About the Podcast
Groundwork: The Mixed Cities Edition
As war broke out between Israel and Gaza this past May fueled by clashes in Jerusalem, some of the worst inter-ethnic fighting in Israel’s history erupted between its own citizens. The violence showed that even in mixed cities, where people often talk of coexistence, there are strong ethnic divides. So in this mini-series we talk with activists who work in these mixed cities to find out what it’s actually like on the ground, what are the underlying tensions, and what needs to happen to bring change.
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“The Mixed Cities Edition”
We are using the term “mixed cities” to describe cities in which Jews and Palestinian Arabs live together. According to historians the term came into common use in the late 1940s to denote previously majority Arab municipalities that had a certain number of new Jewish residents deemed sufficient to warrant the lifting of military rule restrictions. Eventually it became the general Israeli term for towns and cities that are home to both Jewish and Palestinian Arab communities.
As we’ll explore in these episodes: each city is very different, with painful histories, legacies of dispossession and injustice, and current realities of inequality. Not least in Jerusalem, which is bisected by the Green Line, and where most Palestinian residents do not hold Israeli citizenship, and whose residency and property rights remain under threat. Yet what unites them is their dual Arab and Jewish identities, and the presence of activists working to make that reality more just and equitable.
Meet the Hosts
Sally Abed is a staff member and an elected member of the national leadership at Standing Together. In recent years, Sally has become a prominent Palestinian voice in Israel that is putting forward the holistic view that identifies the interrelation between the ongoing occupation of Palestinian territories, growing social and economic disparities within Israeli society, the threat of climate change, and attacks by the government on democratic freedoms and Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel.
Dina Kraft is a veteran foreign correspondent based in Tel Aviv where she’s The Christian Science Monitor correspondent. She began her overseas career in the Jerusalem bureau of The Associated Press. She was later posted to AP’s Johannesburg bureau where she covered southern Africa. She’s also reported from Senegal, Kenya, Pakistan, Jordan, Tunisia, Russia, and Ukraine. Dina has taught journalism at Northeastern University, Harvard University, and Boston University. She was a 2012 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, and a 2015 Ochberg Fellow at the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University.
Dina hosted “The Branch” podcast, about ties between Jews and Palestinians and her work has also been published in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and Haaretz among other news outlets.
Yoshi Fields is the co-founder and producer of Groundwork and has worked in the podcast industry for about 5 years. In 2018, he moved to Israel-Palestine and has worked on several podcasts in the region, focusing on both political and human interest stories, including as a producer at Israel Story, The Branch, and Unsettled.
Through his work, Yoshi aims to empower the voices of others, and facilitate the expression of their stories. He has previously hiked the Himalayas while carrying out a research study on the intersection of love and Buddhism, and worked in a hospice for a year writing about the experience of mortality for health workers.
Our opening track is by System Ali, a multi-lingual, multi-national hip hop group with roots in Jaffa. “System Ali” was born in the Ajami neighborhood in Jaffa as a result of the struggle for housing rights in the city. Since the band has grown to become a diverse and exceptional cultural engine to community building and social change while persistently developing community and educational activities, especially in South Tel Aviv, Jaffa, and Bat-Yam. Alongside the creation of unique and pioneering music, the ensemble performs throughout the country in festivals, street parties, and community events, with special emphasis on performances in mixed cities. The band’s bi-national and multi-lingual cultural activity created an organization deeply rooted in the communities in which it operates.
This podcast is brought to you by:
ALLMEP is a coalition of over 150 organizations—and tens of thousands of Palestinians and Israelis—building people-to-people cooperation, coexistence, equality, shared society, mutual understanding, and peace among their communities. Learn more on our website at www.allmep.org
The New Israel Fund is the leading organization advancing and defending democracy in Israel. Widely credited with building Israeli progressive civil society, we have provided over $300 million to more than 900 organizations since our inception in 1979. Learn more about NIF on our website at www.nif.org.
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