eumelia: (Default)
A day of honey, a day of onions (euphemism for tears, of course).

I went to the fireworks and watched Machina play for 45 minutes.
It was fun.
I had a great time listening to the music and seeing the fireworks with my family and singing along with the hundreds (maybe thousands) of my towns people to the songs which have become a part of the soundtrack of our lives.
Kind of like U2.

Elsewhere there are "alternative" ceremonies in which Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs are participating together talking about what this day means to each.
There are also ceremonies commemorating a calamity. Period.

Last year I went to a demo about a homophobic musician.
This year I'm going to South Africa and actually missing the brouhaha that will now doubt erupt while I'm gone at least by the 15th of May.

In any event, no matter what you are celebrating, commemorating or just having a weekly Wednesday night (or morning and day depending on the time zones) make it a good one and make it count.

יום עצמאות שמח!

Happy Yom Azmaut!

זיכרו את הנכבה!

Remember the Nakba!
eumelia: (Default)
Consider this the sequel entry to my previous one.

It was brought to my attention that my previous post was lacking.
Lacking in what?
Lacking in actual testimony. I hadn't thought of putting any of the things I'd read here, because I trusted in people's curiosity to go a read the testimonies soldiers.
Kind of silly of me, because I know very well that's it's easy to ignore the links offered and then you need to open the .PDF files and scroll down and actually be really interested in what these boys (and some girls) have to say.

So I give a few and like before, I urge you to go and read the rest in Hebrew if you can, and in English, which is available.


עדות מס‘ 7, חברון
יש מעט משימות הגנתיות באופיין, כמו שמירות ודברים כאלה. יש משימות התקפיות
באופיין, שבדרך כלל היחידות המיוחדות יותר עושות את זה או הפלוגות הוותיקות של
הגדוד, שזה מעצרים ודברים כאלה.
?במעצרים השתתפת
כן, הרבה. והמסה העיקרית של המשימות, האופי שלה המבצעי הוא התקפי, כלומר
– לא משנה, לא ניכנס לזה – אבל המהות שלהן, המהות של המשימות האלה היא לגרום
לאנשים לדעת כל הזמן שאתה שם. כלומר, שלא ירגישו נוח אף פעם, שיבינו שהצבא
תמיד נמצא שם. שיתרגלו לזה שהצבא שם, שאין להם כזה דבר שיגרה בלי שהצבא שם,
שבכל מקום שהם מגיעים אז בודקים אותם.

***

Testimony 5, Hebron
I remember the first time I was really screwed up in Hebron, opening some street corner
or house on one of my first patrols, you know you really are in shock. I was sure that
any moment now I’d be shot. So you stare at every window, turn every corner really
stressed out. Then you become indifferent. Yes. But in the beginning… I remember I
took a corner and my rifle was pointing at this little child. I had a really hard time with this
one. He burst out crying and ran away. Things like that. Or say I remember once, you
know the patrol moves in two lines, so these two children passed along in between, an
older and a younger brother. The older brother held the younger close and they hurried
along. This picture won’t leave me. Later, after becoming indifferent, I remember I took
a corner once and saw some Arab looking at me through the window. Then just like
that, I have no idea why I did this – I pointed my gun at him, and he closed the door
and ran. And I went – “Wow, I’m really losing it. Really.” That’s how we all felt, it was like
- feels like talking to a shrink now – but you just say, “man, I’ve really been screwed.”
You keep talking about burnout all the time, all this shit and stuff. But it’s a real horror.
You keep getting under their skin. At first you’re really scared, then you allow yourself
some humane feelings, and then you just don’t give a damn. It’s like that everywhere in
the Occupied Territories, but particularly so in Hebron.
After how long?
Next to nothing. Two weeks maybe.
***


עדות מס‘ 10 , חברון
מה האינטרקציה בין פלסטינים למתנחלים?
טוב, זה אינטרקציה מאוד־מאוד לא פשוטה.
זכורים לך מקרים?
כן, כן. גם, שוב, לא הייתי, דווקא הייתי במוצב, אבל המון חבר‘ה היו מעורבים בזה, כי זה
שוב כוננות מתפללים. המון־המון חבר‘ה הגיעו מבחוץ, תמיד באים חבר‘ה לבקר ביישוב,
בחברון, לעשות שבת בחברון. ושוב, הלכו לתפילה, הלכו יום שישי להתפלל. ובדרך, מאחורי
ג‘ילבר, מאחורי העמדה, יש מכולת כזאת והחבר‘ה בדרך נכנסו למכולת, התחילו לעשות
שם קצת בלגן. אני לא יודע בדיוק מה זה אומר קצת בלגן, חבר שלי ששמר שם אז הוא אמר
שהם נכנסו, התחילו לצעוק, נראה לי להפיל קצת מוצרים, אני לא יודע בדיוק מה.
מכולת פלסטינית?
כן.
זאת שליד ג‘ילבר?
ממש מאחורי העמדה יש שם מכולת. והם נכנסו שם, שני החבר‘ה ששמרו שם בעמדה,
הם נכנסו וממש התחילו להתווכח עם היהודים, ניסו להעיף אותם משם. הם הלכו ובדרך
ישבה איזשהי זקנה. הם המשיכו ללכת פשוט לבית כנסת, זה היה בדרך לבית כנסת. ישבה
שם איזשהי זקנה בצד והם שם צעקו עליה, לא יודע, בעטו בה או משהו כזה. שוב, זה רק
מסיפורים של החבר‘ה. אני זוכר שזה היה פשוט עניין, כי זה לא היה סתם עוד זה. החבר‘ה
ממש סיפרו את זה.
מה אמרו לכם בתדריך, מה המטרה של השהות בחברון...?
להגן על היישוב היהודי.
זו המטרה?
...להגן על התושבים, על כלל התושבים, ועל היישוב היהודי בחברון. זה בגדול. בעיקר הצבא
שם בשביל להגן על היישוב היהודי. אם לא היה שם יישוב יהודי, אז לא היה שם צבא. זה
בגדול נראה לי המטרה. בתוך זה, אז אתה גם מגן על הפלסטינים, בין אם זה כתוב ובין אם
זה לא כתוב.
איך הגנתם על הפלסטינים? מה עשיתם לאלה שהתפרעו במכולת?
אז העפנו אותם מהמכולת.

***

Testimony 17, Hebron
Being a TIPH (Temporary International Presence at Hebron) observer is really a bad
scene. Here’s another classic example of having a shitty time in Hebron. TIPH regularly
get a ‘warm reception’. Whenever they come down from Abu Sneina (neighborhood),
they are target for a stone or two at their car. Extra-special.
By the settlers?
Sure. Simply for being TIPH.
And what do you do about it?
I can just repeat what I told one of them. I’ll do it in Hebrew. He goes: “Stones have
just now been thrown at me.”
Where do you meet him?
He shows up. Comes back to Gross (outpost). I go, “Yes, I know. That’s why I was
summoned here.” Then I tell him, “Listen, you know that these are kids under the
age of 14 so there’s nothing I can do.” And the, in these very words: “I know, I just
wanted you to realize that.” Like, he already knows and there’s nothing to do about
it, absolutely nothing.
So what are the procedures you’re given, genearlly, regarding the settlers?
Nothing. Ask my deputy company commander, who’s really dying to do something
about them, what the procedures really are…
… Any time TIPH or CPT (Christian Peacemaking Teams) activists approach me
– before we absolutely prohibited any leftist or such activists enter Avraham Avinu
settlers, once they went in there and I told them: “Do me a favor, don’t. I can’t be
responsible for what could happen to you in there.” The funniest incident was when
this group, I mean all of the CPT activists came through, twenty of them, and I was
commander at Gross and I go: “What are you doing here?” You can’t mistake them,
with their CPT and those awful red caps they have, so “What are you doing here?” and
they go, “Why, is there a problem?” I ask them, “Did you coordinate this with anyone?
Did you inform anyone you were walking around here?” A huge group, I mean you
can’t really hide such a thing.
I was really concerned about their safety.
Where were they walking, at the wholesale market?
No, just plainly no the ‘David Route’ which you know as Shuhada Street.
Are there any special instructions regarding the Bnei Avraham tour groups?
Bnei Avraham (a group of activists that conducts guided tours in Hebron) arrive, and
they are not supposed to enter anywhere in Avraham Avinu neighborhood settlement.
I’m dying to know how we got to the point where a Jew is not allowed to walk around
Jewish public space. For leftists…
There’s an instruction forbidding them to enter Avraham Avinu?
Yes. There’s an explicit instruction forbidding leftist activists and international
organizations from entering Beit Hadassah, Avraham Avinu and other such
settlements.
***
eumelia: (Default)
This year marks 60 years of Independence for the State of Israel and 60 years to the Palestinian Expulsion from what is now Israel proper, commonly known as al-Nakba (the Catastrophe).

I won't be here to do anything about those dates, as I am leaving for SA in early May and will likely be missing the brouhaha that will no doubt commence.

I've spoken about this organisation before, but I'll mention them again.

Just before Pesach Breaking the Silence published, online, IDF soldiers testimonies of serving in Hebron in the years 2005-2007.

I'm really not sure what to say other than to urge you all to read them. All of them. Take your time, but read them.
These brave boys (and that really is what they are at this age) are doing something which, if I'm not mistaken, no other country even acknowledges and that is talking about the fact that what goes on in the Occupied Territories is... Well... there ain't no place like Hebron.

The Testimonies - in Hebrew.
The Testimonies - in English.
eumelia: (Default)
Cognitive dissonance can easily be described as the opposite of doublethink.
It can also easily describe what is happening today in this lovely blood soaked land o'mine.

A quick news recap to ease your jonseing for Israel-Palestinian updates.
Let us begin:

In case someone missed it, a few days ago there was a skirmish on the Gaza-Israel border at the fuel station of Nahal Oz. Gaza, as we know, is low on fuel for their basic needs and having gotten nowhere with Egypt concerning shifting the economic dependency from Israel to Egypt, like Hamas hinted at after the border breech in January Israel had planned on renewing fuel supply on Sunday, but got round to doing it today.
All hell broke loose and so far there are three dead soldiers and approx. nine dead Palestinians, though some have reported twelve.

At the same time Mr Blair, Former British PM and Current Quartet Ambassador has said: "It is true that the weight of the occupation is very heavy" (understatement of the effing century!) he urges foreign investment in Palestinian economy - because like everyone knows, there's no labour like cheap labour, especially cheap labour that has no freedom of movement, no other viable economy and no other prospects.
Can't wait to see the kind of investors that come to the West Bank.

And last but not least, let us hope that the Dove does indeed overcome the Hawk, or even makes a chirp in the background.
Yep J Street has finally been launched as a counter point to AIPAC. Though obviously it doesn't say that anywhere, but everybody knows it.

Check their nifty campaign video here. )

And in with all this going Israel is preparing to celebrate 60 years of independance with a budget so enormous 100 million NIS which is approx. 28 million US$.
Yeah.
For some reason I thought it was less despite having signed the petition against the hugeness of the budget.
It is also the 60th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe in Arabic) which is commemorated on the 15th of May (Israel's Independence Day is celebrated according to the Hebrew Calendar on 5th of Iyar and changes over the 19 year cycle, the Gregorian date is the 14th of May).
Like me, not many are in the "Celebratory" mood.
I thankfully will be in South Africa over a portion of the month of May, hopefully I'll bypass the riots, violence and sheer insanity that will consume the country.

And thus I conclude this recap, hope your jones has lessened and that your head is not bleeding from it's repetitive meetings with the desk.

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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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