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Life & Culture

  • COMIC: The Haggadah's evolution from generation to generation

    Haggadot have historically evolved to reflect the needs and aspirations of their respective communities. Eli Valley envisions an American Jewish Haggadah for presidential primary season. Eli Valley is a writer and artist whose work has appeared in The New Republic, The Nation, The Daily Beast, Gawker and elsewhere. A collection of his comics will be released later this year by OR Books. His website is www.elivalley.com and he tweets @elivalley.

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  • A different kind of café in East Jerusalem

    The Tahhan brothers refuse to give up on their neighborhood, or their city. By Laura Selz Opening a café is a risky endeavor anywhere. Doing so in East Jerusalem is even riskier. Just as Café Sarwa opened its doors for the first time in October 2015 the current wave of violence was starting on the streets of East Jerusalem, not that there was a shortage of political and economic challenges development in the occupied part of the city before that. The story of Café Sarwa is the story of a couple of young entrepreneurs fighting the cultural and economic abandonment…

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  • 100 percent human: Five years without Juliano Mer-Khamis

    In a small cafe in Berlin, I found myself surrounded by Palestinian refugees from Yarmouk who knew and loved my friend Juliano — a man who was 100 percent Palestinian and 100 percent Jewish. By Udi Aloni When I landed in Berlin on April 4th, I realized that it was the first time since the murder of Juliano Mer Khamis that I wouldn't be holding a memorial service for him. I thought that I would buy a bottle of Black Label on the plane, Jul's favorite whiskey, and down it that same night with Mariam Abu Khaled, his wonderful student…

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  • Before Zionism: The shared life of Jews and Palestinians

    Before the advent of Zionism and Arab nationalism, Jews and Palestinians lived in peace in the holy land. Menachem Klein's new book maps out an oft-forgotten history of Israel/Palestine, and offers some guidance on how we may go back to that time. By Noam Rotem Menachem Klein's book, Lives in Common: Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Hebron, is a depressing one. Originally released in English, the book — which is being published in Hebrew  — paints a picture of a shared life between Palestinians and Jews at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th…

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  • Blurring the lines between Palestine and Baltimore

    A new play tells the story of Aseel Asleh, one of the 13 Palestinians killed by police inside Israel at the start of the Second Intifada. Playwright Jen Marlowe is bringing it to black colleges in the U.S. in the hopes of connecting two struggles. Before his death, Palestinian teenager Aseel Asleh dedicated himself to his Jewish Israeli friends. As a loyal alumnus of Seeds of Peace, a coexistence summer camp, he was convinced that the promise of peace lay in forgiveness and reconciliation. [tmwinpost] More than 15 years after he was killed at the age of 17 by Israeli…

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  • How Palestinian women are enlisting traditional dresses into the struggle

    The keffiyeh has long been the dominant symbol of the Palestinian struggle. In honor of International Women’s Day, we brought together women to give the traditional embroidered Palestinian dress the respect it deserves. Photos by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org A woman is prettier, more feminine and more attractive when wearing a dress. That’s what they taught us, and I won’t get into the question of who is behind this theory and whom or what it serves. What is certain is that women have always held in special regard this specific article of clothing, which in some cultures represents hiding the beautiful body…

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  • From Haifa to Beirut: '48 Palestinians challenge regional isolation

    For Palestinian citizens of Israel, especially those from the Haifa area, Beirut holds near mythical stature. The two cities share near-identical Arabic dialects, cuisine and the cultural elements, and just a few decades ago traveling between them would have been a mere two-hour drive. Today that is almost unimaginable That disconnection between the Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel, or “’48 Palestinians” as they are sometimes called, and the wider Arab world has been a source of pain and resentment ever since the borders slammed shut in 1948. The majority of Palestinians were locked outside, but over 1 million live in…

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  • Classified: Politicizing the Nakba in Israel's state archives

    Documents that have already been cited in history books are being re-classified in the State Archives. Israeli state archive documents that were de-classified in the 1980s have been re-classified in recent years, according to a recently hired assistant professor at the University of Maryland's Center for Jewish Studies. Shay Hazkani, who was Israel Channel 10's military correspondent from 2004-8 and will soon complete his doctorate at New York University, discusses the background and politics of the state's decision to re-classify various documents in an interview for the Ottoman History Podcast. In the interview, which was recorded in July 2014 (I…

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  • Humanizing the conflict, in the words of the women who live it

    Online testimonial project 'The Political is Personal' gives regular Palestinian and Israeli women a platform to talk about the conflict as they experience it. +972 sits down with its founder, Sarah Arnd Linder, to discuss the importance of amplifying women's voices in both societies. By Laura Selz Too often, we view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a political and impersonal framework. But at the end of the day it is individual women and men who are affected by the politics, policy and violence we hear about on the nightly news. Sarah Arnd Linder wants us to see the personal, and specifically,…

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  • Lebanons, part 7: The Land

    The last chapter in Yuval Ben-Ami’s anti-travelogue: an exploration of places unvisited. (Click here for the rest.) They say that in the Swiss countryside, one need not wear a watch or carry a cellphone to know the time. Towns are abundant, and each country church sports a functioning clock. Just look over to the next village, and you shall arrive punctually to your next Swiss engagement. This is accurate only at certain latitudes. There may have been a church in the valley below me, but I was too high up to tell it apart from other houses. The familiar land of rusti and…

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  • Lebanons part 6: The Bird

    Yuval Ben-Ami’s new project is an anti-travelogue: an exploration of places unvisited. (Click here for more.) The afternoon dragged on and the fog persisted. I passed the time playing catch with the friendly poodle with chewed up piece of rope, tossing it into the patch of snow outside the hut's door. Beyond that patch of snow, I knew, were the cliffs. The hut occupied close to a half the rock's crest, the snow covered the rest. Any false step, and that dog would plunge an entire kilometer, yet he galloped with utter confidence, knowing perfectly well the bounds of his tiny universe. I…

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  • Lebanons, part 5: The Smoke

    Yuval Ben-Ami’s new project is an anti-travelogue: an exploration of places unvisited. (Click here for more.) I made a bit of a headway. When the fog parted below me, the dark desert appeared at an exhilarating depth. Moreover: somewhere not far over my straining head, bits of grass stuck out, signaling the approaching end of the sheer cliff. I kept my eyes fixed on them while struggling up. The promised land of promised rest. There really was grass up there, and a bit of flat soil. I was far from the fall now, engulfed in sacred silence. I sat down to catch my…

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  • Lebanons, part 4: The Wind

    Yuval Ben-Ami’s new project is an anti-travelogue: an exploration of places unvisited. (Click here for more.) The three cages: my large one and the two small ones, remained clumsily interconnected. Then Israel withdrew its settlements from the Gaza Strip, and Hamas took over. The siege began, trapping 1.7 million souls in a territory one-tenth the size of Rhode Island, the most perfect, hermetic cage my land has produced to date. I didn't want to think about it. I wanted to be in nature, somewhere healthy and just, and I was just in such a place, in all but my mind. I was in…

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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