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jaffa

  • What would Israelis do if Palestinians disappeared overnight?

    In Ibtisam Azem's 'The Book of Disappearance,' Israelis wake up one day to a country without any Palestinians. Azem speaks to +972 about how, with this sudden vanishing of ‘the enemy,’ she confronts some of the darkest chapters of Israel's history. What would Israelis do if every Palestinian between the river and the sea disappeared at once? That is the premise of a newly-translated novel, “The Book of Disappearance,” by Palestinian writer Ibtisam Azem (translated by Iraqi novelist and translator, Sinan Antoon, and published by Syracuse University Press). Originally released in Arabic in 2014, Azem’s story is primarily narrated by two individuals: Alaa, a…

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  • My Palestinian sitty embodies the humanity Israel tries to deny us

    My grandmother is not just a beacon of warmth and love. Not just my first best friend. She is a survivor. She is the compass that points to justice. By Nooran Alhamdan My grandmother was my first best friend. As soon as I'd be dropped off at her house, almost daily, the hotheaded and spoiled four-year-old me would change to well behaved and bubbly. [tmwinpost] My teta, grandmother in Arabic, would sit me by her side while she meticulously rolled tiny stuffed grape leaves on the large dining room table. She would turn on the Arabic pop channel for me…

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  • 'My kids think I'm a hero. They have no idea I'm also afraid'

    When the bombs fall on Gaza, Abu Ali and his family, like two million other residents of Gaza, have nowhere to run. This is what it's like to live under Israeli airstrikes. By Yael Marom It’s strange to think that less than a week ago Israel and Hamas were closer to war than they have been since 2014. As airstrikes pummeled Gaza and rockets rained down on southern Israel — which left 27 Palestinians and four Israelis dead — I spoke to Abu Ali, a friend of mine who lives in Gaza City. Abu Ali had been up all night,…

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  • 'In Balata camp, every single child suffers from psychological problems'

    Yafa Cultural Center is one of the few places left for Palestinian children from Balata refugee camp to cope with the violence they witness on a daily basis. With funding running low, the center is at risk of closing. When the door opens, I am surprised to see a six or seven-year-old boy on the other side. “Can I sign up for karate classes, uncle?” “Yes, come on Saturday, there will be an instructor,” answers Ibrahim Jammal. The boy asks if he needs to bring anything. “As always, habibi, you don’t need to bring a thing.” Although he tries to appear…

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  • On Eid, Palestinian children suddenly cease to be security threats

    Tel Aviv's beaches are packed with Palestinians from the West Bank and East Jerusalem this week, due to Eid al-Adha. Walking along the promenade, you can almost imagine what life would be like here without separation. By Oren Ziv Arabic. This was the main language spoken on the beach in Tel Aviv Wednesday. It was the second day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, and thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Israel took the day to come to the beach. For many of those who live in the West Bank, it was a rare opportunity…

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  • Fifty faces of occupation

    A new exhibit by B’Tselem marks 50 years of occupation with portraits of 50 Palestinians born in the occupied territories, who have never known a day of freedom in their lives. There is a checkpoint next to my house. It determines my life’s routine. It is a source of constant worry: whenever my children are on their way home from school or to another place, I’m worried. I want to travel, to sit on the beach, to visit Al Aqsa and my family in Jerusalem. But because of the checkpoints, I can’t. Sometimes it takes hours to cross the checkpoint. I just sit…

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  • The police brutality haunting Tel Aviv's 'backyard'

    For nearly an entire week in early August, it felt as if Jaffa was teetering on the edge. Enraged over the shooting death of 22-year-old Mahdi Sa’adi at the hands of an Israeli police officer, hundreds of Arab youth hit the streets for several days of spontaneous demonstrations on one of the ancient port city’s main thoroughfares. Mainstream media ran a story most Israelis have become desensitized to, portraying the youth as Arab rioters burning trashcans, smashing car and storefront windows, blocking roads, and throwing stones at security forces. The killing catalyzed the city’s youth — most of them from…

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  • Palestinian poet's show trial goes on stage for all to see

    Hundreds of Palestinians and Jews came to show support for Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour last week, who has been under house arrest for almost two years for publishing a poem on Facebook. By Yoav Haifawi Hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians crowded the hall of Jaffa’s legendary Arab-Hebrew Theater last Wednesday to show their solidarity with Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour. Tatour, who has been under house arrest for nearly two years, was arrested for publishing a poem and two statuses on Facebook. [tmwinpost] In the days leading up to the event, there was a mounting pressure to cancel the event by both…

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  • Remembering the history Israel swept aside in 1948

    In the late 19th century, travelers on the long road from Jaffa to Jerusalem could stop at a rest station to relax and have a cup of (overpriced) coffee. This past, and the story of Jerusalem opening itself to the world, has been lost in the Zionist retelling of history. By Yonathan Mizrachi There is an ongoing debate in Israel over whether an Ottoman-era site along the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway should commemorate the actions in 1948 of the late, deeply controversial Rehavam Ze’evi, or the Harel Brigade of the Palmach, the pre-state incarnation of the Israel Defense Forces. But the…

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  • Unpacking anti-Arab racism in Israel

    A new law aiming to silence the Muslim call to prayer is just one manifestation of efforts to erase Palestinian culture and identity. But language and heritage aren't so easy to disappear. There is a building on Michelangelo Street in Jaffa, near where I used to live, which for a while featured the sentiment “We have no other country” graffitied in both Arabic and Hebrew, side by side. One day, the Arabic was painted over, presumably by the municipality, leaving only the Hebrew. Almost immediately, someone restored the Arabic. It was painted over again. This pattern continued until a friend publicly asked the municipality why…

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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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  • No one is lifting a finger to protect Arab women

    Before she was murdered by her ex-husband, Huda Abu Sarir was betrayed by the rest us. She was murdered because we raise men unstable men alongside strong, steadfast women. I drove into the tiny, empty Jaffa alleyway on my way to the home of Huda Abu Sarari, an Arab woman who was murdered by her ex-husband a week earlier. I had a long list of questions and dilemmas following a discussion I held earlier that day with activists from Jaffa: should we demonstrate against our society or against the establishment, which oppresses us? Is this the pure struggle of Palestinian women,…

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  • My grandmother was murdered in Kafr Qasim, now these are my demands

    I think about the events that led up to the murder of my grandmother and 48 other women, children, and men, along with dozens of survivors who carry their trauma until today. Will we ever see true justice? By Reem Amer Everyone speaks of the Kafr Qasim massacre of 1956 as if it were an isolated case. As if Border Police officers decided to carry out, without any connection to or orders from the government echelon or military establishment. Yet we tend to forget that the regime and the Zionist movement, which sought to empty the land of it inhabitants, was…

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