eumelia: (media lies)
I think I can safely say that I've always lived in interesting times; what with an Intifada when I was about 3, a Gulf War when I was 5, Oslo when I was 10, October 2000 and the Second Intifada when 15, the various skirmishes during my years in the IDF, the second Lebanon War when I was 20, again, the various skirmishes in the years that followed.
Now, when I'm 25, I can say that while the death in the face of standing up for the right to be free is disturbing, upsetting and I don't know if I would ever have the strength to do the same, it is humbling to be a witness, no matter how distant, to these times in a place in the world I call home.

Bahrain: Protesters occupy Bahrain square. In case you didn't know. Bahrain has a Shi'ite majority and is ruled by a Sunni elite and the government has been naturalising foreign Sunni nationals and workers in order to create a "demographic advantage". Sounds familiar. People are staying in the streets and in the squares 24/7. That really is the only way to do it.

Iran: They are quaking in their boots. When you call for the death of the opposition leaders and the people in charge are in a bind.

Libya: Benghazi, Libya 'rocked by protests'. This is huge you guys. This is Gaddafi's place. I'm seriously in awe.

Not as many links as yesterday, but also not as much time and many links are out of date already. The changes and reports are coming in double-time and I really recommend Twitter as another on-the-spot News aggregatpr, it's amazing how much information you can get from sharing information and just reading what people on the ground have to say.
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
In Alphabetical order and a tiny bit of commentary:

Algeria: Defying a ban, protesters demonstrate in heavily policed Algiers. The demonstrations in Algeria in early January due to food shortages, but really, the poverty level in a country that is very rich in natural resources (and a long term dictator) showed it was a matter of time.

Bahrain: Bahrain mourner killed in clashes during another protester's funeral. The violence coming from the government in response to the protests has been overwhelming.

Iran: Police confirm protest death. The Reformists demonstrations never stopped, it just wasn't reported with the same fervor as when it started, but now that fire is sweeping through the region, it makes sense that the demo's are gathering greater numbers and are being suppressed with more violence.

Israel: While the region begins it's slow slog towards something resembling democratic process, we continue to dig our heels is and write out racist legislation like a Bill proposes discount in tuition fees for soldiers - meaning that higher education will become even more inaccessible than it already is to the working class - it is racist and ethnically based because the only ones drafted are Jews and the Druze (only men in this case) meaning that those who do not serve (i.e. Arabs, who also happen to be the most economically disenfranchised) will find it very hard to study at university, creating an even greater disparity between classes that (miraculously) coincide with ethnic and religious groups.

Palestine: Palestinian government resigns in hope of fresh start. Allow me to be more scathing than usual. The PA is so scared of what's happening in the region, the fact that just a few days about Saeb Ereakat resigned because of the Palestine Papers that they'll do anything to make appearnces of appeasement, while they suppress anti-PA demonstrations. Hamas, by the way, will not be running in these elections as it rejects Fatah authority. Like this schism is anything new.

Syria: Schoolgirl blogger jailed. A week after Syria opens their internet up for Twitter and Facebook. The Asad regime is in survival mode, it has been for years now.

Yemen: Yemen protests enter fifth day. The numbers are small, and there isn't a huge presence of women in Sanaa, but following reports on Twitter informs me that there was sizable female presence in Taizz.

That's what I got.
eumelia: (Default)
Last night I nearly had an argument with my parents, in which I was almost accused, again, of hating Israel.


Because I don't consider Iran to be an existential thread upon me or my nation.


Iran has bigger problems, like a civil uprising that's barely being reported now a days - unless it's a foreign national caught in the local politics. The fact that Iran is surrounded by American (and other Western) troops, in Iraq and Afghanistan - Yesterday was Armistice Day and I didn't mention it, because it's not a day commemorated here. We didn't "exist" during the Great War or the Second World War and we have our own military memorial days.
Not to mention Pakistan which really does have nuclear capabilities and appears to have a happy trigger finger.

Ahmadinejad finds Israel, like many other Muslim and Arab nations, an easy Scapegoat - it's part of our Status as Jews, I suppose.

I asked my parental units if they thought Iran was a big cohesive homogeneous nation? The answer was "Yes".
I called Bullshit and they knew that what they had said was not true, but the argument of "Iranian Aggression" doesn't fly when all of the above in taken into account.

I sincerely hope that not everyone thinks Israel is a bunch of Avigdor Liberman's (our Foreign Minister) and Bibi Netanyahu's (our Prime Minister).
Iran is too used as a scapegoat in order to deflect from our own huge problems - like the fact that 1 in 4 Israelis lives in poverty. That public housing is denied to mixed families. That the Settlements are a criminal issue and not just a "National" one.
Just to mention a few of Israel's "Problems".

But that's all small potatoes when we, Israel, an allegedly nuclear nation the tiny nation surrounded by enemies (with whom we are thinking about "peace agreements"... sorta) is being threatened by a politically unstable, non-nuclear and already sanctioned country.

Yeah, I'm feeling safe with Big Brother in this oh so tolerant and enlightened Jewish-Democracy.
eumelia: (Default)
From [ profile] idiomagic

A letter from Fayah:
"I love life. I love to laugh and be with my friends. There are so many books I want to read, movies I want to see, people I want to meet. I want to marry, to be a good wife and mother. I want to grow old with the people I love, to feel the sun on my face, to see the ocean, to travel.

My country is in a terrible state. People have no jobs. There is no money. People have no freedom. Women must hide themselves from the world, and we have no choices.

Our people--we are not terrorists. We hate terrorists. And that is what our government has become. They kill our people for no reason. They torture us in their prisons because we want freedom. They make our country look evil, they make our religion look evil.

We are fighting for our freedom, for our religion, for our country. If we do nothing while injustice abounds, we become unjust. We turn into the ones we hate.

I have to fight. I have to go back on the streets. I will make them kill me. I will join Neda, with my friends, and then maybe the world will hear us.

I never thought I would become a martyr, but it is needed. The more of us they kill, the smaller they become, the more strength the people will have. Maybe my death will mean nothing, but maybe it will buy my country freedom.

I am very sad that I will never be a mother, that I will never do the things I love, but I would rather die than do nothing and know that I am to blame for the tortures, the murder, the hatred.

Please tell the world how much we love life. That we are not terrorists. We just want to be free."
eumelia: (Default)
Over the past two weeks I've been mainly following the situation in Iran because, well, everyone else is following it.

I have no qualms about the fact of being a part of the sheeple.

From my own little prism here, I can look at the Israeli and the feminist connection. Not much is being said about the former except with Israel itself which has been a notorious sabre rattler towards Iran for the past, I can't rightly say, but ever since 2006 and Benjamin Netanyahu's reference to Iran=Germany, Year=1938 and Ahmadenijad=Hitler, Iran has been a fairly regular Starman Boogie Man in my perception of current Israeli conciousness.

Israel has been used the same way in Ahmadenijad's rhetoric.

Peas in a pod.

I'll move on to what I actually want to talk about.

This very interesting article breaks down the dynamics of the mainstream media, what is covered, what isn't a why.

Quotes )

Neda has become the Iranian woman who is ALL Iranian Women.

The role and portrayal of women in Iran over the past 10 (now more) days has been covered extensively.
Because it took me a couple of days to join the online "amateur" media brouhaha the first article on the subject about the portrayal of Iranian women in the protests and demonstrations was the Racialicious article So You Think You Want A Revolution (In a Loose Headscarf - I think since Christiane Amanpour the West's perception of Iranian women has been that of modern women in a heinous situation - most likely before Amanpour, but she is certainly a huge figure and symbol of Westernised Iranian woman, which is obviously a plus.
Not to mention Marjane Satrapi, Azar Nafisi and of course Zahra Rahnavard, all of whom are inspirational and modern and less-than-overtly-traditional (some of them outright secular).

And that's what we like to see.

Beautiful women fighting for their right to be free from religious oppression and tyranny.

It's also a romanticism of the violence that is going on there.
Yes, they are taking the punches and they are fierce and they are equal to the men out there in the street.

But it feels like there's an exotification game going on here.
The deaths and violence are tragic and we, watching the News, view them as a form of entertainment.

These women are being looked at. Gazed upon.

Mousavi may be a Reformer, but back in the 80's he wasn't so progressive, could he have changed perhaps, but the Ayatollah regime persists and will probably not be taken down in the near future (though no one suspected the protests and riots to go on for this long).

The mainstream media's obsession with the images of women, I think, beyond making the whole damn thing romantic, makes it beautiful. The image of Neda bloody and bruised and so beautifully mourned and grieved over is the way we should view Iran itself: bloody and beautiful.

That isn't to say I don't admire the women who are going out there everyday, fighting tooth and nail to be heard over the mayhem of their situation.
I do.
I can only hope I have an ounce of their courage.

I'm just saying, be wary of how they are being seen.
Because there is something beyond the headscarf and the blood on Neda's face.

More articles on the subject:
CNN: Iranian women stand up in defiance.
Slate: Woman Power; Regimes that repress the civil and human rights of half their population are inherently unstable..
Feministing: The Women Protesting in Iran.
eumelia: (Default)
There is such a ton of information pouring out of [ 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.

[ 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)
I've been trying to find a way to write coherently about this subject for the past couple days, I hope I manage to make my point without confusing the hell out of you, dear readers.

Iran is a religious dictatorship. Ahmadinejad has bad PR. Iran is trying to make itself a power house in the Middle East.
Iran's treatment of women leaves much to be desired.
Ahmadinejad has gone on the record saying that Iran doesn't have homosexuals.
All these are facts.

And you know what? I don't care.
I don't care that there are worse places in the world.
Because if that's the kind of narration Israel is using in order to make itself look better... it kind of sucks.

Israel's Foreign Ministry is overseeing a new public relations campaign in which the gay LGBT community is recruited. This PR campaign is going to be used to discredit Iran through it's human rights violations.

Dude... WTF?

Beyond the callous use of an underprivileged minority in order to publicly discredit a different nation, it's a blatant attempt to deflect Israel's own human rights violations.

I'll be the first to admit, my life as a white, Jewish, able bodied cis-woman of the middle-class* in Israel is pretty good.
And in my little cultural Niche of Tel-Aviv Uni and the City itself, being a Queer isn't so bad.
I mean, I can't really complain about same-sex marriage as there is no such thing as civil marriages or union in Israel.
Sure there are common-law marriages and couples un-interested (or can't due to various issues) in marrying through the religious institutions can sign fiscal agreements or fly to countries in which you can marry though civil ceremonies - hetero couples like Cypres as it is close and cheap, at the moment the only country in which same-sex couples can have their marriage sort of recognised in Israel is Canada.
Very convenient.
There is precedent when it comes to the adoption of kids in same sex families, which again, is encouraging and quite awesome.

I suppose I should point out that the above is basically available to Israeli-Jews.

Being a heterosexual couple made out of an Arab and Jew is difficult enough and life threatening. Being a same-sex couple made out of an Arab and a Jew can be a death sentence... for both parties.
And that's within Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.
There are Palestinian queer organisations like ASWAT, which are awesome, co-founder Rouda Morcos is one of the most inspiring women I've ever had the privilege to meet.
ASWAT criticises both Israeli and Palestinian societies, but the underlying thought is that the Palestinians society as a whole is oppressed and that in order for LGBT rights to be advanced within Palestinian (and the other Arab societies in Israel and the Occupied territories) the Occupation must end.

Is life better for Queers within Israel proper than beyond the Green Line and in our neighbouring countries? Yes, big and resounding, yes, life is better.

However, that just exemplifies the issue of Israel's own complicity in the situation in the West Bank and Gaza.

To target Iran in order to deflect Israel's own crimes is pathetic.
Yes, yes it is.

Especially when the current government will probably do next to nothing to promote LGBT rights within Israel itself, if anything there will probably be the strengthening of the religious establishment over the next couple of years.

*Did I miss anything in the privilege disclosure?

The Veil

Sep. 27th, 2008 06:36 pm
eumelia: (Default)
Wait a mo?!
There's an economy crisis?!
Because nobody saw this one coming.
And hey! Who cares if it's pensions and saving bonds and taxes that bail out Wall Street.
Surely that big invisible hand will fix everything.

Hear me *gag*

In any event I didn't actually want to write about the economy. I'll leave that to those who know much more and better than me on these matters.

Yesterday I spent the day with [ profile] tamara_russo and had a great time doing so. I got to Tel-Aviv approx. two hours after we were supposed to meet, because who the fuck knew that Friday had such great big traffic going into that city and that the bus I took wouldn't go where it was supposed.
But I digress.
We saw Persepolis, which finally made it to Israel... 'cause you know, a movie directed, written and produced by an Iranian is considered enemy propaganda - that really is the only reason I can think of that would make a movie of this kind take a year and a half to find a distributer here.
Edited To Add (30/09/2008) - It came late basically because it's an unpopular genre.
Animation is unpopular? *shrug*

I'm a big fan of Marjane Satrapi and had been looking forward to the movie.
I was not disappointed.
Though it was a difficult movie for me to watch... it is not as graphic (in the violence sense) as the books and in addition when you reach a climax in a book you can put it aside and let the story digest.
The movie really pulls no emotional punches and I spent the majority of it quite teary - I didn't know it would be so disturbing... the reason I didn't go see Waltz with Bashir because I knew it would be disturbing for me.
So a portion of the movie was spent with my face buried in Tami's shoulder... which she graciously didn't mind.

It's an important movie, because it's not just the story of Iran as perceived through the eyes of a young girl.

It's a great criticism of the world in which Satrapi grew up and lived. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Both have their prejudices and biases, but one is not superior to the other (except for the tyranny... which Satrapi manages to break down and show that it isn't about who is in Power... but about Power as a corruptive agency and the influence that other have on countries).

It's interesting that today I came across an essay by Naomi Wolf (she of "The Beauty Myth") about her perspective of women's sexuality in Middle-Eastern and Muslim countries, which you should read and maybe groan as she speaks with pretension because she's an American in an Muslim nation... but it's good none the less, specifically for that perspective.
Veiled Sexuality by Naomi Wolf
eumelia: (Default)
But they were not.
Which is a shame, because they are so pitiful they don't need to be parodied.

#1 Will the stupidity know no end! Were there a GD who actually smacked His/Her/Its followers upside the head. The whole region from Southern Lebanon to Southern Israel has been experiencing tectonic shifting - earthquakes that is - there was quite a big one on Friday where Mummy and I ran under a door way, it wasn't that hard, but still left my knees a bit wobbly.
Those people who are somewhat detached from reality* are trying to find metaphysical reasons why this is happening in the Holy Land.
Obviously, the gays are causing the earthquakes.
Yup, there's the sounds, rational reasoning I like to find in my leadership (well, obviously not mine-mine, I'm not considered a whole human, being a woman and a queer one to boot).

#2 Ahmadinejad is continuing his paranoid anti-Israel rhetoric. Israel is a germ spreading the vileness of the West in the Middle East. Oh, that's nice, real mature Mahmoud, way to show a fraction of sanity one would imagine a statesman should posses.
Then again he was always rabid. I wonder if he's aware of the fact that by bombing Israel with the A-Bomb, he'd end up murdering a huge amount of his Palestinian brethren... those dictators never do think of that little glitch do they.

Yes, these are serious News articles.
No, I'm not laughing because I'm too busy mocking!

*Not all religious people are detached from reality... only those in government.

Duck Soup

Nov. 25th, 2007 10:31 pm
eumelia: (Default)
Zipi Livni (Israel), Ahmed Queria a.k.a Abu-Alah (Palestine) and Condolleeza Rice (USA) have met this evening (afternoon Annapolis, Maryland time).

Syria has also decided to join the summit.

I cannot tell you how pessimistic I am about this. I get that an actual agreement isn't supposed to come out of this Summit, but from the start, even before the actual meetings began there was brouhaha after brouhaha.

Jewish State, Right of Return, Illegal Settlements in the West Bank, Hamas being naughty naughty terrorists, Iran making stupid statements about how Annapolis is going to be bad for the Palestinians and only intensify the Israeli Occupation - as if Ahmadinejad gave a flying fuck about the Palestinians suffering under Israeli Occupation and Hamas extremism and Fatah corruption.

I know it sounds like I have no hope for anything, but as you all know that's not what I'm about, but this whole thing looks like it's going to be such a farce (hence the title of this post).


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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