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  • We told ourselves we weren't settlers. We were something different

    In the Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev, we didn't think of ourselves as settlers, despite the fact that we lived beyond the Green Line and our neighbors were Palestinian.  By Ofer Matan The first Arab who stepped into our home was Sabah. The first time we met, Sabah washed his hands in our kitchen sink on a cold morning after the Jewish holidays, just before he helped my mother start her yellow Renault 12. The car already had problems with the gears by the early 80s, and Sabah would push it from behind toward the decline while she put it…

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  • This Palestinian Life: Uncovering the stories of women behind the wall

    A podcast highlighting stories of Christian Palestinian women aims to inform new audiences on how occupation impacts their personal lives. A mother in the West Bank struggling to explain to her child, on reaching a checkpoint, that no, they have not yet arrived at the zoo. A grandmother in Beit Sahour who wishes to join her family in the diaspora, but lives alone in Palestine, to provide care for her elderly father. A young woman from Bethlehem who dreams of becoming a director in Egypt but is held back by societal expectations and patriarchal norms. [tmwinpost] These are a few…

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  • Tisha B’Av and the mainstreaming of the Temple discourse

    The further Israel moves from a solution to the conflict, the more it finds itself in need of the symbols of the religious right. As long as liberal Israelis do not fully renounce the sanctification of blood and land, they will be unable to present a real alternative.   By Yudith Oppenheimer I have not adhered to halakha in my daily life for years now, but in spite of this I do fast on Tisha B’Av. I am often asked if I am mourning the destruction of the Temple and the answer is both yes and no. Yes, I identify with the…

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  • Can a play about the occupation find a home with American Jews?

    Famed Israeli playwright Joshua Sobol couldn't get Israeli theaters to produce his latest play, 'The Last Act.' So he took it to Boston, where American Jewish audiences are finding it no less difficult to digest. Sobol and Israeli-American director Guy Ben-Aharon discuss the backlash, the clampdown on criticism of Israel, and whether an American audience is more willing to engage with portrayals of the occupation. By Marcelo Svirsky Joshua Sobol is the most famous living Israeli playwrights. Known for controversial work that challenges the dominant narrative in the country, Sobol has written over 75 plays, which have been translated and performed in over 25…

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  • One Galilee pub shows that 'economic peace' is not enough

    At Samim Bishara's Kamun Pub in the northern town of Ma'alot-Tarshiha, Arabs and Jews can sit alongside each other to drink beer and eat pizza. But even in what might appear to be an oasis of coexistence, fundamental inequality is inescapable.  By Steven Davidson Tarshiha is technically one of the few mixed, Jewish-Arab villages in all of Israel. In 1963, the government merged the Arab village of Tarshiha with the Jewish town of Ma’alot to form the municipality of Ma’alot-Tarshiha. Samim Bishara, 42, grew up in Tarshiha but didn’t learn Hebrew until his early 30s. “When I was 16, police saw I…

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  • Gaza's protest leaders still believe in nonviolent struggle

    Despite the bloodletting in Gaza over the past months, the leaders of the Great Return March believe that nonviolent resistance is still the best way to end the siege. Rami Younis spoke to Hasan al-Kurd, one of the leaders of the march about the successes, mistakes, and future of the movement.  While everyone this past week focused on Israeli police officers breaking the leg of Jafar Farah, a prominent Palestinian political activist from Haifa, I could not help but think of someone else’s leg — that of Hasan al-Kurd’s brother-in-law, in Gaza. [tmwinpost] Two months ago, during the first Friday protest of the Great…

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  • Why Israel's Eurovision contestant became a target for BDS

    Netta Barzilai is an impressive performer with an impressive act that Israelis can be proud to be represented by. But that's not all she represents. Israel is buzzing with excitement over the country's contestant in this year's Eurovision, and for good reason. Netta Barzilai is talented, has an awesome vibe, and is a strong female character who bucks all of the traits we have become used to seeing in a female performer. If you are a left-wing, Jewish feminist, and even if you're not, it's hard not to fall in love with her. So it wasn't surprising that a campaign…

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  • The new Jewish-Arab movement that plans to save the Israeli left

    Standing Together, a new joint Arab-Jewish movement, is aiming to transform Israeli politics. It won't be easy, but the Israeli left's first step back to power might be believing that it can win again. The Israeli left is in the midst of an historic crisis. Out of power for over 20 years (with the exception of Ehud Barak’s brief and fractious stint as prime minster), Labor is now headed by a millionaire telecommunications executive who once served as a minister under Netanyahu. Meretz, the dovish, social-democratic party, barely made it into the Knesset in 2015. The peace camp is fractured…

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  • The untold story of Jewish anti-Zionists in Israel

    For nearly as long as Palestinians have resisted their displacement, small groups of Jews have joined them. Ran Greenstein's 'Zionism and Its Discontents' brings to life the complex, often contradictory story of those Israelis who saw Palestinian and Jewish liberation as one and the same.  Zionism and Its Discontents: A Century of Radical Dissent in Israel/Palestine (Pluto Press, 2014) Solidarity with Palestinians facing eviction, expulsion and home demolitions has been a cornerstone of radical left-wing Israeli activism over the past decade. The Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions raised international awareness of Israel’s ongoing forced displacement of Palestinians. Anarchists Against the Wall faced…

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