Joel Schalit

Anti-Occupation Israeli journo dies

I just received word that Tanya Reinhart passed away this weekend in New York. She was sixty-three. What a terrible tragedy. My condolences go out to her family and friends. It was only today that I learned she'd moved to Manhattan towards the end of last year, in order to assume a teaching position at NYU.

Though I didn't agree with all of her positions, Reinhart's tireless efforts to end the occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are worthy of the utmost respect. In the last issue of Tikkun that I edited (Jan/Feb 2007), Jerome Slater wrote an absolutely outstanding meditation on Reinhart's most recent book, The Road Map to Nowhere. You can read it here.

Aside from a brief email exchange we'd had in the Spring of 2005, the last time I talked to Reinhart was almost exactly three years ago, when I interviewed her for LiP Magazine. An eight hundred word excerpt ended up running in the Summer 2004 issue. I just found a copy of the unedited transcript, and thought these following words would be good to remember Reinhart by:

LiP: Is there an Israeli left at this point?

Reinhart: What's been extremely encouraging - my ray of light in these bleak days - is to observe that in the young generation there is a movement of resistance that is completely new and courageous. It's the same generation that got its roots in the anti-WTO demonstrations in Seattle. You first noticed it with the draft resistance movement, which is now bigger than it ever was.

Another amazing new development is that there is a whole new popular resistance movement initiated by Palestinian farmers along the line of the new fence whose land is being stolen by Israelis for the fence. Along that line, in village after village, you'll find the entire village sitting on the ground in front of the bulldozers. Together with them you'll find young Israelis.

For the first time in the history of the Occupation, you'll find the Israeli army facing Palestinians and Israelis together sitting together defending Palestinian land. For me, it's a big source of hope.

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