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  • Israel's nation-state bill threatens the mother tongue of Mizrahi Jews

    The Israeli government's attempts, via the nation-state bill, to erase the Arabic language from this country not only threatens Palestinians, it also undermines Mizrahi identity. But their attempt is doomed to fail. By Netta Amar-Shiff When my grandmother, Sa'ida, came to Israel, she worked at Kfar Hadasim Youth Village as a house mother, and needed to undergo a quick process of Hebraization so as to communicate with hundreds of new immigrant children. Although they had much in common, there remained a gulf between them, the most prominent of which was their mother tongues. Hebrew served as a bridge for both the children…

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  • The true price Israel pays for the occupation

    Both the economic and political elite in Israel benefit from the occupation in different ways. The longer the occupation persists, the wider become the gaps between these two '1 percents' and the rest of the country.  By Shlomo Swirski What is the cost to Israel of the occupation? And who in Israel is paying it? Discussions of Israel’s military rule over the Palestinian territories conquered in 1967 — now marking 50 years — usually revolve around moral, military, diplomatic, and legal matters. [tmwinpost] The impact of the conflict on Israeli society — on the standard of living, economic growth, inter-ethnic…

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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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  • What happens the 'day after' Netanyahu?

    Even as the end of Netanyahu's reign seems to be approaching, it's no time to celebrate — the problems in Israel run far deeper than one man. Over the past few years, the top echelons of the Jewish Israeli Left have been trying to figure out how to remove or "replace" Prime Minister Netanyahu. [tmwinpost] Those who have been following these conversations over the past few years, could have, for a moment, become confused and think that the criticism of the government and regime in Israel are the result of Netanyahu's rule — not the occupation, discrimination, racism, not abandoning…

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  • The guide for leftists who want to stop preaching to the choir

    For years the Israeli Left has excluded the vast majority of the country from its ranks. Here are eight steps on how to broaden the tent.  By Noam Shuster-Eliassi Over the past several years, various writers and NGOs have finally come to the conclusion that the Israeli peace camp is on its death bed, and that along the way it has forgotten, well, everyone. Today many concede that over the years there formed an "alliance of the elites" between Israeli activists from Tel Aviv who leisurely met with activists from Ramallah. The members of this alliance headed delegations and took…

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  • Elor Azaria and the army of the periphery

    From the army’s perspective, Azaria’s guilty verdict ostensibly answers the critique that it is unable to deal with soldier violence against Palestinians — or that it doesn't want to. But there is one reason and one reason only that the lowly soldier was indicted to begin with. An Israeli military court handed down a guilty verdict Wednesday in the manslaughter trial of Elor Azaria, an IDF soldier who shot and killed an incapacitated Palestinian assailant in March of last year. The high-profile trial polarized the country, pitting Israel's political class against current and former army generals. Much of the IDF's top echelons decried Azaria for firing a…

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  • Welcome to Netanyahu's Westworld

    Israelis have a choice: they can either oppose the occupation or watch the Right turn their country into a sadistic theme park. By Alon Mizrahi 'Westworld' is a new science fiction television show that revolves around a futuristic amusement park populated by androids. Westworld caters to high-paying guests who can do whatever they wish within the park, without fear of retaliation from the hosts. In Westworld neither morals nor the law prevent humans from acting on their often sick desires. [tmwinpost] Under the ruling Likud party, Israel is becoming a kind of Westworld. Our amusement park includes two groups: rich,…

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  • Towards a new understanding of Arab-Jewish culture

    The severed ties between Arab-Jewish culture and the wider history and culture of Judaism and the Arab world are being repaired by a groundbreaking new university degree in Israel. By Hadas Shabat-Nadir and Almog Behar In the 1950s, Professor Shlomo Dov Goitein suggested establishing a chair of Arab-Jewish culture at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. But what place does Arabic-Jewish culture have at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem? What does a school for Jewish studies have to do with Arab-Jewish tradition? Or with a course on Arabic literature, classical Arabic from the pre-Islamic period, the Quran and the Caliphate, and the…

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  • Facing the Jewish fundamentalism that murdered a prime minister

    Twenty-one years after the monster of Jewish fundamentalism took the life of Yitzhak Rabin, Israel refuses to confront its demons. By Alon Mizrahi I was in the shower when Rabin was assassinated. This is how I remember it: they said something happened in Malkhei Israel Square, that shots were heard. I stepped into the shower, and when I came out the television said that someone had attempted to assassinate the prime minister and that he was shot. [tmwinpost] They didn't say anything about his condition, but it was fairly clear to me that this was the end; had he been okay,…

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  • Israel's Black Panthers remind us what their struggle was about

    Back in the 1970s, the deep socioeconomic divide between Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jews in Israel led to a massive protest movement and the rise of the Israeli Black Panthers. A newly approved official civics textbook in Israel portrays the movement as violent and criminal. We called up three Black Panthers to remind us all of the true nature of their struggle. The following is a chapter in the Education Ministry's newly-approved civics textbook, To be Citizens in Israel: Criminality motivated by ideology — political violence "Political violence is the use of force by an individual of a group in order to attain political…

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  • I love Miri Regev

    I have never met Miri Regev, but it feels like I have known her my entire life. I grew up, like her, in a place where we were constantly reminded that some people are worth less than others. By Alon Mizrahi I don't know Culture Minister Miri Regev. I have never met her. But I have been surrounded by women and girls like her my entire life. And I think I know exactly what she thinks and how she feels. [tmwinpost] Like myself, millions of others don't know Miri Regev in the slightest, and yet just the mere mention of her name brings…

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  • The minister of culture who knows nothing about democracy

    Long before she walked out on a performance honoring Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, Israel's Culture Minister Miri Regev was using hateful, divide-and-conquer rhetoric against the country's minority groups.  Miri Regev, Israel's Minister of Culture and Sport, caused an uproar at last week's Ophir Awards, the annual red carpet ceremony for the Israeli film industry. First she ostentatiously walked out of the auditorium to protest the performance of a cover version of Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish's most famous poem, "Identity Card." Then she returned, only to give a speech in which she claimed Darwish's poem includes a line about eating the flesh of the Jewish nation. To…

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  • What is Israel's place in the Middle East?

    It's time for Israel to recognize that it can coexist with its neighbors without fear or feelings of superiority. Academia can lead the way. By Assaf David The perception of Israel as a foreign entity in the Middle East, hence a fortress under threat, is shared by all major purveyors of knowledge and discourse in the political and public Israeli-Jewish sphere. Alas, the academia, as well as the so-called "peace camp," do not offer an alternative perception, which would view Israel for what it really is: a country becoming well-integrated into the Middle East, and one that can and should live in the region without…

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