Untitled

Apr. 15th, 2015 10:11 pm
eumelia: (Default)
Yom Ha’Shoah is an Israeli holiday Diaspora Jews have adopted, for obvious reasons.

It is commemorated on the 27th of Nisan, to be adjacent to the Hebrew date of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, which occurred on April 19th to May 16th, 1943.

It was also made to be adjacent to the Israeli Independence Day, the anniversary of the creation of the State.

This is no coincidence.

I would love nothing more than for this day to be a day of reflection and memorial of the victims and survivors of the Shoah, wherein entire branches of my family tree were decimated. My grandfather had run away from Europe long before the war and he died decades before I ever met him. I will never know who the members of my family. Even if members of my grandfather’s family and community survived, their names have been lost.

But it isn’t a day of reflection and memory.

Tonight Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the Iran nuclear deal was proof the world had not learned its lessons from the Holocaust. This, whilst refugees from Sudan and Eritrea rot in a prison camp and are forcibly deported to Rwanda. This, whilst there is a displaced Palestinian population under siege in our back yard.

Tomorrow an air-raid siren will sound to remind us to stand still in a moment of silence for 6 million members of family.

An air-raid siren.

I know, I know, why can’t I just let this day be about the memory of Jews who were murdered by the Nazis and the survivors who heroically made it out alive.

The above is how that memory is desecrated. If you’re going to commemorate an Israeli holiday, know its cost.

יזכור.

Tumblr crosspost: http://stillnotanonymous.tumblr.com/post/116486214091/yom-hashoah-is-an-israeli-holiday-diaspora-jews
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
It's Erev Pesach (Passover Eve, for you my most beloved gentile readers) and with it come all my feelings of self doubt, waning self worth and over all loneliness.

I thought I'd be used to it by now. But alas, it is the same with every major Holiday that includes a long meal and adherence to a thousand year old tradition. Tradition that has changed many times over, but for this queer lady feels as suffocating as the dust storms that come with the season.

In America there's a cute tradition that is kind of mocked here. Adding an orange to the Seder plate to be inclusive of the LGBT people of the Jewish tribe. As you can read from the column it's been misinterpreted regarding the inclusion of women.

Which in Israel should be a thing when you consider the fact that Jewish women cannot practice freedom of religion.

But I digress, as it had not been my intention to talk about the broader politics of the holiday also known as the holiday of freedom and liberation.

I have to practice the age old tradition foisted on Jewish women known as Shalom Bayit, meaning "Peace in the Home". It is usually talked about married life and the onus of the wife to make sure the marriage is sustained and kept stable, no matter what.

Don't rock of the boat.

I've come to despise the word peace. It is of no value and meaning to me. There's a phenomenon that happens when you read or hear a word repeated over and over again in different contexts and it reaches a degree of saturation that makes you sick of it.

It's called semantic satiation. I am sick of peace.

I recently read Sarah Schulman's book Israel/Palestine and the Queer International, which I whole heartedly recommend, as I would anything by Sarah. None of the material is new to me, but the framing is fascinating and poignant and shows the degrees of separation between the facts on the ground when it comes to the Occupation and the way the average Israeli (and those who hear only Israeli facts) perceives the "situation".

Israelis for years have been calling the systemic oppression and annexation of land the "Situation". As though it is temporary. As though it is something outside our control.

As I read the chronicle of Sarah's journey from ignorant American Jew to Palestine solidarity activist my heart felt heavier and heavier.

One of the feminist and lesbian activists that Sarah quotes in the book is asked by an Israeli man, "But how will there be peace?"

She replied rather poignantly, "I don't want peace, I want freedom and justice."

I can safely that I don't want peace either and feel as light as a feather.

Tumblr crossover
eumelia: (coffee)
First of all, to everyone who commented, sent me emails, pm's, etc. Thank you.

Thank you.

You are all wonderful and I'm so lucky to have you in my life one way or another.

As you may have heard there is a ceasefire. I'm still extremely nervous as I do not think it will last long, nor do I consider my nation's memory strong or long enough to remind ourselves that our current government brought rockets to the centre of the country and brought bus bombs back from the past.

The occupation, of course, remains and will not be moved at this time, no matter how much violence and damage it puts us through (Israeli and Palestinian).

Despite the ceasefire I didn't go to the office today, but rather spent my entire day working from home. I finished working but moments ago, technically still the 22nd of November, so my work didn't slide into the weekend. Whew.

I didn't go because I was anxious and because there was traffic that would have kept me and my co-workers who live in the same city stuck on the highways into Tel-Aviv for about 2 and a half hours.

Oy.

So I worked and faffed from home.

I'm rather pleased, but for a totally different reason. The reason being I'm going away for the weekend with friends! We'd planned this long weekend (took a day off and everything) over a month ago and god, I need this. I need this weekend like burning, I just need to clear my head, get away and regroup.

My hypervigilance was way out of whack this week. I have other thoughts about that, but that's for another day, I feel.

Right now I need to unwind from my long, long day of work and prepare for my long weekend ahead, which will be full of friends, puppies and rain!

Plus my laptop, there shall be some writing done!
eumelia: (jewish revenge)
No sirens today.

A bus exploded in Tel Aviv.

I'm fine and no one I know, as far as I'm aware, was among the injured.

I'll have some more to say later, most likely.

I'm just... really tired right now.

I mean, a bus blew up in Tel Aviv.

This...

I don't know.
eumelia: (sad soldier)
Two sirens went off in Tel-Aviv. Countless ones in the south and on the border with Gaza. Dozens of people in Gaza were killed.

I'm not keeping a tally, I did that last time and it's an insane thing to do. I'll leave that for the other people.

I'll talk about myself and my cushy-only-twice-in-a-day descent down to the shelter of my office building.

The first one was at about 10 am, just as I was sitting down to actually start working. We're supposed to stay ten minutes in the shelter after we hear the sirens. When I was back at my desk to check on updates I saw that the Iron Dome interception system did it's job and got the two rockets that headed our way.

[Sexy!Ex-Roommate] and I commenced a gallows humour tweetfest in which we tried to think of a dry drinking game for each siren during the day, seeing as we can't drink at work. We discarded coffee, considered cookies, eventually decided on songs.

She tweeted Alive.

The second siren was at the end of the work day, around 6 thirty pm and just my crummy luck I was in the bathroom when I heard the siren. I was more annoyed than anything else let me tell you. It's awkward. I pulled up my big girl pants, washed my hands like a civilised human being and went down, to the shelter.

This time I was a bit shakier, possibly because of the compromising position in which I found myself during the siren, possibly because it was two sirens in one day and I'm still, ha, sheltered and don't want to think about what it means.

Regardless, the song I tweeted was Tubthumping (I Get Knocked Down).
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
To anyone and everyone who is (re)blogging or (re)posting or (re)tweeting pictures of dead or injured children (or anyone) connected to the current violence raging in Israel/Palestine, please stop.

Please stop spreading images of the worst time in someone's life.

Please stop spreading images of salacious violence.

Please stop spreading images of death that are used as propaganda.

Please stop enabling the callous and cynical use of pain and suffering.

Please stop enabling the media to be a source of death pornography.

The use of dead children to create sympathy says more about you, than about anything else.

I ask this, not because I am a sensitive and delicate flower who cannot abide the image of blood or of poor dead babies. No, it is because I despise the use of pain and suffering of real people as an attempt to manipulate my emotions.

I hope the worst time of your lives aren't used so callously.

"So far as we feel sympathy, we feel we are not accomplices to what caused the suffering. Our sympathy proclaims our innocence as well as our impotence. To that extent, it can be (for all our good intentions) an impertinent- if not inappropriate- response."

Susan Sontag, "Regarding the Pain of Others"


Orginally posted on my tumblr. Twice.
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
I just got home.

I spent the evening with friends.

We amused ourselves, played with the dog-niece, talked about almost anything other than the fact that we're at war.

Again.

What else is fucking new.

I'm so sick of this shit.

Rockets are now reaching Tel-Aviv. There was a siren and the office travelled down to the underground parking lot where we waited the ten minutes we're supposed to. It was tense, but not overly so. Someone said there was an anti-war demo being planned and she couldn't understand that.

I said, "It's very easy to understand when you see that violence doesn't actually solve anything, but only make things worse."

I can handle a lot, but I can't handle dehumanisation. It doesn't matter to me who is dead on which side, I only care that a life was lost. There is a disproportionate amount of life lost on the side of the people who don't have the option of escaping and have much weaker weapons.

That doesn't make them better than us. We are no better, we just have bigger guns.

The Israeli government is as blood thirsty as Hamas, make no mistake. They have no intention on stopping the fight, the IDF is calling up 30,000 reservists.

A ground assault is immanent.

With it, a bigger body count.

It doesn't matter to me who is dead on which side.

I'm fine.

I see no horizon.
eumelia: (master politician)
If you follow international news about the Middle East, you will know that there has been an escalation of violence between Hamas and the IDF in the Gaza strip. You will also know, that there was an exchange of fire between Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan Heights for the first time since 1973.

Very likely, this is spillover from the civil war and not actually intended for us, but you know, we fired warning shots back.

All of the above made think of the song "Love Is All Around" by The Troggs:


Only with alternate lyrics, which you can read under the cut.

Come on everyone, sing it with me. Consider this my pre-Local-Elections fanfare and transformative art, the prosody is a bit meh with my changes, but you'll cut me some slack on that one, right?

War Is All Around )
eumelia: (jewish revenge)
We're not.

Organizers of the pro-Palestinian campaign said that more than 1,500 foreigners from at least 15 countries had planned to travel to Bethlehem in the West Bank for what they described as a week of peaceful activities in solidarity with the Palestinians.
[...]
Israel had provided the airlines with the names of hundreds of people whom the government said would face immediate deportation. Once notified, the airlines would bear the responsibility and cost of flying the passengers back to their point of departure.

By early Sunday afternoon, 17 suspected activists had been refused entry, the Interior Ministry said, among them 15 French nationals, a Portuguese and a Canadian.

[...]
Emphasis mine.

The article mentioned an official letter that came out of the Israeli Prime Minister's office that was given to activists who did manage to land and enter Israel.

The gist of it, that there are more worthy causes like in Syria, Gaza and Iran and they suggest they go help with the "real problem of the region".

Here is a copy of the letter* handed out to the activists.



Footnote:
*This letter is a work of satire, not written by me. Whoever wrote it, is a genius.
eumelia: (queer rage)
I'm part of an organisation that was boycotted in Seattle last week.

The Seattle LGBT Commision cancelled a planned evening with Israeli representative of the Association of Israeli LGBT Educational Organisations. Organisations which include IGY (Israeli Gay Youth), Tehila (Parents and Family of LGBT people) and Hoshen (Education and Change - the org I associate myself with).

It happened because a local Seattle activist made the case that by having an Israeli event, the Commission would be participating in pinkwashing - in which the use of LGBT rights are culture are appropriated and used to diminish the human right abuses and violations committed by Israel in upon Palestine and the Palestinian people.

The Seattle activist, Dean Spade (Facebook link) was not wrong. Due to the recent history of pinkwashing the Occupation, it would be safe to assume that any and all events regarding Israeli LGBT groups would perpetuate this stance.

The Queerty article rightly states:
Debate has raged both on Queerty and elsewhere about whether the Israeli government’s efforts to publicize the country’s gay-friendliness are a smokescreen to distract from its mistreatment of Palestinians.

And that’s a valid debate.

But the AILO participants are from nongovernmental groups who might very well have a problem with their leaders’ actions. Are anti-pinkwashers like Spade now saying that all gays from Israel should be silenced in the public arena, lest they accidentally encourage someone to visit their homeland?

Are we calling for the end of civil discourse and kicking Israel’s LGBT off the bus?
Emphasis by me

Yes, a great many of the people I know who volunteer for any number of these orgs oppose pinkwashing. Not everyone sees the cynical use of the Israeli government of the LGBT community as pinkwashing, because hey, things better in Israel than, say, Russia or Croatia.

But that isn't the point. Gay rights are human rights. To "brag" about one groups progression from marginalised and debased (which some of us still are, sad to say, because only a certain type of gay is actually "okay") while trampling on the rights of another group simply due to their ethnic, national and religious affiliation is beyond hypocritical and disgusting.

And no, LGBT Palestinians from the Occupied Territories do not actually "seek asylum" in Israel - seeing as Palestianian refugees are a class of their own according to the UN, practically all LGBT Palestinians who have fled the territories are illegal residents in Israel, subject to deportation back the Territories at any time - and seeing as heterosexual straight couples get no slack when it comes to "family reunification", you can bet same sex couples get zero tolerance.

It is telling that I know of no Arab LGBT volunteer in any of the AILO orgs, but I know of several Palestinian specific LGBT orgs that operate within Israel or have no specific base of operations.

Pinkwashing is heavily debated and is a hugely divisive subject within the Israeli LGBT community (whatever that may mean), it has been so since 2009 as far as I'm aware even though the discourse has existed for longer.

My own opinions are of the radical and liberationist kind. I do not think queer people need or should pander to straight society in order to be "accepted" or heaven forbid "tolerated". I've long come to the understanding that as a gay Jewish woman person there is no "true" place for me on this planet - not as long as religion, nationalism, patriarchy, racism, heteronormativity and homophobia prevail - but I know that doing nothing and just complaining about shit is a useless state of being.

So I joined a liberal org that panders to straight society. Being a role model for younger people is a privilege that I have the ability to leverage into a type of activism that may piss a lot of other radicals off, but has been proved to be effective in the long run.

And being a part of that org means that I participate in pinkwashing, just like being part of the local economy means that I participate in corruption and land appropriation. It is a double edged sword that I grip.

I don't know how much longer we can bleed into this blood sodden earth.
eumelia: (bisexual fury)
Just because Israel doesn't automatically persecute gay men, lesbian women, bisexual people and trans people, mean that Israel is so bloody progressive when it comes to LGBT rights.

As regular readers know, I've been pretty vigilant about the way the LGBT community is being used as a way to cover up the disastrous human rights violations Israel commits on a daily basis, not only to the various ethnic minorities, but to LGBT people - a minority that crosses ethnic and religious "divides".

"Pinkwashing" isn't new, but it's getting a lot of news due to the fact that Israel's "re-branding" is, hah, failing.

Back in November, Sarah Schulman wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about this strategy that Israel uses, through its foreign ministry, its tourist industry - don't you know that Americans voted Tel Aviv as the best Gay city in the world! - and just plain flinging all those wonderful "rights" us queers have in the Holy land. Excuse me, I must go vomit.

Taking all that into account - the fact that there is this constant push and pull regarding Israel's image as a liberal oasis in a desert of religious conservatism - people seem to forget that all those "rights" lovingly bestowed onto the gay community (and yes, there is a big difference between the gay men and every other group put together in the alphabet soup of LGBT) are not presented accurately to the world, or more to the point to the United States.

A recent pinkwashing op-ed by a fellow by the name of Scott Piro wrote that:
Israel is the only Middle Eastern country where people are not persecuted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

He then lays out the "facts" about Israeli LGBT life:
Israel has passed anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBTs.

Formal laws, do not rights make. Not to mention that women still receive 75% of the average salary as opposed to men. Consider a two women house-hold, when both women work in what is considered a "second-salary slot".
I can't even begin to tell you how fucked transgender people are when it comes to labour, because no one will fucking hire them - trans people are not protected under anti-discrimination laws with regards to the work place - putting that T in LGBT, launders the reality of trans people in Israel, who I can safely say are the most fucked over group under the queer umbrella.
Unless they also happen to be Palestinian. More on that, in a bit.
And sure, businesses are not allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples or people who have a gender non-conforming appearance, but hey, if you're a religious institution you most certainly can!
That's just the tip, of course.

Israel Recognizes same-sex marriages performed abroad.
No, Israel does not. It writes on the ID card "married" for couples who got married in a country where same-sex marriage is legal, because international law requires that there be equal status in all documents. The fact is, if you are same-sex couple and you got married in, say, Canada (like many of the wealthier gays and lesbians do), your status will be written, but not recognised and you have the same rights as a registered co-habitated or common-law married couple.

So, uh, you can scratch that off the list.

Israel has legalized LGBT adoption rights.
The supreme court allowed one lesbian couple to cross-adopt each other's biological children. It is a legal precedent, like most LGBT "rights" in Israel, as opposed to actual pro-active legislation.

Can this horse get any higher?

LGBT soldiers serve openly in all military branches, including special units; discrimination is prohibited.
Only Americans find this special. Seriously. Just because you had DADT for too fucking long (read, at all) doesn't mean that the fact that LGB (if you are a T and are out you will most likely be exempt from military service for reasons relating to mental health. Snack on that.) serve "openly" make the IDF in any way progressive. Considering the fact that the IDF is growing more religiously conservative as we speak and has rabbis telling soldiers to not hear a woman sing on pain of death, I can't see the fact that some boys and girls in certain units are out (you are not likely to be out in a cambat unit, as opposed to an intel unit, for instance) make the army liberal.

And in any event, why would we want to emulate a militaristic, hierarchical, masculine-supremacist, racist and patriarchal institution?

Same-sex couples have the same inheritance rights as heterosexual, married couples.
Wrong again. Inheritance rights for unmarried, common-law married or co-habitating couples relies on drawing up official papers and making your spouse your beneficiary, unlike heterosexual married couples, where it is automatic.

So you see folks. We may not be the worst, but really, when you compare us to actual Western countries (because we pretend to be one), we are not in the best shape. In other words, it's really easy to compare us to countries where things are really bad and come out looking quite good.

Also, of course, all this is related to Jewish LGB(T) people in Israel. The fact is, Israel uses the hard won fights the LGBT community has wrought throughout the years in order to cover up the fact that it violates international law and human rights in the West Bank, Gaza and in Israel proper - where is the help for Palestinian LGBT's in the West Bank and Gaza? There is a reason Israel based Palestinian queer groups like Aswat and Al-Qaws are critical of the mainstream and Jewish LGBT community for lapping up the fact that we are being used as a fig leaf for Israel's human rights violations.

Don't tell me Israel is a "queer oasis".
eumelia: (flags)
Huh, it seems I've missed a few days of the challenge. Time flies! And stretches! And wibble-wobbles as they say.

I do plan on doing them all - the challenges that are meant to be filled out in my own space as opposed to going to comment somewhere else, those are less interesting to me.

So here we have something for Day 5:

In your own space, share something non-fannish you are passionate about with your fannish friends. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.


Regular readers of this DW/LJ know that this not only a fannish blog, and even now when I am being intensely fannish it is still not just about fandom.

You could say I am passionate about a lot of things, I tend to get enthusiastic about a great many things, but politics tend to engage me in a way they never did back when I was an apathetic teenager.

I don't think there can be any doubt that I'm a leftist. In my locale it's a complicated position to hold. Most likely because politics, as they are narrowly defined, are Parliamentary and Judicial and about the occupation and the "situation" as the whole shebang is euphemistically called.

All in all, I find the Parliamentary system in Israel utterly useless when it comes to serving me as a citizen, as it is an oppressive and suppressive government and the fact that it is an elected government doesn't make it any less totalitarian. It is totalitarian because none of the elected officials see fit to end an illegal Occupation over millions of people we keep under thumb, beyond that, instead of dealing with the housing and financial issues within the country proper, it throws money at settlements and illegal housing in the occupied territories.

In addition to the actual crimes this sovereign state commits upon the occupied population of Palestine, the state of Israel sees fit to use it's comparatively liberal attitude towards the LGBT community to make itself appear better than it actually is in the eyes of the Western world we so try to mimic - the fact that LGBT people have it "better" than our siblings in the neighbourhood isn't something to proud about - it's called goold ole' human decency!

The fact that my culture is being used as a fig leaf for war crimes is sickening to me and pretty offensive when you consider that the misogyny that is imbued into the culture here.

So, yeah, politics... I'm passionate about that.
eumelia: (bisexual fury)
It occurred to me that my previous post was a whole lot of whine and cheese about a life, in which, I really don't have all that much to complain about.

(BIG WARNING:Graphic Pictures of Wounds and Violence)

I mean, why complain about a leaky toilet when the IDF shoots a protester at point blank with a grenade launcher, subsequently kills him and proceed to attack the funeral procession.

Don't talk to me about the most moral army in the world, 'kay?

Speaking of fallacious images. Did you know that Israel is the best place to be gay in the Middle East? No, really, it is.

We have rights, and parties, and freedom of expression and places in which we can gather safely!

Oh, wait.

Considering what happened in 2009 at the LGBT youth club and the fact that the people who come to the Tel-Aviv LGBT centre and the park in which it is situated are routinely assaulted, the whole, "it's goo to be gay in Israel" stance is more dissonant than ever before.

My age is showing, because what I consider a "gay park" is not what they mean in the article.

Especially when you consider the fact that pinkwashing as a propaganda tactic is at an all time low. At least, I hope my fellow siblings aren't as gullible as the Foreign Office would like to believe.

I've spoken about Pinkwashing before and last month the whole shebang was blown out of the water by Sarah Schulman who posted a brilliant op-ed in the New York Times titled Israel and 'Pinkwashing', in which she writes:
[...]
In 2005, with help from American marketing executives, the Israeli government began a marketing campaign, “Brand Israel,” aimed at men ages 18 to 34. The campaign, as reported by The Jewish Daily Forward, sought to depict Israel as “relevant and modern.” The government later expanded the marketing plan by harnessing the gay community to reposition its global image.
[...]
The growing global gay movement against the Israeli occupation has named these tactics “pinkwashing”: a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of Palestinians’ human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life. Aeyal Gross, a professor of law at Tel Aviv University, argues that “gay rights have essentially become a public-relations tool,” even though “conservative and especially religious politicians remain fiercely homophobic.”


'nuff said, really.
eumelia: (master politician)
It's worse, because it is far more insidious than ever. You know the old saying about the frog in the boiling pot?

That's us.

It's been forever since I've had a good "bad news" round up. This platform has become something of an escape for me, you see, since the Summer in which thousands of people took to the streets protesting the current political, financial and social disparity in Israel - we forgot to take into account the underlying reason the current government has managed to shut us up and shut us out.

We are occupying another people and the Summer of so-called social change decided that that was too "political", not to do with "us" and not to do with the fact that the cost of living is practically unbearable within Israel. Because that's one thing and Israeli society is another.

Apartheid never seemed so clear.

Over the past few months, while we were resting on the laurels of actually being in the street and protesting the Men, the superficiality of (Jewish) women's equality has been steadily eroding.

Who is to blame? I mean, other than patriarchy. Of course.

Deepening religious extremism is one reason, I mean, when you have a Settler Rabbi telling soldiers should chose death rather than suffer a woman singing. You may go O_o at this little piece of News, but when you have more conservative interpretations to the Jewish adage "A woman's voice is Ervah" i.e. the sound of a woman's voice is pubic or sexual by it's very nature.

A woman is nothing but her sex, of course.

Speaking of voices, our freedom of speech has been basically been taken away, I can't tell you who you should boycott for fear of being sued for damages and now I can't call the Prime Minister, for example, a smug lying asshole, due to this abso-fucking-loutly spiffing amendment bill.

In which, and I quote the article linked above:
The bill represents an amendment to Israel's existing libel law, which would make it possible to sue a newspaper for libel, not only for commensurate compensation for any tangible damage caused by the publication, but for an additional sum of NIS 300,000 − without having to prove damages.

Emphasis mine.

Was there an emergency meeting of journalists? You bet there was.

Unsurprisingly, this bill coincides with the firing of one of Israel's few true watch dogs from public broadcasting Keren Neubach. As you can read in the link, the "reason" given? She "looks" bad on screen.
They're not even bothering any more.

Ditto on shutting down the Ramallah based radio station Palestinian-Israeli cooperative "Kol Ha'Shalom" (a play on words, as "Kol" is a Hebrew homophone for "voice" and "all").

Last night 2000 people rallied in protest of this bill.

2000. Yep, that many.

That really is the equivalent of crickets chirping.

The other bills that have been passing through the Knesset floor have been eroding civil society for years.

But wait. There's more.

The totalitarian nature of the Occupation is finally catching up with Israel proper. The non-violent demonstrations in the West Bank, exemplified by the recent Freedom Rider arrests (amazing pictures) shows the stark contrast of what is actually happening on the ground and the mindset of the average Israeli.

I mean, when the Prime Minister "shelves" the bill set out to persecute NGO's by limiting their funds, but his Foreign Minister goes ahead and does it anyway is, well, telling.

Add to that the fact that there is an all out political attack on the political science department of Negev's Ben-Gurion University, the alarm bells should be ringing off the walls.

Because when the Germans are telling the Israeli government: Um, excuse me, this is not very good and we're really sorry that we have to criticise you like this.

History repeats and really, the Germans would know.

In the meantime, my parents are watching commentary about a documentary about Steve Jobs and Apple.

I fucking hate the world.
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
Stop what you're doing and just watch.

Just, listen.

A response to the question and accusation often hurled at Palestinians by Rafeef Ziadah.

eumelia: (Default)
I'm watching the prisoner exchange happening now.

I didn't feel comfortable commenting on the story until I knew what would happen on the day itself.

I'm still waiting for something to go wrong.

But I'm just happy this saga is over, even though a new saga will begin.

My cynicism and abhorrence of my current administration disables me from feeling the euphoria I am supposed to in this moment.

More on that later, most likely.

Now, I am getting pissed off at pundits and idiotic narrow minded interpretations of the situation.

I hope the prisoners get some rest after everything.
eumelia: (resist!)
A month ago when the civil unrest in Israel began and I put aside my cynicism in order to participate in the protests and demonstrations, I was irked to hear people (friends and not friends) say they hoped these demonstrations don't turn "political".

I was baffled.

Social justice is probably the most political standpoint in society at large. The demand that resources, the economy and legislation treat everyone fairly is without a doubt a hard political line.

But in Israel, "politics" doesn't mean the power dynamics between groups of people, or how one's identity creates intersections of privilege and disparity, oh no, politics is that dirty laundry best left to elected officials, you know, which dirty laundry I'm talking about.

Racism. Occupation. "Security".

One of my friends the other day accused me of not liking her as much, because she's Right Wing. I'm like, you're not Right Wing, you support economic justice and she's said, in more words but that's the gist, that I was being deliberately obtuse and that Right and Left in Israel don't mean what they mean in other places in the world.

It's true, Left in Israel means opposing the Occupation to the point of hating Israel and Right means that the only way for Israel to survive is for the Occupation to stand because then Israel will be on the brink of destruction.

Safe to say those are two extreme positions even without breaking down the facets of race, nationalism and trauma that are intertwined into both arguments.

The demonstrations against the high cost of living, the class disparity and the over-all economic injustice that swept through the nation did not touch on the subject of the Occupation. I felt that it should have, because so much of what creates the economic disparity in Israel has to do with building settlements in the West Bank, has to do with building the Separation Wall, has to do with troops out there culling non-violent protests and with pushing an Apartheid economy in the West Bank.

An unregulated cartel like economy thrives in conditions like an Occupation.

I don't know much about the economy, but I do know that.

So the Occupation and the Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank were excluded from the discourse and activity to do with the social justice campaign the Tent Demonstrations started.

For good reason, Left and Right, such as they are conceived in Israel have to do with security, how Israeli Jewish bodies can be kept safe in the face of the big bad terrorists.

The government solution, bomb the shit out of civilians living under siege (because of Israel) and under social and religious oppression (because of Hamas), even though the People's Resistance Committee (PRC), who committed the co-ordinated attack, are not affiliated with Hamas, have nothing to do with the Hamas government and were all ID'd and killed by the IDF on the day of the attack.

And not to mention that the skirmishes that followed on the Egyptian border killed 5 Egyptian soldiers, after they had to deal with a suicide bomber of their own.

This, as they say, is a clusterfuck.

Beyond the diplomatic nightmare (Egypt has withdrawn its ambassador to Israel) and the "cease fire" between Israel and Hamas being thrown out the window.

Yes, beyond that, the Israeli paradigm that Security trumps society will be tested, and I fear that it will hold true, because we are nothing if not predictable. Our fear and trauma prevents us from seeing that war benefits very few (Israelis and Palestinians) and hurts the innocent more than anyone who actually perpetrates violence.

The Hebrew Leftists blogosphere is already talking about the end of the social justice demonstrations in light of the government's hawkish endeavours. I'm hoping the people have wised up a little, and notice that the government who sweated due to the fact that we know they used the economy against us, will have wised up and see that the government will exploit this renewed violent conflict in order to get back the control it had briefly lost on the citizens.

My response?

Resist and go back to the streets where we've been for the past month.
Resist and don't accept the idea that "security" demands social justice to be forfeited.

*V For Vendetta. What else?
eumelia: (verbiage)
Yesterday Israelis took to the street again, for the third week in a row.

Mass demonstrations and protests, which are planned during the weeks in the tent cities that have mushroomed all over the show.

The main reason this is happening now?

Because the neo-liberal economic system is hurting everyone and finally we middle class peeps don't have pockets as deep as we thought.

Yes, this is an economic justice protest, it is a socially political protest, it is a demonstration of my favourite thing - Vox Populi.

I was one of the 300,000 that walked the streets, I didn't sleep last night and I'm still wiped, who knows when I'll have a proper night's sleep this week.

On Twitter, someone asked, why are we having such huge protests if we are a democracy and chose our leaders through elections?

I didn't answer at the time, but I'll answer here, because it's true we are not like Tunisia and Egypt, though economic justice and welfare were the bottom line in many cases for those demonstrations as well (there are still people in Tahrir), but the fact that our fear, Israeli Jewish fear to be precise, for our survival in a hostile territory created a voting system based on national security rather then job security, affordable housing, a proper welfare system and public health care - every single one of those aspects of Israeli life has been eroded through privatisation (school children aren't getting their vaccines because of privatised school nursing system) and de-regulation (people can't buy milk and cheese and fruit and vegetables!).

And so we reached a brink, there's an idiom in Hebrew is to say enough is enough, literally it means "The water has reached our breath/spirit" and never before have I seen so many people demanding to what should have always been there.

And finally, little by little, I'm seeing more and more people demanding political justice as well, calling an end to the Occupation - because though it is the moral and ethical thing to do, it is also the practical thing to do. The Occupation take money out of our pockets and is used to opress another people in economic and political dire straights.

Come September, and the UN bid for Statehood, if things don't get moving, this whole summer may be a waste.

I have hope, actually, for real, seeing all those people, being among them with my friends, it's enough to start a revolution of some kind.
eumelia: (ctrl+alt+delete)
My speech (which, no matter what people say, has never been absolutely free) has been curtailed in a frightening way.

I cannot tell you which companies not to buy from, because I could get sued and fined (but not confined) for it.

The "anti-Boycott" law which passed last week in the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament stipulates that it is a civil wrong (not a criminal offence) to call for a boycott on Israeli made, well, anything.

It is meant to protect Settlement made goods from the West Bank from financial loss.

In effect, it punishes people from doing the most non-violent action possible, asking people to be conciousness consumers.

I am not telling you to boycott, because that would open me up for law suits that could sue me for more money that I've got, due to hypothetical financial loss.

If ever there was a time for you to learn about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction campaign and movement, it is now.

But, well, I can't tell you what you should do regarding that.
eumelia: (media lies)
In case you didn't know.

Israel showed great restraint against the Syrian-Palestinian demonstrators who tried to go though the Northern border in a commemoration march of the Occupation of the West Bank since 1967. They showed this restrain by shooting live ammunition at them.
Lucky me, I got to see it on the News and begged the people in control of the remote to change the channel, they declined saying this was the first they'd heard about it. I'd read about it previously during the day and really didn't need to see live gunfire murdering people.

But I'm funny like that, I guess.

My association mechanism went to May 35th. But that's just me.

It doesn't help that various News channels claimed Israel was at war with Syria, which really was News to me, seeing as not having signed a peace treat doesn't mean we're attacking each other and playing the War games.

The IDF simply shot at people that neither Syria, nor Israel, consider to be worthwhile human beings. Palestinians on any side of any border really can't catch a break.

Also, Egtpy has not opened Rafah crossing.

It really must be June, if this shit is going on. Or, you know, any other day of the week. News thrives of conflict and disaster and this is probably not the worst thing to happen today.

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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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