EssaysFeature

In this Uncontainable Night

Notes from Jerusalem and the Occupied West Bank

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EssaysFeatureLiberal Democracy in QuestionMedia/PublicsThe Left

Anachronism with a Kafkaesque Touch

Last Thursday, I received a message via Facebook messenger. The message’s author was (so it read) the Chief Censor of Israel’s Military Censor, one Colonel Ariella Ben-Avraham, and in it she demanded that I submit to the Censor’s warrant. Entering Ben-Abraham’s Facebook page showed a page that was almost empty — her name and picture only. In fact, it seems that the Censor was so embarrassed by all the publicity in recent days that she erased it. When I tried to enter the page today in order to write the post, it …

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FeatureLetters

It Is About Time.

New York is the empire of the present, for in this city the past is gone and the future is already here. For me, coming to America was a form of time travel. Not into the future or into the past, but rather from them and into the deep dense present. I come from Jerusalem, the holy and sad city that is at the heart of this complex space people here call the Middle East. In Jerusalem, the present is narrow, pale …

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EssaysPsyche

When will the Barred Owl of Minerva Fly?

Time is running out for Israel-Palestine

On a cold, dreary November morning in the Berkshires, Massachusetts, I finally understood why owls are seen as wise, why in the ancient world they represented Athena and Minerva, the goddesses of wisdom. On my way from an academic symposium in Great Barrington …

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EssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

Benjamin in Jerusalem

The Middle East as crisis and critique

This month, two conferences and one exhibition dedicated to Walter Benjamin’s legacy are descending on Ramallah, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv. Because of an unhealthy mix of political considerations, security measures, and academic snobbery, I will partake in none of them, despite my deep roots in this troubled land and my recent book on Benjamin. …

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EssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

Twenty Years after Rabin’s Death: The Oslo Illusion

Looking back in the midst of the Third Intifada

Mahmoud Abbas made headlines last month when he announced in the U.N’s General Assembly that the Palestinians would no longer “continue to be bound” by the Oslo Agreements. He had warned that he was going to drop a “bombshell,” but given that Oslo has been dead for several years already, the significance of …

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