eumelia: (ctrl+alt+delete)
Two years ago, I went to Bil'in. To those unaware, Bil'in is a Palestinian village in the West Bank that was and still is the forerunner in the popular struggle against the Separation wall cutting through the landscape and usurping Palestinian land beyond the Green Line (the historical 1967 border).

Two years ago I went to Bil'in and I haven't been back. I haven't been to the West Bank since.

Mainly, because I'm afraid.

I'm a coward, because I long for normality. I know many who go to Bil'in, Al-Massarah, Wallaga, Nialin, Nabi-Sallah, Sheikh Jarrah and I don't.

I'm scared of the violence. I'm scared of being arrested. I'm afraid of seeing again what I saw two years ago in that little village, what I dub in my mind as the little village that could.

With much guilt I sometimes pretend everything is okay.

The flotilla disaster was not a wake up call, it was another knot in the string of violence committed in the name of keeping Israel from showing its dirty bloody laundry.

Since the flotilla disaster, criticism and threats of isolation have grown, more and more performing artists have said they weren't going to be performing in Israel (I have a ticket to K's Choice performance in September*, we'll see...) and it has put to the average Israeli into a tizzy.

Everyone hates us. The whole world is Antisemitic. We just want to live our lives.

We can't. I can't. Because they don't.

See what I did there.

It's so easy, living where I do, in an affluent middle-class town, less then half an hour drive to Tel-Aviv and to the cultural events of that place, to forget the price we pay for that comfort. That not twenty minutes away from my sister's flat in Jerusalem there are riots because Palestinian homes are being evicted in order to enable Jews to live there comfortably.

My life, is not normal, by virtue of living in a place that creates a doublespeak and a doublethink on what's political, what is societal and what is a crime.

I broke the law two years ago when I went to Bil'in, because I crossed the border by jumping over a fence and not going through a blockade. I went there and smelt the tear gas and saw the bullets hit.
That is where the average Israeli can see that things are shite.
Because beyond the border, in Israel, not in Palestine, things are okay... I will not be arrested, I will not be attacked on campus for walking past a demo... I do not fear the authorities, even though I am threatened by them.

Israelis just want to watch the World Cup, drink their beer and go to an open air concert. They just want to live their lives like every average Joe.

But we are not average. This is an abnormal state.

We have always been at war (with Eurasia).

The Occupation is not over there and it's not about them. The Occupation is the fact that every high-tech company works with the Military on something, the Occupation is the fact that the Palestinians are another market to exploit, both in the West Bank and in Gaza. The Occupation is the fact that our economy is based on the fact that the Palestinians are starving.

This is not about who has the bigger dick. This is about the smoke-screen of normality we Israeli Jews live within and don't seem to be able to see through. That it is beyond ideology, religion and all that crap, it's not about who won the war and how many died on which side... it is about the fact that there are those who exploit and those who are exploited.

I have the fortune of being on the exploiting side, which is why I can chose to not go to the West Bank and see 18-20 year old boys and girls mindlessly follow orders and shoot directly into a mass of people who are there because they live there.

I live here too. Despite my many whinges and whines about immigrating, I cannot imagine living any where else.
Maybe it's my Zionist upbringing, maybe it's pure bloody stubbornness and maybe it's simply that I don't want to be a stranger.

I want people to stop starving so that enable drink my Fair Trade coffee in that nice cafe that has African workers who may or may not be refugees from Sudan or Eritrea.

You can say, well all places are crap, what with Kyrgyzstan starting to genocide, just as an example.

But that's deflection, that's ignoring the mess in your own house in order to make snide comments about someone else's dirty laundry.

No country is perfect and it may seem unfair that Israel is singled out in this criticism, but if you look at the fact that all Israel's gotten over the past 40+ years have been the equivalents of the US wagging its finger and the UN saying without much force "hey, now, what you're doing is not so good", I'd say we are getting off pretty fucking lightly in the wake of the amount of damage we've done to this country and the fact that our economy (have I mentioned?!) relies on the fact that the people we keep under siege and imprisoned in their Bantustans continue to be weak, lacking in leadership and without any sense of stability in their life - which yeah, not all (or even most) Israelis have that either, but ask yourself... why?

This post was inspired by this Hebrew blog entry, which should be translated pronto, hopefully by someone with more time than I.

*Thank you [livejournal.com profile] nurint!

*Sleepy*

Jun. 6th, 2010 01:46 am
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
Just got back from the demo.

It was huge.

It had been planned before the flotilla disaster to mark 43 years of Occupation since 1967 and the Six Day War, but obviously, the agenda expanded.

It was different from other demo's I felt. It was the largest Left demo not in a time of war (yeah, we're not at war. Yet) and it felt very powerful.
Inside the blocs.

I rushed to get there (fucking public transport) and on the way I saw the counter demonstration - Israeli flags, Beitar flags and people yelling "Death to Leftists" and "Traitors". I almost tripped because I couldn't stop looking in their direction.
So fucking scary.

I went with my "This is What a Feminist Looks Like" shirt and I put on my Keffiyah when I got into the mass of people, amazing how going to these things used to make me feel unsafe and now with all these people I couldn't have felt more secure (despite the huge amount of police). One of my friends was running late and she asked me to save a red flag for her to carry, which I did, and I waited for her at the convergence area in Rabin Sqaure and as the procession got more distant and I stood in a black and white keffiyah with a red flag, the insults were hurled.

It's always heartening to be told that you're a traitor and that I should be murdered for hating my country.
Hey, better than being told I should be murdered for being a dyke.
Or something...

After the march, during the rally, some Right Winger threw a smoke bomb into the crowed. I was on the outskirts of the crowd so I didn't inhale any toxins, but it was so surprising... the police apprehended the person very quickly, thankfully.

After the demo I packed away my keffiyah and as the people dispersed, the counter-demonstrators arrived.

They are so violent. They attacked a friend of mine and ripped a contact sheet out of his hands. We all went back to his place after for pizza, tea and coffee.

I arrived home about 40 minutes ago.

What an evening... compounded by the fun morning and day I had with the family at the Jerusalem Botanical gardens and it was a very long day with a lot of walking.
My feet!
Sleepy time now.
eumelia: (infantile response)
I haven't updated, as I should have, regarding the flotilla ships and the fact that we have gone utterly bonkers, not that that's News.

But I'm exhausted. In about an hour I'm heading out to a demo, calling for the government to stop sinking us deeper and deeper into a position in which we will have no way out. Not that Netanyahu, Barak and Lieberman give a flying fuck about any demonstration calling for them to act like decent human beings.

That's fantasy land.

Regarding those who died on board the ships and eyewitness accounts )

I have to say that I'm really sickened by the way the Israeli media machine and general public just lap up, no questions asked, everything that comes out of the IDF spokesman's office.

Like this video, from the IDF spokesman office, which recorded and uploaded the Israeli Navy's call to the Mavi Marmara:



If you go to time - 00:38, you will hear the following:
The Israeli government supports delivery of humanitarian supplies to the civilian population in the gaza strip and invites you to enter the Ashdod port. delivery of the supplies, in accordance with the authorities regulation, will be through the formal land crossings

The emphasised (by me) part is crucial, as it exposes the lie of that entire utterance.

"In accordance to the authorities regulation", that the only supplies that can be shipped into Gaza are the ones decided by Israel, meaning that everything on board that flotilla was banned - I've heard reports from the other day and yesterday that Hamas was rejecting the supplies brought into Israel via the flotilla, I don't know what that means, but that in no way absolves Israel's lie regarding the fact that they were planning on passing the supplies.

They never intended to, because in included the following "banned" material:
Sesame
Books
Chocolate
Clothes
Pomegranates
Preserved meat
Semolina
Butter
Kiwi
Cherries
Green Almonds
Shoes
Mattresses
Wheel Chairs
...Among other things. These are banned for "Security Reasons".
My peachy white ass.

The reason for this arbitrary list is pure interest and not security, "as such":
“If you go back two years, you see that it was utter foolishness,” says a senior officer who was serving in [Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the [Occupied] Territories] when the blockade was imposed. “There was a vague, unclear policy, influenced by the interests of certain groups, by this or that lobby, without any policy that derived from the needs of the population. For example, the fruit growers have a powerful lobby, and this lobby saw to it that on certain days, from 20-25 trucks full of fruit were brought into Gaza. It’s not that it arrived there and was thrown out, but if you were to ask a Gazan who lives there, it’s not exactly what he needs. What happened was that the Israeli interest took precedence over the needs of the populace.”


Don't tell me the siege is done in order to save Gilad Shalit or to stop the rockets from falling on Sderot. The Israeli Air Force flies over head and drops bombs all the time. In the went bank non-violent demonstrations against the Occupation turn violent because Soldiers fire tear gas grenade launches straight into the crowds and rubber bullets are actual bullets wrapped in rubber. All those "non-lethal" weapons have killed.

Regarding Israeli political fallout )

The focus of the media on the activists violence in self-defence is completely disproportional to the violence committed by the soldiers, by orders of their superior officers, of the ministry of love defence and of the Prime Minister's office.
I could go on.

This was not about defending Israel. This was not about Gilad Shalit.

While everyone is talking about Israel's image, I'm far more concerned about its character and my own.

But Israel just wants to save its face, never mind that it's showing its ass.
eumelia: (ctrl+alt+delete)
The siege on Gaza.

Israeli/American-Jewish blogger Bradley Burston wrote right after the Free Gaza Flotilla Disaster that:
In going to war in Gaza in late 2008, Israeli military and political leaders hoped to teach Hamas a lesson. They succeeded. Hamas learned that the best way to fight Israel is to let Israel do what it has begun to do naturally: bluster, blunder, stonewall, and fume.

Hamas, and no less, Iran and Hezbollah, learned early on that Israel's own embargo against Hamas-ruled Gaza was the most sophisticated and powerful weapon they could have deployed against the Jewish state.

Here in Israel, we have still yet to learn the lesson: We are no longer defending Israel. We are now defending the siege. The siege itself is becoming Israel's Vietnam.

Not a completely analogous comparison, but it's palpable for the reason that everyone agrees that Vietnam was a war done wrong and perpetrated for the wrong reasons.
It was also a war, the US ultimately lost.

Israel isn't at war with Gaza, nor the West Bank. Israel is a warden.

The flotilla's aim was not only to break the siege (all the ships had something like 10,000 tonnes of food, medical supplies, clothes, toys, etc.) but to put a spotlight on the injustice of the circumstances surrounding the siege.

At this point, no one is talking about that. What is being spoken about is the disaster that cost lives and wounded many.

I don't have all the facts. No one has.

I'll tell you what I do know, even if the activists reacted with violence, the reaction is still done in self-defence. When you are boarded via war-vessels, helicopters by Commando soldiers of one the most notorious platoons in Israel (Shayete 13) you will grab what is at hand and defend yourself.

The IDF stopped the flotilla, 65km off-shore (that's international waters) and took control of the situation, they lost control. That doesn't make it a "lynch" as many are calling it.

Yesterday there was talk of the fact that the ships were smuggling weapons.
These are the weapons found on board: cut for size )
What do you see?
I see kitchen appliances, rope, rods, keffiyas, rope cutters, screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, anything used as a murder weapon in a game of Cluedo, am I right?

That seems pretty ad hoc to me. Where exactly are these "smuggled weapons"? Perhaps sharing a bunker with Iraq's WMD's.

Regardless, the soldiers were obviously surprised and they were wounded and I'm sorry for that. I don't think soldiers should be put in positions in which they are forced to fight civilians.
They very much felt threatened:
'We fired because we were attacked', says Israeli captain in Gaza flotilla op.
[...]
"We knew there would be resistance, but not at such a strong level," said Captain R., who led one of the teams and was wounded in the mission. "Every [activist] that approached us wanted to kill us."
[..]
The commandos had been well-prepared for the mission, said the captain, and had taken into account that the activists might respond with violence. "We thought it would be passive resistance, maybe verbal, but not at such strength," he said.
Emphasis mine.

The activists on board have this to say:
Turkish activist Nilufer Cetin, who had hidden with her baby in her cabin's bathroom aboard the Mavi Marmara, told reporters she believed there were 11 dead.

”The ship turned into a lake of blood," Cetin told reporters in Istanbul, having returned after Israeli officials warned that jail would be too harsh for her child.

"We were aware of the possible danger in joining the trip," she said.
[...]
She said Israeli vessels harassed the flotilla for two hours starting around 10 p.m. Sunday, and returned at around 4 a.m. Monday, fired warning shots and told the ships to turn back.

When the Mavi Marmara continued on its course the harassment turned into an attack.

"They used smoke bombs followed by gas canisters. They started to descend onto the ship with helicopters," she said, calling the clashes that then erupted "extremely bad and brutal."
[...]
"Suddenly from everywhere we saw inflatables coming at us, and within seconds fully equipped commandos came up on the boat," said Greek activist Dimitris Gielalis, who had been aboard the Sfendoni. He was among six Greeks returned home Tuesday.

"They came up and used plastic bullets, we had beatings, we had electric shocks, any method we can think of, they used," he said.

He said the boat's captain was beaten for refusing to leave the wheel, and had sustained non-life-threatening injuries, while a cameraman filming the raid was hit with a rifle butt in the eye, he said.

"Of course we weren't prepared for a situation of war.," he added.
Emphasis mine.

Who are you going to believe?
What I see here, form the scant data we do have, is an already illegal military operation gone very badly with a huge amount of casualties coming from those who felt the need to defend themselves.
Ultimately, looking at the balance of powers, I think it's quite clear who is at fault here.

But that's just my opinion as a loony leftist self-hating Jew, right?

So Tired

May. 31st, 2010 10:54 pm
eumelia: (diana disapproves)
As most of you know by now, the humanitarian aid flotilla on it's way to Gaza was boarded last night/early this morning and it was... disastrous.

The death toll as far as I know stands on 19 with another 50 or so injured.

Anger, shame, shock... there aren't enough words to describe the feelings I've had throughout the day.

I'm so tired now. I was at the demo in front of the IDF HQ in Tel-Aviv and it was quite large. There were demo's happening outside the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem (I think) and in Haifa as well.

The whole campus was a buzz. Nobody was talking about anything else.

I cried this afternoon. I spoke to my Mom because I know one of the Commando soldiers who was out on the water last night and I asked if he was okay. I phoned his mother as well.
He's fine.

And then I cried.

Mainly for feeling guilt and shame that this was done in my name.
That there is honest to god talk of blaming the activists for defending themselves with whatever blades and blunt objects in the face of Commando soldiers, armed to the teeth, coming on board a boat in the middle of the night in International waters.

I don't know how any of this can be justified.

None of it.

I got home about an hour ago. Showered and ate and now I'm just telling you...

This is wrong.
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
At least 10 activists killed as Israel navy opens fire on Gaza aid flotilla.

As someone said to me, sometimes the non-violent solidarity groups act as cover for the violent solidarity group.

Oh, wait...

I'm genuinely shocked that it took such a violet turn. That there are so many wounded and killed and that the IDF just opened fire on ships they knew had European Legislators, Nobel Laureates, VIP's who are known activists and a bunch of civilians.

Al-Jazeera reports that the incident took place in international waters.

This is bad bad bad, horrible.

I can't even begin to talk about this. This is just so wrong.

Whoever gave theses orders was out of their mind!

This is not what I expected when I went to bed last night.

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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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