Zionism as an Attempt to Solve the Jewish Identity Complex of Secular Jews

On Monday, the 26th of May, 2008, Akiva Orr spoke at the offices of the Alternative Information Center in West Jerusalem. Akiva was born in Berlin in 1931 and immigrated to Palestine with his family in 1934, growing up in Tel Aviv. He served in the Israeli Navy in 1948 and after the war studied mathematics and physics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In the early 1950s, Akiva became critical of Zionism, joining the Israeli Communist Party in 1953. However, in 1962, he broke from the party and jointly founded the anti-Zionist Israeli organization Matzpen. He has written several books including “The Un-Jewish State: The Politics of Jewish Identity in Israel,” “The Other Israel: The Radical Case Against Zionism,” and the “Direct Democracy Manifesto.” You can read and download his books on his website at akiorrbooks.org.


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A Palestinian Perspective on Carter's Visit and the Prospects of an Israeli/Palestinian Ceasefire

On Monday the 28th of April, 2008, I spoke with Nassar Ibrahim in the offices of the Alternative Information Center in Beit Sahour. Nassar, a longtime Palestinian writer, journalist and activist, is Policy Director of the AIC. We discussed the implications of the recent visit of former US President Jimmy Carter to the Middle East, the possibility of a long-term ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, the context of recent US and Israeli diplomatic maneuvers in the region, and Palestinian plans for events to commemorate 60 years since the Nakba.


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On "Occupied Minds: A Journey Through the Israeli Psyche"

On 29 March 2008, Arthur Neslen spoke at the AICafe in the offices of the Alternative Information Center in Beit Sahour. Arthur is the author of Occupied Minds: A Journey Through the Israeli Psyche, which was published in 2006 by Pluto Press. The book features a series of first person narratives, gathered from interviews with more than 50 Israelis from across the social and political spectrum, shedding light on the dynamics of Israeli identity and consciousness.

Arthur was formerly the London correspondent for Aljazeera.net and the website's only Jewish journalist. He was international editor of Red Pepper Magazine for five years, and worked between 2001 and 2004 as a broadcast journalist at the BBC. Additionally, he has written for publications including the Guardian, the Independent, the Observer, the New Statesman and Private Eye.


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Social and Political Currents in Lebanon

On Wednesday, 20 February 2008, Alter-Inter spoke with Nahla Chahal at her office in Paris, France. Nahla is an author, journalist, researcher and columnist at the al-Hayat pan-Arab daily newspaper. During the 1970s, she was one of the leaders of the Organization of Communist Action of Lebanon (OACL) and a participant in the Lebanese Communist Party. She is currently president of the Arab Women Researchers Association and Coordinator of the International Civil Campaigns for the Protection of the Palestinian People (CCIPPP).

They discussed the current social and political situation in Lebanon, the position of the Lebanese Left and progressive forces, Hezbollah domestic strategies, the implications of the assassination of Imad Magniyah, the continuing impact of the summer 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon, and a look towards the near future in Lebanon and the region.


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A Personal and Historical Perspective on the Joint Palestinian/Israeli Struggle

On 29 January 2008, Michael (Mikado) Warschawski spoke at the offices of the Alternative Information Center (AIC) in Beit Sahour. Michael is a well-known Israeli anti-colonial activist, journalist and author. A former activist in the seminal anti-Zionist Israeli organization Matzpen from the 1960s through the 1980’s, he is a cofounder of the Alternative Information Center and a leader in the global anti-war movement and World Social Forum Process.

Michael discussed the formation and historical role of the joint Palestinian-Israeli struggle for peace and justice and its current trajectory, examining it through the prism of personal experience and the history and sociopolitical perspective of the AIC.


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