eumelia: (resist!)
As you know I am currently jobless. The prospect of getting a job at the moment is daunting as the economy is particularly tanked and it has actually been convenient for me to have all this time on my hands in order to deal with the disaster of moving into an apartment that wasn't as good as [Sexy!Roommate] and I first thought.

Not all that glitters is gold as the saying goes.

The country is very likely to be going on general strike tomorrow, which I am totally for, as the only way to get the workers who are outsourced any rights is for the public and semi-public sectors to shut down the systems.

The amount of anti-strike sentiment is unsettling, considering the summer of "Social Justice" we supposedly had. It stops it touches you personally, huh. It also goes to show how out of touch so many people in this country are.

Yeah, I need the bus and the train, but the people who clean the buses and bus stations deserve a living wage.

The universities are also striking, so tomorrow [Sexy!Roommate] and I will clean the place up and hopefully get other shit done that doesn't require me to be attached to the phone.

I have had it up to here with the effing phone.

With luck, things will settle by mid-November and I'll be able to get a move on job finding wise and the apartment won't give me any more headaches.

Next up: I fucking hate religion.
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: (fight the rich)
In case you weren't aware, Israel is in turmoil. The good way, as in, people are taking to the streets, rather than to our guns.

Three weeks ago, a protest regarding the cost of living (mainly the price of rent) was started by a young grad student who set up a tent in one of the businest boulevards in Tel-Aviv. And well, the rest is history.

[personal profile] roga has a picspam that will show you the magnitude of this, well, surge.

There have been quite a few big marches and demonstrations, and tonight there were simultaneous demos all over the country.

150,000 people marched in Tel-Aviv alone.

I didn't go to that one. I went to the one close to home, the one in my town. We were 300+ people shouting slogans about social and economic justice.

My town is very fiscally conservative, like most of wealthy suburbia, so I felt it was important to show a presence in places where it is very much not obvious that there will be a turnout.

So there I was, shouting along and holding up the symbolic tent.

Times they are a-changing?

I can only hope the idea of social justice, welfare and economic justice will spill out towards actually touching the Occupation and how the majority of our issues come from the fact that cheap housing is built in the territories, that the jumbo budget of the army should be allocated towards education, welfare and public health.

I don't have faith, but I do have history, I rely on it being repeated.
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
In Alphabetical order and a tiny bit of commentary:

Algeria: Defying a ban, protesters demonstrate in heavily policed Algiers. The demonstrations in Algeria in early January due to food shortages, but really, the poverty level in a country that is very rich in natural resources (and a long term dictator) showed it was a matter of time.

Bahrain: Bahrain mourner killed in clashes during another protester's funeral. The violence coming from the government in response to the protests has been overwhelming.

Iran: Police confirm protest death. The Reformists demonstrations never stopped, it just wasn't reported with the same fervor as when it started, but now that fire is sweeping through the region, it makes sense that the demo's are gathering greater numbers and are being suppressed with more violence.

Israel: While the region begins it's slow slog towards something resembling democratic process, we continue to dig our heels is and write out racist legislation like a Bill proposes discount in tuition fees for soldiers - meaning that higher education will become even more inaccessible than it already is to the working class - it is racist and ethnically based because the only ones drafted are Jews and the Druze (only men in this case) meaning that those who do not serve (i.e. Arabs, who also happen to be the most economically disenfranchised) will find it very hard to study at university, creating an even greater disparity between classes that (miraculously) coincide with ethnic and religious groups.

Palestine: Palestinian government resigns in hope of fresh start. Allow me to be more scathing than usual. The PA is so scared of what's happening in the region, the fact that just a few days about Saeb Ereakat resigned because of the Palestine Papers that they'll do anything to make appearnces of appeasement, while they suppress anti-PA demonstrations. Hamas, by the way, will not be running in these elections as it rejects Fatah authority. Like this schism is anything new.

Syria: Schoolgirl blogger jailed. A week after Syria opens their internet up for Twitter and Facebook. The Asad regime is in survival mode, it has been for years now.

Yemen: Yemen protests enter fifth day. The numbers are small, and there isn't a huge presence of women in Sanaa, but following reports on Twitter informs me that there was sizable female presence in Taizz.

That's what I got.

May Day

May. 1st, 2010 05:00 pm
eumelia: (fight like a girrl)
Happy May Day y'all, for you Pagan minded peeps a happy Beltane/Samhain to you, hope you're getting your sex/ancestors on :P

To us more labour minded people, guess what I did? Well, because the big marches were yesterday I had to work!
Yes! I worked! For money! On International Worker's Rights Day! (Well, it's today, but yesterday it was observed here).

But today I'm resting (it being the Sabbath) and proudly wearing red and listening to politicaly explicit music.

This is also the year anniversary to the creation of my Dreamwidth account.

Here, have a video to celebrate Solidarity:
eumelia: (diese religione)
This post contains criticism of religion and belief in god. If that sort of thing bothers you scroll by.
I do not mind or care whether anyone believes in a god (or gods, or any other deities), that isn't my business, but I have a great many issues with the way god as an idea and what religion as an institution does in the world we live in today.



I was told my previous post about religion was a tad sombre.

Let me just reiterate. I'm very happy having no soul.

I'm very happy not being religious.

I'm actually really relieved that I've come to the conclusion that I didn't need to believe anything, because I tried to be a believer, but unfortunately my scepticism and doubt are always my greater motivations towards curiosity.

I do think religion constricts thought. I think the idea of "God" (or any dogma) that relies on an ultimate absolute truth is something humanity needs to overcome.

Traditions and histories that bring "tribes" together are important, I wouldn't be who I am without the Jewish tradition and its blood drenched history.

I've been called intolerant more than once for being vehemently anti-religious. Because, I am. I think religion as a rule does more harm than good. You can call Reform as much as you like, the notion that there's some underlying law removed from this world and it somehow is a force of causality in this world just doesn't make any logical sense.

It also comes down to the fact that religion is a force of tangible law and affects people's lives in a way that doesn't mesh with the right to be free of and from religion. That some, not all, but enough, follow the "ethical" decrees of religion without any question asked is bothersome and scary.
That there are laws that apply to one subset of the population, but not to another is prejudicial and unjust.

Change can only come from questioning authority.
Religion is possibly the most tangible force of oppressive authority I can think of. Patriarchy, Racism and Heterosexism all coalesce together under religion.

Yes, there are non-Patriarchal religions, there are religions that preach against Racism. Religion has been a great tool in the fight against racism... heterosexism doesn't appear to be challenged.

I also speak from a position of great material privilege.
To me that means that the distribution of wealth, health and hope in a better world here on earth is what is needed, not religious charities that do their best to convince their followers that through their suffering, through their mitvot, through their whatever the preacher says they must do, they will be rewarded in some other world or way.

God is a way of thinking the world. It is a limiting one. It stops you from seeing other things because everything is filtered through that idea.
Humanity is a part of this world.
We've grown past the need for gods and monsters to explain earthquakes, death, life and the chrysalis.
Why are we holding on so tightly still?

Yes, I'm a heretic in the eyes of many. Those are not the eyes who matter to me, nor should they matter at all.
eumelia: (Default)
It was actually "Hoomin Rongs, Ur Doin it Right".

That's what happens when a bunch of geeks who have just come from a Human Rights March and speak fluent LOLcat say to each other.

Yesterday was a busy day.

On the day of Israel's first Human Rights March; 21 activists were arrested in East Jerusalem for demonstrating against the eviction of Arab families in the Sheik Jarrah neighbourhood and bringing in Jewish families in their stead; Settlers vandalised a Mosque in the West Bank village of Yasuf, burning Korans and spraying graffiti to prayer rugs.

Just to contextualise the day for y'all.

My day was much better.

I got up early-ish in order to get to Tel-Aviv by 11 AM because that's when all the people were supposed to be gathering at Rabin square.
At first there were no contingencies I knew or felt a part of were there, so I was all awkward and just standing there.
Luckily a friend - who for the sake of this post I'll call "Phill" - arrived and he was also very surprised that our contingencies were lacking.

Then at around a quarter past 11 I suddenly saw multiple rainbow flags which made me happy, but they went to stand next to Meretz1, the Party I felt utterly and completely sold out their voters in order to widen their base and get more supporters.

Yes, we're all very factional... well, at least I am.

Then a few minutes later more friends of mine from campus arrived along with the red flags, yep, I stuck around in my "This is what a feminist looks like" tank top, my Keffiya and picked up a red flag!
This is where I ruminate on boring Leftists - sorta - party politics in Israel )

At around half past a friend with whom I hang out with at Uni - we'll call him "Jon" - arrived and I was so happy to discover that he brought his Pride Flag with him!
Some ass told him to not wave it around because there were other contingencies (that Hadash might not identify with) were also waving around rainbow flags.
"Jon" looked at him as though he's grown another head.
I snorted loudly.

It so happened that I ended up carrying the Pride flag because "Jon" ended up carrying a huge banner with another person and I handed the red flag I'd been carrying to a future Member of the Party (some eight year old kid, I'd say) and "Jon" and I ended up marching the whole way together.

Someone brought a solar powered boom-box and there was music in the streets!

Well you know what's attributed to Emma Goldman, right? A Revolution without dancing and a Revolution not worth having!, or rather: If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution.
Same-Same...

We finally got to the plaza outside the Tel-Aviv Museum - which right across the street from the IDF HQ (I laughed, it's just too sad) and there were huge amounts of people that joined for the speeches.
It was vast.

About boring speeches and being moved by them )

Then there was music, more speeches, even more music, I found some geek friends, we ate doughnuts because it is Hannukah and we began to LOLcat.

Footnotes )
eumelia: (Default)
Sometimes I wonder if we're too frightened to see the bushfire.

Recently I watched V for Vendetta for what is possibly the 10th time and I couldn't help but think that the movie wasn't actually US-Centric, but was actually telling the story of the future of my own country.

Very allegorical, perhaps taking it a bit too far, but I read the News and I follow the trends and I know that the danger isn't the fact that Iran wants us dead (I'm quite sure that just as we scapegoat them, they scapegoat us - they have far bigger problems and so do we), it's that we are in great danger of becoming Iran.

It scares the shit out of me, because the Occupation will eventually end - it's a question of how much more blood shed it's going to take - but it will end, because it just is not sustainable and no matter how much we economically rely on keeping the Palestinian people subjugated, it's only a matter of time when that economic power will collapse.

Theocracy scares me a whole lot more than a bi-national democracy.

I mentioned the pro-natalist ideology that dominates my country; this shows itself not only as free fertility treatment for all women (single and not), but also in rewarding large families - giving automatic child benefits to large families.
Ostensibly, this is a good thing, I think poor people should get as much help as they can from the government that doesn't actually do much to make sure the economy to keep a quarter of population out of poverty.

The government, the representatives of the poorer sections of society - the Haredim (themselves a vilified and discriminated minority) - seem keen on keeping them poor and breeding and in separate education systems; the Haredi children do not study for matriculation; they study the Holy Scriptures.
Thus, the cycle of poverty, no sex-ed and breeding for G-d and Country.

In 10, 15 or 20 years there will be a Revolutionary Guard made up of these people and the National-Religious people who believe that it is their Duty under G-d to conquer the Land for the Kingdom of Israel.

I am so not kidding.

The Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) has published it's annual Human Rights Status Report.
The report in Hebrew and in English.
Big surprise, we are not doing well.
As these rights are in fact considered privileges, more to the point they are "conditional" as Ha'aretz writes.

Some highlights from the report:
Delegitimisation of Human Rights Defenders and Activists: Decision-makers and senior officials within the Israeli government have worked to silence activists and members of social change organizations, whose messages do not correspond to their own. This included aggressive media campaigns, demonization, the diffusion of false information, and attempts to sabotage their funding. Earlier this year, for example, the IDF Spokesperson savagely attacked “Breaking the Silence,” a group which collects testimonies from soldiers who served in the Occupied Territories. In another instance among many, Interior Ministry Eli Yishai called organizations defending migrant workers’ rights a “threat to the Zionist enterprise.”


How, exactly, are we better than all the other countries in the Levant. We fit right in! I dunno what the problem is, for realz.

Increased Racism among Different Groups: A survey in the daily Haaretz reported a high level of intolerance of, and among, virtually all sub-groups in Israeli society. These include: Arabs, Israelis of Russian and Ethiopian origin, Haredim (ultra-Orthodox Jews) and settlers. The horrifying attack on the “Barnoar” gay and lesbian youth club in Tel Aviv elicited widespread condemnation by public officials, but Web forums and talkbacks revealed deep-rooted hatred and disgust for the homosexual community among the general public.


Well, all those disenfranchised people do is complain! They're not beneficial to the society at large, of course.

Other highlights include; Freedom of Expression - "If they like what you say", Arab Citizens of Israel - "Rights, if you are loyal", The Right to Adequate Housing - If you are "one of us", The Right to Health Care - "If you can pay", Occupied Territories - "Rights, if you are Israeli" and finally, "The Deterioration of Democracy".

It's a running joke among certain factions of the Left that Israel was a Democracy for seven months. From November 1966 when the Martial Law placed on the Arab population in Israel and until the Six-Day in June 1967 in which Israel annexed Jerusalem, Sinai and Golan Heights.

I think I can say without a doubt that 2009 has been the year of utter Fail. This year has been the proof to me that the Personal is Political and just wow.
Wow.

How has your year been?
eumelia: (Default)
I don't get it.

Really, I don't.

I've been to the States and I didn't get it then. I've been reading up on the subject because the Interwebs are busting with the "health care" discussion.

My country has socialised medicine, we get the choice of four different HMO's, they compete with each other and have supervision and controlling rights over different hospitals.
There is a Health Basket that includes various kinds of medications that would have been unattainable for many people, but through prescription you can get your Insulin, your Xanax, your (practically) whatever you need for an affordable price.

We pay for this service along as well as for national security (so that in case we are unable to work we will still be able to afford health care) through our pay cheques or certificates if one is an independent.

Is it perfect? Hell, no. Most of the time, it is more aggravating than not.

However, this year due to an actual medical necessity I saw the health care system work and we actually got money back after the treatments my mother had to go through were done.

I understand that this sounds like luxury for some and it is. In Third World counties (not all) and in the United States.

That's really fucked up.

Also? Crazy Americans comparing Universal Healthcare to Nazi Policy, WHAT?!

Barney Frank says it better than me (via [livejournal.com profile] mizzpyx)


I mock.

That's what I have to say about this really, really redundant debate (it's a debate!!!).

May Day!

May. 1st, 2009 04:15 pm
eumelia: (Default)
A good May Day to you all!
I am not wearing red, but my sister, sib-in-law and their kids are.
I've been singing The Internationale and Pete Seeger the whole morning.

[livejournal.com profile] sabotabby and I were obviously sharing a brain!



Profile

eumelia: (Default)
Eumelia

June 2015

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V and Justice

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

Justice: Good evening, V.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*KABOOM!*

-"V for Vendetta"

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