Israel may think that bombing - and killing - innocents is a viable strategy. But there is a better option: to actually understand what has been driving Palestinian resistance for all these decades. Point out the barbarity of Israel's ongoing attacks against Gaza - as of this writing, more than 80 killed, a quarter of them under the age of 16 - and you're bound to hear a familiar rejoinder: but what exactly would you have Israel do? The question implies that the root cause of the current attacks is some - presumably innate - Palestinian propensity toward violence. "They"…Read More... | 13 Comments
Omar Sa'ad was hospitalized late last week after complaining for three straight days of chest pains. Attempts by military intelligence to transfer him to Tel Aviv's Ichilov hospital failed after both his family and medical staff protested the life-threatening decision. Omar Sa'ad, a Druze conscientious objector who is currently serving his seventh prison term for refusing to join the Israeli army, was hospitalized in Haifa last week with a liver infection. According to a report by Raanan Shemesh Forshner, two policemen are currently guarding Sa'ad's hospital room "so that he does not escape." On Saturday, while he was still undergoing treatments, military police…Read More...
By Rafael Balulu The Mizrahi discourse has its own set of eloquent speakers. Although varied, one can say that it seems that in 2013 there are many voices who are speaking in the name of this complex identity. Comedy has always been a subversive tool that made it possible to get away with poking fun of the holiest of holies. Galit Hoogi and Tom Aharon are two new, sharp stand up comedians who are challenging everything we know about stand up that deals with Israeli culture and Mizrahi identity. From the days of Avner Dan's imitations of different ethnic groups…Read More... | 1 Comment
As an Israeli who was born and raised in the United States, few things were more important to me than formulating an Israeli identity. It was a strange complex, which, at its core, always strived to be "the most Israeli" possible (and always more Israeli than those who surrounded me). In our expat community, Israeliness was demonstrated in all sorts of way - there was (and still is) an Israeli scouts chapter, Israeli Remembrance Day and Holocaust Memorial Day ceremonies, lectures on Israeli culture and history and a plethora of Zionist organizations that worked tirelessly to bring us a culture…Read More... | 1 Comment
Police detained and held Razi Nabulsi, a young Palestinian from Haifa for a week for statuses he posted to Facebook and Twitter, claiming they constituted incitement. The catch? Even though the statuses were posted publicly on the Internet, police declared them to be secret evidence and refused to publicly say in court what he was accused of writing. By Yoav Haifawi Razi Nabulsi, a 23-year-old activist and student in Haifa, spent the last week in jail for statuses he publicly posted on Facebook and Twitter. His detention was extended twice. In four different court hearings during the week (two remand extension…Read More... | 34 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
The Palestinian, in whose head is engraved an image of the lands that were torn away from him, now faces an entirely different picture that clashes with the narrative and imagery of his grandparents' stories. Haifa of today is not the Haifa of Al-Shrak Cafe or the 1920s and 30s capital of Palestinian culture. An entry permit is a statement in and of itself: Here, you are permitted to enter once again, to have a good time, to pray. That is, as long as you behave yourself. By Fady Asleh One of the questions that came up during Ramadan last…Read More... | 11 Comments
The solitary work of a trucker entails long hours, poor pay and dangerous conditions. One trade union is attempting to organize drivers in a sector which is crucial to the Israeli economy. By Alon Aviram Haifa - At the largest of Israel’s seaports, heavy haulage trucks operate day and night, continuously working to transport imports and exports across the country. A stench of diesel fumes hangs in the port, and the sounds of shifting gears and screeching brakes are constant. Over 10,000 heavy vehicle drivers are employed in haulage in Israel. Unionization is scarce, and work conditions are grizzly. Long…Read More...
In its refusal to make compromises on zoning restrictions for an unrecognized Bedouin village in the Galilee, Israel demonstrates that its preferred demographic balance is higher on the list of state priorities than the protection of the welfare of its citizens. By Paul Karolyi In the early 1950s, a Bedouin Arab named Atif Mohammad Sawa’ed (Abu Walid) bought a parcel of land from the Shafa ‘Amr municipality, 25 kilometers east of Haifa, hoping to build a home for his new wife and his family. The land he bought in Umm al-Sahali lies on a hilltop, no more than two kilometers…Read More... | 1 Comment
Ascribing a pro-Assad position to large swaths of the Arab population in Israel, and presenting 'Arab parties' as one unified block, ignores a far more complex political discourse taking place within Palestinian civil society. A response to Yossi Gurvitz. By Muhammad Jabali I wish that I could write about this subject without so much personal involvement, and without having to explain so many details. But most of the debate I am about to enter into happens in Arabic and among Arabs, and here I’m writing about it in a different language, for a different audience. The issue addressed in Yossi…Read More... | 13 Comments
<< The Christmas Journey Home Tel-Aviv - Haifa - Afula, twixt two bearded men. I brought Ruthie a couple of small treats from Ramallah. One of them is a chocolate Santa, which looks entirely out of place in Tel Aviv's surroundings. As I headed out this morning, I kept thinking of how foreign this holiday is to us Jewish Israelis, and yet how much more familiar it has become in recent decades. Christmas is a stranger in our culture, but one who appears at our door newly each year. Have we come to accept him? Should we come to accept…Read More... | 8 Comments
On Friday, December 9, 2011, Israelis gathered for the 3rd annual human rights march, held this year in both Tel Aviv and Haifa. Joining the marches were a range of human rights, democracy, and anti-occupation groups, as well as rightist counter demonstrators. View photos from the Tel Aviv march taken by +972 contributors: (Click 'Show Info' for translations of Hebrew signs)Read More... | 2 Comments
The revolutionary social struggle taking place in Israel today is nearing a critical juncture: either it crumbles under the boot of "security needs" and racial segregation, or breaks free from all previous dogmas and reboots our political system. Perhaps it is due time to say these words out loud: friends, partners, comrades – we on the left have been fighting for a lost cause. For ages now we've been fighting against occupation, apartheid, Zionist racism and the likes, with very little to show for it. In recent decades, Israel's rule over the Palestinian Occupied Territories has become ever-more sophisticated, more…Read More... | 7 Comments
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Assault on Gaza
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Anyone who speaks for Palestine & condones anti-semitism should not be speaking for Palestinians, says @YasmeenSerhan http://t.co/fBXTB86Xmo
3 Israelis, 73 Palestinians killed; Kerry departs Israel with no ceasefire breakthrough http://t.co/7AWQmHgy7h
Even with the relatively high number of soldier casualties, the Israeli public isn't opposing this war. http://t.co/0D1Sp8ASFH
Anti-Semitism has no place in Palestine advocacy, says @YasmeenSerhan http://t.co/O6QUx8rehz
'Gaza’s earth was parched long before Israel took a match to it.' Talking to a friend in #Gaza http://t.co/1Pe7bqIoch by @samwithaner
Reports of journalists barred from entering/existing Gaza, as Kerry arrives in Tel Aviv to push for ceasefire http://t.co/pTYs84WRtG
'Thank you for asking about us. It seems the rest of the world only cares when the bombs are falling' http://t.co/1Pe7bqIoch by @samwithaner