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…Read More... | 13 Comments
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,…Read More... | 11 Comments
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,…Read More... | 4 Comments
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…Read More... | 25 Comments
A few times a year, the Israeli army gives Palestinians tens of thousands of entry permits and thousands of Palestinians see the sea for the first time. Photos by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org Most of the West Bank is no more than an hour’s drive from the beach, but the Palestinians who live there cannot visit the Mediterranean without a special permit from the Israeli army. Those permits are usually difficult to come by. A few times a year, however, the army issues large numbers of entry permits to West Bank Palestinians, mostly during Muslim holidays. During the Eid al-Adha holiday this…Read More... | 5 Comments
Dareen Tatour was arrested by Israeli police last year because of a poem she posted to Facebook. Now she lives with an ankle monitor under strict house arrest. By Yael Marom Dozens of Palestinians and Israelis demonstrated at Jaffa's Clock Tower Square on Saturday evening to call for the release of Palestinian poet, Dareen Tatour, who has been held under house arrest for the past five months. [tmwinpost] Tatour, 33, from the Arab village Al-Reineh near Nazereth, was arrested by Israeli police on October 10, 2015 because of a poem she had posted to Facebook, along with a number of other Facebook…Read More... | 3 Comments
A tourist map of Jaffa presents a reimagined, Zionist version of the city: Jaffa 2.0 is a boutique neighborhood of Tel Aviv, with a smattering of 'local' (read: native) color. But the map itself simply represents a much broader process of destruction and reconstruction. If you go into Jaffa’s tourist information centers (run by the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality) and ask for a map, you’ll receive a colorful, user-friendly guide promising to tell you the best places to go to sample Jaffa’s food, markets, history and more — and in four different languages, no less. [tmwinpost] The problem is that the…Read More... | 10 Comments
I have zero expectations from racist Jews, but I'd expect the Arabs, my own community, to be less judgmental of young people. You have no idea what it's like to walk down the street fearing the police and criminals, as well as your judgment. By Abed Abu Shehadeh Every time a young Arab is killed in our society, social media is flooded with condemnations and expressions of shock for about a week until their authors go back to their arrogant, standoffish selves thanking god, deep down, that some night clubs in our community don't let young Arabs in. One of…Read More... | 2 Comments
In three attacks within a matter of hours, individual Palestinians carry out stabbing and shooting attacks in Tel Aviv, East Jerusalem and Petah Tikva. All three attackers are killed on the scene. A Palestinian man stabbed 13 people, wounding 12 people and killing one, before being shot to death by Israeli police along the Jaffa waterfront Tuesday evening. The fatality was an American tourist, police said, and two of the other victims were “minorities,” official-speak for Arabs. Two other attacks took place within a matter of hours elsewhere in Israel and East Jerusalem. [tmwinpost] In the second attack, in the Tel…Read More... | 9 Comments
The Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality does not offer any bi-lingual education options for Jewish and Palestinian families who live in the same Jaffa neighborhoods, on the same streets, and in the same apartment buildings. Parents of children enrolled in the city's only Arabic-Hebrew bi-lingual kindergarten are now demanding that the city provide their children an option to continue studying together in first and second grades. Will the city provide an alternative to segregation? Read more on school segregation in Israel: 'We will overcome': Arson and mourning at Jerusalem's bilingual school When IDF conscription begins at age three Arab school strike highlights…Read More... | 2 Comments
The banality of the ghetto: The term ‘ghetto’ migrated from Europe’s Jewish communities to Israel’s ethnically mixed towns — both as an idea and an institution for controlling the Palestinians who remained in Israel after 1948. By Daniel Monterescu In the aftermath of Jaffa’s conquest in 1948, Moshe Erem, director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Minority Affairs and Tel-Aviv City Council member, wrote to minister of minority affairs Bechor Shalom-Shitrit: ‘Ajami will be from now on surrounded by Jewish housing on all sides. We can assume that there is no threat to security in the city. But for some reason this was not…Read More...
A developer wants to evict 12 Palestinian families in order to build a Jewish-only luxury housing project in Jaffa’s Ajami neighborhood. Can we call it a settlement, or is it just gentrification? Related: Gentrification leaves one Jaffa family caged in their own home Arabs and Jews come together to oppose gentrification in Jaffa WATCH: Violent eviction of Palestinian family from Jaffa homeRead More... | 4 Comments
As the Muslim holy month came to an end, Israel granted thousands of entry permits to West Bank Palestinians. Many took the opportunity to visit the beach and other places they are normally forbidden from reaching. Photos by Oren Ziv, Yotam Ronen, Faiz Abu Rmeleh / Activestills.org Thousands of Palestinian from the West Bank crossed the Green Line to celebrate the end of Ramadan on Israel's beaches this past weekend. Israeli authorities issued thousands of entry permits, allowing Palestinians to visit Israel during the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday. Many traveled as far as Tel Aviv-Jaffa and Acre in the north. Palestinians in…Read More...
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