Old News

Mar. 30th, 2012 07:08 pm
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
Despite focusing lately on things not relating to the occupation in a direct manner, I still access the media and am as big a News junkie as ever.

As some of you may or may not know, today is Land Day, which is a commemorative day marking the strikes and protests Palestinians held in 1967 after the state (Israel) appropriated privately held Palestinian land. Thousands of dunams were basically stolen from under the owners feet.

This appropriation is still happening today, obviously.

But Land Day is a big event and such there are more demonstrators and many more wounded.

It's been a while since I've been involved in anti-occupation politics as I am focusing on more organised LGBT activism and, well, my life, but I don't think one can really separate the issues, as they colour every fraction of my life one way or another.

For instance, what does it mean that Israel cut ties with the UN Human Rights Commission, because they dared open up a probe regarding the building of settlements in the West Bank.

Apropos land appropriation. If I cared one whit about Israel's image I'd say we shoot ourselves in the foot, but seriously, we commit flagrant human rights violations every day, all the time. I can't say I'm surprised the foreign ministry started talking about Al-Qaeda (your guess is as good as mine as to why) and about how it's the Palestinian Authority committing - wait for it - diplomatic terrorism on Israel.

Because the state terrorism Israel commits on a regular basis is really not a part of the discourse.

Speaking of state sanctioned terror, and another reason why the IDF is a hierarchical, masculine-supremacist, racist and patriarchal institution of the worst kind?

(Trigger Warning: Rape Culture, Encouragement Of Rape, Overt Racism): IDF Colonel-Rabbi implies Rape is Permitted in War.

If you read the body of the text (heed the trigger warnings, my god!) you will see that when they write "imply", they actually mean "clearly states" that raping female prisoners is not only permitted, but actually encouraged!

...even though fraternizing with a gentile woman is a very serious matter, it was permitted during wartime (under the specific terms) out of understanding for the hardship endured by the warriors. And since the success of the whole at war is our goal, the Torah permitted the individual to satisfy the evil urge...

As the author of the article writes, this is the face of the IDF of 2012.

The fact that this kind of religious doctrine is actually published by the IDF is telling. Mainly, they they really can't see anything beyond their weeping national erection.

Despite the above, or possibly because of the above, I must mention Adrienne Rich's passing.

Her writing has been an inspiration to me for many years, both her poetry and essays - all of which have been a great aid to me when it came to my own feminism, even if I didn't agree with everything she had to say (her gender essentialism was and is notorious, despite the way she leveraged it so beautifully in the political and theoretical spheres).

She was also a Jewish woman who spoke out against the Israeli occupation of Palestine and a supporter of BDS, which, you know, is special.

She also spoke of the role and the responsibility of the poet, the writer, the artist to be political and proactive and not shy away from social justice in their work.

Someone is Writing a Poem
...But most often someone writing a poem believes in, depends on, a delicate, vibrating range of difference, that an “I” can become a “we” without extinguishing others, that a partly common language exists to which strangers can bring their own heartbeat, memories, images. A language that itself has learned from the heartbeat, memories, images of strangers...

May her memory be blessed.
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)
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)
At least 10 activists killed as Israel navy opens fire on Gaza aid flotilla.

As someone said to me, sometimes the non-violent solidarity groups act as cover for the violent solidarity group.

Oh, wait...

I'm genuinely shocked that it took such a violet turn. That there are so many wounded and killed and that the IDF just opened fire on ships they knew had European Legislators, Nobel Laureates, VIP's who are known activists and a bunch of civilians.

Al-Jazeera reports that the incident took place in international waters.

This is bad bad bad, horrible.

I can't even begin to talk about this. This is just so wrong.

Whoever gave theses orders was out of their mind!

This is not what I expected when I went to bed last night.
eumelia: (master politician)
... but LGBT rights are Human rights.

Really, really they are.

Matter the first, the Toronto Municipality is threatening to axe funding to the annual Gay Pride Parade because of one of the marching faction's politics.
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid is a group that correlates, quite rightly, Palestinian oppression and queerphobia under Israeli Occupation.
Now, regardless of what you think of their politics. Really, you can disagree with their stand, you can think they're wrong in everything they, you can even think that they're counter productive and do more harm than good.

Personally, I like them.

Canadian and US-aian Zionist Jews and their allies do not.

Ha'aretz reports:
The City of Toronto this month threatened to cut funding for its main gay pride event, following complaints by Canadian and Israeli gay rights activists who documented what they call acrimonious anti-Israel propaganda at the event.

Jewish gay rights activists from Toronto and Tel Aviv lauded the move, but the Toronto Jewish community's main body noted the city is yet to take any concrete action. Others, including prominent Canadian gays and pro-Palestinian campaigners, condemned the move as interference with free speech.
The decision by the city - which is among the world's gay-friendliest - came after repeated complaints by Martin Gladstone, a Toronto lawyer and gay rights activist, who made a film about QuAIA entitled "Reclaiming our Pride." In the film, activists at a Pride Tononto 2009 parade call Israel an "apartheid state" and one of them wears a T-shirt with a crossed-out swastika.

"How does demonizing Israel celebrate gay rights?" Gladstone said, adding: "It creates a hateful and exclusionary environment." Jonathan Danilowitz, a prominent, South Africa-born gay rights activist from Tel Aviv, praised the city's stand, which he defined as "going against hypocrisy."

[Elle] Flanders [the spokesperson for QuAIA], a Jewish filmmaker and artist who is also a PhD candidate in Toronto, rejected these accusations, adding that they were meant to "shut down the debate" and that she will "start a defamation suit against the next person who attempts to call us anti-Semitic."

It is extremely disingenuous to call a faction exclusionary and then shut it out of the parade. This may come as a surprise to some, but the Pride Parade is a protest march, not an assimilationist extravaganza. Or at least that's how it started, it's not about "celebrating gay rights", it's about showing how far we've come and how much more we have to go.

It is downright homophobic to pick and chose who you (Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Danilowitz) think is a "representative" of the gay people.

Israel goes out of it's way to present itself as "Gay Friendly", mainly by comparing itself to other Middle-Eastern countries in which gay rights are not as progressive as here.
Well, bullshit.
Seriously, bullshit.
When a campaign like Out in Israel is being executed in San Francisco which is run by the Foreign Affais Office (whose minister is nothing short of a monster), the consulate, a bunch of gay cis men speaking and a token Lesbian, I call propaganda and the exploitation of my culture that erases the identities of non-Jewish queers (as there is nothing in that programme about Palestinian (with Israeli citizenship) queers, nothing in that programme regarding non-Ashkenazi Jewish queers, nothing about bisexual identities, nothing about trans identities.
The Queer Palestinian organisations Al-Qwas and Aswat have called for a boycott

Israel is cookie cutter perfect when it comes to gay rights.

So perfect we're even invited to speak at the Knesst in June (Pride Month)... oh, wait:
In a letter addressed to [Knesset Speaker MK Reuven] Rivlin, titled 'Protecting the Knesset's dignity",[MK Ya'akov] Katz wrote: "I was shocked and amazed to receive an email invitation from MK Horowitz to attend an event at the Knesset on the subject of 'pride day'.

"Alongside the strange name, which symbolizes the opposite of any normal ethical value a human being should aspire to, all the more so a Jew, the possibility that such a provocative event will be held in the house of Israel's lawmakers should concern every member of the Jewish culture.

"Our holy Torah, the Torah of life, sees the world's existence in its normal and healthy form as a supreme value. Our Torah referred to what this conference is meant to represent as an 'abomination'. Within a nation which is a source of inspiration, our role is to be the pillar of fire lighting the way for the rest of the world's nations, which are watching us and learning from us," Katz noted in his letter.

Oh, and the murderer of the gay youth club is still at large and Social Security won't give the wounded and currently disables any allowance because the attack doesn't count as a "Terrorist Attack".

Regarding Toronto Pride.
You don't get to pick the "Gay Agenda".
There is no "Gay Agenda". LGBT Rights are Human Rights and to ignore the fact that Israel, while lauding itself as a Queer Oasis in a Desert of Homophobia (much like Zionism is called a Wall against the Barbarians, I kid you not) absolutely does not give a flying fuck about the rights of people living under military Occupation in the West Bank, under siege in Gaza or anyone who doesn't fit the image that Israel wants to send our to the world.

Pink Washing Israel violates me as a queer citizen of my country, as it is my culture being appropriated and assimilated in order to cover for the crimes committed in my name.

Fuck. That.

The fact that all something like the travesty going on at Toronto Pride, the utterance of MK Katz and the propaganda of Out in Israel is proof that no ones considers queers to be anything more than a freak show for straights, who are willing to see us as they see fit and not as we really are.

I'll repeat.

Fuck. That.
eumelia: (diese religione)
One of the things I continuously see, on par with being critical of Israel's policies, is accusations of antisemitism.
I love the fact that I'm a self-hating Jew.
Honestly, I try to find it funny, because how else am I going to react to such blatant antisemitism that comes from other Jewish people.

Sorry, derailing.

The thing that happens when you start using the "Look, look, they're doing it too" deflection strategy is that the main thing it does, is piss people off.

At least, if you're me.

I wasn't going to comment on the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) Child Rape case again. I really wasn't. Mainly, because I don't get why this isn't an international criminal case by now. However, when the RCC decides to deflect its atrocities by comparing the criticism as a different kind of persecution, i.e. Antisemitism, that is when I cry foul:
VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI's personal preacher on Friday likened accusations against the pope and the Catholic church in the sex abuse scandal to "collective violence" suffered by the Jews.
"They know from experience what it means to be victims of collective violence and also because of this they are quick to recognize the recurring symptoms," the preacher said.


No, seriously. I think the man needs a good hard fuck, if only to dislodge the entitlement and self-righteousness that seems to putrefy the RCC Hierarchy.
Sex isn't the answer, but it's certainly a stepping stone.

The "Jewish Connection" began the day before, along with the gay one - because some quack Catholic Defender wrote:
the focus on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is far out of proportion to the attention given by the media to the sexual molestation of minors when committed by non-Catholic clergymen. According to a report by the New York Times in October, the Brooklyn district attorney's office had filed charges in 26 cases of sexual abuse involving members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

You see, focusing on the Catholic Church is unfair when Jews are doing it too!

This article breaks down the truly vomituos diatribe protecting immoral and unethical acts in the name of a corrupt organisation, by comparing it to another.
One, I might add, that has barely an iota worth of the same following and power as the RRC. Not that that makes a difference to the victims, but if the Church is going to try and shake off it's own authoritative power, it would serve better not to try and compare themselves to a religion where there is no absolute authority on earth.

Just sayin'.

But wait, there's more!

As mentioned, it's not just the Jews, it's the Gays as well:
The Catholic League took out a full-page advertisement in the New York Times on March 30, lambasting the paper for its coverage of the crisis and declaring that, "The Times continues to editorialize about the ’pedophilia crisis,’ when all along it’s been a homosexual crisis." The ad continues, "Eighty percent of the victims of priestly sexual abuse are male and most of them are post-pubescent. While homosexuality does not cause predatory behavior, and most gay priests are not molesters, most of the molesters have been gay."

The ad drew condemnation from GLBT advocacy group Truth Wins Out, which said in a March 30 posting at its web site that the Catholic League had "served as an enabler for sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and sought to deflect blame for the crisis by smearing the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

My face, it is a pissed off one.
Beyond the fact that the RCC is shirking (putting it mildly) its responsibility as an organisation towards those who support it (monetarily) and the fact that the RRC is deflecting it's own crimes and downplaying its collaboration with the paedophiles they chose to keep in positions of total authority over children and their parents - they continue to use the "scapegoat" rhetoric that infects conservative reactionary discourse.

Jews and gays seem to go in tandem when there's a need to deflect from atrocities committed by a powerful majority. Even if Catholicism isn't the majority faith, it is still far more powerful and has more affect over far more people than Jewish organisations and LGBT organisations put together.

In short.
Stop it.
Stop. It.

Claiming persecution over the fact that your crimes have been uncovered is cowardly, weak and ridiculous, more so when you're going to blame other religions and sexual minorities who have a history of religious persecution under our belt.
eumelia: (Default)
I've been trying to write about the Goldstone Report and what it's actually doing to the discourse regarding Israel internationally and domestically.
I suppose anyone who is a regular News reader known that the UN Human Rights Council has endorsed the report.

Obviously, Israel is crying "No Fair!".

Israel's reactionary response couldn't have been more predictable. Instead of co-operating and trying to own the story, Hasbarah has gone out of its way to convince the world that the report is "false, distorted and promotes terror".

Personally speaking, I think it's about time we took some responsibility for the fact that, indeed yes, we are not the Good Guys. That there are no Good Guys, and that crimes committed against people cannot be condoned.
this is quite long, so I've cut it )
eumelia: (Default)
I was going to write about the Goldstone Report and how Israel, once again, managed to avoid any kind of accountability for their actions in Gaza.
This UN fact finding mission had strong words about Hamas' conduct as well, calling the firing of Qassam rockets war-crimes.
This is something that is often omitted, mainly because Goldstone puts the onus onto Israel, seeing as Israel did kill 1,500 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians.

The main conclusion I've come to in this whole affair is that the UN, once again, proved itself to be the most redundant and irrelevant organisation in the world.

So much potential UN, your execution of anything leaves much to be desired. You're good at reporting things and writing them down, but acting upon it.
Not so much.

Can't help that the US pretty much bullies you into submission time and time again when it comes to Israel.
Israel, of course, also bullied Mahmoud Abbas into deferring talks about the report, thus turning the President of the PA and head of Fatah into a collaborator.

Strong words, but that's the way he is viewed at the moment, at least, that's the only way I can think the Palestinians would view him at the moment.
There are demands that he quit. There is of course backtracking, much backtracking.
The people are feeling the leadership.
Not really, no.
I have to say, even at my most cynical, because I think the PA is as corrupt as any other government only doesn't have the power or money to cover it up, I didn't expect this.
Goldstone was the PA's golden ticket at getting something, world recognition.
Israel blew it too, by not co-operating and using the power of the all-mighty Hasbarah to discredit Justice Goldstone; our own reactionary and paranoiac response to to the fact finding mission, headed by a self-identified Zionist, a man who has headed numerous Israeli academic boards and has Israeli family, has driven the report out of Israel's (or Palestine's) control.
Because now Lybia is taking the task of holding talks about the report.

Who said Israel and Palestine deserved each other?

It is worth mentioning that this month is the anniversary of the October 2000 Events. There are currently riots in Jerusalem (I'm happy the J-Lem contingent of my family is not there at the 'mo) hence keeping out Sheikh Ra'ad Salah for the month.
September-October are always tense due to the High Holidays and the intensifying security forces around the Western Wall and the Al-Aqsa mosque.
It doesn't help that said security forces are racist and not shy about it.
That U.S Jews feel they have the right to Jerusalem more than any other religion that holds it holy, because yeah, that's what's happening at the moment too.
"It's mine!", "No, It's mine!!"
If there was going to be a massive earthquake, let it be there.

Regardless of who is to blame, this is just a taste of things to come.
The Palestinians will have Intifada vs 0.3, the IDF will once again head into the depth of the West Bank, probably "re-conquer" the Gaza Strip, while feeding us (Israelis) the tripe of "they brought on themselves", "we have no choice", etc. etc.

Same ole tune, shiny new instruments.

More on this and digression thereof in a little while. This should give you all something to chew on for a bit.
eumelia: (Default)
Oh wait.

It really, really is not a fucking conundrum.

The man raped a child, plead guilty, then ran away because the sentencing was too harsh for him (U.S. Appellate Court! Hello!), not that I think there's anything to appeal, or condone or even sympathise with a criminal who decided to do a runner rather than serve the time given him for the crime he committed upon a 13 year old girl.

Is this getting into people's thick skulls?! Obviously not, seeing as there is a fucking petition (No! Tilda Swinton! Pedro Almodovar?!?! *weeps*... just a couple of names at first glance that popped out at me) calling for him to be let go and set free signed by a large amount of people, whose work I admire and inspire me. This is all so fucking Twilight Zone I'm having a hard time articulating it in a manner that doesn't include me tearing my hair out and run screaming through the streets like the "hysterical woman" that I am.

The man, drugged and raped a girl, is also an artist.


What? Is that so bloody hard to imagine? That people who create great things are also morally bankrupt and make no mistake, even if he personally feels guilty (but doesn't really want to sit in jail for it) he still raped a child.

It's really not that complicated. Either the rape of a child is punishable no matter who commits it, or those who are famous, wealthy and part of the artistic Elite are utterly exempt from the laws governing us lowly serfs.

An exaggeration? Please, this is once again a moment in history in which those who "Have" are entitled to get away with espousing the ugliest, most anti-social bullshit imaginable.

And for getting away with criminal behaviour, of course.

Obviously, this is no longer just about Polanski.
eumelia: (Default)
First of all Shana Tova! to whom in applies and have a good weekend to whom it doesn't!

The Shana Tova Video )

And now for the actual post.
Which is about the reckoning of our souls.
We have entered the Ten Days of Repentance, which honestly, mean didly squat to me(1).

It's not about my personal soul (which is an extension of the mind in any case).
It's about the fact that during these days, if I'm going to wax poetry, I can see the way that my country is going to go in the next year.

It is perhaps gauche to talk about politics in the midst of the High "Holy" Days, but this is my connection to being Jewish, which is kind of crummy when you think about it.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have about ten tabs open as I write this about the Goldstone Report concerning Operation "Cast Lead", last year's winter assault on Gaza by the IDF.

I'm finding it difficult to come up with words when talking about the report itself. It's nothing we didn't know before, because a few months after the assault we heard the accounts of IDF soldiers who fought in Gaza during "Cast Lead".

Not to mention just the knowledge that before the assault the siege had been going strong for over a year, that along with weapons flour, canned goods and other necessities (like WATER) had been smuggled through the tunnels under the Gaza/Egypt border.
Just to remind, Hamas and other militant groups like Islamic Jihad had been firing at Sderot and the other towns and Kibbutizim surrounding Gaza for nearly eight years (and of course into the Gush Katif Settlements in Gaza itself prior to the Disengagement plan).

All this for a bit of history. And just to make sure everyone knows that Human Rights Violations and War Crimes came from both sides.

A big "however" coming this way; Israel was basically, and please forgive the metaphor, shooting fish in a barrel. Gaza is the most densely populated stretch of geography in the world (as far as I'm aware), using fly over bombs and white phosphorous over that kind of area with the intention of flushing out Terrorists who are hiding among the population, yeah, that's a great way of making sure you're preserving innocent lives.
No, no it is not, though I suppose that goes without saying.

Excuse me, I digressed and began reiterating the points I wrote during the actual assault.

What I really wanted to talk about is Israel's reaction to the report, which is to say, blatantly, "He's lying".
That's it.
Oh, okay, let's add in a few internal Antisemitic remarks like calling Goldstone a "salf-hating" Jew (only Jews call other Jews "self-hating", which I find so insanely irritating and angering. That in itself is Antisemitic of course, that Jews are so deficient in their morality and identification, that they "hate themselves").

I was told that Israel should have been proactive and put together a report of their own countering the UN Fact Finding Mission.
Which, yeah, on a purely rational level that is the thing to do, but honestly, I find it quite repugnant that anyone would suggest any country put together a Propaganda based report aimed at disputing the fact that a sovereign nation committed war crimes on a population that has been deliberately weakened and incarcerated in their own homes.

Hearing the cynical dehumanising discussion of how much better the IDF did in Gaza than in Lebanon two years prior. Saying that more of "Them" died.

Is that the way an ethical people speak and act? Are those the values upon which a democracy is based? Better it be "Them", than "Us".

The soul searching that we should be doing is coming to the realisation that we, as a nation, must end this debilitating Occupation, because beyond it being immoral to deny basic human rights to a population and keep them under martial law, it is bad for us, for me, as an Israeli, to have the undercurrent of violence and hatred course through the streets.

It will end in tears.

Also, how immature is it to call out to the nations to reject the findings, as though closing our eyes, ears and mouth will some how cause it to disappear.
There is also the implication, by denying the report, that all that happened in Gaza was normal and appropriate for anti-Terror and urban Warfare.

However, despite the growing weariness of Europe against Israel (which is of course completely Antisemitically motivated, duh!) the U.S will not be confused by the facts and will back Israel up.

This is far from over. This is not going to be bring the end of the Occupation. That's, unfortunately, a long way off, because economically speaking there is too much vested interest in continuing the Occupation and letting the Settlements expand, thus furthering the possibility of a two state solution from ever happening.

So, on these days preceding the Day of Atonement (in which I will not be fasting) I'll keep in touch on stuff relating to the report and perhaps tell you what other fun stuff is being said about the report.

Maybe some of it will be marginally entertaining and not cause me to grind my teeth.

Chag Sameach Friends, may this year be the best so far!

(1)I'm not a religious person, I never was, I tried to be (both Jewishly and not) and really, in the end, it's all about the fact that I do not want, need or even think much of the authority of either an entity we imagined in order to comfort ourselves or those people who claim to know what the Omnipotent and Omnipresent Deity actually expects from us teeny, tiny humans whose lives are only significant to us and maybe to a few dozen more people.
I'd also like to add that I have nothing against people who believe in a deity, I really honestly do not care. Belief isn't the problem, imo. It's religion.
Back to text
eumelia: (Default)
Once more in an issue that is hot and close to me (this time literally and not just emotionally), I have ten or so tabs open about the UN Human Rights Council Report.

Mainly Israel's downright immaturity when it comes to report and the slandering of Justice Goldstone when it comes to the facts finding mission.

Really now, calling Justice Goldstone a self-hating Jew when he has historically been a huge supporter of Israel. I remember (I can't find a link, sorry) when he was appointed on this mission that many of Israel's critics said he would be biased in Israel's favour.

Now Israel is saying that Goldstone is biased against Israel.

Make up your minds!

I will expound on the report and the Israeli "methinks doth protest too much" reaction to it.
eumelia: (Default)
Wow, do I have some stuff to share.

Okay so I don't want to make this a huge links post and rant but damn! The weekend was just non-stop with the amount of WTF's that seemed to bleed into the News and I can't not share it with you dear readers.

I hope those of you who are more than just interested in the Occupation and Israeli policy in Palestine did not miss Professor Neve Gordon's Op-Ed in the LA Times: Boycott Israel: An Israeli comes to the painful conclusion that it's the only way to save his country, which came online on Thursday the 20th of August.

It's a whopper and a very important read.

However, it wouldn't be a News day if someone didn't condemn those filthy dirty anti-Zionist Jews with self-hate.
Have you ever notice that only other Zionists accuse us of hating ourselves. What's up with that?

On Friday, the Los Angeles Jewish Community began to mull over boycotting Ben-Gurion University is Israel, which is the Uni in which Prof. Gordon teaches Poli-Sci. Funny Diaspora reaction aside the really special moment and quote comes from the LA Israeli Consulate Mr. Yaakov (Yaki) Dayan:
"I believe that the definitive answer to anti-Zionist lecturers like Gordon is to set up a center for Zionist studies, which unfortunately does not exist in Israeli academia," [Dayan] continued. "This center would help dispel the lies disseminated by Gordon in the name of your university."

Oh my God, my eyes could not have rolled farther into my skull without giving me brain damage.
I just... *sigh*.
As I said, a very special moment.

That's not all. Oh no, not even close. There is more Israeli craziness in store.

Who hasn't heard of the controversial Swedish newspaper article accusing the IDF of murdering Palestinians in order to harvest their organs.
I gotta say, it smacks of hyperbole, but that's not my point.
As controversial as the article may be, I think the Israeli Government's reaction was just beyond out of proportion.
And defensive of course.
PM Netanyahu is set to request, nay, demand that the Swedish government condemn the article.

After the article was published, it would appear Israel did not appreciate the Swedish government's reaction... which was to be quiet about it.
On Friday, the Israeli Ambassador to Sweden Benny Dagan met with Deputy Foreign Minister of the Scandinavian country and urged his government to issue a denunciation of the article. Deputy Foreign Minister Frank Belfrage emphasized his country's freedom of speech and how it limits the ability of the government to respond to articles in the media.
A Netanyahu aide said that "Israel does not wish to infringe upon the freedom of the press in Sweden. However, as much as the Swedish press is entitled to freedom, the Swedish government should enjoy the freedom of denouncing such reports."

The desk is well acquainted with my head, because really, of a government is nosing into the media, it's no longer a free press.

The Swedish Jewish Community's reaction to this is pretty interesting; one of the head's of the community, Lena Posner, says that until Israel got involved, it was a non-issue:
Posner told Ynet, "The article was published here on Monday, but no one paid any attention to it. It wasn't a news report and was buried in the back pages of a tabloid. The writer is known to many of us as anti-Israel, and so it the entire paper. This is why no one took it seriously – until Israel got involved."

Read this one, it's pretty good and manages to show Lieberman as the paranoid maniac that he is because beyond accusing Sweden of Antisemitism and saying that this silence over the matter is equivalent to their silence during the Holocaust (Godwin! Hello!) - he's gone on to accuse Norway of promoting Antisemitism, here's why:
"I remember that in the Durban-II conference," Lieberman said, referring to last April's UN anti-racism summit which was criticized as allegedly biased against Israel. "The Norwegian representatives were among the few who didn't walk out, and today I realize it's not a coincidence. How low can you go?"

How low indeed.

So... anybody got any good jokes?
eumelia: (Default)
There is such a ton of information pouring out of [livejournal.com profile] ontd_political regarding Iran I just can't keep up! The comments are a constant update for me because I'm not following Twitter - yeah, yeah, call me a Luddite.
My Facebook is a stealth one, I'm just not keen on that kind of information sharing, which is what's making this Iran uprising both effective and so bloody dangerous for the people actively twitting and facebooking etc.

The mainstream media is just failing.

I'm mainly following BBC, Al-Jazeera and Ha'aretz and my god, stop looking at this as though this is a game of "Risk" or "Diplomacy" - this ruthless game in which Nations are monoliths and the people who actually make up that society are relegated to spectacles of violence.

Robert Fisk of The Independent wrote a brilliant article Iran's Day of Destiny.

I can't look at the Youtube footage coming out of there, same as the last time I viewed a Youtube video of a demonstration against the Separation Wall I cried for an hour.
And I've been there.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm pretty sure that this isn't going going to harbour the great change for Iran, much as the Iranian people deserve. The regime is too stable and the Mullah's are ruthless as we all know.

Last night I read an article in Ha'aretz that irritated me, because the head of the Mossad - the Israeli Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations - Meir Dagan, basically came to the same conclusion as me - that this won't be the great change - but also added this lovely little tidbit about how the Iran Elections affect Israel:
"The reality in Iran is not going to change because of the elections. The world and we already know [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad. If the reformist candidate [Mir Hossein] Mousavi had won, Israel would have had a more serious problem because it would need to explain to the world the danger of the Iranian threat, since Mousavi is perceived internationally arena as a moderate element...It is important to remember that he is the one who began Iran's nuclear program when he was prime minister."

'Cause never mind that Ahmadiniejad is a Dictator and that with Mousavi it would have been perhaps easier to actually talk to.
There would, conceivably, been a chance to actually attempt to establish an actual diplomatic relationship with Iran.
But no, their whole national agenda is to Nuke Israel.
Duh, how could I forget.
Oh and of course - their homophobia is worse than ours.

Something tangentially related - Netanayahu's speech of utter emptiness is still making headlines in these parts.
I'd say something constructive regarding him and his "reaching out" - which btw, WHAT?! - but I think my opinions about him, the ministers and the current government in general is widely known.
Basically, him uttering the combination of words "Palestinian", "State" and "Peace" are so devoid of any real meaning that I can say that if he represents the Israeli consensus, we are as empty headed and devoid of any kind of empathy that is rightfully human.
I'm not even going to bother linking to anything he said.

At least in Iran there is some movement.
Israel is stagnating under the perception of Democracy - which is far more complicated here that any other place I've ever heard about.

Keep resisting!

I suppose at some point I will reapply my "real" Facebook and get a Twitter.

I'm a follower.
eumelia: (Default)
I had been trying to find good links and have something to actually say about Iran and the elections which were so blatantly falsified I don't know where to begin about that.

[livejournal.com profile] ontd_political has a live update on the situation to which I am linking:

I can only say, keep yourself informed, read what you can and just know that change in possible.

On a more pessimistic note, I don't think this is going to be Iran's big change. So many have already died and what with the Revolutionary Guards brining in troops from other counties - in one of Andrew Sullivan's updates at The Daily Dish, he reports that Mousavi supporters heard their attackers speak Arabic and not Farsi.

Meanwhile, as the killing, fighting and violence goes on, the Ayatollah himself is calling for National Unity. I'm interested to see if his blatant religious rhetoric will actually fool the people who are pissed off at him and his posse.

The Israeli Person-On-The-Street doesn't particularly care about all this, because both the conservative and the progressive governments would have continued with their nuclear plans and very doubtful, that even if the Reformist Mousavi would have won that he would have decided that Israel was worth talking to.
As far as Israel is concerned, if you're not with us, you're against us.
I wish we'd get it into our minds that we are, in fact, teeny-tiny and pretty much not worth thinking about by bigger, richer nations in any kind of beneficial way.
Even the EU is postponing upgrading ties with Israel.

Whatever shit the world is in, it is certainly interesting.
Can understand why that's a curse, huh.
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)
I've always considered the UN to be one of those international bodies created for when the Aliens come and humanity pretends to have unified global government.

Right now, the UN Security Council is really... redundant.

The answer to the UN Gaza cease fire resolution have been:

#1 Israel says This? This is what you want us to do... screw you!. The shelling, bombing and fighting will continue until all objectives are achieved.
What these objectives are is a mystery; because so far Hamas hasn't stopped firing rockets and Gilad Shalit hasn't been liberated.

#2 Hamas says What? That's all?! screw you!. Rockets will continue to be fired, the tunnels that are destroyed will be re-dug and Hamas will continue to dis-acknowledge Israel's right to exist.
What exactly Hamas hopes to gain in this in unknown, since right now Hamas are just throwing everything they've got at the soldiers and across the borders.

What we have here... is a blood tinted pissing contest:
One of the contestants is pissing on the other.
The other meanwhile is trying mightily to keep a steady stream.
I leave to you to decide which is which.
eumelia: (Default)
The UN suspends their aid to Gaza because they were shot at by the IDF. One of the aid workers is in fact dead. Israel is presenting a complaint to the UN regarding the rocket fire from Lebanon, which I mentioned earlier today.


An acquaintance of mine said that the UN aid people were naive for going in there.
I pretty much goggled at that statement.
The humanitarian situation in Gaza is, and I very much understate, dire.
No one would ever, EVER, suggest that the aid workers in Sderot are naive, no they're doing "holy work" and actually helping the traumatized children.

Now without aid going into Gaza, the people there will no doubt be feeling very kindly towards Israel and gladly overthrow Hamas.

A more sinister thought entered my mind about why Israel is willing to play into Hamas' deliberate use of UN facilities (seriously, why is the IDF shooting at UN schools, making them looks way worse than Hamas) and shoot at UN aid envoys.

Could it be... that Israel doesn't actually want any UN presence in Gaza?
Without the aid coming in Gaza would become even more dependant on the tunnel economy - which is used to smuggle far more than just weapons, it includes school supplies, food, water, toilet paper etc. Seeing as there is no other "legitimate" economy in Gaza, it would make sense for Hamas to cultivate not just arms dealing, right?

Of course the tunnels are the "source of evil" and must be stopped.

By the way.
Aren't we supposed to be trying to free Gilad Shalit?

Sorry to be so disjointed this evening, but this has gone on for long enough and too far.

Just, stop.
eumelia: (Default)
First of all, thanks to everyone on my f-list who is raising awareness about the Gaza War, there are various voices and the more people talk and write about it (no matter their opinion) this is a good thing.

Second of all, I'm seeing my LJ being plugged all over my f-list. Which is flattering in a purely egotistical way, I'm glad you all find me so informative.

I've been told that I should write outside this little milieu, but I don't really know where or how to go about looking for a place.
So if any of you reading this have a suggestion, I'm all ears and eyes.

My writing is fairly stream of conciousness like, so I hope you will forgive me the jumps between "hard facts" and "feelings".

Since the IDF's ground incursion into Gaza, 34 soldiers have been wounded, three seriously and one soldier has been killed.

Rockets keep falling in the South of Israel, since the beginning of "Cast Lead", rockets have been flying more and more and hitting farther and farther.
Israelis are hiding in shelters, children are being treated for anxiety and all schools in a radius of 40 km from Gaza are closed, including Ben-Gurion University - my darling, my girl, my [Southern!Girl] studies at BGU and lives in range of the rockets falling.
So far so good.

Over on the Other Side, casualties rise on the Gaza offensive. Since the ground incursion into Gaza 90 people (both civilians and militants, approx. 26 children - that is Palestinians under the age of 16 - have been killed).
So far over 500 have been killed and there almost 2500 wounded.
There are no more hospital beds.
The term "living conditions" with regards to Gaza is such a laughable term I only want to cry.
Israel said they're sending 80 trucks filled with Humanitarian aid and last week (maybe still) Israel was evacuating some wounded Palestinians to Israeli hospitals.
At first I couldn't understand what these gestures were supposed to mean? Did we[Israel] really expect the Palestinians to drop onto their knees with thanks that we're throwing them a scraps while demolishing their entire infrastructure.

It was pointed out to me that these may have been done so that Israel can claim that there is no Humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

"Hello Desk"
"We meet again Head"

I can only cry and shout and weep and scream.

Cut for length, but more things to do with Cast Lead, Israel and Palestine )
Someone has already commented anonymously on this entry. Please note that anonymous comments are automatically screened and if you wish to discuss what I wrote you should identify yourself.
eumelia: (Default)
As this is being written, an Israeli air strike and raid is and has been launched in Gaza... so far there are reports that dozens are dead and injured in Gaza.

Since the expiration of the Tehadiya (literaly the "calm"), that is the truce between Hamas and the IDF (despite the fact that Islamic Jihad continues to fire rockets throughout this period of time), the amount of rockets fired from Gaza has been on average of 50-70 a day, killing and injuring Israelis, and Palestinians (through "friendly" fire).

Practically every single media outlet, local and global, heralded reports that the Israeli government sanctioned a military operation that will put an end to the rockets being fired upon Israeli towns and kibbutzim surrounding Gaza (some of which can get as far as major south-coastal towns like Ashkelon).

I think one thing that seems to be omitted in the international media is that Israel hadn't made any moves to ease the siege over Gaza or renegotiate the release of Gilad Shalit, which really, it can be done.
Oh but Israel released hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, surely after that show of magnanimity Hamas should release Shalit.

I guess it all depends on your idea of what being magnanimous is, then. Personally, I think that fact that the released Palestinians were all sent to the West Bank (where the IDF and border police have more "hands on" authority) and none of them to Gaza - once again separating families, colleagues, allies etc. I dunno how much appreciation is going around.

The asymmetry of the attack, which officially has been on "Hamas Facilities", but has actually destroyed civilian infrastructure, is disturbing.

I've always felt and said, that the way the government treats Sderot and the other civilian "hot-spots" in the line of Qassam and morter fire has been to use them as a mask for National Strength and keep them victimised so that the Palestinians remain the eternal villains of this narrative.

The suffering of the people of Sderot and the other places is to be acknowledged whole heartedly.

However, the majority of people killed in the conflict between Hamas and Israel have been Palestinian civilians, mainly from the seige, which will not end any time soon.

Hamas reports 120 dead And the Ministry of Defece reports that the operations are over for now, but they are just the beginning: Report from Reuters via Ynet.
eumelia: (Default)
Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi threw his shoes at Prez Bush on December 14th.

Bush says: "So what if the guy threw a shoe at me?"

Indeed, so what?

Well, he's been arrested (which, ya know, okay, he did try to assault a head of state) and is being tortured (Dude! What the Fuckity-Fuck!?).


*thumbs up*


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 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.


-"V for Vendetta"


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