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Life & Culture

  • 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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  • The Long Road to Bethlehem: Part five

    Read the previous chapters of The Long Road to Bethlehem here. Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” begins in Gaza. I am consumed by the news. I scroll through Twitter with the television on, flipping between Al Jazeera and CNN. Horrifying images stream out of the Strip. Rubble. Bodies. Crowds around hospitals. People running, carrying limp loved ones. Shujaiyah. When I can’t take it anymore, I turn off the TV, leave my phone inside, and go to the garden. I realize how fortunate I am to be able to “take a break” from the war — even if that break is somewhat…

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  • Lebanons, part 3: The Gorge

    Yuval Ben-Ami's new project is an anti-travelogue: an exploration of places unvisited. (Click here for more.) The next place on the map that had a name was "Schwarzwaldalp". I headed for it in the cool morning, winding downhill into a small valley. The pastures were dark green, the cows cute. The clouds were low, obscuring how tall the mountains were above it all. My foot kicked something on the trail, some stick that didn't feel like a branch. I looked down and found a titanium walking stick. The handle was broken off but otherwise it seemed fine. Nice luck. Shwarzwaldalp was not much…

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  • Lebanons, part 2: The Town

    Yuval Ben-Ami’s new project is an anti-travelogue: an exploration of places unvisited. (Click here for more.) I walked in beauty. I walked in fire. Early morning matured into fully boiling day just as the trail led me from shady forest into pastures. Above me soared rocks in outlandish angles that seemed carefully measured so as not to shield me from the sun. Each village spring was a life saver. One farmhouse advertised cheese. I knocked, craving the cool of their cellar far more than the cheese itself. Somehow I persisted, climbing to the town of Grindelwald, then beyond it. The mountains grew greater,…

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  • Lebanons, part 1: The Theft

    Yuval Ben-Ami's new project is an anti-travelogue: an exploration of places unvisited. (Click here for more). I was in Paris and it was hell. A heatwave beat down on the gray town, chasing people out through windows of old maid chambers. They perched in the evenings on roofs, Gothic spires in view, to sip wine by the light of an exhausted moon. Indoors was too hot, but then, out on the roof was also too hot. My hosts lent me a "wife beater" tank top to let my armpits breath. It did little good. During the day I went for…

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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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