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Life & Culture

  • Exit through the checkpoint: Inside Banksy's new Bethlehem hotel

    Every room overlooks the West Bank separation wall, the lobby features a Greek statue choking on teargas, and faux-security cameras dot the corridors. Welcome to "The Walled Off Hotel," the new Bethlehem-based project from British street artist and enfant terrible Banksy. BETHLEHEM — It takes an unusual hotel proprietor to advertise their establishment as “the hotel with the worst view in the world.” But then Bansky, the British street artist renowned for his satirical and political graffiti, isn’t your average hotelier. With his name already well-established in Israel-Palestine thanks to his famous creations on the West Bank separation wall and…

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  • Two fathers, Palestinian and Jewish, find hope in solidarity

    When I first got the news that he had won, the first people I checked on were my Muslim mother and my son. But then I wrote my friend, Brad Brooks-Rubin. [tmwinpost] The connection wasn't coincidental. When my son was born, Brad was the first to visit him. A year later, I bought a life-sized playhouse and leaned it against the plastic siding of our rented home, just outside of Washington, DC. When my son was skeptical about his new toy, Brad crawled in first, wedged his head through the tiny window, and looked my toddler dead in the eye.…

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  • 'I'm part of a dying breed that believes in two states'

    The election of Donald Trump has emboldened fears that the two-state solution will officially be tossed into the dustbin of history. But J Street President Jeremy Ben Ami is undeterred, steadfast in his belief that two states is the only solution.+972 Magazine speaks to him at the annual J Street conference about the rise of Steve Bannon, the possibility of a regional plan for peace, and why he thinks Palestinian citizens of Israel do not form a 'natural alliance' with his organization's constituency. Under the dark cloud of Israeli and American leaders who appear united in their disinterest in a…

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  • The unknown history of the Palestinian school funded by an Iraqi Jew

    Ellis Kadoorie hoped that by establishing an agricultural school in Tulkarm, he would be helping to educate and improve the conditions of Palestinians and Jews alike. Little did he know it would become a microcosm of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. By Tamar Novick and Arie M. Dubnov The Kadoorie Agricultural School holds a special place in Israeli national memory; a second home for figures like the poet of the 1948 war, Haim Gouri, the future generals Yigal Allon and Yitzhak Rabin, and many of the Palmach generation, the school is seen as the spiritual soil from which sprouted the mythological Sabra. “Kadoorie…

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  • We have a partner for peace, his name is Mahmoud Abbas

    Following a meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, Orly Noy is left with just one question: who is the real partner for peace here?  I was invited to join a delegation of Palestinian citizens of Israel, most of them residents of Jaffa, to Ramallah on Sunday, in order to meet with the Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society, headed by Muhammad al-Madani. I had met al-Madani over year ago, just before Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman prevented him from entering Israeli territory, claiming that he was working to "influence Israeli politics." Yes, he is certainly trying to influence Israeli politics.…

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  • Downstairs, from heavenly Aleppo

    Aleppo, your stories will come back to my ears, like a child who sits on his grandmother's knees. By Mati Shemoelof Aleppo, I, Matityaho Ibn Shifra, your old daughter, a grandson of your Arab-Jews, mourn the erasure of your city of poetry, Aleppo, how did they forget to save your libraries? Aleppo, was it not fireworks that lit the skies of the Arab spring? Or were the night stars shining all night long? Aleppo, tell me who is the devil that drops explosive barrels upon your residents, and thinks that in this way — they will write his name in…

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  • The cops at the checkpoint always remind me which side I'm on

    Until I learned Hebrew, I saw Jews as frightening, scary, armed people who expelled us from our land in 1967, now working on finishing us off. Does that surprise you? By Suleiman Maswadeh My name is Suleiman, I am 22 years old and I was born in Jerusalem's Old City. Despite the fact that it is located only hundreds of meters from my home, for most of my life Jaffa Street in central Jerusalem was like a foreign, European country. In my childhood, the word "Jew" referred to either Israeli Border Police or riot police. West Jerusalem was a frightening…

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  • Shared and shattered: Gentrification and Judaization in Jaffa

    Over the past 70 years, the city of Jaffa has gone from being the 'Bride of Palestine' to the 'Arab backyard' of Tel Aviv. Today, as it undergoes rapid gentrification, Jaffa has become a central hub for both Palestinian and Jewish resistance. Israeli anthropologist Daniel Monterescu speaks to Fathom editor Alan Johnson about his new new book, which unpacks the history of a city that continues to be made and remade.   By Daniel Monterescu and Alan Johnson / Fathom Part 1: Personal and intellectual influences Alan Johnson: Can you say something about your family background and the major influences on your intellectual development,…

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  • The Palestinian director bringing her generation to the big screen

    Even as women continue to be underrepresented in the film industry, Palestinian director Maysaloun Hamoud's new movie is winning international acclaim — and puts Palestinian women front and center. +972 Magazine sat down with Hamoud to talk feminism, liberation and Palestinian society. One of the strongest sensations I experienced during my first viewing of “In Between” was the discomfort that accompanies the exposure of a secret. A personal, intimate secret, which several women dear to me have kept close to their chest for many years, and which has suddenly been revealed in full onscreen. And not just onscreen: the secret has…

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  • Photography as protest in Palestine/Israel

    "Activestills: Photography as Protest in Palestine/Israel," edited by Vered Maimon and Shiraz Grinbaum, Pluto Press (2016) The first time I truly began to grasp the potency of photojournalism was on Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard in June 2011. It was barely a few days after a group of young Israelis decided to pitch tents on the city's most recognizable thoroughfare, launching what would soon come to be known as the social protest movement. By the end of that first week, Rothschild began to look like a cross-section of Jewish Israeli civil society, with activist groups from every strain imaginable setting up…

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  • WATCH: Using tourism to fight racism in Israel

    Earlier this year, the Coalition Against Racism led Israelis on a tour of the mixed city of Ramla. The tour took participants to Arab and Ethiopian neighborhoods, where along with two members of Knesset, they learned about the problems facing residents of minority and underprivileged areas. Can getting to know the Other really make a difference? Read more: One in every four Israelis experienced racism last year, poll finds There is nothing 'natural' about police racism The roots of anti-Mizrahi racism in Israel

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  • Rewriting the history of Hanukkah and intifadas

    In Hanukkah, we tell the story of a small, powerless people who, with religious zeal and courage, led a bloody guerrilla campaign against an occupying force and corrupt elite to assert control over the Temple Mount. By Yossi Bartal On Christmas Eve, Jews around the world began celebrating the eight-day Hanukkah festival. Family and friends will gather every evening before the hanukkiah, the nine-pronged candlestick, reciting a short prayer and lighting its candles. Each day, another candle is lit until the hanukkiah radiates in its full splendor on the last day. While the festival is very popular, it is, religiously…

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  • Why did the Israeli army conduct anthrax experiments on its soldiers?

    Ten years after it ended, most of the details of a secret trial that tested anthrax vaccines on Israeli soldiers remain unknown. Who was really behind the experiments, and were they even needed at all? By Ran Goldstein A hit TV show, “Taagad,” recently came to the end of its run in Israel. Set in an army medical center, it became a cult hit, to the extent that every currently serving soldier could quote its dialogue. But aside from its popularity, the show also reawakened one of the most serious affairs to have arisen in Israel over the last few decades — an…

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