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Israeli culture

  • 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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  • Israel's culture minister is no friend of cultural equality

    Culture Minister Miri Regev may be right in wanting to change the unbalanced distribution of Israel's resources, but she's going about it all wrong. By Yossi Dahan Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev is right to speak about the need for "social justice" in Israel, and she is correct when she says that the distribution of resources vis-a-vis cultural institutions is skewed and discriminates against different groups in Israeli society. [tmwinpost] Yes, state funds dedicated to culture often go directly to institutions and art based in Tel Aviv, while communities in the social and geographical periphery are not properly allocated resources…

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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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  • Israel's culture minister is turning artists into enemies

    Miri Regev's attempts to pull funding from artists who 'delegitimize' Israel expose the lengths to which this government will go to try and silence its critics. Last week Israel's new Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev threatened to pull state funding from a children's theater in Jaffa after its manager, Norman Issa, an actor with the Haifa Theater, refused to perform in a West Bank settlement. She claimed that as opposed to her, Issa is not an advocate for coexistence. After it provoked some backlash, she went on the defensive and stated that because her Likud party won 30 Knesset…

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  • The prestigious award that only goes to Ashkenazi men

    While the prime minister's attempt to intervene in the selection committee for the Israel Prize is clearly anti-democratic, so is the fact that the vast majority of its recipients look exactly the same. The uproar over Prime Minister Netanyahu's meddling in the nominations of three would-be judges for the prestigious Israel Prize selection committee caused many good people to pull out their calculators. They wanted to prove, incontrovertibly, that the prize, which according to its website, "has until now been awarded to a wide range of citizens, to men and women, religious and secular, young and old, veterans and new immigrants,…

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  • A return of the post-Zionist cabaret

    A successful indie band whose radical lyrics dealt with Israeli taboos - from the Nakba to militarism - is making a comeback.  Photographs by Goni Riskin The basic rules for political engagement in Israel: Yearning for peace is welcomed, criticism of the occupation is tolerated but not really liked, and mentions of the Nakba and refugees are completely taboo. These guidelines are adhered to even in the cultural world: Army Radio will gladly play the Song for Peace, but a tune by a mainstream artist based on soldiers' experiences in occupied Hebron might be banned, and songs about the Nakba…

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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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Illustrations: Eran Mendel