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Palestinian identity

  • Yes, the right of return is feasible. Here's how

    Seventy years after the violent displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, it is time to undo the injustice and to allow whoever desires to return as equal citizens to do so, while respecting the rights and identities of all who live in Israel-Palestine. By Tom Pessah (translated by Yoni Molad) For millions of Palestinians worldwide, the right of return is a fundamental issue — the most important precondition for resolving the conflict. However, in Israel the matter is raised haphazardly and is not really dealt with seriously. Haokets recently published a series of important documents culled from the state archives, which show how…

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  • Women rule the stage at DC's Palestinian film and arts festival

    For the first time in its seven-year run, the annual DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival brings live performances to the stage, highlighting the role of women in storytelling.  By Christa Blackmon In an age of increased reliance on digital media, and when diaspora identities are being formed through the lenses of cameras, live oral performances remain a vital tool of cultural transmission. Perhaps that is why the DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival, as it entered its seventh year this past month, added a new addition to its schedule: live performances. [tmwinpost] While the majority of the festival’s agenda has traditionally been made up…

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  • Why is the Israeli Right so terrified of cultural expression?

    The Right holds near total power in Israel, so why is it so afraid of poetry and theater productions? Should a stranger come upon the public discussions happening in Israel over the past few years, he or she would be under the impression that the country is a global cultural powerhouse. From Al-Midan Theater, Jaffa's Arab Hebrew Theater, the Ophir Prize — Israel's version of the Oscars — to Palestinian poets Dareen Tatour and Mahmoud Darwish, the media and the public are in a frenzy over the face of Israeli culture. [tmwinpost] In light of these discussions, one gets the impression that culture…

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  • The cops at the checkpoint always remind me which side I'm on

    Until I learned Hebrew, I saw Jews as frightening, scary, armed people who expelled us from our land in 1967, now working on finishing us off. Does that surprise you? By Suleiman Maswadeh My name is Suleiman, I am 22 years old and I was born in Jerusalem's Old City. Despite the fact that it is located only hundreds of meters from my home, for most of my life Jaffa Street in central Jerusalem was like a foreign, European country. In my childhood, the word "Jew" referred to either Israeli Border Police or riot police. West Jerusalem was a frightening…

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  • WATCH: The Arab youth mainstreaming Palestinian identity in Israel

    Today, many young Arab citizens of Israel are no longer afraid of being proud of their Palestinian identity. Yet there is a general sense that the establishment is trying to prevent them from defining their own identity. What happens when Arabs who take pride in their people want to ‘make it’ into the mainstream? The third and final part in a series on Palestinian identity in Israel. Watch parts one and two.

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  • WATCH: Why Arab youth increasingly identify as Palestinian

    What makes young Arabs who live in Israel define themselves as Palestinians? How do Israel's divide-and-conquer policies make it difficult for Palestinian citizens to formulate a unified identity? Part two of Rami Younis and Israel Social TV's inside look at the changes taking place among Palestinians inside Israel. Watch part one here. Read more: WATCH: 'Israeli Arab' or Palestinian? A new activism, a new politics, a new generation of Palestinians in Israel From Haifa to Beirut: ’48 Palestinians challenge regional isolation

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  • WATCH: 'Israeli Arab' or Palestinian?

    One in five Israeli citizens are Arab — Muslim, Christian, Druze, Bedouin. A 2014 +972 Magazine poll found that the percentage of Arab citizens of Israel who identify as Palestinian has risen dramatically in recent years. Rami Younis and Israel Social TV explore the changing Palestinian identity politics inside Israel. Stay tuned for the next episodes of this series. Read more: A new activism, a new politics, a new generation of Palestinians in Israel From Haifa to Beirut: '48 Palestinians challenge regional isolation

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  • No room for Palestinians at Tel Aviv Pride Parade

    Until the Israeli LGBTQ community truly begins caring about Palestinian oppression, Palestinian queers will have to keep checking our identity at the door. Fady Khoury (translated by Tal Haran) This past March I took part in a panel as part of Washington D.C.'s Independent Film Festival, where Jake Weisfeld's new documentary, "Oriented," was screened. The film, which was also screened this week as part of Tel Aviv's LGBTQ film festival, TLVFest, tells the story of three gay Palestinian men living in Tel Aviv. I assume that plenty has and will be said about the movie itself, but the point I wanted to…

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  • How Israel erases Arabic from the public landscape

    The Israeli government has begun omitting the Arabic name for Jerusalem from its street signs, erasing not only the language from the Israeli consciousness, but Palestinian identity itself. By Umar Al-Ghubari Driving towards Jerusalem on Highway 1, you may notice a relatively new phenomenon taking place on the road signs directing you to the city. Readers of Arabic will see that the name of Jerusalem in Arabic has undergone a change: the word in brackets, القدس, Al-Quds, which appeared there until very recently, no longer exists on the new signs that have recently been put up by the roadsides in those…

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  • Film review: 'We are Palestine, we're here and we are queer'

    Unlike previous films made about gay Palestinians in Israel, 'Oriented' is not about Jewish saviors trying to protect Palestinians from political or social repercussions.  Three men in their mid-twenties are gathered at a Tel Aviv apartment, preparing to go out to a dance party at a popular Jaffa bar called Anna Loulou. Speaking in Arabic laced with Hebrew expressions and the occasional English phrase, they warm up with vodka and grapefruit juice as they sprawl on the couches, talking and listening to music . Will there be Jews at the party? asks one of the young men. Yes, answers another.…

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  • +972 poll: Joint Arab list would raise voter participation

    The three Arab lists in the Knesset are expected to run together in response to a raised election threshold. Asked about self-identity, the majority consider themselves Arab, but a growing and significant minority call themselves Palestinian. Nearly 70 percent of Arabs citizens of Israel intend to vote if the three existing Arab parties run on a joint list, compared to 56 percent who voted in the 2013 elections, a new +972 poll found. But the call to boycott the elections holds powerful sway. A majority of 54 percent says that if there are such calls to boycott the elections, they…

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  • 'My best friend was Jewish': A young East Jerusalemite speaks

    I teach writing at a Palestinian university in the West Bank. Several of my students have been gracious enough to share their experiences with +972, albeit anonymously. This is the final installment in the four-part series.  With the other pieces, I've let the student speak first, only adding my comments at the end. But this excerpt points toward a surprising ideological issue that arose between my student and myself, so I feel the need to preface it. During discussion in class one day, the subject of Israel's renaming of destroyed Palestinian villages arose. This student felt frustrated with my insistence…

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  • Unafraid: The new generation of Palestinian activists in Israel

    For decades, Palestinian citizens of Israel lived in fear of the internal security services. But the new generation of political activists are simply not that impressed by Shin Bet intimidation anymore.  By Ala Hlehel / 'The Hottest Place in Hell' (Translated from Hebrew by Dimi Reider) When I was in my second year of university and my father found out I became politically active, he was terrified. “The Shin Bet will snatch you in the middle of the night and throw you out to Lebanon!” he told me. The generation of my parents, who came of age in the shadow…

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