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  • Marking the festival of liberation as the occupation hits 50

    As we celebrate Passover this year, we will also be marking the 50th year of the occupation. It's time to reflect on what liberation really means when you're holding another people captive. By Frima (Murphie) Bubis This year, as we celebrate the holiday of Passover, commemorating the Jewish people's release from the shackles of slavery, we will also mark 50 years of Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories, and the people living there. [tmwinpost] Not much will be different from all the other nights. While we sit around the holiday table with our glasses full and quibble over the story of the exodus…

  • Surviving the Passover seder: A how-to for leftists

    The Passover seder can be trying at the best of times: all that food, family and arguing. But it's even more treacherous territory if you're a leftie — so here's your guide to getting through the night (relatively) unscathed. By Ido Nice The Passover seder is fast approaching, and along with it, the inevitable political arguments with extended family. Every year, some opinion writer pens a “guide” to surviving the entire affair, and coming out on top. [tmwinpost] But you can’t win an argument in which both sides have valid claims, and the Israeli Left’s tendency to ignore the valid…

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  • Temple Mount activists 'practice' sacrifice in East Jerusalem

    The practice run, ahead of what some groups believe will be the construction of a Third Temple, was co-ordinated by dozens of groups from the Temple Mount Movement — including those who call for the destruction of Muslim holy sites. Warning: This article contains a graphic image of animal slaughter. Text by Tali Janner-Klausner Photos by Tali Mayer A crowd of hundreds came to watch the fifth and largest tirgul korban pesach – an annual re-enactment, or “practice run” of the paschal lamb sacrifice that was the central ritual of the harvest festival of Passover during ancient times. The ceremony…

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  • A new era of anti-occupation Judaism

    American Jews have long overwhelmingly supported an end to the occupation, but increasingly, we are building an organized critical mass who are also willing to push our institutions and politicians in the same direction. IfNotNow takes its Passover message of liberation to Hillel and AIPAC. By Leanne Gale We gathered early in the morning, before the work day began. By the time I arrived at our meeting place, there were leaders milling about in neon vests to assist with logistics. There were megaphones. There were posters. I remarked to a friend, “This feels like trip day at my Jewish summer…

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  • COMIC: The Haggadah's evolution from generation to generation

    Haggadot have historically evolved to reflect the needs and aspirations of their respective communities. Eli Valley envisions an American Jewish Haggadah for presidential primary season. Eli Valley is a writer and artist whose work has appeared in The New Republic, The Nation, The Daily Beast, Gawker and elsewhere. A collection of his comics will be released later this year by OR Books. His website is and he tweets @elivalley.

  • High Court on BDS: Somewhere between terror and Holocaust denial

    The High Court decision on the 'boycott law' uses the word terror 11 times, likens BDS supporters to Holocaust deniers and quotes a right-wing columnist who makes it his duty to target boycott supporters. By Yael Marom The justices of Israel's High Court upheld the controversial "boycott law" Wednesday, giving ground for individuals to sue anyone who calls for a boycott of Israel, or areas under its control (read: the occupied territories). [tmwinpost] But beyond the consequences, questions and political issues that arise from the ruling, there are also a few gems that would be a shame to miss. The…

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  • Between elegance and desolation: A short journey to Qalqilya

    Eight hundred words and three photos from one place. This time, the city from which the muezzins sing over the rooftops of the settlements of Kochav Yair and Nir David. Here is the closest thing that I will have to a Passover vacation: a hop for one morning to a city that is not especially attractive, though pleasant, smiley and delicious. The separation wall, hated by me as it is, split me from my obligations. So I submitted to sweet tea and pastries (sinning with hametz), to the atmosphere in the street, and to the interaction with this close, yet far away…

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  • A new settlement is born in Hebron

    As peace talks teeter, three families move into what will be the first new settlement in Hebron since the 1980s - with the full support and blessing of the army. Three Israeli settler families moved into a contested home in the West Bank Palestinian city of Hebron, following a years-long legal battle and culminating on Sunday with the authorization of Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. The new, fortress-like building signifies the first new settlement in Hebron since the 1980s. The building in question, which is strategically placed between the Old City of Hebron and the major Jewish settlement of Kiryat…

  • The other ‘1 percent’: On refugees and Passover

    When we look around us this Passover, we are not the ones in need of protection, and we are not the ones escaping slavery. Somehow Israel has missed this role-reversal. Text by Rebecca De Vries and Natasha Roth Photos by Karen Zack Freedom of movement and the right to liberty do not apply to anyone who is not a citizen or resident. So spoke the Knesset's legal representative at a High Court hearing on the Prevention of Infiltration Law at the beginning of this month. The statement adequately summarises the attitude of the Israeli government - and much of the…

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  • A Passover lesson: 'And then we were free'

    By Eli Valley Eli Valley is a writer and artist whose work has been published in New York Magazine, The Daily Beast, Gawker, Saveur, Haaretz and elsewhere. Eli is currently finishing his first novel. His website is and he tweets at @elivalley.

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  • Liberal Zionism at 65: Fantasy and reality

    Liberal Zionism has had 65 years to prove Israel can indeed be both a Jewish state and a liberal democracy. Given its track record, is it time to put the ideology to rest?  By David Sheen Imagine if you would, for a minute, that Liberal Zionists have been proven correct: that it is totally possible for a state that accords privileges to members of one specific ethnic group only - Jews, in this case - to be a flourishing democracy. Imagine that Israel is indeed a Light Unto the Nations, and that people from all the other nations who see the…

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  • Between Ashkenazim and Sephardim: A guide to Passover piyutim

    Jewish liturgical poetry dates back to the Bible and the rabbinical sages that came after. In honor of Passover, Café Gibraltar presents a primer to traditional Jewish religious singing for the holiday and the Jewish month of Nisan. By Patia Hana The holiday of Passover summons a plethora of piyutim (Jewish liturgical poetry usually sung, chanted or recited during religious services). Not just on the night of the seder, but also throughout the Jewish month of Nisan, on the last night of Passover. Of course, piyyutim are designated for the Shalosh Regalim (the three Jewish Pilgrimage festivals), the Hallel (a prayer used for…

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  • Next year in rebuilt Jerusalem: A Passover call for justice

    A truly rebuilt Jerusalem is a place where freedom and justice can flourish, a place where Jews and Palestinians can live alongside one another without checkpoints and walls, without the fears and realities of a hyper-militarized society, a place devoid of settlements and separation. By Oren Kroll-Zeldin Every spring Jews around the world gather around a seder table to commemorate the Jewish exodus from Egypt. At the conclusion of the Passover seder we utter the eternally hopeful words, “Next year in Jerusalem.” Through two thousand years of exile, Jewish people longed to return to Eretz Tzion, Yerushalayim - to Zion,…

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