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  • A song was born: The tale of a controversial tune

    Six or seven years ago, I was sitting in Tel Aviv's Cafe Ginzburg with a man I admire deeply. Mikhael Manekin was then, along with Yehuda Shaul, one of heads of Breaking the Silence. BTS was still a budding organization at the time, made up entirely of Israeli soldiers who participated in the occupation and sought to document and inform of its atrocities. The organization was expanding its activities. Manekin came to Tel Aviv to brainstorm on organizing tours for Israelis and foreigners in Hebron. "I would like to bring authors there," he told me. "I feel that authors have…

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  • The cultural meaning of occupation (Mati Shemoelof)

    Israel’s control over the Palestinian territories has continued for more than 40 years. While government policy toward the territories has gone through different phases over the past four decades, there has been no significant shift toward ending the occupation. How did the occupation and its administrators become so powerful?  Why there isn’t any strong opposition? There are a few factors that contribute toward the perpetuating of this situation. Israel uses a very strong philosophy that demonizes the Palestinians, lumping them all together as the enemy. Thus Israelis do not see the overall civilian toll of the blockade on Gaza, but…

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