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  • The Tunisian star who filled Palestinians with hope — for one night

    For one night, Tunisian megastar Saber Rebaï brought Palestinians in the West Bank just a modicum of normalcy. Rawabi, Arabic for "hills," is a sleek name for a Palestinian city that was recently built between Jerusalem and Ramallah. Surrounded by settlements on all sides, the place looks like a standard Israeli bedroom community and has been dubbed "the future of Palestine." [tmwinpost] Yes, this is what they call virtually the sole real estate project promoted by the Palestinian Authority, with the support of moneyed investors like the Palestinian-American businessman Bashar Masri. According to the project's publications, it is meant to bolster the Palestinian…

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  • From Moscow to Jerusalem: My lifelong journey to becoming Israeli

    When I arrived in Israel, 25 years ago this week, it was the first time I realized I was 'Russian.' I had only been a Jew and a Soviet citizen, or so I thought. By Ksenia Svetlova Aliya is a lifelong journey, and this week I'm marking 25 years since mine started. On August 8, 1991, the movers came. I was still in bed, and my mother woke me up gently. The people who bought our furniture came to collect the beds. We spent our final night on stacks of old blankets provided by friends and neighbors. Our house was…

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  • Meet Palestine's animal rights activists

    An invitation to visit the site slated for Palestine's first vegan cafeteria led me to discover the buzzing, if incipient, world of animal rights activism in the West Bank. I have a confession to make: I, how shall I put this, don't like animals. Whether it's the annoying dog wagging his tail next to me on the street or the cute spoiled cat seeking an embrace, they just don't do it for me. [tmwinpost] I tried to learn the code of acceptable conduct among pets' adoptive families, though I always managed to fail by offending someone. Most of the time I extracted…

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  • Why I took 32 photos of my leg

    I hurt my leg, so I gave it a treat: a trip to sites across Israel/Palestine that tell of just how fragile the human body is. The doctor says my leg is fine, but I have doubts. I twisted it playing football (soccer, so be it) last autumn, tore a muscle and feared damage to the knee. I then went on to celebrate a "round" birthday. Forty is fairly young, but facing a new decade with an ache makes one ponder the human body and its weaknesses. The body feels different here in Israel/Palestine. It is a land where the…

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  • West Bank, Gaza gear up for Palestine's biggest sporting event

    This year's Palestine Cup, the biggest sporting event in the Palestinian territories, pits Hebron's Ahly al-Khalil against Shabab Khan Younis. Could reconciliation on the field pave the way for national reconciliation? By Yoni Mendel One of Jibril Rajoub's greatest achievements as the Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, if not the greatest, took place a year ago. For the first time since the Second Intifada, Rajoub renewed the tradition in which the winner of the Palestine Cup in the West Bank plays against the winner in Gaza. [tmwinpost] This occurred after Palestinian representatives in FIFA threatened to vote in favor of boycotting Israel and expelling…

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  • The new Hebrew language schools challenging Zionist narratives

    How does language shape reality? How does reality shape language? Welcome to the postmodern discourse, where several new Hebrew-language programs are embracing critical pedagogy to leverage social change. By Laura Selz Only a century ago, Jews in Jerusalem spoke French, Yiddish or Arabic, that is, until a few devoted secular Zionists like Eliezer Ben-Yehuda re-invented Modern Hebrew as the common language for generations of Israelis to come. For hundreds of thousands of immigrants ever since, ulpans (Hebrew language courses) acted as a first step toward navigating their way through a foreign country and integrating into a new society. [tmwinpost] These…

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  • Muslim and Queer: Mourning after Orlando

    As a Queer person, the shooting on Sunday reminded me how ugly bigotry is. As a Muslim woman the media frenzy surrounding the shooting on Sunday reminds me of how ugly discrimination is. By Suhad Babaa I am Queer and Muslim, raised in a Muslim and Christian household. I was taught to love and be gracious, to be humble and to embrace ideas, cultures and experiences that were not my own. I have also been taught to listen and learn. I have tried to live those values every day. I don't usually weigh in when there has been tragic loss of life in the communities…

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  • The Ramadan guide for the curious Israeli

    Most Israeli Jews know next to nothing about their Palestinian neighbors. Here are a few pro-tips for the holy month of Ramadan. And so it begins. Ramadan, the month of fasting in Islam, in which Muslims are made to fast from sunrise until sunset for 29-30 straight days, after which they celebrate three days of the Al-Fitr holiday. [tmwinpost] For those who are fasting, including myself, I wish you an easy fast and hope that it passes quickly and without unnecessary heat waves. This month is difficult enough, so I hope the weather doesn't become Islamophobic. And now for all…

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  • Finding home in a new memory: A journey to the Golan

    Maintaining a boundary between support, solidarity and an acknowledgment of Israel’s wrongdoing toward Palestinians without appropriating the memory is an ongoing and constant effort. In Mansura, I found something different. By Eitan Bronstein Aparicio For years, I have been acting in the realm of the political memory, the construction of memory, deconstructing and erecting myths. I launched an organization dealing with memory. But somehow, I always remained external to the memories I touched upon: it was the Palestinian memory, which isn’t mine organically. I organized visits of Israelis to the Palestinian villages Israel destroyed during the Nakba and I initiated the…

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  • What we left behind in Egypt: Mizrahi thoughts on Israel

    Even when they had reached the borders of the Promised Land, after 40 years in the desert, all the Children of Israel wanted was to go back to Egypt. In Erez Biton's poem, the immigrant from Algeria and his son fail to build a home in Israel. Independence Day is also the tale of the rift in our identity, created by immigrating here. By Mati Shemoelof "And the children of Israel said unto them: ‘Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, when we did eat bread…

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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Illustrations: Eran Mendel