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  • 'Dear Darwish': A poetically and politically brave book

    Israeli-American poet Morani Kornberg-Weiss breaks with conventional poetics and mainstream politics. But who, exactly, is Dear Darwish for?  Dear Darwish, Morani Kornberg-Weiss’s first collection of poetry, opens with a prose poem that that doubles as an indictment of Israeli society. Cleverly disguised as a letter, it is addressed to the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. Like the poems that follow it, “Dear Mahmoud” does many things at once. It captures the violence inherent in establishing and maintaining the Jewish state. It accurately depicts Israelis’ objectifying and dehumanizing view of Palestinians. It shows how the state’s violence against Palestinians has seeped…

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  • 'Zero Dark Thirty' is the most vile and immoral war film I've seen in years

    "Revenge of the agonized killers" would have been a more appropriate title.  Sometime in the late 1960s, Israeli cinema stopped producing heroic war stories – the kind of action or drama movies where the protagonist serves his country, noble against a powerful and cruel enemy. The quantity of other such works of fiction – in literature, for example – dropped as well. Which, when you think about it, is kind of weird for a country that has a war every few years and needs to reinforce its own ethos. Instead, Israeli popular culture started producing a different genre – that…

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