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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

How (or how not) to fight rape culture?

By Naama Katiee (Translated from Hebrew by Noam Benishie) The way to fight a culture that allows sexual exploitation is by calling out the problematic sides of the people we love and admire. Just don’t ditch that logic when watching a Polanski film. In the heat of the Eyal Golan scandal, in which the famous […]

Riches to rags to virtual riches: When Mizrahi artists said ‘no’ to Israel’s pioneer culture

By Shoshana Gabay (Translated from Hebrew by Yoav Kleinfeld) Upon their arrival in Israel, Mizrahi Jews found themselves under a regime that demanded obedience, even in cultural matters. All were required to conform to an idealized pioneer figure who sang classical, militaristic ‘Hebrew’ songs. That is, before the ‘Kasetot’ era propelled Mizrahi artists into the […]

Riches to rags to virtual riches: The journey of Jewish Arab singers

By Shoshana Gabay (Translated from Hebrew by Benno Karkabe, Noa Bar and Orna Meir-Stacey) Some of the most revered musicians from the Arab world moved to Israel in the 1950s and 60s, where they became manual laborers and their art was lost within a generation. Now, with the advent of YouTube, their masterpieces are getting […]

Profiting off war: A look into the world of Israeli arms dealing

By Eilat Maoz (Translated from Hebrew by Guy Eliav, edited by Ami Asher) War in Israel has become a constant source of profit, with the West Bank and Gaza Strip used as experimental sites for arms dealers backed up by intellectuals. These are the protagonists of ‘The Lab,’ a new film by Yotam Feldman. In […]

Cheap commodities: Documenting the struggles of Israel’s cashiers

By Tahel Frosh (Translated from Hebrew by Yoav Kleinfeld) Tahel Frosh weaves together acts of generosity and economic brutality, paper bags and plastic bags in a deconstruction of the new documentary ‘Super Women.’ *Translator’s Note – as the Hebrew differentiates between feminine and masculine in profession names, “Cashier” is always used here in the feminine. […]

Paving the road for true multiculturalism on Israeli television

By Merav Alush Levron (Translated from Hebrew by Noam Benishie) The ‘Eyal Golan is Calling You’ finale night was a brimming, pronounced and accented Mizrahi broadcast, paving the road for a true multiculturalism and change of viewing habits. Merav Alush Levron on the struggle she partook in to have the finale aired on Channel 2 (and […]

Fragmented testimonies: Shattering the rape taboo

By Michal Aviád (Translated from Hebrew by Miriam Erez) One after another, incident after incident, no two of which are alike, yet all linked by a painful silence, film director Michal Aviád shares the stories told to her by women after viewing her film ‘Invisible,’ and explains why it’s important to pass on these stories. […]

‘In this room there is no Islam’: The Shah’s ‘special relationship’ with Iran’s Israeli community

By Lior Sternfeld A new documentary tells about the lives the Israeli community living in Iran during the 1960s and 1970s. But will the film be enough to challenge the dominant Israeli narrative regarding the root of animosity between the two countries? It seems that the mechanisms of remembrance and forgetfulness worked perfectly in shaping the collective […]

‘How can this monkey be talking about an ideology that developed in Europe?’

By Ron Cahlili (Translated from Hebrew by Orit Friedland) ‘We are progress and modernization, freedom and equality, ‘peace and love.’ And they, what are they?’ On the history of the painful relationship between the Israeli Left and Mizrahim. The common wisdom is that Mizrahim and the Left are like oil and water, and that the […]

I Don’t Know Arabic, but I do. And yet don’t

By Tamar Kaplansky (Translated from Hebrew by Orna Meir-Stacey) Watching an Arabic movie every Friday throughout my childhood. Nearly 30 years would pass before I discover that my grandmother and Farid al-Atrash were friends. I have no idea, it goes under my radar. And yet they are there, the words. I don’t know Arabic. My […]