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Issue 102, March/April 2007

The Mecca Charity Show

WE HEAVE a sigh of relief. The Mecca Charity Show has warded off a horrendous civil war. This wonder, says our editorial, is the result of a temporary conjunction between Iranian and Saudi interests. The peace will be just as temporary unless donations pour in from the West. Despite its apparent victory, Hamas is in a sticky wicket. And is this what the Palestinian people wants: a donations state?

In occupied Jerusalem, the city has shelved a plan for a bridge to the Mugrabi Gate, which leads to the world’s most politically sensitive spot. Yet archaeologists continue a “salvage” dig on the ramp leading up to the gate. Since the bridge was the pretext for the dig, the question arises, Dig We Must? Explode we must?

Asurot, a documentary by Anat Even and Ada Ushpiz, explores The Prison Within of three Hebronite widows whose roof was usurped by Israel’s army. The camera reveals a box within the box of Occupation: the lot of the widow in a conservative society.

Still in Hebron, “Breaking the Silence” takes us to The Late Shuhada Street, where Jewish zealots, aided by the army, are bringing about a covert Transfer of Palestinians.

Picking Persimmons by Day, learning Empowerment by Night, female workers organized by WAC are slowly building up their strength as a women’s movement. This is a new sight in Israel. Join their march in Tel Aviv on Women’s International Day, March 8.

Amid sex and corruption scandals, the Israeli government has somehow found time to present a new economic plan. The Reforms look good at first blush, but on second thought they are revealed as continuing to undercut Organized Labor.

One such reform has been underway in pilot form for a year: the Wisconsin Plan, From Welfare to Workfare. John Gal, one of its planners, tells Challenge it Needs an Overhaul.

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