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Alice Walker and the Gaza Flotilla

A dear friend (and subscriber to my blog!) responded to my last blog by sending me a piece published by the Guardian newspaper written by Alice Walker. In it she justified her decision to join the Gaza flotilla. I found the piece moving, and as a long-time fan of Alice Walker, it made me feel more … Continue reading

The Gaza flotilla – asking the right questions

What is Israel’s problem with ships? Why do they seem to cause us so much trouble? I’m thinking of course of the latest flotilla to Gaza, but also of the Altalena, which returned to the headlines last week, as well as last year’s Marmara and other ships over the course of Israel’s short history. Clearly, there … Continue reading

What are the limits to civil disobedience?

I have been thinking this week about civil disobedience. When is civil disobedience morally justifiable? What are the limits? When is it an effective form of protest? A number of examples from the last week or so may help to demonstrate my confusion. Let’s start in Saudia Arabia and the women drivers’ protest: to me … Continue reading

How much does it cost us? כמה זה עולה לנו? Or the Great Cottage Cheese Revolt

All morning I’ve had the refrain of Shlomo Arzi’s song going round and round in my head: Oleh Oleh Lanu, Kama ze oleh lanu? How much, how much does it cost us? The reason this particular refrain is stuck in my mind is because I’ve been reflecting on the great Cottage Cheese Revolution. Where the fate … Continue reading

History or Brain-washing?

This afternoon my younger daughter has her final history exam. This is the last time she will be required to study history. Last week, she had the ‘mock’ exam. The day before, she revealed to me that they had not covered half the syllabus in class – they spent so much time studying the Holocaust that they only reached the … Continue reading

Unrecognized Bedouin Villages

There are two articles about the situation of the Bedouin in today’s Hebrew Haaretz (unfortunately only one made it into the English version). Moshe Arens, whilst acknowledging the urgency of the problem and the lack of any integrated government policy directed at addressing it, seems to suggest that the solution lies with the army: by enlisting Bedouin boys more … Continue reading

Specializing in Intolerance

This morning, an American woman I met in my gym told me she specializes in tolerance education. I instinctively responded that here we specialize in intolerance, not tolerance. The burning by settlers of a mosque in Maghayar in retaliation for the demolition of an illegal building in Alei Ain is just one recent example. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s … Continue reading

Nazareth is just an example: Integration or Separate but Equal?

The Mayor of Upper Nazareth, Shimon Gapso, apparently claims that his remarks as reported by a local Arab paper were ‘taken out of context.’ He was quoted as saying that if he’d been in charge during the October 2000 clashes, more Arab citizens would have been killed, that Upper Nazareth would never become a mixed … Continue reading

Jerusalem Day or Yom HaNaqsa (the Day of Defeat)

Moshe Ben-Atar speaks poignantly in yesterday’s (Hebrew) Ha’aretz about what has become of the Jerusalem of his childhood – when Jews and Arabs were good neighbours to each other. Today, he suggests, suspicion and hatred have become part of the air we breathe in this so-called holy city. Yesterday’s Jerusalem Day seems to have become all … Continue reading

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