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: (queer rage)
I've actually not been following up on the News as much these days as I did. More to do with laziness than anything else, because I figure, most of the News is Olds any way.

Actual real News would be one hell of a surprise.

But sometimes Olds just have to be talked about and need to be discussed and I wonder if the UN is good for anything.

It's a long standing tradition for Israelis (and very likely Palestinians, but for different reasons) to consider the UN useless and quite possibly evil.
I've always been on the side of "Yeah, they're useless" and haven't thought much of them, really.
As we say או"ם שמום, roughly translated as UN Shmu-N.

Hence why I'm only commenting on their fuckery two days later!

I can't believe this even came up for debate. No, wait, of course I can. I'm not a naive little ingénue, I know human lives are the last thing on the minds of the UN Ambassadors - their looking out for the interest of their country, not their people!

Wait. What?

Yeah, wrap your head around that one.

In case anyone is still confused, on November 16th 2010, three days ago (it was a Tuesday) the United Nations General Assembly removed a reference to sexual orientation from a resolution on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions - yeah, Queers aren't protected from persecution and arbitrary murder.
Truly, utterly, devastatingly... not surprising all things considered.

The removed reference was originally contained in a non-exhaustive list in the resolution highlighting the many groups of people that are particularly targeted by killings - including persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, persons acting as human rights defenders (such as lawyers, journalists or demonstrators) as well as street children and members of indigenous communities. Mentioning sexual orientation as a basis on which people are targeted for killing highlights a situation in which particular vigilance is required in order for all people to be afforded equal protection.

The amendment removing the reference to sexual orientation was sponsored by Benin on behalf of the African Group in the UN General Assembly and was adopted with 79 votes in favor, 70 against, 17 abstentions and 26 absent.

“This vote is a dangerous and disturbing development,” said Cary Alan Johnson, Executive Director of IGLHRC. “It essentially removes the important recognition of the particular vulnerability faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people - a recognition that is crucial at a time when 76 countries around the world criminalize homosexuality, five consider it a capital crime, and countries like Uganda are considering adding the death penalty to their laws criminalizing homosexuality.”

God, I'm bitter. It really does feel like it's one step forward, two steps back. Or maybe it's just plodding along wearing concrete shoes and begging for water while we try and shove our basic humans rights up a hill.
Yeah, that metaphor ran away there, but it's a really "funny" thing is that this is carte blanche against queers, an already extremely disenfranchised group everywhere when it comes to being victimised by violence against our bodies even if we have many formal rights in place (like in my locale, which really isn't perfect, but so much better than other countries in the area and far flung from here).

[livejournal.com profile] sparkindarkness has a gruesome and probably not even close to comprehensive round up of News links that show that formal rights and the fact that we're coming out earlier (at least in Western Nations) just do not protect us from the real, that which makes us bleed and die, violence.

In case you're not going to press the link above, these are the countries that would like to see Queers murdered: long shit list )

South Africa is in there and this surprises me, immensely, not only for being the land from which my parents immigrated and the fact that I have citizenship there (Christ) but for the fact that, dude, they have same sex marriage. WTF.

The countries that consider us to be human enough to live: less long less shitty )

Those who abstained and/or didn't bother attending the vote: the short list )
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)
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)
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)
Two pieces of News concerning the separation wall:

#1 Israeli Settlement Builders Sued, because the new neighborhoods are being built on usurped. Two Canadian corporate companies are building these neighborhoods, they're called Green Park International and Green Mount International, sister companies and they're registered in Quebec.
The village suing the companies is Bil'in.

I hope you've all heard of the curfew and struggle going on in Ni'ilin regarding the illegality of the wall encroaching and usurping their land as well.

#2 UN criticises West Bank barrier. They've been doing that for a while.
International law... oh, fiddlesticks.

The modern Israeli ethos is to make sure you aren't a פראייר (a chump) and that includes disregarding rules, regulations and laws that just don't suit the agenda.
eumelia: (Default)
There's a cease-fire going on.
Yesterday Hezbollah launched 250 missiles, just to say farewell, to those who don't know that's double the amount the average they've launched in the past.
[livejournal.com profile] hagar_972 and I didn't notice how busy we were until the last hour of our shift when we lost it a little bit, started giggling and annoying people around us (more than usual, that is).
We also had our parting gifts by destroying even more of the decimated Beirut and Zur (Tyre), *sigh*.
Northern Israel and Southern Lebanon are utterly destroyed, yeah, I'm sure all the people moving up country and down country will be delighted to see their rubbled homes and regiments of soldiers "Peacekeeping".

So now Israel will wait inside until there the Lebanese Army and the promised UNIFIL forces enter and the Lebanese government does what it's supposed to do, disarm Hezbollah and get proper sovereignty over it's entire country. Hezbollah having ministers in the Lebanese Parliament doesn't mean they are granted control over a certain part of the country.
While Resolution 1701 is good for Israel on the whole, it doesn't do much to reprimand Hezbollah for all the crap they've pulled, it's a slap on the wrist to the irresponsible Lebanese Government (since it calls to implement the Taif Accords, which should have happened when they were, ya know, agreed upon! Not to mention other Resolutions - 1559 and 1608). So Hezbollah will lay low for a few years, this time a less than six I am sure, while it arms itself again, via Syria and Iran. I'm pretty sure the Russians are a little unhappy about the arms embargo put on Syria and Iran since they like to do business with them, but ya know, if you're going to be doing business with shady countries you've got to make sure your ass is covered and Russia has a large ass.

I'm still in reserve, because, well, Hezbollah doesn't have the best track record with abiding with diplomatic agreements and since when does Israel promptly do what it should, I mean it took us nearly thirty years to get out of Gaza and twenty to get out of Lebanon (the first time). So both sides are going to be butting heads over this.
Then again, what else is new?

Until Hagar and I get regular service replacements we'll be staying, which should be a week.
If it's more... I do believe heads will roll, since Hagar and I will behead them from the relevant bodies.

Despite my cynicism, this I hope for:

"וכתתו חרבותם לאתים וחניתותיהם למזמרות לא ישא גוי אל גוי חרב ולא-ילמדו עוד מלחמה"

ישעיה, פרק ב', פסוק ד'

"And they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up swords against nation, neither shall they learn war any more"

Isaiah chapter 2, verse 4


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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