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Culture

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Yoni Mendel and Yehouda Shenhav (Photo: Duygu Atlas)

Even though Israel is surrounded by Arab countries, rules over millions of Palestinians, and that over half of the Israeli Jewish population originates from Arabic-speaking countries, more literature is translated from Swedish into Hebrew than from Arabic each year. The Forum of Arabic-Hebrew Translators seeks to change this through promoting suppressed Palestinian narratives to an Israeli audience. It is “a political model […] to decolonize the colonial relations between the languages,” co-founder Yehouda Shenhav explains. To “serve as a model for shared sovereignty in Israel-Palestine in the Middle East, so as to be a model for politics itself”.

In depicting the agony and pain of his Jewish and Palestinian subjects in his novel, Colum McCann does not appoint himself as judge or arbiter; rather, he is quite clear that the deaths of Abir and Smadar, and the ensuing agonies of their parents, are products of colonialism. In the colonial unreality that is Israel/Palestine in Colum McCann’s novel “Apeirogon,” Palestinians are objects to be feared, confesses Rami Elhanan.

Seth Rogen: “As a Jewish person, I was fed a huge amount of lies about Israel my entire life. They never tell you, that oh by the way, there were people there. They make it seem like it was– just sitting there… For Jewish people especially who view themselves as progressive and analytical and who really challenge the status quo — Like, What are we doing?”

Set in Little Rock in 2006, Susan Youssef’s new feature film ‘Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf’ tells the story of a 17-year-old high school student fighting for her father’s release from prison, a struggle that leads Marjoun to a deeper understanding of her own identity. Michael Arria talks to Youssef about how her personal background shaped her vision, the evolution of Arabs and Muslims in American films, and the significance of her movie being released amid mass protests.

Historian Susan Reverby’s riveting biography of Alan Berkman is a magnificent book. Berkman was imprisoned in the 60s, convicted for his political work in the underground as a leader of an offshoot of the Weather Underground. On regaining his freedom he devoted his life to public health and helping those the system abandoned.