eumelia: (ravenclaw)
I know it doesn't make a whole lot of sense as to why I'm worked up about the fact that the Ministry of Truth Education is absolutely failing when it comes to the teaching on any kind thought in students.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My next post is going to be about rape culture. Depressing, I know, but I promise there will be music and movies after that. These are serious things that need to be processed.
eumelia: (master politician)
First, The ministry of truth cut the already minuscule budget for civics studies and has shifted the focus to Jewish studies.

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

For fucking serious.

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

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

Disgusting.

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

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

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

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

Next on the agenda, movies, music and something else entirely... telling would be spoiling.
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
"Israeli academia apparently suffers from 'Palestinomania,' a mild psychological illness whose symptoms include self-hatred, an affinity for Israel's enemies, Jewish anti-Semitism and/or anti-Zionism," Shamalov Berkovich said in the Knesset. "The spread of 'Palestinomania' demands the immediate and painful treatment for all of our sake, and the sooner the better."

From Education minister vows to punish Israeli professors who back academic boycott.

And you Yanks thought your Teabaggers were bad. These are Israel's elected officials talking.

I swear, you don't need political satire to make this shit up.
eumelia: (media lies)
I know it seems like I'm constantly talking about this, but honestly this stuff is scary and so blandly disingenuous that I'm not sure people actually realise the danger of this sort enterprise.

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

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

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


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

Jesus.

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

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

The irony is anvilicious.
eumelia: (Default)
I come from a family of history nuts.

We all adore history, we have different ideas of what history means, but we all love it, learn it and think memory is one of the more important things in life.

I recall the one time I looked my history in the face, when I was 17 and went on the class trip to Poland. I don't think I would have gone without my mother, who insisted, because I seriously hated my peers.
It was an odd time, of false camaraderie and a whole lot of national zeal. I still feel weird thinking about those ten days in Poland, in which the only time we saw something "fun" was in Krakow - where we went shopping in the square and travelled down the salt mines (which is used as a wedding hall, these days... or at least back in 2002).

In Majdanek, which is the concentration-death camp next to Lublin and has a fucking huge ash mound - yeah, seriously, there are reconstructions of the housing blocks, which have been converted into museums. There is a block that has nothing but shoes in it, there's a red high heeled shoe there that I'll never forget.

One of the blocks is an information archive, it has documents, SS uniforms, prisoner uniforms (those stripy "pyjama" things), ID cards for the well known Nazi commanders who did their duty there and a wall with badges.

Badges explaining what each one meant and who wore them.

I had only ever heard of the yellow star of David. When I saw the pink triangle I was shocked. What was a symbol I associated with Gay Pride doing here!?
I read the info and discovered what it meant and why it was reclaimed by gay people.
(I was 17, in a relationship with a boy and was only beginning to understand my own queerness).
I saw the black triangle and saw that it was given to Anti-Socials - which included gypsies, anarchists, the mentally ill and Lesbians.

This confused me.

Surely the Lesbians should be with the pink triangle.

Lesbian women were "Anti-Social", not because they had sex with women, but because they refused to marry and "breed" for the Reich. This I discovered not long afterwards when I realised that my country only counts the 6 million as victims and the rest as incidental - never mind that there are, you know, Jewish queers. So I read up on the other victims of the Holocaust.

Why am I writing this?

Because history continued to rely on the fact that men are more important than women.

As many of you know, Berlin has Holocaust Memorial instillations. A huge Jewish one and across the road from it, a Gay one. It was installed in 2008 to commemorate the gay victims of the Nazi regime. It includes a continued video of two men embracing and kissing. Very sweet.
I remember back when it was installed how happy I was that this piece of history, general and gay, was being recognised and promised myself that when I was in Berlin I'd go (as though I wouldn't any way). It was also stated that every two years the image would be replaced and this year it would be two women embracing and kissing.

Woe.

This, some say, is not historically accurate:
[..]Alexander Zinn, a board member of the foundation that maintains the former Nazi concentration camps near Berlin, said such a move would distort history as there were no known Holocaust victims targeted for being lesbian.

"Historical truth must remain the focus," Zinn told AFP.

He has banded together with other Holocaust experts and fired off a letter of protest to Culture Minister Michael Neumann and Berlin's openly gay mayor, Klaus Wowereit.

Neumann defended the plans as true to the original concept of the memorial in addressing present-day discrimination against lesbians and gays as well as the plight of homosexuals at the hands of the Nazis.

"The option of using a lesbian film motif in the memorial is in no way meant to put on the same level the persecution of homosexual men and women under the Nazi regime," he said in a statement.

Yeah, gay women didn't suffer enough under the Reich.
That's basically what's being said.

I'm not saying that Lesbian women were persecuted in the same way. Obviously, they were not. Mainly because, women's sexuality doesn't exist without the presence of a penis. That's the crux, these "anti-social" women refused to marry, continued to wreak havoc on the ultra-masculine, misogynistic and fetishistic society that had managed to infect Germany during Weimar.

Regardless, Lesbian women were persecuted for being gay, just, as mentioned, not in the same way. To deny this, is to erase an important part of War World 2 history, the history of the Holocaust and the history of queer women, who are erased from history with fervour any way!

Lesbians Locking Lips on the memorial for the persecution of gay people during the Nazi Regime is just as important as gay men doing so. It is different. The outcome may have also been different, but the motivation was not.
How could it be historically inaccurate?

This is what happens when I read the news on Peach eve.
eumelia: (Default)
Fucking Hell:
Only about 60 percent of elementary and junior high schools offer a "life skills" course that includes sex education, and the subject is not taught at all in high schools, according to a Knesset Research Center report. Schools are not required to teach the course.
[...]
Along with sex education, the "life skills" program also includes issues like violence, alcohol, drugs and peer pressure. The elementary schools that teach the program devote one hour weekly to it, while in junior high schools, the subject is taught during homeroom.

But the research center's report noted that sex education is not always part of the "life skills" program, as parents or others sometimes "exert pressure not to deal with certain issues, like sexual identity."

As for high schools, the report states that when sex education is broached, it is often "in response a specific event."

The ministry's sex education unit, according to the report, does not monitor "the extent to which the subject is taught or the type or content of lessons."


I had no idea things were so bad.
I had no idea I was that privileged in my national, public and secular education.

During my twelve years of formal education I had a sex education class twice as a separate class outside the regular curriculum and once as a "special class" when I was doing more advanced biology.
This doesn't include the "special assemblies" we had about AIDS in which we had PWA come and tell us about their lives - one was seriously ill, I remember. Also, the woman was infected by an immigrant from Cameroon with whom she'd had a serious relationship beforehand, the man was infected by a one-night stand in Independence Park (the gay cruising spot), iirc.

You just can't escape it.

I had a sex-ed lesson in 6th grade, in which we were told our bodies were going to change, menstruation, all that blah blah blah, which was given to us in a heterogeneous class (boys and girls) by the school nurse.
In 11th grade by an actual sex-educator who came and explained how sex worked, what a condom is, how a condom works, the Pill, that girls are "allowed to say no", that AIDS can kill you and if you're gay or have anal sex it's more risky.
I basically took what she had to say condoms to heart.
The biology class was a fiasco from start to finish as we went over the biological reproductive system and me, in me being a Rocky Horror going, a virgin where it "counts" - 'cause I hadn't been with a man yet (that only happened after high school), and doing my best not to Out myself to my teacher, was shot down and that harpy asked me "Didn't I think having casual sex was dangerous?"

Yeah.

Memories of sex-ed are a tad shudder inducing, but at least I have them. I learned something - ignored a lot, but if the years of being sexually active, I've managed to avoid STI and pregnancy and I do owe a bunch of that to sex-ed (and my dad, who is a pharmacist and provided me with a lot of information from just being in his store).

Now, I'm discovering that formal sex-ed is taught in only 60% of schools in Israel!

The article also ties the lack of sex-education with the rise in gang-rapes the media has been reporting on. I doubt that, btw. I think the consequences of rape may be a bit more fuzzy - and when I say consequences I mean the fact that STI's are spread and pregnancy can occur - but, the notion that women and girls are there to available for the proclivities of horny boys isn't something that can be countered by two-to-five hours of formal school education that most teens don't give a shit about, anyway.

After all, when I was a teenager, consent was taught as "the right to say No", as though that's the be all and end all of consent. As though other form of coercion weren't just as violent and violating.

I think I need to get into the education system just for that.
I'm just...
This is very scary.
eumelia: (Default)
A-la the famous 300 scream by Gerard Butler, ya know.

Education minister: More combat soldiers needed, is the title of the article, the sub-title is:
"Sa'ar visits military recruit center, promises full cooperation between education system and IDF".

Jesus fucking Christ, are they kidding!?

Because we need the IDF to venture even further into the brain washing tactics of the Israeli Education System.
The system, from kindergarten to high school, is built to prepare us for the fact that we, good Israeli citizens (so long as we're not Palestinian identified, that is) that we will serve loyally in the IDF.

Over the past few years there has been a huge moral panic regarding the "shirkers", those who through means and ways get an exemption from IDF service and usually go on to do some kind of civilian oriented national service which should (though it isn't) be considered equal to military service.
Conciousness objectors who are 18 are rare. That's why they're the ones spoken about more often than not.
The largest section of the (Jewish) population that do not serve in the military are the Yeshivah (Haredi - the people in shtreimels and black suits all year round) Boys who due to religious conviction do not serve, this is the reason Orthodox girls (not Haredi)
Backfire, is putting it mildly.
Demographically, they are also the fastest growing Jewish sector.
I feel the urge to mock and laugh, but that doesn't do much good, because the people vilified by the witch hunt committed upon the "shirkers" are the ones who do not serve either for physical health reasons or mental health reasons.

Bluntly, these are the people that the IDF, the system, rejected. Still, they continue to persecute those deemed "lesser" because serving in the IDF is the way you are "made" into a Good Israeli.
A Good Israeli is a Loyal Soldier, willing to Die for Land and Nation.

Whatever.

The State created loopholes through which people can avoid the draft, legally. Then they get their panties into a twist that people use it.

The IDF is supposed to be a defensive army, obviously it acts as a police force over a civilian population and commits as many war crimes as any other army in the world while it continues to chant: "Most Ethical Army in the World".

During my two years of service I'd never received more than a cursory skim over what constitutes an illegal order or command. I know from friends who were in combat units that they first heard of an illegal order during boot camp like everyone else and never heard those words again.
The skim is in a little pamphlet new draftees get when entering the system, reagrding the behaviour of an IDF soldier.

In the article linked above, Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar says:
"The Education Ministry regards with great significance the issue of encouraging IDF service, increasing recruits' rate and combat recruits' rate," the minister said.
[...]
"The education system welcomes a full collaboration with the IDF. I feel positively regarding the introduction of officers into schools."

Minister Sa'ar also stressed that "some of the parameters of the success of an educational establishment are matriculation eligibility, social values and dropout prevention. Military service is an important parameter. Schools in which dropout rates are low should allow a special effort for raising recruitment rates."

There you have it. Kids from low socio-economic backgrounds should be encouraged to follow a path in which they put their lives in danger for a state that would rather have cannon fodder than invest in the actual neighbourhoods.

Some of those kids may attain actual life skills that will grant them upwards social and economic mobility, but in the context of the Occupation and the destructive economy in which Capital and Capitol are more intertwined than ever, I find this a very discouraging development in what should be a civic establishment and not a pre-military education camp.
eumelia: (bollocks)
I don't understand the concept of political correctness.

I understand the concept of non-prejudicial language.

I understand the concept of respecting other people.

I don't understand why people don't get either of those two concepts and accuse me of being "Politically Correct" as though I'm trying to censor what they say and what they think.

Is it seriously so difficult for people not to say something that is offensive to another person?

And in any event, why is it called Political Correctness when in reality it is basic politeness?

There seems to be this notion that people, as a general rule, do in fact spout whatever they like and are completely filter-less when it comes to language.

My mother, who is a teacher, threw a kid out of her class the other day because he said that there was an "Arab Smell" in the classroom.
I mean, for fuck's sake.
Would you say that my mother was wrong for punishing a child for saying something like that?
And if he had said there was a "Fucking Smell"? (which could happen, Mummy teaches English the language to 14-15 year old kids).
She's probably throw the kid out all the same.
Disrespectful language in a public forum.

Is what she did censorship?

Well you could say that in the hierarchical set-up of a school, the kids really do have no say when it comes to freedom of speech and all that.
So yeah, that's my mother's prerogative to discipline the class room.

But when you're talking with people in the aforementioned public forum.
How does that work then?
I don't really have the prerogative of discipline the masses.
I do think it is everyone's duty, as social people, to be aware of the effect and affect of language on other people's lives.

Is that difficult?

I know that in Israel it is, there is a culture of "telling it straight", "what you see is what you get" and very frank discussion on race (and in some circles sex of various kinds).
The other day I was at my regular falafel place which is run by a family of Mizrahi Jews (specifically of Yemeni heritage) and I was saying that I love the spices they've added to the falafel and [Proprietor] smiled at me and said "Thanks, most people from Africa like the hot stuff".
I laughed because he knows my family is South African and I said "Yeah, well you wouldn't know with the way my family eats... they don't all go for the hot stuff... You know us Europeans"
"Yeah, well you don't count you were born here"
"I guess so" I replied.
"Where's your family originally from?" he asked.
I said we were Lithuanian, Latvian, Polish, generic Eastern-European.
And he said "Yeah, I though you guys were Russian when I first met you".

Only in Israel.

Oy my point drifted away.
Ah yes.
Language.
And how Political Correctness is a myth.
You're either respectful (which isn't synonymous with polite) or you're not.
As a general rule we don't say everything we think right at that moment, it goes through a filter and is arranged to make sense in our mouths, or on a page, or on a website.

As a result, if someone accuses you of "Political Correctness" ask them if they find it difficult to not say "You mouther-fucking bitch cunt!"?.
When you could have easily said "You fucking moron!".
If you're going to insult my intellect, don't make it about my "female brain".
Seems harsh, don't it?
eumelia: (Default)
Not.

How was everyone's first day back at school?
Teachers, I hope the little shits didn't give you too much trouble.
Pupils, I hope those authoritarian fascists didn't give you a hard time.

Me? Oh, no. I'm neither teacher nor pupil.
My school starts in November, which is still a long way off to go.
I still have three papers to write and my last make up exam is on the 25th of September... yes, that's when I'll be done with the Hell that this year has been.
But what do I have to complain about? It's still summer and I even managed to get into a bathing suit this year - I know, shocking.

Here's to a new school year!

And hey, any of you who is near/in Gustav, my thoughts are with you - fuck that government.

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eumelia: (Default)
Eumelia

June 2015

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V and Justice

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

Justice: Good evening, V.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*KABOOM!*

-"V for Vendetta"

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