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  • Creating a radical Hebrew culture — in the diaspora

    Israeli artists and authors abroad are beginning to create an alternative Hebrew culture that challenges norms and national borders. Israeli politicians, on the other hand, aren't so pleased. By Mati Shemoelof Over the past few years we have been witnessing the growth of an alternative Hebrew culture, both independent and diverse, outside of Israel. Just recently two Hebrew-language publications have been published in Berlin: the bi-lingual magazine "Aviv," edited by Hano Hanostein and Itamar Gov, and "Mikan V'Eilach," dedicated to diasporic Hebrew and edited by Tal Hever-Chybowski. They join the relatively older magazine "Shpitz," edited by Tal Alon, and a number of institutions…

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  • Emigration as a political act

    The Israeli government has guaranteed the non-viability of a two-state solution and apartheid has already arrived. I will not sacrifice my children’s future for a hopeless struggle. By Na’aman Hirschfeld The immigration of young Israelis to Berlin is troubling “because it is precisely these young women and men who are needed in Israel,” explains veteran left-wing activist Uri Avnery in a recent Haaretz oped (Hebrew). “It is precisely those who are energetic, full of initiative and seekers of freedom, who are needed to save the state from the hands of Netanyahu and his associates.” [tmwinpost] “The common excuse [for emigration] is…

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  • The diaspora is an integral part of Hebrew literature

    There is a ceaseless movement of Israeli culture — and the diaspora experience is just waking up and testing its global limits. By Mati Shemoelof BERLIN — There is no such thing as “Hebrew literature written outside Israel” because the definition of “outside Israel” cannot address art in general or literature in particular. Literature is created in a space that is not a state or a country. The categorization of literature that is written outside or inside a country is problematic. As such, we should understand that Hebrew literature from the get-go belongs to every country in which there are writers…

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  • 100 percent human: Five years without Juliano Mer-Khamis

    In a small cafe in Berlin, I found myself surrounded by Palestinian refugees from Yarmouk who knew and loved my friend Juliano — a man who was 100 percent Palestinian and 100 percent Jewish. By Udi Aloni When I landed in Berlin on April 4th, I realized that it was the first time since the murder of Juliano Mer Khamis that I wouldn't be holding a memorial service for him. I thought that I would buy a bottle of Black Label on the plane, Jul's favorite whiskey, and down it that same night with Mariam Abu Khaled, his wonderful student…

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  • Fact-checking Netanyahu: A week full of truthiness

    From surreal exaggerations to outright lies, Netanyahu dished up another batch of nonsense utterings to a foreign audience in Berlin this week. We picked three of the best and broke them down for you. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has something of a track record of saving his most nonsensical and demonstrably false statements for foreign audiences. Although honesty is also not his strong point on home turf, it's when he's speaking in English that he gets really creative. Less than four months after his bumbling attempt to pin the Holocaust on the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem aroused equal parts derision and mirth…

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  • A place of dignity for refugees in Berlin

    An outpouring of hospitality is on full display at a shelter in the German capital, where volunteers insist on treating refugees as people, not just victims. But as the gifts pour in, how deep is the well of kindness — and what is brewing under the surface? BERLIN — A few young teenage Arab boys line up loosely, side by side, in a concrete courtyard. They are concentrating hard on four big guys dressed in black, who are busting hip-hop moves to music blaring from an amplifier. The boys bounce a little with the beat, then follow after the big…

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  • Occupation increasingly a touchstone for Israeli-German relations

    After 50 years of diplomatic relations, the Israeli-German partnership is strained by mounting German dismay over Israel’s settlement policy and reinvigorated anti-Semitism in Germany. By Angela Gruber Israel and Germany are marking 50 years of diplomatic relations this week. While most people probably aren’t reeling with excitement in anticipation of the countless festivities (especially on the German side) to mark the occasion, the anniversary does serve as a good occasion to take stock of the relationship between these two countries. [tmwinpost] Can Israeli-German relations ever be normal? Should they, after the Holocaust? Is Israel more entitled to German support than…

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  • PHOTOS: Anti-Zionists join rally against anti-Semitism in Berlin

    Our joint Jewish-Palestinian-German protest confused participants at the rally against anti-Semitism, and definitely confused the German police. We wanted to chip away at the automatic linkage between Jews and the State of Israel. Text by Inna Michaeli Photos by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org BERLIN -- By the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Sunday, some 3,000 people rallied against anti-Semitism, at the initiative of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. As promised, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a speech. Many in the crowd were touched by her declaration of historical responsibility for the crimes of the past, and for ensuring that Jews are…

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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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  • Is 'predatory theocracy' actually threatening Tel Aviv?

    A recent Supreme Court ruling dictated that Tel Aviv must shut down certain business during the Sabbath. The decision was met by an automatic response that framed the decision as a ruling in favor of a 'predatory theocracy,' instead of one in support of an 'enlightened, free, and open' society. But are these the only two options available? By Hagai El-Ad Recently, the Supreme Court in Israel decided to order the Tel Aviv Municipality to either enforce – or amend – the City's existing municipal bylaw with regard to the closure of certain businesses on Shabbat. Yes, Tel Aviv actually has such…

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  • +972's Haggai Matar wins journalism award for series on separation wall

    +972 Magazine's Haggai Matar was recently awarded the 2012 Anna Lindh Mediterranean Journalist Award in the Online Media Category for his 12-part series "The Wall, 10 years on," which was first published on +972. The series surveys Israel's separation wall in the West Bank, or what Haggai calls the "biggest, most expensive and most influential construction project in Israel’s history." Haggai shared the 5,000 euro prize with Sophie Chamas (Lebanon), whose piece also won. Click here for the entire project: The Wall: 10 years on / Haggai Matar The award was first launched by the Anna Lindh Foundation in 2006 to recognize the role…

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  • A week in photos: October 11-17

    Olive harvests in the West Bank, protests against settler violence, refugees from Israel to Germany demonstrate for the their rights, and more: Activestills images tell the stories of the week.                    

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  • How to gauge the effectiveness of protest: A response to Roee Ruttenberg

    Until we find a way of measuring the efficacy of one form of protest or another, surely we must encourage all forms and enable all those who desire change to express their desire in the way they think will be most effective. By Yonatan Preminger Roee Ruttenberg’s recent post criticized the way a group of “pro-Palestinian” activists in Berlin disrupted a concert by the Israeli choral group Gevatron. The gist of his article is that the protesters were childish attention-seekers, and that this form of protest is ineffective. This piece raises a thorny question: how are we to gauge the…

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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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