Monday, May 21, 2012

Haaretz: Jerusalem a de-facto divided city

On the occasion of this year's Jerusalem-Day celebration, a summary of why the politics of Judaizing the de facto divided city of Jerusalem have failed:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Jerusalem-Day Divides

Right-wing demonstrators marching through Arab neighborhoods to celebrate the unification of Jerusalem in an annual provocation known as "Jerusalem Day." They've been at this (under different regimes and names) since 1929, when Herut youths carried flags, chairs, and tables to the Western Wall and provoked a wave of riots across Palestine that killed hundreds of Jews and Arabs and wiped out the ancient Jewish community of Hebron/El Halil. Why do they do it? (See HERE.) Is it really that difficult to create public rituals that might bring Jews and Arabs together? Or commemorations that don't breed new hatred? Jerusalem should not be a breeding ground of hatred. How can we overcome this lack of imagination?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The eclipse of women

In today's NYT, Ethan Bronner and Isabel Kershner write about the growing rift between the ultra-orthodox Haredim and the rest of Israeli society. While the current tensions are ignited by the mutual pressure of ultra-religious and secular Israelis over the "eclipse of women" from public view and the growing trend to enforce gender separation in areas hitherto thoroughly governed by secular principles (public buses, government functions), the tensions run deeper in a country of seven million where the ultra-orthodox, currently a population of one million, are the fastest growing segment of society, a poor community where sixty percent of men are intentionally unemployed, or--as they view themselves--employed in the service of life-long Torah-study.
See Bronner and Kershner's article HERE.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Matt Gross, a frugal traveler, is "lost in Jerusalem" (NYT)

What is it like to visit Jerusalem as a vaguely Jewish American travel writer and globe trotter who always held the Holy City to be one of the least interesting places in the world? Matt Gross, writing in the travel section of today's NYT online edition, was surprised at the complex charm of the old and the new, the religious and the mundane. See his article HERE.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Myth of United Jerusalem - The Atlantic

An article from the Atlantic on the Israeli policy goal of keeping Jerusalem united under Israeli rule. The author, Daniel Seidemann, is an Israeli attorney specializing in Israeli-Palestinian relations in Jerusalem, and the founder of Terrestrial Jerusalem, a Jerusalem-based NGO that works towards a resolution to the question of Jerusalem consistent with the two-state solution. The Myth of United Jerusalem - The Atlantic