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Issue 108, March/April 2008

Special issue: International Women's Day

WE devote this Challenge to International Women's Day, but we cannot ignore Israel's bloody invasion of Gaza in early March. Because the Hamas-Iran axis opposes the Israeli-American one, it may give the false impression of being anti-imperialist. The Islamist regimes, though poorer than America, are every bit as capitalist. Only a Third Choice, says our editorial, can pull the region out of quagmire.

No contribution to this effort came from the long-anticipated Winograd Report on Israel's Lebanon debacle. Interpreting its mandate narrowly, the committee merely issued a Trumpet for the Next War.

Turning to International Women's Day, we bring out new voices and stories. In It's me speaking, single mother Yudit Shahar provides the working-life background for her poems. We publish translations of five.

Women Hidden from the Eye details the limbo of Arab-Bedouin widows who live in Israel but were not born here. Only the husband has the right to request citizenship for his wife. But what if he dies without doing so? What becomes of her and her children? What if the marriage is polygamous and she isn't the first wife?

Haifa touts itself as the city of coexistence. The new curator of the city museum, Dr. Rona Sela, began work on an exhibit called "Haifa 1948," which would have given voice to the Palestinian narrative. Her contract was not renewed. Even 60 years later, 1948 Haunts the Haifa City Museum.

Israeli discrimination, Arab social norms, and globalization all function as Obstacles to the Emancipation of Arab Women in Israel. Decent employment is the solution. We present a class analysis, followed by a talk with WAC farm worker Kamila Zeidan. She describes the Quiet Revolution in Kufr Manda.

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