While Sinai used to be one of the most popular tourist destinations for Israeli Jews, today it is nearly abandoned. But neither the threat of Al-Qaida attacks, ISIS kidnappings or her friends' pleading could stop Orly Noy from going back to her own private heaven. The bottom line is this: we went to Sinai for our Passover vacation, we had a great time and returned unharmed. Does this justify an entire article on the exprience? Well, if you take into account the number of requests for television and radio interviews that I received while there, the answer is yes. The…Read More... | 8 Comments
Life & Culture
Mimouna, the traditional festival celebrated by North African Jews on the last day of Passover, is often overlooked when discussing the Jewish holiday of liberation. Here are 10 things you might not know about the celebration that once brought Jews and Muslims together. By Ophir Toubul 1. The name of the holiday, "Mimouna," has several different, fascinating meanings. The most famous of them attribute the name to the Hebrew word "emuna" (belief), the death of the preeminent medieval Sephardic Jewish philosopher, Rambam ("Maimonides") or the name of the Berber goddess of luck ("Mimouna"). A less popular explanation ascribes the name…Read More... | 1 Comment
Kamal Hachkar's film, 'Echoes From the Mellah,' looks at Morocco's history, which not long ago included Jews and Muslims living together in peaceful co-existence, and serves as an important resource for building a vision of a shared Jewish-Palestinian existence. By Ronit Chacham (translated by Noam Benishei) The January 6 screening of Kamal Hachkar’s "Tinghir-Jerusalem: Echoes From the Mellah," at the opening of Doc Aviv Festival in Yeruham, and the following screening at Ben-Gurion University, were first and foremost an opportunity to broach a subject that is at the heart of our lives: Muslim-Jewish relations. This time, however, it was done through…Read More... | 2 Comments
For many Palestinians, recreational hiking is an odd thing to do. The political geography makes it complicated and Israelis and Palestinians fight over the right to mark trails. And yet, a hike through Wadi Qelt is still worth it. By Angela Gruber Two young Palestinian guys pass by, not looking all too interested in our hiking group, though their facial expressions betray a distinguishable touch of bewilderment. Our routes cross on a small, dusty trail in the Wadi Qelt in the Jordan Valley. As quickly as they appeared, the two men disappear in the other direction. Hikers are a rather…Read More... | 1 Comment
'Occupied Palestine Through My Lens' is a visual chronicle of the West Bank village's struggle against the Israeli separation barrier. 'Children of Bil'in' is a book of portraits of youngsters from the village, the proceeds of which will benefit Palestinian children with cancer. When the bulldozers arrived in Bil’in for the first time, in February 2005, and the villagers went out to protect their lands from the separation barrier, Haitham Khatib decided that somebody has to start documenting the popular resistance. It couldn’t be that people are non-violently protesting against an army coming to steal their land (roughly 1,500 dunams…Read More... | 1 Comment
It wasn’t the soaring arches or the elegant windows, with their curved caps. It wasn’t that the first room of the house was built in 1808. It wasn’t the jasmine that, like a woman letting down her hair, released its heavy perfume at night. It wasn’t the olive, loquat, lemon, almond, and apricot trees that filled the garden. Nor was it that the fruit from that garden seemed sweeter here in Bethlehem than it was in Jerusalem. The apartment’s biggest selling point, in my landlady’s opinion? The well. She showed it to me the first time I saw the place,…Read More... | 18 Comments
Acclaimed Palestinian hip hop group DAM adds a female member, releases new video which looks at patriarchy and feminism in Arab society. By Rami Younis Palestinian hip hop group DAM released a new video for their single "Who You Are?" Thursday in a joint project with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The song tackles women's rights and criticizes the patriarchal society in which the group grew up in. This is DAM's first project that was fully completed with its newest member, Maysa Daw. Daw joined the group, which is comprised of brothers Tamer and Suheil Nafar, and Mahmood Jreiri. "I'm…Read More... | 6 Comments
'Anyone who isn't jumping is a leftie,' chant the settler youths at a right-wing election rally in Tel Aviv, the site of a larger anti-Netanyahu rally a week earlier. Netanyahu the ringmaster is in control of his audience, and the rally itself has the quality of a victory parade. Video by Camilla Schick They came, they saw, they cheered. Around Rabin Square Sunday evening, the streets of Tel Aviv were unrecognizable: thousands of settlers, hilltop youth and national-religious had come from across the country (and from over the Green Line) in order to attend a right-wing rally in a location usually…Read More...
Haya Asaad waited for more than a decade for her fiancé to get out of Israeli prison. By Abeer Ayyoub GAZA CITY — At a modest dressmaking shop in downtown Gaza City, the tailor makes the final touches on Haya Asaad’s classic tight wedding dress. But Asaad isn’t your typical bride: an Israeli court kept her wedding on hold for more than 12 years while her fiancé was behind bars. The story began when Asaad, now 30, was studying business administration. Eyad was a teacher at the same school, and the young couple immediately fell in love. Eyad proposed after only…Read More... | 2 Comments
The final chapter, in which we make music. Part 15 of 15. To read the rest of the series, click here. "Yuval, what is your time limit?" Khader asked me online. There was a time limit. The spring's succession of guided tours was supposed kick off in two weeks. Once that happened, I would have no more time. "Why?" "Because Rasha only comes back on March 23rd, and she really wants in." "Where is she now?" "In the U.S., making friends with Uncle Sam". "Okay," I wrote, "I'm going to talk to Yaron. Our deadline is March 7th, but I think we'll…Read More... | 2 Comments
What can bring hope in times of weak spirit? How about a teardrop, a social network, a Russian soprano and a faithful ex-lover. Part 14 of 15. To read the rest of the series, click here. The war never broke out in earnest, but my mood was not quick to recover. One thing did brighten things up, however: I was invited to speak on Radio New Zealand. Attentive producer Jeremy Rose caught sight of the very first post in this series and wrote me instantly. On the last night of January 31, 2015, which in New Zealand was the first morning…Read More...
In this country, looking at things differently can really get your head spinning. Part 13 of 15. To read the rest of the series, click here. And so the project took a real conceptual shift. There was no denying it: this was the same shift my own political views took in recent years. Once I strongly believed in the dichotomy, and consequently in a two-state solution. Here is how I saw the map: west of the Green line, folks should sing Lorde in Hebrew. East of it: in Arabic. By now, however, and due to more developments and learning than I…Read More... | 3 Comments
When the going gets tough, the only way to move forward is to think differently. Following the disheartening drive from the South, the Lorde tribute project picks a new direction. Part 12 of 15. To read the rest of the series, click here. Friday was the last day of the rainy spell. The brave editor of this series, Mike Schaeffer Omer-Man, and Emily, his human rights lawyer wife, had us over for a hummus brunch in Jaffa. Beyond their apartment's large French windows were the comely, winter-gray Mediterranean and something even grayer: a concrete ruin, an abandoned high rise that used…Read More... | 5 Comments
OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTERSubmit
Full coverage of the BDS movement, international pressure on Israel to end the occupation.
The Beaten Path
Travel writer and tour guide Yuval Ben-Ami deconstructs the Holy Land's tourist trail.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
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