In a land of rampant commercialism, abandonment isn't the worst thing that could happen to an historical railway station. Elisha Baskin photographs — and insists on riding the kiddy train. (for the full, four part project, click here) Once upon a time, the good people of this land were able to travel by train from the coastal cities up to Jerusalem. They still can, come to think of it, but nobody does. The trip is twice as long it as it is by bus and the terminal on the Jerusalem end is at Malha, a remote southwestern offshoot of the city.…Read More...
A Palestinian resident of the Tel Aviv city-state publishes a nasty racist letter from an anonymous neighbor, and becomes a local celebrity. Ziad "Zizo" Abul Hawa was thrust into the local media spotlight this week when he discovered that one of his neighbors wanted to get him evicted from his Tel Aviv apartment because she didn't think it was safe to have an Arab in the building. The neighbor, who still has not been identified, left an unsigned note pinned to the notice board in the lobby of his building. To the Tenants of 51 Bar Kochba Street, Due to the…Read More... | 1 Comment
In a strange feat of partial resurrection, half of the railway between Haifa and Damascus is being fixed for reuse. Elisha Baskin's lens and Yuval Ben-Ami's pen follow it, focusing on the decaying and embalmed, rather than the freshly welded. (for the full, four part project, click here) For the next leg of the journey, Elisha and I meet at a train station, a living one. We are hung up on ruins, but Israel also boasts railway infrastructure that is largely modern, functional, and topped with a bonus bit of irony: our red trains are the same used for local…Read More...
Read parts one, two, and three. Thursday morning: I wake up and check the news this morning to see what happened last night and then head to the doctor’s in north Tel Aviv. I’m 24 weeks pregnant — yes, with a Jewish-Palestinian baby. My physician in Florida, where we live now, has advised me to keep up with my medical care in Israel even though I’ll only be here for six weeks to freshen up my research for the book I’ve just sold. I’m a few minutes late to my appointment . When the doctor’s door opens, the woman who is…Read More... | 2 Comments
A journey to the Holy Land's disused railway stations begins with a sonnet of concrete. Digital and disposable camera photography by Elisha Baskin. (for the full, four part project, click here) There is an old railway station in south Tel Aviv. It isn't really so old by local standards, being 80 years younger than the city's first train depot. A concrete edifice of the 1970s, it would hardly delight all eyes. "Tel Aviv south" is no Milano Centrale, oh, and it hasn't served any lines since 1993. It's useless. Nevertheless, not only do I take off a hot September day…Read More... | 1 Comment
He had no idea Palestinians couldn't import high quality motorcycles. I had no idea Israeli policemen could be so friendly. How one motorcycle brought us together during a traffic stop in the middle of the West Bank. By Bassam Almohor Israeli police stop — Thursday, September 24, 2015. An Israeli policeman standing at the entrance to Ofra settlement, just east of Ramallah, motions for me to park on the side go the road. He walks slowly with his M-4 rifle, inspecting the license plate on my motorcycle, then pats my shoulder: “With all due respect, this is great; you wear…Read More... | 1 Comment
You thought only Prime Minister Netanyahu does silence? Kaufman, Simon, and Garfunkel have a wake-up call for you. Related: Abbas' peace project has hit a dead end Is this what the end of Oslo looks like?Read More... | 1 Comment
Twelve-year-old Fares al-Khodor sold roses in West Beirut for five years until he was killed in an airstrike during a visit to his hometown in Syria. Touched by the massive outpouring from people who knew him in Lebanon, artist Yazan Halwani brought his memory all the way to Germany. By Avi Blecherman Yazan Halwani, a Lebanese street artist known as “the Banksy of Beirut,” went all the way to Dortmund, Germany in order to paint a portrait of Fares, a refugee Syrian child who was killed recently in the ongoing war. Fares al-Khodor, 12, charmed business owners and passersby with…Read More...
"It was different with Papa. He celebrated all the major holidays — Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Pesach — and he loved telling me Bible stories, but religion didn't have a very important place in his life. Once, during Mama's illness, I asked him if he believed in God. He gazed at me with that tender look, a look that spoke only of the powerlessness of love, and said, "You know, Sara, God doesn't need us to believe in him. All he wants is for us to act as if he were there." — from Paths of Desire, a novel by Emmanuel…Read More...
I hesitate to critique BDS, but there is still something in the campaign that troubles me — a sense that some on the left are inadvertently using boycott as a tool with which to sort through, measure, and reject other progressive voices. By Penina Eilberg-Schwartz Palestinians living in Israel are all too familiar with litmus tests, most of which boil down to the question of Israel’s “right to exist.” In its politics, most brazenly suggested in the 2014 nation-state bill which suggested to define Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, Israel demands that Palestinians in Israel both recognize…Read More... | 4 Comments
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