eumelia: (this small)
So, yeah.

This week has been insane, hasn't it, particularly this weekend, most of which I missed due to the fact that I am both lame and trying to wrap up my degree.

So I missed what is probably the most important demonstration of the last decade studying for a stupid exam. Plus I wasn't feeling 100% hopefully the fresh muggy air of morning helped clear my head in order to pass this thing.

The important demonstration is ostensibly about the fact that people can't afford to pay rent or buy a flat in this country, but really, it's about the fact that we're not getting paid enough money, that there is no regulation of practically any market and that the government hates us.

Bibi, will you please fuck off already!

And then there was Norway - which, amazingly enough, the local news didn't jump to the conclusion that it was, you know, brown people like the rest of the world. And man, isn't the world feeling that smart.

I'm sorry to be glib, but in the face of such a horrendous tragedy, my only choice is tell the world to get over itself and stop Strawman-ing groups of people that are easy to blame because they're a They, rather than Us - white people have caused more destruction and murder all over the world, than many other atrocities combined.

And yet, I don't see anyone blaming Whiteness and Christianity for this killing spree.

My heart goes out to the family of the victims in what must be the worst time of their lives.

Be strong, Norway.

I'll mention Amy Winhouse, because she shouldn't have gone. It's always sad when an artist as good as that leaves the world.

And last, but not least, on the fandom front, because mixing political and social disasters with fandom on this blog is so rare - I mainlined the first season of Hawaii Five-0 for which I blame [ profile] verasteine, who showed me picscams of Scott Caan and told me about the subtext on a show that really shouldn't be all that good, but is actually really, really good. Character consistency! Who would have thunk it.

So, now I have an icon of Scott Cann being sarcastic.

The show itself leaves much to be desired in, um, plot. The plot, was, well, okay, it made the characters suffer which is fine.

Now I'm invested and I'm watching you CBS, do not fuck it up!

I'm resting, now, and I need to watch Torchwood - oh, man I need to write about Torchwood.

I have no time.
eumelia: (ctrl+alt+delete)
My speech (which, no matter what people say, has never been absolutely free) has been curtailed in a frightening way.

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

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

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

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

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

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

But, well, I can't tell you what you should do regarding that.
eumelia: (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.

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.


Feb. 17th, 2011 03:29 pm
eumelia: (exterminate!)
I scraped and dented my parents' new car yesterday.

I'm not used to driving it yet, so I thought taking it out for a short drive would be helpful as I'd actually like to use this car more often than I used our previous one.

The big difference is that this car is an automatic and I'm used to driving a stick and dude, those cars drive themselves! I'm not used to not having total control over how fast a car is going, so when I pulled out of the drive way I took the turn to quickly and well... a scrape and a dent.

I'm feeling really guilty.

But well, as a friend said, better to have a few bangs and scrapes now and then than die in one big accident.

Ain't that the truth.

I'm not managing to keep up with reports coming in from Bahrain, Iran, Libya, Yemen, etc. I'm mainly following on Twitter, which is very quick on the updates.

In the mean time, in my locale, the Army has fired rubber bullets at Israeli citizens for the first time since October 2000. But who counts the Bedouin as Israeli citizens any way...
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.
eumelia: (exterminate!)
Not because of the events themselves. One of the things I enjoy about facebook is seeing all the things I don't have time to do or I'm too lazy to attend fly by and be spoken about by those who did go and enjoy themselves.

I'm going to an events I found on Facebook this evening, hopefully accompanied by a friend, but also maybe not.

I'm going to listen to a panel at the Tel-Aviv LGBT Centre regarding the discriminatory paragraph on the blood donor's restriction guidelines. As with the rest of most Western countries in the world Israel also restricts gay men and men who have sex with men from donating blood due to being a "risk group" for HIV/AIDS.

So, I'll be going this evening to hear a panel on the subject. The speakers are going to be a representative from the QUILBAG outreach branch of the Israel AIDS task force, a researcher from an education and youth organisation movement and the chair of the MADA (the Red Star of David, our version of the Red Cross/Crescent) blood bank.

I'm looking forward to it, as a regular donor and queer person, it's one of my regular peeves that I talk about when discussing institutionalised homophobia and an issue I try to discuss with the blood technicians; most of the time they're like "we're just doing our job, we have no control over policy" which is fair, but irritating and sometimes I actually manage to have an interesting discussion with some of them (usually women technicians) and during one of those conversations I was told that the Israeli policy is part of a world wide policy recommended by the Red Cross - something I'd not known at the time (this was about three years ago, I think).

It's worth starting discussions with people who poke you with needles, I say.

In any event, yesterday, I posted the event on Facebook and put out a general request of "who's coming with me?".

The discussion that transpired irritated me to the level of KEY-BOARD-SMASH!!!!!!.

I'll spare you the details as they're not that important and interesting. Not to mention, they're in Hebrew. However, there was something that was written that made me double take and got my ears roaring.

There was agreement (total, I might add) that the restrictive paragraph was discriminatory and wrong, but the gay community (at this point we were talking about gay men specifically, because they're the group that's eschewed from being able to donate) contributes to its image.
That there is a culture of casual sex and one night stands in the gay community that isn't as widespread like in straight culture - casual sex and one night stands create a higher risk of infection.

My mind, it was blown. My blood, it was boiling.

I tried, really really hard to explain, why that kind of statement is homophobic and victim blaming. No dice and this discussion went on for hours on and off. It even went on to say that some women are to blame for sexism.

Fucking hell.

Now, the thing is, the person saying all that, I don't know 'em very well, but I like 'em and they like me as well and we're becoming friends and the discussion itself is interesting, but I'm finding it very hard to keep an even keel and cool head in light of this espousing of bullshit.

Hence the aforementioned KEY-BOARD-SMASH!!!!!!.

Facebook is stress causing in this case. I can tell you that if someone had said this crap to my face in person I'm pretty sure I would have thrown something heavy at that person's head.
And left the room with a door slam.
I'm dramatic that way (my officer's nick name for me during my Army service was Melodrama).

I know I haven't given y'all nearly enough info regarding what was actually said in the discussion for you to actually have an opinion on who was right, but honestly, I don't care.

I'm sick and tired of being in a position in which the basic humanity of individuals of a certain group needs to be proven as actually worth while, existent and ratified. Especially when I'm the company of so-called straight allies and friends - yeah, in case it wasn't obvious, the person I was commenting back and forth with is straight - there was another participant and their input didn't make want to, once again, KEY-BOARD-SMASH!!!!!!.

I think I'll go check if I have company this evening.
eumelia: (verbiage)
I started writing this last night, but I pretty much fell asleep at the key board. Such is the day of working both part-time jobs on the same day and then going straight to a Hannukah supper.

Happy Hannukah y'all!

Hey, it's been a while since I linksapmmed you regarding the Zeitgeist of Israeli News media.

Though thinking about it now, it can't really be that interesting to you, because I find myself not all that interested myself. I mean, do you really want to know that in a poll conducted, 62% of Israeli Jews believe that Arab citizens (supposedly of equal standing under the law) should have no say in foreign policy - which certainly helps with the referendum law (in which the decision to withdraw from the Golan Heights and/or East Jerusalem will be be made via referendum of the people, i.e. Us, i.e. 62% of us who think that 20% of the population should have no say in the matter) which passed the Knesset last week.

Good to know where the "majority" stands regarding the nature of "democracy".

In that same poll, 55% of Israeli Jews think the state has the right to "encourage" Arab citizens to immigrate, meaning, should there be a mass population transfer, most of us wouldn't think this was a crime against humanity (yeah, I'm going there, because forced migration and population transfer is a condition of genocide and I refuse to use the term "ethnic cleansing" as that has no legal standing under any judicial body).

But hey, things aren't so bad! only 25% of Israeli Jews would find that living next to a gay couple (originally homosexual couple, most likely they mean two men, as two women are hardly as threatening in the eyes of Machismo culture).
Yeah, we're so tolerated in the only democracy in the Middle-East that doesn't mind using us as a standard of liberal propaganda, so long as we bring tourists, we're okay, but you wouldn't want to actually live next to us.

Of course, not only Israeli Jews were polled and found increasingly intolerant - Palestinians with Israeli citizenship (originally Israeli Arabs) were also polled and wouldn't you know, they are even more intolerant! 70% of Palestinians with Israeli citizenship would rather not live to a gay couple.
But 48% wouldn't mind living next to foreign workers (compared to 39% of Israeli Jews who wouldn't tolerate foreign workers as neighbours).

This poll is unsurprising. For a number of reasons.
First, Queers are always disruptive of the solidarity of an already disenfranchised group - not that that's an excuse for homophobia, but the more traditional the society, the more intolerant it is of Queers. It's a thing that needs to be addressed.
Second, when you have committees that allow for residents to select their neighbours and favour ghettoization of population, well, I can't say I'm surprised that there is such a dehumanising factor in those we perceive as "Other".
And dude, there are so many "Others" in Israel, I have a hard time finding that can be construed as solidarity.

Knesset Memeber Nitzan Horowitz (of Meretz and only out gay MK) was interviewed regarding the poll mentioned above, in this interview he talks about the connection between racism and homophobia. He mainly talks about the larger political forces at work (various parties in the Knesset and movements outside the Knesset) and he also mentions socio-economic status as a huge factor of nurturing intolerance.
Intersectionality, hurrah.

Still, when he mentions the big picture, he doesn't mention the Occupation and the way the violence that permeates the interaction between every group (including gender, street harassment and domestic violence so high, that 20% of men incarcerated in Israeli prisons are there due to domestic violence) in Israel can be felt everywhere.

I think the Occupation as an ethical position this state holds, and the monetary and political resources allocated to keeping the status quo of the Occupation is taking it's toll on Israeli civil (such as it is) society - not to mention the disparity in standard of living among Jews and Arabs who live in the West Bank and the siege on Gaza.

Of course, according to our Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman (Oh, fascist pig one) blames the Arabs for the increase in racism.
I can't even begin to quote the garbage that is written.

As Horowitz rightly said in the interview:
There is a huge gap between the support avowed by the public and by public servants for democratic principles, and the way that support translates into daily behavior. This latest survey shows that the majority supports democracy, but in practice more and more racist, hurtful and discriminatory laws are being proposed.

That's the face Israel presents to the world.
eumelia: (bisexual fury)
Ever since I asked you peeps to tell me what you'd like to read from me, one subject has taken over my brain and I've been trying to articulate it for days in my mind.

It's a personal subject that involves an ongoing history and self-perception. Some of that history makes several people in my life look bad and me look even worse. But that's how the cookie crumbles I suppose.

The story of how I came out as queer (first as bisexual, though that word seriously does not suit me, but it's the only one I've got) is an ongoing project.

It is something, I assume, will continue to happen for the rest of my life.

When I was 15 and came out to some family members I thought that would be the end of it. Then one family member told me to be quiet about it and not mention it ever again (well, not in those words, but that's how it felt at the time). You'd think my monthly excursions to the local "Rocky Horror Picture Show" would be a clue - hell, I played Magenta a couple of times on stage and memorably, the Red Door (yeah, I was playfully accosted by the Eddie at the time... it was hilarious).

In any event, ten years ago, I thought that if I came out that's it. I'm done. Everyone would know and I'd never have to talk about it ever again.

God, I was so naive. Beyond naive. Effing clueless. Cut for length and some frank discussion of sex )

This ended up way more convoluted than I intended. Hopefully it made sense to you all. Questions and requests for clarification are welcome!
eumelia: (queer rage)
Something y'all should know about gay rights in my locale. The majority of them, if not all of them, have come to be due to judicial precedence and not actual Knesset (Parliamentary) bills.

All same sex adoptions rights are due to court room precedence. All spouse benefit packages awarded to one's same sex partner, due to court room precedence.

You get the picture.

Our rights exist, not because we are almost equal, but because the court sees fit that we are human enough for civil rights.

Why am I telling you this?

In a bout of unimaginable cruelty, apathy and down right ignorance, a Judge has declared that gay partners aren't couples under the inheritance law.
I can't even pick out quotes that manage to make sense of this story, so I'm putting the entire article under a cut as well as the rest if my post: here )
eumelia: (queer rage)
For the first time since Thursday I'm finally feeling normal. The 'rental units are still insisting I take some fever reducing meds, which yes, I know makes me sound 15 rather than 25, but you know what, they thought I was dying so I don't mind.

But yay! I'm finally compos mentis enough to write about things.

I was debating whether to write about the crap political situation. After all, what else is new?
So, sorry folks, for my opinion on the Piss Talks and what happened on the Jewish Flotilla... bad timing, will probably not happen. As well as an update on the alleged "rape by coercion" which is alleged, simply because apparently it was an actual rape of a previously victimised woman and what it says about the justice system, the media and the ability of victims to tell their story. I might update on that later on.

Speaking of victims.

I'm finding the sudden focus on queer teen suicide in the News to be odd and unsettling, beyond the teen suicide issue, which has always been unsettling, but the stark focus we're suddenly seeing coming out of the USA is particularly disturbing. What I'm trying to understand is, why? I mean, for those of us who look out for these stories, these incidences of bullying, cyber-bullying, violence and assault upon queer youth isn't rare... it's fucking ubiquities.
As someone else on my f-list mentioned, the media is framing this as another kind of "Shark Attack", that is, making the rare seem far more common than it actually is.

Teen suicide is ubiquitous. A higher than the over all median percentage of teen suicides can be found within the queer slice, the majority of them are boys (because boys have a better "success" rate than girls) and trans kids all over the spectrum.

Along with Dan Savage's (who I find personally unpalatable) It Gets Better project and the other campaigns popping up like We Got your Back (created because of Savage's, um, unpalatable history and character), older projects like The Trevor Project and locally speaking There is Some to Talk To (Hebrew page), which is a hot-line and not a suicide prevention project or even a general stay positive and alive project like the other ones are.

So yes, there are projects aimed at keeping queers alive.

Is this sudden interest by the US mainstream media into the tragic ends of gay kids a turn for the better, a reaction to the social changes that are being pushed by mainstream QUILTBAG activism - the fight for marriage and the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"?

Meh. I say.

As I said, the US mainstream media covering these suicides are treating this as though there is this sudden surge or epidemic in queer teen suicides. Well, it's lovely how the media constructs message and narrative, isn't it.

Firstly, from what I've read, there doesn't seem to be any specific blame placed upon the fact that society, as a whole, treats gay people as pariahs. Formal rights or not, the heterosexual default and social imperative reign supreme, if we're not actively discriminated against, we're tolerated as perverts who should be happy with what we've got.

Secondly, the surprise and shock that we're supposed to feel at this horrible turn of events. Queer rights have come a long way in the past twenty years. Of this there is no doubt. But seriously, seriously not enough and things are less than stellar, especially considering what I've mentioned in my "Firstly". So, dead queers. What else is new? Oh, it's children, teens, won't someone think of them and save them? Well, seeing as their (usually) heterosexual peers are the ones bullying them to death, due to the fact that they haven't grasped the notion of tolerance (acceptance? Pfft!) and that bullying does not happen in a vacuum. Even if the specific bullying is a one time occurrence, the underlying cause of targeting a specific person because they are queer is a continuous and often tautological problem: social norms mark queers as targets for abuse who are abused because of social norms.

As for these suicide prevention, positive thinking, personal stories in order to encourage solidarity, those are good and have their place and I have a real admiration to you who are pushing them - despite my aversion from things Dan Savage - there's one thing I'm not seeing on the same level.

Outrage. Anger. Being fucking Pissed Off.

Yes, gay youth suicide is much more abstract than DADT and Marriage and AIDS and actual discrimination under the law. And I'm not sure there can be this kind of front of solidarity in the face of suicide - much like other Radical Queer struggles which seek to upturn the intersected hierarchies of oppression; the gender binary, the privilege of the couple, the marginalisation of BDSM - these struggles somehow appear much more abstract, because they've not been taken in mainstream activism.

All queer people suffer under *phobia, one way or another, not everyone commits suicide... that doesn't mean, the pain is less sharp or demeaning.
eumelia: (master politician)
First, The ministry of truth cut the already minuscule budget for civics studies and has shifted the focus to Jewish studies.

I had flames on the sides of my face when I read this. This is after the fact that the main civics high school book was edited this summer for being, get this, too critical of the State of Israel, because it contains this quote:
"since its establishment, the State of Israel has engaged in a policy of discrimination against its Arab citizens.

For fucking serious.

The thing is, of course, is that the book is about as useful as used toilet paper if teachers can't convey that all human beings have the right to live with dignity, freedom and quality that enables them to chose how they want to live. Yes, there needs to be an inculcation of basic liberal thought before the notion of critical thought can even be glimpsed at.

Such is the nature of the public education system. What's important isn't the state of the nation, but the nation of the state.


Interestingly enough there has been talk of Arabic studies getting a bigger budget and becoming compulsory. I'm very shifty about trusting this kind of News, because I can see this sort of thing being used as a way to deflect criticism from a move like they've made with the civics curriculum.

That's just the tip of the iceberg of course. But I thought it would be worth mentioning. Just so you know what's up with the "only democracy" in the Middle East.

But hey, at least there is some movement happening on the ground here, what with various actors and performers refusing to perform in Ariel, the largest and most established settlement in the West Bank.
They have already garnered a lot of international support.

This makes me optimistic. Way more than the half assed talks I keep hearing these politicians seem to be having.

Next on the agenda, movies, music and something else entirely... telling would be spoiling.
eumelia: (buggering)
I had a really frustrating discussion today.
It's felt very much of dismissal and prioritising the "struggle".

I dunno.

I mean, is the threat fascism in Israel (which is very real) more than the Homophobia inherent in this machismo and militaristic society?

Hearing the words "Homophobia is a prejudice found in every society and really, things are much better than they were 10 and even 15 years ago" is incredibly glib and frustrating to hear.
Especially considering who tends to be the victims of fascist, ethnocratic and theocratic governments.

Just a thought. Call me over sensitive, but I tend to find connections between rampant prejudice and jingoism.

It may not appear so, but the fact that in the same week I read about a family being treated as second class citizens at a national park because they're gay and the Tel-Aviv Police Department backing out on an expedition to Berlin regarding combating Homophobia related crime.
Who needs fucking "tolerance" when we have consumer surveys asking people if they'd mind travelling with Arabs on the future light rail in Jerusalem.

While I'm often an in-your-face aggressive Levantinit myself, this kind of unapologetic prejudice is just despicable. I suppose I should be greatful we're not even pretending. But then again, no one seems to be aware of this racism thing. You know, that we're racist.

Fuck it.

I'm pissed about a lot of things. It may not be good for my health, but it keeps me going. My outrage fatigue creeps up, but seriously, when I hear people say separate the issues deliberately and really I'm not a proponent of the whole "one struggle, one fight" ideal, it makes me wonder where the Left has gone wrong.

To prioritise "issues" according to some arbitrary criterion is irritating and frustrating and reminds me of the article that circulated a few weeks ago, Why Misogynists Make Great Informants: How Gender Violence on the Left Enables State Violence in Radical Movements:
The guys who said they would complete a task, didn’t do it, brushed off their compañeras’ demands for accountability, let those women take over the task, and when it was finished took all the credit for someone else’s hard work. The graduate student who hit his partner—and everyone knew he’d done it, but whenever anyone asked, people would just look ashamed and embarrassed and mumble, “It’s complicated.” The ones who constantly demeaned queer folks, even people they organized with. Especially the one who thought it would be a revolutionary act to “kill all these faggots, these niggas on the down low, who are fucking up our children, fucking up our homes, fucking up our world, and fucking up our lives!” The one who would shout you down in a meeting or tell you that you couldn’t be a feminist because you were too pretty. Or the one who thought homosexuality was a disease from Europe.

Yeah, that guy.

I'd really appreciate it, if we stopped shooting ourselves in the foot.

Just an idea.

I'm going to eat something. I'm starving.
eumelia: (bisexual fury)
I've been staring at this page forever, the cursor mocking me with my inability to write a recap of yesterday's events.

I suppose it was because the actual event was, thankfully uneventful.

There was one counter demo at the march itself, in which Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel, easily the most disgusting specimens of humanity Israeli society has to offer came with signs reading "Holyland not Homoland" as we marched by.
If you are interested, you can read some of their hate speech and incitement here.

But we were safe, because the police (despite some asshattery earlier this month regarding the route to the Knesset) are very serious about the security. Now, I trust the police about as far as I can throw them (meaning, I don't) and it's really due to the fact that the Pride March in Jerusalem gets more threats than any other political march in the city - my sister, who is a Jeruselamite (of many years) was surprised at the fact that there weren't people on the sidelines hurling insults or worse. I explained that ever since the stabbing in 2005, the security had been upped. Not to mention that Pride is not an explicitly Leftist event and doesn't invite that kind of political ire from its opposers.

I, per usual, marched with the Reds :) along with Yael, [personal profile] tamara_russo, my sister (who next year will be bringing her husband and kids) and I saw my friend S and it was awesome.

There were great speeches in the pre-march events, an open stage for anyone who had something say, so there were many talks from grassroots activists, the kink community, the bi/pan community, the anarchists, the communists, an anonymous letter from a religious gay man... it was very heart warming.

As I've previously mentioned, this is the first time we marched to the Knesset, and it felt profound and meaningful. Which is how I felt during the Radical march back in June in Tel-Aviv and didn't feel during the Municipal march in Tel-Aviv - that's a carnival and has lost the political power it once held. I don't know how I feel about marching in the Municipal Tel-Aviv march considering the fact that Tel-Aviv is constantly used to pinkwash Israeli society - while we're called filth and animals everywhere else.

This was doubly clear at the Memorial rally held after the march in the Knesset rose garden in honour of Nir Katz and Liz Trobishi (z"l) which the 1st of August marks the year anniversary of their murder. Nir Katz's mother, Ayala, became a pivotal figure in the community, becoming the chairwoman on Tehila (the Israeli version of Parents and Friends and of [QUILTBAG] people) and she gave a very moving speech.

We were told that the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was "supposed" to send a letter for the community, but didn't get a chance to sign it. Tsipi Livny delivered a letter, which I don't appreciate thanks, seeing as gays are seen as nothing more than fodder for tourists, at best.
Gay and out MK Nitzan Horowitz gave a very passionate (and loud) speech and stated pretty blatantly that the other members of Knesset sucked when it came to policy concerning queers.
So, yeah.

My sister and I left after his speech and missed the (so I've heard) surreal speech by former Speaker of the Knesset and author Avrum Burg, who is a religious man and upholds universal values of human and civil rights and spoke about reconciling those with religion.

I spoke to my sister about the Statement of Principles I mentioned yesterday (LJ/DW) which is obviously connected to the whole reconciling of religion and homosexuality. And she said it's better than sitting Shiva on the child and mentioned that at least like this they can still have a place.
"Men" I said, as the Statement is very much tilted towards the male experience, despite the fact that gay women are mentioned, it's clear that the only people "really" affected are men, because there is this disbelief surrounding female desire towards sex that doesn't involve a penis belonging to a man.
My sister said that possibly being an unmarried woman in traditional Orthodox society is the worst position, because there really is no place.

Call me crazy. But to me this means traditional Orthodox society is just not the place to be if you're gay. Also, traditional orthodox people need to stop being bigoted ass-holes.

Just sayin'.

Yes, it is better not to sit Shiva over your child, just like common-law marriage is better than having no partner rights whatsoever.

So, yeah.

Here are some pictures, all taken by [personal profile] tamara_russo. Thank you babe, for being there with me!
I'm cute )
eumelia: (flags)
Are you ready to read about some politics?

Are you ready to read about the fact that soon those who advocate (as in speak words) economic boycott against Israeli products will be criminalised?

Are you ready to read about the fact Israel believes that the Occupation is a public relations problem and not an actual human rights problem?

Are any of these things News to you?

They are not to me, but here's the gist. The Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement is gaining momentum. So much so, that politicians are running scared and have drafted a law (which has already passed a first reading - for a Bill to be passed it needs to pass three reads in the Knesset) in which supporting, advocating and participating in BDS activities will be criminalised: Seriously.
Of course, this all came about because the Palestinian Authority boycotted Israel first!

The most brutal, naked boycott is, of course, the siege on Gaza and the boycott of Hamas. At Israel's behest, nearly all Western countries signed onto the boycott with inexplicable alacrity. This is not just a siege that has left Gaza in a state of shortage for three years. Nor is it just a complete (and foolish ) boycott of Hamas, save for the discussions over abducted soldier Gilad Shalit. It's a series of cultural, academic, humanitarian and economic boycotts. Israel threatens nearly every diplomat who seeks to enter Gaza to see firsthand the unbearable sights.

The Israeli mind set, of which mine does not escape, views everything in terms of warfare, something that Dr. Dalit Baum articulated in the video embedded below. A boycott, by it's definition, is a pro-active non-violent form of protest by abstaining from economically participating and dealing with bodies, organisations and governments whose policies, for instance, you do not believe deserve to be supported.

But that, that's Antisemitism right there, not willing to wheel and deal with Israelis, well... that's you being a hateful bigot isn't it?

Never mind that an Arab man is currently in hospital for talking to a Jewish girl. But no, there's no racism.
None at all

It's all, one big PR problem. And you who are freakin' fantastic at PR?
Yep, Liberals in Europe and the United States always approve of the Gays.
I mean, all Israel needs is a little re-branding.
Gays made the best logos.
Especially when they host great parties and have a fabulous night life.
C'mon over my brothers! Tel Aviv is just the City for you.

Don't mind that girl who was beaten to a bloody pulp by her brothers because she's trangender (the girl is constantly misgendered in the article).
Or the fact that it has been a whole entire fucking year since the murder at the Gay Youth club and the murderer is still at large.

But no, we queers have to be the pretty face Israel presents the world because while we continue to benefit for activist judges and some social progression, the IDF proclaims itself to be under no obligation to protect civilians. By the way, that white phosphorus Israel has been denying it used during the assault on Gaza? Well, now we're going to "reduce its use".
Brilliant hypocrisy.
Just fucking brilliant.

This is what Israeli democracy looks like - with Loyalty tests, religious persecution, racial inequality, human rights violations and hijacking the language of human rights in order to paint ourselves as better, more accepting, more tolerant and Normal.
eumelia: (catwoman)
I have like a bazillion tags open regarding using Pinkwashing language regarding human rights, but instead of that serious business, I'd rather talk about fandom.

For serious.

[ profile] neo_progidy blogs about comic books and fandom on his LJ from a progressive perspective focusing on the inclusion of women (feminist/womanist perspective and issues), QUILTBAG*, non-white/poc (perspective and issues) in comic books!


His new blog can be found here: Strange Days and In Between All Things.

In addition, you can follow the rss reeds on LJ - [ profile] strangedays_rss and on DW - [syndicated profile] strange_days_feed.

*The acronym of awesome: Queer/Questioing, Undecided/Up Yours, Intersex, Lesbian, Trans*, Bisexual, Asexual/Allies, Gay/Genderqueer.

Last year, today, I watched the entirety of Torchwood: CoE in five hours straight. I watched it twice more over the next week.
It was a doozy.
It was brilliant.
It broke my heart and the way I viewed television and my own participation in fandom changed. I'm still not a huge participator, being the uncreative standoffish person that I am. I have many ideas for various fics in various universes, but I'm a lazy ass and don't really take the time to write. The last fic I wrote was for Iron Man two years ago.
My Meta still flows out of me like I dunno what, but that too, is often curtailed for writing about local politics and my own perspective of them.

My fangrrl self cannot be removed from my actual self, so my personal politics very much informs me on the way I view media, which is kind of why I never considered creating different blogs for the mish-mash of subjects I talk about here.

Speaking of which, onto some squeeage... of sorts. Tonight the new episodes of True Blood and Leverage will be airing and I'm happy, though honestly, both of the shows previous episodes left a bad taste in my mouth for different reasons. My reasons, let me show you them, cut for spoilers )

And that's all for now.
eumelia: (diese religione)
Delibarete stupidity.
The Knesset is expected to look into the possibility that Israel Nature and Parks Authority guides at the Soreq Cave Nature Reserve are concealing the true age of the cavern's stalactites and the stalagmites so as not to offend the beliefs of Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox visitors.

A teacher who toured the Jerusalem-area cave on Sunday with first and second graders from a science-oriented school in the south said the guide told her students the formations were very old, but refused to say how old.

The stalactites and stalagmites are estimated by scientists to be around 300,000 years old. The guide said she was not allowed to give that figure so as not to conflict with the faith of those who believe the world is around 5,000 years old.

"I was shocked," the teacher said Monday. "We are a science school, not an ultra-Orthodox school. How can such information be concealed from pupils?"

I'll tell you how.


For some obscure reason, people are afraid of religious people and institutions in this country. I'm not sure if it has always been this way, I know that I have always hated and resented the fact that religious institutions are funded by the tax payers cash and that we are forced to live by their demands.

Fear, because they riot in the street and demand freedom from democracy. Yes, that's right, the ultra-orthodox want to be free from democracy, but retain the rights and benefits and citizenship.

This is a fucking outrage.

We're afraid of offending the poor religious people's feelings?! For fuck's sake they're the ones who believe in magic!

And you know what offends me?

That facts, figures and opinions are stymied by people who are too closed minded, cowardly and deliberately ignorant to accept that their myths are exactly that.

eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
"Israeli academia apparently suffers from 'Palestinomania,' a mild psychological illness whose symptoms include self-hatred, an affinity for Israel's enemies, Jewish anti-Semitism and/or anti-Zionism," Shamalov Berkovich said in the Knesset. "The spread of 'Palestinomania' demands the immediate and painful treatment for all of our sake, and the sooner the better."

From Education minister vows to punish Israeli professors who back academic boycott.

And you Yanks thought your Teabaggers were bad. These are Israel's elected officials talking.

I swear, you don't need political satire to make this shit up.
eumelia: (ctrl+alt+delete)
Two years ago, I went to Bil'in. To those unaware, Bil'in is a Palestinian village in the West Bank that was and still is the forerunner in the popular struggle against the Separation wall cutting through the landscape and usurping Palestinian land beyond the Green Line (the historical 1967 border).

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

Mainly, because I'm afraid.

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

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

With much guilt I sometimes pretend everything is okay.

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

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

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

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

See what I did there.

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

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

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

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

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

We have always been at war (with Eurasia).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Thank you [ profile] nurint!
eumelia: (queer rage)
I'll be doing a lot of marching this Friday, as it the annual Tel Aviv Pride Parade.

However, it's a little different this year.

The Gay Youth Club attack kind of put the community through the ringer and a whole lot of splits occurred and, well, there are two marches happening at the same time this year.

The annual one, dubbed the Municipal March because it's funded by the Tel-Aviv Municipality and is sponsored by the bigger, mainstream LGBT organisations.
At the same time, from a different location, the one dubbed the Community March (Officially called "Marching For Change") is marching as contrapuntal to the Municipal one, protesting the commercialisation and homogenisation of the march and all that.

I will, however, be marching in the first explicitly Radical Left Queer march. Which is actually happening before either of those marches and is getting more heat than either of the marches.

Because see, the Community March is about the murder and the fact that not enough was done after the attack and that the LGBT community in a way retreated and licked its wounds. These are things I agree with, but I don't agree that there should have been a split.

After the Radical March, I'll be joining up with the Municipal March and doing the regular route.
Why? Because I don't think a split in over-all community politics is the way to go.
The Radical March is deliberately separate because we want to talk about our marginalised position in the LGBT community.
The position that looks at Queer identity in Solidarity with other oppressed minorities in Israel.
This is something that has caused problems with the higher ups, Yaniv Weisman, who is a member of the Tel-Aviv Municipal Council and runs the Tel-Aviv LGBT Community Center has verbally attacked the existence of the Radical March, saying that we're using our Sexual Identities to promote a skewed version of the Community, that not everyone is "like them" (as in... like me).

I have to say. This is not what I was expecting.

In Israel, "Queer" doesn't have the pejorative history like in Anglophone countries, which is nice, and makes it easier to use as a word. But it is a word so intertwined with the Radical Left here, that it feels as though I have no safe space in the margins. I need to be even more marginal in order to be viewed as someone whose thoughts and feelings deserve to be expressed like a human being.

I'm quite ashamed to see groups pop up against our march calling themselves "Stop The Occupation of the March... by the Left".

The irony, it is physically painful for me. It angers me. It shows me that the LGBT community are fine with resting on their laurels while human rights are trampled elsewhere... so long as I'm "safe" everything is all right.

I'm not sure how people don't realise that the attack last year (fuck it's been 11 months!) was a symptom of the direction our society is going. No tolerance for the other, especially if they're visible.
That my own community be willing to silence voices in the name of National Unity, WTFF!!??, is something I don't want to contemplate too deeply.
eumelia: (Default)
Congratulations America,

I'm glad you're joined the ranks of Britain, The Netherlands, Sweden and Israel (among other nations) who do not allow soldiers to be discriminated with regards to their sexuality.

Kudos, America. Kudos.

Throughout the years in which I've heard and listened to the truly demoralising state of queers in the American Armed Forces, I've always heard Israel being used as a prime example of how inclusive the IDF is to gay men and women.

I mean, there's no institutionalised discrimination like in the US (did I mention Kudos).

Because as Sen. Barney Frank is quoted saying:
"[that the IDF is] as effective a fighting force as has existed in modern times,” does not bar gay men or lesbians from service.

It is truly a mark of progression.

I'm cynical. And yes, I am using this as an opportunity to be critical of my own locale, because it irks me to see Israel venerated as an oasis of equality and democracy in the Middle East. Considering our neighbors, I find it quite offensive that we're bragging about how good "we" are to queers, when it should be fucking human decency!

The two worst insults you will hear among Israeli soldiers will be "Gay" or "Female", both of which allude to the same thing - "you're not man enough".
No insult is greater.
While there is no legal discrimination against gays in the army, and up until 1993 gays were not allowed to serve in the Intelligence services because they were prone to blackmail and up until that decision outed gays were told to tattle on other gay soldiers.

Things aren't bad.

Then again, Israel was always a little a head of the curve from the US when it came to gay rights. But then another again, why compare ourselves to an ocean away when just a leap to, say, Sweden, and we're put smack back among our neighbors.

But that's in Israel. If you're Jewish and served your country, you'll just be murdered once in a while, or told you're a disease by Members of Knesset. You won't be discriminated against.
You know, except when you want to donate blood, or have children.

Gay men, that is.

What's a Lesbian?

Bi and Trans... mythological fringe identities, at the very least.

My point? Oh, yeah, homosexuality is still used as blackmail material in the West Bank by the Shin-Bet (Israel's Security Agency, my friends and I like to call them the Stasistim) to get Palestinians to collaborate. And then they need to be given asylum in Israel for being gay.
I like how for security reasons the stratification of homophobia in the most disenfranchised population is encouraged.

It is truly a mark regression.

Once again America. Welcome to a fairer, more equal Army experience.


eumelia: (Default)

June 2015

 12345 6

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 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.


-"V for Vendetta"


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