Since January 2012, this blog has been a home for stories, reflections, translations, poems & polemics by writer and political activist, Moriel Rothman-Zecher, and by tens of guest contributors.
Moriel was born in Jerusalem, raised in Yellow Springs, and graduated from Middlebury College, in Vermont, with a degree in Arabic and Political Science. He moved back to Jerusalem in 2011, and has been involved with a number of groups & campaigns working against the occupation, including:
All That’s Left
The Center for Jewish Nonviolence
Susiya: The campaign to #SaveSusiya (in 2012 and 2015); Susiya is a small Palestinian village in the South Hebron Hills, over which the threat of demolition hangs for no reason other than that Susiya is a Palestinian village.
East Jerusalem: Campaigns against evictions in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah; these evictions are based on discriminatory Israeli laws which allow Jews to reclaim pre-1948 properties in East Jerusalem, while Palestinians with pre-1948 documents often can’t even visit their old homes, let alone evict the current residents.
Draft Refusal: Campaigns against militarism and the IDF’s role in maintaining the occupation of the Palestinian territories. In 2012, Moriel spent a short amount of time in Israeli Military Jail #6 for refusing to enlist in the Israeli military.
Moriel lives in Jerusalem with his partner, Kayla, who recently finished law school, and works at HIAS, where she works to provide legal aid to African Asylum seekers in Israel. Moriel is currently working on his first novel, and training for his third ultramarathon. Moriel and Kayla have a puppy named Silly Department.
Moriel’s writings have been published in The New York Times, Haaretz, Sojourners Magazine, the Berkeley Journal of Sociology, Religion Dispatches Magazine, Middlebury Magazine, the Daily Beast, the Huffington Post, the Jewish Daily Forward and more, and he’s been a regular contributor to +972 Magazine since 2011.
Moriel’s writings have been rejected from The Atlantic Magazine, Slate, a bunch of Formal Poetry Journals and Brown University (“Why I Think I Should Go to Brown”).
Poetry & Speaking
(Much more poetry on the Poetry Page).
Moriel has spoken at universities and colleges including Princeton, Harvard, Brandeis, Stanford, Haverford and more; at synagogues including Kehilla Community Synagogue (Oakland) and Kol Tzedek (Philadelphia); and with groups ranging from Open Hillel to Hillel to JVP to J Street U to SJP to Yachad UK to Habonim Dror and onwards. For a full list of past speaking engagements, video of one of Moriel’s talks, feedback and more, go here.
Here is video of Moriel’s talk at Kehilla Community Synagogue in Oakland, CA, in October, 2014. “Nonviolence, Dissidence and the Israeli Occupation”:
And here are Bob Dylan and Moriel**:
**It is worth noting that there are some well-researched theories that posit that I don’t exist:
”…Under a byline from someone allegedly named Moriel Rothman-Zecker. Nobody knows this punk. I say alleged because as noted earlier, I suspect that [he is] probably Tom Friedman.”
-Jack Engelhard, Arutz Sheva: Israel National News.