Upon their arrival in Israel, Mizrahi Jews found themselves under a regime that demanded obedience, even in cultural matters. All were required to conform to an idealized pioneer figure who sang classical, militaristic 'Hebrew' songs. That is, before the 'Kasetot' era propelled Mizrahi artists into the spotlight, paving the way for today's musical stars. Part two of a musical journey beginning in Israel’s Mizrahi neighborhoods of the 1950s and leading up to Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf. Read part one here. By Shoshana Gabay (Translated from Hebrew by Yoav Kleinfeld) Our early encounter with Zionist music takes place in kindergarten, then later in…Read More... | 2 Comments
Life & Culture
'When I Saw You' tells the story of a Palestinian child in 1967 who refuses to accept his fate as a refugee. Writer and director Annemarie Jacir discusses what led her to make the film and what lessons its carries. By Frank Barat Returning to Palestine is a recurring theme in Annemarie Jacir's films. Unlike the majority of Palestinians, who are refugees, Jacir was able to return to her hometown Bethlehem every year to visit family while growing up, something she describes as "the privilege of Palestine." In 2008, however, she was denied entry, separated from her partner and left…Read More... | 11 Comments
How the 'worst video ever made' can help clarify things for people who are yet undecided about Israeli policies. What you’re about to watch is, as Heeb Magazine correctly points out, the worst video ever made. It was apparently produced by Orit Arfa, who lives in the mega settlement of Ariel. http://youtu.be/7PiiJ22rRfA I’m sorry you had to go through that. But here’s some more anyway: http://youtu.be/BkObY7Uerpo http://youtu.be/TPFugDD-4NY Orit also has a way with words. In an op-ed she wrote for the Jewish Journal on Jewishjournal.com, she criticized Jeffery Goldberg’s critique of Miley Cyrus and said that “He makes Miley's famous tongue…Read More... | 33 Comments
Navigating privilege, solidarity and belonging: A chapter from the new book 'Anarchists Against the Wall'
As a member of Anarchists Against the Wall, Roy Wagner acts in solidarity with people whose plight and oppression has to do with his privilege. 'Since I am part of their problem, it’s pointless for me to patronize them over how their communities go wrong.' When it comes to his beloved hometown of Tel Aviv, however, that becomes a much more difficult, if not impossible task. 'With those who share my privileges though not my politics, with those whose wrongs are so densely interlinked with mine, I feel that I don’t have enough of a common language to talk about…Read More... | 11 Comments
Israeli politicians have begun updating their Facebook pages with eulogies for the late Nelson Mandela. What do statesmen of the Jewish state - one of the last western countries to support the South African apartheid state and which today practices apartheid-like policies between the river and the sea - have to say about the man who brought racism to its knees? Here's your definitive list (which may expand - I'll update as the day goes on) 1) Naftali Bennett - Leader of the Jewish Home settler party "Nelson Mandela ** With his willpower he changed the world. May his memory…Read More... | 35 Comments
By Rafael Balulu The Mizrahi discourse has its own set of eloquent speakers. Although varied, one can say that it seems that in 2013 there are many voices who are speaking in the name of this complex identity. Comedy has always been a subversive tool that made it possible to get away with poking fun of the holiest of holies. Galit Hoogi and Tom Aharon are two new, sharp stand up comedians who are challenging everything we know about stand up that deals with Israeli culture and Mizrahi identity. From the days of Avner Dan's imitations of different ethnic groups…Read More... | 1 Comment
The eponymous scene of On the Side of the Road, a documentary that explores Israeli attitudes toward the Palestinian Nakba, or catastrophe, occurs midway through the film on an unpaved road just outside the West Bank settlement of Ariel. Interrupted by a curious Israeli family out for a pastoral drive, director Lia Tarachansky stops to answer their questions about what she is filming (“what TV channel will it be on?”). As they drive on, the children waving and smiling their good byes, Tarachansky stands alone on the side of the road and suddenly bursts into tears. “I mean, everyone I…Read More... | 51 Comments
As an Israeli who was born and raised in the United States, few things were more important to me than formulating an Israeli identity. It was a strange complex, which, at its core, always strived to be "the most Israeli" possible (and always more Israeli than those who surrounded me). In our expat community, Israeliness was demonstrated in all sorts of way - there was (and still is) an Israeli scouts chapter, Israeli Remembrance Day and Holocaust Memorial Day ceremonies, lectures on Israeli culture and history and a plethora of Zionist organizations that worked tirelessly to bring us a culture…Read More... | 1 Comment
Israeli singer and actor Arik Einstein died last night at 74. More than any other in the previous two decades, the moment of his death resembled that of Rabin’s – the face of the TV anchorman, the reactions of my friends (this time on social media), the people gathering in front of Tel Aviv City Hall. I was listening to a pop show on the radio when the music stopped; Einstein’s version of “Hachnisini” by Israeli national poet Haim Nachman Bialik was played, and we all knew. In the hours that followed, some crowned Einstein the "Israeli Sinatra." This is…Read More... | 2 Comments
Some of the most revered musicians from the Arab world moved to Israel in the 1950s and 60s, where they became manual laborers and their art was lost within a generation. Now, with the advent of YouTube, their masterpieces are getting a new lease on life and new generations of Arab youth have come to appreciate their genius. Part one of a musical journey beginning in Israel’s Mizrahi neighborhoods of the 1950s and leading up to the Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf. By Shoshana Gabay (translated by Benno Karkabe, Noa Bar and Orna Meir-Stacey) The birth of the Internet awakens our slumbering…Read More... | 8 Comments
DJs Ophir Toubul and Gal Kadan are in the business of making music to break down borders. Culling sounds from all corners of the world, the duo (known as Laissez-Passer) strings together everything from Mizrahi music to Jamaican dancehall to Kanye West. Most of all, they just want you to dance. By Ophir Toubul and Gal Kadan Playlist: Diblo Dibala - Laissez-Passer (Excerpt) Stromae - Papaoutai Major Lazer - Watch Out for This (Bumaye) Eyal Golan - Hazak Mimeni Mahendra Kapoor & Suresh Wadekar - Sada Vasda Raje Punjab (Uproot Andy RMX) Rima - Sidi Mansour (feat. Rayan) M.I.A. -…Read More... | 4 Comments
What is a Muslim woman's place in a country where Jewish suffering is the dominant cultural theme? A new Israeli film tells the story of Hadeel, a 27-year-old Arab woman who teaches at a Jewish school in central Israel, and explores the difficulty of never fully belonging. By Shoshana Madmoni-Gerber Dove’s Cry, Ganit Ilouz's new documentary (playing at New York City's "The Other Israel" film festival, November 16-18), tells the story of a charismatic Arabic teacher in a Jewish elementary school in Israel. Edited by Sara Salomon, the film speaks to both the possibilities as well as the limitations of implementing an…Read More... | 9 Comments
Animal rights movements in Israel have grown in size and power in recent years. At the same time, a growing number of people are questioning the relationship between animal rights and the ongoing violation of Palestinian human rights. Vegan guru Gary Yourofsky, who is scheduled to speak in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, has some shocking things to say about the latter. Awareness of animal rights has grown dramatically in Israel in recent years, entering both the political and public discourse. In a recent post, I surveyed the growing number of Israelis turning to veganism and the restaurants that…Read More... | 23 Comments
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTERSubmit
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
Kerry's peace process
Full coverage, commentary and analysis of the latest round of peace talks.
Plan to displace Bedouin
Will tens of thousands of Israeli citizens be evicted from their homes?
A series of striking infographics.
- MOST READMOST COMMENTED24 HOURS|WEEK|MONTH
Why raising the electoral threshold could be a recipe for increased Arab-Jewish tensions in Israel http://t.co/y8xAAiGCND
WATCH: In Hebron, waving a Palestinian flag in your own home is a crime http://t.co/55mJPNTMjS By @MairavZ
Under Israeli occupation, waving a Palestinian flag on your own roof is a crime. WATCH this footage from Hebron http://t.co/55mJPNTMjS
Why the electoral threshold stokes internal conflict, by @dahliasc http://t.co/y8xAAiGCND
WATCH: Hebron man faces arrest for waving Palestinian flag on his own roof http://t.co/55mJPNTMjS by @MairavZ #occupation