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israeli identity

  • Yes, the right of return is feasible. Here's how

    Seventy years after the violent displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, it is time to undo the injustice and to allow whoever desires to return as equal citizens to do so, while respecting the rights and identities of all who live in Israel-Palestine. By Tom Pessah (translated by Yoni Molad) For millions of Palestinians worldwide, the right of return is a fundamental issue — the most important precondition for resolving the conflict. However, in Israel the matter is raised haphazardly and is not really dealt with seriously. Haokets recently published a series of important documents culled from the state archives, which show how…

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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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  • Ending the occupation would undo Israeli identity as we know it

    Bringing an end to 50 years of military rule over the Palestinians will undoubtedly change the face of Israeli society as we know it. Let's welcome that change with open arms.  By Inna Michaeli The argument that opposing the occupation does not contradict a love for Israel has been heard over and over in the Israeli Left for years. This isn't just a matter of PR — it is the personal experience of many Israelis. [tmwinpost] The problem, however, is that it does not manage to convince the public at large. But what if the public has good reason not to be convinced? Take…

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  • Palestinian citizens must decide what kind of future they want

    Despite the racism and violence, Palestinian citizens must not despair. Instead they should nonviolently challenge the majority as part of a discussion on rights, democratic values, and opposition to the occupation. By Marzuq Al-Halabi Although there exists a multitude of Palestinian political parties and movements in Israel, there are three main currents among them that cross boundaries, find expression in different organizations and lifestyles, and crop up in day-to-day practice and discussions. However, the borders between these currents have hardened as a result of internal social, local and national developments. [tmwinpost] The central current tries creatively and with all its might to reconcile its Israeliness with…

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  • Why the Iranian flag still makes me proud

    I am a citizen of two countries whose politics I loathe, yet feel very connected to. Why, then, do Iranian national symbols fill me with pride, while Israeli ones make me feel uncomfortable? For the past three days I have been excitedly following reports of the celebrations in Iran following the signing of the nuclear agreement with the West. These are days of joy and optimism for the Iranian people, both inside and outside the country. [tmwinpost] As the news broke, thousands of Iranians spontaneously flooded the streets of nearly every city in the country. Even opposition members celebrated in…

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  • Film Review: 'Policeman,' a study of the Israeli alpha male

    By leaving the Palestinian conflict in the background, filmmaker Lapid manages to skip over the common ‘shooting-and-crying’ formula, in which Israeli protagonists are portrayed more as victims than perpetrators of the conflict. The timing of the release of Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid’s debut, "Policeman," was very unique in Israel: October 2011, right after that summer’s so-called Tent Protests, which saw hundreds of thousands Israelis take to the streets over social and economic issues. "Policeman," which was shot and completed before the surprising demonstrations erupted, tells the story of a confrontation between a group of young revolutionaries plotting to kidnap a…

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  • WATCH: Recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, or an 'ethnocracy?'

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently proposed enshrining the Jewish character of Israel into a basic law, the closest thing Israel has to a constitution. What would such a law mean for Israel's Palestinian minority? Israeli academic Oren Yiftachel talks about 'ethnocracy,' a term he coined that describes the Israeli regime. By Lia Tarachansky / ‘The Real News’ Lia Tarachansky is an Israeli-Russian journalist with The Real News Network reporting on Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. She is the director of ”On the Side of the Road,” a documentary on Israel's biggest taboo - the events of 1948 when the state…

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  • Being a Mizrahi Jew, an Israeli and touching the Holocaust

    The Israeli Holocaust discourse illustrates the — still — conflicted position of Mizrahi Jews in Israeli society. Perhaps we could design a Mizrahi identity that draws from the roots of its own unique history and not from that which is imposed upon it externally. By Batya Shimony A year ago on Holocaust Memorial Day I was driving in my car to Be'er Sheva and listening, as I usually do, to Galei Zahal – the army radio station. It suddenly dawned on me just how much the broadcast schedule had changed compared to previous years. All the familiar stories of that…

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  • What is Mizrahiness? Seeking answers through questions

    What does it mean to be Mizrahi in Israel of 2013? And why is it that Mizrahiness is better expressed in questions than in answers? An exploration following Amnon Levy’s Hebrew-language TV documentary series, 'The Ethnic Demon.' By Almog Behar (Translated from Hebrew by Rachel Beitarie‏) What is Mizrahiness? What does it mean to be Mizrahi in Israel of 2013? Does it have to do with shared origins and identities of Jews who from “eastern” countries? (One of those countries, Morocco, bears the Arabic name Al-Magreb, which means “west”) Or is Mizrahiness the product of the economic and cultural oppression of Eastern…

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  • Why I oppose recognizing Israel as a Jewish state

    A country can, at least in theory, be 'Israeli and democratic.' It cannot and will never be 'Jewish and democratic.' Early into his second term as prime minister, as he was presenting his conditions for negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a new demand for any final status agreement, one which was absent from every previous round of talks, both formal and informal. Unlike his predecessors, Netanyahu wasn't satisfied with Palestinian recognition of the State of Israel, something the PLO did in 1988, and once again as part of the Oslo Accords. He wants them to…

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  • Occupation, imprisonment of refugees defile Israeli identity

    Israeli-Jewish identity should be one that pursues justice for the collective and perseveres in the fight against oppression. Plans to destroy hundreds of homes or imprison thousands of refugees defile and contradict all that is good in that very identity. By Moriel Rothman Scenario One. Imagine: You wake up in a place that is not familiar. You are disoriented: this is not your home. And then, it floods over you like a wave: your home was destroyed. So was your brother's home. And your parents' home. And the place that you worked. And your children's school. And your entire village. And the…

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