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  • A portrait of the enemy in Tel Aviv

    The enemy in Tel Aviv is a shapeless wail in the morning. It has no point of origin, it arises from the air, a warning without warning. A noise from a void. The enemy is a tremble in coffee number one, a soft boom over bread and butter at the restaurant last night.  It is the grinning diners who twist toward me when I turn toward them: “Keeps things interesting,” they chuckle. “How is the atmosphere in the South tonight?” asked the anchor on the news  to reporters in the South. “They’re used to it down here,” she gushes. “They’ve…

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  • Dispatch from Gaza: You can never be emotionally ready

    I have witnessed two wars and even more escalations, and yet I have never been ready for the trauma.  By Abeer Ayoub GAZA - It’s 2 a.m. and the electricity is off for the night. I can’t sleep because of the extremely hot weather and my two sisters are lying next to me checking the news on their cellphones. My sisters and I were discussing whether there will be another Israeli offensive again after the recent attacks between the two sides. We tried to dismiss the idea but everything taking place around us indicates it’s possible. We decided to sleep…

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  • Marching toward freedom in a fictional plot of land

    Nearly 1,000 African asylum seekers walked out of Israel's 'open' detention facility last week, saying they were headed to a strip of UN-controlled territory along the Egyptian border. This is the story of their march -- full of hopes, determination and desperation. Encampment air hangs hot and still. Under a dry canopy of Eucalyptus it swaddles the crowds of Sudnese and Eritrean asylum seekers who make temporary beds here, some 300 meters from the Israeli-Egyptian border. Hassan Abdaiiah Adam, a 30-year-old asylum seeker from Darfur, passes thick fingers over the yellow whistle that he wears around his neck. He has…

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  • 'I don't want my kids to experience a third intifada'

    The kidnapping of three Israeli teens started a chain of events that has affected people of all stripes, Jewish and Palestinian, and in different places. A reflective diary of the kidnappings, as they touch others. By Leanne Gale Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 2:00 p.m. “I’m parked in front of the market.” I have no idea what Manal is talking about. “Do you mean, on the way to Kufr Aqab?” “No, I live in Kufr Aqab. I am parked in front of the market.” Alright then. Manal is waiting for me in front of some market somewhere. I hazard a guess that…

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  • Voices from Israel's 'open prison': Feeling caged in Holot

    'My curiosity drives me to walk around my prison, where I stand like an inmate near those massive buildings, guarded by imposing patrol towers.' Musings by a Sudanese refugee in Holot prison. By Hassan Shakur I live in a rugged and semi-abandoned grassland. It is a very remote and isolated area that doesn’t seem to support life at all. There are numerous rocky hills without trees, and the area lives up to its name as a deserted desert. I live in a small confined center enclosed by a fence that reminds me of a cowshed. The detention facility where I…

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  • Film Review: 'Policeman,' a study of the Israeli alpha male

    By leaving the Palestinian conflict in the background, filmmaker Lapid manages to skip over the common ‘shooting-and-crying’ formula, in which Israeli protagonists are portrayed more as victims than perpetrators of the conflict. The timing of the release of Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid’s debut, "Policeman," was very unique in Israel: October 2011, right after that summer’s so-called Tent Protests, which saw hundreds of thousands Israelis take to the streets over social and economic issues. "Policeman," which was shot and completed before the surprising demonstrations erupted, tells the story of a confrontation between a group of young revolutionaries plotting to kidnap a…

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  • At the exiled Iranian Parliament in Berlin

    At the exiled Iranian parliament we convened at Café Kotti in Berlin, I look around at my new friends and ask myself: how can civilians destroy the walls the politicians have built with such a lack of imagination, courage, vision and basic human love? It’s not a theoretical question. We’re talking about our lives. By Mati Shemoelof (translated from Hebrew by Chana Morgenstern) During one of my special evenings in Berlin, I climbed over the wall separating Israel and Iran and opened a parliament for Iranian Mashhadi exiles with two other refugees. We sat at Café Kotti (the local Albi)…

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  • 'My best friend was Jewish': A young East Jerusalemite speaks

    I teach writing at a Palestinian university in the West Bank. Several of my students have been gracious enough to share their experiences with +972, albeit anonymously. This is the final installment in the four-part series.  With the other pieces, I've let the student speak first, only adding my comments at the end. But this excerpt points toward a surprising ideological issue that arose between my student and myself, so I feel the need to preface it. During discussion in class one day, the subject of Israel's renaming of destroyed Palestinian villages arose. This student felt frustrated with my insistence…

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  • Farhud, 1941: Iraqi Jews remember a massacre

    On the holiday of Shavuot in 1941, Iraq's Jews experienced a pogrom that claimed over 180 lives and ended in mass looting. But there’s another story from the Farhud that often goes undiscussed: the bravery of Muslims during the crisis. "The Farhud" / Foreword By Orit Bashkin (translated by Asaf Shalev) Silently but not without some noise, a blessed thing is happening in Israel right now. The general category of “Mizrahiness” is falling apart into the stories of specific communities, cities, places, languages and memories: Iraq and Morocco, Aleppo and Oran, Ladino and Aramaic. All of them are asking to tell…

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  • WATCH: Palestinian short film tackles emotional impact of conscription

    A just-released short film, titled "Project-X," tackles a politically charged issue -- conscription by the Israeli military -- through an emotional appeal to Palestinian youth. "We wanted this time to make a different kind of video," said Nadim Nashif, director of Baladna -- the Association for Arab Youth, which co-sponsored production of the film. "We wanted to treat the issue in a cinematic way... [to show] what it produces by way of impact on the self." Nashif's comments, which are translated above from Arabic, are included in the description to the "Project-X" video, which can be found here. (The video…

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  • 47 years of occupation: Every photo tells a story

    Marking 47 years of the Israeli occupation since 1967, we asked Activestills photographers to choose one photograph from their archive and write about it.  Oren Ziv Going every week to the protests in West Bank village of Bil'in, I knew most of the people who were attending the demonstrations. One of them was Bassem Abu Rahme, also known as "Fill." At every protest he would go to the front and try to talk to the soldiers in Hebrew. On the day I took his photo, some of the protesters managed to cross the first gate of the separation barrier and  march between…

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  • Now trending: Orientalism for babies

    Most of the world is not familiar with post-colonial theory, and this album's success is due to the audience's naiveté. But forget politics; let me hug a baby and sing songs of nostalgia, anew. By Ilana Shazur Whoever chose the name "Baby Oriental 2" likely never heard of the term Orientalism. Had they heard of it, they would never have dared choose that name. Perhaps the opposite would be true, since they would be well versed in the discourse on Orientalism in academia and among the radical left. In any case, one of the most successful albums in Israel today is…

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  • Leaving Palestine: 'Give 'em something to talk about'

    A fleeting moment of romance in grueling border terminal that devours you alive -- and yet you don't die. A day at the Allenby border crossing. (Read part one of this series here.) By Bassam Almohor “Saqallah ala ayyam zaman (I long for the old times) when we used to travel all over el blad (the country),” my father uttered with tears in his eyes; he longed for the old days. Are they really that old? Until the late eighties, I was able to go to Gaza in a single bus ride, no transfers, straight from Jenin to Gaza. And…

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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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