Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
SHOCK AND AWE OVER GAZA — Jonathan Cook reports from the West Bank on How the Media and Human Rights Groups Cover for Israel’s War Crimes; Jeffrey St. Clair on Why Israel is Losing; Nick Alexandrov on Honduras Five Years After the Coup; Joshua Frank on California’s Water Crisis; Ismael Hossein-Zadeh on Finance Capital and Inequality; Kathy Deacon on The Center for the Whole Person; Kim Nicolini on the Aesthetics of Jim Jarmusch. PLUS: Mike Whitney on the Faltering Economic Recovery; Chris Floyd on Being Trapped in a Mad World; and Kristin Kolb on Cancer Without Melodrama.
A Very Short Story

Living Without Your Name

by NEVE GORDON

My friend’s wife was accepted to a PhD program at McGill University in Montreal.

They decided to move to Canada with their two children at about the same time that I was offered a fellowship at Princeton and decided to move with my family to New Jersey for a year.

Hoping to rent out our apartments while we’re away, we both posted ads on the most popular website in Israel.

I received about five calls a day and found a tenant within a couple of weeks.

My friend received only three calls in four weeks, and none of the people who called came to look at his flat.

A few days ago he removed his ad from the website and posted a new one, only this time he changed his name from Hussein to Rami. Rami is an ethnically indeterminate name – it can be either Jewish or Palestinian – but there are no Jews called Hussein.

Within three days ‘Rami’ received about thirty phone calls, and six people came to look at the flat. He expects to sign a lease with one of them tomorrow.

In Israel, if you are a Palestinian and want to rent a flat, at times, to misquote Arthur Miller, you have to live without your name.

Neve Gordon is an Israeli activist and the author of and author of Israel’s Occupation (University of California Press, 2008). He can be contacted through his website www.israelsoccupation.info