eumelia: (resist!)
A month ago when the civil unrest in Israel began and I put aside my cynicism in order to participate in the protests and demonstrations, I was irked to hear people (friends and not friends) say they hoped these demonstrations don't turn "political".

I was baffled.

Social justice is probably the most political standpoint in society at large. The demand that resources, the economy and legislation treat everyone fairly is without a doubt a hard political line.

But in Israel, "politics" doesn't mean the power dynamics between groups of people, or how one's identity creates intersections of privilege and disparity, oh no, politics is that dirty laundry best left to elected officials, you know, which dirty laundry I'm talking about.

Racism. Occupation. "Security".

One of my friends the other day accused me of not liking her as much, because she's Right Wing. I'm like, you're not Right Wing, you support economic justice and she's said, in more words but that's the gist, that I was being deliberately obtuse and that Right and Left in Israel don't mean what they mean in other places in the world.

It's true, Left in Israel means opposing the Occupation to the point of hating Israel and Right means that the only way for Israel to survive is for the Occupation to stand because then Israel will be on the brink of destruction.

Safe to say those are two extreme positions even without breaking down the facets of race, nationalism and trauma that are intertwined into both arguments.

The demonstrations against the high cost of living, the class disparity and the over-all economic injustice that swept through the nation did not touch on the subject of the Occupation. I felt that it should have, because so much of what creates the economic disparity in Israel has to do with building settlements in the West Bank, has to do with building the Separation Wall, has to do with troops out there culling non-violent protests and with pushing an Apartheid economy in the West Bank.

An unregulated cartel like economy thrives in conditions like an Occupation.

I don't know much about the economy, but I do know that.

So the Occupation and the Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank were excluded from the discourse and activity to do with the social justice campaign the Tent Demonstrations started.

For good reason, Left and Right, such as they are conceived in Israel have to do with security, how Israeli Jewish bodies can be kept safe in the face of the big bad terrorists.

The government solution, bomb the shit out of civilians living under siege (because of Israel) and under social and religious oppression (because of Hamas), even though the People's Resistance Committee (PRC), who committed the co-ordinated attack, are not affiliated with Hamas, have nothing to do with the Hamas government and were all ID'd and killed by the IDF on the day of the attack.

And not to mention that the skirmishes that followed on the Egyptian border killed 5 Egyptian soldiers, after they had to deal with a suicide bomber of their own.

This, as they say, is a clusterfuck.

Beyond the diplomatic nightmare (Egypt has withdrawn its ambassador to Israel) and the "cease fire" between Israel and Hamas being thrown out the window.

Yes, beyond that, the Israeli paradigm that Security trumps society will be tested, and I fear that it will hold true, because we are nothing if not predictable. Our fear and trauma prevents us from seeing that war benefits very few (Israelis and Palestinians) and hurts the innocent more than anyone who actually perpetrates violence.

The Hebrew Leftists blogosphere is already talking about the end of the social justice demonstrations in light of the government's hawkish endeavours. I'm hoping the people have wised up a little, and notice that the government who sweated due to the fact that we know they used the economy against us, will have wised up and see that the government will exploit this renewed violent conflict in order to get back the control it had briefly lost on the citizens.

My response?

Resist and go back to the streets where we've been for the past month.
Resist and don't accept the idea that "security" demands social justice to be forfeited.

*V For Vendetta. What else?
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: (fight like a girrl)
As usual.

The myth of the subjugated Muslim/Arab woman is just that, a myth.

Egypt has a rich history of female liberation, this is just another example.

Viva Egypt!

ETA: Adding links of first person accounts by women who are writing as they demonstrate for a better Egypt.

"Tomorrow, to Tahrir again" by Yasmine El Rashidi.
eumelia: (media lies)
Despite the frivolous title, it is a deeply serious topic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the mean time, when I'm not studying for my exams (ACK!) I'm staring at the awesomeness that are Sock Dreams. Seriously, it's worth moving to skirts and shorts full time just to wear these babies everyday!
eumelia: (resist!)
A change is coming.

I don't know what it will hold.

All I know is the Middle East and North Africa are ON FIRE! And it is a cleansing one, whatever it may bring.

Here is a personal anonymous account and what is going on in Egypt:
Personal Anonymous Account From Cairo.
Yesterday was a firm answer putting an end to all the allegations and brain washing that claimed that the current system is better than all other options in front of us, it was also a good revision to all that I have learned through my Political Science courses. And because I believe in what I’ve learned, I see a ray of light. If change doesn’t happen now, it’s coming none the less. We have changed, and we have proven that we want and deserve to change. And even though all political theories may fail to forecast what will happen, one theory stands true, God is Fair.

Read the whole thing.
eumelia: (Default)
*Claps Enthusiastically*

Look! See here!

There's a New US Plan calling for a Palestinian State.

A demilitarised state.

Oh, bravo! Well done! That's the ticket, because nothing says autonomy like a double standard (no, Israel will not be giving up it's planes, tanks, M-16's, cluster bombs or any other bomb).

I'm feeling the fair play here. The impression of justice and political self-actualisation.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and U.S. President Barack Obama will discuss on Tuesday a new initiative which would see a demilitarized Palestinian state set within amended 1967 borders and Jerusalem as its shared capital with Israel, according to the London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi.

The initiative, which was reportedly raised by past U.S. president Jimmy Carter, former secretary of state James Baker and former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft, would also have Palestinians concede on their demand for the right of return, in exchange for compensation.

Oh, did I not mention that this was the Egyptian government presuming to speak for the Palestinian Authority.
Ostensibly reiterating Israeli policy.


This is going to end well.
eumelia: (Default)
The tone of this blog entry is light hearted and slightly sarcastic, nothing new I know, since my style has that quality most of the time.
I'd just like to reiterate the seriousness of this situation and explain that if I don't outlet my thoughts and feelings like this I'd be writing bad poetry and crying all the time... much like circa 2006 and 2007 after the 2nd Lebanon War and my (non-combative or field) participation in it.

Here are a few News articles.
For your... err... enjoyment.

Venezuela and Bolivia have cut diplomatic ties with Israel over "Cast Lead".
Damn, there go my chances at visiting Caracas and La-Paz!
Seriously though, I'm not surprised. As the two front runners for re-establishing Socialism in Latin America(1) and two of the United States' harshest critics, it doesn't surprise that they are making this kind of stand.
Israel has the highest profile of any other US ally and is perceived as an extension of US policy in the Middle East - not entirely true, but we sure like those US taxes and weapons, nom nom.

I'm not sure how much the Israeli higher echelon is giving a damn about what they probably consider two coo-coo heads of state, but I have a feeling that at some point in the near future it will bite us back in the ass.

For more pertinent issues:
It is reported that "Hamas accepts Egyptian cease-fire proposal":
Israel is asking for a number of guarantees from the Americans:

b A U.S. declaration calling on the international community to deal with the smuggling of arms from Iran to terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip.

b Intelligence cooperation between Israel and the U.S. for identifying the sources of weapons, with focus on the network linking Iran, the Persian Gulf and Sudan.

b An international maritime effort along the smuggling routes to find ships carrying weapons to the Gaza Strip, possibly with the involvement of NATO.

b An American and European commitment for the transfer of technologies to Egypt that will help it uncover tunnels.

b Plans for the economic development of Rafah, with particular emphasis on the Bedouin to undercut the financial motivation for building and operating tunnels.

I want to say... Yay?
A total cease-fire is something I've been hoping for since before day one.
Thing is... both sides are not very good at accepting agreements which don't hold their best interests at heart.
Israel isn't going to get everything it wants.
Hamas and the Palestinians definitely won't:
The war in Gaza isn't over yet. The final days of the Second Lebanon War show that it's best to be wary of agreements that come too early. But the way things looked on Wednesday, Hamas seems to be willing to accept the Egyptian initiative, which is almost a kind of surrender agreement for it.
The Egyptian proposal is mostly bad for Hamas. It doesn't let the organization bring the Palestinian public any political achievement that would justify the blood that has been spilled, and even forces on it the return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza, in the form of its renewed presence at the Rafah crossing (as a condition for its reopening).

Today is a day of waiting.
I hope that by this evening there will be something concrete to report about an end to the fighting and the bloodshed.

That's all for a News update.
Stay tuned for more general War impressions from blogs and my own brain.

(1) Is that the correct term?
eumelia: (Default)
Despite (or maybe because of) yesterday's raid which resulted in the death of a mother and her four children in Beit Hanoun; it seems the infighting between the different Palestinian factions has been put on hold in order to secure a truce with Israel - even with conditions which I doubt Israel will accept.

Pity the reps didn't tell their people to lay off on the Qassam rockets which were being fired into the Negev at approximately the same time.
I doubt the Security Cabinet will accept any kind of agreement from the groups, because they will demand an end to the rockets before they lift the siege.

When I read the headlines I was really pleased, seriously, it seemed as though things are/were moving in the right direction, until I read the headline about the Qassams being fired during the meeting in Cairo and the continuous raids by the IAF.

Is it so hard to just Shut the Fuck Up! Put down your Guns! And listen to what The Other is saying!?

Sometimes when I read the News and manage to not be connected to what I'm reading I feel like I'm reading a running commentary between two Gangs of adolescent children where one comes from the Slums and the other comes from the High Rises that surround said Slums.
It's so frustrating I can even explain this.
eumelia: (Default)
After the big fail that was the Winograd Report we are now moving on to the other failures of this State when it comes to dealing with the "Enemy";

Egypt is sealing Rafah and is pushing the Palestinians back into Gaza, because they're sick of dealing with their starving "brothers", which is such shock, let me tell, never saw that one coming, the Egyptians *not* wanting to help the Palestinians in Humanitarian crisis?! No shit?! /sarcasm.

Seriously, did we expect anything better? From anyone? Israel has a responsibility because we put them under siege and have control over the land, air and sea passages of Gaza, so washing our hands like we'd like to, ain't gonna fly and wants all the supplies from the Gazans "shop 'till we drop" spree, the world is going to be glaring at us... again and with good reason.

In an attempt to make themselves look a little better to the world media Hamas has done two things:
#1 Hamas - Khaled Mashaal - issues a press release claiming kidnapped POW solider Gilad Shalit is "alive and well", I'm sure the Shalit's family are thrilled to hear that... now for the government to do something about now that the Winograd Threat is off their necks, now they have time to stick those twiddling thumbs out of their asses - mixed metaphors I know.

#2 Both Ha'aretz and Al Jazeera report that Hamas released PA PM Salam Fayyed's aide, former PFLP official and known critic of Hamas, Omar Al-Ghul. He was the highest Fatah official arrested after Hamas' takeover in Gaza.

Now all this can bee seen as some kind of progress in Hamas' willingness to communicate with the outside world beyond wanting money to fund themselves if it hadn't been for the 2 Terror Cells captured in Sinai that were all members of Hamas. *sigh* Who knows when there will be any talking between Israel and Hamas. Also if Fatah was willing to talk to them without telling them every five minutes "let Gaza go" it would also be good.

*headdesk* anyone?

What do y'all think?
eumelia: (Default)
I don't think I need to inform or tell people what has been going on in Gaza for the past... what? Week? Maybe a little more.

It is terrible what Israel is doing to the people of Gaza, I think Israel has made blunders and big mistakes in handling the situation of the Quassam rockets onto Sderot (which is what brought about the siege).
What's worse is that Hamas, while being the government of Gaza, don't know how to govern, taking absolutely no responsibility of their own people and trying to get the attention of the world by laying the entire blame on Israel.

No one is in the okay here except the citizens of Gaza, Sderot and the kibbutzim of the West Negev.

Now that the border with Egypt is broken through it's high time for Egypt to get involved in Humanitarian aid, which they should have have done long before now, but like the rest of the Arab and Muslim nations surrounding this little stretch of land, they don't care and as long as there's someone fighting the "Zionist Entity" which can't be linked back to this or that specific state all the better.

The only countries that integrated the Palestinians refugees into their own population (and even that took a while) were Jordan and Kuwait, the rest (Lebanon, Egypt and Syria) pretty much kept them as they're now living in Gaza and the Occupied territories, little hovels and refugee camps. And the money Fatah and Hamas got for well meaning states, countries and foundations have been either taken to line the upper echelons pockets or to continue the funding of the guerrilla warfare they are so good at.

Israel, as a current Occupying force in the West Bank and a former Occupying force in Gaza (though Gaza is still dependent on Israel's resources) has a responsibility towards the mess they left behind, because it is the mess we created and abandoned in the hopes that something would happen, good or bad, but disconnected from us.
Certain MK's want this disconnect to happen sooner than later, so the cut off from our resources... what the fuck are they supposed to build in that shit-hole when they have no infrastructure to build on.

Meanwhile Egypt is going to keep the borders open and MP Olmert states he won't let a Humanitarian crisis develop... that is, beyond what's already happened, obviously.
I'm sure the Islamic Brotherhood is doing some "light persuading" in the higher bureaucratic offices of President Mubarak.
I have no doubt that as soon as Mubarak has finished "playing nice" to the world the Gazans will be shoved back into the shit-hole they call home.

A little food for thought; Amira Haas writes that the border breaching has been planned for months.
eumelia: (Default)
I knew Daddy had an uncle who fought and died during the WWII, but I didn't know he had died at El-Alamein and is buried at the War Cemetery there.

My next visiting place (after visiting the Family in the US) is definitely Egypt, if we don't go to war with them first, of course.

My great uncle Private Norman Selwyn Barron.
eumelia: (Default)
It would seem that since the IDF took over the control of the border the rate of Women trafficking over the Egyptian-Israel border has dropped sharply.

Excellent! One step forward.

But far more Sudanese (i.e. refugees from Darfur) have been seeking asylum in Israel.

Fuck. Two steps back.

Read it about it here and in English.
eumelia: (Default)
I just finished reading Nonie Darwish's book "Now They Call Me Infidel".

On the one hand, it's good to read about a feminist Arab who doesn't seek the total annihilation of Israel. On the other, she's very big on the "American way of life", which is okay I guess, being an immigrant from an oppressive culture and having the freedom to say and do as she likes.
She gives a fairly accurate over-view of the rise of Radical Islam in Egypt and the Middle-East, she reminds us (the readers) about the culpability of other Arab states who rejected the Palestinians as a people and have done very little (if anything) to help them with their plight.

It's a good book, she's incredibly articulate and has a lot of criticism towards Radical Islam, the racism, classism and oppression towards women in Arab countries, the anti-Semitic rhetoric within those Arab countries and how Arab countries deny the right of Israel to exist and the fact that they use Israel as a scapegoat for all their problems.

All in all, I recommend it. Some stuff I agree with, some I don't.

The scariest thing of all though, is how she describes the fact that her own people are willing to denounce her and kill her for her views.

In addition, the genocide in Darfur must be stopped.

וכמו כן, צריך לעצור את רצח העם בדרפור.


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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