Poem | Of All the Peoples by Nathan Alterman

When under the gallows our children cried We did not hear the world’s wrath. For of all the peoples you selected us For us you loved and sanctified. For you selected us of all the peoples hose of France, Japan and Norway. And when our children march to the gallows Smart Jewish kids, they all know That their blood does not count and say Mom, turn your eyes the other way. The iron devoured day and night And the holy Christian Father in the city of Rome Did not come out with the icons of Christ To stand one day in a pogrom. To stand one day, one single day Where for years like a lamb A small Unknown Jewish kid Stands alone. Great is the worry about sculptures and paintings Lest those art treasures are destroyed in a raid But the heads of infants, art treasures they are, Are smashed to the walls, and crushed on the...

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The Equality Myth

The story of Israel’s founding usually  goes something like this: Sun-kissed male and female pioneers plowed the fields by day, danced the hora by night, did guard duty until dawn and together built an egalitarian utopia. The equality of men and women, the narrative continues, was enshrined into law upon independence in 1948 when women were given full equal social and political rights. Three years later, gender discrimination was outlawed. Meanwhile, as part of universal conscription, women also fought alongside men. To top the story off, Israel was the third country in the post-World War II world to be led by a female prime minister, following Ceylon and India: Golda Meir was elected Israel’s fourth prime minister in 1969 after long stints as labor minister and foreign minister. Although some of this is true, Israel is not...

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Opinion Interview | Gabriela Shalev on The United Nations and Israel

What are the high and low points in Israel’s history with the United Nations? I still remember the night my father woke me up at age six in Tel Aviv and we joined the dancing in the streets. The UN had voted to end the British Mandate and partition Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. The UN embraced Israel at that time and cleared the way for its establishment. A year later, Israel became its 59th member. If the Arab or Palestinian side could only have adopted this decision as we did, reluctantly—the Jewish leaders were not very keen on partition, either—we would now be in a completely different situation. Many years later, when I was ambassador to the UN, I would look back and ask myself, how did the relationship become so spoiled? How...

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Harvey Milk

Book Review | Harvey Milk by Lillian Faderman

Last April, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to name the main terminal at San Francisco International Airport after Harvey Milk, the gay rights martyr who was assassinated 40 years ago. The decision further (and literally) cements Milk’s legacy as the best-known LGBT activist in American history.

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