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: made by <lj site="livejournal.com" user="quadratur"> (target)
** This post contains spoilers for episode 2.03 of Hawaii Five-0 as well as triggers for frank discussion of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder **


It's hard for me to even talk about the content of this ep with any kind of analytic distance because it's all been overshadowed by the final scene.

I was in the military, the Israeli Defense Force, and it screwed me over.

Not to mention screwed me up.

The scene that triggered me in a way I hadn't been triggered in two years.

When I say the military screwed me up, I mean that I spent a month and a half in a situation room, similar in structure (though nowhere as fancy) as the Navy Intel the civilians just happen to invited to, watching drone footage and seeing a man explode to smithereens, while my fellow soldiers clapped and were oh so very smug.

You could say I went slightly crazy after that happened. And wouldn't you know, six months after the war I was diagnosed with a mild case of PTSD. Mild, because I could function "normally", my anxiety didn't cripple me, my hyper awareness didn't give me agoraphobia and my flashbacks were few and far between.

The screens, the night vision, the smug expressions of everyone's face (except Danny's) were all too much and my anxiety sky rocketed really fast.

So here I am, in my bed room, my eyes leaking a broken tap and I fucking hate Hawaii Five-0

The only thing that made me say "I'll watch this next week", after I spent an hour or so curled up in my bed talking to a friend on chat and calling another, was the fact that Danny, as he watched the fucking nightmare in night vision and gunfire, was freaked out.

On a more coherent level, I'm really not keen on the narrative of American Military might mowing down brown criminals.

Militarism is a destructive ideology and Hawaii Five-0, who has always been neutral when it came to politics, is taking a right turn here in a way I find extremely distressing.

Not to mention triggering.

Steve being morally ambiguous is fine, the military is often like that, my work with Air Force intelligence during my service has probably enabled the death of far too many people, but I don't think about that.

I think about the war I served and actually saw men die in – suffice to say my politics took a radical left turn after that.

I don't want to see my politics reflected back at me, that's boring, but must I have this fucking Freudian fetish of Military = Good?

One of the symptoms of my PTSD is rage. Like uncontrollable rage. My heart has been beating double time since this morning and it feels like my brain is trying to crack my skull wide open.

I am fucking pissed at them for showing operations like that noble and good and mighty. They are not. They are dark, murky, morally ambiguous at best if not downright evil.

When I saw that man die, five years ago, he was blown up by a drone; I was on comms with those pilots twelve hours a day. I spent four shifts in a row listening in to Pilot School drop outs, writing down and shouting out co-ordinates until my throat was raw.

Situation rooms are only calm when something explodes and then they are a flurry of activity.

Two years of not much more than hyper awareness and spikes of anger and now I feel like I want to trash my room and destroy everything.

Thank god Danny, at least, had the decency to look askance at what he was seeing.
eumelia: (bisexual fury)
I didn't think I'd write about my Pride angst, just because it's June. I pretty much write about my ambivalence of being an Israeli Queer, that the (Tel-Aviv) community is used to portray Israel as the land flowing with Free Love and Milky Substance.

I hate that.

RM of Letters from Titan wrote a great post titled The Ghost of Pride Past (and Future), in which she talks about the change the New York City Pride parade from an angry protest march to a corporate extravaganza in which various companies show how Gay Friendly they are.

This is the same change I have been told happened in Israel, but in a shorter amount of time and only in Tel-Aviv. Only. The first Pride march (not a parade yet!) was 1998, which was a culmination of a lot of protest activities that mostly ended up with police confrontation - the year 1998 was a big one when it came to queer visibility in Israel, what with Dana International winning the Eurovision and the Wigstock Riots, which was partly sponsored an LGBT AIDS support and advocacy group known as ב.ל.ה דואגת (B.L.A. Doeget = Bella Cares), which has since become a part of Israel AIDS Task Force. The riots erupted because police came to break up the event because it was violating Shabbat.
...Yeah.

When I was a teenager, I didn't go to Pride. I didn't think I needed to, as I was oblivious to the reality of queer lives. When I was a teenager I was pretty oblivious to a lot of things.
I had "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and that was good enough for me - though apparently that has also changed into a corset fashion show.

But since my teenage years, things have changed. It took only a decade or so for Pride to become the radical march it was above, to the corporate funded pink-washing (Facebook Page) event it now is.

Last year, I marched in a politically charged Pride march, which was critical of the fact that Pride has become a mostly gay male event, sponsored by gay celebrities and use gay culture and gay tourism to cover the fact that Israel is a racist, sexist and homophobic state - the murderer from August 2009 is still at large, just so you know, most likely he never will be. But I joined the Municipal Pride Party - all in all, I walked for about five hours and didn't get scorched by the June Tel-Aviv sun.

Last year, the first Pride marches of Be'er Shevah (the biggest city in the Negev desert) and Rishon L'Zion (one of the largest cities south of Tel-Aviv) were initiated, with a whole lot of resistance from the city municipalities.

In Haifa, the largest northern city, they've had Pride for eight years, every year is a struggle to get funds and support from the municipality and the larger LGBT organisations. Every year they are forced to march the side-streets so as not to disturb "the residents".

Do I even need to mention Jerusalem? In which people's humanity is debated and if fact taken away when we're called "Animals" who commit "sin"?
I marched with my sister last year and will most likely do so again this year.

So this year, despite my it going against my instincts, I'll be marching in the Tel-Aviv Municipal Pride Party, in which I and many others feel marginalised and excluded.
Worry not, there will be a political/critical march as well, and I'll be there too.

I wish I could say I was feeling split by this, but honestly, I just feel as though the majority of the LGBT community is either politically apathetic and those who are political are ineffective.
Mainly, and more often than not, the feeling of frustration accompanies me when I am out and about.
eumelia: (science will be okay)
I've come to the conclusion that I'm far too critical to be a sceptic, but also too sceptical for relativism.

Where is the balance?

I just read a comment in a friend's journal, and I haven't decided whether I'm going to reply, because I hate having these kind of discussions online. It never leads to any good, because more often than not, we arrive to a discussion like this with our heels dug in and construe any disagreement as attack.

I'm very much in the belief that people should be able to live their lives in a way that makes them content and does not harm others.
That is wishful thinking. Beyond being critical, I am also cynical. And as a Westerner of the Middle Class, my very existence, from the clothes that I wear, the food that I eat, the water I drink and the computer I used, all of them come at the expense of someone else.

I don't believe in individualism, because very often, when one tries to live in the life-style of being responsible only to one self, you end up hurting others in the process, because despite the woo-woo vocabulary, we are connected in ways that go beyond the social interaction. We are connected though economic ties, ties of power and knowledge, interaction that can be said to be cellular.

It really, really grinds my gears when I see someone talk about vaccinations and autism (as though that hasn't been debunked umpteenth times) because that isn't being critical of medical procedures, it is selfishness.
Vaccines rely on the notion that almost everyone (there are those who can't be vaccinated and there are those who are naturally immune) is vaccinated.

Once upon a time, only girls and women were vaccinated for Rubella, because it is asymptomatic in boys and men, but lo, because vaccinations are dead or weak versions of the disease, the body can still succumb to a certain disease if there is a full blown attack from the actual virus or bacteria, which men passed to women and they got sick. The percentage of Rubella dropped drastically once males began to get these vaccinations.

In Israel there was a full blown measles epidemic in various ultra-Orthodox religious neighbourhoods because they don't vaccinate their children. That's not stigma or prejudice, that's down right irresponsibility.
Those communities chose to seclude themselves from various parts of civic life, that's fine, but they don't actually live in a bubble and as such they can create a health hazard.

The critical thinking part of dealing with the fact that preventative medicine doesn't compute for many who live in alternative/intentional communities, not all and certainly not most (I hope) because the medical institution is lazy when it comes to treating people with an agenda that doesn't coincide with the mainstream notion of health - just try explaining Health At Every Size to a GP or the fact that yes, I do in fact need to be screened for STI's despite being a woman who has sex with women.

So, that's the kind of critical thinking needed when it comes to medicine, making it more accessible and reliable for different people, thus making vaccines not an enemy - because I'm looking forward to the day I can get my AIDS vaccine and not have to worry about Mumps when I'm the company of a group of vaccine rejecters.

Still, as a critical thinker, a secular atheist Jew and knowing people first hand who have suffered more under medicine than any other institution on earth I want science to do better job at helping a variety of people and not box us in into criteria that is supposed to be one size fits all. It doesn't.
What I need, isn't what my similarly aged friend needs, our experiences - physical, mental, emotional - affects us just as mush as genetics, congenital baggage and environmental changes.

My point. People are not bubbles. We interact. We breathe the same air, drink the same water, pee out the same ammonia and shit out the waste our body can thankfully live without.
The whole world had to be vaccinated in order to eradicate Small Pox.
The bigger question is, why have they stopped vaccinating us, when all it takes is digging up a grave or letting loose a vial for the world to get sick again?
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
This being a personal blog in which I talk about as assortment of stuff, some more interesting to you, dear readers, than others, I feel it's important to disseminate information, even if it doesn't actively concern you.
It actively concerns me, so I suppose that's good enough.

Some of you may know about the gag order placed in Israel regarding an "espionage" case.

I don't want to talk about Anat Kam, journalist who was placed under house arrest since December for handing over "top secret" documents that show the IDF breaking High Court Rullings regarding, among other things, the assassinations of various Palestinian leaders.
She handed over this classified information to Ha'aretz journalist Uri Balu while she was doing her time in the IDF.
Uri Blau himself is now in exile in London because the Shin-Bet (what in Hebrew we call the Shabak, שב"כ, which is the acronym for "General Security Services"... they're not a Secret Police, they have carte blanche to do things the police and the IDF cannot do... like break into homes of activists, tap their phones, allegedly torture "security"/"political" prisoners and recruit via any means necessary Palestinian collaborators.

I want to talk about the fact that during my time in the IDF, I too was privy to classified information but I was too naive, insular, politically unaware and oblivious to actually understand that what I was doing was doing more harm to people's lives, than good.

What do I mean by this?

My life as a middle class Ashkenazi Jewish girl in a middle class town a twenty minute drive westward from Tel Aviv insulated me, totally, to the reality of what was going on a twenty minute drive eastward, across the border - "The Green Line". All I knew, before I was drafted in 2003, was that the West Bank had lots of Settlers and Palestinians blew themselves up from time to time.

I was fucking clueless. More on that, because this is long )

This is so tiring.

Israel is only "liberal" for some people who live here.

Wake up!
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)
I was going to write about the Goldstone Report and how Israel, once again, managed to avoid any kind of accountability for their actions in Gaza.
This UN fact finding mission had strong words about Hamas' conduct as well, calling the firing of Qassam rockets war-crimes.
This is something that is often omitted, mainly because Goldstone puts the onus onto Israel, seeing as Israel did kill 1,500 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians.

The main conclusion I've come to in this whole affair is that the UN, once again, proved itself to be the most redundant and irrelevant organisation in the world.

So much potential UN, your execution of anything leaves much to be desired. You're good at reporting things and writing them down, but acting upon it.
Not so much.

Can't help that the US pretty much bullies you into submission time and time again when it comes to Israel.
Israel, of course, also bullied Mahmoud Abbas into deferring talks about the report, thus turning the President of the PA and head of Fatah into a collaborator.

Strong words, but that's the way he is viewed at the moment, at least, that's the only way I can think the Palestinians would view him at the moment.
There are demands that he quit. There is of course backtracking, much backtracking.
The people are feeling the leadership.
Not really, no.
I have to say, even at my most cynical, because I think the PA is as corrupt as any other government only doesn't have the power or money to cover it up, I didn't expect this.
Goldstone was the PA's golden ticket at getting something, world recognition.
Israel blew it too, by not co-operating and using the power of the all-mighty Hasbarah to discredit Justice Goldstone; our own reactionary and paranoiac response to to the fact finding mission, headed by a self-identified Zionist, a man who has headed numerous Israeli academic boards and has Israeli family, has driven the report out of Israel's (or Palestine's) control.
Because now Lybia is taking the task of holding talks about the report.

Who said Israel and Palestine deserved each other?

It is worth mentioning that this month is the anniversary of the October 2000 Events. There are currently riots in Jerusalem (I'm happy the J-Lem contingent of my family is not there at the 'mo) hence keeping out Sheikh Ra'ad Salah for the month.
September-October are always tense due to the High Holidays and the intensifying security forces around the Western Wall and the Al-Aqsa mosque.
It doesn't help that said security forces are racist and not shy about it.
That U.S Jews feel they have the right to Jerusalem more than any other religion that holds it holy, because yeah, that's what's happening at the moment too.
"It's mine!", "No, It's mine!!"
If there was going to be a massive earthquake, let it be there.

Regardless of who is to blame, this is just a taste of things to come.
The Palestinians will have Intifada vs 0.3, the IDF will once again head into the depth of the West Bank, probably "re-conquer" the Gaza Strip, while feeding us (Israelis) the tripe of "they brought on themselves", "we have no choice", etc. etc.

Same ole tune, shiny new instruments.

More on this and digression thereof in a little while. This should give you all something to chew on for a bit.
eumelia: (Default)
The links are NSFW!
I repeat, the links (and possibly this entire entry) are Not Safe For Work!

Via the Ha'aretz article: Can gay porn save Israel's image? which was originally featured in The Forward: Pornographic Stimulus Plan about about Michael Lucas' project called Men of Israel, featuring... well you can guess.

I read about this project back when Michael Lucas was here in Israel and both the queer and mainstream media were hounding him a bit (for different reasons).

I have a problem with this project.
Not the pornography; honestly, so long as the people get paid and aren't coerced to do something against their will... there's not much I'm going to complain about in this context.

My problem is with Lucas' attitude regarding his project.
Allow me a quote from the article:
Lucas claims that his motivation behind “Men of Israel” was not just titillation, but also a counterbalance to lopsided portrayals of Israel in mainstream media. “It’s free PR for Israel, and it’s much better than the PR they’re getting on the news,” he said during a tour of the company’s expansive second-floor offices, with views of the New York Times building across the street. “The reality is that Israel has only one face to people on the street, and that’s the West Bank and Gaza. All people see in the media is a country of disaster. They get images of a blown-up bus.”

Is he fucking kidding?
Promoting Israel as a gay tourist spot is not the way to "counter portray" the Occupation, nor is fetishising Israeli bodies, which honestly, are already grossly fetishised.
Also, can he be more shallow regarding Israel's portrayal in the media,which yeah, is pretty shallow regardless. However, Israel does its best to present itself (unsuccessfully) as a monolith of culture and opinion.

Not to mention this gem:
“I’m not sure the vast majority of his audience know or care about his political views,” [Aaron Hicklin, editor in chief of the gay magazine Out] said.
[...]
That may change with a letter that Lucas sent on August 31 to GoGay[link added by [livejournal.com profile] eumelia], Israel’s largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Web site, excoriating gay Israelis for staying closeted. “Excusing these pitiful cowards for not coming out of the closet and accepting their façade is only hurting Israel,” he wrote. “By hiding from your reality, you are empowering intolerant disillusioned fanatics.” The idea for the letter came, he said, after Israeli men “started hitting me up on the Web site, inviting me to hook up, then said they’re not out. They’re delusional. They’re cruising this Web site, benefiting from the fights of other people. They think the gay movement has nothing to do with them, that the shooting of gay youths in Tel Aviv has nothing to do with them. What reason is there to be in the closet in Israel in 2009? It’s embarrassing.”
Emphasis Mine.

Is he fucking kidding?
Really, did he just say that in conjunction with the gay youth centre?
I have a lot of respect for sex workers and people who work towards sex-positivity, but honestly.
I'm sorta speechless here.
Israel is not some kind of Queer Paradise.
It's not.
The Tel-Aviv bubble is very much burst when it comes to that.

Israel is plenty fetishised when it comes to militarism and the use of Jewish Israeli bodies is nothing new when promoting Israeli Hasbarah.

Michael Lucas, I don't care that you're a Zionist, or that you use your ideology to fetishise Israeli Jewish men. Seriously, I do not care.
But how dare you criticise and chastise other Queer folk, not actually knowing what it is they have to do in order to cruise in a place where they feel safe, and even consider the possibility that perhaps, due to an overt act of violence against the youth in our community... they might be a bit iffy about being Loud and Proud.

Michael Lucas, you suck and not in the good way.
Get the fuck off my lawn and stop trying to present it as though the manure smells like Axa Deodorant!

N.B. This post is getting flagged isn't it?
eumelia: (Default)
There is much to blog about, as much happened over the week and weekend, none of them particularly good.

Ah well, such is the state of the State.

As most of you know, Israel presents itself as a Homeland and Nation-State to the Jewish people, all well and good in principle I suppose.
A problem exists though in the notion that Israel has any say about how Jews relate to the State of Israel, or if they were to consider it a Homeland of any kind.
A 2000 year Diaspora is not so easily diminished by the fact that the State exists for 61 years or that the ideal of a Nation came about around the same time as all the others... it was a Spring, if I'm not mistaken.

Let it not be said that Israel doesn't share the arrogance of its neighbours when it comes to upholding what is the correct way for Jews to be Jews, and telling them so.

This week a new campaign targeting Diaspora Jews who have been lost to assimilation was launched.
As can be read in the article linked, the campaign is in aid of MASA, which is a partnership between the Jewish Agency and the Israeli Government that helps bring young Diaspora Jews to Israel for academic programs and things like that.

The propaganda machine of what goes on in programs such as MASA and Birthright aside, the new campaign is by far worse than any I've ever seen.
The video of the ad linked here or viewable under the cut )

Now, the problem isn't the fact that this campaign exists, much to my annoyance, the problem is with the idea that Israel has basically created a campaign in which it calls people to tattle to this agency about Jewish people who aren't "Jewish" enough.
And when I say tattle, I mean that the number given in the ad isn't for curious Diaspora Jews to call and inquire, no-no, it is for us, Israeli Jews, to call that number and give the email, facebook, blog, phone-number of people we think are up to no good, like *gasp* not actually care or think about Israel that much, or *shock-horror-and-awe* date someone who isn't Jewish!

That's right! We, the true Children of Zion, must make sure our frivolous siblings in lands filled with temptation and free will and choice in how to be Jewish, know the true path of the Chosen People.

In the most fascist way possible.

Nothing says Homeland like Fatherland.

The ad, aimed at Israelis (hence the Hebrew) is supposed to invoke the feelings of sorrow and grief. The greyness and the music of flutes are themes found more often than not at our memorial ceremonies. Generally speaking, if there we are commemorating something of memorial it is going to be either for our Glorious Dead soldiers, or the victims of the Holocaust.

Israel needs the Diaspora.
It needs it mainly to have something to discount when it comes to Jewish identity.
As I said, the true Children of Zion (me), are the true Jews, all those others Out There, were not brave enough, strong enough in their Jewish conviction, or simply not truly Jewish, to come to Israel (Eretz Yisroel/Palestinah) and fight to create the state.
Or something ridiculous like that.

Surprise, Not all Jews appreciate this new campaign.
No! Really?! I'm so... unsurprised by this faux pas:
A day after mounting a scare-tactic campaign to prevent the assimilation of Diaspora Jews, the Prime Minister's Office and Jewish Agency received some 200 calls, most of them reporting names of Jews living abroad.

However, many callers also blasted the campaign - which describes assimilation as a "strategic national threat."
[...]
About 100 of the callers reported unmarried Jews aged 18-30 living in France, the United States and New Zealand. Callers also left their acquaintances' Facebook and Twitter names as well as email addresses so that MASA people could contact them.

The campaign also evoked many angry phone calls, some calling the campaign a "farce."

"Are we also supposed to report acquaintances who don't intend to have children?" one caller asked.

"We wanted to raise a public debate, even if it arouses argument and emotions," MASA's CEO Ayelet Shiloh-Tamir said Thursday.
Emphasis mine

A public debate.
Yeah, a-huh, right. Israelis, especially ad campaigns, always like "arousing argument and emotions" with the notion that this is what grabs attention and provokes response and any response, is a good response.
When utterly disregarding the fact that an ad campaign of this nature makes it legitimate to give out information about people who didn't give their consent to this, it's no longer "public debate".
It's the basic democratic idea that people can live their lives how they chose, so long as no harm comes to another person.

We're the only democracy... how? Exactly?

If you're interested, you should read No Silent Holocaust on IsraLeft.
eumelia: (Default)
Over the past two weeks I've been mainly following the situation in Iran because, well, everyone else is following it.

I have no qualms about the fact of being a part of the sheeple.

From my own little prism here, I can look at the Israeli and the feminist connection. Not much is being said about the former except with Israel itself which has been a notorious sabre rattler towards Iran for the past, I can't rightly say, but ever since 2006 and Benjamin Netanyahu's reference to Iran=Germany, Year=1938 and Ahmadenijad=Hitler, Iran has been a fairly regular Starman Boogie Man in my perception of current Israeli conciousness.

Israel has been used the same way in Ahmadenijad's rhetoric.

Peas in a pod.

I'll move on to what I actually want to talk about.

This very interesting article breaks down the dynamics of the mainstream media, what is covered, what isn't a why.

Quotes )

Neda has become the Iranian woman who is ALL Iranian Women.

The role and portrayal of women in Iran over the past 10 (now more) days has been covered extensively.
Because it took me a couple of days to join the online "amateur" media brouhaha the first article on the subject about the portrayal of Iranian women in the protests and demonstrations was the Racialicious article So You Think You Want A Revolution (In a Loose Headscarf - I think since Christiane Amanpour the West's perception of Iranian women has been that of modern women in a heinous situation - most likely before Amanpour, but she is certainly a huge figure and symbol of Westernised Iranian woman, which is obviously a plus.
Not to mention Marjane Satrapi, Azar Nafisi and of course Zahra Rahnavard, all of whom are inspirational and modern and less-than-overtly-traditional (some of them outright secular).

And that's what we like to see.

Beautiful women fighting for their right to be free from religious oppression and tyranny.

It's also a romanticism of the violence that is going on there.
Yes, they are taking the punches and they are fierce and they are equal to the men out there in the street.

But it feels like there's an exotification game going on here.
The deaths and violence are tragic and we, watching the News, view them as a form of entertainment.

These women are being looked at. Gazed upon.

Mousavi may be a Reformer, but back in the 80's he wasn't so progressive, could he have changed perhaps, but the Ayatollah regime persists and will probably not be taken down in the near future (though no one suspected the protests and riots to go on for this long).

The mainstream media's obsession with the images of women, I think, beyond making the whole damn thing romantic, makes it beautiful. The image of Neda bloody and bruised and so beautifully mourned and grieved over is the way we should view Iran itself: bloody and beautiful.
Exotic.

That isn't to say I don't admire the women who are going out there everyday, fighting tooth and nail to be heard over the mayhem of their situation.
I do.
I can only hope I have an ounce of their courage.

I'm just saying, be wary of how they are being seen.
Because there is something beyond the headscarf and the blood on Neda's face.

More articles on the subject:
CNN: Iranian women stand up in defiance.
Slate: Woman Power; Regimes that repress the civil and human rights of half their population are inherently unstable..
Feministing: The Women Protesting in Iran.
eumelia: (Default)
I had been trying to find good links and have something to actually say about Iran and the elections which were so blatantly falsified I don't know where to begin about that.

[livejournal.com profile] ontd_political has a live update on the situation to which I am linking:


I can only say, keep yourself informed, read what you can and just know that change in possible.

On a more pessimistic note, I don't think this is going to be Iran's big change. So many have already died and what with the Revolutionary Guards brining in troops from other counties - in one of Andrew Sullivan's updates at The Daily Dish, he reports that Mousavi supporters heard their attackers speak Arabic and not Farsi.

Meanwhile, as the killing, fighting and violence goes on, the Ayatollah himself is calling for National Unity. I'm interested to see if his blatant religious rhetoric will actually fool the people who are pissed off at him and his posse.

The Israeli Person-On-The-Street doesn't particularly care about all this, because both the conservative and the progressive governments would have continued with their nuclear plans and very doubtful, that even if the Reformist Mousavi would have won that he would have decided that Israel was worth talking to.
As far as Israel is concerned, if you're not with us, you're against us.
I wish we'd get it into our minds that we are, in fact, teeny-tiny and pretty much not worth thinking about by bigger, richer nations in any kind of beneficial way.
Even the EU is postponing upgrading ties with Israel.

Whatever shit the world is in, it is certainly interesting.
Can understand why that's a curse, huh.
eumelia: (Default)
When I saw this video, I was shocked at the amount of utter badness one managed to condense into one minute and 8 seconds.



There's your Beauty Myth ideology at the basis of the video.
The beautification of bodily mutilation.
Big, huge, honking amounts of racism ("Big Bushes" for the Black girl, tiny "Bonsai" bushes for the Asian girl).
Oh and good ole' female objectification with the comparison of bushes to... well... you get the picture.

A chain saw?
For reals?!
eumelia: (Default)
I wanted to write a more lengthy entry, but I have no time, I have to go to Uni.
Cut so that if you don't want to read my opinions on the Gaza War you can avoid )

I'd like to reiterate and say that I think Hamas are morally bankrupt fuckers.
I don't think Israel is that much better, except that we have more money, better weapons, international support and impunity and immunity to go on and do what the fuck ever in the name of "self-defence".
Which is what the land grabbing, "expansion of territory" and a seige on a civilian population centre were all about.
Obviously.
eumelia: (Default)
On November 5ht (Never Forget *Solidarity Fist*), which is the day I found out about Obama's election since I didn't stay up all night in order to view the process, I was talking to a bunch of friends and we were all recounting what a great speaker he is and what a great sense of humour he has.
"His father send him from Krypton!"
Peels of laughter from the politically aware comic books geeks of the Literary Studies department of Tel-Aviv University.
Me?
Disconnected from reality?
Pfft.

In any event, Sinfest continue to make that narrative fun and appealing: Today's Sinfest )

Also, since I feel the need to continue being the dork; it's been a while since I posted a Just Some Random Guy Marve/DC theater video.
Enjoy the latest installment in I'm a Marvel... I'm a DC... Happy Hour:
eumelia: (Default)
You know, for the purposes of this entry I was looking through online dictionaries trying to find a definition of Democracy that would help me make my point about the silencing of minority voices within society at large.
The closest was this - "The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community" - from Dictionary.com.

That sweet little exposition aside, let me state that we who live in Democracies (or at the very least, are members of the privileged class/race/religion to which Democracy applies) consider freedom of speech to be a staple in the tradition of the Vox Populi Vox Dei, which I'm always happy to quote.

However, when you live in a society which declares a specific ethos and/or social agenda to be the Only True Path, anything that shows an alternative, or even criticizes said ethos and/or social agenda, those who voice these alternatives and criticism are considered to be the Vox Diabolus (the voice of the devil, i.e. blasphemy).

Earlier today, Attorney General Menachem (Manny) Mazuz ordered the police to open a criminal investigation against the New Profile organization.
This organization which provides information regarding alternatives to Army service in the country - New Profile's Charter - is being accused of encouraging draft dodging and inciting dissent.

The low-grade media circus concerning so called "draft dodgers", is such that everytime I hear or read about it, I feel an apopletic fit coming on and my eyed do this - o_O.
The silencing of opposition voices is so anti-Democratic I can't help but feel that Israel's perpetual myth of being the only Democracy in the Middle-East can not help but be thoroughly debunked.

This is outrageous! I can barely verbalise what I find so upsetting about this whole issue.

The information New Profile offers is not solicited, it is open to anyone who actively seek it it out.

And here are a few more myths debunked concerning the evil, sinister, anti-patriotic "draft dodgers":
These people eighteen year old kids that the IDF doesn't even bother to draft in any case... those who really dodge the draft get sent to jail and that's far rarer than it's played out, seeing as most those who don't want to serve get a legal exemption and shouldn't be fucking prosecuted for it.
We can also talk about all the Ultra-Orthodox Yeshivah boys who aren't drafted due to religious convictions, something which has become inculcated in law because back in the 40's they were a minority and didn't make a difference. In the mean time they've multiplied and are hijacking the social agenda and are even have their own backward and separate education system, which continues to breed ignorance and religious dogma which so happens to be a part of the state.
Not to mention the clause that allows women to not serve in the military due to religious or conscientious objections - note, this is not the same as the conscientious objectors that one hears about on the News, more info here.
By the way, men and women do not serve the same amount of time in the army, by default women two years and men serve three.
This is, by the way, just the Jewish population. The non-Jewish population situation is far more complex for a variety of reasons.

And I'm now so sick of this hearing the media spin this issue.

Government, police and other state officials, stop persecuting people who legally and with your approval don't serve in the IDF and find a way to #1 Negotiate Gilad Shalit's Freedom, #2 Stop enabling Settlement expansion and violence in the West Bank, #3 End the siege on Gaza and stop using Sderot and surrounding towns and kibbutzim as hostages that enable the Army to show off its National Erection and #4 Stop silencing the voices of those who are not the consensus.

This is not 1984, this is 2008 and the only Big Brother around is this one (disturbing for completely different reasons and a totally different level).

Scratched

Jul. 22nd, 2008 01:16 am
eumelia: (Default)
Fuck.

Well, that's one way to start an entry about the War and the two years that followed it.

When I was called into to the HQ for war-time reserve I really didn't think I'd be stuck there for a month. I didn't think my life would ever include running on adrenaline, going to the bathroom twice in a twelve hour shift and seeing people blow up.

During that time I did my best to disassociate myself from what was going on (I wore a uniform so ripped and graffitied upon, I put on Pride buttons, I drew Venus symbols on the pants and at every opportunity I sat in half a uniform, just the pants and a tank-top - just so I wouldn't look like I was conforming, despite the fact that I was). I was competent and did my best to help the people I was with, but I never tried to improve my skill, I was there to support my fellow shift members - even doing four shifts in a row so that they could get a proper rest and not fall apart at the seams, somehow, I held myself together and didn't fall apart until six months later.

During the War itself I ignored this intuitive knowledge, just like everyone else. I remember saying things that annoyed the people around me because my belief in what I was doing was pretty non-existent, but I did it because I was told I was needed and I'm just that much of a sucker (though no, knowing what I know now I'd never agree to do this sort of thing again... being an agent of death once, was enough).

In the six months following the War I went through a lot of changes. Most of them can be read in this here LJ, if you're so inclined. Basically, the values I held in theory began to solidify and I really couldn't look back at that month of my life without feeling guilty and helpless - especially because at the time I knew that we had gone on the rampage for bravado and to scare The Enemy into submission and not to really go in and get the kidnapped soldiers (yes, the ones returned to us last week).

It was also during those months that my friends and family realised that something was Wrong. I felt Wrong, like I was outside myself, that I had no control over what was going on inside of me and outside of me. So after many attempts to just talk to my friends about the fact that I don't sleep, am constantly angry, am constantly crying and that I am in a constant state of hate, rage and profound distrust, I actually went and sought professional help.

It was also during this time that I drifted quite far away from the comfy Left-of-Centre politics I had lived the majority of my life - Feminist, racism is bad, the Settlements in the Occupied Territories are the root the Occupation and thus must be removed, etc. etc. etc. All this without any understanding of the machinations that created the circumstances in which carpet bombs were used without notifying anyone on the ground.

And so I drifted Left (I suppose I would be considered Loony or Radical, depending on your perspective) and I feel good being in this place of self-examination and activism, it is probably what has prevented me from stumbling into clinical depression.

Trauma never really goes away.
In Hebrew there is a slang word for someone being messed up over something and never being the same and that is שרוט/ה in English it is "scratched", like a vinyl on a record player, when it hits that scratch there is a warp in the sounds that the vinyl is supposed to emit, but it gets stuck on that warp and the cacophony can be deafening.
It can also carry long distances, two years in measured time.
Most likely for longer.

In the shadow of these events, Haggai Alon (חגי אלון), a political consultant and analyst gave an interview to Ha'aretz reporter Akiva Eldar (עקיבא אלדר) about the goings on behind closed doors in the early days of the War and in the latter days and how many, if not most or all of the terrible, ahem, oversights.
The interview in Hebrew - שבויים בקונספציה.
The interview in English - A painful return to fateful hours.
eumelia: (Default)
It's late, so forgive me for what may be an incoherent entry on the subject that has been invading the consciousness of this nation for the past... well... little more than 24 hours.

Two dead men.
Both soldiers and civilians.
In my society there really is no difference.
None.
We are raised from the cradle to believe in the righteousness of the Army and our role, as citizens of this country and inhabitants of this land, to serve our country by serving in the Army.

In a BBC article talking about the high price Israel has paid - and it was, freeing a baby killer (and other combatants and bodies) for a couple of corpses is still obscene in my head, especially because Kuntar was a convicted murderer and not a convicted terrorist - his incarceration was equal in its politics and its criminality.

One of the things that struck me reading the short aforementioned article was this, and I quote:
"It is an essential part of our moral fibre, of our soul," [Col. Eisin] says.

"It is a promise we make to every Israeli mother that, when we send her son or daughter away to fight, we will bring them home whatever happens to them."

This soul is also spoken about:
Col Eisin acknowledges my suggestion that what Israelis see as their "soul" is regarded by their many enemies as a "flaw", a "weakness".

"That's just the way it is," she responds. "We won't change the way we are."

Maybe we need to.
Change, I mean.
Into what I don't know.
I've also mislaid my point somewhere along this post, again, apologies for the incoherence but I've got something I need to get out.

Which is this: There is an inherent problematization[sp?] with the conflation of civilian/solider and of service to nation/service to the military.

I had more points.
But I'm sleepy.
Do you have points?
eumelia: (Default)
I have a question?

Have you ever been accused of being brain-washed, having voiced an "unpopular" position or opinion?

I always find that kind of response to be such a cop-out from actually giving any thought to an opinion that doesn't fit the general consensus.
I mean if what I have to say causes you such insecurity maybe one should think about why and not just accept what you think as The Way Things Are.

A smart person told me that there are no facts, there are only opinions. I have to say, coming from this person I found it odd that they would have such a post-modern way of thinking (post-modern, because it basically says that there is no such thing as empirical data that can be trusted), and I agree with them... it's true. Facts have very little bearing on opinion and opinion in general is what accumulates fact.
Makes the little adage "Don't confuse me with your facts", so funny.

In any event, while "empirical data" is often skewed and changed to fit an agenda - Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics - material reality is something you can't change. It's representation in the world, yes. What actually happens... not so much.

Over the past months I've been called "brain-washed", "extreme", "strange", "provocative", "sitting in an ivory-tower", "out of touch" etc. etc.

All I can think when I hear those words thrown at me is: "I can't believe how much people refuse to look, listen and learn outside what we're spoon fed".
And then I *sigh* and shut up, listen to what's being said, what isn't being said and continue to feel confident in the security that my opinions can take the beatings the general consensus throws at them.

Here's for some mainstream media madness )

Here is some more information. Skewed though it may be.
Israeli Commitee Against House Demolitions.
eumelia: (Default)
The Israeli papers are rife with Holocaust related News and most of it is very boring, but this, this takes the cake and I just have to share.
I'm really interested to know what you all think of it.

The authors of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion would have gotten a kick out of this.

Hamas TV claims 'Satanic Jews' planned, perpetrated Holocaust
By Anat Rosenberg

Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV aired a documentary on April 18 claiming that Jews planned and perpetrated the Holocaust in order to rid the nation of the "burden" of the weak and disabled.

Palestinian Media Watch, a group that monitors Palestinian Arabic language media and schoolbooks, uploaded part of the program onto YouTube in a segment called "Hamas Holocaust Perversion: Jews Planned Holocaust to Kill Handicapped Jews."

The Al-Aqsa TV clip edits together footage from the World War II Nazi Genocide, showing Jews being rounded up and taken to a train as well as emaciated corpses lying in a pile, alongside images of Israeli leaders David Ben Gurion and Golda Meir.

The accompanying commentary claims that Ben Gurion said "the disabled and handicapped are a heavy burden on the state." To rid them of that scourge, the video claims, Ben Gurion and "the Satanic Jews thought up an evil plot to be rid of the burden of disable and handicapped in twisted criminal ways."

The video also claims that Jews made up the Holocaust and blamed the Nazis for it in order to "benefit from international sympathy."

The Holocaust "was a joke, and part of the perfect show that Ben Gurion put on," said Amin Dabur, head of the Palestinian Center for Strategic Research organization, in the video.

Dabur added that the "Jewish plan" focused on developing "strong and energetic youth [for Israel]," and that the figure of six million Jewish victims is mere propaganda.
eumelia: (Default)

אני לא נגד תרומה ופרסום.
ממש לא.
אני חושבת שחשוב להראות את הקרבנות של הקונפליקט העקוב מדם בארצינו הקטנטונת.

אבל יש לי בעיה, עקרונית ובסיסית עם סילוף עובדות ותעמולה שקופה.
אין ספק שתושבי שדרות, הקיבוצים של מערב הנגב (הכוללים כמה כפרים ערביים ובדווים, אבל עליהם לא ממש מדברים, אבל יאללה, נבליג) ועכשיו גם אשקלון סובלים משיגורי הקסאמים ושאר טילים קצרי טווח הנכנסים להם לתוך הבתים, בתי הספר, המכולת השכונתית ולגנים הציבוריים.

הקמפיין של המטה למען נפגעי טרור בדרום, חורה לי. זה הכל טוב ויפה להשתמש ולנצל את האמפתיה שלנו לילדים קטנים ומסכנים ששגרת החיים שלהם היא שגרה של צפירות, אזעקות והמלטות למקלטים. עם כל הכבוד,
מי שצופה בפרסומת הזו אינו ילד בן חמש. הקסאמים לא מגיעים משום מקום או משום סיבה.

הסרטון של הקמפיין )

מה זה אומר "זו לא מלחמה"?
הקסאמים לא מגיעים משום מקום, הם לא מתהווים יש מאין מעל ראשיהם של ילדים קטנים והוריהם.
כן אלה החיים של האנשים המסכנים האלה, ולא זה לא פייר שהם חיים ככה. אבל אנחנו לא חיים בוואקום, ונכון אולי אני עושה כאן אנליזה עמוקה מדי לפרסום של ארגון המתעסק בנפגעי טרור, אבל בחיאת רבאק, זה ממש מסריח מתעמולה.
תעמולה שהיא אפילו לא עדינה להסוות את החד צדדיות האיומה שלה.
אבל שוב, נבליג.
כך המדינה עושה יום יום.

ובאותו נושא, אבל בגישה קצת שונה: בלוגרים שמאלנים מארה"ב יבקרו בשדרות. יעני, אלה שמטילים ביקורת על מדיניות ישראל בעזה ובגדה המערבית יבואו ויראו איך ישראלים חיים בפחד אמיתי.
למען האמת, אני לא חושבת שזה רעיון רע, אבל אני לא מבינה מה ציפי לבני ושאר אנשי משרד החוץ חושבים שיקרה כאשר הם יבואו ויראו את מה שקורה. אלה, אני נוטה להאמין, אנשים אינטילגנטים, בעלי ערכים ליברלים והומניסטים וראיית עולם די מתקדמת... ואז? אותם בלוגרים יקחו אותה בהפוכה ויתחילו לתמוך ב-AIPAC? עשו לי טובה.
אין לי ספק שהם יכתבו על קבלת הפנים המאד נחמדה שמשרד החוץ ייתן להם, מהכסף שלנו אגב, הם יכתבו כמה ציפי ליבני היא צ'ארמינג וכמה צעירים נראים החיילים ולאחר מכן הם יכתבו על איזה חבל שיש לישראל מדיניות כל כך דפוקה המענישה באופן קולקטיבי אוכלוסייה שלמה.
אם אותם בלוגרים באמת ילכו מכאן אם הרגשה שראיית העולם שלהם על ישראל והמזרח התיכון הייתה שגויה ושמעכשיו הם תומכים נלהבים של מדינת ישארל ושהפלשתינים פשוט ייאלצו לחיות עם ההסגר, המצור, ההתנחלויות והמחסומים... חראם על השמאל האמריקאי.

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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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