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hashomer hatzair

  • What happens when teaching diaspora Jews about occupation gets 'too political'

    An item on Israel's top news program falsely accused a volunteer program that allows young diaspora Jews to directly engage with the occupation, of sending its members to clash with IDF soldiers, causing it to lose its main source of funding. Now one of 'Achvat Amim's organizers is speaking out: 'I hadn't experienced being lied about and mischaracterized in public in such an extreme way before.' Karen Isaacs was on her way to her sister's wedding in Toronto when Israel's most-watched news program ran a primetime item accusing her and her partner Daniel of sending diaspora Jews into violent confrontations with IDF soldiers in the West Bank. Channel…

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  • My sister is refusing to join the IDF — and I couldn't be prouder

    In our childhood we would fight imaginary monsters. Today the monster of the occupation is far stronger — yet Atalya continues to bravely fight on, and is willing to pay the price for her beliefs.  By Amitai Ben-Abba Tomorrow, Tuesday February 6, my sister Atalya Ben-Abba will refuse to join the Israeli army and will likely be sent to prison. Atalya has seen more of the reality of our troubled region than most Israelis her age. She volunteered for a year of national service with her youth movement, Hashomer Hatzair, to work with kids on the margins of Israeli society in…

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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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  • Beyond allegiances: Striving for a united Israel-Palestine

    By striving for a solution which would allow for mutual access to holy sites, family, friends and water for all residents of this land, we can shed our allegiances to this-many-states or that-many-states and place our allegiance with self-determination for all peoples.  By A. Daniel Roth Twenty, 10 or even five years ago I would have counted myself among those genuinely optimistic about the prospects of Kerry’s “peace” talks. These days I am not quite as optimistic, but nevertheless, there is a chance for these talks to lead to something positive. This is an opportunity to organize toward an end to…

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  • Either Or: Heads or tails

    Is it better to be the best of the worst, or the worst of the best? For those of you who didn’t grow up going to Hashomer Hatzair North America or didn’t come across the game Either Or in another setting, this is how it goes: I present two options, you choose one. Kind of like a reader poll. There is a famous saying in Hebrew that I can never really remember. Something about it’s better to be the tail of something than the head of something else. Basically it means that it’s better to be the worst of the…

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