eumelia: (flags)
I don't know what to write about this day.

I will say one thing though. The Police and IDF knew there would be marches. The IDF knew the Palestinians from the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, would be coming.

They expected violence, though the only act of violence that happened in Israel was a deliberate traffic collision, though honestly, to me it just seems as though people are out for blood and any excuse will do.

And yet, for some unknown reason, they were "unprepared". Let's blame the regional bogeyman, Iran.

Over the weekend, on the 14th, when the commemorations of the Nakba began, border police used rubber bullets and they ended up killing a teenager who took part in demonstrations in East Jerusalem.

Non deadly force is a myth.

I speak only as an Israeli Jewish grrl who has had enough of the injustice that is perpetuated by trying to keep the Nakba outside of our own discourse and public arena, and that at least ten people died because of our fear that they may become an "Us".

In the link above about discourse, it is mentioned that the word Nakba only entered the vocabulary in the 90's. This may be so, but the first time I remember hearing about it was when I was doing my time in the IDF and it was mentioned that there are days to look our for when it comes to terrorist activity, one of them was May 15th (along with Independence Day). That was the mid-2000's and really, I think it is only the past five years or so, that Israel has become so extreme so as to shut down Jewish activity regarding the Nakba.

It is because we know that we will have to compromise. For real. And not pretend we're giving into concessions, when we own the playing the field.
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.
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: (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: (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: (nice jewish girl)
No time for an in depth analysis or commentary, but FFS, read this!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/23/palestine-papers-expose-peace-concession

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/23/story-behind-leaked-palestine-papers

This is fucking earth shattering. Seriously, this is... I'm actually speechless.
eumelia: (ctrl+alt+delete)
The last time I was Bil'in was almost three years ago and amazingly, or not, nothing had really changed.

Three years ago, the IDF used rubber bullets and tear gas grenades. Now they still use tear gas (which made the membranes of my head burn and water - I actually had to spit onto the ground the taste in my mouth) and the new fangled tech known as the "Skunk" which is a high pressure hose - used to disperse demonstrations with water - only it literally smells like shit.

It is the worst smell I've ever smelt in my life and I've done garbage duty during my Army service.

I actually said: "At least there's tear gas to clear the sinuses", that's how horrible it was.

One of the things that shocked me the most, beyond the entire situation of being less than 200 metres from the fence and having terrified 18 year olds shoot in the direction I was standing, was seeing them fire a direct hit at a Red Crescent Ambulance.

It's batshit.

The whole day began with actually getting to the village. There was some suspicion that the IDF had set up a road block deeper in the West Bank to stop demonstrators from getting to Bil'in, so we all went on a 40 minute hike down the Wadi to be picked up by local transit - a private car, a truck with a wagon and a bus that looked like it had escaped from the 70's.

The stay was marred by the fact that a friend of my was groped by a local teenager - an intersection of all that is bad in this land.

The hike reminded me of a few things: #1 Always have a hat, #2 A back pack is better than a side purse and #3 always wear hiking boots.
At least I had #3 down pat.

I met a tonne of people I know online, which is always fun, made some new acquaintances and contemplated when I was going back. Because three years ago, I was so not prepared for what I was seeing. My privilege asserted itself and my fear took hold.

Now I'm far more concerned about what might happen to me as a dissident (which is what I'm fast becoming, even if not a significant one, as I'm pretty much a baby guppy when it comes to the body of water of activism) in Israel, than facing the very real and somewhat avoidable violence going on by the fence.

Right now, my legs are killing me and I got up far too early to be thinking clearly. I'm going to read fic and watch escapist television.

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: (master politician)
You know something, I had no choice in the matter.
I was born here.
I've never lived any where else. I will probably never live any where else, unless I'm forced out of here for one reason or another.

Still, this is home. As such, when someone shits in it, especially when he who shits is supposed to be the custodians of this house, I'm going to say something.

Here's what I have to say.

When a government forces would be non-Jewish citizens to declare allegiance to the state as Jewish and democratic in order to be a part of a collective, this government is telling those citizens - you are second class, because you do not belong to the superior class.

As we like to say Israel is democratic to Jews and Jewish to everyone else.

Sometimes, I wish we could go back to being an oppressed minority and fighting against Antisemitism, rather than perpetuate the notion of master race-hood like this loyalty law does.

You know, I don't mean to go Godwin, but one of the reasons Israel came to be when it did was because the WW2 sped up a progress that was happening in Palestine to begin with.

Call me naive and idealistic, but his law is such anathema to everything that made my parents immigrate here and "make a new life" and all that crap.

Now I just want to run away.

This is not all, by the way. I've yet to find any official report of this in English, but Hebrew radio on Friday announced that the IDF initiated a drill in which soldiers trained a scenario in which a "Population Exchange" would be initiated - a la Lieberman.

In case no one understood the nuance of what I wrote - there was a drill training for a transfer.

I'd be boggled, if this was a surprise in any way.

I know. I'm proud to be the only democratic country in the Middle East too.
I wish the democracy would stop shitting all over us.
I'll be marching and being dissident over the week.
eumelia: (ravenclaw)
I know it doesn't make a whole lot of sense as to why I'm worked up about the fact that the Ministry of Truth Education is absolutely failing when it comes to the teaching on any kind thought in students.

Never mind critical thought, that's really far too much to expect, but simple liberal, everyone is equal and has a chance thought, the kind that has spread around the democracies of the world for the past 200 years.

Very soon after posting last night's entry regarding the axing of funds for the civics curriculum (LJ/DW) I read an update regarding the matter:
Education Ministry director general Shimshon Shoshani reversed on Sunday a decision by another ministry official to cut most of the budget for intensive 11th- and 12th-grade civics classes.

Even after this unusual change in policy, this year's civics budget will still be about half of last year's.
[...]
"This is a key lesson in teaching the students basic democracy," said a 10th-grade civics teacher at a school in the north. "The curriculum allows for a flood of questions on fundamental issues that almost never get addressed in other classes."

The money saved by the budget cuts was slated to be used for Jewish studies, including Bible, Talmud and Jewish philosophy.
Emphasis by me
All things that shouldn't be taught in public education at all in my opinion, or at the very least should be part of a non-compulsory education program.

But wait, there's more!
In his decision on Sunday, Shoshani reversed the civics curriculum cuts instituted by Zvi Zameret, who heads the ministry's pedagogic secretariat, after teachers and principals protested the reduction in classroom hours.

"We are primarily concerned about the trend led by Zameret, which represents a change in the Education Ministry's priorities regarding civics," said a member of the ministry's advisory committee on civics instruction. "There's a feeling that Zameret considers civics to be not very important."

The thing is, that civics is taught horribly.
Really horribly.
And I speak as a person who went to one of the most acclaimed secular public high schools in the country (if reports are to be believed) in the middle of fucking suburbia.

The problem is that we begin to study civics in the 10th grade. Everyone is 15-16 years old.
By that time Half of [Jewish] Israeli Teens don't want Arab students in their class, so say the polls:
Sixty four percent of Israeli teens aged 15 to 18 say that Arab Israelis do not enjoy full equal rights in Israel, and from that group, 59 percent believe that they should not have full equal rights.
Emphasis mine
Some people should not have the same equal rights as others.
Yes, liberalism has won the world over, obviously.

This is exacerbated by the fact that, and I quote:
The survey also revealed that 96 percent of the respondents want Israel to be a Jewish and democratic state, but 27 percent believe that those who object should be tried in court, and 41 percent support stripping them of their citizenship.

This is the future of my country.
I am not optimistic.

The thing is that I don't blame my civics teacher for failing, though perhaps she should have been able to tell me where I could look for answers to my questions.

Public educations mainlines kids into being obedient subjects of the Nation, they don't even need to work so hard at it like in totalitarian regimes. We're lucky, we chose the strength of ignorance willingly. Without overt coercion, while those who object aren't considered part of the greater collective that is Israel.

If that isn't fascism I don't know what is.

My next post is going to be about rape culture. Depressing, I know, but I promise there will be music and movies after that. These are serious things that need to be processed.

That Word

Aug. 3rd, 2010 11:43 am
eumelia: (ctrl+alt+delete)
You know, generally speaking, I think it's a mistake to use the word Apartheid when speaking of Israel proper (the West Bank and Gaza are, of course, under Apartheid rule) possibly because my family is South African.

Most likely, because it is one of the reasons my family immigrated and sought out a better life. I mean, even if they were white, they were still Jews.

Zionism probably looked like a good deal. I wonder how it is living up to the dream.

I have no dreams of that kind. Of packing up and leaving for a better life in a land far away from the one I was born in. I am not an immigrant, despite living with a bunch of them and I wonder if that has made me take this country for granted.

Possibly. But so what? By virtue of being Jewish I have no fear of deportation, nor do I have any fear of imprisonment for anything to do with my ethnicity.

Unlike the 400 children of immigrant workers who are to be deported. Without their parents, because Netanyahu's government is heartless, cruel, near-sighted.
Consider, that this is how Netanyahu justifies the Cabinet's decision to deport these children:
"This is a reasonable and balanced decision," Netanyahu said Sunday after deciding to deport hundreds of migrant workers' children. "It was influenced by two primary considerations - the humanitarian consideration and the Zionist consideration. We're looking for a way to absorb and adopt to our hearts children who were brought up and raised here as Israelis. On the other hand, we don't want to create an incentive that will lead to hundreds of thousands of illegal migrant workers flooding the country," he said.

Consider, that just this morning, 230 immigrants from North America - i.e. Americans and Canadians - arrived in Israel, 85 of them are going to enlist immediately into the IDF.
A "privilege" they are denying an Intersex Haredi man. This here, is intersectionality. I mean, a Haredi man, who wants to serve, is denied because his body doesn't match the criteria of manhood.

I wish we would stop pretending we're a democracy and just acknowledge that we're a liberal ethnocracy (as my friend Yael, aptly put), because see, we're not totalitarian in the classical sense. We have no actual dictator or figure head... we have a pervasive ideology, which we cow-tow to and destroy lives to live up to.

That act of Jewish immigration is, I'm sorry to say, Apartheid. Not the same kind that was committed in South Africa and indeed, perhaps it is the wrong word, it is often a word which doesn't mean what we think it means. So here's what it means to me; as a person who grew up hearing it, hearing about Nelson Mandela and growing up under the love and care of people who wanted me to be colour-blind: Apartheid )

The Occupation is not just in Palestine. Apartheid may have a very specific meaning, but language is a very flexible thing. And separateness (which is the translated meaning of the word) may not actually be what it means, but difference, prejudice and the assumption that this is done for the good of the nation, is appalling.

I was going to write some more about the fact that different Jewish groups are treated differently under the law, about pinkwashing, about the privilege of writing this and being (relatively) safe.
But that would just be procrastination.
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
What Ethnic Cleansing?
While we were sleeping!?
No, no way.

Sarcasm aside.

Over the night 1000+ police men demolished the Beduin village on El-Araqib situated in the Negev, just north of Beer Sheva (the largest Southern town).
The village had 30 houses and they've all been bulldozed.

I've only seen small update reports in the News websites and a few short blog-posts like on The Only Democracy and Mondoweiss.

The reason for this demolition?
The Jewish National Fund deemed the land designated for Jewish use only and are planning on planting a forest there.
No, really.

I can't believe I heard the report about this happening from Facebook.

Read This!

Jul. 25th, 2010 01:17 pm
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
Remember how about a month ago I wrote about the abnormal state of being in this country (LJ/DW)?

Well, the post that inspired it has been translated into English and I recommend you all read it, it's concise, evocative and informative.

Message to Israelis who oppose BDS – go to Bil’in and see for yourself:
The first time I stepped into a settlement was during my military service. I did a job that let me go home every night, but every now and then we were required to do something they called AVTASH, or SetSec: settlement security. I was a guard in Ganim, in Kadim, in Homesh and in one other settlement whose name I do not recall. Every one of those settlements has been removed since then, as part of the Disengagement. We’d travel there in a military jeep. Somewhere near the city of Afula the officer who rode with us said we had entered Area A, and that we had to load our weapons. With our ridiculous guns we traveled through the car-part stripping facilities of Jenin, along ragged roads, until we came to the settlement. These were “quality of life” settlers and were quite nice, in a superficial acquaintance. I remember Homesh in particular. We were guarding in the winter, and the guard booth was covered with perennial fog that had a metallic aftertaste. Around us were mountains, Arab villages, and rock rabbits. I loved those guarding shifts.

The next time I would enter a Palestinian area would be on the way to a demonstration in Bil’in. I took a rideshare bus which left from Tel Aviv’s central bus station. It was odd to be there without a loaded weapon, to hope that the soldiers wouldn’t stop me at the checkpoint. It was even stranger to see the Palestinian Authority flag. Not strange – frightening.
Read more
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!

Wrong.
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?
Gays.
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: (master politician)
So many things worth writing about, so little time.

I have a huge amount of tabs, on eclectic subjects, open and waiting to be disseminated, but I have to simply linkspam, so many others do it. Also I have been told my perspective is worth something (who knew) so I like discussing the News in a post.

Like the fact that Benjamin Netanyahu (i.e. The Wannabe Master) has said things that make me laugh, for if I didn't I would surely cry:
Human Rights activists should sail to Tehran and not Gaza:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday called on human rights activists who participate in Gaza-bound flotillas to sail to Tehran instead, where he says real human rights violations exist.
"I call on all human rights activists in the world - go to Tehran, that's where there is a human rights violation," said Netanyahu during his meeting with the Austrian Chancellor, Werner Faymann, in which he discussed Israel's ease of the Gaza blockade and flotillas planning on breaching Israel's Gaza blockade.

You know what, yes, there are Human Rights violations in Iran one could argue that are Human Rights violations everywhere.

But honestly Bibi, you expect us to take you seriously when this is happening in YOUR backyard?
Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem on Wednesday threatened to forcibly evict four Palestinian families they claim are living on property belonging to Jews in the neighborhood of Silwan.
The settlers said they would hire private security firms to implement the evictions if the four families, which include 40 individuals, do not leave by July 4.

And scene.
This coming Friday there will be a big demonstration in Silwan neighbourhood, who do you think the police will beat up for being a "public nuisance"?
Yeah.

But wait! There is more... it's actually quite distressing how much more there is.

There is a troubling trend of double standard in the Religious Sector (that is, the Jewish Ultra-Orthodox sector) which eschews civil law and the court... seems to allow it.
Racism and sexism put together is the ugliest way possible.
You know, if I were ever arrested, I'm going to use this as precedence, that the court and the police can't arrest me. Why? because I don't want to be arrested that simple.
And so, racial/ethnic segregation in a religious West Bank settlement (because that's another fucked up thing to talk about!) is legitimised by default because the court is afraid to offend to poor "disenfranchised" religious people's little feelings.
Gotta love the fact that their racist convictions keep getting News, and that there is outrage (regarding what, I couldn't say, simply that there is OUTRAGE!).

This is me, gagging.

Especially because the Religious Culture War is winning and I fear that soon, the Religious will really from a Militia and I'll be dictated under a Theocracy, I mean this is just distressing:
The educational curriculum in state-run institutions for this coming school year will include a new subject: Jewish culture and tradition. Initially, the subject will be taught in grades 6-8 for a period of two hours per week, and then expanded to additional grades.

The new subject will include lessons on Jewish culture, the Hebrew calendar and "the Jewish people's connection to the Land of Israel." In addition, students in the sixth grade will be required to learn the weekly Torah portion; students in seventh grade will be taught the order of prayers in the Jewish liturgy; eighth graders will undergo instruction in Pirkei Avot (Sayings of the Fathers ); and ninth graders will delve into Theodor Herzl's novel "Altneuland."

Liturgy, yes. Battling homophobia, no.

Yeah, this is the way to democracy in the Middle East. Castes and Different Laws for Different People - there's a name for that you know, but shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, it's Antisemitic to say it in this context... *cough*apartheid*cough*.

Because yeah, the Left (by which I mean, me and the other people who think about what the above means) has a distorted view of Zionism, according to ex-General and current Vice Premier and Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon - because being critical and sceptical and not being spoon fed the pig shit that comes out of the mouths of Authority is the anti-thesis of the history of secular Judaism!
In case it wasn't clear, the above paragraph is me being sarcastic!

I have a bunch of other links regarding the economy of the Occupation, but I think that's a bit much after the blasting of info I put here, so here it is, linkspam style, despite the fact that it's not my method of choice:
- Turkey is still hypocritical, but we likes the monies! Spat or not, Turkey still using Israeli tech in attacks on Kurdish PKK rebels.

- Two articles about an economic boycott on the same page, "Targeted boycott and divestment pushing companies out of the settlements" and "Boycott the Occupation: The Israelis promoting the boycott on settlement products".

- And on that note: Only a boycott will persuade Israel.

And now, I'm going out! Hope your democracy is having a slow News Week!
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: (media lies)
I know it seems like I'm constantly talking about this, but honestly this stuff is scary and so blandly disingenuous that I'm not sure people actually realise the danger of this sort enterprise.

There was a "Police Day" at an elementary school in a small town in the centre of Israel.

Just the title got me prickly with anxiety:
At 'Police Day,' first-graders get to play with real rifles and machine guns

"An educational institution should educate for civic values and independent thought, not admiration for force," said Amit Sharon, whose daughter attends one of the schools. Border Police spokesman Chief Superintendent Moshe Fintzy said the program was authorized and coordinated with the Education Ministry. "We're not like Hezbollah, which train kids to commit suicide," he said.
[...]
[Another parent] noted that although the children understood that all the weapons were used for dispersing demonstrations, there were no explanations about why people held protests or when they might need to be dispersed. "As far as they know now, all protests need to be disbanded by any means necessary. That's hardly education for democracy," he said.


I live in fear of the future generation if this is the public education, especially when one parent is quoted saying:
"the children were very impressed by the demonstrations, especially by the dogs that attacked and stopped someone on command. I don't understand their complaints - there's nothing wrong with demonstrating Border Police activities. It's part of the reality of life here. The kids' tender souls weren't hurt".

Jesus.

Of course, Israeli schools are the "shit" these days, what with racial segregation which is finally being cracked down after years of this shit going on in the Orthodox Settlement of Immanuel.

And yes, when I say Settlement, I mean it is a town built in the West Bank, Palestine. So, yeah.
Racism.

The irony is anvilicious.
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 [livejournal.com profile] nurint!

*Sleepy*

Jun. 6th, 2010 01:46 am
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
Just got back from the demo.

It was huge.

It had been planned before the flotilla disaster to mark 43 years of Occupation since 1967 and the Six Day War, but obviously, the agenda expanded.

It was different from other demo's I felt. It was the largest Left demo not in a time of war (yeah, we're not at war. Yet) and it felt very powerful.
Inside the blocs.

I rushed to get there (fucking public transport) and on the way I saw the counter demonstration - Israeli flags, Beitar flags and people yelling "Death to Leftists" and "Traitors". I almost tripped because I couldn't stop looking in their direction.
So fucking scary.

I went with my "This is What a Feminist Looks Like" shirt and I put on my Keffiyah when I got into the mass of people, amazing how going to these things used to make me feel unsafe and now with all these people I couldn't have felt more secure (despite the huge amount of police). One of my friends was running late and she asked me to save a red flag for her to carry, which I did, and I waited for her at the convergence area in Rabin Sqaure and as the procession got more distant and I stood in a black and white keffiyah with a red flag, the insults were hurled.

It's always heartening to be told that you're a traitor and that I should be murdered for hating my country.
Hey, better than being told I should be murdered for being a dyke.
Or something...

After the march, during the rally, some Right Winger threw a smoke bomb into the crowed. I was on the outskirts of the crowd so I didn't inhale any toxins, but it was so surprising... the police apprehended the person very quickly, thankfully.

After the demo I packed away my keffiyah and as the people dispersed, the counter-demonstrators arrived.

They are so violent. They attacked a friend of mine and ripped a contact sheet out of his hands. We all went back to his place after for pizza, tea and coffee.

I arrived home about 40 minutes ago.

What an evening... compounded by the fun morning and day I had with the family at the Jerusalem Botanical gardens and it was a very long day with a lot of walking.
My feet!
Sleepy time now.

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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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