CHALLENGE for peace and equality is a leftist E-magazine focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict within a global context. Published in Tel Aviv, it features mainly political analysis.
The English CHALLENGE was launched with a separate Hebrew edition (ETGAR) as a printed magazine in 1990 during the first Intifada. Both editorial boards were staffed by radical Israelis who oppose the Occupation. The magazines covered numerous aspects of alternative thinking and practice in Israel: human rights, free speech, and tolerance for the Other. The hard core of the editorial boards consisted of activists who later formed a political party called DAAM (Arabic acronym of the Organization for Democratic Action).
The Oslo Accords were a turning point for CHALLENGE. In contrast with many on the Israeli Left who applauded the Accords, Challenge’s editors presented a severely critical analysis of the “peace plan,” warning that the creation of the Palestinian Authority would mean the end of hope for a democratic Palestinian state. CHALLENGE stood alone in this analysis. Later it continued criticizing Israel for using the Oslo Accords to deepen the Occupation. It also criticized both wings of the Palestinian leadership, Fatah and Hamas: Fatah for collaborating with Israel although the issues vital to the Palestinians had been deferred at Oslo, and Hamas for deceiving the Palestinians with a distorted, fundamentalist, and unrealistic platform that would soon bring Gaza to ruin. We continue to think that the two regimes, Fatah and Hamas, have exploited the conflict to build their own power structures while their people languishes in poverty.
Come the Arab Spring in 2011, CHALLENGE supported change, claiming that at last the Arab young demonstrators are pointing in the right direction: No to secular dictators and No to fundamentalism, Shi’ite or Sunni. The young generations of the Arab world called for democracy and a decent living. CHALLENGE stood firmly with the Syrian Popular movement for freedom.
Since 2008, CHALLENGE appears as an E-Magazine presenting its vanguard analysis of Israeli, Palestinian and Arab politics. A quarter century after Oslo it is clear that the Two State Solution, which may have had a narrow window after the first Intifada, became defunct when Oslo rearranged the Occupation, precluding the chance for Palestinian independence.
After 50 years of Occupation, Israelis are coming ever closer to operating a form of Apartheid, namely a return to direct Occupation. Such a scenario will open the possibility for movement in the opposite direction: One state with Israeli and Palestinian citizens sharing labor and resources for the benefit of all. That will mean Goodbye to the era of nationalism and Hello to a society for all its citizens.
This goal requires of both peoples, Israelis and Palestinians, that they struggle for the democratization of society, as part of a democratic transformation of the Arab world too. Needed are citizen initiatives that express the quest for bridges between peoples, especially by good use of the technological revolution. Instead of stressing differences and divisions, we must seek our common good, which will lead to political, economic, and social equality between Jews and Arabs.
CHALLENGE is not supported by any donor or institution. It is free and open to all readers. We hope what we write will encourage you to donate towards our internet and distribution costs.