Phoning it in Phriday – Saturday Edition: Must Reads for April 13-19

Er…Sorry I’m a bit late on putting this one out. Things have been a bit crazy over at HQ. We got some good stuff coming at you this week, including our second Movie Monday, an analysis of that Blue and White Poll that I mentioned on Wednesday, and all the regular features. In the meantime, here are some of my top picks from last week, including the United Nations at its worst, an incredible new map, :

The Australian reports on a bizarre press conference that took place in Jerusalem about the findings of UNICEF’s report. The press conference was greeted enthusiastically by journalists but the manner in which it was conducted indicates a fix was on to stifle the truth of the report. Unfortunately, it appears at least some of those engaged in this subterfuge were members of UNICEF, including Anthony Lake, executive director of the agency, and UNICEF’s Jerusalem chief Jean Gough.

Maki [The Israeli Communist Party], however, was not alone. Ever since, most of the Zionist leftist movements have regarded Mizrahim as unnecessary surplus, lacking the sophistication or modernity to accept the Left’s lofty ideas.

  • Yitzhak Laor has an important op-ed in Haaretz, noting the ever-increasing levels of racism against Arabs in Israel today.

    This is the real content of the State of Israel: in all fields, including in academia, where the faculty  aren’t as callous as the community leaders of Upper Nazareth. But they also enjoy keeping the pie to themselves; the pleasures of silence suit them well in a liberal context. This is the “Jewish State,” and, consequently, Arab children receive less education and the mortality rate of their babies is higher. Therefore, their villages are continually becoming more crowded and the poverty in their community trebles.

  • The Israeli NGO Zochrot has released an incredible new map, for the first time recording all of the documented villages destroyed in the course of the Nakba. A high-quality version of the map together with a detailed explanation can be downloaded here. For more on the organization, The Economist has a great review of their recently published guidebook, Once Upon a Land.  Unfortunately, when activists from the organization attempted to hand out the map on the streets, this happened:


Creative Solutions All refugees in the world have the right to return to their homes. This is a granted right that all Palestinians have. It cannot be given or taken. However, Return does not necessarily mean turning back the clock to the eve of 1948. The vast majority of villages no longer exist; others have new towns built on the land while Jewish families occupy whatever houses remain in tact. In some instances the villages can be re-built, in others residents can join existing municipalities and in other cases people might choose to live in different cities than those they came from. The right to choose one’s place of residence is as important as the right to return home. Local mapping and planning done by organizations such as Badil and Zochrot can help further exploring and realizing return in creative ways.

  • Mondoweiss profiles South Tel Aviv’s “Red House,” a Palestinian mansion which is one of the last remnants of the four villages that once stood in the area. The home has recently been acquired by the municipality, which could mean its preservation as a historical site or its destruction as part of the ongoing Nakba. 

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