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Report The Jerusalem

JULY 16, 2012

R

COVERING ISRAEL , THE MIDDLE EAST & THE JEWISH WORLD

BUILT on SAND A new plan for Israel’s Bedouin

ISLAND OF BROKEN DREAMS Survivors of the 1997 shootings return to the Island of Peace BODY POLITIC Palestinian dancers seek acceptance in the West Bank 4

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TAKING OVER THE ASYLUM Changing direction on refugees AT HOME WITH THE CENSOR The woman with the blue pencil


Report The Jerusalem

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JULY 16, 2012

‡ TAMMUZ 26, 5772 ‡ VOLUME XXIII NO. 7

IN THIS ISSUE COVER STORY / ISRAEL

INNOVATIONS

18 Built on sand

40 Roaming free

A new plan to sort out Bedouin land rights in the Negev seems doomed to fail by Patricia Golan

An Israeli company hopes to reduce the high cost of phone calls while traveling by Adam Gonn

ESSAY

BOOKS

6 The age of Zionism

42 The dynamic Bible

$QWL,VUDHOUKHWRULFLVMXVWD¿JOHDI for anti-Semitism by Yehudah Rubinstein

Judy Klitsner’s book on the Bible calls for questioning assumptions by Mordechai Beck

44 Dream into nightmare

ISRAEL

Nadine Gordimer’s important new novel about the new South Africa by Matt Nesvisky

8 The congenial censor The Chief IDF Censor has ushered in a new era of openness by Robert Slater Survivors revisit the site of the fatal 1997 shooting attack on the Island of Peace by Avner Hofstein and Amy Klein

16 Taking over the asylum

ESTEBAN ALTERMAN

12 Return to the island

45 Optimist’s despair

18 COVER STORY Negev nomads

47 A time for reform

DEPARTMENTS 2 Letters 4 From the Editor 5 14 Days 48 My Jerusalem

The military and the Brotherhood have apparently agreed on a modus vivendi by Bruce Maddy-Weitzman

YONATHAN WEITZMAN / REUTERS

26 The body politic

31 Cohabitation, Egyptian-style

46 Remember Munich by Gilad Kariv

PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS

MIDDLE EAST

VIEWPOINTS by Vic Alhadeff

Israel’s insensitivity to migrants has played into the hands of its detractors by Leslie Susser

Contemporary Palestinian dance takes LWV¿UVWLQGHSHQGHQWVWHSV by Andreas Hackl

Israel, Jordan, & Palestine: the Two-State Imperative by Ralph Amelan

16 ISRAEL

Emad Abu Ali at the Ein Lavan Spring

Migrants’ misery Cover photo by Sharon Perry / Reuters

JEWISH WORLD 32 Malevolence in the Malvinas Jewish Argentinians had to battle antiSemitism as well as the enemy by Hernan Dobry

BUSINESS ,VUDHOZDWFKHVWKH(XURSHDQ¿QDQFLDOFULVLV with concern by Ziv Hellman

39 Be like Kahlon Kahlon understands that the more competition there is, the better the service by Shlomo Maital

SAREYYET RAMALLAH

36 :LOO,VUDHOFDWFKHXURÀX"

26 PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS Ramallah rebels

© 2012 The Jerusalem Report Publications Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction, distribution, replication, translation, storage on a database, or transmission in whole or in part of this publication without written permission is prohibited


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Published By: THE JERUSALEM REPORT PUBLICATIONS LTD. 2008 P.O. Box 1805, Jerusalem 91017 Tel. (972-2) 531-5440 Fax (972-2) 537-9489 E-mail Editorial: jrepletters@jreport.co.il Subscriptions: jsubs@jreport.co.il Website: www.jerusalemreport.com

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Matthew Kalman MANAGING EDITOR: Avi Hoffmann DEPUTY EDITORS: Linda Gradstein, Ilene Prusher SENIOR EDITORS: Ralph Amelan (Books), Ziv Hellman (Business), Danny Rubinstein (Palestinian Affairs), Leslie Susser (Politics and Diplomacy; Opinion) CORRESPONDENTS: Atlanta: Jan Jaben-Eilon Bangkok: Tibor Krausz Berlin: Eldad Beck Buenos Aires: Diego Melamed London: Winston Pickett New York: Amy Klein Paris: Rose Foran Ramallah: Mohammed Najib San Francisco: Renee Ghert-Zand CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Akin Ajayi, Peggy Cidor, Bernard Dichek, Patricia Golan, Adam Gonn, Shula Kopf, Bruce Maddy-Weitzman, Shlomo Maital, Matt Nesvisky, Matt Rees, Anne Roiphe, Anne Sassoon, Dahlia Scheindlin, Suzanne Selengut, Robert Slater, Judith Sudilovsky, Ksenia Svetlova, Amiel Ungar, Haim Watzman PHOTO EDITOR: Esteban Alterman STAFF ARTIST: Avi Katz ART DIRECTOR: Michal Cohen PROOFREADER: Frieda Jacobowitz OFFICE MANAGER: Etti Yotvat CEO Jerusalem Post Israel: RONIT HASIN-HOCHMAN ADVERTISING COMMERCIAL MANAGER: Alon Sivan Tel. (972-3) 761-9000, (972-50) 900-7279 Email: alons@jpost.com 15 He’achim Mi’slavita, Tel Aviv 67010 Fax (972-3) 561-0777 Jerusalem Etti Yotvat (Production Coordinator) Tel. (972-2) 531-5660, fax (972-2) 531-5631 North America 36-12 48th Ave Long Island City, NY 11101-1816 SUBSCRIPTION SALES North America: 1-800-827-1119 1-888-576-7881 (8 a.m. – 4 p.m. EST) Israel: *2423 UK: 0-8000-283-945 (4 p.m. – 10 p.m.) Australia: 61-2-9371-7549 Elsewhere: +972-3-761-9059 CUSTOMER SERVICE North America: 1-800-448-9291 Israel: *2421 or 03-761-9056 Elsewhere: +972-3-761-9058 All correspondence outside the U.S. should be sent to The Jerusalem Report, P.O. Box 57598, Tel Aviv 61575 Israel. Printing:: Hadfus Hahadash Ltd., Israel

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Report The Jerusalem

JUNE 18, 2012

R

COVERING ISRAEL , THE MIDDLE EAST & THE JEWISH WORLD

ly not to pay for them. It is a fraud for you to speak of them as Jews when they are not. They are clearly Christians. Rabbi Tsvi Rogin Jerusalem

Rewriting history

PORTNOY’S JEWS Bernard Avishai on Philip Roth REFUSENIKS OF ADDIS ABABA Ethiopian Jews waiting for Israel MENDING HEARTS Saving lives of the world’s children

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LORD OF THE MANNA Lord Jacob Rothschild Exclusive interview

Rothschild plaques Robert Slater’s interview of the current Lord Rothschild (Lord of the Manna, June 18) raised a puzzle for me, when I recalled an episode of the late 60s during a stint as a teacher – a postgrad student at Tel Aviv University – at the nearby Alliance High School, Ramat Aviv (a Rothschild project of the French connection). For there was consternation and a mighty gevalt that Sunday morning, when the news arrived that the incumbent Lord would be visiting from Europe the next day. You see, all of the plaques declaring the school’s benefactor had been removed, we were informed. Where were they now? Recovered and soon restored, all were relieved. However, following your report it is now clear to me that there had never been any SODTXHVLQWKH¿UVWSODFH2ULVLW" Fred Zartz Melbourne, Australia

Clearly Christians The Falash Mura are Christians (The Refuseniks of Addis Ababa, June 18). According to a Supreme Court precedent from over 40 years ago, in reference to a white European, son of two Jewish parents, who was a Catholic, a Christian is not a Jew and has no rights under the Law of Return. The “regular� Ethiopian olim do not want the Falash Mura admitted because they missionize the ones who want to be Jewish, trying to convince them to become Christians. There is no reason for the State of Israel even to accept the Falash Mura, and certain-

The Palestinians have failed to defeat Israel RQWKHEDWWOHÂżHOGVRWKH\WU\WRGHOHJLWLPL]H the Jewish State by rewriting history (Saga of a shekel, April 23). According to the 2VOR$FFRUGV,VUDHODJUHHGWRKDQGRYHUDOO DUFKDHRORJLFDOÂżQGLQJVIURPDUHDVLQ-XGHD and Samaria now under PA control, including Jewish artifacts. Since when does a country participate in its own intellectual delegitimization? We will earn respect when we stand up for our rights but, until then, Israeli government policy, including territorial withdrawals and transferring tax receipts to the PA, ironically contributes to bolstering the Palestinian position that they are the rightful heirs to the land of Israel. Marc Baker Birmingham, Michigan

Short essay Like the Etgar Keret short stories recently reviewed (Not quite Kwintessential Keret, June 18), The Jerusalem Report is reviving the documentary short essay. Short enough WR¿WVHYHUDOLQDSRSXODUPDJD]LQHZKLOH each one thoughtful and inviting the reader to learn more on his or her own. Keep ’em coming. Tom Harris Jerusalem

Bus station scramble If you are unfortunate enough to be traveling into Jerusalem by bus and if, you need to use the central bus station – then you soon learn that there is another reason for staying away from Jerusalem (What's in a capital? April 23). The bus station is not the issue, the scramble to get on buses and the attitude of bus companies to the peasants (I mean customers) really says it all. I love Jerusalem and have spent days walking around it but I KDWHKDYLQJWR¿JKWIRUP\VSDFHLQDOLQH RUZRUVHRQSXEOLFKROLGD\V¹WR¿JKWWRJHW on a bus (and keep the pickpockets at bay). Maurice Solovitz Harrow, England

Send letters by e-mail to: jrepletters@jreport.co.il Please include your full postal address. The editor reserves the right to edit letters as appropriate. Priority will be given to brief letters that relate to articles in the magazine. The Jerusalem Report (USPS # 006-871) is published biweekly for $89 per year by The Jerusalem Report Publications Ltd, P.O. Box 1805, Jerusalem, Israel and distributed in the USA by The Jerusalem Post (U.S) ,QFWK$YH/,&1<3HULRGLFDOSRVWDJHSDLGDW/,&1<DQGDWDGGLWLRQDOPDLOLQJRIÂżFHV POSTMASTER: send address changes to The Jerusalem Post, 36-12 48th Ave., LIC, NY 11101-1816.

THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012


FROM THE EDITOR Matthew Kalman

In search of memory

M

AMIR COHEN / REUTERS

EMORIES, BOTH REdocuments. An aerial reconnaiscent and ancient, sance photograph from the 1940s have a huge influclearly shows the home of Abu ence in shaping the Freih’s grandfather, as well as his modern Middle East mindset. olive trees and the nearby cemA couple of years ago, chemetery. istry professor Awad Abu Freih But in a recent ruling, the Beertook me to Al-Araqib, the sheba District Court decided that Bedouin village near Beersheba Abu Freih and his neighbors have where he grew up in a corruno legal claim to their homes. gated iron hut with no running “I was born here in 1962. My water or electricity. The makebrother was born here. My father shift hamlet of 50 families surand grandfather were born here,” rounded by the inhospitable Abu Freih says. “Now they are burscrub land of southern Israel’s ied in the cemetery here. We have Negev Desert is one of dozlived here for hundreds of years.” ens of “unrecognized” villages, “We used to think Israel was good which are home to about half NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Israeli police trying to persuade a Bedouin for us. A lot of Bedouin went to of the 190,000 Bedouin living woman to leave the ruins of her house in Al-Araqib in 2010 serve in the army, including my there. friends. Now they feel bad, they Abu Freih triumphed over feel they made a mistake. Now these miserable conditions to the Bedouin don’t want to go Only time will tell whether the win a coveted place at the Haiand serve in the army any more. I government’s latest plan will finally fa Technion-Israel Institute of told my children not to,” he says. Technology where he joined a “The Israeli government is being solve the simmering dispute groundbreaking chemistry revery stupid. We are citizens. They with its Bedouin citizens search group and became the have already taken 97 percent of first Bedouin in Israel to earn a the Negev; we just want 3 perPhD In science. cent,” Abu Freih says. “This was my land before Israel, before they were But officially, he has no home. It has been destroyed countless even here. We don’t say we are against the Jews or anyone else. We times by government contractors because legally it does not exist. are against the policy of this government. We want justice. They have For decades, Israel lauded its Bedouin citizens, celebrating made it illegal for us to build a house on our own land.” their nomadic desert encampments as a major tourist attraction. In this issue, Patricia Golan explores the Prawer plan, the latest atThousands volunteered to serve in the army, where the celebrated tempt by the government to solve the long-simmering problem of Bedouin reconnaissance unit still makes use of ancient tribal skills to the land rights of the Negev Bedouin. She spent weeks investigating track enemies through the desert. all sides of the issue and spoke to everyone involved, from governBut Israel also feared the Bedouin, who have strong family ties to ment ministers to pressure groups to Bedouin shepherds. Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and Gaza. Soon after the state Only time will tell whether the government’s latest plan will finally was established in 1948, the area around Beersheba was declared a provide a solution, or continue to increase tension. military zone and the Bedouin were placed under military rule. They For Jewish soldiers who fought in the Argentine army, this year were forced off their traditional grazing land and into overcrowded, marks the 30th anniversary of the Malvinas or Falkland Islands War, under-resourced towns. when British forces ejected the garrison sent to impose Argentinian Abu Freih’s father was forced out of al-Araqib and not allowed to sovereignty over the tiny archipelago ruled by far-away Britain since return until 1958. Even then, he was denied permission to build a per- 1833. Hernan Dobry reveals the rampant anti-Semitism affecting the manent home. Meanwhile, a government survey in 1952, conducted Jewish conscripts, which is only now being acknowledged. after the village was emptied, decreed the land unoccupied. A Land Back in Israel, Amy Klein and Avner Hofstein accompany the Acquisition Law in 1953 registered all land not in the possession of its survivors of the 1997 massacre of seven schoolgirls by a Jordaowner in April 1952 as state property, including al-Araqib. Unusually nian soldier at the Island of Peace on the northern Israel-Jordan for Bedouin tribesmen, the villagers had bought and registered their border as they revisit the site for the first time, bringing back the land under Ottoman rule. Abu Freih and his neighbors still have the hardest memories of all.

‡

4

THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012


14 DAYS

BAZ RATNER / REUTERS

MIGRANTS LEAVE A plane with 127 South Sudanese migrants left Israel for Juba on June 17, after the Immigration Authority offered illegal migrants 1,000 euros in departure aid. On June 19, the Interior Ministry approved a plan to build more than 16,000 temporary detention units for infiltrators crossing the border from Egypt. UNSOCIAL ACTIVITY Social activists in Tel Aviv clashed with police on June 23. They accused officers of using excessive force to prevent the establishment of a new protest tent in the city the day before. Over 2,000 RARE RHINO A rare white rhino was born in the Ramat Gan Safari park on June 16. His mother, Tanda, people took to Habima Square, originally from South Africa, gave birth after an 18-month pregnancy. Worldwide, there are fewer blocking traffic and shattering than 10,000 white rhino, an endangered species. Poachers often kill them for their horns, which are windows. Eighty-five people were believed to have medicinal properties. arrested, although all were later released and none will be charged. BORDER VIOLENCE Israeli civilian contractor and father of four Saed Fashafshe, 36, was killed on June 18 when Palestinian terrorists infiltrated southern Israel from Sinai and opened fire. All three infiltrators were killed in the ensuing gun battle. In response to the attack, the IDF launched an air strike against a squad of Palestinian snipers operating close to the area later that morning, killing one. IDF air strikes and Palestinian rocket attacks continued for several days.

UNHOLY VANDALS Unknown vandals daubed graffiti and set fire to a mosque in the Palestinian village of Jaba on June 18 to protest the upcoming evacuation of illegal structures in the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El in the West Bank. On June 21, graffiti praising the Prophet Muhammad was found sprayed across the walls of a synagogue in Maor. THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

5

YOSSI ZAMIR / FLASH 90

AMIR COHEN / REUTERS

ROCKETS FIRED The Iron Dome anti-missile system shot down five Gaza rockets fired at Ashkelon on June 23, shortly after Hamas had promised a cease-fire in the area. More than 130 rockets were fired into southeastern Israel by Hamas and other groups in the Gaza Strip between June 17 and June 23, causing some damage and injuring four.


PROVOCATIONS

The age of Zionism YEHUDAH RUBINSTEIN finds support declining for Israel in the United States as it has in Europe

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OUR YEARS AGO I RECEIVED a very unusual invitation indeed. The Church of England in Manchester, England, was organizing a conference on the subject of â&#x20AC;&#x153;ConĂ&#x20AC;LFWUHVROXWLRQRQFDPSXV´ &KDSODLQV DQG FRXQVHORUV IURP DOO IDLWKV were invited to attend and there were to be three keynote lectures. I was asked to give RQHHQWLWOHGÂł7KHQHZDQWL6HPLWLVP´ When I arrived at Church House, the headquarters of the Church of England Diocese of Manchester, about 200 delegates were VKDULQJ FXSV RI WHD DQG FRQYHUVDWLRQ 7KH DWPRVSKHUHZDVH[WUHPHO\SOHDVDQWDQGYHU\ English. Everyone had, after all, attended EHFDXVHWKH\ZHUHÂąLQWKHLUPLQGVDWOHDVW ÂąVLJQHGXSWRWKHFRQFHSWRIDPXOWLFXOWXUDO %ULWDLQ 7KH\ ZHUH D SUHWW\ WROHUDQW FURZG 7KHUHZHUHORWVRIVPLOLQJIDFHV 7KH ÂżUVW VSHDNHU RSHQHG WKH SURFHHGLQJV DQG WKHQ , ZDV LQYLWHG RQWR WKH SRGLXP , ORRNHGDWP\QRWHVDQGKHVLWDWHG7KLVZDV really hard-hitting stuff and everyone was, DIWHUDOOUHDOO\YHU\SOHDVDQWDQGQLFH Âł,KDYHEHHQDVNHGWRVSHDNRQÂł7KHQHZ DQWL6HPLWLVP´ , EHJDQ Âł, ZRXOG OLNH WR PDNHLWFOHDUWKDWWKHQHZDQWL6HPLWLVPLV H[DFWO\ DQG SUHFLVHO\ LGHQWLFDO LQ HYHU\ UHVSHFWÂŤ WR WKH ROG DQWL6HPLWLVP :KHQ , walk down the street in London today and VRPHRQHVKRXWVÂł*D]D´RUÂł3DOHVWLQH´DWPH WKH\ KDYHQÂśW VWRSSHG WR DVN PH LI , DP DQ Israeli or a Zionist. They just see a Jew and WKH\DVVXPHWKDWQRZLQ,DPSHUVRQDOO\UHVSRQVLEOHIRUDOOWKHVXIIHULQJDQGGLIÂżFXOWLHVRIWKH3DOHVWLQLDQSHRSOH´

6

7KHUHZDVDOPRVWXQLYHUVDOQRGGLQJQRZ 0\DXGLHQFHQRGGHGV\PSDWKHWLFDOO\ Âł,QPHGLHYDO(XURSH,NLOOHG-HVXV,QWKH , SDXVHG RQH ODVW WLPH WKLV WLPH ORQJHU VWFHQWXU\,DPUHVSRQVLEOHIRUDOOWKHVXI- WKDQ EHIRUH DQG VDLG Âł%XW SHUVRQDOO\ , ZLVK3DNLVWDQDQGLWVSHRSOHRQO\WKHYHU\ IHULQJLQWKH0LGGOH(DVW´ 7KHUH ZDV PRUH QRGGLQJ DQG DJUHHPHQW EHVW´ My audience looked confused and very 7KHQ,SDXVHGDQGORRNHGXS XQFRPIRUWDEOHLQGHHG Âł,I´,FRQWLQXHGÂł\RXWKRXJKW,ZDVWDONThere is no doubt that ing about the State of Israel, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s because since the founding of the \RXDUHVXIIHULQJIURPDQWL6HPLWLVP´ 7KHUHZHUHQRVPLOLQJIDFHVQRZ state some 60 years ago, it Âł$QWL6HPLWLVP LV DIWHU DOO KDWUHG DQG has been responsible for GLVFULPLQDWLRQ DJDLQVW -HZV IRU Ă&#x20AC;DZV WKH\ untold human suffering PD\LQGHHGKDYHEXWHYHU\RQHHOVHKDVWRR RIWHQLQPXFKODUJHUDPRXQWVWKDQXV2ULW PHDQVLQYHQWLQJOLHVDFFXVLQJXVRIĂ&#x20AC;DZV Âł%XWOHWPHEHIUDQNDQGFRPSOHWHO\KRQ- we never had and things we never did. The HVW ZLWK \RX´ , FRQWLQXHG Âł7KHUH LV QR H[DFW VDPH SURFHVV DSSOLHV WR WKH 6WDWH RI doubt that since the founding of the state Israel, but on an international level instead VRPH\HDUVDJRLWKDVEHHQUHVSRQVLEOH RIDQLQGLYLGXDORQH´ ,ZDVQRWLQYLWHGEDFNWRVSHDNDWWKHQH[W IRUXQWROGKXPDQVXIIHULQJ´ 1RZP\DXGLHQFHZHUHJLYLQJPHHYHU\ conference. Ironically, even though I have worked as ounce of their attention. DUDEELRQFDPSXVHVDFURVVWKH8.IRURYHU One community 20 years, busily defending the rights of Jewâ&#x20AC;&#x153;There is no doubt that since the founding LVKVWXGHQWVDQGWKH6WDWHRI,VUDHO,DPQRW RI WKH VWDWH VRPH  \HDUV DJR WKDW LW KDV even a Zionist. But then, today, who is? EHHQ UHVSRQVLEOH IRU DQ HQRUPRXV UHIXJHH 6LQFHPRYLQJWR1HZ<RUNUHFHQWO\,KDYH SUREOHP ,W ZDV FUHDWHG WR DFFRPPRGDWH EHHQJHQXLQHO\VXUSULVHGWRÂżQGVSHDNLQJ WKH UHTXLUHPHQWV RI RQH UHOLJLRXV FRPPX- to Jewish audiences all over the country, that nity and one alone. It has arguably been \RXFDQQRWDVVXPHLQDQ\ZD\WKDWWKHUHZLOO UHVSRQVLEOH IRU VHYHUDO ZDUV DQG Âą DV LW LV EH DQ\ V\PSDWK\ IRU RU DJUHHPHQW ZLWK QXFOHDUDUPHGÂąDQ\RQHRIWKHPFRXOGKDYH ,VUDHOÂśVVWUXJJOHDQGSRVLWLRQ HVFDODWHG LQWR D ZRUOG ZDU´ , SDXVHG \HW $FWXDOO\,KDYHGLVFRYHUHGWKDWLGHQWLÂżFDagain and in a tired and weary voice said, WLRQZLWK,VUDHORIWHQGHSHQGVRQWKHDJHRI â&#x20AC;&#x153;In addition, it is widely seen as having cor- \RXUDXGLHQFH7KHROGHUWKH\DUHWKHPRUH UXSWSROLWLFLDQVDQGDFRUUXSWJRYHUQPHQW´ likely they are to still be on Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s side. The THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012


AVI KATZ

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Critics and opponents

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MRLQHGWKH+LOOHO+RXVH7KHUHDUHDFRXSOH RI XQGHUJURXQG VWXGHQW PDJD]LQHV RQ WKLV FDPSXV %RWK DUH UDELGO\ DQWL,VUDHO DQG RIWHQRYHUWO\DQWL6HPLWLF%RWKDUHUXQE\ Jews. ,VSRNHDWWKH¿UVWDQWL,VUDHOGHEDWHLQWKH 8.PDQ\\HDUVDJR,WZDVLQP\KRPHWRZQ of Glasgow. We lost. We have lost again and DJDLQHYHUVLQFH:HDUHORVLQJLQSUHFLVHO\ WKHVDPHZD\DFURVVWKH86WRGD\GHVSLWH WKH ODUJH QXPEHUV RI -HZV DQG -HZLVK UHVRXUFHVWKDWPHDQZHVKRXOGZLQ Generation after generation of EuroSHDQV KDYH EHHQ IHG RQ D VWHDG\ GLHW RI ,VUDHO GHPRQL]DWLRQ VLQFH WKH VHYHQWLHV Many of those graduated and went on to EHFRPH WKH MRXUQDOLVWV HGLWRUV SROLWLFLDQV DQGRSLQLRQPDNHUVRIVRFLHW\7KHUHVXOW ,VUDHOORVW(XURSH 7KH VDPH WKLQJ LV KDSSHQLQJ LQ H[DFWO\ WKHVDPHZD\QRZDOORYHU$PHULFD$PHULTHE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

FDQ-HZVDUHGRLQJIDUWRROLWWOHWRVWRSLW LIWKH\DUHHYHQDZDUHWKDWLWLVKDSSHQLQJ :KHQ,¿UVWVWDUWHGZRUNLQJRQFDPSXVLQ WKH8.DOOWKRVH\HDUVDJR,VDZP\MREDV defending Jews and the State of Israel to the non-Jewish world. The anti-Israelness hiding anti-Jewishness was all too obvious. By WKHWLPH,OHIW%ULWDLQLQ,IRXQGP\VHOISULPDULO\GHIHQGLQJ-HZVDQGWKH6WDWH of Israel to the Jewish world. That anti-Israel rhetoric hides anti6HPLWLVP LV QRW DW DOO REYLRXV WR ODUJH QXPEHUVRI\RXQJ$PHULFDQ-HZV 2YHUWKHODVWIHZ\HDUV,KDYHWROGPHPEHUVRI$,3$&DQGPDQ\RWKHUFRPPXQDO OHDGHUVWKDWLI$PHULFDQ-HZVGRQRWZDNH XSYHU\VRRQDQGOHDUQWKHOHVVRQVRI¿JKWV ORVWRQWKHIURQWOLQHVRI(XURSHDQXQLYHUVLties and colleges, there will be no battle left here to win. We will have lost the war. ,DPQRWVXUHWKH\DUHOLVWHQLQJ

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7


THE ROBERT SLATER INTERVIEW SIMA WAKNIN GIL

The congenial censor

Brigadier General Sima Waknin Gil, the Chief IDF Censor, has ushered in a new era of openness toward Israel’s military secrets, but says her job is still necessary

A

S BRIG. GEN. SIMA Waknin Gil recalls, her dream of working in military intelligence began when she was a small girl. It was accompanied by an unquenchable curiosity for all things scary or different. To make certain that she could remember those scary or different things, Gil, now Israel’s chief military censor, always carried a notebook and pen. “Then I would see if I could analyze what I saw,” Gil tells The Jerusalem Report. “I looked for things that were out of the ordinary to see if I could understand what was behind them.” That early childhood curiosity led her, as a teenager, to revel in the Hasamba children’s adventure novels and other similar mystery tales. Forty-three years later, Gil, still fascinated 8

with intelligence work, is in her seventh year in the powerful post, deciding what local and foreign journalists residing in the country are allowed to publish – and what they are not.

Critics argue that the very existence of a censor’s office is undemocratic She seems miscast: rather than toughtalking, stentorian, yet revealing little, as one might imagine a chief censor to be, Gil is gentle, soft-spoken, and eager to talk about her job endlessly. At 47, with short-cropped gray hair and an obvious enthusiasm in her voice, she appears diminutive behind her GHVNLQD7HO$YLYRI¿FHEXLOGLQJ Fighting battles with aggressive journalists at home, she faces an equally perplexing task THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

trying to beat back critics abroad, who argue that the very existence of an Israel Defense )RUFHVFHQVRU¶VRI¿FHPDNHV,VUDHOLFODLPVWR be a democracy disingenuous. “Explaining censorship in a liberal democracy is hard,” admits Gil. Explaining it at all marks a change. Her four predecessors felt no need to explain or justify censorship, only to enforce it. ,W ZDV IDU PRUH GLI¿FXOW IRU ,VUDHO WR UXQ D FHQVRU¶V RI¿FH WKDW ZRXOG WU\ WR ZLQ worldwide approval in the 1950s and 1960s ZKHQVHFXULW\RI¿FLDOVIHDUHGWKDWHYHQWKH slightest revelation about the IDF would help its enemies: “I don’t want to say censorship was draconian then but the whole concept was different from today,” says Gil. “The concept was, ‘We will do anything to protect State security.’” “Doing anything” meant barring journalists from writing about the IDF, or


IDF SPOKESMAN

THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

9


Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two security agencies, the Shin Bet and the Mossad. On May 30, 1950, The Jerusalem Post wrote about the IDF but did so almost in code: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The air force today celebrated the second anniversary of the DSSHDUDQFH RI LWV ÂżUVW ÂżJKWHU SODQHV LQ WKH skies.â&#x20AC;? There was no mention of where the DLUIRUFHFHOHEUDWHGRURIWKHW\SHRIÂżJKWHU SODQHV Ă&#x20AC;RZQ 6WLOO WKH FHQVRU KDG EHHQ unusually generous for that time. A 1966 agreement between editors and the censor, a tit-for-tat arrangement, had journalists promising to abide by censorship on security topics while political issues, opinions, or assessments would not be barred. But the censor still felt compelled to prohibit articles that might damage army morale. After Egypt and Syria launched surprise attacks against Israel in 1973, journalists were furious with the censor. They accused him of preventing journalists from publishing details on the early-warning signs that Egypt was preparing to attack Israeli forces in Sinai in October 1973. The journalists complained bitterly that had the censor exercised less restraint, the Yom Kippur War might have been prevented.

IDF SPOKESMAN

THE ROBERT SLATER INTERVIEW SIMA WAKNIN GIL

MEDIA FRONTLINE: Brigadier General Sima Waknin Gil does battle with aggressive journalists

acquired her taste for curiosity from parents who stressed Zionism and learning as the two Lighter touch guiding principles of life in Israel. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For them,â&#x20AC;? Even though journalists could not prove she notes, â&#x20AC;&#x153;learning was a tool, a vehicle for that publication of their stories might have promotion in the country. And, of course, we avoided war, no longer could the censor keep them on a tight leash. Moreover, from 1973 onward, with Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s existence no longer in I cannot prohibit the debate imminent danger, the censor had more and over a possible attack on PRUHMXVWLÂżFDWLRQWRDGRSWDOLJKWHUWRXFKZLWK Iran from being published incoming articles. In 1989, that lighter touch won Supreme Court backing when the court ruled were also supposed to do everything we could sympathetically to journalists in a case for the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s safety. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Serving as a soldier involving Haâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ir editor Meir Schnitzer that the in the air control unit of the Israel Air Force, censor could not prevent the publication of an one of the few jobs open to women at the time, article critical of the Mossad chief on grounds *LO WKHQ WRRN D VL[PRQWK RIÂżFHUÂśV FRXUVH that state security might be harmed. In his serving more than 10 years in Air Force ruling, Supreme Court Justice Aharon Barak Intelligence before creating and heading an wrote that â&#x20AC;&#x153;only in exceptional and special RIÂżFHUÂśVVFKRROIRU$LU)RUFHFRPEDWVXSSRUW cases,â&#x20AC;? when there was â&#x20AC;&#x153;near certaintyâ&#x20AC;? that tasks from 1995 to 1999. genuine damage to Israeli security would be Along the way, she picked up an undercaused, should the censor forbid publication. graduate degree from Tel Aviv University in Given the journalistsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; uproar in 1973 and political science and Middle East studies and Barakâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;near certaintyâ&#x20AC;? edict, Gal contends a Masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree from the National Defense that the cause for the newly transparent College in national defense studies. She is now censorship lies more with these historical embarking on a doctorate, planning to write events than her personal judgment about what her thesis on how censorship can balance journalists can publish. the needs of state security with freedom of 2QH RI ÂżYH FKLOGUHQ ERUQ LQ .LU\DW expression, the anchor of a democracy. Yam near Haifa to a Turkish-born mother One of 30 candidates for the chief censorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Moroccan-born father, Brig. Gen. Gil post, Gil won the competition in 2005. Why 10

THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

would so many apply? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because,â&#x20AC;? says Gil, â&#x20AC;&#x153;you know almost everything that happens in Israel because you have to defend it from being published.â&#x20AC;? She wears an IDF uniform, but notes that it is â&#x20AC;&#x153;misleading,â&#x20AC;? because the censorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unit is a civilian department despite getting its budget from the IDF. Under the â&#x20AC;&#x153;near certaintyâ&#x20AC;? edict, Gil and her 34-member team ride a wave of openness that permits 85 percent of stories submitted to the censor to go untouched. Another 13 SHUFHQWDUHPRGLÂżHGOLJKWO\DQGWZRSHUFHQW are barred from publication. In the 1950s and VWKHFKLHIFHQVRULGHQWLÂżHGVXEMHFWV that might be blue-penciled compared to 36 topics today. 5HĂ&#x20AC;HFWLQJ D QHZ UHVWUDLQW WKDW ZRXOG have been unimaginable in the early days of statehood, Gil recently permitted extensive publication of the so-called â&#x20AC;&#x153;Harpaz affair.â&#x20AC;? The episode concerned Col. (res.) Boaz +DUSD]DIRUPHU0LOLWDU\,QWHOOLJHQFHRIÂżFHU who allegedly forged a document detailing a strategy of how to get former Southern Command head Maj. Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant appointed chief of staff. Bowing to democratic impulses within Israeli society, Gil, despite believing that publishing â&#x20AC;&#x153;Harpazâ&#x20AC;? might have exposed covert operations, allowed the story to see light. Just as with the Harpaz affair, with regard to the public debate over whether and when Israel should attack Iran to crush its nuclear efforts, Gil has approved full coverage of the debate. In the past, such a debate â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which has LQFOXGHGÂżHU\FRPPHQWVIURPIRUPHUVHFXULW\ agency chiefs â&#x20AC;&#x201C; would have been censored on the grounds of assuring that Israel retained the element of surprise in an attack against Iran. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The only thing I will not allow,â&#x20AC;? says Gil, ��&#x20AC;&#x153;is if you come to me with an article in which you say exactly how the Air Force will attack.â&#x20AC;? It is not just public debate affecting the military that passes censorship today. Articles detailing military strategy, equipment such as the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, and IDF personnel reach the Israeli media regularly. Today we know the names of many of the IDF top brass and the heads of both the Mossad and the Shin Bet.

Technology Conventional wisdom has it that the advent of digital technology, especially the Internet and smart phones, has made it harder for the FHQVRUÂśVRIÂżFHWRDFWDJDLQVWMRXUQDOLVWV%XW to Gil, that is a myth because of the new, more congenial attitudes coming out of her RIÂżFH Âł, GRQÂśW KDYH WR VWRS DQ\RQH IURP


YOSSI ZELIGER / FLASH 90

RONEN ZVULUN / REUTERS

SPILLING SECRETS: IDF conscript Anat Kamm (left) is serving a four and a half year prison term for supplying stolen military secrets to Haaretz journalist Uri Blau (right)

saying what she thinks. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not my job to be there,â&#x20AC;? she says. $OOÂżQHDQGJRRGEXWZKDWLIDMRXUQDOLVW were to blog that the country had many nuclear weapons? In the past, given the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s policy of ambiguity, the censor has come down hard on anyone writing from Israel that it possessed such armaments. Gil could arrange charges that could get the blogger 15 years in jail â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a sanction that has never been imposed. Today, with an eye on that amibuity, Gil will negotiate the language a journalist may use in writing about Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nuclear capability. How does Israeli censorship stack up in 2012 with the practice in other countries? Certainly it is far milder than in such authoritarian regimes as Saudi Arabia and Saddam Husseinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Iraq, Gil argues, where, without freedom of expression, there is no QHHGIRUFHQVRUVKLSRIÂżFHV As for America, despite its profession of being democratic, Gil contends that the US practices a far more strident censorship than Israel does: after all, the US in 2003 â&#x20AC;&#x153;embeddedâ&#x20AC;? the media to prevent journalists from wandering in a war zone, and during that same war barred the televising of funerals of US soldiers killed in Iraq. Less remembered but equally stark was the case in 2010 of the Pentagon burning 9,500 copies of Operation Dark Heart, a book that it

claimed harmed national security. In the new atmosphere of openness, Gil sometimes confronts journalists with whom she is willing to negotiate rather than ban their stories outright. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some of them,â&#x20AC;? she says resignedly, â&#x20AC;&#x153;know things that I as the censor donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know.â&#x20AC;? She is open to negotiation: â&#x20AC;&#x153;You can persuade me to do things. You can try to show me that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m wrong.â&#x20AC;?

The US practices far more strident censorship, barring coverage of army funerals One example occurred in 2006 when Israel feared that a miscalculation by either side might trigger possible IsraeliSyrian violence. When a Yedioth Ahronoth MRXUQDOLVW REWDLQHG KLJKO\ FODVVLÂżHG information on a planned intelligence operation in Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s north, the censor did not ban its publication, as had happened just before the 1973 war. Instead, getting ,') LQWHOOLJHQFH RIÂżFHUV WR UHIRUPXODWH WKH original leak, Gil preserved the journalistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;scoopâ&#x20AC;? and prevented imminent harm to state security. All this open-mindedness sometimes goes too far in Gilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s view, as when the IDF releases information that she wishes had been kept THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

secret. That was the case in 2010 when the IDF spokesman announced new details about the satellite unit of the IDF intelligence branch. To Gil, those details gave Syrian and +L]EDOODK LQWHOOLJHQFH RIÂżFHUV D UDUH JLIW But she allowed the IDF news release to get into print. Perhaps the most severe test of censorship in recent years related to the case of an IDF conscript, Anat Kamm, who supplied military secrets to Haaretz journalist Uri Blau. Kammâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leak suggested that the PLOLWDU\ KDG GHÂżHG D FRXUW UXOLQJ DJDLQVW assassinating wanted militants in the West Bank, who might otherwise have been taken alive and arrested. Gil contends that, despite IDF claims that too many military secrets had been exposed, the Israeli public had a right to know about the case. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Even if Uri Blau thinks the army did wrong,â&#x20AC;? she argues, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I cannot prohibit it from being published because the debate is worthy.â&#x20AC;? Will Sima Waknin Gilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s effort to foster more moderate censorship gain new friends among critics of press restrictions? Probably it will not. But it may trigger thoughts of replacing the word â&#x20AC;&#x153;censor,â&#x20AC;? with all its pejorative intonations, with a new kinder, gentler term. As for what that new term might be, Gil acknowledges that she has no idea. But she continues to search for the word.

Â&#x2021;

11


YAFA SHUKRUN

ISRAEL

12

THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012


Return to the island of broken dreams AVNER HOFSTEIN and AMY KLEIN accompany the survivors of the 1997 shooting attack on the Island of Peace that killed seven Israeli schoolgirls and nearly derailed the peace treaty with Jordan

H

ILA AND KEREN OFRI, 29-year-old twin sisters born in Beit Shemesh, struggled for weeks trying to decide whether to visit the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Island of Peaceâ&#x20AC;? at Naharayim on the Israel-Jordan frontier. The verdant hill is located at the edge of Kibbutz Ashdot Yaakov on the border. The site was established after the peace agreement between the two nations in 1994. It was also the place where Hila and Kerenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s childhood ended. Fifteen years ago, on March 13, 1997, the sisters, then 14, were on a day trip to Naharayim with a class of 44 students from the AMIT Fuerst School in Beit Shemesh,

MOURNING THEIR DAUGHTERS: Mothers of four of the victims with portraits of the girls (left to right) Adi Malka, Nirit Cohen, Sivan Matich and Natali Alcalay THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

west of Jerusalem. As the girls left their bus and headed towards an observation point to look across the border, Jordanian corporal Ahmed 0XVWDID 'DTDPVHK RSHQHG ÂżUH IURP D JXDUG WRZHU ZLWK DQ 0 DXWRPDWLF ULĂ&#x20AC;H killing seven of the girls and wounding ÂżYHÂąLQFOXGLQJWKHWZLQVÂąDQGDWHDFKHU in what would become known as the Naharayim Massacre. The lives of the survivors would never be the same. The killings also threatened to derail the fragile relationship slowly being developed between Israel and Jordan following the peace treaty concluded by King Hussein and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin just three years before, in October 1994. The Island of Peace was an attempt to show the trust between the two countries, and so did not feature heavy security measures on the Israeli side, as was usual along the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 13


REUTERS

ISRAEL

KILLING FIELD: A Jordanian soldier stands watch in a tower on the Jordan-Israel border overlooking the Naharayim â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Island of Peaceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

international borders. +XVVHLQLPPHGLDWHO\Ã&#x20AC;HZWR,VUDHOZHQW straight to Beit Shemesh and visited the IDPLOLHVRIWKHVHYHQGHDGJLUOV,QDYHU\ SXEOLF GLVSOD\ RI JULHI DQG DSRORJ\ WKH Jordanian monarch held the hands of the SDUHQWV NQHHOHG EHVLGH WKHP LQ WKH shiva WHQWV HUHFWHG DW WKHLU KRPHV DQG UHJDLQHG WKHWUXVWRIWKH,VUDHOLSHRSOH

Closing the circle 7KLV \HDU IRU WKH ¿UVW WLPH VLQFH WKH VKRRWLQJV VHYHQ RI WKH VXUYLYRUV UHYLVLWHG WKHVLWHDFFRPSDQLHGE\WZRRIWKHLUIRUPHU WHDFKHUV,QWKHHQGWKH2IULVGHFLGHGWRJR ³, DP YHU\ PXFK LQ IDYRU RI WKLV WULS EHFDXVHLW¶VDQLQWHJUDOSDUWRIGHDOLQJZLWK ZKDWKDSSHQHGDQGFORVLQJWKHFLUFOH´VD\V WKHWZLQV¶PRWKHU6KXODPLW2IUL ³,W LV QRW UHVROYHG DQG LW QHYHU ZLOO EH´ VD\V+LODQRZGLYRUFHGZLWKWZRGDXJKWHUV RIKHURZQ6KHKDVEHFRPHUHOLJLRXVDQG OLYHVLQ6DIHG³,VWLOOFDQ¶WVOHHSDWQLJKW, OHDYHWKHOLJKWVRQEHFDXVH,¶PDIUDLGRIWKH GDUN,VKLYHUZKHQ,KHDU$UDELFVSRNHQ±, XVHGWRORYH$UDELFEXWQRZ,KDWHLW)RU PHLW¶VWKHODQJXDJHRIGHDWK7KHODQJXDJH RIP\IULHQGV¶GHDWK´VKHVD\V +LOD EURXJKW DORQJ KHU WZR \RXQJ GDXJKWHUV ³,W¶V WLPH IRU WKHP WR VHH WKH SODFHWKDWFKDQJHGPRPP\$OOWKH\NQRZ is that mommy is still hurting on the left VLGH ZKHUH WKH EXOOHWV SLHUFHG 6R WKH\ NQRZWRKXJPHMXVWIURPWKHULJKW´ 14

+HU GDXJKWHUV VLWWLQJ EHKLQG KHU LQ WKH YDQQRG³:H¶UHJRLQJXSWR1DKDUD\LPWR EHUHPLQGHGRIWKHWHUURUDWWDFN6RSHRSOH ZLOO NQRZ ZKDW KDSSHQHG´ VD\V KHU HOGHU GDXJKWHU ³:H DUH QRW DIUDLG :KHQ ZH JHWWRWKHERUGHUPRPP\VDLGZHFDQVD\ â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Shema Yisrael¶´

It took us 15 years to acknowledge our place in this story, to accept the fact that the survivors mean something as well .HUHQDOVRGLYRUFHGZLWKWKUHHNLGVVWLOO lives in Beit Shemesh. She recalls leaving her parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; house that fateful morning IHHOLQJ DIUDLG ³, UHPHPEHU FURVVLQJ WKH VWUHHWWDNLQJRQHODVWORRNDWP\KRXVHDQG VD\LQJ JRRGE\H IHHOLQJ DV LI , ZDV QHYHU FRPLQJEDFN´VKHVD\V $VWKHEXVZLQGVLWVZD\XSQRUWK<DID 6KXNUXQ ZKR ZDV WKH KRPHURRP WHDFKHU LQMXUHGRQWKHWULSWDNHVDORQJORRNDURXQG DQGVPLOHVUXHIXOO\³,GRQ¶WNQRZKRZWR H[SODLQ LW EXW WR PH \RX ZLOO DOZD\V VWD\ ´ VKH WHOOV KHU IRUPHU VWXGHQWV ³7KDW¶V KRZ ,¶OO DOZD\V UHPHPEHU \RX DV LI WLPH IUR]H,ORRNDW\RXQRZDQG,UHPHPEHUWKH IDFHVRI\RXQJJLUOV´ 6RPHRQHVORWVDGLVNLQWRWKH&'SOD\HU THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

,WLV³WKHVRQJ´±WKHODVWVRQJWKH\KHDUG EHIRUH DUULYLQJ DW 1DKDUD\LP 5XKDPD 5D]¶V ³%H¶HUHW] $KDYDWL´ ,Q WKH ODQG WKDW ,ORYH ZKLFKLQFOXGHVWKHOLQH³,QWKHODQG WKDW,ORYHZDLWLQJIRUDJXHVWVHYHQJLUOV VHYHQ PRPV VHYHQ EULGHV  LQ WKH JDWHV´ 6RPHRIWKHZRPHQEHJLQWRFU\ :KHQ WKH EXV UHDFKHV WKH 1DKDUD\LP JDWHV D -RUGDQLDQ VROGLHU UHTXHVWV ,'V ± VWDQGDUG SURFHGXUH ± EXW LW LQVWLOOV IHDU LQ WKH YHKLFOH 2VKULW %XDURQ ZKR KDV EHHQ TXLHWIRUPRVWRIWKHWULSEUHDNVGRZQDQG VWDUWVWRVKLYHU³3OHDVHGRQ¶WOHWKLPHQWHU WKHEXV´VKHFULHVRXW³,DPEHJJLQJ\RX´ The soldier stays outside. 7KHZRPHQGLVHPEDUNDQGVWDUWFURVVLQJ WKHEULGJHWKDWPDUNVWKHRI¿FLDOEHJLQQLQJ RI³WKH,VODQG´7KHWRZHUKDVEHHQUHEXLOW since the massacre and Jordanian guards ZHUHPRYHGIXUWKHUGRZQWKHURDG ³:KDW ZLOO SUHYHQW WKHP IURP VKRRWLQJ XV"´%XDURQVD\VVWRSSLQJ ³/RRN KRZ IDU DZD\ WKH JXDUG WRZHU LV´VD\V.HUHQSRLQWLQJDWWKHSRVW7KH\ FRQWLQXHZDONLQJ )LQDOO\ LQVLGH WKH ,VODQG RI 3HDFH WKH ZRPHQUHPHPEHU ³,ZDVVWDQGLQJKHUH´+LODDSSURDFKLQJD SRLQWMXVWQHDUWKHVORSHRIWKHKLOO³:KHQ, KHDUGWKHVKRRWLQJEHJLQ,ORRNHGEDFNDQG , VDZ WKH VROGLHU UXQQLQJ GRZQ WKH WRZHU VWHSVFRQWLQXLQJWRVKRRW:LWKLQVHFRQGV JLUOVVWDUWHGUXQQLQJDQGUROOLQJGRZQWKH KLOO,WULSSHGDQGIHOO´ ³, ZDV NQHHOLQJ DQG VFUHDPLQJ µShema Yisrael,GRQ¶WZDQWWRGLH,GRQ¶WZDQWWR GLH¶ ZKHQ VXGGHQO\ , ORRNHG DKHDG DQG , VDZP\IULHQG.HUHQ&RKHQUXQQLQJ´+LOD UHFDOOV³,\HOOHGµ.HUHQEHFDUHIXO.HUHQ EHFDUHIXO¶6KHIHOODQGVWRSSHG,NQHZVKH ZDVJRQH7KDW¶VZKHQ,QRWLFHGWKDW,ZDV KLWDVZHOO´ ³<DIDZDVKLWWRR´KHUVLVWHU.HUHQVD\V DERXW WKHLU WHDFKHU ³, VDZ KHU IDOO RQ WKH KRWDVSKDOW,VFUHDPHGµ<DIDJHWXS<DID JHWXS¶,WRRNMXVWDIHZVWHSV±DQG,JRW KLWDVZHOO´

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REUTERS

GRIEF-STRICKEN: Margalit Badayev (left) is comforted by a friend during the funeral of her 14-year-old daughter Shiri killed on the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Island of Peaceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in March 1997

D PRQXPHQW RQ WKH KLOO PDGH RI Ã&#x20AC;RZHUV shaped in the names of the seven girls. ³, VDZ WKH JLUOV UROOLQJ DQG UROOLQJ DQG WKHLU VFUHDPV WRUH XS WKH VN\ 7KH\ NHSW FU\LQJ µIma! Ima!¶ $W VRPH SRLQW HYHU\WKLQJ EHFDPH VLOHQW $QG , WKRXJKW KH ¿QLVKHG WKHP DOO RII´ VD\V 6KLPRQL D YHWHUDQSHDFHDFWLYLVW³7RWKLVGD\,FDQQRW forget them screaming and calling their PRWKHUV´ 7KH JLUOV ZHUH UXVKHG WR WKH KRVSLWDO ³7KH GRFWRU SXOOHG EDFN WKH EODQNHW DQG .HUHQ&RKHQZDVO\LQJWKHUHDOOSDOHDQG KHUOLSVZHUHSXUSOH´+LODVD\V³,WROGKLP µ'RQ¶W ERWKHU , VDZ KHU JHW NLOOHG 6KH¶V JRQH¶´ $VVKH¿QLVKHVUHWHOOLQJWKHVWRU\RIKHU IULHQG¶V GHDWK +LOD IDOOV LQWR KHU VLVWHU¶V arms and they both burst into tears. .HUHQ VD\V DIWHU WKH PDVVDFUH VKH NHSW FDOOLQJRXW³%ULQJPHP\VLVWHUEULQJPH P\VLVWHU´6KHKROGV+LODQRZDQGVPLOHV WKURXJK KHU WHDUV ³, ZDV VR DIUDLG , DP JRLQJWRORVH\RXWRR´

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I was kneeling and screaming Shema Yisrael, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to die, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to die! .HUHQDQG<DIDVWDQGRIIRQWKHVLGH³6R PDQ\\HDUVVRPDQ\WKLQJVZHORVW´.HUHQ VD\V WR KHU IRUPHU WHDFKHU <DID QRGV ³, XVHGWRORYH¿UHZRUNV±QRZ,GUHDGWKHP ,¶PDIUDLGRIWKHQRLVH´.HUHQVD\VWKDWDIWHU the massacre she stopped participating in ,QGHSHQGHQFH 'D\ DQG 3XULP FHOHEUDWLRQV ³2Q,QGHSHQGHQFH'D\,KLGHLQP\SDUHQWV¶ THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

EDVHPHQWDQGGRQ¶WOHDYHXQWLOLW¶VRYHU´ 2Q WKH ZD\ EDFN WR FHQWUDO ,VUDHO QLJKW IDOOVDQGIRUDORQJWLPHHYHU\RQHLVTXLHW ORVWLQWKHLURZQWKRXJKWV<DIDJRHVWKURXJK SLFWXUHVDQGVKRZVWKHPWRWKHJLUOV2WKHUV IDOODVOHHS2QO\ZKHQZHJHWFORVHWR%HLW 6KHPHVK WKH\ IHHO WKH QHHG WR GLVFXVV WKH experience once more. Most say they are JODG WKH\ ZHQW EXW WKH DWWDFN ZLOO DOZD\V RYHUVKDGRZWKHLUOLYHV 2WKHUVDUHXSVHWDWWKHZD\WKH\DUHWUHDWHG they feel survivorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; guilt from the parents of WKH VHYHQ ZKR ZHUH NLOOHG LJQRUHG E\ WKH QDWLRQ ³,W¶V VDG WKDW QRERG\ FDUHV DERXW XV DQ\PRUH :H WKH RQHV ZKR UHPDLQHG DOLYH DUH QRWKLQJ $QG ZH VKDOO DOZD\V EH QRWKLQJ´VD\V0LFKDO6DEDJ $Q DUJXPHQW HUXSWV 6RPH DJUHH ZLWK 6DEDJ<DIDGRHVQRWEXWVKHEHOLHYHVWKLV DUJXPHQW LV D JRRG WKLQJ ³,W WRRN XV  \HDUV WR DFNQRZOHGJH RXU SODFH LQ WKLV VWRU\ ,W WRRN XV DOO WKHVH \HDUV WR DFFHSW the fact that the survivors mean something DVZHOO´

Â&#x2021;

15


POLITICS & DIPLOMACY Leslie Susser

HOMEWARD BOUND: South Sudanese migrant Samuel Akue prepares for his deportation from Israel, June 11

BAZ RATNER / REUTERS

Taking over the asylum An insensitive Israeli policy on illegal migrants, incitement and violence has played into the hands of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s detractors

W

HAT RANKLES ALmost as much as Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s erratic treatment of African asylum seekers is the callous ignorance of some its leaders. No one at all familiar with Jewish history would call displaced persons â&#x20AC;&#x153;purveyors of disease,â&#x20AC;? as Interior Minister Eli Yishai did, or claim with Likud lawmaker Miri Regev that they are â&#x20AC;&#x153;a cancer in our body.â&#x20AC;? 1RWVXUSULVLQJO\WKHVHLQĂ&#x20AC;DPPDWRU\VWDWHments triggered hate crimes against asylum 16

seekers in south Tel Aviv and elsewhere in June. Although the government was quick to condemn the violence, for many it was guilty on at least two counts: Not doing enough to stop the incitement and pursuing a confused policy on refugees. In an angry letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a group of leading intellectuals accused him of hiding â&#x20AC;&#x153;behind the streetâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;behind coalition members inciting in the style of the 1930s.â&#x20AC;? William Tall, the UN High Commissioner THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

for Refugees in Israel, also blamed the government for the continuing unrest in the poorer urban areas where the asylum seekers live. In his view, by calling asylum seekers ³LQ¿OWUDWRUV´DQGLPSO\LQJWKDWLWFRXOGGHport them all in double quick time, when it knew that the vast majority had been granted collective immunity and could not be repatriated, the government was creating unrealistic expectations that would blow up in its face. Of the 60,000 asylum seekers in Israel, around 50,000 or 83 percent are Eritrean or


Sudanese. In 2008, at UN insistence, Israel granted both groups â&#x20AC;&#x153;collective immunity.â&#x20AC;? This meant undertaking not to return them to their home countries as long as this put their lives at risk. But, in a move opposed by the UN, Israel took this collective undertaking as a license to stop processing individual applications for refugee status, with attendant residency rights. The thinking was to keep members of both groups in a limbo status so that they could be repatriated en masse as soon as conditions in their home countries permitted.

Social disaster The result was social disaster: Around 50,000 asylum seekers in Israel who cannot be deported, but cannot legally work because their temporary residency permits donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t allow it, have no access to social services or non-emergency medical treatment and cannot receive international aid because they are not classed as refugees. Draconian legislation in January and early June made matters worse: The threat RIKHDY\ÂżQHVDQGORQJMDLOWHUPVIULJKWHQHG away people who had been employing asylum seekers illegally. The policy has left huge concentrations of unemployed asylum seekers eking out whatever subsistence they can in poor urban areas like south Tel Aviv and inevitably clashing with local residents falsely led to believe that the newcomers would soon be deported. The governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s answer: detention facilities near the Egyptian border. This would take the asylum seekers off the streets, house, clothe and feed them until deportation opportunities presented themselves. But there are two gaping holes in the plan. The detention facilities will be able to hold 15,000 asylum seekers at most. What about the other 45,000? How are they supposed to IHQGIRUWKHPVHOYHV"0RUHRYHULQGHÂżQLWHGHtention of asylum seekers without processing their individual applications for refugee status YLRODWHVLQWHUQDWLRQDOODZVUDWLÂżHGE\,VUDHO After the Holocaust, Israel was one of the initiators of the 1951 UN Convention Relating WRWKH6WDWXVRI5HIXJHHVZKLFKLWUDWLÂżHGLQ 1954. But although it also accepted the additional protocols in 1968, it never incorporated the convention into domestic law. As a result its asylum policies are governed by Interior Ministry regulations enforced by the ministryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Population, Immigration and Borders Authority.

On the face of it, three aspects of these regulations and consequent Israeli practice violate the UN convention: failure to consider individual eligibility for asylum; failure to provide asylum seekers with social, health and employment rights while their applications DUHSURFHVVHGDQGLQGHÂżQLWHGHWHQWLRQRIDV\lum seekers. To this Israel added two draconian laws that clearly contravene the convention. In January,

The government was creating unrealistic expectations that would blow up in its face the government quietly adapted a 1954 antiLQÂżOWUDWLRQODZDJDLQVWWHUURULVWVWRDSSO\WRDOO those illegally crossing the border, enabling detention of asylum seekers for up to three \HDUV,Q-XQHDQHZODZLPSRVHGXSWRÂżYH \HDUVLQMDLODQGÂżQHVRIXSWRPLOOLRQRQ people who employ them. Israel has not always taken such an uncompromising stand. In 1977, it was among the ÂżUVWFRXQWULHVWRZHOFRPH9LHWQDPHVHUHIXgees. Between 1977 and 1979, it took in over 9LHWQDPHVHÂłERDWSHRSOH´ â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have never forgotten the boat with 900 Jews, the St. Louis, having left Germany in the last weeks before the Second World Warâ&#x20AC;Ś traveling from harbor to harbor, from country to country, crying out for refuge,â&#x20AC;? declared Prime Minister Menachem Begin, displaying a sense of Jewish history some of his successors seem to lack. Some argue that the fervor with which Interior Minister Yishai is acting against todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s asylum seekers stems from a hidden economic agenda. They charge that companies bringing in foreign workers for a fee make at OHDVWSHUZRUNHU(YHU\DV\OXPVHHNer who takes a job means one foreign worker OHVVDQGDORVVWRRQHRIDURXQG manpower companies, some of which are said to have close ties with Yishaiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Shas party. In June, Yishai began targeting South Sudanese asylum seekers, after a ruling by a Jerusalem Court that South Sudan, after gaining independence, was no longer dangerous. The South Sudanese were offered resettlement stipends if they accepted volunTHE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

tary repatriation, 1000 euros for adults, 500 euros for minors. If they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t, they would be rounded up and expelled empty-handed. The number of South Sudanese is estimated at barely 1,000. So that even if they are all repatriated, it will make only a tiny dent in the numbers. Moreover, in summarily expelling South Sudanese who refuse to go voluntarily, Israel would again be contravening the strict letter of the law. According to UN SURFHGXUHLWLVOHJDOO\ERXQGWRÂżUVWFRQVLGHU their individual asylum applications. Part of the problem is that the refugee status determination process is log-jammed. In 2009, it was transferred from the UN High Commission for Refugees to the Interior 0LQLVWU\ ZKHUH WKHUH DUH RQO\  RIÂżFLDOV handling tens of thousands of applications. The heady brew of insensitive government policy, incitement and violence has played into the hands of Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s detractors. It has also hurt Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s image in the US, especially among Afro-Americans. Israel would be much better off allowing asylum seekers their full rights: legal permission to work as well as access to social and health services while their asylum applicaWLRQVDUHSURFHVVHGHIÂżFLHQWO\DQGDFFRUGLQJ to clear guidelines. To keep the numbers down to manageable proportions, it could take a few internationally acceptable steps: Â&#x2021; Complete the 150 mile fence along the porous Egyptian border, which asylum seekers have been crossing in growing numbers. Â&#x2021; Cut the number of foreign workers brought into the country by the number of asylum seekers in work. In 2009, Israel brought in 120,000 foreign workers, compared to just over 4,000 asylum seekers. Â&#x2021; +DYH D Âż[HG UHIXJHH TXRWD VRPHWKLQJ like opposition Labor leader Shelly Yachimovichâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s proposal that no more than 2,000 asylum seekers can be granted refugee status each year. New legislation sponsored by the Kadima Party seeks to address the overall question of migration to Israel. It seems to be going in WKHULJKWJHQHUDOGLUHFWLRQ0DNLQJLWGLIÂżFXOW for migrants to get into Israel, but granting them full social, employment and temporary residency rights once they do, and instituting tough but clear criteria for permanent residency.

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COVER STORY/ISRAEL

18

THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012


Built on sand

PATRICIA GOLAN reports on a new government plan designed to solve the long-simmering problem of Bedouin land rights in the Negev. Unfortunately, it seems doomed to fail

aa

THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

19


COVER STORY/ISRAEL

RECOGNIZED: Qasr a-Sir near Dimona has official status but few facilities and building permits are hard to come by

I

N A STARK DESERT VALLEY JUST northwest of the city of Dimona in the central Negev lies the Bedouin village of Qasr a-Sir. It is typical of the scores of Bedouin settlements scattered throughout the Negev: a sprawling jumble of tin shacks, cinderblock structures, livestock pens, leantos and refuse dumps. An urban plannerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nightmare. It is a common scene throughout the Negev. What was once a striking desert landscape has become an eyesore. The cause: a lack of planning and infrastructure for the 190,000 Bedouin Arabs who live in the area. Roughly half of the Negev Bedouin live in eight government-built towns and 12 recognized villages. The other half live in â&#x20AC;&#x153;unrecognized villagesâ&#x20AC;? or, as the Israeli authorities refer to them, the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bedouin dispersion.â&#x20AC;? (Previous page) WONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T TAKE IT LYING DOWN: Ibrahim al-Hawashla, head of the Qasr a-Sir local council 20

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These unrecognized communities, which H[WUHPHO\KLJKELUWKUDWHUDPSDQWFULPHWKDW range from tiny clusters of tents to ramshackle LQFOXGHVVPXJJOLQJWUDIÂżFNLQJDQGFDUWKHIW villages of cinder blocks and tin roofs, occupy and a profound resentment and distrust of the state. But most of the residents refuse to move, demanding title to the land they claim their I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how to ancestors have inhabited for generations. square this third-world â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how to square this third-world reality with our modern reality with our modern start-up nation state,â&#x20AC;? says Zvi Hacohen, Rector of Ben-Gurion start-up nation University in Beersheba, capital of the NeDERXWÂżYHSHUFHQWRIWKH1HJHYÂśVWKUHHPLOOLRQ gev. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t move forward when half the acres. Not acknowledged by any authority, population is being left behind. If we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t their residents have no rights to municipal ser- right these injustices they will blow up in our vices, such as running water, electricity, sew- faces.â&#x20AC;? age or garbage collection. Since they do not RIÂżFLDOO\H[LVWWKHDXWKRULWLHVKDYHUHIXVHGWR Draft law draw up the statutory plans necessary for legal Now, after decades of neglect, scores of comdevelopment, so anything constructed there is mittees and mountains of plans, the Knesset illegal and subject to demolition. Thousands will soon be asked to approve a new draft of homes have been destroyed over the years, law that aims to resolve the long-simmering problem and address the decades-long debate only to be rebuilt. The result is widespread poverty and social over Bedouin land ownership claims. The neglect, polygamy, inadequate education, an â&#x20AC;&#x153;Plan for the regularization of Bedouin settleTHE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012


ELI ATZMON

ments in the Negev,â&#x20AC;? approved by the Cabinet LQ6HSWHPEHUDQGRIÂżFLDOO\DGRSWHGDVD draft law by a special committee of the Prime 0LQLVWHUÂśV2IÂżFHLQ0DUFKZLOOEHGHEDWHGLQ the Knesset after the summer recess. The draft bill will enshrine as law a plan that proposes the relocation of up to 40,000 people, two-thirds of the rural Bedouin population, from unrecognized communities DQG PRYLQJ WKHP LQWR H[LVWLQJ YLOODJHV DQG WRZQV RIIHULQJ ÂżQDQFLDO FRPSHQVDWLRQ IRU those who lose their homes. The government claims that the proposed legislation, drafted by a committee headed by Ehud Prawer, head of the policy planning division in the Prime 0LQLVWHUÂśV 2IÂżFH ZLOO ÂłGHYHORS WKH 1HJHY and help bring economic development, infrastructure and educational systems to the Bedouin community.â&#x20AC;? Critics, including human-rights groups and virtually the entire Bedouin community, have rejected the Prawer plan outright. The checkered history of the Stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s relationship to its Bedouin citizens has spawned alienation and rage. Since September there have been more than a dozen protest demonstrations against the proposed law and frustration is growing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All it takes is one mistake, hundreds of troops descending on a village, someone accidentally shooting a child, and the match will EHOLWWKDWZLOOEHFRPHDFRQĂ&#x20AC;DJUDWLRQ´ZDUQV (OL $W]PRQ D SODQQLQJ H[SHUW ZKR DGYLVHV Bedouin communities.

DISPERSION: Official Bedouin towns and villages around Beersheba are home to about half of the 190,000 community, descended from nomadic shepherds whose flocks grazed the scrublands of the northern Negev desert

Qasr a-Sir, like most other Bedouin residents in the Negev, cannot get building permits to build proper homes. The reason is the unresolved issue of land ownership, the heart of the decades-long ethnic and civil standoff. In the 1970s, the Justice Ministry opened DQRIÂżFHIRU%HGRXLQWRUHJLVWHUODQGFODLPV They were promised the possibility of monetary compensation for land they could no lonTribally homogenous ger use. Some 3,500 people submitted claims Qasr a-Sir (â&#x20AC;&#x153;Palace of Mysteryâ&#x20AC;?), traditional and even received receipts, but never heard home of the al-Hawashla tribe, differs from further. Many of them are no longer alive, but most Bedouin villages in the Negev. It is recognized by the government, one of 12 Most of the residents %HGRXLQ FRPPXQLWLHV RIÂżFLDOO\ SURFODLPHG as villages in 2003 under a novel scheme to refuse to move, move the residents from unauthorized clusdemanding title to the ters into tribally homogeneous towns under the umbrella of the newly-formed Abu Basland they claim ma Regional Council. The council provides their ancestors have incentives for people to move into proper vilinhabited for generations lages by providing public buildings, roads, water, waste disposal, electricity and other municipal services. In the center of Qasr a-Sir WKHLUGHVFHQGDQWVÂąQRZQXPEHULQJDSSUR[Lthere are three brand new school buildings, a mately 20,000 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; still maintain the claims. community center, administrative center and One of the claimants is Ibrahim al-Haa health clinic, grouped together in the only washla, head of the Qasr a-Sir local council, section of the village connected by a paved a role he inherited from his father, who was road. There is also a proper sign on the high- the village sheikh. Stretched out on a mattress way directing visitors to the community. But in the lean-to he uses as a hospitality tent, the the development stops there, just as it does in 48-year-old school-bus driver pours coffee for all the villages of the Abu Basma Council. YLVLWRUV+HUHFDOOVKDYLQJWRZDONWKHVL[NLORDespite becoming â&#x20AC;&#x153;legal,â&#x20AC;? the residents of meters to the nearest elementary school when THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

KHZDVVL[Âł,ZDVWRRVPDOOWRULGHDGRQNH\ so I had to go on foot. When I got a little older, I was allowed to ride the donkey back and forth to school,â&#x20AC;? al-Hawashla recalls. The traditional al-Hawashla tribal lands include most of the area of the present day city of Dimona, but today they must make do with a small percentage of their original territory. Al-Hawashlaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family registered its territorial claims in the 1970s, only to discover the entire area had been proclaimed a closed military zone. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All of a sudden we started receiving VDFNVRIRIÂżFLDOOHWWHUVWHOOLQJXVWKDWDQ\XQregistered structures were illegal and subject to demolition,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;No one knew what to do. Everyone was scared and people started KLULQJODZ\HUV:HÂżQDOO\XQGHUVWRRGWKDWZH KDGWRIRUPVRPHVRUWRISXEOLFERG\WRÂżJKW for our rights.â&#x20AC;? The body that emerged was the Regional Council for Unrecognized Villages, established in 1997 by residents of 45 shanty towns UHSUHVHQWLQJDSSUR[LPDWHO\SHRSOHRU about half of the total Bedouin population in the Negev at the time. Partly as a result of the publicity generated by the new organization, Qasr a-Sir became one of 12 previously unrecognized settlements eventually granted government recognition under the Abu Basma plan. 7KH QH[W VWHS ZDV WR SODQ WKH QHZO\ legalized community. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have our own tradition, and we want21


COVER STORY/ISRAEL ed to plan the village according to our own needs,â&#x20AC;? says al-Hawashla. The Abu Basma Regional Council agreed to turn over the task of planning Qasr a-Sir to Bimkom â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Planners for Planning Rights, a group of planners, geographers and architects, which describes its mission as â&#x20AC;&#x153;strengthening democracy and KXPDQULJKWVLQWKHÂżHOGRISODQQLQJ´%LPkom completed a blueprint but when the villagers asked for permits to build their houses, they were denied. The Israel Lands Authority (ILA) demanded that residents sign an agreement giving up ownership claims for any parcels of land in any other location.

No electricity â&#x20AC;&#x153;Without giving up our claims thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no building permit, no electricity, not even for WKH ,') RIÂżFHUV ZKR OLYH KHUH´ VD\V ,EUDhim al-Hawashla, referring to the many Bedouin residents who serve in the armed forces. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Without signing the agreement, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no deal.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is heartbreaking after all our work,â&#x20AC;? says Nili Baruch, a town planner and head of Bimkomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Community Planning Department who supervised the Qasr a-Sir project. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are other places that have been well planned â&#x20AC;&#x201C; on paper â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but we have been unable to develop them.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are many reasons for this, including the Bedouinsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; own internal disputes. There is this dissonance between the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s legal system and the traditional system accepted by the Bedouin. Perhaps it would have been better to tailor the law to the Bedouin reality and not the other way around,â&#x20AC;? she says. Bedouin Arabs, known historically as nomads with intricate networks of tribal and clan lines, arrived in the Negev in various waves from Saudi Arabia and Sinai in the last 300 years in search of water sources. By the early 20th century, 96 tribes had settled into their own recognized territories. For generations, the Bedouin employed an organized, mutually recognized, traditional system of property acquisition. Most did not register their landholdings under the Negevâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s previous rulers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the Ottomans and the British â&#x20AC;&#x201C; for many reasons, including the fear of EHLQJWD[HGRUGUDIWHGLQWRWKH2WWRPDQDUP\ During Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s War of Independence in 1948, PRVW 1HJHY %HGRXLQ Ă&#x20AC;HG RU ZHUH H[SHOOHG to Jordan, the Sinai or the Gaza Strip. The remaining tribes were forcibly relocated into a restricted zone in the northeastern Negev, known as the syag (â&#x20AC;&#x153;enclosureâ&#x20AC;?). 7KH6WDWH RI ,VUDHO ZDV DEOH WR H[SORLW WKH ODFNRIRIÂżFLDOUHJLVWUDWLRQWRLJQRUHRUGHQ\ the Bedouinsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ownership claims. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everyone 22

PROTEST: Bedouins demonstrating in Jerusalem against the Prawer proposals

knows precisely where the traditional territorial borders are â&#x20AC;&#x201C; there are maps and aerial photographs,â&#x20AC;? says Dodik Shoshani, who was WKHÂżUVWGLUHFWRURIWKH%HGRXLQ$GPLQLVWUDtion, originally part of the ILA. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But according to the law, this doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hold because most

court declaring almost every area under dispute as state land.â&#x20AC;? In March 2012, in what may be a precedentsetting ruling, the Beersheba District Court UHMHFWHG FODLPV ÂżOHG E\  PHPEHUV RI WKH al-Okbi clan for ownership of 1,000 dunams, or 250 acres, of land in the northern Negev, which the family claim they held for generaAll of a sudden we started WLRQVXQWLOWKHVWDWHFRQÂżVFDWHGLWLQ7KH DQG RIWHQ ELWWHU OHJDO SURFHHGLQJV receiving official letters FRPSOH[ went on for more than three years, during telling us the houses which the State and the Bedouin plaintiffs HDFKEURXJKWH[WHQVLYHRIWHQDUFDQHH[SHUW would be demolished testimonies from the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most promihave no documentation.â&#x20AC;? nent authorities on historical and political geâ&#x20AC;&#x153;The Bedouin today are sitting on land ography, each presenting ancient documents, ZKHUH WKH JRYHUQPHQW VHQW WKHP´ H[SODLQV yellowing maps and early 20th century aerial Shoshani, who has been closely involved photographs. ZLWKWKH%HGRXLQLQYDULRXVRIÂżFLDOUROHVIRU half a century. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the 1950s they were sent Ancestral from place to place, and then told to go back Central to the Bedouin case was the issue of to where they came from. So they went back Ottoman-era and British Mandate land laws, and set up their tents, and today these are the which, they argued, had granted legal autonomy to local farmers to organize ownership unrecognized villages.â&#x20AC;? Indeed, Bedouin who do take their land rights over ancestral lands in accordance with claims to court almost always lose, with the Bedouin customary law. This was the reason THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012


water, schools, and even a local shopping and commercial center. The only condition was that the family must relinquish all claims to traditional grazing lands outside the towns. The governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s declared intention in building the towns was to provide basic ser-

fusing. The proposed law agrees to recognize Bedouin ownership of half the territory currently occupied â&#x20AC;&#x201C; about 200,000 dunams or 50,000 acres â&#x20AC;&#x201C; under certain stringent conditions, but dismisses recognition of additional villages.

Compensation

We canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t move forward when half the population is being left behind. If we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t right these injustices they will blow up in our faces

REGIONAL COUNCIL FOR UNRECOGNIZED VILLAGES

the land in question was never formally recorded in the Ottoman-era tabu land registry. 6LJQLÂżFDQWO\ WKH DUHD XQGHU GLVFXVVLRQ LQFOXGHV WKH ÂżHUFHO\ FRQWHVWHG YLOODJH RI DO Araqib north of Beersheba. The site of an RQJRLQJRIWHQYLROHQWFRQĂ&#x20AC;LFWEHWZHHQ%HGouin residents and the State, al-Araqib has become an international cause cĂŠlèbre. The village, which at last count has been bulldozed by the authorities and rebuilt by the residents and their supporters 35 times, has become a symbol of the Bedouin struggle. In its ruling, the Beersheba District Court accepted the Stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s position that the land belongs to the State and that its purpose is for public use. Without formal registration, the judge stated, the complainants had not proven their ownership rights. One of the petitioners, Nuri el-Okbi, has appealed against the ruling to the Supreme Court. In the 1970s, the government decided to solve the problem through urbanization. It constructed eight towns around Beersheba and encouraged Bedouin families to move there. Each family was provided with a house on a properly-paved street with electricity,

vices to the Bedouin population. The other unstated, though generally understood, motive, was to move as many Bedouin as possible into urban locales to prevent them from cultivating or claiming ownership of the lands WKHVWDWHKDGH[SURSULDWHGLQWKHVDQGWR encourage them to abandon their traditional livelihood of livestock farming. But half of the Bedouin population refused to take up the ofIHUDQGUHPDLQHGRXWVLGHWKHRIÂżFLDOKRXVLQJ arrangements. The Prawer legislation now pending is meant to be the practical implementation of recommendations made by a public committee chaired by retired Supreme Court Justice Eliezer Goldberg in 2009. Goldbergâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s committee was told that the Bedouin in the unrecognized villages preferred rural settlements where they could practice their way of life, rather than coerced urbanization in already impoverished towns. Though Goldberg did QRW VSHFLÂżFDOO\ DFFHSW %HGRXLQ ODQG RZQHUship claims, he did acknowledge their historic connection to the land they are living on. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Bedouin are legitimate residents of the Negev and not trespassers or squatters,â&#x20AC;? Goldberg concluded. He recommended that as many of the Bedouin villages as possible be recognized, and that the Bedouin themselves be involved in determining their own future. While Bedouin leaders did not fully endorse Goldbergâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recommendations, they say he at least listened to everyone, while charging that Prawerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s committee ignored them completely. Prawerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s deliberations were also dominated E\VHFXULW\RIÂżFLDOVPDNLQJLWVHHPDVLIWKH Bedouin â&#x20AC;&#x201C; many of whom still serve in the IDF â&#x20AC;&#x201C; are a security threat rather than full citizens with a legitimate grievance. Many of Goldbergâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recommendations were scrapped in Prawerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s draft, whose language, opponents claim, is both threatening and conTHE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

Under the proposed legislation, certain areas would be cleared immediately, with all structures demolished and all residents evacuated without the necessity of a court injunction. 7KHUH DUH DOVR JXLGHOLQHV IRU ÂżQDQFLDO FRPpensation for those relocated, and in some cases compensation in the form of alternate plots of land. In addition, the government says that half of the NIS 1 billion ($260 million) budJHWHGIRUWKHÂżYH\HDUSODQLVHDUPDUNHGIRU education, vocational training and womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s empowerment. According to Prawer, there are 19 sites approved for resettlement. But critics say most of these are not practical because the designated land is disputed by other Bedouin families and the state. In the towns there are scores of vacant plots, but they are claimed by others, so no one else will move there. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Each piece of land, each parcel, belongs by consensus and understanding, if not by law, WRGLIIHUHQWIDPLOLHVDQGWULEHV´H[SODLQV(OL Atzmon, a former head of the Negev Bedouin Authority, and today an independent consultant on land issues. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is no vacuum here. No one will move to a piece of land that is claimed by someone else.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Bedouin land dispute is not a legal problem, although the Justice Ministry is constantly presenting it this way. There is a Bedouin mindset, a culture that government RIÂżFLDOV GRQÂśW VHHP WR XQGHUVWDQG 1R RQH will move to a piece of land that is claimed by someone else. No law will change this,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are thousands of available plots in the Bedouin towns,â&#x20AC;? says Dudu Cohen, a former Interior Ministry Southern District Commissioner who now heads the Abu Basma Regional Council. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Why donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t they move in? Because one tribe canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get along with another. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not proposing to bring in a tribe when I know thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been friction, but families where there are no long-standing quarrels.â&#x20AC;? Critics say that Cohen either does not understand or does not care about the nuances of Bedouin society. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is governmentimposed class war,â&#x20AC;? storms Dr. Thabet AbuRas, Negev Bedouin Project Director for Adalah, the legal center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The authorities are trying 23


COVER STORY/ISRAEL to move in people that were once the black servants or the employees of residents. What are the social implications of this? Maybe itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good for human rights, but for the Bedouin, you are ruining their social hierarchy.â&#x20AC;? It is also true that most of the eight towns remain some of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most destitute. Eli Atzmon, the planning consultant, points to Tel Sheva, east of Beersheba, as one of the sorrier examples.

Nowhere ready â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tel Sheva has existed for 40 years and just look at it,â&#x20AC;? exclaims Atzmon, pulling up an aerial photo of the town on his computer screen. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Except for the main road, there are no proper roads. There are just open DUHDV ÂżOOHG ZLWK WUDVK DQG JDUEDJH 7KHVH are areas claimed by Bedouin families living elsewhere. The place is like a jungle at night, with drug dealers and stolen car chop shops. Who would want to move here?â&#x20AC;? The government could turn Tel Sheva into a model town, Atzmon suggests, if it was ZLOOLQJWRVSHQGWKHPRQH\WRÂż[LWXSDQG reach agreement on the unoccupied areas. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you wanted to resettle even one Bedouin tomorrow, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a single place or plot thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ready,â&#x20AC;? argues Clinton Bailey, a historian and anthropologist who has followed the issue closely over several decades. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Unless we settle land ownership claims with the Bedouin for a price they can use in the free market, and lay down infrastructure so we can move people in, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no point in talking about anything. You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just move a family overnight and stick them on another piece of land with nothing around. That is cruel, and the country wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get away with it.â&#x20AC;? Abu Basma Council head Dudu Cohen insists that the government is limited because of the lack of available land. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You look at the map of greater Beersheba and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d think there is a lot of open land, but there isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;tâ&#x20AC;? says Cohen, spreading out a large map on his desk. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You can see where the trans-Israel highway will go, where the train tracks go, the DLUÂżHOGWKDWDOUHDG\H[LVWVQDWXUHSUHVHUYHV forests and industrial zones. There are no available spaces that havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been previously zoned,â&#x20AC;? he says, noting that some of the villages are near gas lines, military bases, SRZHUSODQWVDQGWR[LFODQGÂżOOVÂąDUHDVREviously inappropriate for habitation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Prawer proposal sets down certain criteria for who can set up a settlement and where.

You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t settle anywhere you want in the country,â&#x20AC;? he says. But critics say the obstacles preventing Bedouin settlement suddenly disappear when Jewish communities are planned. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is absolutely untrue that these villages cannot be accommodated and cannot be rec-

The detailed planning will be carried out with the full participation of the Bedouin communities ognized,â&#x20AC;? insists Nili Baruch of Bimkom. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When the government wants to set up Jewish settlements wherever they want, they have no problem doing it. It is so enraging. These people live here, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve lived here since before Dimona and Arad. There is no doubt that from the point of view of planQLQJLWLVDEVROXWHO\SRVVLEOHÂąLWLVVLPSO\D matter of priorities.â&#x20AC;? No one doubts what those priorities are. In October 2011, the Cabinet approved the construction of 10 new Jewish communities in the desert area around the city of Arad. To the dismay of environmental JURXSV DQG WKH KRUULÂżHG H[DVSHUDWLRQ RI Bedouin rights advocates, the government stated that it had decided to approve the plans â&#x20AC;&#x153;in order to attract a new population to the Negev by increasing the housing supply in the area.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Jewish Israeli can live anywhere he wants,â&#x20AC;? says Abu-Ras of Adalah. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Why canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the Bedouin also live in rural communities? Kibbutz Revivim has only 300 people, Kerem Shalom and Shomriya only have 100 people. All that is needed are the basics: running water, paved roads.â&#x20AC;?

Incendiary As the land claims have piled up, so have the plans to solve the incendiary dilemma of Bedouin housing. In 2011, a team of city planners, architects, geographers and legal experts launched an alternative master plan commissioned by the Regional Council for Unrecognized Villages. It proposes allowing most of the 35 unrecognized villages to remain, providing them with basic infrastructure and development, and suggests ways of preserving both traditional Bedouin village organization and open space. Ben-Gurion University professor Oren Yiftachel, one of the drafters of this THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

proposal, complains that his team tried repeatedly to meet with the Prawer committee but were only able to present their ideas three days before the draft law went to the government. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Obviously, it had no impact,â&#x20AC;? sighs Yiftachel. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel has proposed its own alternative plan. Bedouin MK Talab El-Sana has formed a Knesset lobby to try to derail the proposed law. Meanwhile, far from public view, a highpowered group of academic experts, Bedouin leaders and former civil servants began holding quiet consultations at the Joe Alon Bedouin Museum in the Lahav Forest. They drafted yet another set of proposals, which they discussed in a series of off-record meetings with Knesset Members and senior govHUQPHQW RIÂżFLDOV LQFOXGLQJ %HQ\DPLQ %Hgin, the minister appointed to coordinate the legislative process. Beginâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s role is to invite comments on the bill from concerned parties and to recommend amendments to the Cabinet legislation committee. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our plan is drafted in a way that will not insult or threaten the Bedouin, unlike the Prawer Plan,â&#x20AC;? says Clinton Bailey, one of the Joe Alon initiators. He says the proposal Regional Council for Unrecognized Villages proposal is unworkable. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is more extreme in its land demands than any government will go,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We believe that everyone can be accommodated in the 19 currently approved or existing settlements, but only after more preparation for alternative housing,â&#x20AC;? he says. For his part, Begin may be sympathetic to the arguments of the Prawer billâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opponents, but he has no formal authority to change anything. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This hearing process is unprecedented in its being active and vigorous,â&#x20AC;? Begin tells The Jerusalem Report. â&#x20AC;&#x153;More than a hundred such meetings with Bedouin families and leaders will have taken place by the end of the process, and I believe that my recommendations will be seriously and positively considered.â&#x20AC;? Begin insists that the draft law is following the Goldberg Committeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s central recommendation that unrecognized Bedouin villages will be approved to the extent possible. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The detailed planning will be carried out with the full participation of the Bedouin communities, and hence the detailed results FDQQRWEHUHDOLVWLFDOO\VSHFLÂżHGDWSUHVHQW´ Begin promises. â&#x20AC;&#x153;More than 15,000 Bedouins need improved housing, in a variety of settlement forms, but have no claims for land. This should be easier to solve.â&#x20AC;?

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25


PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS

THIS BODY BELONGS TO ME: A performance by the Ramallah Contemporary Dance Troupe at the Palestinian Contemporary Dance Festival

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HEN 21-YEAR-OLD Palestinian Amal Khatib moves her body DFURVVWKHGDQFHÃ&#x20AC;RRU she not only expresses her passion for FRQWHPSRUDU\ GDQFH VKH DOVR FKDOOHQJHV WKHVRFLHW\VKHJUHZXSLQ )RU VHYHUDO \HDUV VKH DQG RWKHU \RXQJ FRQWHPSRUDU\ GDQFHUV KDYH EHHQ ¿JKWLQJ DJDLQVW WDERRV DQG SUHMXGLFH LQ WKH :HVW 26

%DQN,QDVRFLHW\ZKHUHEHLQJDGDQFHULV QRW DQ DFFHSWDEOH SURIHVVLRQ WHQDFLW\ KDV SURYHGWREHWKHRQO\ZD\IRUZDUG ³,Q 3DOHVWLQLDQ VRFLHW\ PXFK LV KLGGHQ EHKLQG UXOHV RIWHQ DW WKH H[SHQVH RI SHUVRQDO IUHHGRP 7KH IHPDOH ERG\ LV VHHQ KHUH DV D WRRO %XW ZKHQ , GDQFH , VKRZWKDWWKLVERG\EHORQJVWRPH´.KDWLE VD\V GXULQJ D UHKHDUVDO RI KHU JURXS WKH 5DPDOODK&RQWHPSRUDU\'DQFH7URXSHLQ WKH:HVW%DQNFLW\RI5DPDOODK THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

7KH WURXSH VWDJHG VHYHUDO VKRZV LQ 3DOHVWLQLDQFLWLHVLQWKH:HVW%DQNGXULQJ the recent Ramallah Contemporary Dance )HVWLYDOZKLFKIHDWXUHGSHUIRUPDQFHVIURP ERWK 3DOHVWLQLDQ DQG LQWHUQDWLRQDO DUWLVWV ,Q WKH UXQXS WR WKH IHVWLYDO WKH GDQFHUV WUDLQHG IRU VHYHUDO KRXUV D GD\ LQ D VPDOO J\P LQVLGH WKH 6DUH\\HW VSRUWV FRPSRXQG LQ 5DPDOODK FRDFKHG E\ WKH 3DOHVWLQLDQ $PHULFDQFKRUHRJUDSKHU6DPDU.LQJ ³<RXKDYHWREHRUJDQLFWRJHWKHU´.LQJ


al

The body politic

Contemporary Palestinian dance is still at its beginning. But a handful of young dancers are willing to pursue their professional dream and fight for recognition in society

SAREYYET RAMALLAH

LQVWUXFWV DV .KDWLE DQG KHU SDUWQHU +HED VLW RQ WKH SDUTXHW Ã&#x20AC;RRU RI WKH J\P ZLWK WKHLU OHJV VWUHWFKHG WRZDUGV HDFK RWKHU ³<RXQHHGWRIHHOHDFKRWKHU¶VEUHDWK´7KH FKRUHRJUDSKHUZDONVRYHUWRWKHVWHUHRDQG SXWV RQ D +LS +RS WXQH $PDO DQG +HED VWDUWWRPRYHDJDLQ.LQJLVFXUUHQWO\WKH RQO\SURIHVVLRQDOFKRUHRJUDSKHUDW6DUH\\HW 5DPDOODKDFXOWXUDOJURXSWKDWRUJDQL]HG WKH IHVWLYDO DQG DOVR UXQV FRQWHPSRUDU\ DQGWUDGLWLRQDOGDQFHFODVVHV

Andreas Hackl Ramallah .LQJGLUHFWVKHURZQGDQFHFRPSDQ\LQ 1HZ <RUN EXW UHFHQWO\ KHU HQHUJLHV KDYH EHHQ WRWDOO\ DEVRUEHG E\ ZULWLQJ WKH ¿UVW HYHUGDQFHFXUULFXOXPIRU6DUH\\HWWU\LQJ to combine traditional Palestinian dance ZLWKPRUHFRQWHPSRUDU\IRUPV ³:H GRQ¶W WU\ WR UHZULWH WKH %LEOH EXW LW VKRXOG EHFRPH D JRRG FXUULFXOXP WKDW OHDYHV VSDFH IRU LQQRYDWLRQ´ VKH VD\V ,QQRYDWLRQ DQG WDOHQW DUH QRW ODFNLQJ RQ WKH3DOHVWLQLDQGDQFHVFHQH:KDWLWODFNV THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

is social acceptance and professional UHVRXUFHV.LQJVD\VWKDWGDQFLQJLVEDUHO\ VHHQDVDSURIHVVLRQLQ3DOHVWLQLDQVRFLHW\ ³:HIDFHDVSHFLDOUHDOLW\0DQ\RIRXU \RXQJVWXGHQWVFRPHIURPUHPRWHYLOODJHV ,IZHGRQ¶WDGDSWWKHFXUULFXOXPWRVRFLHW\ DQGFXOWXUHPDQ\SDUHQWVVLPSO\ZRQ¶WOHW WKHLU FKLOGUHQ FRPH´ VKH H[SODLQV 6RPH female dancers have been prevented from MRLQLQJ FODVVHV E\ WKHLU IDPLOLHV ZKR VHH GDQFHDVDGLQJ\EXVLQHVV 27


PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS &RQVHUYDWLYH YRLFHV IURP ,VODPLVWV DQG traditionalists have also voiced criticism DQG HYHQ WKUHDWHQHG RUJDQL]HUV ,Q $SULO WKH ,VODPLF 5HVLVWDQFH 0RYHPHQW +DPDV GHQRXQFHGWKHGDQFHIHVWLYDO(]DW5LVKHT D OHDGLQJ +DPDV RI¿FLDO FULWLFL]HG WKH 3DOHVWLQLDQ $XWKRULW\ IRU SURYLGLQJ IXQGLQJ

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FRPSOHWHO\ UHMHFWHG E\ RXU SHRSOH DQG DUH QRWFRQVLVWHQWZLWKRXUSHRSOHV¶YDOXHVDQG PRUDOV´6DZDIVDLG6XFKVWDWHPHQWVKDYH FDVW D VKDGRZ RYHU 3DOHVWLQLDQ GDQFHUV¶ SURIHVVLRQDO GUHDPV %XW FRQWHPSRUDU\ GDQFH LV DOVR D IRUFH WKDW KHOSV WR FRXQWHU VXFKYLHZV ³'DQFH LV D VWDWHPHQW WR VRFLHW\´ VD\V .KDWLE ³,Q 3DOHVWLQH GDQFLQJ LV QRW D SURIHVVLRQ,I,VD\,DPDGDQFHUDVDZRPDQ HYHU\RQHWKLQNVDERXWEHOO\GDQFLQJZKLFK LV DVVRFLDWHG ZLWK SURVWLWXWLRQ $QG LI D PDQVD\VKHLVDGDQFHUSHRSOHWKLQNKHLV JD\´ 7KH GHVLUH RI \RXQJ 3DOHVWLQLDQV WR EHFRPHSURIHVVLRQDOGDQFHUVLVQRWDOZD\V

We need to break out from using the political situation in any kind of work we do XQGHUVWRRG E\ WKHLU IDPLOLHV +RZHYHU WKH VDPH SHUIRUPDQFHV WKDW HQUDJH traditionalists have also made dance more DFFHSWDEOHIRURWKHUV ³7KHUHDUHPDQ\VWRULHVRI\RXQJGDQFHUV ZKRZHUHSUHYHQWHGIURPSDUWLFLSDWLQJE\ WKHLU SDUHQWV %XW WKH GDQFH IHVWLYDO DOVR helped to make their appearance more DFFHSWDEOHWRVRFLHW\´VD\V.LQJ

Vegetable market

ANDREAS HACKL

FLOOR EXERCISE: (Top) Members of the Ramallah Contemporary Dance Troupe at rehearsal. (Bottom) Amal Khatib (left) and her dance partner Heba (right). â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Dance is a statement to society,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; says Khatib 28

THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

2QH EUHDNWKURXJK KDV RFFXUUHG ZLWK D decision by some contemporary dancers to EHJLQSHUIRUPLQJLQSXEOLFSODFHV7ZHQW\ WKUHH\HDUROG0DMG+DMMDMVWDUUHGLQDVKRUW PRYLH VFUHHQHG GXULQJ WKH IHVWLYDO WKDW VKRZHGKHUGDQFLQJLQSXEOLFRQWKHVWUHHWV RI 5DPDOODK ³, GLGQ¶W NQRZ WKDW , ZDV FRXUDJHRXVHQRXJKWRSHUIRUPRQWKHVWUHHW LQSODFHVOLNHWKHYHJHWDEOHPDUNHWZKLFKLV WKHKHDUWRIWKHFLW\´VD\V+DMMDM One man stopped her in the middle of one VWUHHWSHUIRUPDQFHDQGVDLG³:KDWDUH\RX GRLQJ KHUH" :H GRQ¶W KDYH VXFK WKLQJV LQ 3DOHVWLQH´ ³:HOOQRZ\RXGR´VKHUHVSRQGHG %\WDNLQJGDQFHWRWKHVWUHHWV+DMMDMVD\V VKH DOVR GLVFRYHUHG SRWHQWLDO IRU FKDQJH ³3HUVRQDOO\ , ZDQW WR VHH P\VHOI UHDFK D SRLQW ZKHUH , LQLWLDWH FKDQJH WR VHH D 5DPDOODK ZKHUH SHRSOH DFFHSW HDFK RWKHU IRUZKDWWKH\GRZLWKRXWFULWLFL]LQJLWDOOWKH WLPH´VKHVD\V ³:KDW , GLG ZDV SURYRFDWLYH WKRXJK LW ZDVQ¶WVWULSWHDVHRUDQ\WKLQJ´%HIRUHWDNLQJ


SAREYYET RAMALLAH

A CONVERSATION: The Ramallah Contemporary Dance Troupe performing at the Palestinian Contemporary Dance Festival

XS FRQWHPSRUDU\ GDQFH WKH PXOWLWDOHQWHG +DMMDM SOD\HG EDVNHWEDOO FRIRXQGHG D 3DOHVWLQLDQ FLUFXV VFKRRO DQG DOVR DFWHG 'XULQJWKHGD\VKHZDVD¿QDQFLDODQDO\VWDW WKH-DZZDOPRELOHSKRQHFRPSDQ\ ³,TXLWEHFDXVH,KDWHGWKLVMRE,WKRXJKW , KDYH RWKHU RSWLRQV´ VKH VD\V 'HVSLWH WKH VXSSRUW RI KHU SDUHQWV VKH DOVR LV QRW VSDUHG IURP VRFLHW\¶V PRUDO UHPLQGHUV ³0\IULHQGVRUP\PRWKHUVRPHWLPHVVD\, VKRXOGVWRSMXPSLQJDURXQGOLNHDPRQNH\ DQGJHWP\VHOIDMREDQGDJURRPLQVWHDG´ At the same time that the constraints of conservative society sometimes limit the DFFHSWDQFH RI \RXQJ 3DOHVWLQLDQ GDQFHUV D ODFN RI UHVRXUFHV DQG SURIHVVLRQDO VXSSRUW KLQGHUVWKHLUSURIHVVLRQDOGHYHORSPHQW ³$OORIXVVWLOOQHHGDORWRIHGXFDWLRQDQG WUDLQLQJ :H DUH UHDFKLQJ D VWDJH ZKHUH ZH FDQ¶W KHOS RXUVHOYHV DQ\PRUH 7KH RQO\ VROXWLRQLVWRJRDEURDG´.KDWLEVD\V 0DQ\RIWKH\RXQJ3DOHVWLQLDQVJDWKHUHG recently at a dance conference in Ramallah WR KHDU )DURRT &KDXGKU\ D 3DNLVWDQERUQ %ULWLVK SURGXFHU IURP WKH $NUDP .KDQ 'DQFH &RPSDQ\ LQ /RQGRQ QRZ RQH RI WKH ZRUOG¶V PRVW VXFFHVVIXO GDQFH JURXSV

ZLWK  SHUIRUPHUV DSSHDULQJ LQ  %XWIRUPDQ\RIWKHORFDOGDQFHUVWKHUHDUH FRXQWULHV PRUHEDVLFLVVXHVWKDWQHHGWREHDGGUHVVHG &KDXGKU\LQVSLUHGWKHDXGLHQFHE\WHOOLQJ ³)RUXVWKHSUHVVLQJTXHVWLRQLVKRZZH WKHPDERXWWKH¿QDQFLDOULVNVKHXQGHUWRRN FDQ OLYH IURP GDQFLQJ :H KDYH GRQH VR WRJHWKLVFRPSDQ\RIIWKHJURXQG³+HUHLQ PXFKZLWKSDVVLRQDQGYROXQWHHULQJ%XWDOO RIXVQHHGRWKHUMREVWRVXUYLYH´VD\V$PDO .KDWLE $QGWKHQWKHUHLVWKHTXHVWLRQRISROLWLFV These kinds of festivals ZKLFKLVQHYHUIDUIURPDQ\LVVXHRIDUWLVWLF are completely rejected H[SUHVVLRQLQ3DOHVWLQH by our people and are 7KH VWRU\ EHKLQG WKH PRVW UHFHQW VKRZ RI WKH FRQWHPSRUDU\ GDQFH WURXSH LV D not consistent with our FRQYHUVDWLRQ EHWZHHQ DQ ROG 3DOHVWLQLDQ peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s values and morals FRXSOHWHOOLQJWKHLUGDXJKWHUDERXWKLVWRU\ H[SHULHQFHV RI ORYH EXW DOVR RI ,VUDHOL 3DOHVWLQH ULVN LV DURXQG WKH FRUQHU DOO WKH RFFXSDWLRQ 6XFK QDUUDWLYHV RI UHVLVWLQJ WLPHDQ\ZD\´KHVDLG ,VUDHO DQG LWV RFFXSDWLRQ DUH D UHFXUULQJ ³%XWKRZFDQZHGRVRPHWKLQJOLNHWKDW WRSLFLQ3DOHVWLQLDQGDQFH LQ 3DOHVWLQH" +RZ FDQ ZH KDYH VXFFHVV +RZHYHU .KDOHG (OD\\DQ GLUHFWRU RI ZKLOH ¿QGLQJ RXU RZQ VW\OH DQG LGHQWLW\ 6DUH\\HW5DPDOODKFDXWLRQVDERXWDOZD\V LQ FRQWHPSRUDU\ GDQFH"´ DVNHG RQH RI WKH SROLWLFL]LQJWKHLUZRUN \RXQJGDQFHUV³6RPHRIWKHPRVWLPSRUWDQW ³6RPHWLPHV ZH VD\ WKDW GDQFH LV SDUW VW\OHV KDYH FRPH RXW RI VPDOO FRXQWULHV RI 3DOHVWLQLDQ UHVLVWDQFH %XW ZH KDYH :KHQ \RX DUH VPDOO DQG LQVLJQL¿FDQW \RX WR GLVWDQFH RXUVHOYHV IURP WKDW´ VD\V RIWHQ KDYH PXFK PRUH WR VD\ 7KH QHHG WR (OD\\DQ³:HQHHGWREUHDNRXWIURPXVLQJ VKRZ RQH¶V LGHQWLW\ LV DQ H[FHOOHQW GULYLQJ WKHSROLWLFDOVLWXDWLRQLQDQ\NLQGRIZRUN IRUFH´&KDXGKU\UHVSRQGHG ZHGR´

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THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

29


MIDEAST MONITOR Bruce Maddy-Weitzman

Cohabitation, Egyptian-style I

T IS NOW OFFICIAL: THE NEW president of Egypt is Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate who VTXHDNHG LQWR RIÂżFH ZLWK  SHUFHQW RI WKH YRWH 3UHVLGHQW 0RUVL   ZRQ  PLOOLRQYRWHVRXWRIDWRWDORIMXVWRYHU PLOOLRQ LQ WKH -XQH  UXQRII DJDLQVW Hosni Mubarakâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s last prime minister and former air force commander, Ahmed 6KDÂżT,WZDVWKHÂżUVWGHPRFUDWLFHOHFWLRQ LQ(J\SWLDQKLVWRU\

With the result, the specter of a stolen election, which the Islamists would have VXUHO\ GHFULHG KDG 6KDÂżT EHHQ GHFODUHG the winner, receded, and with it the pos VLELOLW\WKDWWKH$OJHULDQVFHQDULRRI ZRXOGUHSHDWLWVHOISOXQJLQJ(J\SWLQWR FKDRVDQGYLROHQFH Had Morsi achieved his victory just a few weeks earlier, it would have marked a triumphant culmination of the Brother KRRGÂśV \HDUORQJ GULYH IRU KHJHPRQ\ RYHU SRVW0XEDUDN (J\SW 6XVWDLQHG SUHVVXUH would have been applied on the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to IXOÂżOOLWVSOHGJHWRKDQGSRZHURYHUWRFLYLO LDQUXOHDQGUHWXUQWRWKHEDUUDFNVDIWHU \HDUV RI PLOLWDU\OHG UXOH ,QVWHDG DQG RQ the very eve of the election, the SCAF inter vened forcefully to reassert its authority and FOLSWKHZLQJVRIWKH%URWKHUKRRG 7KURXJKRXW PXFK RI WKH SRVW0XEDUDN era, the Brotherhood and SCAF, its two leading actors, had engaged in a delicate dance, as each sought to shape Egyptâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s po litical evolution according to its preferences ZKLOH DYRLGLQJ DOORXW FRQIURQWDWLRQ 7KH Brotherhood appeared at times to be overly acquiescent to the SCAF, opening itself up

MOHAMED ABD EL-GHANY / REUTERS

The military and the Brotherhood have apparently agreed on a modus vivendi avoiding a descent into confrontation

EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT: Mohammed Morsi

to charges from the newly emboldened ex WUHPLVW6DODÂżPRYHPHQWDQGOLEHUDOVDOLNH that the Brotherhood has abandoned its commitment to civilian rule in return for D VKDUH LQ WKH SHUNV RI SRZHU %XW RQ WKH whole, it was the SCAF which was on the defensive and in retreat, as it struggled to maintain its control over the levers of po OLWLFDODQGHFRQRPLFSRZHULQDKLJKO\Ă&#x20AC;XLG DQGLQFUHDVLQJO\FRQWHVWHGSXEOLFVSDFH All this changed radically on the eve of WKH SUHVLGHQWLDO UXQRII 3DUOLDPHQW ZDV GLVVROYHGRQ-XQHRQWHFKQLFDOJURXQGV LQOLQHZLWKDMXGJPHQWRIWKH0XEDUDNHUD +LJK &RQVWLWXWLRQDO &RXUW 7KH GHFLVLRQ called into question the ability, and even OHJLWLPDF\ RI WKH SDUOLDPHQWDSSRLQWHG constitutional commission charged with GUDIWLQJ D QHZ FRQVWLWXWLRQ 7KUHH GD\V ODWHUWKH6&$)DPHQGHGWKHSRVW0XEDUDN interim constitution to appropriate full leg islative and most executive power until such time as a new parliament could be elected THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

DQGDFRQVWLWXWLRQDGRSWHG +DG 6KDÂżT EHHQ GHFODUHG WKH ZLQQHU RI WKHHOHFWLRQWKH6&$)ÂśVFRXQWHUUHYROXWLRQ would have been complete, although the resulting liabilities might have outweighed WKH EHQHÂżWV ,QVWHDG WKH 6&$) DQG WKH Brotherhood apparently agreed on a mo dus vivendi, enabling Morsi to be declared the winner and avoiding a descent into FRQIURQWDWLRQ %RWKVLGHVKDYHLQHVVHQFHOLYHGWRÂżJKW DQRWKHU GD\ 7KH %URWKHUKRRGÂśV DFWLRQV FRQÂżUPWKHREVHUYDWLRQE\(ULF7UDHJHUD SUHVFLHQW (J\SWZDWFKHU WKDW WKH %URWKHU hood is â&#x20AC;&#x153;only willing to embrace political gradualism when pressured by stronger DXWKRULWLHV´ $W WKH VDPH WLPH JLYHQ LWV electoral successes over the past year, and the legitimizing effect that these successes have had on Western, and particularly US Administration attitudes towards it, Egyp tian Islamists have reason to believe that WKH ZLQG LV VWLOO DW WKHLU EDFNV $V IRU WKH SCAF, they can, at least for now, deal with their opponents with enhanced tools of au thority, and avoid an irreversible devolution RISRZHU Meanwhile, the Egyptian pound hit a VHYHQ\HDUORZDJDLQVWWKHGROODUWKLVZHHN and investors fear that Egypt is heading to wards a balance of payments crisis and a FXUUHQF\FROODSVH5HFRJQLWLRQRI(J\SWÂśV economic plight, along with the desire for the restoration of some semblance of  QRUPDOF\ KHOSV H[SODLQ ZK\ 6KDÂżT WKH candidate of the old order, nearly won WKHHOHFWLRQ,WDOVRKHOSVH[SODLQZK\WKH SCAF and the Brotherhood have agreed to FRKDELWIRUWKHWLPHEHLQJ But Egypt remains deeply divided over the desired nature of the state and the in stitutions that should underpin it, and is lacking viable remedies for its economic SOLJKW

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The author is the Marcia Israel Principal Research Fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University Technion 31


JEWISH WORLD

Malevolence in the Malvinas

HERNAN DOBRY

Jewish Argentinians fighting in the Malvinas/Falkland Islands war had to battle anti-Semitism as well as the enemy Hernan Dobry Buenos Aires

A

LL THE ARGENTINE conscripts in the 1982 Malvinas War suffered from constant cold and hunger, but the Jewish soldiers bore an additional

32

burden â&#x20AC;&#x201C; anti-Semitism at the hands of their superiors. These stories were made public for the ÂżUVW WLPH LQ P\ ERRN 7KH 5DEELV RI WKH 0DOYLQDV 7KH -HZLVK &RPPXQLW\ LQ THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

Argentina, the South Atlantic War and Anti-Semitism, published in March in Buenos Aires. 7KH FRQĂ&#x20AC;LFW EHJDQ RQ $SULO   DIWHU $UJHQWLQD LQYDGHG WKH )DONODQG


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EXTREME ABUSE: Silvio Katz (second from left), wearing an Israeli-supplied parka, during the Malvinas war. He was tortured by his officer. His case is pending in the Supreme Court of Argentina

Islands. Located in the South Atlantic, the Malvinas had been under British control since 1833. Argentinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s intention was to UHDVVHUW LWV VRYHUHLJQW\ RYHU WKH LVODQGV ZKLFKLWKDGDOUHDG\EHHQFKDPSLRQLQJLQ the international arena for several decades.

Jewish conscripts were not surprised by the anti-Semitism that they experienced ,Q UHDOLW\ LW ZDV D ÂżQDO DQG GHVSHUDWH DWWHPSW E\ GLFWDWRU /HRSROGR )RUWXQDWR Galtieri to retain his hold on power at a WLPH ZKHQ WKH FRXQWU\ ZDV LQ WKH PLGVW of a severe economic and social crisis. 7KH UXOLQJ MXQWD ZDV DOVR XQGHU ÂżUH IRU human-rights violations and the forced disappearance of tens of thousands of people since coming to power in 1976.

Cold and hungry 7KHZDUSODQGLGQRWZRUNRXWLQ$UJHQWLQDÂśV favor. The British bombed the Malvinas on 0D\DQGFRQWLQXHGXQWLO-XQHZKHQWKH islandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Argentine governor, General Mario Benjamin Menendez, signed a surrender ZLWKKLV%ULWLVKFRXQWHUSDUW-HUHP\0RRUH During that time, the Argentine soldiers ZHUHFROGDQGKXQJU\7KHLURZQVXSHULRUV withheld food and ate the soldiersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; rations. $OWKRXJK WKH PDMRULW\ RI FRQVFULSWV ZHUH WUHDWHGSRRUO\-HZLVKVROGLHUVZHUHVLQJOHG out for targeted abuse ranging from verbal insults and discrimination to forced labor and torture. 0DQ\ -HZLVK FRQVFULSWV KRZHYHU ZHUH QRW VXUSULVHG E\ WKH DQWL6HPLWLVP WKDW WKH\ H[SHULHQFHG 0DQ\ RI WKHP KDG H[SHULHQFHG DQWL6HPLWLVP GXULQJ WKHLU FRPSXOVRU\ PLOLWDU\ VHUYLFH DQG WKH FOLPDWHZDVSDUWLFXODUO\KRVWLOHGXULQJWKH PLOLWDU\ GLFWDWRUVKLS EHWZHHQ  DQG 1983. Anti-Semitic attitudes and behavior KDYH EHHQ FRPPRQ LQ WKH PLOLWDU\ Âą DQG XQIRUWXQDWHO\LWZLOOOLNHO\FRQWLQXH Of all the incidents of anti-Semitism during the war, it is Silvio Katzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s case that LV WKH PRVW H[WUHPH 7KH DEXVH WKDW KH

30 YEARS LATER: Ex-soldier Silvio Katz today

suffered under Lieutenant Eduardo Flores $UGRLQR ZDV VR LQWHQVH WKDW KH ÂżOHG D ODZVXLW DJDLQVW KLP 7KH FDVH LV FXUUHQWO\ SHQGLQJUHVROXWLRQE\WKH6XSUHPH&RXUWRI Argentina. Âł(YHU\ GD\ ZH ZHUH RQ WKH LVODQG KH punished me for being a Jew,â&#x20AC;? said Katz. Âł+HIUR]HP\KDQGVDQGKHDGLQLFHZDWHU +HWKUHZP\IRRGLQVKLWDQGIRUFHGPHWR SLFNLWXSZLWKP\PRXWK+HWROGPHWKDW THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

HERNAN DOBRY

, ZDV JD\ WKDW DOO -HZV ZHUH ZLPSV DQG thousands of other insults. He gloated about ZKDWKHGLGDQGZDVKDSS\WRVHHPHVXIIHU He told me that he would have done the VDPHWRWKHRWKHUVLIWKH\KDGEHHQ-HZLVK too,â&#x20AC;? he said. 2QHFROGGD\)ORUHV$UGRLQRWLHG.DW]ÂśV KDQGV DQG IHHW WR IRXU VWDNHV GULYHQ LQWR WKH Ă&#x20AC;RRU DQG OHIW KLP WKHUH IRU KRXUV LQ temperatures several degrees below zero, 33


JEWISH WORLD wearing nothing but a shirt and underwear. Then he forced the other soldiers to urinate on Katz, and threatened that whoever UHIXVHGWRREH\ZRXOGEHWLHGWRWKHVWDNH QHDUO\QDNHGDQGLQWKHFROGDQGXULQDWHG on as well. Sigrid Kogan recalls that he would escape with fellow soldier Omar Morales to Port 6WDQOH\ WR EX\ IRRG ZLWK PRQH\ WKH\ UHFHLYHGIURPWKHLUSDUHQWV7KHDUP\GLGQÂśW SURYLGH IRRG IRU KLP EHFDXVH RI KLV UDQN On one such occasion, a captain discovered WKHP DQG LQIRUPHG WKHLU VXSHULRU RIÂżFHU Lieutenant Ricardo Ferrer.

Broken nose â&#x20AC;&#x153;When the lieutenant caught us, he told his DVVLVWDQWWREULQJKLPVRPHER[LQJJORYHV because we were going to have a match,â&#x20AC;? VD\V .RJDQ Âł+H KLW PH DQG KH VODSSHG Morales twice. He beat me up because Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a Jew. I fell and he hit me, I got up and he hit me again. He was more interested in beating up the Jew who escaped and went into town, and not the Catholic soldier. Before he started hitting me, he called the whole unit to show them how he abused me. It was about doing what he did to a -HZ,WZDVQÂśWDERXWPDNLQJDQH[DPSOHRI DVROGLHUZKRPLVEHKDYHGRUUDQDZD\EXW about showing what he could do to a Jew.â&#x20AC;? .RJDQ VD\V KH FRXOGQÂśW HDW DIWHUZDUGV because he was in so much pain. His nose ZDVEURNHQDQGKLVERG\DQGFORWKHVZHUH covered in blood. However, he chose to VWD\ LQ KLV WHQW UDWKHU WKDQ JRLQJ WR WKH hospital for fear of reprisals. Âł,ZDVLQEDGVKDSH´KHVD\VÂł,FRXOGQÂśW HDWWKHOLWWOHIRRGWKH\JDYHXVEHFDXVHP\ PRXWKZDVDPHVVDQG,FRXOGQÂśWFKHZ0\ QRVH QHYHU KHDOHG SURSHUO\ HLWKHU 7KDW QLJKW,ZDVVXSSRVHGWREHRQJXDUGGXW\ EXWWKHVWDIIVHUJHDQWH[FXVHGPHDQGWROG me to rest because I was in so much pain that I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t move.â&#x20AC;? 7KLV ZDV QRW .RJDQÂśV RQO\ H[SHULHQFH ZLWK DQWL6HPLWLVP LQ WKH DUP\ $W RWKHU times, he preferred to put up with the mistreatment instead of avoiding Ferrerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s LQVXOWVDQGDEXVHE\VD\LQJKHKDGWRVHHD GRFWRU,QWKHGLDU\WKDWKHNHSWDIWHUWKHZDU Kogan wrote: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Even when I was in pain, I avoided going to the hospital so I could JHW DZD\ IURP WKH OLHXWHQDQWÂśV IUHTXHQW FRPPHQWVDERXWWKHÂľIXFNLQJ-HZϫ Kogan recalls that the discrimination began even before the war. At the KHDGTXDUWHUV LQ %XHQRV $LUHV DQ RIÂżFHU RI DQRWKHU FRPSDQ\ ZHQW WKURXJK WKH OLVW 34

RI WURRSV VHOHFWHG WR JR WR 3RUW 6WDQOH\ and found Jewish soldiersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; names missing from the list. Kogan and another soldier, 'DULR(UWHOZHUHWROGWRWDNHWKHSODFHRI the non-Jewish soldiers who hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t showed XS.RJDQVD\VLWZDVFOHDUWKHGHFLVLRQZDV EDVHGVROHO\RQWKHLUUHOLJLRQ Âł7KH\ PDGH XV DOO VWDQG RQ WKH EHDFK

In their eyes, it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t possible to be simultaneously Jewish and Argentinian 7KH\EHJDQWRSXWWRJHWKHUDOLVWDQGWKH\ DVNHG Âľ7KH -HZV DUH QRW JRLQJ WR JR" :KRDUHWKH-HZV"(UWHO.RJDQVWHSRYHU KHUHÂś 7KH\ WROG PH Âľ:KHQ ZH FDOO RXW )HUQDQGH]VD\+HUHÂś6RWKDWÂśVKRZ,HQGHG up going to the Malvinas Islands. I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t RQ WKH RULJLQDO OLVW EXW , KDG WR WDNH WKH place of a Catholic soldier who didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t show up. Otherwise, I wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have gone.â&#x20AC;? During the Malvinas War, some RIÂżFHUV FODLPHG WKDW -HZLVK VROGLHUV ZHUH IRUHLJQHUV ,Q WKHLU H\HV LW ZDVQÂśW SRVVLEOH WR EH VLPXOWDQHRXVO\ -HZLVK DQG Argentinian. To the Argentine Jewish VROGLHUV ZKR SURXGO\ IRXJKW LQ WKH ZDU this was a nonsensical allegation. Âł7KHUH ZDV WKLV LVVXH DERXW LI \RX ZHUH RU ZHUHQÂśW $UJHQWLQH ,W ZDV OLNH LI \RX ZHUH -HZLVK WKHQ \RX FRXOGQÂśW EH $UJHQWLQH´ VD\V &ODXGLR 6]SLQ D YHWHUDQ ZKRZLWQHVVHGLW3DEOR0DFKDURZVNLZKR is also an Israeli citizen, recalls an incident. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A sergeant came up to me and said, Âľ+RZVWUDQJHWKDW\RXÂśUHD-HZDQG\RXÂśUH ÂżJKWLQJ KHUHÂś , WROG KLP Âľ,ÂśP $UJHQWLQH and it has nothing to do with whether or not Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m Jewish.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; The sergeant was amazed, OLNHLWZDVDWRWDOO\IRUHLJQFRQFHSW´VD\V 0DFKDURZVNL 0DUFHOR 1LVVLP (GGLÂśV H[SHULHQFH ZDV even worse. His unit was chosen to cross WRWKH0DOYLQDVIURPWKHFLW\RI&RPRGRUR 5LYDGDYLD LQ 3DWDJRQLD ZKHUH WKH\ ZHUH mobilized. Âł2QHGD\ZHZHUHDOOOLQHGXSDQGWKHÂżUVW lieutenant said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The mortar unit will cross to the Malvinas.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; I was pulled aside. This OLHXWHQDQW ZKR ZDV ZLWK XV KH ZDV OLNH Hitlerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s son. He was a Nazi and he dressed OLNH+LWOHUGRZQWRWKHJHOLQKLVKDLU â&#x20AC;&#x153;This man came up to me and said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m WDNLQJRQO\$UJHQWLQHVROGLHUVQRWD-HZÂś ,DQVZHUHGÂľ:HDUHDOOEUDYHOLNH\RXDQG THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

ÂżJKWLQJIRUWKHVDPHWKLQJÂś+HVDLGÂľ'RQÂśW WDONEDFNWRPH3ULYDWHÂś,VDLGÂľ:KDWZLOO \RXGR"$UH\RXJRLQJWRKLWPHWKURZPH LQMDLO"œ¾)XFNLQJ-HZÂśKHVKRXWHG´ In the end, Eddi traded places with another VROGLHUZLWKRXWWKHOLHXWHQDQWNQRZLQJ+H ODQGHG LQ WKH 0DOYLQDVRQ-XQHDZHHN before the war ended. The aggression was irrational and FRPSOHWHO\ EDVHOHVV Âł2QH GD\ 6HUJHDQW )ULQNR FDOOHG PH RYHU DQG WROG PH Âľ<RX NQRZ ZKDW" , KDWH -HZV :K\" , GRQÂśW NQRZEXW,KDWHWKHPÂś,GLGQÂśWVD\DQ\WKLQJ EHFDXVHWKHFRPPHQWWRRNPHE\VXUSULVH´ VD\V$GULDQ+DDVH In some cases, anti-Semitism was often rooted in misguided religious belief. Daniel .RFN]LDF ZKR VHUYHG DV D GRFWRU DW WKH 6WDQOH\ +RVSLWDO VD\V WKH FRUSRUDO ZKR ZRUNHGXQGHUKLPDVDQXUVHLQWKHKRVSLWDO blamed him and other Jewish soldiers for the death of Jesus. Âł2QH GD\ KH EHJDQ WR VD\ QDVW\ WKLQJV DERXW WKH -HZV WKDW WKH\ NLOOHG &KULVW , didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t answer, which made him angrier,â&#x20AC;? .RFN]LDF UHFDOOV +LV H[SHULHQFHV DUH GRFXPHQWHG LQ WKH ERRN 7HDUV RI ,FH E\ 1DWDVKD1LHELHVNLNZLDW During the war, Sergio Vainroj had WR ZLWKVWDQG WKH KDWUHG DQG HQY\ RI KLV VXSHULRU RIÂżFHU RQ VHYHUDO RFFDVLRQV Âł(YHU\VRRIWHQKHZRXOGFDOOPHDIXFNLQJ -HZDQGZKHQKHFRXOGKHJDYHPHH[WUD ZRUN)RUH[DPSOHKHZRXOGPDNHPHGLJD WUHQFKWKHQÂżOOLWDQGVWDUWRYHU7KHRWKHUV GLGQRWKDYHWRGRWKLV´VD\V9DLQURM This abuse continued as the war drew to a close. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was June, when the British ERPELQJ FDPSDLJQ ZDV DOUHDG\ ZHOO XQGHUZD\ , KDG UHFHLYHG D SDUFHO DQG WKH sergeant ordered me to bring it to him. He NHSWLWDQGVDLGÂľ)XFNLQJ-HZZK\LVLWWKDW \RX JRW D SDFNDJH DQG , JRW QRWKLQJ"Âś +H ZDVPHUFLOHVV,ZDWFKHGDVKHXQGLGKLVĂ&#x20AC;\ DQGVKRXWHGÂľ&RPHKHUHVXFNP\GLFNÂś

Overruled Then he tried to force himself on me, but I WXUQHG DZD\ $W WKDW YHU\ PRPHQW &ODXGLR Szpin came and saw what was happening and he tried to defend me. He stepped on the sergeantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s foot, shoved him and hit him.â&#x20AC;? ,QUHVSRQVHWKHVHUJHDQWWRRN6]SLQWRWKH FDSWDLQUHSRUWHGWKDW6]SLQKDGGHÂżHGRUGHUV DQG DVNHG WR VHQG KLP WR WKH IURQW OLQHV (YHQWXDOO\DVXSHULRURYHUUXOHGWKHVHUJHDQW DQGOHWKLPVWD\ 7KHJUHDWHVWSDUDGR[RIWKHZDULVWKDWDWWKH same time as Jewish soldiers were subjected to


LA SEMANA

ARMY SHABBAT: Rabbi Baruj Plavnick (fourth from right) conducts the first havdala ceremony ever performed in the Argentine army in the southern city of Comodoro Rivadavia, May 1982

routine anti-Semitism, Israel was Argentinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest supplier of weapons. The arms sales ZHUH FDUULHG RXW GHVSLWH WKH EORFNDGH WKDW Britain, Europe, the Commonwealth and the United States had imposed on Argentinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s UXOLQJ PLOLWDU\ MXQWD 6DOHV WRWDOHG QHDUO\  PLOOLRQ Âą HTXLYDOHQW WR  PLOOLRQ WRGD\ 3HUPLVVLRQZDVJLYHQLQSHUVRQE\3ULPH Minister Menachem Begin to go ahead with the sales after a cabinet meeting in late April 1982. The arms transfers were funneled via the Peruvian government, which purchased the weapons and sent them to Argentina. Israel VROGWKH$UJHQWLQHMXQWD0LUDJH,,,&ÂżJKWHU ERPEHUV UDGDU ZDUQLQJ V\VWHPV PLOLWDU\ SDUNDV DPPXQLWLRQ 6KDIULU PLVVLOHV DQG FRPPXQLFDWLRQVHTXLSPHQW ,Q WKH \HDUV LPPHGLDWHO\ IROORZLQJ WKH ZDU WKH YHWHUDQV ZHUH ODUJHO\ DEDQGRQHG DQG IRUJRWWHQ 7KH\ ZHUH LJQRUHG E\ successive governments and unrecognized

E\VRFLHW\ZKLFKOHGWRVLJQLÂżFDQWSUREOHPV The main Jewish institutions in Argentina LQUHLQWHJUDWLQJWKHPLQWRFLYLOVRFLHW\ZKHQ GLVSOD\HG WKH VDPH DWWLWXGH DQG JDYH WKH\UHWXUQHGWRWKHPDLQODQG little thought to the Jewish veterans. The HPRWLRQDO SDLQ DQG VWUHVV FDXVHG E\ WKH ODFNRIUHFRJQLWLRQLVDQRQJRLQJLVVXHDQG DVRXUFHRIJULHIIRUWKHYHWHUDQVXQWLOWRGD\ It took three decades ,W WRRN WKUHH GHFDGHV IRU WKH -HZLVK for the Jewish community FRPPXQLW\ WR SD\ WULEXWH WR WKHLU IHOORZ to pay tribute to -HZV7KHÂżUVWLQLWLDWLYHFDPHIURP%HLW(O V\QDJRJXHLQ%XHQRV$LUHVZKLFKKRQRUHG the Jewish soldiers WKHP LQ 0DUFK IROORZHG E\ WKH $UJHQWLQD Israel Mutual Association on April 19 Veterans were not allowed to collect state and the Delegation of Argentine Jewish SHQVLRQVXQWLO\HDUVDIWHUWKHZDUDQGLW Associations in June. ZDV QHDUO\  PRUH \HDUV XQWLO WKH\ ZHUH provided with counseling and mental health English translation by Elysse Zarek services. This large-scale denial has had WUHPHQGRXV FRQVHTXHQFHV Âą WR GDWH PRUH Los rabinos de Malvinas: La comunidad YHWHUDQVKDYHGLHGE\VXLFLGHWKDQIDWDOLWLHV judĂ­a argentina, la guerra del AtlĂĄntico in combat. Three decades later, their stories Sur y el antisemitismo (The Rabbis of RI DEXVH DQG QHJOHFW DUH RQO\ QRZ VWDUWLQJ the Malvinas: The Jewish Community in WRVXUIDFHDVWKH\EHJLQWRWDONDERXWWKHLU Argentina, the South Atlantic War and Anti-Semitism; Vergara; 329 pp) ZDUWLPHH[SHULHQFHV

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THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

35


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36

THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012


BUSINESS

Will Israel catch euro flu? Israel is watching with concern the financial crisis in Europe, its main export destination

Ziv Hellman Berlin

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MARKETPLACE Shlomo Maital

Be like Kahlon O

F THE 30 CABINET MINISTERS and nine deputy ministers, Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon KDVKDGRQHRIWKHPRVWEHQH¿FLDOHIIHFWVRQ the lives of ordinary Israelis. His policies have led to lower cell phone charges and soon, lower cable TV fees. He

also holds the Social Welfare Ministry, after Labor’s Isaac Herzog resigned when his party left the government. When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formed Israel’s 32nd government in 2009, he welded together a coalition of 69 Knesset 0HPEHUVIURP¿YHSDUWLHVLQFOXGLQJKLVRZQ Likud party. To do that, he gave the other four coalition parties many portfolios. Only scraps were left for Likud. He offered Kahlon the lowly Communications Ministry. Other politicians might have balked. As number six on the Likud Knesset list, Kahlon deserved better. But Kahlon’s UHVSRQVH ZDV ³&RPPXQLFDWLRQV LV ¿YH percent of Israel’s GDP, with over 30 billion shekels in revenues, I’ll take it!” Unlike almost all the other ministers, Kahlon, 52, has a business background. He built his own successful business importing car parts. Kahlon proves that politicians can take effective action that helps people make ends PHHW 7KH ¿UVW UXOH LV WR UHPHPEHU \RXU URRWV)URPKLV¿UVWGD\VLQWKH.QHVVHWLQ 2003, he set himself a clear goal: Make lowincome groups better off. It was a natural choice. Kahlon is the son of immigrants from Libya and grew up as one of seven children in Givat Olga, a low-income neighborhood, where he was table tennis champ. He knows his low-income constituents well because he was one of them. Former US

AVI KATZ

To be like Kahlon is to act, to smash the chains of cartels and bring the fresh winds of competition

market and elsewhere. Legislation he initiated has created three new virtual cellphone providers: Rami Levy Communications, HOT Mobile and Golan Telecom, which use the infrastructure of existing cellphone providers (Pelephone, Cellcom, and Orange) to offer cheaper service. Over 100,000 customers signed up with the new providers since they launched in May. Rates have plummeted by half, to 17 agorot (about 4 cents) a minute or less. To do this, Kahlon took on tycoons and lobbyists and defeated them. He’s now confronting the cable TV duopoly HOT and YES, creating a multi-channel platform to compete with them. Kahlon has also set in motion measures to reduce the price of cellphones by increasing the number of importers of smartphones so as to put an end to the situation in which he said buying a cellphone is as expensive “as purchasing an apartment.” Netanyahu has advised ministers to “be like Kahlon and ¿QGFUHDWLYHZD\VWRORZHUSULFHV´.DKORQ understands that the more competition there is, the better the service, the lower the prices and the better off consumers are. This is authentic capitalism. As social protesters regroup and reframe their demands, replacing monopolies with competition should be an important focus. In politics, there are abundant words, like the 324-page report of the Concentration Committee, the government-appointed panel charged with increasing competition. And then there are deeds, scarce as hen’s teeth. To be like Kahlon is to act, to smash the chains of cartels and bring the fresh winds of competition. I have heard Kahlon quietly touted as the next Finance Minister. If this happens, could he break the cozy banking oligopoly of Leumi, Hapoalim and Mizrahi Tefahot and reduce their obscene, costly commissions, by bringing in dynamic foreign banks? It’s a lovely dream.

President George W. Bush was once embarrassed because he could not tell a journalist how much a pound of tomatoes costs. Kahlon knows. Second, simplify and focus. “I will continue to work to lower the cost of living by strengthening competition,” he says. Kahlon has acted single-mindedly to bring down monopoly prices by fostering compe- The writer is senior research fellow, S. Neaman tition in the cell phone market, the cable TV Institute, Technion

‡

THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

39


INNOVATIONS

Roaming free

Seeing with sound

B

y using so-called sensory substitution devices (SSD), people born blind can be trained to ‘see’ or visualize everyday objects, according to a study conducted at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences and the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada. Dr. Amir Amedi told Israel21c.org that the team worked on the principle that it does not matter to the brain where its information comes from for it to create an image. Twenty people participated in the study, of which 11 were fully congenitally blind and nine were partially sighted. The participants performed location versus form identification tasks following a short training session on an SSD. Amedi said the focus of the study was the

ADAM GONN finds an Israeli company hoping to reduce the high cost of phone calls while traveling

40

FRPSDQLHV WU\LQJ WR ¿QG D JRRG VROXWLRQ that will enable them to tap a massive revenue stream. “It’s a huge area and there are so many things that can be done and are being done. It’s not all about how much do I pay per second, it’s about carriers, it’s about users, it’s about SIM cards, it’s about coverage and so many other factors,” says Shattenstein.

‡

Wireless TV made easy

W BU

DD Y

e are watching less and less TV on a traditional television, with other platforms taking over as content providers. One way is to watch shows on a mobile device like an iPhone or iPad, but to watch a specific channel, users until now had to download an app from that channel. However, now users only need to download the SianoTV app (http://www.siano-ms.com/ index.php/tvsolutions/

LL

SIANO

“We don’t need any agreements with cellular operators and we don’t need any integration with them,” says Dagan. Cell Buddy owns the new technology that has made the breakthrough possible. They KDYH ¿OHG WZR SDWHQWV DQG DUH SODQQLQJ others. Dagan says the solution is not just cheaper than regular roaming, it is better. The delays caused by latency are much reduced and the sound quality is normal. The company charges normal call rates and earns its revenue by purchasing virtual local numbers in bulk. The patent-pending technology is currently undergoing testing in the US, UK and other markets in a pilot due to end in late 2012. Harel Shattenstein, a technology blogger who specializes in the mobile market, tells The Jerusalem Report that the roaming cellphone business is huge. He says there are a number of Israeli

CE

I

SRAELI START-UP CELL BUDDY (www.cell-buddy.com) promises international travelers “seamless” cellphone roaming at local call rates. “We have solved the roaming problem,” says CEO Yossi Dagan, promising to eliminate the high costs of cellphone roaming. &HOO%XGG\RIIHUVDKROVWHUWKDW¿WVVQXJO\ around your smart phone and contains its own SIM card that transforms your device when abroad into a local phone with a virtual local network SIM. You retain you own number and caller ID. “We send you this device for the iPhone. You put your SIM card inside, close it and you are done,” Dagan says. ”We take a local SIM card, we put it on our server and connect it to your phone so it becomes a local phone,” he says. Inside the holster there is a small modem powered by your phone. It connects to the local cellular network and creates a data channel from the phone to the company’s server. “The moment you arrive at your destination, we identify your location and via this data channel we connect the local SIM card to your phone. Your phone becomes a local phone in that country,” says Dagan. The result is a solution that costs the user no more than a local call, eliminating skyhigh roaming charges that are one of the banes of modern travel. But that is not all. Cell Buddy has created a system that enables users to keep their original number and caller ID for incoming and outgoing calls, as well as text messages. People who connect via your phone have no idea you are abroad.

GOING CHEAP: The Cell Buddy holster fits around your smart phone and contains a modem that enables low-cost calls while roaming abroad without the need to change your number or caller ID THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

dependence on visual experience in shaping the fundamental division of labor in vision between the ventral “what” and the dorsal “where and how” processing streams of the brain. One SSD used in the study was a miniature video camera placed on a pair of sunglasses that transforms light signals into a virtual sound image that activates the cortex of the user, who listens via headphone connected to a laptop or smart phone. The participants in the study also used a cane developed by Amedi, which measures the distance to objects and their height by sending a focused beam towards surrounding objects and vibrates at different strengths to indicate their distance from the user. A.G.

carmel). Together with a small plug-in called Carmel, the app will allow users to watch live digital TV. The plug-in can be purchased in the stores of one of Israel’s leading cellphone providers. The app has a 2GB time shift buffer that allows the user do perform all the usual video functions, such as pausing or recording a program. The user can check what programs are screening with an electronic programming, guide that supports up to seven days of TV programming depending on the user’s location. It also enables the user to see what is being broadcast in other countries and record those programs as well. Siano has already launched similar apps and devices in Europe and Japan. The Carmel is the first plug-in sold under Siano’s own name. The company aims to release an app for Androids in the near future. A.G.

DIGITAL IN YOUR POCKET: SianoTV makes it simple to watch TV on mobile devices

THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

41


AVI KATZ

BOOKS

The dynamic Bible Judy Klitsnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book on the Bible calls for questioning assumptions and openness to revising conclusions Mordechai Beck

T

HE HEBREW BIBLE IS A multifaceted, many-layered book, which contains not only dramatic narratives but also sequels that act as a comment on, and often a reworking of, the original story. It is almost as if the Bible is telling us that

42

the original story could have been different. This, anyway, is the thesis of Judy Klitsner, a teacher at Jerusalemâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies. Subversive Sequels in the Bible, a 2009 US National Jewish Book Award winner, analyzes story couples, taking the second story as a sequel to, and development RIWKHÂżUVW([DPSOHVLQFOXGH1RDKDQG-RTHE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

nah, the Tower of Babel and the midwives of Egypt, Melchizedek and Jethro, Eve and Sarah. .OLWVQHUH[DPLQHVWKHOLWHUDU\DQGWKHRORJical dimensions of their narratives in impressive style to see where they differ and where they are similar. According to Klitsnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s thesis, Biblical stories tend to treat similar situa-


tions differently as the generations pass. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The dynamic movement within the Bible is central to my philosophy of the Bible and of Judaism as a whole,â&#x20AC;? she tells The Jerusalem Report. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If the Bible goes out of its way to question its own assumptions and to reverse its own conclusions, that is a powerful message to its readers, namely that we are meant to change and grow, to react to changing cirFXPVWDQFHZLWKWKHZLVGRPRISULRUH[SHULence.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;I believe that the Bibleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dynamic nature serves as a model for Jewish law, which is intended to address pragmatic and moral concerns in constantly changing historical FLUFXPVWDQFHV,ÂżQGLWHQRUPRXVO\IUXVWUDWing that our practitioners of halakha have not lived up to their mandate to interpret the law in line with modernity, but I am comforted E\WKHEHOLHIWKDWWKHPRGHOH[LVWVLQWKH%LEOH and in the mechanisms of the Oral Law. The pairs of stories I have chosen in my book all UHĂ&#x20AC;HFWIRUZDUGPRWLRQRQWKHSDUWRILWVFKDUacters, and I believe this potential is what our IRXQGDWLRQDOWH[WVDUHWU\LQJWRFRQYH\,WLV our job as astute readers to take notice.â&#x20AC;?

Feminists

.OLWVQHU FRPHV IURP D PRGHUQ 2UWKRGR[ background: she grew up in Pennsylvania with her parents and two sisters. Because her father suffered from a debilitating illness, the women of the family conducted all the houseKROGULWXDOV7KLVPDGHIRUGLIÂżFXOWLHVZKHQ she attended a more religiously strict Beis Yaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;acov high school. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I heard many negative comments about the â&#x20AC;&#x153;feministsâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; those women of questionable motives who took on Jewish ritual for reasons other than the sake of heaven. These DWWLWXGHVZHUHDWRGGVZLWKP\KRPHH[SHULences and caused a confusing sense of cognitive dissonance within me, which remained for many years.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;But I believe that any thinking person â&#x20AC;&#x201C; no matter how religious â&#x20AC;&#x201C; goes through many incarnations, much questioning and developing before arriving at a philosophical resting place. As long as I live, I will attempt to evolve religiously. My book calls for regular questioning of assumptions and openness to revising conclusions. We all live with subversive sequels of many sorts.â&#x20AC;? Klitsner made aliya in 1979 and lives with her husband and family in Jerusalem. She credits both her teachers and her students with encouraging and enriching her ideas, readily acknowledging a particular debt to the late Bible scholar Professor Nehama Leibowitz.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nehama gave me a foundation for systematic Bible study that lies at the core of all of my learning and all of my teaching,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In addition, she taught me that a passion for the material and a good sense of humor are unparalleled tools for a teacher to possess in motivating students to engage with WKHELEOLFDOWH[W´ Students at Pardes tend not to have much prior knowledge of Judaism, but Klitsner ÂżQGVWKDWWKH%LEOLFDOWH[WVDUHDQXQIDLOLQJ and dynamic source of inspiration. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Despite SHRSOHÂśVOLPLWHGH[SHULHQFHZLWKFODVVLF-HZLVK WH[WV DQG GHVSLWH WKHLU ODFN RI +HEUHZ VNLOOVZKHQSODFHGGLUHFWO\LQIURQWRIDWH[W â&#x20AC;&#x201C; even in translation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; they will invariably

Our practitioners of halakha have not lived up to their mandate to interpret the law in line with modernity intuit the outstanding issues and problems UDLVHGE\WKHWH[WDVZHOODVPRVWRIWKHUHsponses offered by commentators throughout the centuries,â&#x20AC;? notes their proud teacher. One of the themes of Subversive Sequels in the Bible is the radical change that the image of women undergoes. From being fairly SDVVLYHDWÂżUVWZRPHQDVVXPHJUHDWHUGRPLnance as time goes on. Klitsner describes Hannah as the epitome of many of the women in the Bible, and that she (with Elkanah her husband) overturn many of the earlier accounts of women and couples in the Bible. This is possible because â&#x20AC;&#x153;God, too, has embarked on a series of reversals since the Garden of Eden.â&#x20AC;? In our interview, Klitsner regrets that the UHDOLW\RIWKHWH[WKDVQRWLQĂ&#x20AC;XHQFHGUHOLJLRXV education. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Biblical woman is still presented in monolithic terms â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a silent enabler, content to occupy the background of events, seeking PRWKHUKRRGDVDVROHIRUPRIVHOIH[SUHVVLRQ â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and that monolith is presented as a model for emulation. In addition to being an affront to modern women, this approach is an affront to the Bible and its multifaceted portrayal of woman.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the end result,â&#x20AC;? she adds, â&#x20AC;&#x153;biblical womDQ LV DV FDSDEOH DQG DV FRPSOH[ DV ELEOLFDO man.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;In my chapters about women, I have attempted to demonstrate Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s changing responses to women, granting them greater equality and greater access to the divine. I THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

XQGHUVWDQG WKHVH FKDQJHV WR UHĂ&#x20AC;HFW QRWKLQJ less than a call to humanity to do the same.â&#x20AC;? 7KLV G\QDPLF YLHZ RI WKH %LEOH H[WHQGV to God. Klitsner is careful to distinguish between the biblical character of God and â&#x20AC;&#x153;the transcendent God, whose essence we cannot know.â&#x20AC;? But she notes that the Torah, which speaks in human language, â&#x20AC;&#x153;translates the character of God into human terms that the human reader can comprehend and seek to emulate.â&#x20AC;? And the Bible does depict God as changing in response to circumstance. Before the Flood, God declares that human nature is inherently evil: therefore humanity must perish. After the Flood, God has not changed His view of human nature, but He has changed His mind about humanity: it will never be entirely wiped out. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What is the point of the Bibleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s depiction of God as changing?â&#x20AC;? asks Klitsner. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One could view the change as weakness, or conversely, as a model of great strength; this God is worthy of emulation. For me, Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s changing character provides one of the Bibleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most potent messages, that we are called upon to emulate God â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not only in Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mercy, but in Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dynamic response to a changing reality.â&#x20AC;? And even her own readings are subject to constant change, to her wonder and delight. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the 101st time you read [the biblical WH[W@WKDW\RXVXGGHQO\VHHVRPHWKLQJWKHUH that wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t there before. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the power of the Bible.â&#x20AC;?

Â&#x2021;

Subversive Sequels in the Bible: How Biblical Stories Mine and Undermine Each Other By Judy Klitsner Koren Publishers 224 pages; $16.95 43


BOOKS

Dream into nightmare Nadine Gordimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s deeply engaging and important new novel about the new South Africa Matt Nesvisky

F

OR WELL OVER HALF A century the South African novelist Nadine Gordimer chronicled the struggle against apartheid. In doing so she won international renown, culminating in the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991. Three years later apartheid ended and South Africa embarked on black majority rule. Since then, the nation at the tip of the African continent has not much troubled the consciousness of many outside observers, even those for whom apartheid had long been a matter of genuine concern. What else was there to write about? Plenty, as it turns out. As Gordimer handily demonstrates in her 15th novel, No Time Like the Present, it may even be said that at WKHUHPDUNDEOHDJHRIWKHZULWHULVÂżUHGXS over a whole new subject, namely the struggle after The Struggle. Gordimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s central characters are an emEOHPDWLF PL[HGUDFH PDUULHG FRXSOH 6WHYH Reed is the son of a Jewish mother and a Christian father, Jabulile, the daughter of a black Methodist minister and educator. The pair met back when they were comrades in the African National Congressâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s guerrilla war against the white regime. He was a chemist and bomb maker, she a teacher. Together they survived a fugitive H[LVWHQFH GHSULYDWLRQ GHWHQWLRQ DQG H[LOH 6XFKH[SHULHQFHV\LHOGHGXQVKDNDEOHERQGV Today they are a deeply loving and trusting couple. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s now a chemistry professor, she a lawyer. They live in a modest, racially in-

44

RADU SIGHETI / REUTERS

AFTER THE STRUGGLE: Nadine Gordimer

tegrated suburban neighborhood. They have two bright and lively children â&#x20AC;&#x201C; living embodiments of the new South Africa. Yet all is far from well for the Reeds and their new nation. Gordimer piles on the conĂ&#x20AC;LFWV DQG FRQFHUQV OLNH VR PDQ\ UHOHQWOHVV body blows. These begin with the personal and the domestic: Send the children to a PL[HGUDFHEXWSULYLOHJHGSULYDWHVFKRRORU to a vastly inferior but more politically correct public school? How to relate to a black

Gordimer piles on the conflicts and oncerns like so many relentless body blows nanny who happens to be Jabulileâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s distant relative? How to behave at the bar mitzva of Steveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nephew? And then the national: How to view Jacob Zuma, the president of South Africa who is widely suspected of political corruption and VH[XDOFULPHV":KDWWRGRDERXWWKHXQHPTHE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

ployment rate of 25 percent? The government ministers driving Mercedes, the millions living without electricity or running water? What about the starving refugees â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as many as 10 million â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from Zimbabwe, Somalia and elsewhere? The students who are admitted to university unprepared and who JUDGXDWH XQTXDOLÂżHG" 7KH EODFN HPSRZHUment program that has yielded mismanagement, kickbacks, nepotism, favoritism? The rampant crime, the car-jackings, the home invasions? The AIDS epidemic that the government essentially denies? The constant labor turmoil that spells uncollected garbage, power outages, disruptions in public transportation? The bloated military budget, the arms deals and the attendant corruption? With little evidence that things will improve, the Reeds begin to wonder what kind of society they have doomed their children to inherit. Slowly a solution emerges: emigration. But this is a heartbreaking notion. This is, after all, a couple who gambled all and suffered for their ideals â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a free, democratic, majority-ruled South Africa. Quitting the country is an admission that all they had


lived for was, at least for them, for naught. To realize a dream only to have it turn into a nightmare is soul-shattering, no matter how rationally one calculates oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s options. We live in an age of what is probably unprecedented migrations, but there is nothing routine about forsaking oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s homeland and adopting â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or attempting to adopt â&#x20AC;&#x201C; another. Gordimer details every aspect of the anticipated move with the triumphant novelistic imagination for which she has long been admired: the reaction of the coupleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s children, the grudging support and understanding of the coupleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s close friends and former underground comrades, the career challenges for the professor and the lawyer, and not least, the responses of the Reedsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; parents and relatives. Especially interesting is the view of Jabulileâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s father, a not especially well-realized character who nonetheless takes the attitude that since he had always encouraged his daughter to commit herself fully to selfrealization, he must now support her in this latest, albeit personally painful, endeavor. As for Steveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family, well, yes, the South African brain drain is a fact of life. Israel? No one seriously considers that option. Australia

seems the perfectly logical Promised Land. All of this makes No Time Like the Present a compelling and unusually thought-provoking novel that I would heartily recommend EXWIRULWVGHÂżDQWO\RIISXWWLQJSURVHVW\OH, hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t read Gordimer for a good while, but I certainly recalled nothing in her earlier ZRUNOLNHWKHEL]DUUHO\LGLRV\QFUDWLFV\QWD[ evident in every paragraph here. Sentences run on and fold back on themselves, or are choppy and fragmented, or feature unconventional punctuation or lack thereof. Pronouns more often than not fail to signal the nouns for which they stand in. Time after time I found myself rereading sentences, a laborious and occasionally unUHZDUGLQJ H[HUFLVH ([DPSOHV Âł:KDW WKH reasons could be, and these were with them in the times of silence which keep the balance of living together in the tenderly joyous interpenetration of love-making, and the need to be a self. Whatever that identity may be, or in the process of becoming.â&#x20AC;? Or: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t he be called from the garGHQDQGIUXLWER[ZLFNHWKHDQG1MDEXORDUH teaching Wethuâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s protĂŠgĂŠ to play cricket, the game popular at their school where bats are also weapons for another kind of initiation,

shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t their boy have a say.â&#x20AC;? Four hundred and twenty-one pages of such stylistic quirks hardly enhance what is otherwise a deeply engaging and important novel.

Â&#x2021;

No Time Like the Present By Nadine Gordimer Farrar, Straus and Giroux 421 pages; $27

Optimistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s despair Ralph Amelan

I

F ANYTHING WAS NEEDED TO FRQÂżUPWKDW,VUDHOLVDUHZLVHWRUHOHJDWH their long-running dispute with the Palestinians to a poor third in their list of concerns, behind the Iranian nuclear threat and social justice, this book is it. Professor Asher Susser, former director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle East Studies at Tel Aviv University and VWLOO D VHQLRU IHOORZ WKHUH GLUHFWV KLV ÂżUH and ire against the fashion in some academic quarters to have Israelis and PalesWLQLDQVFRH[LVWLQDVLQJOHVWDWH+HKDVQR trouble in demolishing their case, showing how both peoples, as well as the Jordanians, regard a two-state solution as being in their essential interests. This solution has been stymied mostly by the Palestinian refusal to compromise

on their demand to resettle large numbers of Palestinian refugees within Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1948 borders, even while Israel offers proposals based on treating those borders as a basis IRU D ÂżQDO ERUGHU $ YLROHQFHSXQFWXDWHG stalemate has been the result: an attempt to impose a single-state solution on both sides would just lead to violence. Susserâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s analysis, a useful, tough-minded, and comprehensive summary of the tangled relations between Israelis and Palestinians, offers no way out for an optimist. All Israel can do, he suggests, is to disengage, avoid friction, and settle for small changes in the hope that this will improve the climate. Something just may turn up: the wisdom of Charles Dickensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eternal optimist Mr. Micawber could triumph. To this, the peace process has come.

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THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

ISRAEL, JORDAN, & PALESTINE: The Two-State Imperative By Asher Susser Brandeis University Press 297 pages; $29.95 45


VIEWPOINT Vic Alhadeff

Remember Munich Y AEL ARAD, THE FIRST ISRAELI TO WIN AN Olympic medal, once told me something that encapsulates the deep and complex feelings behind the campaign to hold a minuteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s silence at the ceremony opening the London Olympics in July.

As an integral part of their preparations for every Olympics, the 1992 Judo bronze medalist said, the members of Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team meet with the families of the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 games in Munich. Comprehending why they do that is to begin to understand the fraught overlay of politics and prejudice, which not only colors WKH,VUDHOLFRQGLWLRQEXWFRQWLQXHVWUDJLFDOO\WRGHÂżQHLW It is to grasp that when an athlete steps onto the track with the Star of David on his vest, he is doing more than striving to win a medal. That is the untrammeled goal of athletes from other nations. Nations untroubled by politics, terrorism or threats. Alongside the Israeliâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pursuit of success is the reality that he LV UHDIÂżUPLQJ KLV FRXQWU\ÂśV ULJKW WR WDNH LWV SODFH DPRQJ WKH family of nations. Against a backdrop of mounting campaigns to boycott all things Israeli, this implicit assertion is more important than ever. It stands against a sporting history, which has seen, for example: Â&#x2021;,VUDHOL<XYDO:LVFKQLW]HUMHHUHGE\5XVVLDQVDWWKH World University Games in Moscow a year after Munich; Â&#x2021;&KLQHVHVLOYHUDQGEURQ]HPHGDOZLQQHUVDWWKH$VLDQ Games in Tehran refusing to shake hands with the gold medalist Esther Roth-Shachamorov, a member of Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team in Munich; Â&#x2021; ,UDQLDQV UHIXVLQJ WR FRPSHWH DJDLQVW ,VUDHOLV DW WKH  DQG  2O\PSLFV DQG DQ $OJHULDQ ND\DNHU VWRS SDGGOLQJ at the World Cup in Germany last month because Israel was competing. An Israeli athlete enters the arena in the knowledge that 11 teammates were murdered for no reason other than that they UHSUHVHQWHGWKH-HZLVK6WDWHWKDWKHLVUXQQLQJWKHLUXQÂżQLVKHG race; and that he carries the history of a people who have experienced the worst that mankind is capable of. ,Q   \HDUV DIWHU WKH WHUURULVW PDVVDFUH ,VUDHOLV DJDLQ competed in Munichâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Olympic Stadium. The experience at the European Athletics Championships was an emotional kaleido46

AVI KATZ

Just say that 11 members of the Olympic family were murdered and should be remembered

scope. The honor of representing their country against Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ÂżQHVWZDVWHPSHUHGE\SURIRXQGDZDUHQHVVWKDWWKH\ZHUHFRPpeting at the venue where their fellow athletes were murdered. ,VUDHOLSROHYDXOWHU$OH[$YHUEXNKZRQDJROGPHGDOWKHÂżUVW time in the history of the competition that an Israeli had won gold. The medal ceremony was held late in the day and a packed VWDGLXP RI  *HUPDQ VSHFWDWRUV VWD\HG WR ZDWFK ,Q D rousing gesture, they rose as one to salute a visibly emotional Averbukh as the Israeli anthem played. ,Q 0D\ &DQDGDÂśV +RXVH RI &RPPRQV EHFDPH WKH ÂżUVW SDUliament to unanimously call for a minuteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s silence at the London Olympics in memory of the 11. Australian leaders, including Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, British MPs, the Greater London Assembly as well as US congressmen and women have also supported the call. $W WKH  :LQWHU 2O\PSLFV RSHQLQJ FHUHPRQ\ LQ Vancouver, a minuteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s silence was held to honor Georgian Nodar Kumaritashvili, killed in a luge sled training accident that day. International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge, who continues to reject the request for a minuteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s silence LQ/RQGRQRIÂżFLDWHG Ankie Spitzer, wife of fencing coach Andre Spitzer, one of the SOHDGVÂł<RXGRQÂśWKDYHWRVD\WKH\ZHUH,VUDHOLRU-HZLVK Just say that 11 members of the Olympic family were murdered and should be remembered.â&#x20AC;? Civilized society demands no less.

Â&#x2021;

9LF$OKDGHIILVFKLHIH[HFXWLYHRIÂżFHURIWKH16:-HZLVK%RDUGRI'HSXWLHV LQ6\GQH\$XVWUDOLD

THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012


VIEWPOINT Gilad Kariv

A time for reform T HE GOVERNMENTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S RECENT DECISION TO FUND 5HIRUP DQG &RQVHUYDWLYH UDEELV LV D VLJQLÂżFDQW VWHS IRUward on the road to equality for the different streams of Judaism in Israel. The Orthodox rabbinical establishment has habitually dismissed the Reform and Conservative movements as

irrelevant. They argue that the Israeli public is not interested in what the non-Orthodox have to offer. But if non-orthodoxy is so marginal in Israel, why were the Orthodox so aggravated by the government decision? And why DUHWKH\ÂżJKWLQJLWWRRWKDQGQDLO" This was the key question put to their representatives after the government decision. Their answers were predictable: An outpouring of self-serving rationalization laced with hatred, demagoguery and total ignorance of the thinking and activities of non-Orthodox communities in Israel and the Diaspora. But the angry tone showed that the rabbinical establishment does in fact understand that the days when they could simply dismiss the nonOrthodox movements in Israel are over. They realize that the persistent activities of the Reform and Conservative movements in Israel are slowly eroding the Orthodox monopoly over religion and the rabbinical establishmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s claimed hegemony over Israeli-Jewish identity. 7KHVLJQLÂżFDQWJURZWKRYHUWKHSDVWIHZGHFDGHVLQWKHDUUD\ of cultural, social and ideological choices open to Israelis did not skip over the question of Jewish identity. Indeed, the clear dichotomy between absolute secularism and Orthodox religiosity, ZKLFK ZDV SDUW RI WKH ,VUDHOL '1$ IRU \HDUV QR ORQJHU ÂżWV WKH Israeli mindset. More and more Israelis are seeking something more nuanced and are ready to embrace a more complex mosaic of identities. The ultra-Orthodox seizure of the rabbinic establishment in Israel and the retreat of national religious Zionism to the hills of -XGHDDQG6DPDULDLQWHQVLÂżHGWKLVSURFHVV Many Israelis now see the Orthodox rabbinical establishment as completely alien to their lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experience. Many see it as a corrupt institution, which perpetuates itself through political blackmail and cynical exploitation of the democratic game. Given this state of affairs, recent Supreme Court rulings on matters of state and religion and the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recognition of nonOrthodox rabbis are not pioneering moves ahead of their time, but rather a faithful expression of the feelings of most Israelis. 7KH\UHĂ&#x20AC;HFWDGHHSFKDQJHWKDWKDVWDNHQSODFHLQWKHSRVLWLRQRI

AVI KATZ

The time for the Orthodox monopoly in Israel is running out

the non-Orthodox movements in the social fabric of Israeli life. A major study conducted by the Jerusalem-based Guttman Center for Surveys â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A Portrait of Israeli Jews: Beliefs, Observance, and 9DOXHVRI,VUDHOL-HZVÂąEHDUVWKLVRXW The results of this intensive research project, conducted for the ,VUDHO'HPRFUDF\,QVWLWXWHDQGWKH$YL&KDL)RXQGDWLRQDQGÂżUVW SUHVHQWHGLQ-DQXDU\VKRZWKDWSHUFHQWRI,VUDHOL-HZLVK FLWL]HQV GHÂżQH WKHPVHOYHV DV 5HIRUP RU &RQVHUYDWLYH DQG WKDW RYHUSHUFHQWKDGWDNHQSDUWLQD5HIRUPRU&RQVHUYDWLYHHYHQW ,QWHUHVWLQJO\ RQO\  SHUFHQW RI ,VUDHOL -HZV GHÂżQHG WKHPVHOYHV as ultra-Orthodox. Roughly half those polled favored accepting non-Orthodox conversions and 61 percent said the Reform and Conservative movements should have a status equal to the Orthodox in Israel. Despite the best efforts of rabbinical establishment spokesmen to demonstrate scorn for the activities of the non-Orthodox movements, their palpable anger at the recognition accorded by the state to Reform and Conservative rabbis suggests that these numbers are well-known to them. As is the inevitable conclusion: That time for the Orthodox monopoly in Israel is running out.

Â&#x2021;

5HIRUP5DEEL*LODG.DULYLVH[HFXWLYHGLUHFWRURIWKH0RYHPHQWIRU3URJUHVVLYH-XGDLVPLQ,VUDHO

THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012

47


DAVID BLUMENFELD

MyJerusalem Emad Abu Ali Ein Lavan Spring

T

he natural spring of Ein Lavan is my favorite place. I was born near here in the village of Walajeh and my family used to own all of this land. When I was little, I would come here with my family to swim and to play in the water. I also used to bring my goats here to graze. These days, I bring my five children here to play and have fun. Sometimes we barbecue here. I like to come with them, but I also like to come alone. I still come here every weekend. I like the calm here, to sit and forget all of my problems. I feel like my spirit can rest here. In the spring, I love to see the green on the trees.

48

In the 1948 war, everyone in the village of Walajeh fled, and Israel took over the village. Today Walajeh is a Palestinian village that is divided between Jerusalem and the West Bank. I don’t have Israeli citizenship so I’m not really supposed to go to Ein Lavan, but I go anyway. Sometimes the police tell me to go away, but some of the police know me and they let me stay. Now Israel is building the security fence around Walajeh and the residents are protesting against it. If that happens, I won’t be able to go to Ein Lavan and that would make me very sad.

THE JERUSALEM REPORT JULY 16, 2012


The Jerusalem Report