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jaffa

  • A living legacy of displacement

    The impulses that drove the dispossession of the 1948 war are still acted on today, on both sides of the borders it forged. “Did you know I’m afraid of sleeping? … I’m scared of sleeping and waking to find myself in a strange land whose language I can’t speak. I’m scared I won’t wake up.” —Elias Khoury, Gate of the Sun There is an old Palestinian house on Ba’al HaTurim Street in Jaffa that sits quietly behind the trees. It is the kind of building that one could walk past every day and not see. I failed to notice it until…

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  • WATCH: 'Jaffa flotilla' marks destruction of Palestine's cultural capital

    Dozens of Palestinians and Israeli Jews sailed along the coast last week to mark the destruction of Jaffa — the former political, cultural and economic capital of Palestine — during the 1948 War. Organized by the Israeli NGO Zochrot, which works to raise awareness of the Nakba and promote the right of return among Israeli Jews, the participants, which included Joint List MK Haneen Zoabi, listened to first-hand stories of the fear, expulsions and mass exodus of Palestinians from the city by the pre-state Zionist militias.   Related: The road out of the occupation runs through the Nakba S. African…

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  • Lifelong refugees: Palestinian boat people search for a new home

    After escaping the horrors of the Syrian Civil War by boat, a group of Palestinian refugees washed up on the shores of Greece. Now they are wandering the streets of Athens without food or shelter. By Samah Salaime After four days at sea, with no food or fuel, 175 Palestinian refugees were rescued by the Greek navy. After fleeing the horrors of war in Syria for neighboring Turkey and paying huge sums to their smugglers, who promised to bring them to Italy (not to mention ensure they had entry permits, as well as food and drink), the refugees found themselves…

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  • There's still room for optimism: A letter to Sayed Kashua

    ‘You were supposed to be optimistic, you were supposed to give us hope. Instead you are only proposing despair.’ A letter to Israel’s best known Hebrew-language Palestinian author, columnist and entertainer, who after the racism and violence of recent weeks wrote that he's lost hope in coexistence. By Maisalon Dallashi Dear Sayed, You broke my heart when you cried out in your weekly Haaretz column. You've made the tears trickle down of their own accord. You made me want to escape out of my body and run. This is not how I imagined our first meeting. In my mind I saw…

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  • Why are there are no white flags in Gaza?

    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"…

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  • Jaffa is neither Palestinian nor Jewish: A response to Rami Younis

    What kind of democratic struggle excludes people based on their ethno-religious or national identities, and what kind of liberation is really possible when it concerns only one nation and its nationalism? By Benjamin Birely On the evening of May 1st, 1921 the Jaffa-based Socialist Workers Party (MPS), later the “Palestine Communist Party” and a forerunner of today’s Maki, organized a small, unauthorized march between Jaffa and Tel Aviv. Participants marched under a banner in Yiddish that triumphantly called for the establishment of “Soviet Palestine.” Arabic filers were distributed to onlookers. The march ran through Manshiyya, an Arab neighborhood erased literally…

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  • The Jewish-Israeli Left can participate in the Palestinian struggle, but not as a partner

    Israeli Leftists want the 1.5 million Palestinians who live in this country to become an integral part of this Israeli society. But they see their fellow Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank belonging to a different country.  By Rami Younis A Palestinian man and a Jewish woman are both participants at a Jaffa protest rally. The Palestinian calls out, “Yafa Arabiyeh Falastaneeyeh!” (“Jaffa is Arab-Palestinian!”). The Jewish woman doesn't like this. She takes him aside and explains that this is a joint Jewish-Arab demonstration. Thus, according to the woman, there is no place for a chant of “Jaffa is…

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  • From Jaffa to Beirut: Re-imagining a borderless Middle East

    On a day trip through Israel, one truly understands how close the country is to the great cities of the Middle East. Unfortunately, distances here aren't measured by kilometers, but rather by border crossings.   By Leehee Rothschild Sometimes I think that the greatest tragedy of this place is not what it has become, but what it could have been. The greatest rupture in the Middle East was the destruction of the train route from Alexandria to Istanbul - precisely where Israeli existence takes place, spatially and linguistically. "From Yaffa to Beirut," a tour put on by Zochrot, an Israeli NGO…

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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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