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  • Gentrification leaves one Jaffa family caged in their own home

    Ismail Shawa never expected that a new luxury apartment building would have such an immediate and dramatic effect on his family's life -- that was until contractors sealed off the entrance to their home with a concrete wall, effectively trapping them inside. By Yudit Ilany To exit or enter his Jaffa home, Ismail Shawa, 62, has to remove the bars from his bedroom window and climb out and over the neighbor’s water pipes. He still has to cross a yard that doesn’t belong to him but for the time being, no has told him not to. The other option is…

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  • PHOTOS: Jaffa, Tel Aviv enveloped in fog

    The fog came out of nowhere Thursday afternoon. It affected the entire region. At around 5 p.m, as I made my way home going south along the beach, I took some photos that I thought I'd share.         Related: PHOTOS: Snow blankets Bethlehem as winter weather hits region PHOTO: 'Snow makes everyone equal for a day on Hebron's Shuhada St.'

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  • From Italy to Israel/Palestine: Activists share insights on popular struggle

    Since 1994, activists in the Italy's Susa Valley have been engaged in a popular struggle against government plans to build a 57 kilometer high-speed railway. On a trip to the West Bank, the Susa Valley activists came to better understand life under Israeli occupation, and came away with new insights for their own struggle back home. By Riccardo Carraro When we use the term “popular struggle” we usually mean it in the context of collective, grassroots participation in a fight that is inclusive of several sectors of society, without distinction based on gender, age, culture, etc. And although each popular struggle…

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  • Arab-Jewish hip hop group challenges Israeli 'melting pot'

    System Ali, a ten-piece hip hop outfit which raps in Arabic, Russian, Hebrew and English sits down with Café Gibraltar to talk about the power of the genre, normalization, revolutionary Arab street poetry and the need to struggle for justice in their home city.  By Hagar Shezaf How did it all start? We started playing in a local bomb shelter in the Ajami neighborhood of Jaffa. The shelter belonged to the Sadaka-Reut organization, and some of us had previously started the Jaffa Youth Center, which was a center of education and arts for Jaffa's teenagers. The center focused on photography, theatre,…

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  • Activists and actors host Hakawati Theater solidarity event in Jaffa

    Music, monologues and theatrical performances filled Mahsan 2 in Jaffa, with artists, activists and MKs hoping to raise the public profile of a Palestinian children’s festival cancelled by Israeli authorities last month. An Israeli audience filled the 200-seat theater at Mahsan 2 at Jaffa Port yesterday, with dozens of attendees standing in the side and rear wings of the theater, for a night of entertainment in solidarity with the Palestinian National Theater el-Hakawati and its executive director Mohammad Halayka. The protest event was organized by a group of five Israeli and Palestinian activists and actors. Mahsan 2 donated the venue…

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  • The personal and the political: Territorial swaps and population exchanges

    When Israeli politicians talk about land swaps, they rarely consider the rights of those affected – or at least the Palestinian ones. As personal as it is political, the entire situation shows the lack of civil discourse in so-called peace negotiations. By Muhammad Jabali I will never forget that night at a birthday party in Jaffa when a drunken friend began approaching guests with the question: “What’s your address as registered at the Interior Ministry?” He then joked that everyone should change their residency to Tel Aviv as soon as possible before they find themselves on the other side of the separation…

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  • Charges against J14 leader highlight suppression of anti-occupation activism

    J14 leader Daphni Leef has been charged with rioting, more than half a year after she was violently arrested during an attempt to reignite the protest movement of the summer of 2011. Her trial will begin on January 23. By Leehee Rothschild Look at this photo of Daphni Leef. Look at her, thrown at the floor, crushed under uniformed men - uniforms which define them as the guardians of law and order and give them the authority and power to use reasonable strength, allowing them to define what's reasonable. Look at them triding on her, pulling her, dragging her, beating…

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  • Arabs and Jews come together to oppose gentrification in Jaffa

    About 100 residents of Jaffa -- Arabs and Jews -- came together on Friday afternoon to protest a city plan that threatens to change the character of their neighborhood. The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality master plan for all Jaffa includes construction of a 15-meter multi-lane road on Kedem Street in Ajami, between the Jaffa Port and the city of Bat Yam. It's a tranquil street that cuts north-south through residential Jaffa, parallel to the bustling business of Yefet Street, and overlooking the beach. This happens to be my favorite beach. It is still untouched by all the hotels and tall buildings…

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  • WATCH: This land belongs to me. And you. And them. Oh, and those guys

    Growing up and living in Jewish towns in Israel (Haifa, Ra’anana, Tel Aviv, Givatayim and now Bat Yam), my Yom Kippurs were always of the quiet kind. Silent streets, clean air and kids riding bikes. But on this Kippur, I ventured into Jaffa and saw another world. Maybe the real world? It was noisy as hell (no pun intended). Cars were speeding, music was blasting, shops were open, families were picnicking on the street and smoking nargilas. At times, it almost seemed like there was a rebellious air to the scene. As I passed the locals on my bike, I…

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  • Ch. 2 accuses Fatah leader of extremism by misquoting him

    Yesterday, I reported on Fatah's Christmas celebration in Bethlehem.  Dr. Mohammad Shtayyeh, a Fatah Central Committee member, spoke about his concern regarding the growth of settlements in the West Bank. He specifically referred to the Har Homa settlement, which is encroaching on the land of the town of Beit Sahour, east of Bethlehem. Israeli Channel 2 reported the event, but distorted Dr. Shtayyeh's comments, in an article published in Hebrew, titled "Fatah leader: No difference between Ramallah and Jaffa," which claimed that Shtayyeh proclaimed, "There is no reason to distinguish between Ramallah and Jaffa," meaning - the two cities belong…

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  • Grave matters: Israel's mistreatment of Islamic waqf

    In the past, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denounced the desecration and vandalism of mosques and Muslim cemeteries. But the destruction of Muslim religious properties in Israel is, in fact, institutionalized and has a long and sometimes shocking history Jewish settlers torched a mosque near Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on December 15. Earlier that week, Jewish rightists set fire to a mosque in Jerusalem. They scrawled graffiti on the walls reading “Mohammed is a pig,” and “A good Arab is a dead Arab.” Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat condemned the desecration of the religious site. Prime Minister Benjamin…

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