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orientalism

  • When Israel planned 'fantasy' tours to Arab villages under martial law

    New documents reveal how Israel's leaders prepared to celebrate the country's 10-year anniversary: by bringing tourists to participate in orientalist 'fantasy' tours to Arab villages, then under military rule. If you’re a young Jewish person, chances are you or someone you know has gone on a Birthright trip. If you have gone on Birthright, chances are that as part of the program’s attempt to provide an “authentic” and pluralistic “Israel experience” you spent the night in a Bedouin tent and posed on a camel in the Negev Desert. In short, young Jews are sold a fantasy. [tmwinpost] That fantasy did not…

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  • The obsession with exposing the 'Muslim mindset'

    After a decade of poor reportage, chaos in the region, and right-wing rule under Netanyahu, the Jewish Israeli public has hardened in its attitudes toward Islam. By Daniel Amir Zvi Yehezkeli is Israel’s Arabist par excellence. After over a decade as head of the Israel Channel 10’s Arab desk, Yehezkeli has become a trusted figure in Israel’s news-heavy culture. He speaks Arabic fluently, and leverages his looks and command of the language to easily blend into Muslim communities around the Middle East, Europe, and North America. In 2012, before the rise of ISIS, Yehezkeli starred in an undercover television documentary series, “Allah…

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  • Goodbye to the Syrian intellectual who sought to liberate his homeland

    Sadiq Jalal al-Azm, who passed away last week, was a Syrian intellectual of the highest order. He placed a mirror in front of both the Arab world and its tendency to blame the West for all its ills. By Dror Ze'evi The Arab states are in trouble. Their citizens are unable to break through the walls of prejudice, they fail to significantly contribute to the intellectual currents of the world, and women and minorities are excluded from taking part in society and the state. Arabs are trapped by ignorance and are exploited by their leaders, which make cynical use of…

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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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  • The Israel-Palestine Lorde diaries, Chapter 6: Crossing over

    It's time for the local Lorde tribute to go over the Line, in more than one way.   Read the previous chapters of The Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries here. On Boxing Day we traveled down to Bethlehem. We were five: my girlfriend Ruthie, three members of her research team (she is a doctoral student of social psychology) and yours truly. We have all been to Bethlehem before, where Israelis seldom venture. Like other Palestinian cities in the West Bank, Bethlehem is designated "Area A." According to Israeli law, it is illegal for us to be present in Area A, and most are…

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  • Now trending: Orientalism for babies

    Most of the world is not familiar with post-colonial theory, and this album's success is due to the audience's naiveté. But forget politics; let me hug a baby and sing songs of nostalgia, anew. By Ilana Shazur Whoever chose the name "Baby Oriental 2" likely never heard of the term Orientalism. Had they heard of it, they would never have dared choose that name. Perhaps the opposite would be true, since they would be well versed in the discourse on Orientalism in academia and among the radical left. In any case, one of the most successful albums in Israel today is…

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  • Where is the 'inevitable' Bedouin Intifada Israel guaranteed?

    In 2004, Israeli officials were up in arms about an impending Bedouin Intifada. But the Bedouin didn't rebel and now, despite plans to expel tens of thousands of them from their homes in the West Bank and the Negev, things remain relatively quiet. Why? As Israel steps up its expansionist policies both inside and outside the Green Line, the Bedouin community has come under particularly intense pressure. Inside Israel, the state seeks to Judaize the Negev (Naqab) desert. This “development” includes last  year’s Prawer plan, which recommends that Israel relocate between 30,000 and 40,000 Bedouin citizens, ripping them from their…

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  • Israeli propaganda film: "Dark" Oriental Jews and "light" of civilization

    A newly discovered Israeli propaganda film from the 1950's reveals the depths of racism applied to Oriental Jewish children who came to Israel - and how it was justified by militarism and the need for disciplined soldiers Last weekend, Lihi Yona published here a post describing and explaining her self-identification as an Arab Jew. Although not new (Yona herself cites a 2003 book by Yehouda Shenhav, and use of the term stretches back to Albert Memmi and his novel "The Pillar of Salt"), this identification was revived recently by the inspiration of the Arab Spring. Those who chose to adopt…

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