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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Beyond the market and the state: Horizons for a new kind of public housing

Tomer Gardi and Sebastian Schipper (Translated from Hebrew by Orna Meir-Stacey) The choice between entrusting the right of people to a house either to the hands of a violent government or to capitalists is futile and dispiriting. But is it possible to free ourselves of this stranglehold? A conversation with Sebastian Schipper about a new […]

The ‘reasonable person’ standard and murdering one’s rapist

By Sharon Mayevski (Translated from Hebrew by Maya Naveh and Michelle Bubis) Yonatan Hailu was convicted of murdering his rapist, Yaron Eileen, and sentenced to 20 years in prison because his actions did not meet the “reasonable person” standard. Did the judges not only hear but really listen to his testimony? Did they take his […]

Ignoring the Most Promising Option

By Yuval Eylon What is the best response to the Iranian nuclear threat, and what is the connection to regional disarmament of weapons of mass destruction and Israel’s refusal to end the occupation? Yuval Eylon on reasonability and rationality The following essay was originally published in Hebrew in August 2012.[1] It recently was selected given an […]

Eritrean asylum seekers: Caught between jail and death

By Philmon Razena This is the story of Philmon Razena, a 25-year-old Eritrean asylum seeker. Like the other tens of thousands of others, Philmon lives under constant threat of being jailed or deported by the Israeli authorities, while also being closely monitored by the Eritrean government, which terrifies Eritreans whether they are in Israel or elsewhere. Over […]

Dr. Karnit Flug’s, New Bank of Israel Governor, Dark Secret

By Assaf Oron The period of Israel’s history that by far saw the largest economic growth, more than any other, was the six years following the Six Day War. And what agricultural, industrial, or hi-tech breakthroughs took place around 1967-1973? None worthy of mention. More than any other single factor, it was the establishment of […]

What is Mizrahiness? Seeking answers through questions

By Almog Behar (Translated from Hebrew by Rachel Beitarie‏) What does it mean to be Mizrahi in Israel of 2013? And why is it that Mizrahiness is better expressed in questions than in answers? An exploration following Amnon Levy’s Hebrew-language TV documentary series, ‘The Ethnic Demon.’ What is Mizrahiness? What does it mean to be Mizrahi in […]

‘But you’re not really Mizrahi’: Rewriting an erased identity

By Naama Katiee (Translated from Hebrew by Rachel Beitarie‏) In the face of repeated sexual harassment and offhand racist comments by friends and acquaintances, one writer turns her anger into a reformulation of her identity. Following Amnon Levy’s Hebrew TV documentary series “The Ethnic Demon” broadcasted on Israeli channel 10″. I’m about to finish high […]

‘Religion and politics’ in Israel: The mythology of Jewish nationalism

By Yaacov Yadgar The State of Israel has never attempted to build a national identity that would be ‘liberated ’from Jewish ‘religion.’ Instead, it has focused on the construction of a national identity distinct in one critical respect: it is reserved for Jews only. One of the more controversial legislative bills being currently pushed forward […]

Despite outcry, EU guidelines on settlements will have little effect

Photo: Who Profits?

By Eness Elias, Rona Moran, Yara Saadi (Translated from Hebrew by Noam Benishie) Not only do the EU guidelines do very little to affect the occupation economy, they may also bestow legitimization on commercial activities that, despite supposedly taking place within the Green Line, yield huge occupation-born profits. Contrary to confused press reports, the new […]

Ramadan entry permits: The battle for hearts and minds

By Fady Asleh (Translated from Hebrew by Michael Omer-Man) The Palestinian, in whose head is an engraved image of the lands that were torn away from him, now faces an entirely different picture. Haifa of today is not the Haifa of Al-Shrak Cafe or the 1920s and 30s capital of Palestinian culture. An entry permit […]

Is ‘predatory theocracy’ actually threatening Tel Aviv?

By Hagai El-Ad A recent Supreme Court ruling dictated that Tel Aviv must shut down certain business during the Sabbath. The decision was met by an automatic response that framed the decision as a ruling in favor of a ‘predatory theocracy,’ instead of one in support of an ‘enlightened, free, and open’ society. But are these the […]

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. […]

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 […]

Tel Aviv’s mayoral race: Time for a Mizrahi candidate

By Matan Kaminer The Mizrahi Jewish community is Israel’s largest ethnic group, and its historic links to the Middle East, along with its class position make it a critical component in any revolutionary coalition. Thus, running a Mizrahi candidate will be a clear sign to the residents of south Tel Aviv-Jaffa that they are a […]