The surreal arrest and trial of a Palestinian poet symbolizes a crackdown on free speech, surveillance on social media, and rising authoritarian trends in Israel. +972's Story of the Year for 2017. By +972 Magazine For the past year and half, a strange and disturbing drama has been playing out in a Haifa courtroom. In the defendant’s seat is a poet, on trial for a political poem she wrote, performed, and published on Facebook. Whether she goes to prison for publishing that poem rests largely on how the judge ultimately interprets a few words translated by a policeman whose main…Read More... | 1 Comment
Just five minutes from Kfar Saba, under full Israeli control, children from the village Arab a-Ramadin will attend a school made of clay, without electricity, and most certainly without computers. All my years as a teacher and administrator couldn't have prepared me for this place. By Eitan Kalinski As I stood in front of a structure called 'School for the Children of the Village of Arab a-Ramadin,' located five minutes from Kfar Saba, I felt myself shamefully shed over 40 years of teaching. A stone's throw from Kfar Saba's cultural centers and educational palaces to the west, and the settlement of Alfei…Read More... | 10 Comments
Even when they had reached the borders of the Promised Land, after 40 years in the desert, all the Children of Israel wanted was to go back to Egypt. In Erez Biton's poem, the immigrant from Algeria and his son fail to build a home in Israel. Independence Day is also the tale of the rift in our identity, created by immigrating here. By Mati Shemoelof "And the children of Israel said unto them: ‘Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, when we did eat bread…Read More...
For decades, the poetry, literature and culture of Mizrahi Jews, those who came from Arab and Middle Eastern countries, was excluded from and marginalized in the Israeli mainstream and educational curriculum. That is beginning to change, and there exists a unique opportunity to correct the course. Read more: The roots of anti-Mizrahi racism in Israel Riches to rags to virtual riches: When Mizrahi artists said 'no' to Israel's pioneer culture It is time to rebuild ties between Mizrahim and the Arab worldRead More...
By Roy Hasan I just love those socialists who hate capitalism so ostentatiously, wear ugly sandals and torn t-shirts, wrapping themselves in a homeless look without telling a soul about grandma’s inheritance or dad’s real estate (they look homeless too) and criticize the culture of affluence with bombast as if they were prophets of vengeance with gurgling stomachs. I just love those who wish their Arab brothers Ramadan Kareem and sign petitions legalizing the sale of hametz during Passover. I just love those who relish in the muazzin’s call and see the Chabad or Breslav truck in the neighborhood as…Read More...
It's cease or desist for the Lorde project, as Yuval gets a rare opportunity for a long nocturnal drive with a great musician. Part 11 of 15. For more, click here. We all packed up into a seven-seater Suburban: Mira Awad, three other actors and myself. Yigal Ezrati, Jaffa Theater's director, was the driver. Clearly I couldn't bring up the project right way, so I was quiet, which brought about an uneasy silence. We pulled into a gas station by the adjacent kibbutz. Yigal left the car to fuel. Mira hummed something, she was in a lovely mood. "So why are…Read More...
Israeli-American poet Morani Kornberg-Weiss breaks with conventional poetics and mainstream politics. But who, exactly, is Dear Darwish for? Dear Darwish, Morani Kornberg-Weiss’s first collection of poetry, opens with a prose poem that that doubles as an indictment of Israeli society. Cleverly disguised as a letter, it is addressed to the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. Like the poems that follow it, “Dear Mahmoud” does many things at once. It captures the violence inherent in establishing and maintaining the Jewish state. It accurately depicts Israelis’ objectifying and dehumanizing view of Palestinians. It shows how the state’s violence against Palestinians has seeped…Read More... | 9 Comments
Gaza-based poet Manal Miqdad wrote the following poem after a particularly violent and sleepless night in Gaza during Israel's Operation Protective Edge. Israeli poet Almog Behar penned a response, dedicated to Miqdad. After a night full of missiles, crying and fear, the sheet of the sky opens its heart to the light By Manal Miqdad (translated from Arabic by Sam Carlshamre and Chana Morgenstern) I speak my words unto God, O Gaza! After a night full of missiles, crying and fear, the sheet of the sky opens its heart to the light. But how can we wish you good morning,…Read More... | 4 Comments
Lately I’ve been looking at Israelis closely. I’ve been looking them straight in the eye, to see if they know. If they have a clue. Any clue. About what’s in their future. The not too distant future. Most probably in the lifetimes of many of them. I look at them closely. And in particular places. Places that are theirs, and theirs alone. At least, what they think are theirs. What they believe are theirs. And I wonder to myself: do they know that soon they will have to share all this? All this wealth, this land, these resources? These rights?…Read More... | 42 Comments
This is a story about poetry, but like many Israeli stories, it too begins with Netanyahu. When Netanyahu was minister of the treasury, in the mid aughts, Israel's anti-monopoly laws became less than tightly enforced. One sector to suffer the implications was the publishing business. Israel's two major retail book chains merged at the time with two major publishing houses. The combined force of these leviathans wrecked the smaller book chains, the private bookstores and every other publishing house around. Today we have here a duopoly of two book chains: Steimatzky and Tzomet Sfarim. They make the rules. They have…Read More... | 1 Comment
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