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  • American anthropologists wrong to boycott Israeli academia

    Academic boycotts are fundamentally antithetical to academic freedom. Let's start using anthropological forms of engagement for the sake of progressive change. By Michele Rivkin-Fish What is being described as an overwhelming vote for the boycott of Israel in the American Anthropological Association (AAA) mischaracterizes the scope of support for boycotts in the field and downplays the serious anthropology-based alternative presented at the conference to promote justice for Palestinians and Israelis, as well as academic freedom for Palestinian academics. [tmwinpost] The passage of a resolution to boycott Israeli academia at the AAA’s business meeting two weeks ago represented the views of…

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  • Why do J.K. Rowling and her opponents so misunderstand BDS?

    Whether they support BDS or oppose it, everyone wants to feel like they are Harry Potter fighting off Voldemort. Though perhaps it's best we leave Harry out of this debate. By Jeremiah Haber J.K. Rowling has signed a statement against the cultural boycott of Israel, and has called instead for cultural engagement. Some of her Palestinian fans have objected, pointing to Harry Potters’ fight against Voldemort and the Death Eaters. In her reply she asks her readers to consider Dumbledore’s attempt to engage with Snape, then a Death Eater. As a fan of the Potter series who has expressed solidarity with the global BDS movement…

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  • Channeling loss to stimulate change: 71 days of dialogue in Tel Aviv

    The forum of bereaved families rests on the belief that the only way to end violence between Israelis and Palestinians is by recognizing the humanity of 'the enemy' through open and honest dialogue. That goal, however, appears to be as far away as ever. By Henriette Chacar It’s hard to imagine how one might begin solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by leading by example. The hundreds of members of the Parents Circle forum of bereaved Palestinian and Israeli families aren’t naïve, but they insist on trying. The Parents Circle Families Forum, a grassroots organization of over 600 Israeli and Palestinian families bereaved…

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  • Beyond irony: Whitewashing Mandela's legacy

    It is not the least bit surprising to see Israeli political leaders praising Mandela’s memory, with some even going so far as to declare him an Israeli hero. Some of these will surely be cynical, conscious attempts to whitewash his legacy and escape criticism. Many, however, believe every word they say. By Sean O’Neill Working in Palestine from late 2006 to late 2009, mostly in the Yatta/Hebron area, I have had the distinct (and often surreal) privilege of meeting a number of Israeli settlers who had emigrated from South Africa. One such man was G., the security guard for the settlement of…

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  • On anti-normalization, dialogue and activism – a response

    "Those who reject dialogue as a means of ending occupation are alienating even the most sympathetic activists by positing replacement of one monumental injustice - occupation oppression and dispossession - with another: envisaging the disappearance of most Israelis from the region." An argument for why the Palestinian struggle could benefit from a new approach to dialogue. By A.M. Poppy On 10 September 2012, Noam Sheizaf wrote here that his experience with the anti-normalization debate shows “the futility of any form of ‘dialogue’ at this point in time. As long as the political issue remains unsolved, such contacts make both sides more…

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