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nakba

  • For Israelis the Nakba is a footnote. For Palestinians it's the heart of the conflict

    Israelis tend to view the expulsions of the 1948 war as a small, local affair that was quite restrained compared to the Nazi genocide. For Palestinians, it is an ongoing dispossession. By Sam Freed To large portions of the Jewish Israeli public, the Nakba was small event — an historical side note. To most Palestinians, on the other hand, it is a huge, exceptionally brutal, and vastly important part of their history. In order to understand why there is such a vast disparity in the way the Nakba is perceived by Israelis and Palestinians, despite very little contention as to the objective…

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  • PODCAST: The other Palestinian march of return

    The +972 Podcast heads to the destroyed village of Khubbeiza to hear what Nakba Day means to different people, including Palestinians internally displaced in Israel. Every year for over two decades, thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel have marked Nakba Day by marching to the site of a different village that was depopulated and destroyed during the Nakba. While the story of Palestinian refugees — 700,000 of whom were driven out or fled in 1948 — is relatively well known, we rarely speak of those who were internally displaced during the war. These families remained in what became Israel but were…

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  • The story of my family's Nakba

    How strange is it to see the events that defined the lives of three generations of my family as a mere paragraph in a book? How strange is it to discover that your family’s lived experience is considered merely a footnote on the pages of history? By Nooran Alhamdan It is a sweet July night, with the smell of citrus heavy in the air. The sound of women ululating and laughter echoes through the hills. The center of the village of Qazaza is a celebration, with men jovially drinking bitter coffee and children chasing after one another. My grandfather was…

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  • You have the power to stop apartheid: An open letter to AIPAC

    American Jews, who play such a central role in what happens in Israel, can put an end to the oppression of Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line. But only if they tell Israelis that enough is enough. By Marzuq al-Halabi Dear AIPAC leaders, In one of his most famous poems, “Think of Others,” Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish asks the reader to keep the other in mind at all times. This, he writes, should apply whether we are preparing breakfast, paying our water bill, or declaring war. I wonder, then, whether you, as you take part in your annual conference next week think about us over…

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  • What's so scary about a state of all its citizens?

    What sounds like a basic democratic concept is not only at odds with Israel’s founding principles, it is viewed as a direct threat. By Asaf Calderon Benjamin Netanyahu made waves in and outside of Israel this week when, responding to a statement by actress Rotem Sela that Israel should belong to all of its citizens, Arabs and Jews alike, he wrote "Israel is not a state of all its citizens." While the shocked reactions should be welcomed, the indignation is also indicative of how little the world is paying attention to the mainstream discourse in Israel. [tmwinpost] In Israel today, the…

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  • After a decade, evictions set to return in Sheikh Jarrah

    Residents of Sheikh Jarrah are bracing for a new wave of evictions, ten years after Israeli settlers attempted to take over Palestinian homes in the embattled East Jerusalem neighborhood. The Sabag and Hamad families are refugees from Jaffa and Haifa, respectively. Expelled from their homes during the 1948 war, they have been living in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, an area that was at least partially owned by Jews before the war, since 1956. They were resettled there by the Jordanian authorities and UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for providing humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees. [tmwinpost] Although their original…

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  • How one of Israel's veteran activists came to support (some) sanctions

    Galia Golan supports levying sanctions and international pressure against Israel to hasten the end of the occupation. That does not, however, mean that she supports BDS. Golan, who was one of the founders of Peace Now, served as the chair of Hebrew University’s political science department, and advised several Israeli prime ministers, has come a long way since leaving her job at the CIA to move to Israel 52 years ago. [tmwinpost] Much of that happened relatively early on, when she learned — before most Israelis, she notes — about Israel's expulsion of the Palestinian population in 1948 and its refusal to…

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  • Three generations after the Nakba, still struggling to define home

    For Madlaine Ahmad, born and raised in Doha to Palestinian parents with Jordanian citizenship, the answer to 'where are you from?' is never simple, and always seems to be wrong. By Madlaine Ahmad I changed my Facebook profile picture the other day. It was a photo of a fair woman covered in gold and henna. It would have been clear to anyone from bilad al-sham (the Levant) that she was from the Gulf region, where women dress up a certain way. “How beautiful,” one person remarked. The comment that followed, by a Palestinian friend, surprised me: “Women are beautiful, but…

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  • Traveling the world as a Palestinian on an Israeli passport

    When I traveled to Morocco last year, I was escorted from the airport by security — for my protection, because of my Israeli passport — and greeted with 'Shabbat Shalom.' When I told the airport official 'thank you, but I am not Jewish,' he responded, 'it does not matter.' By Anwar Mhajne At home, we speak Arabic intermixed with Hebrew. We deal with Israeli law, Israeli institutions, and can participate in the Israeli political system. But we are always conscious of our Palestinian heritage. Everything becomes more difficult whenever I cross borders. The in-betweeness of my identity is lost. To…

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  • 'Let us fight together for human rights, for a country that is democratic for all its citizens'

    Ahmed Abu Artema, one of the organizers of the Great Return March in Gaza, responds to Israeli conscientious objector Hillel Garmi, who said his decision to refuse the draft is partly inspired by Artema's acts of civil disobedience. By Ahmed Abu Artema Thank you, Hillel. You gave us hope. The morality of a position is not measured by how closely it reflects popular opinion, but by its unique advantage. Throughout history, those who did not compromise their morals were the ones who carried more weight and inspired others, even if they were alone to confront mainstream perspectives. When a person decides to take an…

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  • Meet the poet whose words Israel considers terrorism

    After being convicted of incitement to terrorism, and just before she is handed her sentence, Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour opens up in a personal interview about her Kafkaesque trial, the struggle of Palestinian citizens, and why she is a real poet, despite what her critics may claim. By Oren Ziv On Tuesday, July 31, at 11 a.m. Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour will be sentenced before a Nazareth court. For nearly three years, Tatour has been under house arrest in her family home in the village of Reineh. She is not allowed to use the internet. [tmwinpost] Tatour was convicted of inciting…

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  • How one of Palestine's preeminent journalists lost hope for peace

    Nasser Laham, the editor-in-chief of Palestine's biggest independent media outlet, used to be an ardent supporter Abbas and the peace process. But after decades of failed attempts, something inside him changed. Today he believes Palestinians must stop talking about peace. 'We'll wait a thousand years, the Israelis will be defeated. What's the hurry?' By Meron Rapoport You won’t find a Palestinian journalist who understands Israel and the Israelis like Nasser Laham. He took advantage of the Hebrew he learned while serving time in prison to become the most prominent commentator on Israeli affairs in the Palestinian media, hosting a popular daily television show that…

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  • 'We aren't going anywhere': This Palestinian village is preparing for the worst

    The residents of Khan al-Ahmar, a tiny hamlet in the West Bank, live in constant fear of a demolition that could come any day now. Dozens of activists take turns staying the night, passing the time by arguing over politics and the World Cup. But despite the numbers, the villagers know that once the bulldozers come, it will be impossible to stop them. By Oren Ziv The activists heading to Khan al-Ahmar, a tiny Bedouin village in the West Bank slated for demolition, had a tough choice to make: should they head out from Jerusalem before or after the World…

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