Stories from Quick Reads and Israel
The Two Project has just launched, a collaboration between Israeli Jews and Arabs to connect their cultures through the language of poetry. Hebrew and Arabic are both official languages of Israel. Six years in the making, the project is an offshoot of a recently published book, Two: A Bilingual Anthology (link is in Hebrew).
This site is a part of the Two Project: a bilingual cultural project focusing on the literature and poetry of youth. Its aim is to create a convergence of dialogue between the two vibrant cultures of Israel, in Arabic and Hebrew. [The project presents] a new generation of writers and readers, who because of language barriers, culture, politics, and physical boundaries are not familiar with what goes on in the modern literary scene of their neighbors.
Anat Niv, editor-in-chief of Keter Publishing, who is responsible for the anthology, remarks:
The very fact that you are holding a book and reading it in Hebrew, with a text in Arabic script on the facing page, or vice versa, is a very powerful experience. Even if you don’t read Arabic, when reading this book you can no longer remain oblivious to the fact that this is a place where people live and create in two languages.
Palestinian Sayel tweets to his 1,800 plus followers on Twitter the following photograph of Gazans planting flowers in Israeli shells. He notes:
— صايل (@Falestinianism) July 26, 2014
Today is Day 19 of an Israeli offensive on the Palestinian enclave, which has claimed the lives of at least 1,000 Palestinians and injured 6,000 others.
CrowdVoice, a user-powered service that tracks voices of protest from around the world, lists a timeline of Israeli air attacks on Gaza in 2014. Here's an excerpt from their “explore the backstory” section:
A series of abductions and murders has inflamed age-old tensions and sparked armed unrest in Gaza. It began on May 15, 2014, when two Palestinian youths were shot dead during clashes with Israeli security forces during a demonstration in the West Bank. Outrage grew when video footage of the killings emerged, showing that the unarmed teens were shot with live ammunition, despite Israeli assertions that only non-lethal munitions were used against protesters. Later, on June 12, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped as they hitchhiked home from the West Bank. An Israeli military operation was launched to find the missing teens, and on June 30, their bodies were recovered. The government of Israel has blamed Hamas for the murders, and vowed swift retaliation. Hamas praised the kidnapping, but did not claim responsibility. In an apparent act of retribution, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, aged 16, was abducted near his home on his way to morning prayers and burned alive. Israeli authorities have arrested six people in connection with the teen's death. Tensions from the murders have boiled over into indiscriminate Palestinian rocket attacks into Israeli territory, and relentless aerial bombardment of Gaza.
More than 100 Palestinians, many of whom were women and children, were killed since Israel launched Operation Defense Edge against Gaza last week
At +972, Michael Omer-Man lists their names in this post entitled “Nobody should be a number: Names of those killed in Gaza.”
No Israelis have been killed in the operation. Teju Cole comments:
A hundred have died, on one side.
— Teju Cole (@tejucole) July 11, 2014
In a video released in July 2011, Israeli Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon offered his version of the “Israel Palestinian Conflict: The Truth About the West Bank”. In the video he explained the meaning of terms such as Palestine, the West Bank and the Occupied Territories based on the official Israeli narrative that denies the existence of Palestine. In response, on November 6, 2013, two Palestinian young women react to Ayalon with historic facts and sources, from Herodote and Aristotle to Ariel Sharon´s birth certificate that identifies him as born in Palestine.
Israeli blogger Elizabeth Tsurkov challenges the IDF to make an English version of a video it had released in Hebrew, which she describes as “glorifying air bombings of Gaza.”
— Elizabeth Tsurkov (@Elizrael) August 17, 2014
At least 1,900 Palestinians have been killed, more than 10,000 injured, and 450,000 displaced since Israel launched a massive offensive called Protective Edge against the 40-kilometer-long coastal strip on July 8.
From outer space, astronaut Alexander Gerst watches as Gaza erupts in flames. He tweets:
— Alexander Gerst (@Astro_Alex) July 23, 2014
This photograph has been retweeted 33K times so far.
Palestinian Al Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, unveiled three models of unmanned drones today, which it said it flew into Israeli skies.
Journalist Dima Khatib tweets:
— Dima Khatib أنا ديمة (@Dima_Khatib) July 14, 2014
The drones, made in Palestine, are called Ababil – after a type of birds mentioned in the Holy Quran, which protected Mecca during a war with Yemen in the year 571.
Gaza-based blogger Jehan Alfarra exclaims:
— Jehan Alfarra (@palinoia) July 14, 2014
What happens when a Palestinian is “discovered” on a train in Israel? They send him back home with the message, “Go to your people and tell them that we want peace.” Read Hamze Awawde's inspiring account here.