Israel/Palestine

War & Peace

What Is the New Israeliness?

The teenagers and twentysomethings who were barely old enough to light funeral candles after Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination in 1995 are now doing what today’s adults were unable to do back then: creating a new Israeli identity capable of living in peace with itself.
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Israel/Palestine

Objective Historian or Staunch Ideologue?

Professor Benny Morris — a key member of the group of Israeli scholars known as the “new historians”– devotes almost the entirety of his latest book to shooting down the case for both one state and two states in all their variations.
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Israel/Palestine

In the Land of Double Narrative

You hear the double narrative of Israel/Palestine in words like the Nakba, or Catastrophe, which is how Palestinians describe the first war in 1947, the one the Israelis call the War of Independence because it began after the Arabs rejected the UN pronouncement of the State of Israel — and attacked. And in what the Israelis call the Security Wall, designed to stop the suicide bombers from blowing up discos in Tel Aviv and bus stations in Jerusalem — and the Palestinians call the Racist Wall or the Apartheid Wall because it cuts into their land and prevents their moving freely into Israel proper for jobs and family, as they did before the Intifada, a word that conjures up the liberation movement for Palestinians and the existential threat of annihilation for Israelis.
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Gender & Sexuality

The Stolen Blessing

The Torah has little to say about transsexuality, but it has a lot to say about people who do hard-to-explain and sometimes terrible things in order to be true to themselves. My personal archetype was Jacob. I had never liked Jacob, but even as a child I recognized his life as an uncomfortably apt metaphor for mine.
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Israel/Palestine

Hannah Arendt: From Iconoclast to Icon

Hannah Arendt, the renowned German-Jewish political philosopher and liberal polemicist, has obtained icon status since her death in 1975. Arendt was a sharp dissenter against the Zionist majority from 1942 on, but to regard her as anti-Zionist is an oversimplification. This famous gadfly sharply criticized Zionism, but from within.
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Israel/Palestine

Holding the Wound, Holding out Hope: Understanding the Neurobiology of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Trauma runs through the lives of Israelis and Palestinians like a branching nerve. It is imperative that an understanding of trauma’s impact and healing form the foundation of all that guides negotiations for peace.
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Israel/Palestine

The Egyptian Movement for Democracy and Jewish Communal Ambivalence

The momentous changes taking place now in the Middle East provide Israel with a new moment to leave behind its historical fear responses and instead lead the way in welcoming the leaders of these new Arab protest movements.
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Israel/Palestine

Fear and Consequences: Healing from Jewish Historical Trauma

Centuries of persecution and genocide have left many Jews so fearful that we see ourselves always and forever as victims, which blinds us to our role in the current oppression of Palestinians. As anti-Occupation Jews, we honor the legacy of Jewish resistance when we consciously choose solidarity over fear.
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Nonviolent Activism

Tikkun Olam: The Art of Nonviolent Civil Resistance

Faith in militarism is on the rise in the Jewish community, and yet, violence, as Hannah Arendt reminded her generation, always leads to more violence.
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Israel/Palestine

Unhealed Terror

It is my understanding that this was the first time the story of a Holocaust survivor had ever been aired on national television in the United States, and the program treated Ms. Kohner’s story as just another made-for-television soap opera. If this was how the non-Jewish world treated the survivors of the Holocaust in the 1950s, what hope was there for the Jewish world to find a place to grieve?
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Israel/Palestine

The Ethical Challenge for Diaspora Jews

Armed against all forms of criticism, the Israeli public is increasingly sequestered in its own psychological fortress. Two responses that dominated my discussions with Israelis were: It is just a chain reaction. You should only know what they have done to us; and Why are you here? Go home and tend to your own country’s problems.
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Israel/Palestine

Solidarity with Palestinian Activists

Having long decried the violent means that some Palestinians have used to call attention to their plight, we in the American Jewish community cannot now turn our backs on a Palestinian movement that uses nonviolence to work for peace. We must do everything in our power to proclaim our solidarity with them.
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Israel/Palestine

Pro-Palestinian and Pro-Israeli

Living in the polarizing atmosphere of the Middle East, I feel the need to reassert the very basics — like affirming that Palestinians and Israelis are all human beings. I say this only somewhat facetiously, as dehumanizing, collective rhetoric justifies violations of many individuals’ basic rights.
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Israel/Palestine

Tikkun Olam in East Jerusalem

For the better part of a year, nearly every Friday afternoon, we have been coming to this ravine in the Palestinian half of Jerusalem. Standing with hundreds of Jews and Palestinians and foreign visitors, young and elderly, and intellectuals and working people, we take part in a protest movement that began spontaneously and refuses to die.
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Israel/Palestine

On Narratives, Power, and Peace: A Note from a Palestinian Activist

Here in Palestine, we unfortunately face a unique narrative that acquired tremendous power and resulted in a large population of refugees after World War II. The question many Jews are struggling with is how to separate this Zionist narrative from the rich and wonderful history of Jewish contributions to humanity.
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