Here I stand

(By Neri Livneh. Published in

On the bureau in a rented apartment at 67 Sheinkin Street in Givatayim, the Tel Aviv suburb where Yael Lotan lived until her death in early November, I again saw the picture I remembered well. Originally published in the (now-defunct) magazine Koteret Rashit as part of a "mothers and daughters" project, the photo shows a white woman with fair skin and hair, blue eyes, thin lips, her hair carefully combed, hugging a beautiful black girl. Yael Lotan, journalist, writer, editor and translator - the magazine wrote - is the mother of Ilana Hairston, whose father Loyle Hairston, Lotan's second husband, is a writer, communist and human rights activist, the descendant of a black slave family on his mother's side and of a white plantation owner from Mississippi on his father's side.