Israelis refuse to understand what drives Palestinians to violence. After all, it is far more convenient to dehumanize them than face reality. There’s something self-righteous about calling Palestinians who violently resist occupation “terrorists,” while referring to the ones occupying them, also violently, as mere “soldiers.” It becomes even more grotesque when the people committing these desperate acts are minors, or even children. Even at the tender age of 11 and 13 they are still terrorists, even in so-called “liberal” newspapers like Haaretz. The fact minors that cannot be held criminally responsible for their actions is suddenly no longer relevant to these…Read More... | 5 Comments
The banality of the ghetto: The term ‘ghetto’ migrated from Europe’s Jewish communities to Israel’s ethnically mixed towns — both as an idea and an institution for controlling the Palestinians who remained in Israel after 1948. By Daniel Monterescu In the aftermath of Jaffa’s conquest in 1948, Moshe Erem, director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Minority Affairs and Tel-Aviv City Council member, wrote to minister of minority affairs Bechor Shalom-Shitrit: ‘Ajami will be from now on surrounded by Jewish housing on all sides. We can assume that there is no threat to security in the city. But for some reason this was not…Read More...
Weighted down by historical, religious and linguistic inaccuracies, Egyptian television series 'The Jewish Quarter’ nevertheless tells an intriguing story of the political, social and religious changes that have transformed Egypt — in 1948 and in 2015. An Egyptian Ramadan television series called “The Jewish Quarter”* has attracted quite a bit of international media attention for its sympathetic portrayal of Jewish Egyptians during the years immediately following the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, up until 1954. Set in Cairo, the ongoing multi-episode drama takes its name from one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, where Jews, Muslims and Christians…Read More... | 7 Comments
Filmmaker Lia Tarachansky has been showing her latest movie, 'On the Side of the Road" — a documentary on how Israelis view the Nakba — around the world for nearly a year. What happened after she screened her film for a class of American high school students took her by surprise. By Lia Tarachansky The film's credits come on, so I take a deep breath, turn on the lights and walk slowly to the center of the room. I want to stretch out the minutes to give them more time to digest. After a few long moments of standing there…Read More... | 5 Comments
The village of Dahmash has been around since 1948, and its residents have the documents to prove it. The authorities, however, have been threatening the unrecognized village with demolition for years. Now residents are taking matters into their own hands and putting together a festival to bring attention to their cause. On Monday, March 16 — a day before the national elections — Israel's High Court of Justice will hear an appeal by the residents of the unrecognized village Dahmash. The village, located between Ramle and Lyd ("Lod" in Hebrew), is not recognized by any local council. The hearing could…Read More... | 4 Comments
With Palestinian children in Gaza bearing the brunt of Israel's offensive on the Strip, this is what one little girl may have written to us – had she the chance. By Sam Bahour As the latest horrific obscenity of Israel’s aggression against the Gaza Strip continues, the death toll mounts. Palestinian children are paying the highest price, both those who are killed and wounded, and, maybe even more so, those who survive. Since I have written for decades about how Israel’s prolonged military occupation and endless violations of international law – let alone its blatant disregard for its very own…Read More... | 5 Comments
Israeli Leftists want the 1.5 million Palestinians who live in this country to become an integral part of this Israeli society. But they see their fellow Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank belonging to a different country. A Palestinian man and a Jewish woman are both participants at a Jaffa protest rally. The Palestinian calls out, “Yafa Arabiyeh Falastaneeyeh!” (“Jaffa is Arab-Palestinian!”). The Jewish woman doesn't like this. She takes him aside and explains that this is a joint Jewish-Arab demonstration. Thus, according to the woman, there is no place for a chant of “Jaffa is Arab,” just as…Read More... | 65 Comments
A solution to the ongoing displacement of Palestinians cannot be based on fruitless negotiations, but rather on the full implementation of international law. By Amjad Alqasis By the end of 2013, an estimated 7.4 million (66 percent) of the global Palestinian population of 11.2 million was made up of forcibly displaced persons. This week we mark 66 years since the Nakba, the most central part of the story of how Palestinians became refugees. However, we can point to five distinct periods of forced displacement that transformed the Palestinians into the largest, longest-standing unresolved refugee case in the world today. That…Read More... | 7 Comments
The court’s ruling that the rights of Alsira's villagers’ take precedence over the state’s agenda for their land, inadvertently implies what should have already been an established fact: the deliberate hostility toward the unrecognized village is simply wrong. May 1 was a good day for the families of the Arab Bedouin village of Alsira. After eight years of legal proceedings, the Be’er Sheva District Court dismissed the state’s appeal aiming overturn a lower court’s 2011 decision to cancel 51 demolition orders against the village, which is home to 350 Bedouin citizens of Israel. This means that the demolition orders remain…Read More...
The Palestinian village of Irqit was depopulated in the 1948 war and then almost entirely razed. Now new generations of its original residents are trying to resurrect the town and realize a decades-old High Court ruling recognizing their right to return. Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org It would seem that Israeli authorities conspired to intertwine the story of Iqrit with the Christian narrative. As the season of Advent approached in November 1948, the Israeli military forced residents of Iqrit and the neighboring village of Kufr Bir’im—all citizens of the newly created state of Israel—to leave their homes near…Read More... | 12 Comments
An in-depth article on Palestinian refugees and their attitudes toward return and peace had some in the liberal Zionist camp up in arms. In a response published last week, Danny Orbach accused Paula Schmitt of doing a disservice to the refugees by nurturing their 'disastrous, futile fantasies' and distorting the events of 1948. Now, Schmitt responds to the allegations. By Paula Schmitt Debating Zionists or staunchly religious people is like playing a board game where your pieces must move like chess while your opponent's pieces can move like checkers. Only one side of this battle follows rules and abides by…Read More... | 28 Comments
One of the more difficult aspects of living in Israel over the last several years has been coming to terms with the layers of denial in which Jewish Israeli society wraps itself. The denial comes in many forms and covers some of the biggest issues facing the country: the occupation, discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel and Mizrahi Jews, sexism, homophobia and of course, the Nakba. I recently came across a video that, at least for me, clarifies just how deep the denial of the destruction of Palestinian existence prior to 1948 runs in Israeli society. The video shows the…Read More... | 17 Comments
Palestinians, Israelis and internationals gathered in a Tel Aviv museum last week for a two-day conference dedicated to the Palestinian right of return. Tom Pessah on some of the conference highlights. By Tom Pessah I don’t normally cry during academic conferences, although perhaps "academic conference" would be the wrong way to characterize Zochrot's conference on the issue of the Nakba and the Palestinian right of return. This year's conference, titled “From Truth to Redress,” was held in Tel Aviv's Eretz Israel Museum (on the grounds of the former Palestinian village Al-Sheikh Muwannis) and featured two days of presentations by Palestinians, Israelis…Read More... | 6 Comments
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