Dossier: Palestine

A rehearsal by students at the School of Acting in Ramallah (photo: Folkwang Universität der Künste)

The Gaza conflict

Can art heal in a time of war?

War alters societies, and art can serve to gauge the change. In the war-struck Middle East, artists are hindered in their work, and some are forced to emigrate. Some feel a sense of hopelessness, while others still firmly believe in the healing capacity of art. Ulrike Schleicher reports on different reactions to the current crisis within the artistic communityMore

Germany's foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the gathering of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on 22 July 2014 (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Germany's shared responsibility for the Gaza conflict and its end

Déjà vu in Gaza

For months, there has been an intense debate about whether Germany should assume greater foreign policy responsibility. Yet when it came to the conflict in Gaza, Germany's politicians have once again slipped into the role of the horrified bystander. By Muriel Asseburg und René WildangelMore

Yehuda Shaul, co-founder of the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence (photo: Quique Kierszenbaum)

Interview with Yehuda Shaul

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"The treatment of the Palestinians is the biggest threat to Israel"

Yehuda Shaul, a former soldier in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), is one of the founders of the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence. Marian Brehmer talked to him about Operation Protective Edge and the link between the Gaza war and the occupation of the Palestinian territoriesMore

Christoph Bangert (photo: private)

Interview with war photographer Christoph Bangert

The naked brutality of war

The photographer and journalist Christoph Bangert has published a book of photographs that his editors refused to use. All of them highlight the horror of war. His book, "War Porn", is an appeal not to look away from the brutality of armed conflict. Monika Griebeler spoke to him about his work and his bookMore

Judith Katzir (photo: private)

Interview with the Jewish author Judith Katzir

Friendship across the divide

Judith Katzir is one of the most interesting young authors in Israel. Her books deal mostly with strong women who undertake journeys into their own past. Her new novel, "Tzila", is based on letters belonging to her great-grandmother and describes her journey to Gaza, where her Jewish family once lived. Igal Avidan spoke to the authorMore

A Palestinian boy sweeping up rubble outside a bombed-out building in Gaza (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

The Israeli–Palestinian conflict in Gaza

Propaganda war

The escalating conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas has been accompanied on both sides by massive propaganda drives. According to Joseph Croitoru, each side is attempting to speak directly to the opposing side through its propagandaMore

Dr. Mads Gilbert tends to a child in al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza, 2009 (photo Getty Images)

Interview with Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert

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"Nobody is safe in Gaza"

Professor of Medicine at the University of Tromso, Norway, Mads Gilbert is currently working at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. He has been volunteering in Gaza on and off for the last 17 years and recently submitted a report to the UN on the state of the health sector in Gaza. In this interview with Roma Rajpal Weiss, Gilbert describes the present situation at the hospital and in GazaMore

Ruined buildings in the Gaza Strip, 19 July 2014 (photo: DW/Shawgy el Farra)

Israeli military offensive in Gaza

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Israel cannot win

All those whose opinions differ from the prevailing view are considered saboteurs. In this guest commentary, the Israeli writer Etgar Keret describes how the thought police are dominating his homeland and explains why the problems Israel faces cannot simply be bombed awayMore

Raji Sourani. Photo: Tom Knutson/Right Livelihood Foundation

Interview with Raji Sourani in Gaza

"We are just soft targets: we are very cheap"

Raji Sourani is a human rights lawyer and founder of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, which documents and investigates human rights violations in the Occupied Territories. Jailed on six occasions for his work, Sourani is staying put in Gaza at the moment, and continuing to work under siege. He tells Roma Rajpal Weiss that people there have lost all hopeMore

Israeli soldiers near Hebron. Photo: picture alliance/AP

Israel's crisis politics

On hope and despair in the Middle East

The Middle East powder keg is threatening to explode. Anyone who still believes in peace must have hope – yet hope is precisely what is lacking. The Israeli writer David Grossman makes this appeal to his countrymenMore

Members of the Israeli army carrying out a raid in Hebron on 21 June 2014 (photo: Reuters/Mussa Qawasma)

The Israeli army in the West Bank

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The punishment of Palestinian citizens

Israel's heavy-handed acts of retaliation against both Hamas and Palestinian civilians are threatening to provoke a new escalation of violence. The Israeli military deployment in the West Bank is the biggest since the end of the second Intifada in 2005. A commentary by René WildangelMore

Jubilant mujahideen on a captured Russian armoured personnel carrier during the war between Afghanistan and the USSR (photo: Getty Images)

Book review: Fadia Faqir's "Willow Trees Don't Weep"

Abandoned for the sake of jihad

Since the 9/11 attacks in the USA, many novels have been written about aspects of Islamist radicalism and the "war on terror". The Jordanian–British writer Fadia Faqir brings fresh perspectives to the subject in her fourth novel "Willow Trees Don't Weep". Susannah Tarbush read the bookMore

Pope Francis praying at the Israeli separation wall in Bethlehem (photo: Reuters)

Pope Francis in the Middle East

Gestures laden with symbolism

The visit of Pope Francis to the Israeli-occupied West Bank has lifted the spirits of Christians across the region. The Pope expressed his solidarity with the Palestinian people through actions rather than words: not only did he fly directly to the West Bank from Jordan instead of stopping in Tel Aviv first, he also prayed at the Israeli separation wall. By Kate ShuttleworthMore

People at the Bait al Karama restaurant sit down at table in anticipation of a meal together (photo: Ulrike Schleicher)

Women's centre "Bait al Karama"

Nablus is cooking again!

Kanafeh, spices, oils and breads of the finest quality – Nablus has always been renowned for its excellent cuisine. The Bait al Karama initiative seeks to raise the profile of this cuisine and to underline the importance of food for any culture. Ulrike Schleicher visited Bait al Karama and its cookery school, the first organised by women in the West BankMore

Cover of the book "Contemporary Artists – Arab World" (source: Steidl-Verlag)

Book review: "Contemporary Artists – Arab World"

Perceptions of reality

The book "Contemporary Artists – Arab World" shows how different Arab artists have reacted to the upheaval in their countries. By Kersten KnippMore

Photo of a Nemashim theatre production entitled "Remembering the return to Haifa" (photo: Flickr.com)

Book review: Uri Shani's "Nemashim" theatre project

Creating a level playing field

In his book, the Israeli theatre director and drama teacher Uri Shani describes the ups and downs of an Arab–Hebrew community theatre project known as "Nemashim". Julie Schwannecke read the book and spoke with the authorMore

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