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  • Portraits: Detained African asylum seekers in Israel

    The faces and stories of African asylum seekers indefinitely detained at 'Holot,' Israel's new 'open' prison. Project by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org, Hotline for Refugees and Migrants This portrait series was taken outside of the Holot prison for African asylum seekers in Israel's Negev desert. Israeli authorities refer to Holot as an 'open facility' because its detainees can leave for a few hours at a time. Prior to their transfer to Holot on December 12 and 13, 2013, all the subjects photographed were held under administrative detention in the "Saharonim" and "Ketsiot" Israeli prisons for periods of more then 18 months. Under current…

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  • Israeli reality TV could not be further from reality

    There's been a string of victories for minorities on Israeli reality TV - does it mean anything? There are probably a lot of people in Israel today who are really proud of their country. Last night, a Filipina cleaning lady won the final of the Israeli X-Factor - one of the highest rating shows in the country. Israelis are probably saying to themselves: "See, we just voted for a 47-year-old, lesbian Filipina - have you ever seen such a liberal and modern society?" And, it's not the first time Israelis have voted en masse for a minority figure in the…

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  • Book review: The year Palestine became a zero-sum game - 1929

    After 1929, Arabic-speaking Jews who had lived in peace and cultural affinity with fellow residents, and orthodox Jews who had shunned Zionism, could no longer feel safe among their erstwhile neighbors and friends. They had to rely on the new Yishuv to protect them from then on, and they never looked back. Introducing new information and highlighting forgotten facts, a new book by Hillel Cohen brings fresh context to the 1929 massacres in Mandate Palestine. By Ran Greenstein It is not easy to write history in a popular and accessible manner, all while retaining academic precision and professional credibility. Prominent…

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  • Reviving the spirit of Yemen's Jewish goldsmiths

    Although goldsmithing among the Jewish community in Yemen goes back generations, most Yemenites were stripped of their ability to continue their work upon their arrival in Israel. The few who remained in the profession watched as their work lost its meaning in Israeli-tzabar culture. By Tom Fogel My family from my mother's side is a family of goldsmiths. It's a bit strange to write that out, since none of the grandchildren bore witness to our family's profession. Like many who came from Yemen, the patriarchs of the family were not allowed to bring their tools to Israel, and the women's…

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  • Mixtape: Sounds from the 'other' Israel 1967-1978

    Maor Anava is a 28-year-old DJ and record collector from Tel Aviv. He helped found the Fortuna record label, which specializes in reissuing rare, 60s and 70s Middle Eastern psychedelic music on vinyl. Anava sat down with Café Gibraltar to talk about the high demand for Middle Eastern music among record collectors, and how his biggest customers don't even live in Israel. By Khen Elmaleh Tell us a bit about the mixtape I put together some of the rarer things I've collected over the years. What unites them is that they were recorded in Israel between the years 1967-1978 and…

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  • Book Review: On Ari Shavit's 'My Promised Land'

    The Zionist story, re-told by the elite, for the elite. A new book by Haaretz journalist Ari Shavit won rare compliments in recent weeks from the liberal Jewish elite in the United States. A couple of prominent Jewish writers—Leon Wieseltier and Thomas Freidman—praised the book on the pages of the New York Times, the New Yorker’s editor held a party for the book and its author at his home, Bloomberg’s Jeffrey Goldberg handed the Natan Prize to Shavit, and more. The 17 chapters of My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel (Random House, English only) re-narrate the story…

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  • Umm Kulthum in Vogue: Manipulations in visual media

    'Manipulation,' an exhibit that opened this past Thursday as part of the annual Jerusalem Design Week, brings together the country's top graphic designers to examine whether the field of visual communications is itself nothing more than that - a manipulation. By Eitam Toubul and Shira Glick Designer Daniel Mouktel, who is known for his previous graphic work for the "Arisa" line, criticizes the fashion world using his work "Fashion Force" to show how the world is "dictated by trends that decide what is right and what is out of fashion." At the head of the pyramid sits Vogue, which serves…

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  • First Person: A weekend in 'besieged' Jerusalem

    How apt, and catchy, that the city was cut off from the rest of the country on the very anniversary of the Babylonian siege, over 2,000 years ago, which led to the destruction of the First Temple and basically the beginning of Jewish exile from Zion. By Michelle Bubis Last night, I finally opened my bedroom window. Gingerly at first, feeling very brave. After three days and nights without daring to open a single window in the house, this was a much-needed breath of fresh air, for my sanity as much as my lungs. Three days of a long weekend in…

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  • Riches to rags to virtual riches: When Mizrahi artists said 'no' to Israel's pioneer culture

    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…

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  • Why can't we walk back?: A conversation with Palestinian filmmaker Annemarie Jacir

    '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…

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  • Inshallah, the Jews won’t stop

    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…

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  • 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…

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  • The top five most hypocritical Mandela eulogies by Israeli politicians

    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…

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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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