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Issue 91, May/June 2005

Catch 67: In the 38th Year of Occupation

THERE WAS BRIEF euphoria after the Knesset OK’d Disengagement, but Israeli military circles are predicting a new burst of violence, which they call Round Three. Our editorial analyzes the reasons.

We then go to Jerusalem, where Israel is caught in Catch 67. If it builds the infamous wall, as planned, on its self-declared municipal border, 300,000 Palestinians will wind up unwalled and the militant organizations will be able to recruit from them. The alternative is to do the “unthinkable”: divide Jerusalem. But even that, we show, won’t solve the problem. The article is accompanied by a map, including E-1.

Arab and Jewish women in Israel have much in common: Poverty. This should be their Meeting Ground. We look at the forces that could bring these groups together, but we also look at the residues of history and culture that keep them apart.

On May 1, 2005 (of all days!) a law went into effect concerning Migrant Workers. The State had long avoided responsibility for them, shifting it to the bosses. Otherwise, it feared, it might have to grant them citizenship, jeopardizing its Jewish character. It drooled on the sidelines for ten years, watching the bosses rake in millions. Now it has devised a method for increasing its cut. Under the guise of reform, it has given 33 personnel agencies a License to Exploit, charging them an annual tax of $2600 per migrant.

Despite this gloomy development, WAC celebrated May Day with full fanfare in Haifa and Tel Aviv. Its workers thronged to Haifa for a medley of speeches, music and dance. In Tel Aviv, WAC joined Bamat Etgar in staging an outdoor event that included speeches from Kav la’Oved, the Hotline for Migrant Workers, and the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow. Around the plaza stood 56 original posters, which top Israeli and Palestinian artists had created especially for this Most Relevant Day in the Year. Bamat Etgar will let the posters travel. Contact , writing “exhibition” in the subject line.

Breaking Walls, Video 48’s documentary on the place of art in social change, is sparking discussion at Israel’s Cinematheques. For information on showing the film, contact Video 48, writing “Breaking Walls” in the subject line.

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