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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 12, 2009 / 25 Mar-Cheshvan 5770

Israel's Arabs — A Cinematic Voice

By Richard Z. Chesnoff





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Few whirls of the Mideast maelstrom are more confusing than Israel's Arab population - those 1.7 million urban and rural Arabs whose forebears wisely chose to remain in the newborn State of Israel rather than flee and become Palestinian refugees.

Today, Israeli Arabs (or "Palestinian Israelis" as some now modishly call themselves) comprise more than 20 per cent of the Jewish state's overall population. Muslims, Christians, Druze and Bedouin - they are Israel's largest and fastest growing minority.

They are also arguably the luckiest Arabs in the Middle East. Citizens of the region's only functioning democracy, they enjoy the same legal rights as their Jewish compatriots. They vote, have Israeli Arab members of the Israeli parliament, Israeli Arab judges, Israeli Arab diplomats, Israeli Arab writers and entertainers, Israeli Arab lawyers, teachers, scientists, industrialists and doctors - notably women as well as men.

What's more, Israeli Arab standards of living have risen with Israel's burgeoning economy. Once dusty villages now boast paved roads, parks and sewer systems, multiple car families, fancy villas and shopping centers. Israeli Arabs take advantage of their nation's first rate health system; their sons and daughters attend its best schools and universities.

The other side of this brightly shining coin is a long history of mutual suspicion and occasional outright discrimination - some perceived, some very real. Israeli Arab villages, for example, have historically received a far lower per capita share of government budgets than Jewish ones do - except at election time when Israeli politicians would rather layout more shekels than risk losing the votes of the Arab electorate.

Still, the biggest conundrum facing Israeli Arabs is self identity. Who are they? And what are they? They're not sure.

"We are Arab, Palestinian - but our mentaliyut [Hebrew for mentality] is Israeli," notes one Israeli-Arab intellectual. " We are caught in the middle. We are not fully accepted by either side".

True or not, national schizophrenia has become an obsession for the Israeli Arab community - and to the benefit of Israeli cinema, the subject matter of a growing number of increasingly fine films, many of them in-tandem efforts by Arab and Jewish film-makers and actors.

It is these productions that are the focus of one of New York's newest and most provocative annual happenings: The Other Israel Film Festival which opens its third season on November 12 at Manhattan's Jewish Community Center. This year's premiere screening: director Keren Yedaya's "Jaffa", a moving Romeo and Juliet tale of a Jewish girl who falls in love with a young Arab mechanic employed at her father's garage.

The "Other Festival" is the brain child of Carole Zabar, the activist wife of one of the scions of New York's most famous fine foods family. Herself the daughter of a "devoted Communist", the ebullient Mme. Zabar says she herself "converted to Zionism" in her late teens, actually went to study and live in Israel, then abandoned the Holy Land, she says facetiously, "because there were too many Jews there".

A predilection for Upper West Side liberal causes ultimately led her to undertake (and underwrite) The Other Israel Film Festival. "It was my way of showing people the culture and the problems facing Israeli Arabs," she says. "We needed dialolgue. Their voices just had to be heard".

And they are in the films - sometimes with touching family tales, sometimes with rarified looks at traditional Israeli Arab ways of life, sometimes with kvetchy "it's not our fault" complaints about how they believe they are mistreated by the Jewish state, and sometimes with outright political propaganda such as radical Palestinian director Mohammad Bakri's Zahara, an otherwise beautiful saga of his 78 year old aunt, the family matriarch that frequently falls flat on its agit-prop.

One of this year's most fascinating documentaries is director Ibtisam Mara'na's Badal - an inside look at a common Muslim tradition whereby a brother and sister from one family wed a sister and brother from another in a two way contract that links both couples together for life.

Director Dorit Zimbalist offers us Sayed Kashua - Forever Scared, a close up look at one of Israel's most popular columnists, novelists and screenwriters, an Israeli-Arab who writes in Hebrew but still feels he "doesn't belong".

And for tragic-comedy, there are episodes from Arab Labor - a term used as an Israeli perjorative for "shabby work", but here the title of a much acclaimed TV sitcom about an Arab journalist who tries desperately to fit in yet is rejected by both communities.

Solving this identity crisis has become one of Israel's most pressing internal problems. Part of the solution clearly lies with Israel's own political and social bureaucracy; a deeper consciousness and understanding of the culture and full rights of its Arab citizens is sorely needed. But the ultimate cure lies with the Israeli Arab community itself - with an acceptance of the understanding that to survive and continue to grow in Israel, Israeli Arabs must accept their status as a loyal minority in a majority Jewish state.

Unfortunately, the opposite is happening - a growing political radicalization among many Israeli Arabs, and a growing Islamicization among others has already resulted in shocking demonstrations supporting Palestinian terrorist groups , calls for celebrating Israeli Independence Day as "Yawm el Nakba" - Disaster Day - and demands for outright Israeli Arab political autonomy.

That will not and should not happen. Israel, established on a very small piece of Mideast real estate, was founded and internationally recognized for what it is: a Zionist Jewish state albeit one that guarantees the full rights of its non-Jewish minorities. Few Israeli Jews would trade in their Jewish state for a bi-national one (a concept that never works anyway). Moreover, polls show that even fewer Israeli Arabs would prefer to move to a future Palestinian state - and certainly not to another Arab nation. More of their films should express the positive side of that reality

The Third Annual "Other Israel Film Festival" runs from November 12 to 19th. Screenings are at the JCC, 334 Amsterdam Avenue, NY; at Cinema Village, 22 East 12th Street, NY and assorted other locales. For details see:
http://www.otherisrael.org/films

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

CHESNOFF'S LATEST
Pack of Thieves: How Hitler and Europe Plundered the Jews and Committed the Greatest Theft in History  

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JWR contributor and veteran journalist Richard Z. Chesnoff was Senior Correspondent at US News & World Report, and is now a columnist at the NY Daily News and the Huffington Post. A two-time winner of the Overseas Press Club Award and a recipient of the National Press Club Award, he was formerly executive editor of Newsweek International. The paperback edition of his critically acclaimed book, "Pack of Thieves: How Hitler & Europe Plundered the Jews & Committed the Greatest Theft in History" is now on sale. (Click on cover above to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.

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© 2009, Richard Z. Chesnoff

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