cover art for The Nabi Musa Festival - part II

Jerusalem Unplugged

The Nabi Musa Festival - part II

Season 4, Ep. 92

Following the first conversation with Awad Halabi (episode 49) as we discussed his work on the Nabi Musa festival, we are glad to celebrate and discuss in more details his latest book Palestinian Rituals of Identity. In this second part dedicated to the Nabi Musa Festival we will focus on the origins of the festival, its development with a particular focus on the late Ottoman era until the Nakba of 1948, discussing how the British understood and partly transformed the Festival. Awad discussed not just the celebrations but the participants and the rituals associated with the festival itself. In conclusion with Awad we looked at the contemporary and the possibilities for the festival to become once again a unifying factors for Palestinians in and around Jerusalem.

In 1920 the Nabi Musa festival was transformed into the stage of large riots that occurred in Jerusalem: the so-called Nabi Musa Riots will be the focus of the next episode of Jerusalem Unplugged leading to the conclusion of this short series dedicated to the Nabi Musa Festival.

More episodes

View all episodes

  • 117. Give Peace a Chance with John Lyndon and ALLMEP

    For the series dedicated to current events, today we have the privilege of speaking with John Lynden, executive director of ALLMEP - the Alliance for Middle East Peace. ALLMEP is an impressive coalition, bringing together over 160 organizations and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and Israelis. Their mission is to build cooperation, justice, equality, a shared society, mutual understanding, and ultimately lasting peace between their communities.In times of crisis, ALLMEP works to add stability. They foster cooperation initiatives that increase impact on the ground. And they cultivate an environment more conducive to peace over the long term through their tireless efforts.In our conversation today, John will share insights into ALLMEP's vital work, as well as his perspectives on the fragile peace camp in Israel and Palestine following the events of October 7th. We'll discuss the challenges they face, the grounds for hope, and how people of good faith can support peace building.
  • 116. The pulse of Israeli politics and society with Gilad Halpern

    Welcome to the first episode exploring the current war on Gaza. In today's episode with Gilad Halpern we'll be taking an in-depth look at the current situation within Israel itself - examining the state of Israeli society and the complex political dynamics at play.Israel remains a deeply divided nation, with sharp social and ideological rifts running through its population. From the secular vs. religious divide, to the longstanding left-right political schisms, Israeli society is characterized by a plurality of viewpoints and identities.On the political front, Israel's government is currently led by one of the most right-wing coalitions in the country's history, igniting concerns over the trajectory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, minority rights, and the preservation of democratic norms. We'll analyze the key players, policy positions, and controversies surrounding the current administration.As we navigate this complex landscape, it's important to remember that this is just one part of a larger, multi-faceted issue. In upcoming episodes, we'll turn our focus to Palestinian society from the voices and perspectives of those living under Israeli occupation. We'll also examine the stances and roles of the so-called "international community" of nations in relation to this conflict.
  • 115. Zionism: from the Mandate to the present with Arie Dubnov

    Welcome back for part two of our comprehensive exploration of Zionism on Jerusalem Unplugged. In our previous episode, Arie Dubnov provided invaluable insights tracing the diverse ideological currents and forces that shaped the Zionist movement from its origins through the tumultuous events surrounding Israeli statehood in 1948.Today, we continue this illuminating discussion as Professor Dubnov analyzes the roles played by the pre-state paramilitary organizations like the Haganah, Irgun, and Lehi. Their histories and divergent ideological leanings foreshadowed the fissures that emerged within the Zionist movement after 1948. From there, Professor Dubnov will guide us through the critical periods of the late 1940s following independence and the transformative 1967 Six-Day War. His nuanced perspectives shed light on how Zionist thought and praxis continuously evolved in response to changing regional realities.Finally, we'll bring the conversation into the present as Professor Dubnov examines the multifaceted manifestations and ongoing debates surrounding Zionism's place in contemporary Israeli society and the world at large.Drawing from his extensive scholarship, including his current work on the interwar ties between Zionist and British imperial thinkers, this second part promises to be a masterclass on the rich histories and reverberations of one of modern history's most influential nationalist ideologies.
  • 114. Zionism(s): the early period with Arie Dubnov

    In this first installment of a special two-part series, Jerusalem Unplugged takes a deep dive into the origins and development of Zionism leading up to the establishment of Israel in 1948. I am joined by Professor Arie Dubnov, an expert on the histories of this influential nationalist ideology.  Over the course of this thorough yet riveting episode, Professor Dubnov provides profound insights into the complex ideological currents, key figures, and pivotal moments that shaped the Zionist movement from its early beginnings through the tumultuous events surrounding Israeli statehood and Nakba. His analysis sheds light on the layered histories that gave rise to one of the most impactful nationalist movements of the modern era.This first part lays the essential groundwork for understanding Zionist thought and praxis. But the journey is far from over. In the forthcoming second episode, Professor Dubnov will pick up the thread in 1948, tracing how Zionism evolved and manifested in different forms over subsequent decades up to the present.Preparing listeners for a thought-provoking exploration, this two-part series promises to provide an illuminating episode on the multifaceted ideas, events, and ongoing impact of Zionisms. Stay tuned for part two of this comprehensive analysis.
  • 113. Palestinian Chicago with Loren Lybarger

    For this episode I had the pleasure to interview Loren Lybarger, a long time resident of Palestine who devoted a few years studying the Palestinian community of Chicago which is home to one of the largest, most politically active Palestinian immigrant communities in the United States. For decades, secular nationalism held sway as the dominant political ideology, but since the 1990s its structures have weakened and Islamic institutions have gained strength. Drawing on extensive fieldwork and interview data, Palestinian Chicago charts the origins of these changes and the multiple effects they have had on identity across religious, political, class, gender, and generational lines. The perspectives that emerge through this rich ethnography challenge prevailing understandings of secularity and religion, offering critical insight into current debates about immigration and national belonging. 
  • 112. The Balfour Declaration: part 2 with Avi Shlaim and Salim Tamari

    In this second episode dedicated to the Balfour Declaration I have republished the presentations made by Professor Avi Shlaim and Salim Tamari at: 'The British Legacy in Palestine: Balfour and Beyond' conference held at the Palestinian National Theatre on 2 November 2017. This was a joint event from the Kenyon Institute and the Educational Bookshop, and supported by the British Council Palestine.
  • 111. The Balfour Declaration: part 1

    Cherished and hated by many, the Balfour Declaration is certainly considered one of the most controversial documents in recent history. In this first episode of a series dedicated to this document, I will discuss the origins of the Declaration and offer several explanations in the attempt to understand why the British promised a Jewish National Home for the Jewish people in Palestine, when in fact the British were just crossing the Suez Canal in their efforts to defeat the Ottoman Empire.Bibliography suggested:Lorenzo Kamel, Imperial Perceptions of Palestine (IB Tauris, 2020)Gabriel Polley, Palestine in the Victorian Age (IB Tauris, 2022)Lawrence Davidson, 'The past as prelude: Zionism and the Betrayal of American Democratic Principles, 1917-1948' (2002)Jehuda Reinharz, 'Zionism in the USA on the eve of the Balfour Declaration' (1988)James Renton, The Zionist Masquerade (Palgrave, 2004)James Renton, 'Flawed Foundations: the Balfour Declaration and the Palestine Mandate' (2016)Jonathan Schneer, The Balfour Declaration: the Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (2010)Avi Shlaim, 'The Balfour Declaration and its Consequences' (2005)Leonard Stein, The Balfour Declaration (1961)
  • 110. Country of Words with Refqa Abu-Remaileh

    Country of Words: A Transnational Atlas for Palestinian Literature is a digital-born project that retraces and remaps the global story of Palestinian literature in the twentieth century, starting from the Arab world and going through Europe, North America, and Latin America. Sitting at the intersection of literary history, periodical studies, and digital humanities, Country of Words creates a digitally networked and multilocational literary history—a literary atlas enhanced. The virtual realm acts as the meeting place for the data and narrative fragments of this literature-in-motion, bringing together porous, interrupted, disconnected, and discontinuous fragments into an elastic, interconnected, and entangled literary history.Country of Words taps into the power of Palestinian literature to defy conventional linear, chronological, and artificial national frames of representation. Despite the fact that an unprecedented number of the world's population live as refugees, exiles, or stateless people, the logic of the nation-state continues to loom large over literary studies. Delving into the decentralized and deterritorialized history of Palestinian literature, the story of an entire nation-in-exile living through repetitive cycles of occupation and in multiple diasporas can facilitate an understanding of extranational forms of literary production. Ultimately, Country of Words seeks to offer new perspectives and approaches that simultaneously include and transcend national literary frames.
  • 109. Palestina - Israele Dal sionismo delle origini al 1948: eventi, documenti, interpretazioni

    (Episodio in Italiano)In questa puntata di Jerusalem Unplugged ho il piacere di pubblicare il mio intervento insieme a quello di Maria Chiara Rioli e Arturo Marzano come relatori del seminario Palestina - Israele Dal sionismo delle origini al 1948: eventi, documenti, interpretazioni che ha avuto luogo all'universita' di Bologna Dipartimento di Storia, il 22 Gennaio 2024 organizzato da Caterina Bori con la collaborazione di Francesca Biancani e Cigdem Oguz.