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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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  • Film review: The unending Nakba - Three generations of stateless Palestinians search for home

    Tens of thousands of Palestinians have languished for over 65 years in the Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp, waiting to return home. Now, through his documentary, Mahdi Fleifel reveals an essential side of Palestinian exile that is often forgotten: the human side. It was heartening that the Academy bestowed its highest honors this year to “Twelve Years a Slave,” a story about injustice and liberation, and recognizing America’s historic cruelty towards its people. Maybe it is the curse of the oppressed to achieve their greatest recognition only when the primary injury of oppression is long over, after it can really help. Palestinians…

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  • Resource: Surveying Palestinian identity in the homeland and diaspora

    A new survey by the BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, a non-profit organization that works to defend and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees, attempts to understand how youth of Palestinian heritage (third or fourth generation of displaced Palestinians) identify with their ancestry. BADIL conducted a survey focusing on identity and social ties among Palestinian youth residing in Mandate Palestine (West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Israel), Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. The results reveal that between 55 to 70 percent of the respondents in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon regard themselves as Palestinians; 45 percent of Palestinian citizens of Israel regard themselves as…

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  • The Freedom Bus: Taking resistance on tour in the West Bank

    In September, a troupe of performers from the West Bank and Israel held a nine-day tour throughout the West Bank, promoting cultural resistance and staging innovative performance styles in an attempt to unify disparate Palestinian realities. By Marta Fortunato Al-Hadidiya, Jordan Valley, 12 December 2012 – Samir is on the verge of tears while he watches the Freedom Theatre actors performing the story that he himself just finished sharing with his community members. “I was grazing my sheep when the Israeli army arrived. I was blindfolded, handcuffed and brought to a military camp,” Samir tells. “There, some soldiers set dogs on me.…

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