eumelia: (bullshit)
So hey,

Did you guys hear about the Jewish-Israeli guy who created a seditious movie against Muslims, that was the groundwork for a murderous attack in Lybia.

Neither Jewish, nor Israeli, but a Copt Christian.

Jews are excellent scapegoats when it comes to spreading racist Islamophobic bullshit.

When you think about it, it's pretty clever, a Christian pretends to be Jewish in order to incite violence among Muslims, so that Jews get the blame.

Tell me again how religion brings people together?
eumelia: (Default)
That's what I see when I encounter a 100x100 icon of Erik's tattoo.

What tattoo?

The tattoo on his forearm, that was stamped (with needles and ink) on him when he and his family were sent to a concentration camp from a ghetto.

I know screen caps create the illusion of having no context. But the movie uses its first twenty minutes to ensure that we know that Erik has not forgiven the Nazis (human and not) for what they did to him and his family.

I mention this, because I feel it needs to be said that the Nazis marked people entering the camp (Jewish and not) as a way to keep them demoralised, without control and, I'll say it again, dehumanised.

An icon of that number, is a fetish of the aforementioned dehumanisation. What we are seeing on screen happened, in history, in real life, to millions of people.

Erik is fictional, what happened to him is not.

The number tattoo, being reduced to a number, actually happened.

People who went through and survived are still alive.

It is inappropriate to use that number on an icon as a way to present the character is an objectified manner and yes, that is what icons do and that is what they are for.

When we see Erik's tattoo, which is exactly twice, it is in the context of bringing down Nazis, because it is evidence to what was done to him, to Jews, to Gypsies, to homosexual men and women, to anyone the Nazis deemed subhuman and sent to die in a camp designed to kill.

That is what that number means.
eumelia: (bollocks)
You know something, coming from a country in which the vast majority of men are circumcised, the whole debate seems a bit incongruous, but I understand and am personally in the opinion that male circumcision is an unnecessary procedure and would encourage parents to really think about whether this something they want to inflict on their male child.

I still don't think that people who do end up circumcising their male child are morally reprehensible, or that the baby is in real danger from such a procedure - any more than any other complication that can happen from a modern medical procedure.

It is a tradition I think is passée, but I understand why Jewish people feel it is a necessary one.

However, when intactivists chose to vilify a religious tradition be resorting to Antisemitic rhetoric and imagery I can't say I feel too compelled to root for your cause.

Because seriously, what is this shit?

An evilly grinning Jewish man in "traditional" Jewish markers of a Talit and a Shtreimel? A mohel (the guy who does the cutting) covered in blood? And an Aryan looking man defending the poor defenceless mother and baby from the Evil Jews out to main the baby?

California activists, this is a summary fuck you from a Jewish grrl who finds your tactics more than nauseating. I don't usually side with the Anti-Defamation League, but in this case they are not wrong.

And if anyone tries to compare male circumcision to female genital mutilation, know that you are only showing your ass and that comment will be frozen and you yourself may be banned from commenting on this journal.
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
I love Passover/Pesach.

I was practising reading a portion of the Haggadah with my father this afternoon and I commented, as I've done for years now, how skewed it is when it comes to gender (as in women are not mentioned even once in it) and the new finagled traditions that my American siblings of the feminist and queer variety have tried to instil (the Orange and Miriam's Cup) just do not fit in the Israeli culture, not even alternative culture (Fruit isn't a pun in Hebrew and water isn't an alcoholic beverage and thus has no significance).

I'm going to try and read something extra during the evening, to show that we aren't all free as of yet and just as we remember our bondage of past, we have to remember the bondage of present.

This is especially pertinent, because there are two things we say during the Seder that really cut through me.
"Pour out Thy wrath upon the nations that know Thee not" and Next year in Jerusalem, both recited at the end of the Hagadah.

I was chatting to a friend and mentioned that as an Israeli I'm conditioned to *SMASH* things I don't like. As an individual I mainly shout and judge things without apology.

It is, however, a symptom my locale.

An interpretation of "Next year in Jerusalem" for me, is protection from persecution and antisemitism. Knowing that my family are immigrants to a country designed and designated as a the Jewish Homeland. The historical and political issues and realities aside for the moment, one the things this has always meant in my understanding, that Jews in Israel are safe from persecution on account of our Judaism.

Well, if you're not the right kind of Jewish (i.e. Orthodox of a certain kind) your persecution is guaranteed.
It's one thing not to be completely understood (why I as an atheist goes to shul once a year and light Shabbat candles with my mom every Friday night), it's quite another to have your synagogue vandalised.
There is no doubt, that the Reform shul was vandalised by other Jews, seeing as it was spray painted with Hebrew words saying: "It's Begun" and was signed with a Star of David.
This is the third time this specific shul was targeted. Earlier this year, the shul my family attends, which is Conservative, was also vandalised and spray painted with "Live the People" which is fucking creepy.

But hey, we're the Jewish homeland.

The land of freedom.

If you're Jewish enough. God forbid, you're not a Jew, second class citizens doesn't even begin to cut it.

Making the whole "Wrath Unto the Nations" even more disturbing.

I love Passover. Sometimes (most of the time) I feel the majority of Israeli Jews are just too blinkered to get what it's all about.

As I said, I'm going to try and read something outside the Haggadah, because change only comes if you drag the tradition kicking and screaming.
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
I'm uninspired.

Hence my sporadic updates, I really should get back to writing more often, I always find myself in a better state well being wise once I've unloaded something.

But I don't want to write about the politics in my locale, it's far too depressing and rage-inducing and I don't want to linkspam because I don't think I do it very well and so I read a lot of News but don't share a lot lately.

Not to mention things are crazy in MENA, due to the crumbling of status quo, nothing can be predicted and I find that heartening. Always expect the unexpected.

On a different note, for the first time in my life I read an article on Playboy (I know the horror) because it was the interview with Helen Thomas (Yeah, it's a link to Playboy... sue me) and oh my god, she's way more antisemitic than I gave her credit.

While at times during the interview she manages to make a case for the Palestinians, she does so by creating a Jewish/Zionist conspiracy, asks is an article was written by "a Jew" and erases the existence of Jewish people who came from East Africa, North Africa, the various Arab nations and the Persian gulf.

The pertinent quote I read first on The Atlantic because Thomas refers in the interview to a piece written by Jefferey Goldberg who wrote a post in retaliation to her remarks about the Jews getting "the hell out of Palestine".

The whole interview is filled with Antisemitic myths and conspiracies.

It's important to note that I do agree that Israel being a taboo topic for criticism in American politics is a problem, a big one, especially concerning our alleged nuclear capability, the way the American war machine enables the Occupation and how the Occupation is kept economically viable through US and EU financial and cultural support.

However, to be called on her Antisemitism wasn't a bad thing, because man, is that cat out of the bag (a quote from the interview):
PLAYBOY: Do you have a personal antipathy toward Jews themselves?

THOMAS: No. I think they're wonderful people. They had to have the most depth. They were leaders in civil rights. They've always had the heart for others but not for Arabs, for some reason. I'm not anti-Jewish; I'm anti-Zionist. I am anti Israel taking what doesn't belong to it. If you have a home and you're kicked out of that home, you don't come and kick someone else out. Anti-Semite? The Israelis are not even Semites! They're Europeans, and they've come from somewhere else. But even if they were Semites, they would still have no right to usurp other people's land. There are some Israelis with a conscience and a big heart, but unfortunately they are too few.

Let me rest on that a moment.
The sentence I emphasised is one I see quite a lot in discussing Jewish identity by those who aren't Jewish and are trying to emphasise the privilege of whiteness awarded to Jews, either in Israel or elsewhere.

Yes, many Jews have the privilege of being white, that doesn't make us not Ethnic in any way, shape, or form. That doesn't preclude us from being targets of Antisemitism.
Also, not all of us are white.
Some of us are East African, North African, Arab, Persian, East Asian, South East Asian, South American.
Some of us are a mix of these.

Some of us are like me, not only am I white, I have the privilege of having been twice removed from Europe, what with my family coming from South Africa and I myself having been born in Israel.

In the interview she says: Everybody knows my feelings that the Palestinians have been shortchanged in every way. Sure, the Israelis have a right to exist—but where they were born, not to come and take someone else’s home.

Not sure where us first generation born, second, third, fourth and tenth are supposed to go.

This may sound like a big whine fest, but you know, the Arab and Muslim world, prior to the dictatorships following the fall of the colonial empires had sizeable Jewish communities. Those are basically gone, most of those communities came to Israel, in which those Arab Jews chucked their Arab identity and became Mizrahi Jews - basically non-Ashkenazi (i.e. European) Jews and here they also felt (and still feel) the force of racism.

We can't escape it, this fantasy of superiority we impose on our bodies.

My point. It's not a clear cur situation. The injustice of the Occupation is, as is the racial injustice towards Palestinians who have Israeli citizenship, Bedouins and Druze and other racial, ethnic and religious minorities in Israel is also clear.

That still doesn't mean that Israeli Jews should "go back where we come from" because really, Europe is hardly a haven and from Tunisia Jews are fleeing.
So, yeah.
eumelia: (bollocks)
Via a comment on a different journal, I read that the mod of the My Chemical Romance Bandom com on LJ wrote a response to what has been going down with the aforementioned AU H/C Bingo fic, in which a depiction of the Holocaust, the camps and the treatment of gays during that time was used as a backdrop for angst of two US soldiers.

Yeah, I read the story.

It makes me fingers itch. I want to grab a red pen and mark and correct and fucking rip that story inside out until something resembling "adequate" comes out of it.

The mod, has this to say:
The story was properly disclaimed, and with plenty of warnings with regards to the themes it dealt with, therefore any comment that is not related to any possible literary criticism, should have been left alone.
I chose not to read it at first, because I am uncomfortable with the themes dealt with, and that could have been the choice of all of those people who thought, at first glance, that they were going to find it offensive.
I am not going to ban this type of stories, because I still believe in freedom of speech and because I believe that if we ban stories that refer to that particular chapter in history, we need to ban stories about incest, about BDSM, torture, rape, and in one case necrophilia.

We write FICTION.

WE WRITE FICTIONAL STORIES.


These stories are not historically accurate, these stories ARE NOT just written for sexual gratification.

These stories express part of who we are, what we feel, what lives inside our heads and our hearts.

I hope you will agree that RESPECT for your feelings as readers, should find a corresponding level of RESPECT for the writers.
Emphasis mine
In the words of George Carlin: Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, Tits.
You know what I did there?
I executed my right to "free speech", are you offended?
Maybe.
You know what you have a right to do now?
TELL ME ABOUT IT! AT LENGTH! HOW I OFFENDED YOU WITH MY WORDS!
Yeah, really.

I find it utterly, utterly despicable that criticism of offensive material is considered more offensive than the actual subject discussed.

I hate getting personal about it, but it has to be done, because honestly, it's the only way to get it through people's heads.

I am a Queer Jewish Person.

Depictions of gays and Jewish people during the Holocaust matter to me, on a personal level. You know why? Because whole branches of my family tree were eradicated! An entire Queer European Culture was erased!
After the camps were liberated, gay men were sent to other prisons because homosexuality was still illegal regardless of Nazi legislation!
Yes.
Seriously.

Just to put that into perspective for you.

The story in question depicted horrors which happened. That is not the problem, the fact that it was used in a cavalier manner, disregarded the actual lives that lived through it, didn't bother to check the facts of what went on in concentration camps, the fact that American soldiers were sent to POW camps and of course putting the picture of the Gates to Auschwitz in order to illustrate the story.

Yes, these stories are fictional, that doesn't make them "untrue", that doesn't mean that the you can use the material available to you without considering who it affects and what it might mean if you use it. If you wanted to explore the themes and torture committed by the Nazi regime onto gays, you might want to find out what actually happened to these men, who they were, why they were persecuted and where they were sent to.
Let me give you a hint, none of them were captured POW experimented upon, mainly because non-Soviet Ally POW's were treated with the Geneva convention in mind.
Just, FYI.

Fiction does not mean "free for all". You do not write in a vacuum. You cannot say "Don't like, don't read", that's like saying "Shut up, your problems are meaningless".
Fiction, all art, is a dialogue.
You want to dialogue with history via fanfiction, by all means. That doesn't mean you, dear author, are immune from criticism when you are writing a story that depicts a period of time with gross inaccuracy and decides that any and all critical reaction to said story is illegitimate because it was "just a story".

Nothing, is "just a story".

We do not live in a vacuum, what you write will be reacted to, fiction is not a vehicle of self-expression, being accused of bad writing and bad taste is not a personal attack, it is a challenge to one's preconceived notions of what good story telling can and should be.
Good story telling does not continue the dehumanisation of people that happened during that period of time, it does not use Arbeit Macht Frei as a code for free speech (it doesn't mean what you think it means!) and saying that people should "be nice to each other" is silencing and derailing and basically tells those of us who are affected by the depictions of our history to suck it up!

When I see a story that treats a subject matter that is close to my heart for historical, personal and identity related reasons treated with utter DISRESPECT I will call on it. I will say that this author does not care, does not think about and is not informed about the subject zie is writing for "just a story", for "self-expression", for the sake of "fiction".

To conclude, if you're going to use free speech as a silencing mechanism for critical reaction of a piece of fiction that depicts controversial material... you're using it wrong.
eumelia: (exterminate!)
Things always hit you harder when they are closer to home.
Always.

I had a race fail a few days ago, in which I basically preached to a woman of Japanese descent why the casting of Avatar: The Last Air Bender was racist.
I was called on it.
And I apologised and I was told it wasn't a problem.

Still, the shame continues to linger, because my privilege fogged the way I viewed this person and the way I discussed the issue with this person.

However, you live and learn right.

Well, no.

If history teaches us anything is that we would rather forget, or even not know and you basically need a very strong lobbying group in order for things to be remembered.

The past month or so has seen so much fail in fandom, the Race!Fail, the Trans!Fail, The Abelism, I'm quite sure there were more fail I'd forgotten and seriously, even though I commented only briefly I was outraged and saddened by all of these incidences. People can (and have) asked me why do I put so much energy into issues that don't have much to do with me (yeah, I know), I mean... why get so worked up on something that doesn't directly affect me.

Well, for one, despite the fact that I'm not in the disenfranchised group of non-white people, trans people and disabled people, these issues affect me mainly because the fact that those groups are disenfranchised I can safely go about my day not thinking about it.

But you know why I really take the time to give a damn and cracks my heart wide open? Beyond it being the right thing to do and being in an ethically sound position.

I want to be safe.

I want my body and mind to flourish, and the body I currently inhabit may have a lot of privileges associated with it, but its history is also bloody, by virtue of it being cis female, queer and Jewish.

My Jewish body is very weird thing. On the one hand it is Israeli Jewish, meaning it is the default body of superiority where I live, on the other, it comes from generations of bloodshed, exile, pogroms and genocide.

The history of this genocide, like most genocides oddly enough, is well documented. The violence was recorded, photographed, duplicated and triplicates by well meaning bureaucrats who kept the train tracks clear.

The genocide of my people even has a special name, The Holocaust1, and like all historical events which linger in the collective memory of a people, a nation, a community, we tend to treat it with a deference of some kind. Even as I make Holocaust jokes, and sing "Springtime For Hitler" and make cracks about Germany blitzing its way though the Mundial and yeah, I'm waiting for Germany to serve up Spain's ass in the upcoming Semi-Final...

Still.

The Holocaust is an event that continues to shape my life and inform me of who I am, as a Jewish person in Israel and Palestine, as a queer person and as a feminist woman.

It does not, however, as a historical event, exist to be a backdrop to an AU Fanfic about American Soldiers and their love affair. What? The Battle of the Bulge was too tame?!

Yes, someone wrote a story, which has since been locked, but luckly there exists a Screencap (H/T to [personal profile] allchildren). I have not read it. I do not intend to.
I did read the Author's notes though; the warnings read thus:
Beating, abuse, non main character death, scientific experimentation, starvation, physical and emotional damage
Oh and the added disclaimer (after "nasty comments" began to appear) the gist of which is that this piece of work is NOT meant to be historically accurate. Accompanied to this Author's Note is a picture of the gates of Auschwitz, you all know the one, the one that was stolen and returned and reads Arbeit Macht Frei - "Work Makes One Free".
The... writer... of this AU fic stated that they added the picture, not for itself, but for the slogan, the meaning of the words upon the gate.

I've said it before. I'll say it again. I will probably say it for the rest of my life.

Context matters. Context, much like money, makes the world go around. That slogan cannot be removed from the gates it is attached to. Those words do not mean what you think they mean. The work they are talking about is not craft and the liberation they symbolise is not freedom.

A story, does not need to prettify history in order to make palatable for the readers. On the contrary, history should be shown in its grittiest form, it should be shown to be true and it should be portrayed with verisimilitude.

So, when you use a historical backdrop, in which you, dear author, feel the need to excuse yourself that by writing this you are no different from anyone who writes about rape, incest and domestic abuse, then you do not understand what fetishisation means.
You do not understand what treating subjects (people and events) with respect means.
You do not understand what this writing about history means.

You do not understand what context means and beyond that making you a disrespectful, blinkered and privileged fool, it also makes you, no matter your style, no matter how well written the characters are, a really really bad writer.

Personally. I blame Hollywood. And you know, bad education, entitlement and plain good ole' dehumnasation and antisemitism.

Also. No. Just. No.

This Nice Jewish Grrl needs to lie down now as she can't believe fandom sucks so hard right now.

ETA - 09/07/10: The story that is screen capped above is "1945" by [livejournal.com profile] slashxyouxup and is now unlocked. I'm not holding my breath though.

Footnotes
1) Even though we were not the only targeted people. The Roma people and other Gypsy groups were targeted and experimented in the same manner, homosexual men were castrated and murdered and many others. Still though, when you've got an entire country (Poland) set up to be an extermination station, while special Commando forces, Einsatzgruppen, are sweeping though Europe targeting Jewish Communities, you're going to feel that this is the Pogrom to end all Pogroms... in a way... it did...
Back.
eumelia: (diese religione)
It's ironic like rain on your wedding day to wake up on Israel's national Holocaust Remembrance Day and read this:
A retired Italian bishop has sparked a furious row after quotes attributed to him suggested claims of sexual abuse in the Catholic church are a Jewish conspiracy, a British newspaper reported on Monday.

A website quoted Giacomo Babini, emeritus bishop of Grosseto, as saying he believed a "Zionist attack" was behind the criticism, considering how "powerful and refined" the criticism is, the Guardian daily reported.


There aren't enough hours in the day I swear.

Expect more posts about Antisemitisim, the callous use of History and Saturday's Doctor Who episode before this day is done.
eumelia: (diese religione)
One of the things I continuously see, on par with being critical of Israel's policies, is accusations of antisemitism.
I love the fact that I'm a self-hating Jew.
Honestly, I try to find it funny, because how else am I going to react to such blatant antisemitism that comes from other Jewish people.

Sorry, derailing.

The thing that happens when you start using the "Look, look, they're doing it too" deflection strategy is that the main thing it does, is piss people off.

At least, if you're me.

I wasn't going to comment on the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) Child Rape case again. I really wasn't. Mainly, because I don't get why this isn't an international criminal case by now. However, when the RCC decides to deflect its atrocities by comparing the criticism as a different kind of persecution, i.e. Antisemitism, that is when I cry foul:
VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI's personal preacher on Friday likened accusations against the pope and the Catholic church in the sex abuse scandal to "collective violence" suffered by the Jews.
[...]
"They know from experience what it means to be victims of collective violence and also because of this they are quick to recognize the recurring symptoms," the preacher said.

Fuck.
You.

No, seriously. I think the man needs a good hard fuck, if only to dislodge the entitlement and self-righteousness that seems to putrefy the RCC Hierarchy.
Sex isn't the answer, but it's certainly a stepping stone.

The "Jewish Connection" began the day before, along with the gay one - because some quack Catholic Defender wrote:
the focus on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is far out of proportion to the attention given by the media to the sexual molestation of minors when committed by non-Catholic clergymen. According to a report by the New York Times in October, the Brooklyn district attorney's office had filed charges in 26 cases of sexual abuse involving members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

You see, focusing on the Catholic Church is unfair when Jews are doing it too!

This article breaks down the truly vomituos diatribe protecting immoral and unethical acts in the name of a corrupt organisation, by comparing it to another.
One, I might add, that has barely an iota worth of the same following and power as the RRC. Not that that makes a difference to the victims, but if the Church is going to try and shake off it's own authoritative power, it would serve better not to try and compare themselves to a religion where there is no absolute authority on earth.

Just sayin'.

But wait, there's more!

As mentioned, it's not just the Jews, it's the Gays as well:
The Catholic League took out a full-page advertisement in the New York Times on March 30, lambasting the paper for its coverage of the crisis and declaring that, "The Times continues to editorialize about the ’pedophilia crisis,’ when all along it’s been a homosexual crisis." The ad continues, "Eighty percent of the victims of priestly sexual abuse are male and most of them are post-pubescent. While homosexuality does not cause predatory behavior, and most gay priests are not molesters, most of the molesters have been gay."

The ad drew condemnation from GLBT advocacy group Truth Wins Out, which said in a March 30 posting at its web site that the Catholic League had "served as an enabler for sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and sought to deflect blame for the crisis by smearing the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

My face, it is a pissed off one.
Beyond the fact that the RCC is shirking (putting it mildly) its responsibility as an organisation towards those who support it (monetarily) and the fact that the RRC is deflecting it's own crimes and downplaying its collaboration with the paedophiles they chose to keep in positions of total authority over children and their parents - they continue to use the "scapegoat" rhetoric that infects conservative reactionary discourse.

Jews and gays seem to go in tandem when there's a need to deflect from atrocities committed by a powerful majority. Even if Catholicism isn't the majority faith, it is still far more powerful and has more affect over far more people than Jewish organisations and LGBT organisations put together.

In short.
Stop it.
Stop. It.

Claiming persecution over the fact that your crimes have been uncovered is cowardly, weak and ridiculous, more so when you're going to blame other religions and sexual minorities who have a history of religious persecution under our belt.

Hear Me Gag

Feb. 5th, 2010 06:16 pm
eumelia: (Default)
Directly continuing from my previous post, the persecution of those pesky Human Rights orgs and those who speak in criticism of Israel continues.

My initial comparison to The Crucible was not unwarranted and I wonder how long before a(n) unofficial committee to investigate un-Patriotic acts against the Jewish State is put together and made public.

Naomi Hazan (alternate spelling "Chazan") has been fired from The Jerusalem Post the daily Israeli English language News paper where she wrote a column. According to the Ha'aretz article regarding this turn of events, that Doron Horovitz, The JP's editor in cheif, declined from commenting about this very "sudden" decision.
The same article, titled "Amid row over contentious ad, Jerusalem Post fires Naomi Chazan of New Israel Fund", goes on to talk about the "Im Tirzu":
Im Tirtzu is trying to cast itself as a centrist movement, refusing to explicitly state an alliance to any party, Left or Right. However, a Haaretz probe found that the influential forces behind the movement make no secret of their rightist political loyalties. Financially, Im Tirtzu is supported by a foundation that has contributed to radical right-wing organizations such as the Women in Green; Pastor John Hagee, the head of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) which contributed to Im Tirtzu, has been implicated in the past by a number of anti-Semitic statements.

[...]

The main channel for donations to Im Tirtzu is the Central Fund of Israel. In addition to Women in Green and Im Tirtzu, it supports Honenu, an organization sponsoring legal defence to radical right-wing activists in trouble with the law. Honenu boasts of financially supporting the families of the Bat Ayin underground, convicted for trying to bomb a girls' school in East Jerusalem in 2002; of Ami Popper, who shot four Palestinian labourers during the first intifada; Yishai Schlissel, an ultra-Orthodox man who stabbed participants in a Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem in 2005; and Haggai Amir, brother of Yitzhak Rabin's assassin Yigal Amir. Im Tirtzu's Web site asks donations to be sent through the American foundation.

[...]

Meanwhile, the Hebrew news Web site Walla! revealed this week that one of the donors to Im Tirtzu is CUFI, Christians United for Israel, led by evangelist preacher John Hagee. CUFI's Web site stated it had given Im Tirtzu $100,000.

Hagee achieved notoriety in 2008, when saying that Hitler carried out the will of God, to return the Jews to Israel in accordance with the biblical promise.
Emphasis by me.

I find the fact that Israel gets funds and support from Christian groups that want to exist for the sole purpose of believing that through it we'll be annihilated... a tad disturbing, to say the very least.

The Knesset (our Parliament) has caught wind of this very ugly media shit storm and are going to be setting up an investigation committee that will check the "New Israel Fund"'s donors... not, you'll note, "Im Tirtzu"'s or "The Central Fund of Israel".
Those pesky human rights activists and organisations, questioning policies and disseminating information that pertains to Israel's character.
"Im Tirzu" are basically calling into question the right to free speech and whether it's legitimate to question anything the IDF and Israel does - all this in relation to the Goldstone Report, but it's so much deeper than that.

It's wrong to call for a proper investigation regarding excessive force, but inciting a media storm and publishing an ad in which Antisemitic iconography is employed is fine and dandy.

In other ways this country is going down the toilet - as though the Occupation and the violence that floods our society due to it wasn't enough, of which the above are direct examples - The minister of transportation said he was in favour gender segregated buses ("Kosher Buses" as they're called) is the segregation was, I'm not kidding, voluntary.
If you are a woman and you happen to get onto a gender segregated bus (which aren't marked to make them distinguishable from "regular" buses) then you will be either shamed into getting to the back, forcibly removed from the bus or simply, you know, told to wait.
Yes, well, of course it affects the women, who according to Jewish orthodoxy are filthy, impure and human enough to be mothers and workers in order to support the men who study Torah, Mishna and what-ever-the-fuck day in and day out in Yeshivas.

The phenomenon of gender segregated buses has spread beyond Jerusalem and to other cities which have large populations of Ultra-Orthodox, like Bnei Brak and Petach Tikva (both of which are 5-10 minutes away from liberal Tel-Aviv) issue as the Ultra-Orthodox who demand that buses be kosher for "modesty" because men and women are not supposed to be in contact with each other.

Yeah.

Of course, Israel's main problem is its image.
Who knew.
eumelia: (Default)
I don't.

Last week I wrote about the new testimonials from Breaking the Silence, which garnered no comments on the entry itself.

I suppose it can be a bit overwhelming to talk about. Or simply not interesting for most. I don't know what to say really, it could just be a boring topic.

Yes, we know, Occupation Bad, Liberty Good, move along.

The thing is this isn't a given. Until four years ago, I was sure I understood the reality of where I lived and I was sorely misinformed, or in denial, depends what period of time we're speaking of.

Over the past years, as I grew more informed and actually took the time to understand the reality of what it means to be an Occupier, along with seeing through the veneer of democracy we supposedly live in (it's not a democracy when one group is privileged by law above all others), it seems that I've radicalised.

I suppose that's true, I've always irritated family, some friends and acquaintances with being vocal over the notion that all people are, in fact, human. Going to university has enabled me to articulate my points in a far more coherent and lucid way - rather than simply rant and point while saying: "But, but... you're doing bad things!".

But what bothers me the most is the Antisemitism (actual vile Jew hatred - disguised as anti-Zionism - from outsiders and internalised from other Jewish people - disguised as criticism of critics) I've encountered ever since being "out" regarding my politics.

I've written before about how the entire notion of "self-hating Jews" is Antisemitic, seeing as by declaring that one Jew is better than another, you [editorial] are saying that there is a Jewish Essence that some Jews have more than others, or something insipid as that.
By conflating a loyalty to a nation state (Israel) and belonging to a diverse ethnic, religious and cultural group (Judaism), you make it impossible to criticise the very real problems that exist within both those categories.
If I, as an Israeli, cannot criticise the policies of my own country for fear of being called "Bad Jew" what kind of protection against Antisemitism does living in the Jewish state accord me?
Or when Alan Dershowitz accuses Judge Richard Goldstone of betraying the Jewish people?
Carte Blanche for persecution, you say?

I speak of this now, because last week a smear campaign against The New Israel Fund (one of the largest social justice organisations in Israel) brought about by a neo-Zionist group called "Im Tirzu" (אם תרצו - If You Will It), which I'm not linking to as I'd rather not give a proto-fascist group more traffic than necessary.

The campaign included this "lovely" picture: Cut for size and because it's disgusting )
Picture depicts a caricature of Naomi Hazan (as Naomi Goldstone-Hazan) who is the current chairperson of the "New Israel Fund" with a horn on her head that bears the initials of the org. Below the picture there is text that reads: "FACT! Without the New Israel Fund, there could be no Goldstone Report, and Israel would not be facing international accusations of war crimes".

"Im Tirzu" are a vile reactionary bunch. I've encountered them more than once on my campus (university campus' are where they generally operate because they are bastions of anti/post-Zionis/Israel Hating/Loony Left Politics). They wear t-shirts depicting Theodore Herzl, Moshe Dayan, Menahem Begin and Golda Meir.
They call themselves politically centre.
A bigger bunch of racist chauvinists you'll be hard pressed to find.

Not only do they get venerated by the local press, I heard one of the activists speak on the radio regaling accusations of "delusion", "self-hatred", "victim blaming" (Israel being the only victim to be found), "anti-democratic" and the radio jockey was going along with it!
I fairly sure I burst a blood vessel somewhere.

One of the fine things of living in a democracy is that the state is not infallible. That the institutions that run it and are run by it can be scrutinised and spoken about critically.

When NGO's that try to promote equality and challenge the inequity of ethnocentric, militaristic and chauvinist Israel are under attack and accused of the very things they stand against and tactics used by our "enemies" are copied by the so-called "defenders" of Zionism, what exactly are we supposed to find agreeable about a nationalistic, supremacist and Antisemitic organisation? Accusing those who defend human rights and/or criticise the state as being enemies of the state sounds like The Crucible.

I'll conclude by saying that Umberto Eco defined 14 characteristics of Eternal, or Ur-Fascism, some of them being:
4. The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism.

In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge. For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason.

5. Besides, disagreement is a sign of diversity.

Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.
eumelia: (Default)
I think Antisemitism is an issue that should not be taken lightly. I feel very strongly about the fact that the history of my people is that of persecution, internment, exile and extermination.
Growing up in a home in which Jewish identity is very connected to Zionism has made it very difficult for me to unpack the baggage of post-Holocaust trauma and the privilege of being a Jewish person, born and raised in Israel.
I have no choice but to be a Zionist1, it's what brought my family here and it's what keeps them here and I wouldn't be who I am if it weren't for it.

Israel is an idea and an ideal and like most things which are idea and ideals they do not live up to the hype.
I've been over the hype for a while now and I'm not shy about busting people's happy shiny bubbles about the disaster that is Israeli policy both inside and outside it's ill-defined borders.

The Goldstone Report, the UN fact finding mission headed by Justice Richard Goldstone, a South-African Jewish man with a history of being good at what he does, has faced a barrage of undisguised Antisemitism for writing down, black on white, that Israel (and Hamas, as people conveniently forget) committed war crimes.

The mere fact that this accusation was brought about is enough for the reactionary monstrosity that is Israeli foreign propaganda known as Hasbara - literally meaning "explanation".

When I see stories like this: Finance Minister [Yuval Steinitz]: UN backing of Goldstone report is "anti-Semitic" it drives me 'round the fucking bend.
Because in the same paper you will see a story like this: Hungarian MP: Jews want to take over the world; and I have to wonder, have us Israeli Jews in fact forgotten what Antisemitism actually is and conflate with Zionism which is a National Ideology comparable to any other in it's myth building and telling of itself?
Read Moar! )

This is long, but also important and I'm wondering if I should cross post this in some other blog or anti-oppression website.

Footnotes
(1)Ideologically speaking, I'm not a Zionist. At all. But I have to acknowledge the fact that Zionism has privileged me and my family and I wouldn't be who I am without that ideological push and existence.
Back to text.
eumelia: (Default)
I've been trying to write about the Goldstone Report and what it's actually doing to the discourse regarding Israel internationally and domestically.
I suppose anyone who is a regular News reader known that the UN Human Rights Council has endorsed the report.

Obviously, Israel is crying "No Fair!".

Israel's reactionary response couldn't have been more predictable. Instead of co-operating and trying to own the story, Hasbarah has gone out of its way to convince the world that the report is "false, distorted and promotes terror".

Personally speaking, I think it's about time we took some responsibility for the fact that, indeed yes, we are not the Good Guys. That there are no Good Guys, and that crimes committed against people cannot be condoned.
this is quite long, so I've cut it )
eumelia: (Default)
Things I grew tired of hearing a long time ago:

#01 "You're aggressive" - You make me want to rip out your rib cage and wear it like a hat (h/t Spike/Willian the Bloody terrible poet, he was a brilliant word-smith...).

#02 "You're provocative" - I make you uncomfortable, not my problem!

#03 Rape apologia - Even if a woman (or man) is walking around, naked, with a placard stating in neon "Will Fuck Anyone!", no one has the right to violate his/her/hir body. Ever. Rape is a crime, stop punishing and blaming the victims.

#04 The term "self-hating Jew" - the next time I hear this term I'm calling on that person and saying they are an "Antisemitic shit-bag". Jewish self-hatred assumes some kind of essential Jewish trait that us (yeah, I'm one of those people) self-haters reject because we're just that disgusting.
Antisemitic Shit-Baggery!

#05 "You've lost weight, you look great!" - I know I've lost weight. I know I comply with the fashionable female body type. I'd appreciate it if no one comments about my body, it's fucking irritating, I'm not livestock to be commented upon, my my rump, ribs and tits are not in public for your consumption! Unless you've been given permission to do so (you know who you are), do stop!

#06 "You look much better now that your hair in longer. The shaved head didn't look good on you".
DIAF.

#07 "Is this another feminist thing?" - Yeah it is, and you're gonna listen to me annoy the fucking hell out of you!

#08 "You're so sensitive" - Yeah, this is me crying over your dead body.

#09 "You're so loud, why do you have to shout everything. It's all about how you say things you know" - Yeah I do know, I also know a big STFU when I see one. Stop trying to control my fucking tone!

And #10 "Why do you care so much?" - because the world is an ugly, cynical and corrupted blemish in this universe. We have to live on it, it may as well be with a modicum of empathy and dignity.

Those are the Top 10 things this week that made me go *rawr*, *arrgh*, swear under my breath, glare, lose my temper and want to throw things at people's faces.

I cannot wait for the semester to start (which it does this Sunday).

Tell me friends, readers and maybe lurkers, what grinds your gears?
eumelia: (Default)
Wow, do I have some stuff to share.

Okay so I don't want to make this a huge links post and rant but damn! The weekend was just non-stop with the amount of WTF's that seemed to bleed into the News and I can't not share it with you dear readers.

I hope those of you who are more than just interested in the Occupation and Israeli policy in Palestine did not miss Professor Neve Gordon's Op-Ed in the LA Times: Boycott Israel: An Israeli comes to the painful conclusion that it's the only way to save his country, which came online on Thursday the 20th of August.

It's a whopper and a very important read.

However, it wouldn't be a News day if someone didn't condemn those filthy dirty anti-Zionist Jews with self-hate.
Have you ever notice that only other Zionists accuse us of hating ourselves. What's up with that?

On Friday, the Los Angeles Jewish Community began to mull over boycotting Ben-Gurion University is Israel, which is the Uni in which Prof. Gordon teaches Poli-Sci. Funny Diaspora reaction aside the really special moment and quote comes from the LA Israeli Consulate Mr. Yaakov (Yaki) Dayan:
"I believe that the definitive answer to anti-Zionist lecturers like Gordon is to set up a center for Zionist studies, which unfortunately does not exist in Israeli academia," [Dayan] continued. "This center would help dispel the lies disseminated by Gordon in the name of your university."

Oh my God, my eyes could not have rolled farther into my skull without giving me brain damage.
I just... *sigh*.
As I said, a very special moment.

That's not all. Oh no, not even close. There is more Israeli craziness in store.

Who hasn't heard of the controversial Swedish newspaper article accusing the IDF of murdering Palestinians in order to harvest their organs.
I gotta say, it smacks of hyperbole, but that's not my point.
As controversial as the article may be, I think the Israeli Government's reaction was just beyond out of proportion.
And defensive of course.
PM Netanyahu is set to request, nay, demand that the Swedish government condemn the article.

After the article was published, it would appear Israel did not appreciate the Swedish government's reaction... which was to be quiet about it.
On Friday, the Israeli Ambassador to Sweden Benny Dagan met with Deputy Foreign Minister of the Scandinavian country and urged his government to issue a denunciation of the article. Deputy Foreign Minister Frank Belfrage emphasized his country's freedom of speech and how it limits the ability of the government to respond to articles in the media.
[...]
A Netanyahu aide said that "Israel does not wish to infringe upon the freedom of the press in Sweden. However, as much as the Swedish press is entitled to freedom, the Swedish government should enjoy the freedom of denouncing such reports."

The desk is well acquainted with my head, because really, of a government is nosing into the media, it's no longer a free press.

The Swedish Jewish Community's reaction to this is pretty interesting; one of the head's of the community, Lena Posner, says that until Israel got involved, it was a non-issue:
Posner told Ynet, "The article was published here on Monday, but no one paid any attention to it. It wasn't a news report and was buried in the back pages of a tabloid. The writer is known to many of us as anti-Israel, and so it the entire paper. This is why no one took it seriously – until Israel got involved."

Read this one, it's pretty good and manages to show Lieberman as the paranoid maniac that he is because beyond accusing Sweden of Antisemitism and saying that this silence over the matter is equivalent to their silence during the Holocaust (Godwin! Hello!) - he's gone on to accuse Norway of promoting Antisemitism, here's why:
"I remember that in the Durban-II conference," Lieberman said, referring to last April's UN anti-racism summit which was criticized as allegedly biased against Israel. "The Norwegian representatives were among the few who didn't walk out, and today I realize it's not a coincidence. How low can you go?"

How low indeed.

So... anybody got any good jokes?
eumelia: (Default)
Whenever I talk about race and/or racism I do it from a default point of privilege. I've never, nor will I ever in my country, be discriminated against due to the colour of my skin, my surname, or where I was born and raised.

I was born and raised in what is probably considered one the "better" towns. We are not the most affluent town in the district, but status wise that hardly matters. We are upwardly mobile. Both my parents have University degrees and the expectation is/was that all their children get a degree in what interested them and self-actualise themselves.

Hence me studying a Literary Theory and Women & Gender Studies double major for my BA.

My point is that when it comes to race, in Israel, I've pretty much got it made.

Which makes being the daughter of immigrants very interesting indeed.

Last year, my main entry for [livejournal.com profile] ibarw was about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the asymmetry of that conflict and the imbued racism of the Occupation - "What is this symmetry you speak of?".

Thinking about what to write this year and working closely with my dad in his Pharmacy for the past year or so, I came to the conclusion that my family's experience as immigrants falls into a very unique story. On the one hand, they've had to deal with the regular run-of-the-mill issues have to deal with; the language barrier, the culture shock, the separation from family and finding a community of other people with a background similar to their own.
One big difference though.
They left a country in which they were an ethnic and religious minority and came to a country in which they are an ethnic and religious majority(1).

My mother "jokes" that one of the reasons she wanted to move to Israel from South Africa was that she wouldn't have to "work so hard" to be Jewish.

Before people jump up and start saying that Antisemitism isn't the same as Racism and why am I writing about this for Intl. Blog Against Racism Week. Let me first state, that some Jews have white privilege, some Jews are people of colour. In the context of Israel, I am what would be considered the WASP, and even that is pushing it because people here insist on ethnicising (yeah I made up a word) practically everyone.
Obviously some ethnicities are better than others.
Regardless, Antisemitism exists in various forms and is espoused in various ways. Sometimes it intersects with Racism, sometimes it doesn't.

With that established, let's talk about the experience of a child who considers herself Israeli though and through who grew up with a name that was just that weird.

I remember as a child cringing when my parents spoke Hebrew to the friends I brought home, I remember cringing when my friends tried to speak English in order to accommodate my parents.
I remember hating my name, because it denoted me as non-"Israeli". I didn't even have the benefit of a Russian name, which while being an non-Hebrew name, there was no need to explain time and time again - where the family was from and why they had the name they had.

"Where are you from?"
"My home town"
"Where were you born?"
"In the hospital there"
"What? Really?!"
"Yeah, really"
"Then why do you have such a strange name?"

Suffice to say growing up, my name helped me weed out the idiots out of my life. It made for a slightly stand-offish existence and a pretty negative opinion on people in general.

Any way throughout my life my experience as a Jewish person was that of being default. I didn't understand where my parents persecution paranoia came from. For a long-long time I did not understand how the story of the Exodus, the Exile, the 1492 Expulsion from Spain, the Pogroms of Eastern Europe had anything to do with me.
I thought I understood the Holocaust, seeing as after WWII the state was founded.

The history of my people is that of persecution, seclusion and exclusion.

I understand that. But not really. I've never been different because I'm Jewish. I've never felt Foreign in my own country. I know quite a few people who do.
My perspective as an ethnically white Sabra (an Jewish person born in Israel) enabled me to be oblivious to most forms of discrimination and it took me a long time to break down and unpack that privilege.

What really helped was to actually listen to my parents, the way they spoke and the way they interacted with non-English speakers.
My mother is an English teacher, she has to speak to kids (some of whom can barely read and write Hebrew) and make them understand her in a way that I've never had to try.
My father is a pharmacist and the interaction between him and his clientèle can at times be non-verbal - they hand him a script, he fills it out, they pay, the end. At times it can lead to so much frustration on both parts I sometimes wonder how my dad retains loyal customers who are not the Addicts treated at the clinic situated above his pharmacy.

Being Jewish outside of Israel, wherever that is, is being different.
I've never had to take a special day off for any of the Jewish holidays. I've never had to think about keeping Kosher seeing as the default for goods in the supermarket is Kosher, the non-Kosher shops are the ones marked as different in these parts.

My parents tell me to this day, that anything non-Jewish is Antisemitic. To me that sounds like paranoia. And I'm pretty paranoid myself regarding my identity.

And sometimes I want to shake us, Isreali Jews in general, and tell ourselves "Get the fuck over it!", "Move on!", "It's 1492, 1883, 1939 any more!".
And Jews themselves are now oppressors in a land considered a Homeland to more than one people.
And yet it's because of that History that I can call this place my home.
I have no other place to call home.
My parents and siblings who were born a continent away do not consider any where else their home.
I have family in the Diaspora that will never consider Israel their home.

It is a confuzzeling existence.

I know of no other kind immigration pattern in which a minority becomes a majority. Like the rest of Jewish identity, it is no cohesive and it is a difficult task trying to explain what it has to do with blogging against racism.

I really hope I managed to put my point across.

Footnotes
(1) Israel is a very touchy subject, as almost everyone knows. I'm going to be talking about my experiences only and while I may touch on how that relates to how I think and feel about the Occupation and the conflict. The main subject of this post is not that. If you are interested in reading my thoughts about the Occupation and Israeli politics as they relate to it, you can press the tag the occupation.
eumelia: (Default)
Yeah, not so much.

Remember, a few weeks ago, I wrote about the foreign ministry's attempt at recruiting the Gay LGBT community to improve Israel's image (while slandering Iran's).

I just read a very, very disturbing article on Ynet and seriously, Israel is the best place for Gays in the Middle East?!
2 men attacked while kissing on Tel Aviv street

Dangerous liaisons: Two men who were seen kissing on a central Tel Aviv street were the near-victims of an assault by several local youths, who took aversion to the public display of affection.

Nadav, 29, recounted the terrifying end to his Tuesday night date: "We were kissing and then a car sped by and the passengers began yelling 'homos! We'll kill you!' We ignored it at first, it was – after all – only a yell, but then the car stopped.

"Two men stepped out, opened up the trunk and pulled out iron maces. We understood what was going to happen and ran into the stairwell of a nearby building. They chased us, but stopped at the door to the stairwell.


Peace, Tolerance and Bullshit.
This is obviously an aberration in behaviour. Of course those Youths (as they're called) are normative and don't really hate anyone.
Anyone who doesn't fit their parameters of human beings of course.

Another anecdote of Homophobia induced violence )
Yesterday I read this nifty little article:Parts of import under the cut )
Emphasis by me and let me put one thing straight (hehe), I do not oppose the sex industry as an industry or with it being advertised... I have a problem with the following:
Gays as fetish?
Check!
Resuming the Levant's status as sex tourism hot spot?
Check!
Eradication of women and femininity?
Check!
And
Queer women are not part of the LGBT experience, no worries!
Check!

Oh, and I almost forgot to add; Jews are feminized (because sex workers are passive/feminized).

So much wrong in one campaign.
So much.
eumelia: (Default)
And then spit.

Yeah yeah. I know, I've been away.
No inspiration to write will do that to you.

However, just a couple of days ago I came across an article (h/t [livejournal.com profile] lishablog) which I found incredibly disturbing (and funny!), as I feel it encapsulates the mainstream view of Israel much more than any other article I've read recently.
Mainstream in that it takes at face value the entire Israeli Zionist discourse.

Here it is, with a few added comments from your truly, who just couldn't help but think that this article deserved to be sliced, diced and criticised in that my oh so delicate and witty style.

Israel still looks good, warts and all
The alliance between the Western Left and Islamic anger is perplexing, writes Greg Sheridan

[...]
That Israel of the Western mind (and indeed of the Arab mind) is a hateful place: right-wing, militaristic, authoritarian, racist, ultra-religious, neo-colonial, narrow-minded, undemocratic, indifferent to world opinion, indifferent especially to Palestinian suffering.

It's really surprising how accurate these "distortions" are of Israel's image, isn't it?!

Yet the Israel I know is mostly secular, raucously, almost wildly democratic, has a vibrant left wing, having founded in the kibbutz movement one of the only successful experiments in socialism in human history.

Did this man step outside North-Central Tel-Aviv? Ever? In his visits, did he actually do things other than visit the regular tourist places, and maybe perhaps go to the Jaffa (Yaffo/Yaffa) that wasn't the port? Or Jerusalem that wasn't the Wailing Wall or the Souk?!
Also, The Kibbutz movement didn't actually work because it operated in a nominally Capitalist economy. The fact that people lived communally doesn't make it a successful socialist movement.

It is intellectually disputatious; any two Israelis will have three opinions and be happy to argue them to a lamp post. It is multi-ethnic,

The Black Panthers (the "Mizrahi Power" movement who were extremely active from the mid-60's all the way the First Intifada) were according to Golda Meir, "Not very nice" (paraphrased)
Arabs, of course, are another "race" altogether.

there is a great stress on human solidarity, there is due process. And I've never heard an Israeli speak casually about the value of Palestinian life.

I snorted so hard, I scared my cat.
The graffiti "Death to Arabs" in Hebrew can be found in many places.

I've heard Israelis voice a desire to neutralise Hezbollah or remove Hamas from leadership in Gaza,

By any means nessecary.
Including bombing innocent men, women and children.
July-August 2006.
December-January 2008-2009.
Just in case someone's forgotten.
Cut for Length )
I hope you enjoyed that little ride.
It was certainly a fun article of FAIL to make fun of.
And help y'all to read.
eumelia: (Default)
Did the title make you double-take?

Before I return to my studies I wanted to write about the fact that January has been a crappy month for my part of the world.
And for the world in general.
More precisely, the people.

I don't think I need to recount the War Frenzy that took over Israel.

I think it's important to emphasise the Antisemitic backlash that went on during that month around the world.
Demonstrating in front of Israel embassies and consulates is legitimate, necessary and if I weren't already in Israel protesting against the policies of my government, I'd be in front of an embassy myself were I not here.

Spray painting Synagogues and cemeteries with anti-Zionist messages is not legitimate. Attacking and harassing Jews and Israelis and excusing it because of a military operation that is happening, with these people not actually being a part of any of it, is not legitimate.


It's fucking racist!

This is not anti-Zionist critique. This is flat out Antisemitism. Using Israel's actions to promote an Antisemitic agenda is low, base and sickening.
And I won't have my critical agenda of my country co-opted, silenced and de-legitimised because racist assholes are using it in in order to promote hatred of me, my family, culture and history.

Fuck. That.

This is even without mentioning that the Catholic Church is not winning any friends by not at the very least admonishing the words of a Holocaust denying priest: Priest: Gas chambers were for disinfection - yes, indeed the gas chambers were indeed used for disinfection... to disinfect the Aryan race from the disease carrying, filthy, human shaped microbes... am I right?

The assault on Gaza has been used to excuse actual Antisemitic rhetoric.
To trivialise the Holocaust AND deny the unique position of the Palestinians by comparing the assault and the Occupation as being perpetrated "Jewish Nazis".
An insult to both our Houses.
This silences actual and real critique on Israel's policies.

Way back when in 2007, former Member of Knesset and former speaker of the Knesset Avrum Burg published a book under the Hebrew title Defeating Hitler, he was interviewed about it in Ha'aretz.
The book has been translated into English under the title The Holocaust is Over, We Must Rise From its Ashes.
You can read a fantastic review and analysis by Julia Glassman over at Feministe called “What is bad for the Jews is better for Zionism”.

Antisemitism is as real as any other from of racism, only Jews of certain heritage can "pass" and maybe not be directly affected by it their entire lives. It still doesn't mean that there is no "Othering" going on and that history doesn't affect how the rest of the world treats Israel as a nation of Jews.
Because we're still Jewish and there's something just not right about us.

I was going to end this with something light hearted, but I think I'll leave that for another day when I'm feeling less pissed off!
eumelia: (bollocks)
I've been wringing my hands about the huge Race and Cultural Appropriation debate which I've mentioned.

I've read the posts and the arguments and what people have been saying.

What's really been shocking is the total lack of perspective and how unwilling people are to listen to those who actually do know what racism is, seeing as racism actually affects their lives every day.

Dramatic? Maybe. Doesn't make it any less true, and if you find it dramatic you're probably not experiencing that variety of oppression and discrimination.

Someone I was discussing racism (anti-racism more to the point) said that we should just stop classifying people and start from scratch.
I find that kind of attitude baffling.
We do not live in a world in which clean slates are possible. We do not live in a world in which history can be removed and nicely boxed away as the past.
Especially because, as I've mentioned, this happens every day, all the time. The mechanisms that keep power where it's at do not let go once they are acknowledged.
Knowing how something works doesn't mean you can take it apart.
Especially when there are many people who benefit, whether they know it or don't, from the way these power structures.

I do not face discrimination or prejudice due to the colour of my skin. I am peachy-pink in the face, all rosy and fair.
In my country I am at the top of the racial totem pole.
The reason I have a country is because my ancestors, not that long ago, my grand-parents generation, were being exterminated for being the lowest on the racial totem pole.
A reminder, I'm an Israeli Ashkenazi/White Jewish grrl, the extermination I'm talking about it the Holocaust.

The relevance of those two facts are whatever you think they are. To me they are fundamental parts of my identity. Not because I chose them, but because they were written unto me by the history of my people.

For the debate currently taking over fandom on LJ and we all know it's not just about fandom and never was.
It was/is the unwillingness to hear, to fucking listen, to what others are saying!
The fact the oppression Olympics came out to play is nothing new, nobody want to own up to the fact that the in my reality I am an Oppressor, especially when I am at the same time also Oppressed.
Racism is not like any other oppression, just as Sexism is not like any other, or Homophobia.
To begin qualifying your own prejudices by saying "look I'm oppressed as well"... it don't fly.

I've been called on my racist shit. Not because I believe that as a white Jew I'm better than someone who isn't, but because as a white Jew the system works in my benefit and if I so chose I do not have to see how my privilege makes my life easier than the lives of other people.
I've been called on my racist shit because I believed in being colour blind... what does it matter if I'm Jewish and you're not?
Let me tell you how...

In the course of a discussion IRL with my family I got so fed up with the way we were heading I said "does anyone have any idea how racist we sound?!"
And a family member said tetchily "Including you!"
Well, no shit.

I have no clue if this adds, detracts or actually does anything to this discussion. But I felt I had to contribute something.

Profile

eumelia: (Default)
Eumelia

June 2015

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V and Justice

V: Ah, I was forgetting that we are not properly introduced. I do not have a name. You can call me V. Madam Justice...this is V. V... this is Madam Justice. hello, Madam Justice.

Justice: Good evening, V.

V: There. Now we know each other. Actually, I've been a fan of yours for quite some time. Oh, I know what you're thinking...

Justice: The poor boy has a crush on me...an adolescent fatuation.

V: I beg your pardon, Madam. It isn't like that at all. I've long admired you...albeit only from a distance. I used to stare at you from the streets below when I was a child. I'd say to my father, "Who is that lady?" And he'd say "That's Madam Justice." And I'd say "Isn't she pretty."

V: Please don't think it was merely physical. I know you're not that sort of girl. No, I loved you as a person. As an ideal.

Justice: What? V! For shame! You have betrayed me for some harlot, some vain and pouting hussy with painted lips and a knowing smile!

V: I, Madam? I beg to differ! It was your infidelity that drove me to her arms!

V: Ah-ha! That surprised you, didn't it? You thought I didn't know about your little fling. But I do. I know everything! Frankly, I wasn't surprised when I found out. You always did have an eye for a man in uniform.

Justice: Uniform? Why I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. It was always you, V. You were the only one...

V: Liar! Slut! Whore! Deny that you let him have his way with you, him with his armbands and jackboots!

V: Well? Cat got your tongue? I though as much.

V: Very well. So you stand revealed at last. you are no longer my justice. You are his justice now. You have bedded another.

Justice: Sob! Choke! Wh-who is she, V? What is her name?

V: Her name is Anarchy. And she has taught me more as a mistress than you ever did! She has taught me that justice is meaningless without freedom. She is honest. She makes no promises and breaks none. Unlike you, Jezebel. I used to wonder why you could never look me in the eye. Now I know. So good bye, dear lady. I would be saddened by our parting even now, save that you are no longer the woman I once loved.

*KABOOM!*

-"V for Vendetta"

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