied or delayed is a personal tragedy, the cumulative affect of the system of marriage police is to deny thousands of citizens the right to marry in Israel, and causes unnecessary hardship on entire segments of Israel’s population, numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Most cases of denied marriages are “false positives” of couples who should never have been denied marriage under Jewish law in the first place. The excessive and unfair targeting is a significant factor in the scores of Israeli couples’ decision to avoid marriage in Israel entirely and marry abroad, or to forego official marriage altogether.

The bitter irony is that Israel’s modern marriage police is an aberration from Jewish tradition, not an expression of it. Traditional Jewish marriage law was careful to limit the disclosure of information that might lead to the prohibition a marriage. It allowed old secrets to remain hidden and forgotten over time and wisely required distant rumors to be ignored.

But creating alternatives to Jewish Orthodox marriage is not enough. Dismantling the marriage police through legal reform is not only possible, but necessary. As long as most Israelis desire some form of Jewish wedding, reform of the broken marriage system will not end with the creation of civil marriage; it requires an end to the vast and arbitrary power that a tiny group within the state’s religious authorities exercise over the entire Jewish population of Israel.

Akiva Miller is an Israeli and New York lawyer.

Related:
Israel’s rabbinate reflects country’s racist streak

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‘Activestills’ photographers featured in ‘Local Testimony’ competition http://972mag.com/activestills-photographers-featured-in-local-testimony-competition/100193/ http://972mag.com/activestills-photographers-featured-in-local-testimony-competition/100193/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 10:06:30 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=100193 Photojournalism exhibition opens in Tel Aviv. Works by Tali Mayer, Yotam Ronen and Oren Ziv of Activestills are among those being featured for their work in 2014.

Photographers from the Activestills collective, partners of +972 Magazine, Yotam Ronen, Tali Mayer and Oren Ziv are among the winners of the 2014 “Local Testimony” photojournalism competition.

The “Photograph of the Year” was taken by Yuval Chen of Yedioth Aharonoth, who documented the girlfriend of 20-year-old fallen IDF soldier Guy Algranati standing over his grave, surrounded by members of his army unit in the Kiryat Shaul cemetery. Daniel Tchetchik of Haaretz won the prize for “Series of the Year” for “Sunburn,” photos from around the country. Taking the prize in the “News” category was independent photographer Avishag Shaar-Yashuv.

Taking first place in the “Photographed Story” category was Dan Haimovich, who documented the homeless population of an encampment in Tel Aviv, parts of which were published in +972’s Hebrew-language sister publication, “Local Call.”

The competition is part of an exhibition that opened this week in the Land of Israel Museum in Tel Aviv, featuring photojournalism images from local and global photographers.

In the News category, Activestills’ Tali Mayer’s photographs were featured in the “Curator’s choice” selection:

The 2014 “Local Testimony” competition. (Activestills.org)

The 2014 “Local Testimony” competition. (Tali Mayer/Activestills.org)

Photos by Activestills’ Oren Ziv took second place in the same category for his series on the struggle of African asylum seekers in Israel:

Second place in the “Curator’s Choice” category. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Second place in the “Curator’s Choice” category. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Second place in the “Curator’s Choice” category. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Second place in the “Curator’s Choice” category. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Ziv’s photo from May 1 protests were also selected in the curator’s choice category for religion and community:

In a selection featuring photos of the violence this past summer, photos by Activestills’ Yotam Ronen were included:

Summer 2014 selection in “Local Testimony.” (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Summer 2014 selection in “Local Testimony.” (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Summer 2014 selection in “Local Testimony.” (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Summer 2014 selection in “Local Testimony.” (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Summer 2014 selection in “Local Testimony.” (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Summer 2014 selection in “Local Testimony.” (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Oren Ziv was also included in the same selection:

Summer 2014 selection in “Local Testimony.” (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Summer 2014 selection in “Local Testimony.” (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The 2014 “Local Testimony” competition. (Activestills.org)

The 2014 “Local Testimony” competition. (Activestills.org)

The 2014 “Local Testimony” competition. (Activestills.org)

The 2014 “Local Testimony” competition. (Activestills.org)

A version of this article appeared on our Hebrew-language sister site, ‘Local Call.’ See it here.

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WATCH: A heartbreaking portrait of life in Hebron, in 9 minutes http://972mag.com/watch-a-heartbreaking-portrait-of-life-in-hebron-in-9-minutes/100172/ http://972mag.com/watch-a-heartbreaking-portrait-of-life-in-hebron-in-9-minutes/100172/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 15:28:44 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=100172 By Moriel Rothman-Zecher

What does life under occupation look like for a teenage Palestinian?

A new, powerful short film by filmmaker and activist Yuval Orr attempts to show exactly that, by following 15-year-old Awni Abu Shamsiya as he attempts to maintain some shred of normalcy in his hometown of Hebron.

Hebron, where the occupation is in many ways manifested in its rawest form, is the only Palestinian city inside which there is an Israeli settlement. It is a junction of direct and daily conflict between Palestinian civilians, Israeli soldiers and Jewish-Israeli settlers. It is a city where streets are segregated between Jews and Palestinians,and one of the places where freedom of movement is most restricted. It is the site of some of the worst civilian-led massacres, on both sides, since the beginning of Jewish-Arab conflict. No single work can summarize this city and its machinations, in nine minutes or nine days, but Yuval’s film, in zooming in on one day in Awni Abu Shamsiya’s life, gets as close as anything I’ve seen recently.

Maybe it’s the throat-clench of absurdity or the dull-throb of heartbreak, but “Khalil Helwa” (Hebron is Beautiful) is one of the most powerful films about life under occupation in Hebron that I’ve seen in years. The film leaves room for the viewer to come to her own conclusions, while maintaining a clear, humane and empathetic view of the gallingly unfair situation.

But forget what I have to say. The work speaks for itself, whether you’ve been to Hebron 50 times or only know the vaguest contours of its story.

Watch the full nine-minute film:

Moriel Rothman-Zecher is a writer and activist, based in Tel Aviv. He blogs independently at thelefternwall.com. Follow the filmmaker (@yuvalorr) and the author (@Moriel_RZ) on Twitter.

Related:
In Hebron, terror begets a reign of terror
This is what a military operation in Hebron looks like
Former Israeli AG: We should have evicted Hebron settlers

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A land without a people?: A visit to Russia’s Jewish autonomous region http://972mag.com/a-land-without-a-people-a-visit-to-russias-jewish-autonomous-region/100088/ http://972mag.com/a-land-without-a-people-a-visit-to-russias-jewish-autonomous-region/100088/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 12:30:42 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=100088 A visit to Birobidzhan, where Jewish autonomy hasn’t exactly worked out — and yet, the sign for Lenin Street is still written in Yiddish and public monuments commemorate Sholem Aleichem.

By Yakov Rabkin

Last summer, after three months of teaching in Japan, I decided to return home to Montreal via Birobidzhan, in Russia’s Far East. The Jewish Autonomous Region was getting ready to celebrate its 80th anniversary, and I easily found people to host me.

Built by Jewish enthusiasts from a dozen countries including Argentina, Canada, France, the United States and British Palestine, Birobidzhan is conceptually akin to Israel, which also considers Jews as a nationality rather than a confession. But unlike the State of Israel, Birobidzhan was built on a true “land without a people” and did not have to displace anyone to make the Communist Jewish dream come true. This is one of the reasons an earlier plan to create a Jewish autonomous region in the Crimea, populated for thousands of years, was abandoned in favor of the Far East. Of course, most settlers came from within the Soviet Union, particularly from the Ukraine and Belorussia, where millions of Jews had been living for centuries. They wanted to contribute to the edification of socialism explicitly as Jews.

Two local Jews, cousins Sasha and Igor, met me at the Khabarovsk airport, the closest to Birobidzhan. Igor had recently returned from Israel after 17 years, two of which he spent in the military.

A sign marks the entrance to Birobidjan. (Photo by Yakov Rabkin)

A sign marks the entrance to Birobidzhan. (Photo by Yakov Rabkin)

As we were approaching Birobidzhan, I noticed a white entrance arch with the name of the town spelled in Russian and Yiddish. Impressed by the appearance of Hebrew letters a few miles from the Russia-China border, I stopped the car to take pictures. It did not take me long to get accustomed to street signs in Yiddish, a menorah in front of the train station and a statue of a shofar-blowing Hasid in the middle of Lenin Street (also spelled in Yiddish).

The sign for Lenin Street, in Yiddish. (Photo by Yakov Rabkin)

The sign for Lenin Street, in Yiddish. (Photo by Yakov Rabkin)

Unlike most Soviet towns, Lenin street is not the main thoroughfare in Birobidzhan; instead, the central street is Sholom Aleikhem Gas. A statue of the Yiddish writer presides over one of the main town squares. I later found myself at a concert where I heard a song Ulitsa Sholom Aleikhema, performed by a group directed by Naum Livant, local Jewish activist and accomplished musician.

Sasha’s and Igor’s grandparents were among the first settlers, members of the Young Communists’ League (Komsomol). They arrived in 1928 and began by building houses. Later they built factories. Many more Jews came not as starry-eyed enthusiasts but because they could no longer ensure their livelihoods in small trade and crafts. The former Pale of Jewish Settlement was heavily affected as the country embarked on a massive industrialization drive, which tolerated no private enterprise.

Jews never constituted more than one-fourth of the population of Birobidzhan, and today their share has shrunk a lot more. Emigration to Israel, often encouraged by the economic crisis of perestroika and an active campaign by Israel and its local agents, has depleted this Jewish community just as it has many others in the former Soviet Union. At one of the synagogues I saw leaflets recruiting new immigrants for Israel, even though, as the former deputy governor of the Jewish Autonomous Region Valery Gurevich later told me, there are more Jews returning from Israel than going there.

Jewish life continues with the usual passions and controversies. There are three synagogues in Birobidzhan. The main one situated in Lenin Gas is run by a Lubavitcher Hasid from Israel. It is well appointed, occupies an impressive building, between the administrative offices of the Jewish community on one side and a Jewish non-kosher café on the other.

While Yiddish is one of the official languages in Birobidzhan, the Israeli rabbi does not speak it. Nor did his predecessor, also a native of Israel. Unlike Lubavitch synagogues in Montreal or New York, the language of the synagogue service is Israeli Hebrew, rather than loishen koidesh, Biblical Hebrew with Yiddish inflection. Jewish ritual objects in the museum of the community are called by their Israeli names rather than old Yiddish ones. All this leads to a gradual Israelization of Jewish life that some Jews feel uneasy about.

The old synagogue Beth Teshuva is located in a blue wooden house emblazoned with a big mogen-dovid. It operates irregularly, and a flood recently damaged many of its rare books. Sasha showed me the old building before taking me to a nearby apartment that had been converted into a synagogue, Beth Ha-Zohar.

The Beth Teshuva synagogue in Birobidzhan. (Photo by Yakov Rabkin)

The Beth Teshuva synagogue in Birobidzhan. (Photo by Yakov Rabkin)

Sasha, Igor and the latter’s mother Rita are among the activists of the new synagogue, which puts more emphasis on spiritual growth than on ritual observance. None of the three synagogues has a minyan of observant Jews, which is not unusual in small towns of the former USSR. Oftentimes the rabbi is the only observant member of the congregation.

I welcomed the Sabbath with members of Beth Ha-Zohar, and over supper we talked about fundamental issues of Judaism that are infrequently lost in more established synagogues, such as divine justice or the meaning and effect of prayers. There was freshness and enthusiasm in their eager questioning of the visiting professor of Jewish studies from Montreal.

The mood was more formal during morning services at the main synagogue. There were a few older men and two young Jews in the process of becoming Lubavitchers. I was asked to read the haphtarah, and surprised the congregants with Moroccan tunes, which I had assimilated in the course of decades of attending services at Beth Yosef, founded in Montreal by Jews from Tangiers and Tetuán. At lunch I thoroughly enjoyed not only the conversation but also the kosher black bread I could only dream of during my three months in Tokyo.

 The author leading the morning service at the main synagogue

The author leading the morning service at the main synagogue.

The rabbi had to go back to the synagogue to conduct a tour of the Jewish museum for a group of law enforcement officers from around Russia’s Far East. I joined the visitors and, judging by their questions and comments, noticed their keen interest and sincere appreciation of Jewish life. A film about Birobidzhan by Marek Halter was recently broadcast on one of the main TV channels in Russia.

Later that day, I easily negotiated free entry to the local historical museum, explaining why I would not use money on the Sabbath. Sasha accompanied me around the museum, chatted with staff members who knew his grandparents, and helped me fill in gaps in my knowledge of Birobidzhan and its region. The museum offers detailed and balanced information, including the disastrous effects of the dismantlement of the Soviet Union on local economy.

A couple of days later Sasha took me on a bicycle tour of industrial decay. Birobidzhan used to be a major producer of agricultural machinery. The factory had its own polyclinic, a kindergarten and a club. All of this lies now in ruins, the factory stripped of anything valuable. A seemingly abandoned monument commemorates the death of several workers killed in an accident during the wild privatization years of the Yeltsin regime. The landscape is akin to images of war-ravaged factories blown up by the Nazis.

The agricultural machinery factory in Birobidzhan after privatization. (Photo by Yakov Rabkin)

The agricultural machinery factory in Birobidzhan after privatization. (Photo by Yakov Rabkin)

Sasha took me to several other industrial sites standing padlocked. Elementary morality was destroyed alongside with physical plant, he said. Young people feel disoriented, have had no experience working in a productive capacity and often end up in petty crime. This is quite common across thousands of small towns in Russia where post-Soviet demodernization has taken its toll.

Since my book about Jewish opposition to Zionism was translated and published in Russian, my hosts asked me to give a lecture on the topic. It took place in the main synagogue and was attended by people of all ages. Some appeared familiar with the subject, noting that their parents and great-parents were ardent anti-Zionists. However, they knew less about religious opposition to the Zionist project, and the Q&A was lively and stimulating. Quite a few people in the audience had personal experience of life in Israel. There was none of the indignation the subject of Judaic anti-Zionism tends to provoke among Jewish audiences in North America.

The following day early in the morning, Sasha took me to the train station. The town was being adorned with flags and banners, invariably in Yiddish and in Russian, with Cyrillic letters stylized as if they were Hebrew. To the left of the train station I noticed a bronze statue of Tevye the milkhiker, the hero of one of Sholem Aleichem’s stories driving a horse-drawn carriage with his wife and their humble belongings. They may be leaving – or arriving in – Birobidzhan. The plaque on the pedestal says that the statue has been produced in, and donated by, a nearby town in China.

The author is professor of history at the University of Montreal. Among his recent books are A Threat from Within: a Century of Jewish opposition to Zionism (Macmillan/Zedbooks) and Comprendre l’État d’Israël (Écosociété). 

Read also:
Remember the Jewish Labor Bund?
Longing for Zion, dreaming of Kurdistan

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From Gaza to Salameh: A Palestinian refugee’s journey home http://972mag.com/from-gaza-to-salameh-a-palestinian-refugees-journey-home/100074/ http://972mag.com/from-gaza-to-salameh-a-palestinian-refugees-journey-home/100074/#comments Sun, 14 Dec 2014 19:43:04 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=100074 A Palestinian refugee from Gaza journey’s to his family’s hometown in present-day Tel Aviv. Standing on what used to be the village cemetery, he feels the ghosts of the past as he must reckon with the currently reality.

By Eitan Bronstein Aparicio (translated by Charles Kamen)

On International Human Rights Day, he took advantage of his basic rights and returned to Salameh, which today is known as Kfar Shalem. It is the first time he has visited the place where his parents were born. His father was born in 1936 and was 12 when he, along with the rest of the residents of the town, was forced to leave his home and move to the Gaza Strip where they still live today. I won’t mention his name so as not to endanger him.

He’s excited as we make our way to Salameh, growing quiet for a long time as we go from the village mosque and the mukhtar’s house. He spends some time on the exercise equipment in a local playground while his four-year-old nephew plays on the slides. The playground was erected on Salameh’s cemetery, of which nothing remains.

The son of refugees from Salameh stands outside the village mosque. Today Salameh is known as 'Kfar Shalem' and is part of Tel Aviv. (photo: Eléonore Merza)

The son of refugees from Salameh stands outside the village mosque. Today Salameh is known as ‘Kfar Shalem’ and is part of Tel Aviv. (photo: Eléonore Merza)

When we arrive at the mosque he calls his father. Even before he tells him where is, his father asks whether he has already visited Salameh. He tells his father that although the village in which he was born has become a neighborhood in Tel Aviv, some of the original buildings and the winding village streets preserve its memory. His father doesn’t speak at length. “It must not be easy for him,” he says and asks me about the village school. His father, who had been a pupil there, asks whether it’s still standing. I take him to the school which today houses the offices of the National Insurance Institute. When the construction plans are complete and the remaining residents who currently live in Salameh’s buildings are evacuated, only the mosque will remain. Its dome was damaged by rioters in 2000 and has yet to be repaired.

I tell him about the struggles of the neighborhood’s residents, almost all of them Mizrahis, against their eviction by both the state and Israeli capitalists. We pass a ruined house on Street 4848, where a resident died as a result one of these violent incidents. I have no idea how much this interests him.

They slept in our house in Tel Aviv – only an hour’s drive from where they live today (assuming there is no delay at Erez Crossing), but based on his reactions it seems like a parallel universe. He is astonished by the variety of fruits and vegetables in the Carmel Market, not to mention the prices, which are double those in Gaza. Together we sit down in front of the television to watch a Champion’s League soccer game. “We also have a set like that, but the recent attack on Gaza destroyed it as well,” he notes bitterly. That gives him the opportunity to tell about their living conditions. “Palestinians in Gaza build their homes the same way they raise children. It never ends because they must continually rebuild after the destruction caused by Israel. After we finished building a new section of the house, the summer attack destroyed all the doors and windows. A tank shell penetrated the kitchen, destroyed the stove, the refrigerator and the range hood.”

The son of refugees from Salameh returns to his family's village. (photo: Eléonore Merza)

The son of refugees from Salameh returns to his family’s village. (photo: Eléonore Merza)

“Where were you at the time?” I ask, assuming they’d found shelter in a safer location than their home. “We were at home,” he replies. “It’s very expensive to live somewhere else, we didn’t have the money, and for the entire family to live in an UNWRA school would be unbearable so we decided to remain home.” The non-material damage can only be imagined, based on what he is willing to share with us.

The conversation meanders between the horrors in Gaza and the fascinating soccer game on the screen. Basel is subsituted for an Egyptian player, he tells me. Gerard scores a great goal and for a moment it seems Liverpool will move up to the next round. My wife Eleanore wants to photograph us pretending to be happy about the goal. We agree willingly and both laugh, trying to forget the difficult day. He is well-informed about European and African soccer teams and is a Barcelona fan. “Like your son, as I saw in his bedroom,” he says. “When Barca plays Real Madrid, Gaza splits into two camps,” he adds an important detail. This human moment lasts, and the atmosphere is pleasant. The tense end of the game connects us, two fairly typical soccer-loving men. I tell him that Sosa, the fidgety coach giving instructions to the Basel players, led Maccabi Tel Aviv to the championships last year. “But you seem to want Liverpool to win this game,” he says. “I don’t really care who wins, I just want to see a good game.”

When we part the following day his nephew is happy to return home and we hug warmly on the corner of Allenby and Mazeh in central Tel Aviv. The taxi driver understands very well what is happening and concludes: “It’s a cruel world.”

Eitan Bronstein Aparicio is the founder of Zochrot. This article was first published on +972′s Hebrew-language sister site, Local Call. Read it in Hebrew here.

Related:
Sentenced to life at birth: What do Palestinian refugees want?
How Mizrahi Jews as pawns against Palestinian refugees

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