eumelia: (bisexual fury)
It occurred to me that my previous post was a whole lot of whine and cheese about a life, in which, I really don't have all that much to complain about.

(BIG WARNING:Graphic Pictures of Wounds and Violence)

I mean, why complain about a leaky toilet when the IDF shoots a protester at point blank with a grenade launcher, subsequently kills him and proceed to attack the funeral procession.

Don't talk to me about the most moral army in the world, 'kay?

Speaking of fallacious images. Did you know that Israel is the best place to be gay in the Middle East? No, really, it is.

We have rights, and parties, and freedom of expression and places in which we can gather safely!

Oh, wait.

Considering what happened in 2009 at the LGBT youth club and the fact that the people who come to the Tel-Aviv LGBT centre and the park in which it is situated are routinely assaulted, the whole, "it's goo to be gay in Israel" stance is more dissonant than ever before.

My age is showing, because what I consider a "gay park" is not what they mean in the article.

Especially when you consider the fact that pinkwashing as a propaganda tactic is at an all time low. At least, I hope my fellow siblings aren't as gullible as the Foreign Office would like to believe.

I've spoken about Pinkwashing before and last month the whole shebang was blown out of the water by Sarah Schulman who posted a brilliant op-ed in the New York Times titled Israel and 'Pinkwashing', in which she writes:
In 2005, with help from American marketing executives, the Israeli government began a marketing campaign, “Brand Israel,” aimed at men ages 18 to 34. The campaign, as reported by The Jewish Daily Forward, sought to depict Israel as “relevant and modern.” The government later expanded the marketing plan by harnessing the gay community to reposition its global image.
The growing global gay movement against the Israeli occupation has named these tactics “pinkwashing”: a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of Palestinians’ human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life. Aeyal Gross, a professor of law at Tel Aviv University, argues that “gay rights have essentially become a public-relations tool,” even though “conservative and especially religious politicians remain fiercely homophobic.”

'nuff said, really.
eumelia: (master politician)
It's worse, because it is far more insidious than ever. You know the old saying about the frog in the boiling pot?

That's us.

It's been forever since I've had a good "bad news" round up. This platform has become something of an escape for me, you see, since the Summer in which thousands of people took to the streets protesting the current political, financial and social disparity in Israel - we forgot to take into account the underlying reason the current government has managed to shut us up and shut us out.

We are occupying another people and the Summer of so-called social change decided that that was too "political", not to do with "us" and not to do with the fact that the cost of living is practically unbearable within Israel. Because that's one thing and Israeli society is another.

Apartheid never seemed so clear.

Over the past few months, while we were resting on the laurels of actually being in the street and protesting the Men, the superficiality of (Jewish) women's equality has been steadily eroding.

Who is to blame? I mean, other than patriarchy. Of course.

Deepening religious extremism is one reason, I mean, when you have a Settler Rabbi telling soldiers should chose death rather than suffer a woman singing. You may go O_o at this little piece of News, but when you have more conservative interpretations to the Jewish adage "A woman's voice is Ervah" i.e. the sound of a woman's voice is pubic or sexual by it's very nature.

A woman is nothing but her sex, of course.

Speaking of voices, our freedom of speech has been basically been taken away, I can't tell you who you should boycott for fear of being sued for damages and now I can't call the Prime Minister, for example, a smug lying asshole, due to this abso-fucking-loutly spiffing amendment bill.

In which, and I quote the article linked above:
The bill represents an amendment to Israel's existing libel law, which would make it possible to sue a newspaper for libel, not only for commensurate compensation for any tangible damage caused by the publication, but for an additional sum of NIS 300,000 − without having to prove damages.

Emphasis mine.

Was there an emergency meeting of journalists? You bet there was.

Unsurprisingly, this bill coincides with the firing of one of Israel's few true watch dogs from public broadcasting Keren Neubach. As you can read in the link, the "reason" given? She "looks" bad on screen.
They're not even bothering any more.

Ditto on shutting down the Ramallah based radio station Palestinian-Israeli cooperative "Kol Ha'Shalom" (a play on words, as "Kol" is a Hebrew homophone for "voice" and "all").

Last night 2000 people rallied in protest of this bill.

2000. Yep, that many.

That really is the equivalent of crickets chirping.

The other bills that have been passing through the Knesset floor have been eroding civil society for years.

But wait. There's more.

The totalitarian nature of the Occupation is finally catching up with Israel proper. The non-violent demonstrations in the West Bank, exemplified by the recent Freedom Rider arrests (amazing pictures) shows the stark contrast of what is actually happening on the ground and the mindset of the average Israeli.

I mean, when the Prime Minister "shelves" the bill set out to persecute NGO's by limiting their funds, but his Foreign Minister goes ahead and does it anyway is, well, telling.

Add to that the fact that there is an all out political attack on the political science department of Negev's Ben-Gurion University, the alarm bells should be ringing off the walls.

Because when the Germans are telling the Israeli government: Um, excuse me, this is not very good and we're really sorry that we have to criticise you like this.

History repeats and really, the Germans would know.

In the meantime, my parents are watching commentary about a documentary about Steve Jobs and Apple.

I fucking hate the world.
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."


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.


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.
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: (nice jewish girl)
I wrote this yesterday, in fact. But the first rain deluge caught the country off guard, add a faulty high voltage wire to the mix and what you have is a five hour power outage. The power outage lasted until I was picked up for a family evening and got back just in time for bed.

So, here's what I was going to write, a day later.

Brief whine about wanting to write about Inception )

So instead of writing about sneaky, ambiguously queer, white men, I'm going to write, briefly, about the fact that fascism sneaks up on you, in a perfectly respectable democratic system.

The Loyalty Oath law has been a sword of Damocles hanging over the state ever since the election campaign that used the slogan "No Loyalty, No Citizenship". The right wing party "Yisrael Beitenu" (Our Home, Israel) has been pushing a bill for years now that will require those becoming Israeli citizens to swear allegiance to Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state - two ideas that are fast becoming mutually exclusive.

"Attempts to enforce recognition of Israel as uniquely Jewish have been deeply controversial, particularly among Israel's Arab citizens, who make up a fifth of the country's population."
The thing is, loyalty oaths to the state when it comes to naturalising citizens are nothing new. However, the draconian nature of the new draft to the citizenship law is particularly galling.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday submitted his own draft amendment to the Citizenship Law, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a snap decision to back a controversial proposal that would require any non-Jew taking Israeli citizenship to swear allegiance to Israel as a "Jewish and democratic state."

Angered by Netanyahu's move to bring the amendment to cabinet for a vote, Labor party ministers said late Wednesday that they expected a new freeze in settlement building as a payoff.

Emphasis mine and Yes, really. Draconian and racist loyalty oaths ("new liberal" draft notwithstanding), Labour wants political leverage regarding the Settlement construction freeze, which officially thawed last week and never really ceased unofficially:
[...]the prime minister must perform a balancing act. Allies at both ends of the political spectrum and the Labor party hope that his latest concession is a sop to right-wingers ahead of a decision to renew a ban on settlement building in the West Bank – a key demand of the left.

"I hope that Netanyahu's support is a payoff to Lieberman, so that the prime minister will be able to extend the freeze without breaking apart his coalition," said one Labor minister, who declined to be named.

It's all rather disgusting. But, honestly, my surprise at this sort of garbage coming out of my government is not something that surprises me. After all, we asked for it. That's what's lovely about democracy and the majority vote and all that, the most "successful" fascist regimes were voted for by the Vox Populi.
The "populi" as a collective, are idiots.

It is somewhat telling that all this is coming to a head on the tenth anniversary of the October Events one of the incidents that triggered the Second Intifada ten years ago.

I think whole idea of loyalty oaths are ridiculous, but that's not the issue. The issue is the targeting of non-Jewish would be citizens to declare the Jewish ideal as supreme, because that's what is happening here. The conflation of the Jewish nation and the Israeli state is very problematic, not only for those who aren't Jewish at all, but also for those who are not Halachically Jewish (i.e. according to the Rabbanut, the Jewish religious court in Israel).
One of the platforms of "Yisrael Beitenu" went with during the elections is purporting to be the voice of that segment of the population who are Jewish enough to be citizens under the Law of Return, but not Jewish enough to be considered worthy of marriage rights, yes this is a big enough to deal to be an election platform.

To conclude, this is yet another step in a direction I'm quite sure no one in their right mind would want to take. This may, however, be indicative of the fact that the heat drives us all crazy and perhaps the October showers will help cool us off.
Just a thought.


Sep. 18th, 2010 10:35 am
eumelia: (coffee)
That's me.

This time of year always brings out the contemplative side of me.

Despite the gravity of it being Yom Kippur and Saturday (i.e. Shabbat), I'm feeling pretty up lifted. Such is the price of watching cartoons with my 4 year old Niece while the majority of the other adults have gone to while away the fast at synagogue.

I don't know if I mentioned this at the time, but the synagogue my family attends is a Conservative one, which is a non-Orthodox branch of Judaism, and quite possibly because of that it was vandalised by Jewligans the day before Rosh Ha'Shana.
My mom got an email from the shul's mailing list informing us that the front of the synagogue was graffitied with "יחי העם" which I can only translate as "Long Live the Folk" because that is the spirit in which it is intended and not the more democratic "Long Live the People".
Also, they threw eggs at the door.

This is very disturbing, because our area is not especially religious, I mean there are synagogues all over, but for a quorum you traditionally need ten men over the age of 13 and you can pray as a congregation so, meh.

Our town is quite secular and I doubt Settlers living 20 minutes away beyond the Green Line came in the night to deface a synagogue that doesn't do gender segregation and believes that taking into account social and technological advances are good things would take the time to inform the few hundred people who attend that they're traitors.

I think it was the kids from the local Bnei Akivah (a religious Zionist youth movement who have a branch close to the vicinity of the shul).

I contemplated attending services that day, just to show presence, but I couldn't handle the feeling of hypocrisy so I declined.
Last night I did attend, as I always do, in order to hear Kol Nidrei, as sung by the best Cantor in the world. He's very old now and there's a new Cantor in the shul (who apparently no one likes, I've never heard him so I can't give an opinion) because the Old Man is old. I was telling my dad that (may he live long and into prosperity) once the Old Man can't sing any more tradition will no longer be able to bring me to shul.
He gave me a sad look.
Guilt may still be able to drag me to synagogue once a year for half an hour.

My plans today are to walk the empty streets (because it's tradition in this country to not drive on Yom Kippur, so there are kids running around outside, riding on bikes and basically taking advantage of there being no cars) and watch Mad Men with my friend.

A good year to my Jewcy readers, have a nice weekend to my non-Jewcy readers.

Now, I'm going have a cup of coffee.
eumelia: (master politician)
First, The ministry of truth cut the already minuscule budget for civics studies and has shifted the focus to Jewish studies.

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

For fucking serious.

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

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


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

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

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

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

Next on the agenda, movies, music and something else entirely... telling would be spoiling.

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.
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"?

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".


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.

The irony is anvilicious.
eumelia: (fight like a girrl)
I met Sarah Schulman yesterday in Tel-Aviv.

I and a few other lesbian identified (boy this is complicated for me) women are trying to get together a grass roots movement off the ground, aimed at creating lesbian visibility which is lacking in the gay community and generally speaking (my aim is also to weed out biphobia and bisexual erasure with in the lesbian community) and make feminism accessible to young women - feminism is very much perceived to be a high brow theoretical thing, something that only the educated can be and something that doesn't actually help women, or anyone, from a lower socio-economic base.

Sad, but true. We're very backwards here when it comes to feminism on the street.

Any way. Ms. Schulman came to speak with us and it was a really wonderful experience. We were five women in a Tel-Aviv apartment lounge and Ms. Schulman. It was very intimate.
I had no idea who she was until my fellow group member told me she was coming to Israel on a solidarity trip to Israel-Palestine. We spoke the structure of oppression, the disinformation, the fact that we are such a teeny-tiny minority (radical queers, anti-Occupation activists - I should do more), how the IDF stratifies class mobility, how class is tied with ethnicity, what it means to have served, what it means to not have served, the PTSD mentality that's infected people here, that is and how LGBTQ rights are used as propaganda to the outside world to show how fucking liberal Israel really is.

When we're not.

At all.

Hence the fact that the murderer of the gay youth club shooting is still at large. Fuck, I can't believe it's been eight months and still nothing. There are kids who are still in rehab wards in the hospitals and they're not going to be getting social security welfare because this shooting doesn't count as an "Act of Terror" when it fucking was!

Yes. Okay. The past year was a big kick in the ass for me when it came to treatment of queers in Israel, by the State and from society at large.

I asked her about her book Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and its consequences, which I've just ordered. She was very informative and made me feel better about the fact that I don't actually want an "alternative" family.
My family has enough estrangement and I can't bear the thought of not having them in my life.

Homophobia in the family, like everything else, isn't a personal thing. It's a political thing. And it really needs to be exposed for what it is and not just focus on the fact that "oh, parents, siblings etc. just need to "get used to the idea".

I don't have time for people to get used to the fact that I fucking exist.

Any way, it was fascinating and we spoke about being gay, radical and how we want to include women from every where and be more direct action, which we should have asked more about because of Schulman's involvement in ACT UP and Lesbian Avengers.

I think I'll email her at some point.

This was a bit angry, a bit not. Well, mostly angry. But it was a really god meeting. It's a real privilege to meet people like her.
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
You know, constantly I hear the Terrorists "teach hatred" to their children. How the Palestinians hate Israel for no reason (bear with me here, this is what Defenders say) and that Muslim (never mind that not all Palestinians are Muslim) society is backward and willing to sacrifice their children for The Land.

Consider the enlightened, democratic and liberal education Israeli-Jewish kids get (just before they become soldiers in the IDF):
Poll: Half of Israeli high schoolers oppose equal rights for Arabs

Nearly half of Israel's high school students do not believe that Israeli-Arabs are entitled to the same rights as Jews in Israel, according to the results of a new survey released yesterday. The same poll revealed that more than half the students would deny Arabs the right to be elected to the Knesset.

The survey, which was administered to teenagers at various Israeli high schools, also found that close to half of all respondents - 48 percent - said that they would refuse orders to evacuate outposts and settlements in the Palestinian territories.

Nearly one-third - 31 percent - said they would refuse military service beyond the Green Line.


News articles like IDF soldiers using a boy as a human shield in Gaza (during Cast Lead) and soldiers standing by while Settlers attack Palestinians in the West Bank should be shocking. Instead, they're just another day out there in That Place where it would appear no law applies.

Not to sound cliché, but those kids are out future - violence is learned early on, as is the racism in Israel we seem to be proud of - you know being anti-politically correct is the way we are, loud and obnoxious is the way to be.

It took me a long time to wise up and I always considered myself pretty left, my obliviousness could be, sorta, excused by my liberal upbringing, but those kids - the soldiers to be and the soldiers they are now - that's just a very bad education, in the broadest sense of the word.

Hear Me Gag

Feb. 5th, 2010 06:16 pm
eumelia: (Default)
Directly continuing from my previous post, the persecution of those pesky Human Rights orgs and those who speak in criticism of Israel continues.

My initial comparison to The Crucible was not unwarranted and I wonder how long before a(n) unofficial committee to investigate un-Patriotic acts against the Jewish State is put together and made public.

Naomi Hazan (alternate spelling "Chazan") has been fired from The Jerusalem Post the daily Israeli English language News paper where she wrote a column. According to the Ha'aretz article regarding this turn of events, that Doron Horovitz, The JP's editor in cheif, declined from commenting about this very "sudden" decision.
The same article, titled "Amid row over contentious ad, Jerusalem Post fires Naomi Chazan of New Israel Fund", goes on to talk about the "Im Tirzu":
Im Tirtzu is trying to cast itself as a centrist movement, refusing to explicitly state an alliance to any party, Left or Right. However, a Haaretz probe found that the influential forces behind the movement make no secret of their rightist political loyalties. Financially, Im Tirtzu is supported by a foundation that has contributed to radical right-wing organizations such as the Women in Green; Pastor John Hagee, the head of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) which contributed to Im Tirtzu, has been implicated in the past by a number of anti-Semitic statements.


The main channel for donations to Im Tirtzu is the Central Fund of Israel. In addition to Women in Green and Im Tirtzu, it supports Honenu, an organization sponsoring legal defence to radical right-wing activists in trouble with the law. Honenu boasts of financially supporting the families of the Bat Ayin underground, convicted for trying to bomb a girls' school in East Jerusalem in 2002; of Ami Popper, who shot four Palestinian labourers during the first intifada; Yishai Schlissel, an ultra-Orthodox man who stabbed participants in a Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem in 2005; and Haggai Amir, brother of Yitzhak Rabin's assassin Yigal Amir. Im Tirtzu's Web site asks donations to be sent through the American foundation.


Meanwhile, the Hebrew news Web site Walla! revealed this week that one of the donors to Im Tirtzu is CUFI, Christians United for Israel, led by evangelist preacher John Hagee. CUFI's Web site stated it had given Im Tirtzu $100,000.

Hagee achieved notoriety in 2008, when saying that Hitler carried out the will of God, to return the Jews to Israel in accordance with the biblical promise.
Emphasis by me.

I find the fact that Israel gets funds and support from Christian groups that want to exist for the sole purpose of believing that through it we'll be annihilated... a tad disturbing, to say the very least.

The Knesset (our Parliament) has caught wind of this very ugly media shit storm and are going to be setting up an investigation committee that will check the "New Israel Fund"'s donors... not, you'll note, "Im Tirtzu"'s or "The Central Fund of Israel".
Those pesky human rights activists and organisations, questioning policies and disseminating information that pertains to Israel's character.
"Im Tirzu" are basically calling into question the right to free speech and whether it's legitimate to question anything the IDF and Israel does - all this in relation to the Goldstone Report, but it's so much deeper than that.

It's wrong to call for a proper investigation regarding excessive force, but inciting a media storm and publishing an ad in which Antisemitic iconography is employed is fine and dandy.

In other ways this country is going down the toilet - as though the Occupation and the violence that floods our society due to it wasn't enough, of which the above are direct examples - The minister of transportation said he was in favour gender segregated buses ("Kosher Buses" as they're called) is the segregation was, I'm not kidding, voluntary.
If you are a woman and you happen to get onto a gender segregated bus (which aren't marked to make them distinguishable from "regular" buses) then you will be either shamed into getting to the back, forcibly removed from the bus or simply, you know, told to wait.
Yes, well, of course it affects the women, who according to Jewish orthodoxy are filthy, impure and human enough to be mothers and workers in order to support the men who study Torah, Mishna and what-ever-the-fuck day in and day out in Yeshivas.

The phenomenon of gender segregated buses has spread beyond Jerusalem and to other cities which have large populations of Ultra-Orthodox, like Bnei Brak and Petach Tikva (both of which are 5-10 minutes away from liberal Tel-Aviv) issue as the Ultra-Orthodox who demand that buses be kosher for "modesty" because men and women are not supposed to be in contact with each other.


Of course, Israel's main problem is its image.
Who knew.
eumelia: (Default)
I don't.

Last week I wrote about the new testimonials from Breaking the Silence, which garnered no comments on the entry itself.

I suppose it can be a bit overwhelming to talk about. Or simply not interesting for most. I don't know what to say really, it could just be a boring topic.

Yes, we know, Occupation Bad, Liberty Good, move along.

The thing is this isn't a given. Until four years ago, I was sure I understood the reality of where I lived and I was sorely misinformed, or in denial, depends what period of time we're speaking of.

Over the past years, as I grew more informed and actually took the time to understand the reality of what it means to be an Occupier, along with seeing through the veneer of democracy we supposedly live in (it's not a democracy when one group is privileged by law above all others), it seems that I've radicalised.

I suppose that's true, I've always irritated family, some friends and acquaintances with being vocal over the notion that all people are, in fact, human. Going to university has enabled me to articulate my points in a far more coherent and lucid way - rather than simply rant and point while saying: "But, but... you're doing bad things!".

But what bothers me the most is the Antisemitism (actual vile Jew hatred - disguised as anti-Zionism - from outsiders and internalised from other Jewish people - disguised as criticism of critics) I've encountered ever since being "out" regarding my politics.

I've written before about how the entire notion of "self-hating Jews" is Antisemitic, seeing as by declaring that one Jew is better than another, you [editorial] are saying that there is a Jewish Essence that some Jews have more than others, or something insipid as that.
By conflating a loyalty to a nation state (Israel) and belonging to a diverse ethnic, religious and cultural group (Judaism), you make it impossible to criticise the very real problems that exist within both those categories.
If I, as an Israeli, cannot criticise the policies of my own country for fear of being called "Bad Jew" what kind of protection against Antisemitism does living in the Jewish state accord me?
Or when Alan Dershowitz accuses Judge Richard Goldstone of betraying the Jewish people?
Carte Blanche for persecution, you say?

I speak of this now, because last week a smear campaign against The New Israel Fund (one of the largest social justice organisations in Israel) brought about by a neo-Zionist group called "Im Tirzu" (אם תרצו - If You Will It), which I'm not linking to as I'd rather not give a proto-fascist group more traffic than necessary.

The campaign included this "lovely" picture: Cut for size and because it's disgusting )
Picture depicts a caricature of Naomi Hazan (as Naomi Goldstone-Hazan) who is the current chairperson of the "New Israel Fund" with a horn on her head that bears the initials of the org. Below the picture there is text that reads: "FACT! Without the New Israel Fund, there could be no Goldstone Report, and Israel would not be facing international accusations of war crimes".

"Im Tirzu" are a vile reactionary bunch. I've encountered them more than once on my campus (university campus' are where they generally operate because they are bastions of anti/post-Zionis/Israel Hating/Loony Left Politics). They wear t-shirts depicting Theodore Herzl, Moshe Dayan, Menahem Begin and Golda Meir.
They call themselves politically centre.
A bigger bunch of racist chauvinists you'll be hard pressed to find.

Not only do they get venerated by the local press, I heard one of the activists speak on the radio regaling accusations of "delusion", "self-hatred", "victim blaming" (Israel being the only victim to be found), "anti-democratic" and the radio jockey was going along with it!
I fairly sure I burst a blood vessel somewhere.

One of the fine things of living in a democracy is that the state is not infallible. That the institutions that run it and are run by it can be scrutinised and spoken about critically.

When NGO's that try to promote equality and challenge the inequity of ethnocentric, militaristic and chauvinist Israel are under attack and accused of the very things they stand against and tactics used by our "enemies" are copied by the so-called "defenders" of Zionism, what exactly are we supposed to find agreeable about a nationalistic, supremacist and Antisemitic organisation? Accusing those who defend human rights and/or criticise the state as being enemies of the state sounds like The Crucible.

I'll conclude by saying that Umberto Eco defined 14 characteristics of Eternal, or Ur-Fascism, some of them being:
4. The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism.

In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge. For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason.

5. Besides, disagreement is a sign of diversity.

Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.
eumelia: (Default)
War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.

Consent is coercion.

"Knesset passes biometric database bill"

Two-year trial period to test database before it becomes mandatory for all Israeli citizens.

The Knesset on Monday adopted a bill establishing a biometric database in Israel, which will eventually lead to the replacement of regular identification with electronic IDs. Forty Mks supported the bill, 11 opposed it, and three abstained.

In addition to identification cards and passports, the database will also be designed to hold the fingerprints and visual scans of every citizen of Israel.

Any body got a couch I can crash on other than [ profile] tempestbreaker?


eumelia: (Default)

June 2015

 12345 6

V and Justice

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

Justice: Good evening, V.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


-"V for Vendetta"


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