Three Year Blobversary

One January 30th, 2012, I launched The Leftern Wall, about half a year after moving back to Jerusalem as platform for writings, reflections, videos, photos, stories and polemics, mostly relating to the occupation and nonviolent efforts to end it.

By January 30th, 2013, I’d blogged (blobbed) a total of 166 posts over the course of a crazy year of activism, spoken word poetry, refusal to enlist, jail-time, and more.

On the Two Year Blobversay, on January 30th, 2014, I checked back in after a difficult year in which I struggled with some depression and burnout, but also encountered a lot of beauty and goodness, especially in my relationship with my partner, Kayla, but also in the launch of All That’s Left, and in the process of bounce-back in and of itself (inclining running a 61km Ultra-Marathon).


And then today, January 30th, 2015, is the Three Year Blobversay of The Leftern Wall. Which feels amazing, both like: that’s a long time, and also like: that’s it?

Since January 2014, this blog (blob) resurged and resurfaced, and returned to be a central and centrally important part of my life and activism, especially over the course of Israel’s attack on Gaza this past summer, and all of the correlated events. I launched the July Story Journal on July 1st, 2014, and this project –which featured brilliant, moving, heartbreaking guest posts and translations from many other writers, activists and thinkers– felt like a real, if tiny, contribution to the the struggle against the war and violence and racism in this place, and one that invited and opened the conversation to many around the world: over the course of July, posts on the The Leftern Wall were read 36,434 times). I’ve also used this blog as a platform to cover some of the renewed anti-Occupation activism, particularly in Jerusalem, that I’ve witnessed and been involved with since the Summer.

"Jerusalem will not be silent in the face of racism." October 2014
“Jerusalem will not be silent in the face of racism.” October 2014

The politics of this past year -which have been largely awful- have contrasted with immense personal joy: Kayla and I got married in May, and our families and communities are healthy and well and love-filled and expanding, thank God. With that, my Grandfather, Philip Rothman, passed away this past year, in October, a few months after my wedding to Kayla, so the joy of expanding family was also tempered by the sadness of loss. I do feel incredibly grateful that my Grandfather was able to be at our Ohio wedding, and to give this speech:

Overall, there have been 112 posts in this past blog-year. Here were the Top 14 for 2014, in terms of reads, including two of my favorites that I’ve written, Clarification: Why I don’t think Palestinians are more moral than Israelis, and What to do when rammed by a man in an electronic wheelchair fundraising for 10 needy holocaust survivors.

Outside the Arava Store (A few birds with one nonviolent stone). Photo: A. Daniel Roth
Outside the Ahava Store (A few birds with one nonviolent stone). Photo: A. Daniel Roth

This year has also included a branching out into other writing-realms. On the long-form publishing side, over this past year, I’ve published four major pieces in Sojourners Magazine: Confessions of a Violent Peacemaker (February 1st, 2014), in the Berekely Journal of Sociology: “Scores of Arabs were killed.” On Ari Shavit’s book My Promised Land, the phenomenon of Palestinian-blindness and the legitimation of massacres (October 1st, 2014), in Religion Dispatches: A Jewish Perspective on Reparations (November 21st, 2014), and in the New York Times: Why I won’t serve Israel (January 11th, 2015). On the short-form side, I’ve started using Twitter more. :) And on the even longer-form side, I am working, slowly but surely, on a book of first-person political storytelling about dissent, activism, history, occupation, refusal, nonviolence, love, and more.

In the meantime, I will keep blobbing and blogging regularly and I’m going to try to feature some more guests in the coming months (maybe a February Story Journal would be in order?). If you want to write, or know someone who would want to, let me know. Thank you all, for reading, responding, reacting. In hopes for a more peaceful year. Until soon. -mrz.

Protesting the war on Gaza. Tel Aviv. Summer, 2014
Protesting the war on Gaza. Tel Aviv. Summer, 2014