Israeli

Blood and Sand

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Benny Morris, professor of history at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, speaking in Oslo, Oct 6, 2014. (photo: Med Israel for fred)

A revisionist Israeli historian revisits his country’s origins.

By David Remnick / The New Yorker
May 5, 2008

[Ed. note: In anticipation of Ilan Pappé’s visit to Seattle next month, we are touching on some of the Israeli “new historians.” This 2008 piece from the New Yorker reviews Benny Morris’s book, 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War, which provides an in-depth analysis of the origins of Israel. Morris’s early work, Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001, was the seminal work among the “new historians,” and is arguably one of the best histories of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.]


In “1948,” the assembled compendium of aspiration, folly, aggression, hypocrisy, deception, bigotry, violence, suffering, and achievement is so comprehensive and multilayered that no reader can emerge without a feeling of unease — which is to say, a sense of the moral and historical intricacy of the conflict.


For thirteen centuries, between 1200 B.C. and the second century A.D., the Jews lived in, and often ruled, the land of Israel. The population was clustered mainly in Judaea, Samaria, and Galilee. The Jews’ dominion was long but not eternal. The Romans invaded and, after suppressing revolts in A.D. 66-73 and 132-135, killed or expelled much of the Jewish population and renamed the land Palaestina, for the Philistines who had lived along the southern seacoast. After the conquest, some Jews stayed behind, and the faith of the Hebrews remained a religio licita, a tolerated religion, throughout the Roman Empire.

By the nineteenth century, Palestine had been ruled by Romans, Persians, Byzantines, Arabs, Christian Crusaders, and Ottoman Turks. When Mark Twain visited in 1867, his imagination soaked with the Biblical imagery of milk and honey, he discovered to his surprise “a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land . . . desolate and unlovely.” Jericho was “accursed,” Jerusalem “a pauper village.” Twain’s passages on Palestine in “The Innocents Abroad” have, over the decades, been exploited by propagandists to echo Lord Shaftesbury’s notion that, before the return of the Jews to Zion, Palestine was a land without a people for a people without a land. Twain and Shaftesbury, as it turned out, were hardly alone in failing to recognize a substantial Arab population in the Judaean hills and beyond.

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Film: Disturbing the Peace

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Please join our brothers and sisters at the Euphrates Institute for a screening of the award-winning film “Disturbing the Peace.”

Date: Thursday, April  13, 2017
Time: 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Location: AMC Southcenter 16
3600 Southcenter Mall
Tukwila, WA  98188
Information: Facebook event
Film website
Tickets: Ticket website

Event Details

“Disturbing the Peace” follows former enemy combatants — Israeli soldiers and Palestinian fighters — who have joined together to challenge the status quo. The film reveals their transformational journeys from soldiers to nonviolent peace activists, leading to the creation of Combatants for Peace. The film is incredibly inspiring, and is rated 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and 9.0 on IMDB. Following the film there will be a short Q&A session with Euphrates Founder, Janessa Gans Wilder, and an exchange student from Gaza, Amjad al-Shaer.

“Disturbing the Peace” is a story of the human potential unleashed when we stop participating in a story that no longer serves us and, with the power of our convictions, take action to create new possibilities. “Disturbing the Peace” follows former enemy combatants — Israeli soldiers from elite units and Palestinian fighters, many of whom served years in prison — who have joined together to challenge the status quo and say “enough.” the film reveals their transformational journeys from soldiers committed to armed battle to nonviolent peace activists, leading to the creation of Combatants for Peace. While based in the Middle East, “Disturbing the Peace” evokes universal themes relevant to us all and inspires us to become active participants in the creation of our world.

Please purchase your tickets online at http://gathr.us/screening/19346. Gathr is like Kickstarter for independent movie screenings, so we need at least 60 people to reserve tickets by March 30th in order for the screening to take place. You can also help us spreading the word with our Facebook event.

Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid

Israeli comedy show host’s scathing indictment implores Israeli society to “wake up.”

Haaretz
March 3, 2017

An Israeli comedy show host’s searing indictment of Israeli society has gone viral on social media, raking in over 5,000 shares in the two days since it was posted on the show’s Facebook page on Monday.

In the video, Assaf Harel of “Good Night With Asaf Harel” castigates Israelis for ignoring the occupation and claims that Israel is an apartheid state.

“Good Night,” which was aired by Channel 10, was one of Israel’s most controversial shows on mainstream television in recent years. In one instance, the show was fined after Harel ridiculed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for exploiting his brother’s death for political gain.

The episode was “Good Night’s” last, as the show was not renewed for another season due to poor ratings, even though the show has gained a strong following on social media.

[Read the original article here . . . ]

Palestinian Women Wage Peace

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Photo courtesy of Hadas Parush / Flash90

How thousands of Palestinian and Israeli women are waging peace

By Riman Barakat / +972 Blog
October 25, 2016


“The thousands of Palestinian and Israeli women who marched in Jerusalem and Jericho this month are not only demanding peace from their societies, they are reaching through stereotypes and artificial boundaries to find true partners.”


Less than a year ago a group of Palestinian and Israeli women spent a weekend in Tantur, situated between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, brainstorming what we could possibly do to break the cycle of violence and political stagnation. Everyone had their own personal reason for being there, whether it was the Israeli mothers who had to send their children to war or the Palestinian women who were exhausted by the daily incursions of the Israeli army, checkpoints, and the inability to live freely and imagine a hopeful future for their children. Personally, I felt torn apart having seen Jerusalem split into a hundred pieces, a place that should be the inspiration for coexistence instead oozing with the blood of Palestinians and Israelis on a near daily basis. . . .

“We need to think outside of our surroundings,” Lily kept saying, and together we visualized the March of Hope, a march of togetherness — a cry to the whole world, coming from a mother’s womb, to stop the violence. We resolved not to stop, even in the midst of most terrible acts of violence. We met and shouted out, “ Enough! Enough!” in Arabic, Hebrew and English. We resolved to propose a shared language of hope, of humanity, of an unshakable commitment to peace, and we rejected the language of separation.

[Continue reading here . . . ]

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Photo courtesy of Flash90