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: (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 [livejournal.com 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: (get a job)
I'm at the Library and we just came back from a pretty useless anti-missile exercise.

Let me tell you, if we are bombed at some point, I'm running outside and making sure that if I die, at least it's in the fresh air.

The Library is going to be undergoing renovations starting next month or so. Thus, what I had hoped would be a relaxing time at my third job (seeing as working at the Pharmacy and being a Nanny allow me no time in which I can do nothing), is pretty much shot.

Hauling crumbling dissertations in over flowing carts is not a relaxing time. Especially not considering my cart actually fell over due to the weight of all those books. Lucky for me, they all fell in a straight line and kept their order. That would have been a nightmare.

In what little spare time that I have, seeing as most of the time if I'm not working, I'm studying, I am world building an "X-Men: First Class" fix it. I loved that movie. A lot. But there was so much wrong in it, in so many ways.

Darwin Lives! And Angel isn't a Sociopath (seriously, wtf?).

Fandom has, and quite correctly, exploded. I like that I'm seeing a huge overlap between "Inception" authors and "X-Men: First Class" authors. That really is lovely.

Fandom has, incorrectly, decided that the Holocaust is the be all and end all of Erik Lehnsherr. Fandom, please stop. Fandom has also, incorrectly, decided that Charles is super-sensitive, fuzzy and empathetic. Fandom, what movie were you watching.
Fandom is also using Raven is a sex doll. Please stop, Mystique would kick your asses for this and not bother to learn your name while she steals your identity. I know this is BB!Mystique - but she's nobody's sex toy!

All of the above is a gross generalisation of course, but these are trends that I'm seeing.

Hopefully, I will have something to show for my fix-it soon. Would there be anyone willing to beta me? And kick my ass for encouragement?
Thanks in advance!
eumelia: (bisexual fury)
I didn't think I'd write about my Pride angst, just because it's June. I pretty much write about my ambivalence of being an Israeli Queer, that the (Tel-Aviv) community is used to portray Israel as the land flowing with Free Love and Milky Substance.

I hate that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wish I could say I was feeling split by this, but honestly, I just feel as though the majority of the LGBT community is either politically apathetic and those who are political are ineffective.
Mainly, and more often than not, the feeling of frustration accompanies me when I am out and about.
eumelia: (media lies)
In case you didn't know.

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

But I'm funny like that, I guess.

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

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

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

Also, Egtpy has not opened Rafah crossing.

It really must be June, if this shit is going on. Or, you know, any other day of the week. News thrives of conflict and disaster and this is probably not the worst thing to happen today.
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
The Nakba (Arabic for "Disaster" or "Calamity") began in 1948, when the Jewish people created a homeland (our Independence) on a land we could have shared, maybe, with the Arabs (Muslim, Christian and Jewish) who lived here for generations before European Jewry got into the nationalistic fervour that swept the continent in the mid-19th century.

A law from our Parliament tells us it is illegal to use public funds to commemorate the Nakba, as it undermines the legitimacy of the existence of Israel.
Seeing as Israel has no problem denying nationalistic aspirations to the Palestinians, the hypocrisy, not to mention the perversity of the democratic idea that is supposed to enable minority voices and narratives to speak and be heard.

But we've always been good at silencing those who punch holes in the cohesive story of our nation building. As though a story needs to be factual in order to be real.

On the 14th of May (my birthday) David Ben-Gurion declared the Jewish state in the Land of Israel. The 15th is the Nakba day and in Israel, the IDF is preparing to deal with marches that will take place in the West Bank to commemorate, there is fear the actions will spill over into Israel and that Palestinians with Israel citizenship will make a statement of their own.
The IDF is preparing for violence, though god help us if no violence comes.
The IDF doesn't know how to deal with nonviolence.

All this, was an exposition to the fact that it is commonly said that the Occupation of the West and Gaza began in 1967 and "ended" with the Oslo Accords in 1994.

Well, let it not be said the Nakba and the Occupation aren't intertwined.

Being the Trouble Maker that I am, let me tell you, with some facts brought to light this morning on the national News, just how intertwined they are.

It would appear, that between 1967 and 1994 140,000 Palestinians lost their residency due to a covert procedure used on Palestinians who traveled abroad.
I have to admit, I feel queasy.
According to the article:
From the occupation of the West Bank until the signing of the Oslo Accords, Palestinians who wished to travel abroad via Jordan were ordered to leave their ID cards at the Allenby Bridge border crossing.

They exchanged their ID cards for a card allowing them to cross. The card was valid for three years and could be renewed three times, each time adding another year.

If a Palestinian did not return within six months of the card's expiration, thier documents would be sent to the regional census supervisor. Residents who failed to return on time were registered as NLRs - no longer residents. The document makes no mention of any warning or information that the Palestinians received about the process.


You know, I'm not always keen on using Apartheid to describe the Occupation, as I consider the situations different, the reasons behind the segregation (which are not the same either), but I think in this instance it is justified, especially considering that this practice is apparantly still going on in East Jerusalem, which gives a really tragic and ironic spin on the whole "United City" propaganda:
Today, a similar procedure is still in place for residents of East Jerusalem who hold Israeli ID cards; they lose their right to return if they have been abroad for seven years.

Palestinians who found themselves "no longer residents" include students who graduated from foreign universities, businessmen and laborers who left for work in the Gulf. Over the years, many of them have started families, so the number of these Palestinians and their descendants is probably in the hundreds of thousands, even if some have died.


I cannot think of anything that can justify this procedure on a human level, never mind an ethical one (are they even the same?). This kind of demographic control and expulsion is reminiscent of regimes so dark, I can hardly swallow the notion that I am a benefactor of this racial and national crime.

Fucking hell.

Avoidance

May. 10th, 2011 08:46 pm
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
Which was dashed out the window.

The past two weeks are hard for me. Not only because of the solemn occasions regarding the various memorial days, them being national Holocaust memorial day and Memorial day which is used as a precursor for Independence day, which is just coming to a close.

Both memorial days are commemorated by ceremonies and a nation wide two minute siren in which we are supposed to stand still and "think" about the dead.

I was never a fan of these events, but since my own experiences in the Second Lebanon War I pretty much loathe them. The people I know who died serving in the IDF or through terrorist attacks, I remember regardless as to whether I stop still in the middle of the street while an air raid siren pierces the air.
I think about the the genocide of my people (and everyone else who was systematically murdered due to who they were) a lot. Probably more than is healthy. I'm not into the whole Shoah as an academic interest or as an intersected period, I pretty much avoid thinking about it in that way.

Any way, the past two weeks have been about me avoiding the public radio, public television and I've basically removed Facebook from my life other than to get some invites and messages to community and activism events.

But I hate these ceremonies; I haven't been to a Holocaust memorial ceremony in years, I try to avoid being in public during the sirens and the one time a year I go to a Memorial day ceremony to listen to the names of the all the people who died during the various and sundry wars Israel has fought all I can think of is, predictably, Sinead O'Connor.

During my emotional turmoil in the months following the war, I listened to Sinead a lot. She had always been a favourite, but in that time I feel like she really saved me. And of the songs I listened to over and over and over again and to which I'm listening now is "Drink Before The War".

Lyrics )

And well, when listening to elementary school children read out the names of the dead and read poems about soldiers who die in glory but are sorely, sorely missed... I can never help but be moved and think, "look what we're being prepared for".

I don't know if that's cynical or just sad.

But the glory of Jingo is not one I participate in with a whole heart.
Mostly, I just like the fireworks.
eumelia: (queer rage)
Israel is a problematic country.

Anyone who reads this journal knows how I feel about my little hell-hole.

Anyone who reads this journal knows how I feel about Israel being used as a paragon of liberalism because we have deigned to allow queers to have certain rights that enable some of us to live lives without as much fear as we once did.

So, you know, when I read that the Berlin Pride Parade will be honouring the Tel-Aviv municipality sans any signs of Israel i.e. flags, national symbols, etc. I call foul hypocrisy!

Especially when the excuse is branding things Israel excels at.
Yeah, pinkwashing.
Thus, there will be no Israeli flags and the emphasis will be on Tel Aviv as a global city – pluralistic and liberal, which accepts members of the gay community no matter where they're from. Moreover, visitors to the festival will receive information about Tel Aviv which will include a map that highlights LGBT entertainment centers.

Yeah, there's no racial hierarchy in Israeli queer culture. There's no misogyny towards lesbians or homophobia towards gay men, no equating being a gay man with being "feminine" thus inferior, no equating gay women with needing a "good fuck" in order to be corrected. There's no bi invisibility and of course there's no Transphobia, no siree bob, there is not.

And of course, it's not like there was an unsolved double homicide and terror attack less than two years ago.

A source within the tourism industry told Ynet that "in the past it has been proven that the correct and smart way to 'export' Israel, especially these days, is through emphasizing brands it excels in, without using anything that symbolizes the state of Israel. Unfortunately, the Israeli flag or Star of David can cause antagonism among many."


This is me gagging.

Only this year, 2011, does a local bar (as in, it is ten minutes away from where I live and most anyone in my town) have an LGBT focused night. Why is my culture being "exported" in order to make the racist, bigoted, religiously coercive and over all oppressive country look better because it allows the queers to party!

This kind of fetishising of gay culture has gone on long enough, damn it!

ETA: Edited to fix some implications of Oppression Olympics.
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
I'm uninspired.

Hence my sporadic updates, I really should get back to writing more often, I always find myself in a better state well being wise once I've unloaded something.

But I don't want to write about the politics in my locale, it's far too depressing and rage-inducing and I don't want to linkspam because I don't think I do it very well and so I read a lot of News but don't share a lot lately.

Not to mention things are crazy in MENA, due to the crumbling of status quo, nothing can be predicted and I find that heartening. Always expect the unexpected.

On a different note, for the first time in my life I read an article on Playboy (I know the horror) because it was the interview with Helen Thomas (Yeah, it's a link to Playboy... sue me) and oh my god, she's way more antisemitic than I gave her credit.

While at times during the interview she manages to make a case for the Palestinians, she does so by creating a Jewish/Zionist conspiracy, asks is an article was written by "a Jew" and erases the existence of Jewish people who came from East Africa, North Africa, the various Arab nations and the Persian gulf.

The pertinent quote I read first on The Atlantic because Thomas refers in the interview to a piece written by Jefferey Goldberg who wrote a post in retaliation to her remarks about the Jews getting "the hell out of Palestine".

The whole interview is filled with Antisemitic myths and conspiracies.

It's important to note that I do agree that Israel being a taboo topic for criticism in American politics is a problem, a big one, especially concerning our alleged nuclear capability, the way the American war machine enables the Occupation and how the Occupation is kept economically viable through US and EU financial and cultural support.

However, to be called on her Antisemitism wasn't a bad thing, because man, is that cat out of the bag (a quote from the interview):
PLAYBOY: Do you have a personal antipathy toward Jews themselves?

THOMAS: No. I think they're wonderful people. They had to have the most depth. They were leaders in civil rights. They've always had the heart for others but not for Arabs, for some reason. I'm not anti-Jewish; I'm anti-Zionist. I am anti Israel taking what doesn't belong to it. If you have a home and you're kicked out of that home, you don't come and kick someone else out. Anti-Semite? The Israelis are not even Semites! They're Europeans, and they've come from somewhere else. But even if they were Semites, they would still have no right to usurp other people's land. There are some Israelis with a conscience and a big heart, but unfortunately they are too few.

Let me rest on that a moment.
The sentence I emphasised is one I see quite a lot in discussing Jewish identity by those who aren't Jewish and are trying to emphasise the privilege of whiteness awarded to Jews, either in Israel or elsewhere.

Yes, many Jews have the privilege of being white, that doesn't make us not Ethnic in any way, shape, or form. That doesn't preclude us from being targets of Antisemitism.
Also, not all of us are white.
Some of us are East African, North African, Arab, Persian, East Asian, South East Asian, South American.
Some of us are a mix of these.

Some of us are like me, not only am I white, I have the privilege of having been twice removed from Europe, what with my family coming from South Africa and I myself having been born in Israel.

In the interview she says: Everybody knows my feelings that the Palestinians have been shortchanged in every way. Sure, the Israelis have a right to exist—but where they were born, not to come and take someone else’s home.

Not sure where us first generation born, second, third, fourth and tenth are supposed to go.

This may sound like a big whine fest, but you know, the Arab and Muslim world, prior to the dictatorships following the fall of the colonial empires had sizeable Jewish communities. Those are basically gone, most of those communities came to Israel, in which those Arab Jews chucked their Arab identity and became Mizrahi Jews - basically non-Ashkenazi (i.e. European) Jews and here they also felt (and still feel) the force of racism.

We can't escape it, this fantasy of superiority we impose on our bodies.

My point. It's not a clear cur situation. The injustice of the Occupation is, as is the racial injustice towards Palestinians who have Israeli citizenship, Bedouins and Druze and other racial, ethnic and religious minorities in Israel is also clear.

That still doesn't mean that Israeli Jews should "go back where we come from" because really, Europe is hardly a haven and from Tunisia Jews are fleeing.
So, yeah.
eumelia: (queer rage)
In case somebody didn't know, a Lavender Marriage is term coined some time in the 1920's to describe the marriage of a gay woman to a gay man (gay being the cover all of any sexuality that isn't straight; gay, lesbian, bisexual).

For myself, I first heard the term when I got interested in Queer American History and discovered that a bunch of actors from around the 20's (and quite possibly to this day) practice this type of marriage in order to, well, appear normal.

Not surprising, considering the deviancy of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and queers in general.

This morning I opened my morning News Tab and read an article regarding a phenomena I already knew existed, but still, I'm saddened to read about it.

Israeli Rabbis launch initiative to marry gay men to lesbian women. Of the little interview materials that appear in the article, the word that jumps out more often than not is, surprise, normal.

[...]Etti and Roni, both religious, were married five years ago. Though they were honest with each other about their sexual orientations from their first meeting, to the outside world, they portray themselves as a normal heterosexual couple.
[...]
"It's incredible," [Etti and Roni] wrote. "Six years ago, we didn't think we would ever be this happy. We thought everything was black, that we'd lost our chance of a normal life.
[...]
Etti said her family still doesn't know she's a lesbian. She had one "serious" lesbian relationship, but "realized it was more important to me to raise children and live in a normal family."
[...]
[U]pholding the religious prohibition on homosexual sex was "very important" to them, as was their desire for "more or less normal parenthood," and both factors had influenced their decision
[...]
They are careful to keep up normal appearances before the children and the outside world, even sleeping in the same room, though they don't sleep together. Their children were born through artificial insemination.
[...]

All emphasis is mine, bold, underline and italics. Six times the word "normal" appears in that article, all as an adjective, a descriptor for a better life lived.
Never mind that in order to live this so-called "normal" life they lie to their children.

And you know something, the fact that the the Rabbis who enable these arrangements have the gall to say they're helping religious gays out of acknowledgment of their homosexuality rather than try and sweep it under the carpet makes me want to tear my hair out!

Really?! Requiring people to live lies, to raise children in a family that is based on a lie and keeping up appearances for the sake of, and I quote the article, "they want to establish a home, whether for the sake of becoming parents or for the social recognition". Again, emphasis mine. Becoming parents is easier when you're a relationship that is recognised by the religious-state institution, yes, I agree - still, the amount of same-sex parents is at an all time boom and the sperm used for artificial insemination in the former case of Orthodox Lavender Marriages is the same "spilled seed" that's used by single mothers, men with a low sperm count and same-sex couples (generally women).
But really.

It's the shame of being so-called "abnormal".

The shame and the fear of being social pariahs in a heteronormative heterosexist and homophobic society, all of which are compounded by the religious strictures of Orthodox Judaism, which in Israel has a specific pro-natalistic ideology (a secular nationalistic attitude as well, I might add) regarding the "Demographic Threat", so really, the political agenda of trying to "Straighten" the religious gays, who are already imbued with shame regarding their sexuality seeing as it doesn't mesh with the duties of religious life (especially for women) it's not hard to see how these Rabbis (looking out for the good of these poor suffering homosexuals) sell them this shit of lied and normality.

And you're damn right I'm judging them! To agree to this charade of life, despite social acceptance and the appearance of normality, one is signing up to a life of lies beginning with yourself - because a Rabbi gives you leave to "lapse" every once in a while, stating it's between you and the Creator... well, I'm sure the sacred institution of marriage isn't marred one little bit, when all it's there for is for the sake appearances.

At the time of the publishing of this article, this initiative has gotten 11 cuoples married, 2 of them are in the process of divorce.

I think one of the issues people (many religious people as well) is that religious law is something interpreted by human beings, that is, the so-called word of G-d, is something that needs to be conveyed via human scholars, none of whom actually know what the hell G-d may think about all this, should he exist one iota outside of our imagination.
What we have, as a religious society, is text.
Texts are written and re-written by people, none of whom are without bias! You really think the Orthodoxy of today, resembles in any way the Orthodoxy of 100 years ago?
Yeah, not so much.

Obviously, on a personal level, I don't agree with the position of keeping faith in a religious path that rejects a part of who you are, or requires that one deny their identity in the name of ethically questionable rules and laws. However, seeing as this is a path that many find that they need in order to live a Good Life, HoD (the first Religious Gay Org in Israel) published ten points of consideration for the Orthodox community.

I, for one, would just like to see society stop dumping all the phobias and anxiety on queers who, at times, don't have the fucking luxury of being "normal". Whatever the fuck that is.
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: (verbiage)
That's the hope at the very least.

That's the potential of Mubarak being ousted, sure he said he wasn't going to "run" for office again, but that's such a disingenuous claim and one meant to curb the momentum of the movement and action happening in Egypt at the moment, that I feel only Western nations and persons of, shall we say, interest are willing to play that game.

At least, I hope.

Per usual, and I know it's not the most okay thing when commentating about a different country, but meh, I'm as parochial as the next gal, so yeah I am thinking about how Egypt changing is going to affect Israel.

Mainly, I'm hoping the change kicks our collective ass into gear.

One of the biggest concerns, so much so that it borders on paranoia, is what the next government in Egypt will do about the peace agreement and to a lesser extent, the peace process.

Well, I'm not political expert, I just live here, but here's what I think will happen:

Not much.

For one thing. Egypt will hopefully be busy rebuilding itself in an image that suits its 80 million people and won't be too concerned at this time with Israel, unless Israel decides to invade Sinai - in which case all bets are off, but that's another matter entirely.

You see, in a lovely blog post titled A Guide: How not to say stupid stuff about Egypt one of the sections writes:
“Mubarak kept the peace treaty”:

That's one of the stupid things people have said, yes really. And the retaliation is that:
So, what do you think, if the Egyptian people choose another government, they will go to war with Israel? Maybe they will demand a few more things from Israel in how they negotiate with the Palestinians. Maybe Gazans will get better treatment? Maybe the balance of power will not be tipped over to Israel? Egypt protests: Israel fears unrest may threaten peace treaty. Hmm, so we should support the oppression of 80 million Egyptians for a false stabilization?
Emphasis mine.
972 Magazine is a wonderful example of English language independent leftist journalism in Israel, if you want a different perspective on the goings on in Israel and Palestine from the Israeli-Jewish pov you should check it out.
Yesterday a very savvy article was posted regarding this whole instability thing and how bad it is for peace:
No, Egyptian uprising won’t hurt the peace process
(Simply because there is no such thing)
[...]
The truth is there is no peace process, and it’s not because of the Palestinians, the Syrians, the Iranians, the reform movement or the coaching staff of the Minnesota Vikings. There is simply no point in talks with Israel right now. The Israeli government refuses to commit to evacuating settlements, refuses to discuss borders or even open maps and refuses to talk to Syria.
[...]

Honestly, this whole "stability" thing isn't working very well - especially because it requires the subjugation of a hell of a lot of people.

And there is no telling or way to predict what can happen when liberty is actually an option - because if there's one thing the average Israeli doesn't understand, in my experience, is that liberty and freedom also means compromise and letting go of privilege.

What does all this have to do with Egypt? Well, you see, Both Israel the Palestinian Authority, Israel's great ally in keeping the West Bank under control is worried that all these shenanigans will enable an actual uprising from the Palestinian people, because ever since the Palestine Papers, Israel and the PA are claiming Al-Jazeerah is out to get them, despite being lauded then for brave journalism, not the Qatari network is just causing problems in the Middle East. They just couldn't have left well enough alone.
Or something.

When I read the article linked above and the News that Hamas curbed a solidarity demonstration in Gaza because they're were worried the uprising will spill into their little cocoon of terror, because the people of Gaza are sick and tired of Hamas and the Israeli blockade.

So, yeah, why shouldn't Egypt be a democracy? There's no reason it can't, there's nothing but our fear of change and the fear that if we think rather than obey, then we will be stranded in a sea on uncertainty.
However, when the choice is between tyranny and uncertainty, I know what I'd chose and that's what the people of Egypt are demanding.

Mubarak Dégage!

As I write this: And Holy Shit Yemen!!!

And while the Arab world decides it kind has an idea what this liberty thing means, Israeli tyranny continued to creep as The Knesset Commitee to investigate the funds of Left Winf NGO's is approved, let the witch hunt begin.
eumelia: (media lies)
Despite the frivolous title, it is a deeply serious topic.

If you have any interest in the state of the Middle East and North Africa, you know this. Egypt has always been a pillar of leadership and culture in the region.

I'm not an expert, I just live here, but I know that it is now inevitable that an overhaul in the Egyptian government is going to happen and there is a lot of anxiety on the Israeli street (I really couldn't care less about the Israeli government) because Egypt and Jordan are basically our only allies in the region.

However, when it does come to the Israeli street and government the collective "we" would rather have a dictator in the name of "stability" than allow the actual people to express their grievances and criticise their government like us First Class citizens in Israel are allowed.

The main anxiety is whether the opposition to Mubarak who attain power are going to be the Muslim Brotherhood who are the parent movement of Hamas (which over the past months have been curbing the rocket attacks on the towns and kibbutzim surrounding Gaza - the rocket attacks are committed by Islamic Jihad, who are constantly being curbed by Hamas in turn) and considered a radical Islamic organisation.

A fallacy, but that's how they're viewed.

The main thought going through Israeli people's minds, I think, as it is going through mine, is whether the Peace agreement, which more and more feels like a tourist agreement along with non-aggression deals... though honestly what with the Army shooting at the Bedouin who live in Sinai, I'm not optimistic regarding that.

Mostly though, I am envious of the action and the taking of the streets.

When will we have our Friday of Rage? When the Palestine Papers came out, we should have flooded the streets in revolt and revulsion - lied to for over a decade regarding who is a Peace Partner and who isn't - a second Intifada that was used cynically by the Palestinian authority to control the population and to usurp more land for illegal settlements by Israel.

Despite the apathy, the spark is lit and all that remains to be seen is how long the fuse line is going to be.

In the mean time, when I'm not studying for my exams (ACK!) I'm staring at the awesomeness that are Sock Dreams. Seriously, it's worth moving to skirts and shorts full time just to wear these babies everyday!
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
Last night Al-Jazeera published what are now called the Palestine papers.

These documents don't so much show death of the Peace process, but its evisceration - all the guts and none of the glory.

As Israeli blogger Noam Sheizaf wrote for 972 Magazine regarding the Palestine Papers, even we who were suspicious of the whole "we offered a bunch and they rejected it", the documents are shocking.

Reading the about the leak last night shocked me, not because I was surprised (though I was), but because this completely changes the playing field regarding the relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (Gaza is still under siege and as far as I can tell not being taken into account due to Hamas).

I don't feel I have much to add when it comes to in depth analysis. I've read a few bloggers who say they haven't lost hope in the two state solution and really, ideally, I'd like there to be two co-existing sovereign nations living side by side, but the asymmetry of this so-called co-existence can't ignored, especially not on light of these leaked documents in which Israel used it's considerable strength to be the "no partner" Israel has accused the Palestinian Authority of being since Camp David in 2000.

To this I'd like to say:
Ehud Barak, you dirty stinking liar.
Tsipy Livni, you dirty stinking liar.
Ehud Olmert, you dirty stinking liar.
Bibi Netanyahu, you dirty stinking liar.
Avigdor Liberman, you batshit insane fascist.

The last one was for kicks.

As my dad said the whole affair is sad.

For the Palestinians this is a blow that I'm not sure the Authority can endure. The kowtowing and corruption, who knew... well, yeah.
I'll repeat:
Mahmoud Abbas, you dirty stinking liar.
Saeb Ereakat, you dirty stinking liar.

I was actually convinced I'd wake up to an uprising in the West Bank, but the Palestinian Authority's police force are good at suppressing that sort of thing.

I've recently been called an optisemistic person - meaning, I'm a pessimist under a guise of optimism, I laugh while a tell you the bad news. A tad psychotic, but hey, whatever gets me through the day, right?

This me, laughing while I give you the news.

Those damn dirty liars. Ha ha.
eumelia: (get a job)
So yeah, I haven't been writing here that much for the past couple of weeks.

I've been doing a lot of escapism reading and a lot of activism reading, spreading information regarding the various anti-democratic laws that have passed the Knesset floor, the fact that Human Rights and Anti-Occupation groups are being investigated for absolutely no reason other than to de-legitimise them.

There's a big emergency march in Tel-Aviv today which I'll be attending.

I was also stressing over Uni, because there was some bureaucratic glitch I had no idea what to do about other than spam the head of my department with panicky emails of "Help!" to which she replied "Let it be" and passed my emails on to her dogsbody.

I'm hoping that by the end of this semester (next week) I will be able to say with confidence that next semester is my last.

Once again I'm getting the urge to return to martial arts and now that I have a job that isn't pocket money I may find myself a dojo. I'm keen on Krav Maga because while I loved Kung Fu and it made me flexible (which I'm not any longer) I never felt as though I was able to walk around and properly defend myself.

There's an uprising in Tunisia and I have to say I'm excited about it! The Middle East is never boring and seeing something of this magnitude unfold and affect us all over is amazing.

Also, there's barely been any reporting of it here, only when Former President Ben-Ali fled the country did reports start happening in earnest in local media and no one is saying anything positive. The status quo is trembling.

Meanwhile in these parts democracy, as mentioned, is straining under the crawling weight of fascist legislation and persecution of the Left. I know I've been saying this for years, but dude, it is not on!

Israeli law professor Aeyal Gross traces the decline and strain.

In related News, when I read about Sarah Palin defending her speech-acts (because words affect and like our actions they are accountable) and callously using the phrase "Blood Libel", I couldn't help but wonder - would the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) do anything about it?
Oh, they made a statement, late in the game, in which they Abe Foxeman (chairman of the ADL) said: "we wish that Palin had not invoked the phrase "blood-libel" in reference to the actions of journalists and pundits in placing blame for the shooting in Tucson on others."

Golly.

The ADL isn't willing to toe the line when it comes to Republicans, huh? Can't say I'm shocked as the ADL has always kept sketchy bed-fellows, in the interest of political capital.

Speaking of political capital, the Rabbinical court continues to infringe on freedom of and from religion when it comes to marital and family law and encroaches on divorce in civil marriages which aren't civil unions, but rather marriages that are contracted outside of Israel. Currently, Israel doesn't have a civil court in which marriages can be conducted and no civil union that come in place of marriages - the best we have is common law marriage.

You guys have no idea how much I haven't linked here.

Good luck to you all Down Under and Power to you in Tunisia.

Times they are a changing. We have to make sure they change for the better.
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
So yeah.

Friends, this will not end well.

But you know, who gives a fuck about a bunch of Leftists. After all we're all just a bunch of Queer, sissy, whores of Arafat Arab terrorists.

2011 is going to be interesting. I'm done sitting back.

Auspicious

Jan. 1st, 2011 04:15 pm
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
Happy New Year, if you celebrated I hope y'all aren't hung over.

For me, the new year actually started with the birth of my new Niece who was born two weeks ago, so really, the passage to 2011 didn't feel to important comparatively.


Some changed regarding this DW/LJ for 2011. I've started writing in Hebrew on a different platform, which is one of the reasons I hadn't been writing much here the past couple of weeks. That, and Uni is beginning to crunch, I'm being very bad writing here instead of studying.
So I may not write that much about politics here, though I don't know.

The current political climate in my locale is fucking scary. The fact that the court actually gave a guilty verdict to former president Katsav on two counts of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment is a small ray of light, that justice was served is a real point of optimism in an otherwise pretty bleak atmosphere.

This morning, Jawaher Abu Rahmah, died of tear gas inhilation. Yesterday was the 1000th demonstration against the illegal fence/wall that partisions the West Bank from Israel and at the same time annexes vast amounts of land belonging to the West Bank to the so-called Israeli side (the whole notion of the Green Line is pretty much dead). She was resident of Bil'in, anti-fence activist and sister of Bassem Abu Rahmah who died in April 2009 from a direct hit of a tear-gas canister.

And people are surprised that people become Shahid. And you're damn right there will be harsh reactions.

Of course, that's the crazy Palestinians and to be frank, I'm not sure how many outside my milieu actually give a damn.

But let's talk about them crazy Jews, who, much to my horror, appear to be a great majority rather than not.
I can't remember if I wrote about this at the time, but a few months ago, 50 municipal Rabbis (Separation of state and religion? What is this thing you speak of?) signed a letter calling flat owners not to rent flats to Arabs.
This sparked a huge wave of protest against this deceleration and of course for this deceleration as it pretty much fed the already burning fire of racism that is so entrenched in Israeli discourse. The biggest demonstration against Arab residents was in Bat-Yam, a city adjacent to south Tel-Aviv, there though, the focus was about - and I shudder to write this - miscegenation.

The notion of the nation's cunt being under attack is not a new one, but it is certainly gaining momentum, as the Rabbis' wives published a letter telling us, daughters of Israel, to stay away and not date Arab men.
There has been no mention of Israeli men to not date Arab women, of course, as it is Arab men who are hyper-sexualised (as all "primitives" are) and women who are fickle enough to fall under their Svengalli spell.

This is the society my baby niece has been born into.

Unfortunately, the voices of opposition which are not considered legitimate because they are part of the Reform Movement which has no standing whatsoever when it comes to Israeli Jewish thought.

Here's to 2011.
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.

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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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