Yafa Cultural Center is one of the few places left for Palestinian children from Balata refugee camp to cope with the violence they witness on a daily basis. With funding running low, the center is at risk of closing. When the door opens, I am surprised to see a six or seven-year-old boy on the other side. “Can I sign up for karate classes, uncle?” “Yes, come on Saturday, there will be an instructor,” answers Ibrahim Jammal. The boy asks if he needs to bring anything. “As always, habibi, you don’t need to bring a thing.” Although he tries to appear…Read More... | 4 Comments
Nasser Laham, the editor-in-chief of Palestine's biggest independent media outlet, used to be an ardent supporter Abbas and the peace process. But after decades of failed attempts, something inside him changed. Today he believes Palestinians must stop talking about peace. 'We'll wait a thousand years, the Israelis will be defeated. What's the hurry?' By Meron Rapoport You won’t find a Palestinian journalist who understands Israel and the Israelis like Nasser Laham. He took advantage of the Hebrew he learned while serving time in prison to become the most prominent commentator on Israeli affairs in the Palestinian media, hosting a popular daily television show that…Read More... | 23 Comments
Earlier this year, the Coalition Against Racism led Israelis on a tour of the mixed city of Ramla. The tour took participants to Arab and Ethiopian neighborhoods, where along with two members of Knesset, they learned about the problems facing residents of minority and underprivileged areas. Can getting to know the Other really make a difference? Read more: One in every four Israelis experienced racism last year, poll finds There is nothing 'natural' about police racism The roots of anti-Mizrahi racism in IsraelRead More...
'Coexistence' in one of Israel's major mixed cities means Palestinian citizens must forget who they are, where they were born, and whom they were born to. By Zohar Elmakias Two eighth grade girls from Ramle's Juwarish neighborhood stabbed a security guard at the central bus station last Thursday. Following the incident, I thought a lot of about Ramle. I was born and raised there, and many of my family members still live in the city. Ramle is, for better or for worse, the landscape of my childhood, the place I always go back to. As a child, I participated in various…Read More... | 3 Comments
The banality of the ghetto: The term ‘ghetto’ migrated from Europe’s Jewish communities to Israel’s ethnically mixed towns — both as an idea and an institution for controlling the Palestinians who remained in Israel after 1948. By Daniel Monterescu In the aftermath of Jaffa’s conquest in 1948, Moshe Erem, director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Minority Affairs and Tel-Aviv City Council member, wrote to minister of minority affairs Bechor Shalom-Shitrit: ‘Ajami will be from now on surrounded by Jewish housing on all sides. We can assume that there is no threat to security in the city. But for some reason this was not…Read More...
The lives of two more women, a mother and a daughter, were taken in a shooting last week. What must Arab women do to rid our streets of criminals? I know, dear readers, that you must be having a hard time disconnecting from what is happening in France and Mali and across the world, or from the stabbing attacks on both sides of the Green Line. While I was busy trying to do whatever I could for the women in my society, I found myself in a different world this past week. I tried to escape it as best as…Read More...
The village of Dahmash has been around since 1948, and its residents have the documents to prove it. The authorities, however, have been threatening the unrecognized village with demolition for years. Now residents are taking matters into their own hands and putting together a festival to bring attention to their cause. On Monday, March 16 — a day before the national elections — Israel's High Court of Justice will hear an appeal by the residents of the unrecognized village Dahmash. The village, located between Ramle and Lyd ("Lod" in Hebrew), is not recognized by any local council. The hearing could…Read More... | 4 Comments
Ten women from the same family have been murdered since 2000. In failing to protect them, we have failed in coming to terms with the fact that women are independent, free human beings who have exclusive ownership over their bodies. (Translated from Hebrew by Sol Salbe) The first documented murder of a woman in Palestine occurred in 1930. A young Christian woman returned to her village on horseback while being held by one of the Arab fighters. He claimed that he gave her a ride to the village when a deluge of rain caught her in the fields. Someone from…Read More... | 16 Comments
"One of the girls is sitting on the bench beside me; an officer places his fist on her head and tells her 'If you dare speak even a single word, you shall be punished.' We are screaming and struggling as they take her away, but they shove us back to our seats, yelling 'Sit down you stinking Arabs,' and 'Don't you move, bitch.' We can hear the tasers at work in the other room." By Leehee Rothschild Israeli protesters arrested after a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinian hunger strikers in Ramle on May 3 testified to suffering extreme police violence and…Read More... | 27 Comments
A demonstration in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike last week ended in the illegal arrest of 17 activists. The police violence they encountered in detention - which included threats of rape and the use of electroshock Taser guns - shows just what the authorities think of the basic right to human dignity and the freedom of expression and protest. Last Thursday, May 3, 15 Israeli citizens - Palestinians and Jews (including one resident of Jerusalem) - as well as one American and one Canadian, were violently arrested after a demonstration outside the Ramle Prison in solidarity with Palestinian administrative…Read More... | 21 Comments
A group of Arab teenagers were indicted yesterday for the racially-motivated shooting death of a 51-year-old Jewish man. Comparing coverage of a similar incident in 2011 - in which a Palestinian man was stabbed to death by Jewish youth - reveals deep bias in Israel's media. Haaretz reports that eight teens were indicted yesterday in last month's shooting death of a Ramle man, George Sa'ado. The murder appears to have been racially-motivated. The article is here. I warn you that it is graphic and heartrending. Let's compare this to a similar incident that occurred in February of 2011, when a…Read More... | 14 Comments
The assassination of Zuhair al-Qaissi, which sparked the escalation in the south, points to Israel's weak Supreme Court, a lack of transparency and accountability, and the state's flip attitude towards its judicial branch--as do some street signs in Tel Aviv The recent escalation between Israel and Gaza began after Israeli forces assassinated Zuhair al-Qaissi, a leader of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), a militant group composed of members of various Palestinian parties. Haaretz noted that the PRC was "the organisation that captured Gilad Shalit", the Israeli soldier who was freed in October 2011. The army says that al-Qaissi was behind the August 2011…Read More... | 51 Comments
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