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November 15: The Palestinian Declaration of Independence

The Palestinian Declaration of Independence, written by the renowned poet Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008), was proclaimed by Yasser Arafat on this date in 1988 at the closing session of the 19th Palestinian National Council. The declaration invoked the UN Partition Plan of 1947 — originally rejected by Palestinian and other Arab leaders — as the foundation […]

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Why the BDS Movement Is Effective and Right

by Donna Nevel and Dorothy M. Zellner As Jewish activists working to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine, we take exception to Philip Mendes’ criticism of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) in “Why BDS is Ineffective and Worse: But the Issue of Palestinian National Rights Will Not Go Away” (Summer, 2012). Mendes says not a […]

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Who Really Matters? Adventures in Beinart-Land

by Alyssa Goldstein A few days ago, liberal Zionist poster-child Peter Beinart came to Bard to give a talk. I haven’t read Beinart’s book, though I do follow his website Open Zion. I’ll be straight-up about the fact that I’m not a fan of liberal Zionism, and I didn’t expect to agree with just about […]

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Blood is Thicker than Water: A Different Sort of Racism

by Alyssa Goldstein So last I was here, I left you with the promise that I’ll look more closely at anti-miscegenation stories like the ones on the Yad L’Achim website and the racist assumptions they make about Palestinians. But they’re not the racist assumptions you were probably expecting! Here’s what I was surprised to find. […]

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The Kibbitznik: My Jewish Privilege

by Alyssa Goldstein Last year, Jon Stewart had Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti and Jewish-American left-wing activist  Anna Baltzer as guests on  The Daily Show. This show was tremendously controversial (for no other reason than the fact that Barghouti is Palestinian) and the interview became the most-watched Daily Show video on the internet, ever. I was […]

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May 18: Begin Comes to Power

Menachem Begin of the Likud Party became the sixth prime minister of Israel on this date in 1977, ending three decades of dominance by the Labor Party and by the original generation of Ashkenazi settlers and immigrants. (Though Begin was a Polish Jew, he was favored by the Mizrachi, who accurately saw the Labor Party […]

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May 14: Israel Declares Independence

Israel declared itself an independent state on this date in 1948, eight hours before the official end of the British Mandate. Debate over the wording of the Declaration of Independence — especially about borders, God, and the name of the new state — continued until the very last minute, and the ceremony (at the Tel […]

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April 17: Marek Edelman, Fighter and Healer

Dr. Marek Edelman, the only one of five commanders of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising to survive the conflagration, was awarded Poland’s highest medal, the Order of the White Eagle, on this date in 1998. Edelman was a young Bundist when he helped create the Jewish Fighting Organization. He escaped the burning ghetto through the […]

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