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  • Neither Russian nor Israeli: Lessons from a journey to the homeland

    After years of denying her Russian identity, Osnat Ita Skoblinski finally made peace with the cultural world of her friends and family. However, she never expected her first trip back 'home' to bring out feelings of hate and revulsion. By Osnat Ita Skoblinski My parents, who immigrated to Israel in the 70s, refused to have a decorated Christmas tree in our home. "We're Jews," they said, as they set out for a Novy God party on December 31st with Santa hats on their heads. Born in Israel to parents from the Soviet Union, I found New Year’s Eve celebrations especially confusing.…

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  • Arab-Jewish hip hop group challenges Israeli 'melting pot'

    System Ali, a ten-piece hip hop outfit which raps in Arabic, Russian, Hebrew and English sits down with Café Gibraltar to talk about the power of the genre, normalization, revolutionary Arab street poetry and the need to struggle for justice in their home city.  By Hagar Shezaf How did it all start? We started playing in a local bomb shelter in the Ajami neighborhood of Jaffa. The shelter belonged to the Sadaka-Reut organization, and some of us had previously started the Jaffa Youth Center, which was a center of education and arts for Jaffa's teenagers. The center focused on photography, theatre,…

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  • Best things in Jewish state include: 24/7 convenience stores

    It's not often that I feel inspired to write about the aspects of the Jewish state that I really truly like, considering how much damage is done in the name of that state. So I am listing a few such aspects that I noticed this weekend, wondering if they add up to a different notion of what a "Jewish state" might mean. Here they are: AM/PM 24/7 convenience stores. While the experience of shopping for a standardized list of packaged and processed goods under ghastly fluorescent lights is an assault on my senses, I am grateful for the 24-hour convenience…

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