Israel/Palestine

Israel/Palestine

“Our Nation Is Only a Nation in Its Torah”: On Haredi Refusal and Democratic Discourse

The Haredi community has always been a thorn in the side of secular Israelis because the Haredi community does not buy into the Zionist ideology or the militarist symbology of the state. To move forward, Israel has to make room for this political and religious voice in the conversation.
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Israel/Palestine

From Anti-Zionism to Settler Post-Zionism: What do the Settler Movement and Neturei Karta Have in Common?

There are arguably no two movements in Israel as disparate as the Settler Movement (known as Yesha) and Neturei Karta. Yesha represents the community of Israelis who live in the West Bank. It does not support a two-state solution and remains wed to a Greater Israel ideology that claims all of historic Erez Israel belongs to the Jews. Members of Neturei Karta are what we might call premillenialists. They are against a Jewish State in the Land of Israel claiming that tradition dictates that the messiah will come solely by divine fiat and the job of the Jews is to perform mitzvot and passively await his arrival.
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Israel/Palestine

In the Midst of the Ruins: Activists Struggle to Save the Palestinian Village of Lifta

Lifta is the last remaining Palestinian village within the disavowed Green Line that hasn’t been destroyed or renovated and resettled. Threatened by Israel’s “Master Plan 6036,” which aims to convert Lifta into an exclusive suburban enclave and tourist resort, the crumbling village’s main hope lies in a coalition of Palestinian and Israeli activists who are working to try to save it.
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Israel/Palestine

Why Yair Lapid’s Electoral Success Is Not Really a Centrist Victory

Both Israeli and foreign media have repeated the same prevailing narrative about Israel’s election—a narrative in which the Israeli center has returned to full strength and the Israeli right has taken a whipping. But in fact the right is in a comfortable position to forge a ruling coalition. The two current hard-right parties together won forty-two seats, a formation far more stable than the center-left parties with their forty-eight seats. Further, those hard-right parties have purged themselves of any vestige of center-right leaders of the past.
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Culture

Peace and Conflict through Graffiti in Israel/Palestine

Graffiti is the most anonymous, intimate expression of how people in Israel/Palestine interact with their reality. The images below chronicle my journey in search of hope and understanding throughout this war-trodden region, narrated in graffiti.
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Israel/Palestine

Mapping a Jewish Activist Future: A Review of Nepon’s Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue

How can we create space for friction and dissent from within Jewish institutions, such as the Jewish Federation or Hillel?
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Israel/Palestine

Crossing Borders, Planting Olive Trees

Joshua Davis has played music in South American rainforests, on the promenade in Havana, in old mining towns in Michigan, and beyond. But Tuwani, a village in the Palestinian West Bank, tested his comfort level perhaps more than any previous gig.
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Israel/Palestine

Languages of Liturgy and Occupation

Living in Ramallah has meant that I must see my Judaism differently. It means I sometimes have to turn myself inside out. I see our religious symbols differently. I experience Hebrew differently. I hear Hebrew as the five million Palestinians who live here do: not as a spiritual language but a language of military occupation.

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Israel/Palestine

An American Jewish Identity Crisis

“Jewish life had its renaissance because Israel was born,” Rabbi Marvin Hier recently told my partner Deborah Kaufman and I during an interview for our documentary film Between Two Worlds.
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US Politics

The Jewish Community’s Drift Toward the Right

In the absence of a visionary or even steadfastly progressive leadership, the Jewish community has become stuck in a vicious cycle of recriminations, while slowly shifting to the political right.
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Israel/Palestine

Debating Pinkwashing

An Inconvenient Truth: The Myths of Pinkwashing by Arthur Slepian Responses to Arthur Slepian: The Greater Context of the Pinkwashing Debate by Katherine Franke Revealing the Truth Behind the Rainbow: Seattle’s Anti-Pinkwashing Success by Wendy Elisheva Somerson Pinkwashing, Brainwashing, and …
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Israel/Palestine

A New Heroism in Israel and Palestine

Mejdi is a tour company founded in 2010 by Dr. Marc Gopin, an orthodox rabbi. The idea behind Mejdi is that Arabs and Jews doing peace and coexistence work through NGOs are notoriously under-funded; hundreds of them are literally poor. They also spend a disproportionate amount of time writing grants and fundraising rather than doing their critical on-the-ground work. It’s an unsustainable model, and the Mejdi co-founders felt they could create a business for peace-building that was also self-sustaining.
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Israel/Palestine

Poisoning Arafat

For me, there was no surprise. From the very first day, I was convinced that Yasser Arafat had been poisoned by Ariel Sharon. I even wrote about it several times.
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Israel/Palestine

Revealing the Truth Behind the Rainbow: Seattle’s Anti-Pinkwashing Success

As a queer anti-Occupation Jew living in Seattle, I was part of the coalition that worked to get the Seattle LGBT commission to cancel the pinkwashing event, “Rainbow Generations: Building New LGBTQ Pride & Inclusion in Israel,” sponsored by Arthur Slepian’s organization, A Wider Bridge. In response to Slepian’s article, “An Inconvenient Truth: The Myths of Pinkwashing,” I want to clarify why we worked to cancel the event and counter his misinformation about pinkwashing.
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Gender & Sexuality

Israeli Occupation and LGBT Rights: Inextricably Intertwined

Improving the lot of gays in Israel without addressing the suffering of Palestinians under Occupation is a palliative measure. The oppression facing Israeli minorities, whether they be LGBT or Israeli Palestinians derives from the same root: the original sin of racism and dispossession.
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