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normalization

  • Israel's national theater must resist normalizing occupation

    By agreeing to perform in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba, Habima is forgoing its values of Cultural Zionism while adopting the dangerous mindset of Miri Regev and Benjamin Netanyahu. By Misha Shulman Earlier this year Israeli Minister of Culture Miri Regev announced a new policy for the funding of the arts: artistic organizations that agree to serve the settler population in the occupied West Bank will see a budget increase of 10 percent. Conversely, those who refuse to perform in the West Bank will see a 33 percent decrease. [tmwinpost] This policy ignores the fact that under international…

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  • The Tunisian star who filled Palestinians with hope — for one night

    For one night, Tunisian megastar Saber Rebaï brought Palestinians in the West Bank just a modicum of normalcy. Rawabi, Arabic for "hills," is a sleek name for a Palestinian city that was recently built between Jerusalem and Ramallah. Surrounded by settlements on all sides, the place looks like a standard Israeli bedroom community and has been dubbed "the future of Palestine." [tmwinpost] Yes, this is what they call virtually the sole real estate project promoted by the Palestinian Authority, with the support of moneyed investors like the Palestinian-American businessman Bashar Masri. According to the project's publications, it is meant to bolster the Palestinian…

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  • For first time in years, Israeli academics pay solidarity visit to Palestinian university

    An Israeli delegation of academics visits Kadoorie University in the West Bank city of Tulkarm to show support following a string of IDF raids on the campus. For the first time in many years, a delegation of Israeli academics made an official visit to a Palestinian university. The first, small delegation arrived a month ago, and the second, last Saturday. The visits – meant to express support for Palestine Technical University — Kadoorie following a string of incidents by the IDF that are damaging its academic freedom – come after years in which no Palestinian university agreed to meet with any…

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  • Alternative peace initiative comes under fire for 'normalization'

    Pressure from both Palestinian activists and right-wing Israelis has put the spotlight on a conference that will present a new model for peace and coexistence. That is, if it ever happens in the first place. A launch event for an alternative Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative, slated to take place next week in the West Bank, is on the receiving harsh criticism from both Palestinian activists and right-wing Israelis. [tmwinpost] The initiative, titled "Two States, One Homeland," was founded by veteran Israeli journalist Meron Rapoport and Palestinian political activist Awni al-Mashni. The initiative began when Rapoport and al-Mashni, who sat in an…

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  • Israeli-Palestinian ‘normalization’ debate reaches NY theater

    Palestinian solidarity groups and pro-Israel Jewish groups both stay away from a theater production that addresses the extremists on both sides of the conflict. By Misha Shulman “Thank you for reaching out to us, however, as SJP has a policy of non normalization, we will not be advertising this play.” This was the response we received from a local chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine when we invited them to take part in a series of talkbacks that we are conducting in conjunction with Martyrs Street, my play about Hebron currently playing at Theater for the New City. While…

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  • When music becomes a place of subjugation

    If we who consider ourselves to be 'peacemakers' cannot identify the power dynamics within our own programs and events, then what we are doing at the end of the day does more harm than good for peace, justice, and those most marginalized in this relationship: Palestinians. By B.G. Silver* In our ever-growing jungle of protracted conflict and systemic injustice, there is an unquestionable need for inter-group reconciliation encounters between Israelis, Palestinians, and Palestinian-Israelis constructed with peacebuilding and human rights education. What is often missed is that peacebuilding and reconciliation are not simply the answer. They must and can only be…

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  • Dispatch from Gaza: Why Palestinians should speak to Israeli media

    When Hamas banned Palestinians in Gaza from working with Israeli media, I understood why, but could not stay silent. If we Gazans stay silent, a large part of the truth will be lost, and I don’t want the truth to be lost. By Abeer Ayyoub Since Operation Protective Edge started earlier last week, I haven’t stopped receiving calls from Israeli television and radios channels asking me to go on air to talk about the current situation in Gaza. I never thought twice about accepting all of these offers because I believe it’s my responsibility to speak up and reach the Israeli…

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  • Moderate Islam meets Auschwitz

    It’s hard to think of more divisive activities in Palestinian society today. Regardless of whether one agrees with his actions, it is exceedingly rare to see someone publicly buck the fiercely dominant trends in Palestinian discourse. For nearly 40 years, Mohammed Dajani Daoudi has felt that something was wrong with Palestinian politics. In 1975, while studying at the American University at Beirut (“doing everything except studying”), he was deported to Syria for political activities. Fatah operatives supplied him with a fake passport to get back. But they mistakenly put a Syrian exit stamp into the passport rather than an entry…

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  • Arab-Jewish hip hop group challenges Israeli 'melting pot'

    System Ali, a ten-piece hip hop outfit which raps in Arabic, Russian, Hebrew and English sits down with Café Gibraltar to talk about the power of the genre, normalization, revolutionary Arab street poetry and the need to struggle for justice in their home city.  By Hagar Shezaf How did it all start? We started playing in a local bomb shelter in the Ajami neighborhood of Jaffa. The shelter belonged to the Sadaka-Reut organization, and some of us had previously started the Jaffa Youth Center, which was a center of education and arts for Jaffa's teenagers. The center focused on photography, theatre,…

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  • A personal account: (Not) voting in an age of cynicism

    One simple answer to the question of why elections matter is that I feel part of something when I vote in Israel. Being away for four months, living deep inside the world of other peoples’ conflicts, provided a few more answers. For the first time since moving to Israel 15 years ago, I was not in the county on election day yesterday. Since Israel has no absentee voting for regular citizens, I was not able to participate. Given the wild demonization of the Left over the last few years, some people probably wonder why I even care. My colleagues at…

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  • On anti-normalization, dialogue and activism – a response

    "Those who reject dialogue as a means of ending occupation are alienating even the most sympathetic activists by positing replacement of one monumental injustice - occupation oppression and dispossession - with another: envisaging the disappearance of most Israelis from the region." An argument for why the Palestinian struggle could benefit from a new approach to dialogue. By A.M. Poppy On 10 September 2012, Noam Sheizaf wrote here that his experience with the anti-normalization debate shows “the futility of any form of ‘dialogue’ at this point in time. As long as the political issue remains unsolved, such contacts make both sides more…

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  • What Palestinians really want (A Western-Israeli obsession)

    If you follow Israeli and American mainstream logic, all it takes for the occupation to end are a few nice words from Palestinian leaders.   We have been asking the wrong questions: A popular debate in the days following the military escalation between Israel and Hamas had to do with the prospect of negotiations with Hamas, and whether the organization "has moderated." In this conversation, evidence is tossed around from both sides in the forms of quotes from political figures, militants, supporters and spiritual leaders, followed by heated arguments over their meaning, context, quality of translation, status of the person…

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  • Anti-normalization and the Israeli Left - a Facebook debate

    Could there be a joint political space for radical Jewish leftists and activists in the Palestinian diaspora when anti-normalization is on the rise? Should there be one? Anti-normalization is becoming one of the hottest topics in progressive Israeli and Palestinian circles (ironically, it is not a problem for those elements of society who never been in touch with each other or oppose any form of common existence). Almost any event or activity – even ones which are done in resistance to the occupation – lead to debates on the merit and the legitimacy of joint actions. Here is one example. The…

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