On a wintery Friday night in Washington DC the Palestinian electronic debke band 47Soul plays a sold-out club show at the Tropicalia. Kim Jensen interviewed the band about their music that fuses elements of electronic dance, trance, reggae, and rock with Palestinian percussion and the mijwiz—a traditional Arab reed instrument—driving the vibe. “That sound deserves to be international,” guitarist and vocalist Hamza Arnaout tells Jensen. “I want it to be part of our music. Maybe later on it will contribute to the bigger pool of consciousness in pop music.”
Category Archives: Middle East
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stole the show during a Trump administration summit in Warsaw, Poland focused on “peace and security” in the Middle East when he said the meeting would be helpful “to advance the common interest of war with Iran.”
Zionism has traditionally enabled the oppression of diverse population groups globally. Denijal Jegic writes that intersectional and transnational analyses of Zionism are thus inevitable as they help disclose the crucial relationship between Israel’s various victims, dispel the myth of an alleged “Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” explain Zionism as a transnational imperialist-colonialist force, and eventually strengthen de-colonial resistance.
The urgency of the global climate crisis makes it imperative for social justice movements to come to grips with, and confront it in some way. Nowhere is the environmental impact more connected to injustice and oppression than in Palestine.
The Judaization of the Negev and Galilee have long been central for the Zionist venture. Israel steps up its plans for Judaization of the Negev. The young American Jewish group IfNotNow noticed, and are radicalizing, calling it ethnic cleansing, and part of the “occupation” within Israel’s 1948 borders.
It is not the road to Tel Aviv that Chad and Mali are seeking, but rather the road to Washington itself. For African leaders who enjoy no democratic credence, a handshake with Netanyahu could be equivalent to a political life insurance, and a sure ticket to the Washington political club.
Beth Oloth Charitable Organization has had its tax-deductible status revoked by the Canada Revenue Agency because the organization had been funding activities deemed non-charitable under Canadian law, including those that increase “the efficiency and effectiveness of the Israeli armed forces.”
Two of Chad Rosenbloom’s family members were murdered by Robert Bowers during the attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Following the massacre Rosenbloom soon observed how their deaths would be exploited by those seeking to justify Israeli oppression of the Palestinians. He writes, “Using the deaths of my family members and the nine other victims to suppress criticism of, and activism around, Israeli policy disgraces their memory and obfuscates this essential truth.”
Many rabbis are openly supporting the Jewish youths who are suspected of throwing the stones that killed 48-year-old Palestinian mother Aisha al-Rabi. Will their stones be treated like Palestinian stones? “A stone thrower is a terrorist,” Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said in 2015, speaking of Palestinians.
Israeli historian Benny Morris tells Gideon Levy that one state means a future of genocide and ethnic cleansing for Israeli Jews, thereby dehumanizing Palestinians as murderous, wild animals, when history tells us Palestinians are angry over ethnic cleansing and discrimination and when those conditions end, we can struggle toward one state with equality.
Two issues have dominated the UK over the last twelve months: Brexit and antisemitism in the Labour Party. Robert Cohen says the politics of both debates turn out to have much in common.
The British took advantage of the potato famine to try to halve the population of its Irish colony, and prevent resistance, and nearly two centuries later the story can be told. But Avigail Abarbanel writes that “we see another such case unfolding in Palestine right in front of our noses and no one is doing anything about it.”
Shoshana, an American in Palestine visits Jaffa and finds that it’s different from the movies, “I don’t like Jaffa. In my all-consuming Palestine obsession, I find it frustratingly Israeli. I hear so much Arabic but see no Palestinian flags. It feels generalized and deracinated.”
Last year Birthright began offering academic study abroad programs to U.S. college students. Educator Liz Rose writes about the course descriptions and what they say about how Birthright represents Israel and Palestinians: “Israel is represented as minding its own business, just trying to survive. Students are told they will talk with the Jewish residents near Gaza, but they won’t speak with Gazans or hear their perspective.”
Prominent Palestinian-Danish debater Fathi El-Abed, head of the Danish-Palestinian Friendship Society, has been excluded from a public pro-Israel event due to take place January 6, due to his political views opposing Zionism.
The late Amos Oz’s lecture from last year, translated and analyzed by Jonathan Ofir, is a summary of his political credo: Palestinians suffer from the “illness” of “Recontritis,” the desire to return to a land that has disappeared. And Zionists must use violence to maintain their own place on that land.
Two weeks ago the Australian Labor Party unanimously passed a resolution committing to recognize an independent state of Palestine if the left faction takes over the government in elections this coming May.
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Today’s election in the DR Congo is a massive fraud, and global media will say Africans have failed the test of democracy, leaving out the role of international corporations and foreign governments in enabling the corruption of outgoing president Joseph Kabila.
Marion Kawas’ return to Lebanon came with disappointments, “In many areas, there is nothing left to recognize from 45 years ago, especially given the destruction that occurred during the years of the devastating civil war and the subsequent 1982 Israeli military invasion.”
Jeff Klein remembers South African fighter Jabulani Jali, a former member of the ANC’s armed wing the uMkhonto we Sizwe, after his passing earlier this year.
Jonathan Ofir is a tourist in Portugal, contemplating how colonialism can become the past– and how it’s still a present-day reality in Israel.
Palestinian activists of the First Intifada believed they would succeed in achieving their national rights. “Our leadership was aligned with our demands and suffered alongside us,” Nadia Naser-Najjab recalls. “There was no elite class benefiting from the colonial power.” She says Palestinian leadership must challenge colonialism, not cooperate with it.
B.D.S. has “gathered steam despite bitter opposition from the Israeli government,” a New York Times editorial says, warning that Israel and its friends are attacking “bedrock” US principles of dissent in pushing anti-boycott legislation as part of the federal spending bill. An ACLU lawsuit against a similar law in Texas is publicizing the Israel lobby’s efforts to curb American free speech.
Last week, the German newspaper Die Tageszeitung reported that Israel asked German Chancellor Angela Merkel to stop funding the Jewish Museum in Berlin, among other institutions. The reason behind the demand: the museum’s exhibition on Jerusalem “presents a Muslim-Palestinian perspective of the city.”