A new children’s book offers hope for a shared future

The children’s book Sweet Tea with Mint and Other Stories spreads hope that a different future is possible, one shared by both Jews and Arabs. In this way, its unique perspective differentiates it from other children’s books in Israel. Marcelo Weksler The first time I was introduced to the children’s stories in Sweet Tea With […]

The Commemorative Rally for Yitzhak Rabin Played Directly into the Hands of the Right Wing

The commemorative rally for Yitzhak Rabin united Left and Right under a canopy of empty slogans promoting peace and non-violence, and, for all intents and purposes, reinforced the status quo of Peace with Occupation, without raising even one difficult question

Israel’s ultimatum to refugees: Indefinite detention or danger

An Israeli court upholds the government’s policy of indefinitely imprisoning African asylum if they don’t agree to ‘voluntary deportation’ to third countries with no legal status. The xenophobia driving Israel’s policy is top-down, but there is another way. By Anat Ovadia-Rosner (Translated from Hebrew by Noam Benishie) The Be’er Sheva District Court rejected a petition filed by […]

Netanyahu’s transfer plan is met with silent complicity

Netanyahu’s proposal of revoking the status of 100,000 residents of East Jerusalem who live beyond the separation barrier joins a sequence of verbal expressions welded onto a single line of thought and that are aimed also at the Arabs within the Green Line: you are all here by good graces and conditionally. And the silence of the “democratic” political camp reverberates in the background

How Jewish and Palestinian cultural artifacts became Israeli property

A new book looks at the ways in which ancient religious manuscripts belonging to Yemenite Jews, as well as thousands of books owned by Palestinians and Holocaust survivors became part of Israel’s National Library in Jerusalem.

Poverty kills: Survival and struggle in ‘the other Israel’

By Yael Cohen-Rimer (Translated by Yudit Ilany and Shaked Spier) She’s somewhere outside, the 13-year-old girl who was sent by welfare services to step over the dried blood at the building’s entrance floor. This blood reminds her of her mother, who jumped out of the front window about a week earlier. So far, no one from […]

Longing for Jewish-Muslim co-existence in Morocc

Kamal Hachkar’s film, ‘Echoes From the Mellah,’ looks at Morocco’s history, which not long ago included Jews and Muslims living together in peaceful co-existence, and serves as an important resource for building a vision of a shared Jewish-Palestinian existence.

Beyond Netanyahu: On the collapse of the so-called Left

Many in the Israeli Left saw the recent election defeat as a danger to democracy. But if the Left wants to win elections, it needs to let go of its anti-Mizrahi fear-mongering and racism.

A Mizrahi look at democracy: Impressions from a ‘Haaretz’ conference

What does it feel like to be thought of as someone who endangers democracy? Sometimes, all it takes is having dark skin, curls and a kippa. Thoughts on Mizrahi identity from Haaretz’s Conference on Democracy

Israeli Black Panther: Mizrahim must boycott the elections

Since the establishment of ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’ and until today, not a single election has fundamentally changed the status of Mizrahim. Now we must use the only tool we have left at our disposal and refuse to participate in the game altogether.

What Mizrahi activists really want: A ten-point program

Mizrahi activists have tried explaining their positions for years. Now, in the run-up to the elections, they lay out their political vision for education, land reform, health care and representation in a ‘ten-point program.’

Can a feminist Mizrahi woman find her political home in Shas?

By Efrat Shani-Shitrit Although it is run by ultra-Orthodox men and its path for social mobility is anchored in religion, Shas remains the only truly socially minded political party and is certainly the only Mizrahi party. One voter’s search for answers. A few weeks ago, flyers targeting the women of north Tel Aviv were posted around […]

To fight police violence, address their racism

By Kher Albaz The killing of a young Bedouin man from Rahat and the death of another during the funeral have deepened the city’s lack of faith in the authorities. Only anti-racism education for police and young people alike can stop the landslide. The Or Commission, which investigated the shooting deaths of 13 Arab demonstrators […]

Why Mizrahim don’t vote for the Left?

It is no wonder that Mizrahim vote for right-wing parties when the Ashkenazi-dominated Left has done everything in its power to exclude them. Want things to change? Start talking about Ashkenazi privilege

Yemenite Babies Affair: Families of the kidnapped speak out

Between the years 1948 and 1952, thousands of babies, children of mostly Yemenite immigrants to the newly-founded State of Israel, were allegedly taken away from their parents and given up for adoption to Ashkenazi families. Now a group of activists is telling the stories of the traumatized families who vow never to forget

France must not push Muslims into the arms of extremists

By Yossi Dahan The terrorists who attacked Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket were well-trained, spoke French and knew their actions would play into the hands of France’s Islamophobic right. Let’s not give them what they’re after. As Israel’s news outlets covered the terrorist attacks in Paris, we watched how our analysts and correspondence suddenly […]

What Egypt’s multicultural past teaches us about Israel’s present

By Ktsiaa Alon (Translated from Hebrew by Shaked Spier) Jacqueline Kahanoff’s novel, ‘Jacob’s Ladder,’ strips ‘multiculturalism’ of its cold, academic veneer, displaying instead the reality of a Jewish, multicultural lifestyle. But the novel also directs a powerful question toward Israeli society: can the Arabs that live among us today ever live in Israel the same way […]

Nonviolence is growing in Palestine – an Interview with Mubarak Awad

By Meir Amor At the end of 2000, as the Second Intifada was just beginning to grip the streets of the West Bank and Gaza, Israeli Professor Meir Amor sat down to speak with Mubarak Awad, a Palestinian expert on nonviolent resistance. Fifteen years later, the two met once again to talk about nonviolence, growing […]

The trauma and tragedy of Israel’s vocational education system

By Yossi Dahan (Translated from Hebrew by Alan Horowitz) Across the board, the achievements of vocational school graduates are significantly lower than those of non-vocational high school graduates. What is needed is equality. Nothing more, nothing less Before surrendering to the vision of Stef Wertheimer, Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Education Shay Piron and the vocational […]

Seeking freedom for a rape victim who killed his attacker

By Naama Katiee (translated from Hebrew by Osnat Hadar) Criminal sanctions for rape in Israel amount to a few years in prison at best. Yonatan Heilo – an Ethiopian immigrant and rape victim who lives outside the Israeli consensus – decided to rescue himself in the most immediate and radical way from the no-man’s land […]

Why religious Jews are divided over the Temple Mount

By Nissim Leon As tensions between Jews and Muslims come to a head in Jerusalem, it is worth remembering that one of Israel’s most prominent rabbis strictly forbade Jews from visiting Judaism’s holiest site in the wake of the Six-Day War   Recent news reflects a surge in conflict between Muslims and Jews in Israel […]

Israel’s ‘backyards’: First south Tel Aviv, then Holot

By Shula Keshet (Translated from Hebrew by Michal Wertheimer Shimoni) So long as the fight for asylum seekers’ rights — which I have taken part in — remains blind to the fact that Mizrahi slums are the only places carrying the burden of supporting and integrating asylum seekers, any celebration of the High Court to […]

Down but not out: Can the Arab Spring (up)rise again?

By Yizhar Be’er (Translated from Hebrew by Miriam Erez)   Three years after the Arab Spring, the youth of the revolution sound worried, fearful and fatigued. Yizhar Be’er reports from a regional gathering in Amman In December 2011, as the Arab Spring aroused sky-high expectations, I published my impressions of a conference organized by Mediterranean […]

Small gods with big sticks at the unemployment office

By Yudit Ilany How is it that a civil servant’s whim, impression or impulse can shatter an entire family’s lives? Some people, pushed and pushed into the corner, can’t take it anymore When the Israeli Employment Service (the unemployment office) registers somebody as “uncooperative,” all social security payments are automatically suspended for two months. This […]

Going rogue: How the Ministry of Finance plays by its own rules

By Hagai Kalai When it comes to getting its way, the Finance Ministry will go to no end to force other governmental bodies to bend to its will Like public authorities in Israel, the Ministry of Finance aims to promote public interest to the best of its understanding. However, like all public authorities, the ministry […]

Truth is the first casualty when war is declared

By Shaked Spier The recurring elements in the manipulation of public opinion and discourse in wartime also appeared during ‘Protective Edge.’ Shaked Spier brings you the Ten Truths, Ten Commandments and Ten Lies of war. The truth Several truths dominated the hegemonic discourse in Israel during and since “Protective Edge”: 1. Israel doesn’t want war, […]

Inequality in Central Government Transfers to Municipalities

By Shlomo Swirski and Etty Konor-Attias While it is of no surprise that the government financial support for the Jewish settlements in the OPT, and especially for the non Haredi settlements, is generous than ever before, the budget allocated for peripheral development towns has shrunk during the years 1991-2012, while the budget for Arab localities […]

Kitsch, death and god at Israel’s Education Ministry

By Avner Ben-Amos (Translated from Hebrew by Miriam Erez) The Israeli education minister’s letter to the graduating class of 2014 is evidence of the fact that Israeli education is little more than an ongoing IDF preparatory course A letter to the high school class of 2014 published by Israeli Education Minister Shai Piron in the […]

Fight Israeli poverty, not poverty statistics

By Shlomo Swirski and Noga Dagan-Buzaglo (Translated from Hebrew by Noam Benishei)  Poverty in Israel is not the result of low social security transfers, it’s the result of low income. And the truth of the matter is that the issue of poverty is not high on the Israeli government’s list of priorities The Alaluf Committee […]

What to expect from the Israeli Right after Protective Edge?

By Mati Shemoelof (Translated by from Hebrew by Rotem Nir) Progressive forces in Israel need to be prepared: The Israeli Right has yet to exhaust all of its options for dealing with the Palestinians. The alternatives to Netanyahu’s status quo involve moves toward a Greater Israel and full segregation based on extreme nationalism and hatred. If there is […]

Kurds Have No Friends But The Mountains

By Idan Pink-Avidani The Kurds are presented in the media as props in a play called “The militant Islamic violence and its horrors in the Middle East”, But the story of the Kurdish people is much more than part of a scenery or cannon fodder in ISIS’s exhibit of horror, and much more relevant to […]

Every war, I lose more and more friends

Sometimes I fantasize about what would happen if I were to be declared a traitor by the authorities. How would those women with whom I’ve worked for so long react. Now I’m beginning to understand. By Ruti Lavie (Translated from Hebrew by Michal Wertheimer Shimoni) This week I unfriended another friend who reacted to my posts […]

After Abu Khdeir murder, an ugly collision of homophobia and racism

By Shaked Spier (Translated from Hebrew by Yossefa Mekyton and Shaked Spier) After Mohammed Abu Khdeir was burned to death, many Israeli Jews insisted he died at the hands of Palestinians. They seized on unfounded rumors of his alleged homosexuality rather than facing the truth of the horrible act. Alongside the pain, belligerence and anger, […]

 An open condolences letter to the family of Mohammad Abu Khdeir and the Palestinian people

Haokets (Translated from Hebrew by Idit Arad and Matan Kaminer) Our hands shed this blood, our hands set Mohammad Abu Khdeir on fire, our hands fanned the flames. We have been living here for too long to claim that we did not know, we did not understand, we were not able to foresee. We witnessed […]

No such thing as ‘half-and-half’: On mixed Mizrahi-Ashkenazi identity

By Itamar Toby (Taharlev) (Translated from Hebrew by Maayan Goldman) The melting pot’s favorite category, ‘mixed,’ doesn’t pass the test of reality: in Israel, banal characteristics like one’s last name, appearance and place of residence, continue to dictate one’s opportunities in life and create an ethnic identity, concerning both class and culture. On Talia Sagiv’s book […]

At the exiled Iranian Parliament in Berlin

By Mati Shemoelof (Translated from Hebrew by Chana Morgenstern) At the exiled Iranian parliament we convened at Café Kotti in Berlin, I look around at my new friends and ask myself: how can civilians destroy the walls the politicians have built with such a lack of imagination, courage, vision and basic human love? It’s not […]

Pathologizing ethnicity: Are Mizrahim really more prone to violence?

A recent article claims that Mizrahim are more prone to violence because they suffer from higher rates of ADHD. But can one really make such sweeping statements about an entire demographic group without looking at the broader social context? By Marcelo Weksler (translated from Hebrew by Anat Goldman) On March 16, 2014, Dr. Shlomi Antebi, […]

At Hebrew University, Arabic textbooks reflect a Zionist reality

Fadi Asleh (Translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman) At Hebrew University, the narratives in Arabic and Hebrew language textbooks glorify Zionism and blur out any sign of the occupation. The next step? Using force against Palestinian students who dare to protest that very narrative. Israeli Independence Day is also Palestinian Nakba Day. This is one […]

The language of death in Bat Yam’s Monument Square

By Eyal Sagi Bizjawi The nationalist machine tries to ‘sell’ city residents a story about honoring ‘defenders.’ But the latter respond: they are not defending anything anymore. They died and all that was left is a monument. The central square in Bat-Yam, my hometown, is known as “the matseva” (“the headstone” or “monument”). As a child […]

Being a Mizrahi Jew, an Israeli and touching the Holocaust

By Batia Shimony The Israeli Holocaust discourse illustrates the — still — conflicted position of Mizrahi Jews in Israeli society. Perhaps we could design a Mizrahi identity that draws from the roots of its own unique history and not from that which is imposed upon it externally. A year ago on Holocaust Memorial Day I […]

Memorial Day: An open letter to Israel’s defense minister from a bereaved brother

By Lior Ben Eliahu (Translated from Hebrew by Edo Eliezer Konrad) Every year, the defense minister sends a letter to bereaved families, reminding them that the death of their loved ones did not happen in vain. Today, as Israel marks Memorial Day, the brother of Tamar Ben Eliahu, who was killed in a Jerusalem bus bombing […]

How one Palestinian citizen challenged Israel’s ‘enemy state’ policy

By Salah Mohsen Majd Kayyal’s right to travel and participate in a conference in Beirut is far more important than his right to fulfill his role as a journalist. That right belongs to him as a human being, an Arab and a Palestinian who has absorbed the cultural richness of Lebanon’s capital. The release of […]

A rolling stone of holiness, rage and revenge

By Yizhar Be’er (Translated from Hebrew by Michal Wertheimer Shimoni) On Purim of 1994, Dr. Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Muslim worshipers in the Cave of the Patriarchs – a tragedy that sparked a chain of events that has, more than any other act, shaped the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the last 20 years. But we could […]

Kicking the Neoliberal Habit

By Yossi Dahan (Translated from Hebrew by Orna Meir-Stacey,  Edited by Ami Asher) After the 2008 global financial crisis, some of Israel’s neo-liberal fundamentalists sobered up from capitalist dogmatism and became ‘social.’ This led them to discovering Scandinavia, and lately they have been busy marketing a biased and union-free capitalist version of the ‘Nordic Model’ in Israel […]

Complicated justice: Must occupation be the litmus test for the Left?

By Ofer Sitbon While many remember Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy, who passed earlier this month, for concluding that there is no occupation of the West Bank, Ofer Sitbon says we must see Levy as an activist judge with strong sense of justice for the underprivileged. Everyone had their own Edmund Levy. Since passing away […]

Two journeys back in time to places called home

By Assia Ladizhinskaya We went for a visit in the empty Palestinian village in which Waffa has never been, and it was the happiest day of his life. I flew for a visit to Moscow, the home I had left, and didn’t like a thing. Both of us are back to live in the present […]

Fantsy of Superiority: How the Israeli media pits Mizrahi Jews against asylum seekers

By Shoshana Gabay (Translated from Hebrew by Benno Karkabe, Shoshana Gabay and Dana Hadadi) Israeli journalists are doing nobody any favors by blaming the long-time Mizrahi residents for the plight of African asylum seekers in south Tel Aviv. So one must ask: why aren’t journalists actually holding the government accountable? May Golan is a young […]

For the sake of peace, it is time to put an end to peace negotiations

By Rona Moran and Hana Amouri (Translated from Hebrew by Itamar Haritan) After 20 years of a failed and fictitious peace process, there is no more room for ‘processes’ that serve as substitutes for peace. There is nothing left to clarify between the two sides. The only possible compromise for a peace agreement is well […]

What would Hillel the elder say?

By Lior Sternfeld In hundreds of campuses around the United States, Hillels actually function as propaganda branches of the Israeli right wing. I find it hard to believe that this was the intention of Hillel the Elder. Perhaps Shammai’s. Recently, some have rebelled and dared demand transparent, free and critical discussion.   If you ever […]

Palestinian incitement: Genuine problem or right-wing dream?

на русском By Yizhar Be’er (Translated from Hebrew by Miriam Erez) It’s not uncommon to hear Israeli leaders accuse the Palestinian Authority and its media outlets of inciting to violence against Israelis and Jews. But is it actually true? A closer examination of the evidence reveals that the habitual blaming of the Palestinian Authority is […]