Schrödinger’s Arab

13 Mar

I never really cared whom I date or sleep with, as long as he’s hot, clean, and hung. Well, so I do care. I will also admit I have a type. Somewhat darker skin, dark hair, big eyes, lush lashes… You get the picture.

So I met a lot of Middle Eastern guys not all of whom are Jewish Israelis. I mean to say, I dated a lot of Arabs, and this is where Jewish rightwingers usually start clamouring that I should be raped and murdered for being the “whore of terrorists” – or assimilating at all. I find this especially ironic coming from Jews, but let’s not. I’m not even Jewish, I just pass as such because I’m a white-passing Israeli. I only pass as white because of my Protestant-but-Atheist German mother. My father, a brown man from two Iraqi parents, only shines through in my sarcasm and penchant for writing. My Mum’s no longer official religion also saw me registered as Christian in Israel, because yeah, they kinda register your religious affiliation on your ID card, or they did, so now they only register it in your file. “Ethiopian” also tends to get registered, while “Russian” or “american” sure doesn’t. But this type of racism is not what I want to talk about right now. Let’s just say, it’s rampant.

Schroedinger’s Arab – be a terrorist, don’t be a terrorist, but please confirm our bias and prove us wrong at the same time.

So I’m basically as Christian as the Arab guy I had an unlucky crush on. I’m as Christian as the other Arab guy this guy unwittingly introduced me to, or at least he implied he was Christian once. Since that Arab guy is also a celebrity, I befriended some fans of his, also Christian Arabs. We ended up going to a festival in Jordan together, thrown and main-gigged by said celebrity, and we all had a good time. Upon re-entry to Israel, however, nerves grew raw. The girls passed through security without a problem, and when I think back, it’s probably because none of them seem “typically Arab”. Y’know, hijab and explosive vest, all that. Pierced, tattooed, dreadlocks, torn jeans, short hair, rockabilly, not how you imagine radicals. But we waited what felt like a half hour for the boys. I say boys, because the oldest was 19, I think. When it dawned on me what was happening, I wanted to go in and exploit my “white Jew” privilege to vouch for them, when they came out, tired and scowling. One said, “I don’t wanna talk about it”, because he was pissed past talking. You could see it took him quite a bit of restraint to not burst into a raging fit. He was a 17-year-old geek whose penchant for violence was limited to the same super hero and anime franchises I liked. But after he had his backpack searched more thoroughly than mine when we met up a year later, I was sure: if this guy was to ever pick up a gun and shoot into a crowd, blame Israel’s anti-Arab mentality according to which he can either be a terrorist or garbage, or both. Not someone to be trusted, not someone to dedicate the front page to were he to join and die in the army. Not someone who has any reason to value us, because we don’t value him. Individually, some of us might, I do, but the white Jewish collective? They’ll leave him for dead. He will always be expected to prove that he’s better than other Arabs, while he will also always be expected to confirm that Arabs are “human animals” as they’re often called. Schroedinger’s Arab – be a terrorist, don’t be a terrorist, but please confirm our bias and prove us wrong at the same time.

Palestinian terrorists follow Hamas because while Israel is robbing them of reasons to live, Hamas, at least, is giving them a reason to die.

Having to work twice as hard to get half as much is what brings me to my ex, who’s Muslim, not that he cares, but “Israel’s dominant demographic” very much does. While he gobbles down pork chops and drives drunk like the raging student and rebellious brother of too many sisters that he is, the army makes damned sure not to encourage him to enlist and abuse the weapon he’s handed. He could, but he absolutely doesn’t have to. Ethical issues of Arabs recruited to shoot Arabs on behalf of Jews aside, (dis)trust is obviously a factor.
And society makes damned sure not to encourage him to take up too much space in general, because no matter what kind of helpful, contributing, life-saving career he envisions, what a loving soul we all know he is, he’ll always be less-than. A few years ago, this racism at least energized him, even if through anger. He said, “The next person who gives me shit for being Arab, I’m gonna punch him.” I wanted to say, “Don’t, because you’ll be trayvoned*,” but didn’t want to make him feel even more hopeless. And as we were talking about an ongoing war between Israel and Gaza, he said something about going there to get himself killed – as food for thought for the fighting parties. Like, right, nobody is going to care. That’s the sad thing. A Jewish guy getting killed in the cross fire, sure, that’ll make headlines and sit Israelis down for a bit, but only to get up and hate Arabs some more, because obviously, Arabs are the only ones to blame for the conflict. If you ask a zionist. But an Arab? Israel is gonna laugh, because that’s one Arab who kindly got himself killed to make room for another Jewish immigrant. I didn’t share that bit of insight with him either, because why rub it in that he’s garbage in the eyes of Israel’s rule-making majority, the rightwing Jews? He nailed it when he said that Palestinian terrorists follow Hamas because while Israel is robbing them of reasons to live, Hamas, at least, is giving them a reason to die. I mean, they got universities in Gaza, but where are you going to take your degree? Nowhere, because you’re not getting out. And then, you get bombed.
And when I recently reminisced out loud about my short time with him, remembering how he complained I was going to die before him, and I replied “Keep talking that way and you’ll die before me”, he soberly answered that life and death have become all the same to him. Because while he still wants to find his raison d’être in charity and philantropy, he, too, feels robbed of reasons to live by this society. All the success and wealth he could achieve, and he would still feel like his life has no point, because we as a nation begrudge him that point.

A Jew murders his girlfriend, nobody bats an eye. An Arab guy dances during Memorial Day’s siren? “Fire him, kill him, rape his mother, bomb all those fucking terrorists!”

As a person who passes for both white and Jewish, I only know part of his struggle. I know the hate, discrimination, and dismissal I feel for being a fat female. However, while fatphobia is cruel and has a strong impact on its victims, fat people are not cooped up in shitholes that get bombed, bulldozed, or have their water cut off on a regular basis. My Arab friends may not live in the territories, but their people do. And all Arabs are the same to those oppressing these Palestinians, anyway. An Israeli Arab peds surgeon’s welcome in this country is as fickle as that of a Ramallah stabber. If said stabber snaps and stabs, the surgeon won’t be safe from the hatred and incitement that ensues. Guilt by association. A Jew murders his girlfriend, nobody bats an eye. An Arab guy dances during Memorial Day’s siren? “Fire him, kill him, rape his mother, bomb all those fucking terrorists!”

This isn’t about me. But it is. I’m part of Israel’s society, and I’m with the lucky part. The only problem I share with Arabs, is being cussed out for dating them. Since “dating” usually means “casual sex behind closed doors with no public hand-holding”, I can easily stay safe by not talking about it. But I have friends who live here knowing they are fair game. No, you can’t walk up and shoot Arabs as you please, but wait a second, yeah, you kinda can. I am afraid that these Arab people, especially young men, are Israel’s Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Hell, american cops don’t even have the homes of their black victims’ families bulldozed. On paper, Arabs have all the same rights as Jews. In practice, the collective bias wants to dismiss a victimized Arab’s complaint, and lock up any Arab upon accusation, no trial, no investigation. Schroedinger’s Arab – victim or perp, and somehow, both at the same time: they will call you a terrorist while burning you alive – you’re in a dark little box and nobody cares that you’re asphixiating in there while expected to do the expected and yet defy it.

And I’m not saying Arabs can’t make a nice life for themselves. But that doesn’t mitigate the fact that they live in a society that sneers at them and only expects the worst from, and wishes the worst upon them. How do you raise a happy, peaceful child in such miasma? How is this helping peace? How is it not obvious that most Arab violence against Israeli Jews can be traced back to said Arabs being treated like vermin? Is it reasonable to expect people to respond with acquiescence and submission when they get bulldozed, bombed, and kept from thriving? Walled in, starved, cut off from water, power, and economy? I will never defend acts of terror, but I am smart enough to see what prompts them, and it’s us. Hamas’ rhetoric of hate wouldn’t work if they didn’t have us proving them right over and over and over.

“All Arab Areas Access Citizenship” is a myth.

And to make this about me, because I like making things about me: I don’t know how to help. I have friends hurt to a point of numbness by this racism, and I can’t do much to help. We barely ever even meet. I want to tell them to leave the country for better places, but that’s easy for me to say – I have dual citizenship and am indeed leaving Israel, in part because I don’t want to be a part of this anymore. Arabs? Told by nutwing zionists to “go back to Jordan”, except, “All Arab Areas Access Citizenship” is a myth. So I’ll be leaving soon, a country that was never out to hurt me, leaving my friends behind to get angrier – or number – with every bulldozing and every bombing and every Palestinian kid with scissors getting shot dead because a trained soldier with an M16 “feared for his life”.

See, this is how you radicalize people. Nobody wants to be hated for no reason, so if all attempts at being accepted, fail… you give those haters a reason.

*killed with no repercussions for the killer, because his ethnicity makes it easy for the law to assume he asked for it

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My vagina is mine to sell.

27 Aug

Isn’t it very anti-feminist to encourage free female promiscuity, but discourage women from gaining profit from it? Slut walks for free female sexuality are cool – they are in my book – but all the so-called feminists come rushing out screeching that you’re raping yourself when you bill your partner for the same damn thing plus, perhaps, prioritizing his desires as a customer to the degree you are comfortable with. But isn’t accommodating a partner to the extent of your comfort, the basis for any consensual fuck?

What prompted this? Well, I just found an image pop up on my newsfeed from an anti-rape apologist page. The image read:

“Sex doesn’t sell. Erosion of female self-esteem does. The feeling of superiority over women does. Turning women into things to be studied, scrutinized, judged, and then calling it ‘sex’, does. Objectification sells.”

Uh, well, no, I disagree as I disagree with “Dogs bark” – some do indeed, and some do so much that they need a good gob smack. Fuck, I hate noisy dogs. But many also do not. My dogs do not bark unless there is someone at the door or the dog who attacked us repeatedly, walks by the house. The above is a blanket statement, a gross generalization, and those never benefit anyone.

First of all, this is made exclusively about female sex appeal. Then why do male escorts, porn actors, and strippers make good money, too? And are they not objectified? And is there a globally valid and proven difference in how a man values his sexuality as opposed to a woman? Do fuck-happy cishet men always overstate their importance, while fuck-happy cishet females always meekly bow to male desire? Cishet males are just the biggest market for the sex industry because they’re the loudest about their desires. I bet if women weren’t as meek about our desires, we would have more porn produced to our taste, because it’s all about money, and money is where there is demand. Yes, our sexuality is judged more harshly than cishet males’, but no, in the West, we are not stopped from living it. Our sexuality is treated unfairly, but it is still ours to practice, and many things we do sexually, are of our own desire.
Back to objectification of women and men… Let’s be honest here, do all women really get wet for his personality, never for the nice ass? “Sex sells” when I replay Game of Thrones episodes for the scenes of Ser Loras and whoever he had in bed (other MEN). Sex sells when I watch any kind of porn. Hell, I objectify men all the time. I have half a dozen numbers in my phone whose messages I ignore unless I want them over for Netflix & Chill. I won’t even answer when they’re worried about me if I’m not currently falling apart with lust. I remember their parts better than their faces, and I get annoyed when their lips are moving rather than their hips. First thing I care about at a new workplace, is if the men are worth flirting with, and if they’re not, I find myself pissed at having to work at all. I might actually have been objectified by males in my entourage less than the other way around.
The only difference is that as women, we have not established the social and physical power to enforce our views of men and shape sex culture accordingly. But are we any more “deep” about how we view men, than vice-versa? PLEASE! The power dynamic is the only thing that makes female objectification more powerful and damaging than male objectification, but it does NOT define us as women, and our self-esteem does NOT depend on whether or not we willingly partake in objectification in order to get our libido or wallet satiated. I actually hold myself in too high esteem as to willingly work 48 hours of a boring job for minimum wage when I can work 10 hours for as much as others earn in a month and get laid in the process. And I mean, is selling your body for physical labour such as scrubbing toilets or building walls, not objectification? Simply of the non-sexual kind? We are all whores, we are all exploited, and we are all objectified, as long as our money depends on someone else’s satisfaction, be it with our typing skills or paving work, or sex. Making sex a special case, is only right on the condition that it be applied exclusively to those individuals who feel that way. Objectively speaking, there is no valid reason why everyone of us would feel the same. I get to view my cunt as a toy, as a temple, or as a golden goose. It is my cunt. And I am no victim if I happen to enjoy a man enjoying himself more than a man making a joke of himself trying way too hard to give me an orgasm.
 
 
And making the commodification of sex about flaws of a woman’s character (low self-esteem etc.) is also unfair and degrades women more than any porn flick they willingly signed up for, because it denies us agency. I can say Nope to a degrading script, I can’t say Nope to reading that I have low self-esteem for being commercially promiscuous. The statement is basically slut-shaming because it links character flaws to sex. But what about our hands when we’re dish washers at restaurants, or our feet when we deliver mail? But yet, there’s a distinction between that and our genitalia, and we’re all supposed to feel the same about it? Isn’t that an oppressive notion? Except victims of crime, we can choose whether or not to work in the sex industry, but we can’t choose what is said about us, and this pic quoted above says things many of us rightly take offense in. This statement turns all women who commodify sex, into a commodity, into victims with no say in their sexuality. It dictates an aspect of our sexuality on our behalf by making blanket assumptions about our self-image vs. our sexual behaviour – and to that, I say fuck you. We have a say. This isn’t an issue of self-esteem, it doesn’t need to be an issue bigger than what to order at Starbuck’s, depending on the individual’s attitude. To some women, sex is sacred, to some women, any sex not prioritizing the female pleasure is rape, and to some women, sex is a sport, a hobby, or a currency – and none of that has to have anything to do with our self-esteem, and none of it necessarily determines our roles as victims or agents.
 
Yes, objectification both exists and sells, and yes, we are helplessly objectified and sexualized because we cannot dictate how someone else sees us, but as long as no action is imposed on us, we are still the bosses of what we do with our sexuality or how to deal with objectification, consequences notwithstanding.
The statement could be wonderfully correct if it weren’t presumed dependant on low self-esteem and exclusive victimization of women. As yes, sex and objectification can overlap and sell. But in reality, there are confident, proud women who happily commodify their sexuality, and they should not be demeaned into victim roles by blanket statements such as this. Not all women who respect themselves consider sex something sacred. Personally, I consider it a sport, and I feel stupid every time I play without getting paid when I could, even though I enjoy it. I’m basically just another athlete who sucks at marketing, the only reason I’m not going pro.
 
“Sex sells” only inherently victimizes women if the assumption is true that all women and their sexuality is something they have no say over, and is linked in one way only to self-esteem: the more liberal and accommodating the sexuality, the lower the self-esteem. But many of us do willingly sign up for sex work, do willingly indulge in promiscuity, do willingly submit to male desires because it happens to turn us on to please, we do not all throw our sexuality around just because we feel we owe it to the patriarchy. Some of us do because it’s fun or good money, and we have no problem with it. Declaring us victims through blanket statements just because the statements are true in some or even many cases, is inherently violent.
 
Isn’t it basically very anti-feminist to encourage free female promiscuity, but discourage women from gaining profit from it? Liberating female sexuality includes losing the assumption that something has to be wrong with us (such as low self-esteem) or that we are victims (the opposite of people with agency and authority) for us to commodify our vaginas the way other people commodify their feet to toss news papers over fences. Liberating female sexuality means accepting and supporting that some women enjoy themselves in the sex industry and act of their own accord.
Feminism means to shout “Yay for prudes” as loudly as “Yay for whores”. It means to let us be individual about our bodies and sex, not collective.

Open Letter to George and Brad Takei

23 Apr

Dear George, dear Brad.

TL;DR: insulting or otherwise being an ass to people who haven’t wronged you, is wrong. I am not defending assholes. However, the internet, including the Takeis, tends to respond way out of proportion, causing more harm to the offender than they would possibly deserve for a fuck-up the makings of which are hardly explored. People are judged too quickly and too harshly. Nobody asks if the victim in the reported incident had previously antagonized the perp, or if the perp may be out of control due to mental illness. Or whatever. There are greater wrongs to be tackled.

Now on to the more elaborate version.

I have never seen George on the screen. I started following who was a complete tranger to me, after having seen his “You are a douchebag” video on Youtube. While I do think it is okay in some cases to wish death upon a person – bullies, rapists, murderers and other life destroyers come to mind – I agreed with the point pertaining to the specific case.

I agree with a lot of what the two of you post in terms of political and social content. I used to share lots of it for I agreed with its relevance. And when your content wasn’t sociopolitically relevant, it was at least entertaining.

But these days? I’ve unfollowed you, and while I’m sure you don’t care, I hope you’ll read and think about my reasons. First off, I am one of many who have watched both of your pages slither down the lo-brow slide of clickbait over the years. Are you being paid to post articles the title of which promises a face-hugger while the content is about lice? Lists of mildly entertaining facts or testimonies? You may not create the bombastic titles of the content you share, but you have probably reviewed the content – did you sincerely find it as interesting as the title made it sound? I doubt it.

But way worse than clickbait, is your recent tendency towards sharing name-and-shame articles. Oh, someone looked at this guy’s child the wrong way? A waitress didn’t get a tip? A possibly mentally ill person had an embarrassing meltdown? Quick, Team Takei! Share it for the world to see, because you are the Takeis with a following of millions who will share not one, but two peoples’ bad day (victim and perp), with millions more! People make mistakes, everyone has a dark side – and Team Takei lies in wait to expose the ONE time a person fucks up to make sure that person’s name will never recover. Who’s gonna hire you after the millions of times Team Takei + Followers have shared that one time you got angry, perhaps rightly so, perhaps because you’re going through a rough patch and can’t cope, or perhaps because you were raised wrong, and “Faggot” left your lips? And who cares if a person having a curse fest and losing their shit is mentally ill and suffering immensely from their own lack of control – share the fuck out of their mishap and make sure to make them look like the bad guy!
You don’t question why a person fucks up. You just happily copypaste the link to the shaming article – when have peoples’ bad moments even become worthy of writing down??? – and add a witty pun for all to tear apart.
Yes, people are responsible for their own behaviour. But first of all, some people legitimately cannot control the latter. You wouldn’t shame an incontinent person pissing on a bus seat, so why not question “crazy” behaviour before judging the person? Second, everyone has bad days. Depending on circumstances, the most wonderful person can slip and make a horrible impression – and that’s what goes online to represent all of that person, their life, their character? What happened to forgiveness? Most of those shaming articles are about the victim being emotionally hurt to a degree it takes little more than a day to recover from. No suicidal thoughts, no loss of job or reputation. Petty offenses of sensitivities, even if with a dash of bigrotry, are not the next Holocaust. There is a world of difference between calling a lesbian a dyke and walking away, and beating her up while calling her a dyke. I used to be called names for being fat, where are my social justice warriors? Oh wait, that’s right, hurtful words aren’t exactly newsworthy.

Listen. I recently got severely annoyed with an usher at the movies. I knew the guy and we were NOT friendly, and he was being difficult on purpose while in the wrong. So at some point, I said, “Ugh, drop dead” (note: in my country, this degree of rudeness is no big deal) and walked past him. He lost it. He started kicking my bag all over the place, and when I yelled at him “WTF are you doing, asshole?!” he also physically assaulted me. If his fists didn’t connect, it was only because three colleagues were dragging him away. They proceeded to lie to the manager that I’d assaulted him first, and I was removed from the theatre.
My boyfriend had been with me. And then he dumped me. Because just as you and the articles you share, he did not ask why it happened, if I may be going through a bad time, feel ill, deal with fears, KNOW THE PERSON I CLASHED WITH, you know, things severely affecting my mood so I behave in a way you wouldn’t know me to. He only saw it happen and judged me an out-of-control monster. No questions asked. Because a person I was on bad terms with, tried my patience I had none of on that day of PMS, broken utilities in my apartment (had to travel two hours to shour every day and couldn’t clean a house full of pets), and 2 special needs foster puppies chewing up my already raw nerves.
Your name-and-shame articles might as well be about me. There would be no mention of all the good things I’m doing, all the hard things I’m dealing with, just this one stupid thing I did out of character. They world would be laughing at me, sharing my face, and obviously adding mean comments about my weight, and you’d be enabling them and feel all good about yourself.

Because ruining a person’s reputation forever is totally appropriate punishment (and totally yours to bestow) for a rude comment.

Because of one bad day, after having had nothing but good times those articles would never mention, where I donated what little money I have to refugees, rescued puppies and kittens, been a good girlfriend, lunged at thugs harassing a Muslim woman, protected sex workers from rapists for puny tips if that, gave blood and made care packages during times of war, played bodyguard to scared Palestinian children wanting to play safely outside, and helped out newbies at a shop I was illegally fired from in my spare time. But what does the world judge me for? What do you name and shame me for? One bad day you don’t ask the makings of. It never occurs to you that a person insulting someone else may have had previous beef with them, eh? People just insult each other outta the blue all the time, right?
That day was among the worst days of my life because a lot of bad things piling up in it, a lot of stress, bending over backwards to help everyone while struggling to take care of myself, eventually saw me lacking the patience to smile at a vindictive acquaintance. You would share something like “Crazy fat woman tells underpaid usher to die while enjoying her privilege to see movies, gets dumped as Karma marches in”.

It’s not because these days everyone has a voice, that everyone should be screaming at the top of their lungs about everything that left an impression that day. People are flawed and will be not-nice. Some people are mentally ill or non-neurotypical and cannot help it. Some people come from a long series of misfortune and pain and have no patience left in them on that one stupid moment someone happens to be bored enough to video them. And some people need to learn – in a way their lesson has worth, ie. their lives not being ruined by social media quite yet.
You have a Smartphone, so you’re a reporter. On Diply. Distractify. Whatever these platforms are called. It sucks not to tip a waitress – but on the other hand, in many cultures tipping is considered a reward for exceptional service, not for just doing your job. That’s what your salary is for, however low. Am I ignorant? No. I make $5 an hour, 6 days a week, if I find work at all. Your kid is differently abled. That sucks. But that doesn’t mean you need to mobilize the online army to destroy everyone who smirked at him. You’re transgender? Cool, that doesn’t mean your fashion choices are any more immune to commentary than are a cisgender person’s.
You know how blunt people in Israel are? I’m being called a “whore of the Arabs” all the time for not limiting my sex life to Jewish encounters. Comments on my weight. Demands of how I should look and act in terms of being a woman. Comments on my looks beyond weight, judging me for being 33 and childless/single, and oh the abuse I get for being an anti-occupation leftists, and oh the abuse I get for being a native Israeli and hence an inherent murderer of Palestinian children. Are you seeing me bitch and whine on Diply while a bus ride from my home, people are being bombed? OMG someone called me a fatty, OMG someone said my special needs dog should be put down, SO WHAT I just retaliate with an even nastier comment, and that is the end of it. MOVE THE FUCK ON.
You are not victims of great injustices deserving millions be sicced like hounds upon the person who has committed a minor offense against you. Someone calls you a faggot? Call him a subhuman piece of trash, case closed, why should people get away with cussing each other out, including fat people (we’re fair game, after all), but the LGBTQ and differently abled are exempt? Your parenting was commented on? Well, find their sore spot, poke it, and move on! Someone didn’t like how you looked in that godawful dress? BOOHOO, YOU LIKE IT – ISN’T THAT GOOD ENOUGH!?!?!?!
Enough with the “articles” on social media asking for shares and shaming the culprit. While y’all bitching about these minor human fuck-ups, you could volunteer with the elderly, with special needs children, or at the local pet shelter. Your holier-than-thou asses could drop buying game credit or booze or LootCrate for a day and donate that to feed the needy. But no, there y’all are, playing victim of great cruelty for being called a fatty, a fag, or a retard, for having your dress or your parenting criticized or because someone didn’t tip you, and screaming for people to avenge you. People are bullied into suicide, people are raped, made homeless by greed and petty vindictiveness, neglected by the health system, murdered, disenfranchized, minorities are oppressed, and you waste your time and anger on “Someone told my son he couldn’t wear a tiara, so here is me blubbering fake tears at my front camera about what a great dad I am for telling them he can, now make sure that person gets fired and be unable to feed their children”.

The last part, seriously, think about it. Naming and shaming people over things that are, if we’re honest, minor, can get them unemployed. Unemployment is devastating – was their offense? Really? Does their life need to be ruined, their family broken up, because of one fuck-up that had no such effect by a long shot?

Seriously, you have followings of millions. Meaning you have reach. Influence. Power. And you are using it to hurt people for their minor, flawed-human fuck-ups. The world would be an amazing place would you use your reach and influence to spread topics of relevance, like the refugee crisis, needless deaths in Africa because nobody donates, the trophy hunting industry making our lions disappear, pollution that is destroying our planet, or true oppression of minorities such as the LGBTQ and not “OMG ppl laughed at him 4 wearing a dress, SHARE SHARE SHARE!”.
But, well, here you are, sharing posts that shame people out of their jobs and into potential homelessness/losing custody/suicide because they had a bad day and could have just been given the trust to apologize or at least feel bad as they would have before the internet. Call-out culture is getting out of control and targeting the weak because the big ones are scary – and you are enabling it.

Please think about that. Sincerely.

Open Letter to the Palestinians

27 Mar

Dear Palestinians,

please cut it out? And I don’t mean the beating heart of another zionist. I understand your anger, I agree you are right to be angry, and the extent that I am capable of, even share it. What the Israeli government – my government – has been doing to you since the foundation of the state, is a disgrace and an atrocity, from the razing of houses to the shooting of children.

But for fuck’s sake. You will never free Palestine or end the occupation by stabbing, car-ramming, shooting, bombing, or otherwise attacking Israelis. Israel will always be stronger; you will never have our military power. And I understand that beyond logical motivations, there is the urge to continue a historical resistance, though futile, just to demonstrate your defiance and hatred of the situation. That, too, I understand. Only dead fish swim with the current.

But for fuck’s sake. You are helping the zionist agenda. Yes, you are helping the Israeli government oppress, rob, and kill you. Every time you attack an Israeli, my government says, “Look world, this is why we have to oppress them! This is why we have to take and control their land! This is why we bulldoze their homes! This is why we have to shoot them at the slightest suspicion of a butter knife in their pocket! Because they keep attacking us!”
You are doing my government a great favour by perpetually attacking us. You are justifying being treated like animals by behaving like animals. You think a prison is going to release a convict if and because he beats up the guards every time he’s let out into the cafeteria? No. This prolongs his sentence.

And Allah’s will? Seriously? Allah, the Gracious, wants you to walk into your death, break your family’s hearts, just so the zionists have an excuse to make your family homeless and abuse your people some more? Your struggle isn’t the only thing historical here. Your people, the Palestinians, being abused more every time one of you attacks an Israeli, is also a historical event that repeats itself without failure.

Every attack from you against us, makes your situation worse. I’m not telling you to love us. You’re right to hate us (well, not me, I’m nice, I give great head). I hate the government and its executioners, too. Hate us till the cows come home. We have not given you a reason not to. But for fuck’s sake, please internalize that your “armed resistance” is only making your situation worse. Yeah, we mourn our losses… But every single time, you get a disproportionately worse response, don’t you?

For fuck’s sake, cut it out. It’s stupid, pointless, and only moves you farther away from your goals. We will never lose to you, and my government will never leave you alone if you keep giving it excuses to abuse you. Stop this shit. I want both our people to live in peace, even if we can’t stand each other’s smell. But my government wants you to continue attacking us, because you are helping it abuse you.

Don’t do the zionists that favor.

Sincerely,
an Israeli

Fat Lives Matter

1 Dec

Except, those 2 statements are ignorant and factually incorrect. When society tolerates large parts of itself plus the media shaming, hazing, discriminating against, and ridiculing overweight people, that society is hardly any more advanced than one that arrests women for not covering their hair. Fat people, women especially, are being terrorized all their lives and smugly expected to hate themselves. Sometimes this terrorism is thinly veiled in “health concerns” not shown in similar harassing fashions to smokers and other way less healthy people, meaning it’s really just a fib as nobody can possibly be sincerely concerned with a stranger’s weight-related health if not with a smoker’s or an alcoholic’s – plus, concern isn’t voiced by ridicule and unsolicited, demoralizing commentary.
Unlike Iranian women who uncover their hair, fat women in the West may not be legally prosecuted or punished, but they are beaten and bullied as children, and shamed and ridiculed as adults, if not personally, then by blanket fat hate, and little is done about it other than victim-blaming: “So just stop being fat” or, while kinda hard to convince an impressionable child it’s possible to be lovable when everyone is violently hating you, “Nobody ever gonna love you if you don’t love yourself”, which is nonsense, because you can love yourself all you want and still be brutalized and no child sets out hating herself – self-hate is conditioned, not inherent. I don’t know of any fat girl/child who hated herself for being fat before getting repeatedly and meticulously bullied for it. Plus, me hating myself entitles no one else to attack me in any form or fashion.

Fat hate, and (mostly women’s) fear of fatness, is a huge contributing factor to body image issues, eating disorders, and depression leading to suicide. But since the hate continues and is tolerated in school, in professional settings, while shopping, pretty much everywhere and accepted as a thing of daily life, there isn’t much a fat person can do other than suffer to lose weight in order to stop suffering from being dehumanized by society (and usually failing, while not owing anyone thinness to begin with and being an equal, worthy human being at 500 lbs as much as at 80). And failing that, many kill themselves, and nothing changes, meaning society accepts it. Just look at the internet’s response to suicides. Pretty thin girl: poor thing, so young, so pretty, why? Fat person? Lots of victim blaming and posthumous belittling and diminishing the cruelty the person suffered leading up to the suicide. Shouldn’t have been so fat then. Fatty got their giant butt hurt. If the fat person’s suicide gets any attention at all.

Hand these cards to people of color, disabled people, anorexic or mentally ill people, the world would be up in arms. But since it’s “just” fat people who have no right to respect and dignity, as confirmed by entertainment media who mostly cast us as a source of comic relief or villainy, we’ll just have to torture ourselves to lose weight in order to be treated like equal human beings, right?

#FatLivesMatter
Because obviously society is fine with us being bullied into suicide – which is a thing, which happens. A lot. Face it. Fight it.

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-01/women-body-shamed-on-london-tube-by-overweight-haters-ltd/6989574

How old are you? Five?

15 Nov

You know, I need to make one thing very clear: I do not hate Israel. I hate my government for how it treats the Palestinians and then wonders why there is no peace. The approach of “Let’s fuck their shit up, that’ll make’em stop being mean to us” is simply… what can I say… Well. And I hate my government for how it puts Israelis in harm’s way, and on the few days it doesn’t, simply neglects our well-being.
However, I do not hate Israel as a country, or Israelis as a people.

But they, we, can be unbelievable douchebags. 130 people are dead. People who lived in a country that, unlike Israel and the usa, manages to stay out of war and conflict for the most part. Cowards? I prefer calling it intelligence. As Mufasa said – “I’m only brave when I have to be”, and France is one of those smart countries that don’t provoke or aggravate situations where they “have to be”. Take notes, tantrum nations.
Now a lot of people are changing their Facebook profile pictures to the French flag. Personally, I do not participate. I have said my share of condemnation for the attacks, and I feel shaken and saddened for those poor people. However, I am done waving flags around – any flag. Flags represent places with borders and borders represent divisiveness.
To me, one human life is not worth less than another as long as neither has done horrible things to hurt another human life. An innocent Frenchman, to me, is no less precious than an innocent Jew or Palestinian, or Pygmy. Beirut has been torn apart just before Paris. Syria is being ripped to bloody shreds 24/7, and a Kenyan university was slaughtered in April and there were no hashtags…
I can’t put up a flag for every country or its people under attack or else that’d be my only activity day in, day out. And I will not make a selection what flag to display in solidarity, because then I would imply that the victims of one nationality are more deserving of my tears, than another. So, no flags from me. They are all in my heart and I have no need to wear my views on my picture, just as I don’t style myself to fit the scene of my preferred genre of music, and just as I don’t wear a cross around my neck while, though not observant, Jesus and the Church have played a role in my upbringing. It’s all in my heart and in my words – and that is enough.

Now, the disgrace is as follows. Israeli Jews are indeed frequent victims of terrorism. For which I blame my government just as much as the Palestinian radicals committing or encouraging the crimes. I feel for those victims who were not settlers hacking down Palestinian property and who were not soldiers beating up 12-year-old Arab boys. As I said, I hurt for all victims of violence – be it terror, rape, or school bullying. A Jewish victim of Palestinian terror is no more tragic and no more dead, than a girl shot by her jealous ex.
But when it comes to terror and hate crime? you’re a Jew! You know your peoples’ history! You/they have been persecuted, slaughtered, boykotted, hated. Where is your compassion now when it happens to someone else? This is the atrocity that puts Israel in the position and the bad light it is in today – too many nationalist Jews have learned the wrong lessons from the Holocaust. While Germany has turned 180° and compassionately, at some risk indeed, receives people running for their lives from the slaughter the Jews once tried to run from and found no country to rescue them, today’s Israeli Jewish nationalist screams for the borders to be closed to the Sudanese who get bombed daily. They act with dismay when Israeli soldiers – the ones they love to parade around as ever so compassionate – show that compassion by treating wounded Syrian civilians and combatants. Many of today’s Israeli nationalist Jews want people in situations similar to that of Europe’s Jews in the 40s, to be denied shelter just as Jews were denied shelter then, but continue to demand of gentiles to protect Jews, while not caring too much about gentiles in duress themselves, it seems.
It’s truly hilarious. They screech at the world how inclusive, welcoming, compassionate, diverse, tolerant, and humane Israel is, but when that compassion shows for anyone other than Jews… you throw a fucking tantrum because you feel the compassion isn’t mutual.

Because, and you’re right, the world doesn’t do a whole lot of #PrayforIsrael or Israeli flag profile pictures. There is an injustice there. But the injustice is mutual, don’t you think? Oh, because they’re being unfair, so you must be, too? Well, that’s also a mutual philosophy. And it’s shit. You can’t parade yourself around as a moral person representing God’s Chosen People (TM) and at the same time, deny a show of compassion to victims of violence just because you haven’t seen much coming your way. Compassion isn’t a currency, it’s a manifest of humanity, you assholes, and a requirement for godliness last time I checked.
If you were to get over your self/nation-centered self-pity, you might find the world’s attitude towards the Israeli people changing. The first step is up to you; nobody can make Israel look good but Israel itself.

The other thing is, the media coverage and pity you demand is simply not in proportion to our actual losses to Palestinian terror. I’m pretty sure, were 129 Israelis to die in one attack, that things would look much different. But most attacks claim about as many lives as any other murder – muggings, armed robberies, home invasions, school shootings, crimes of passion… I’m sorry? Why would two Jewish victims of a Palestinian terorrist be worth millions of solidarity pics and hashtags on social media and headlines in all international papers, if the same attention would never be given to a domestic murder-suicide with the same number of dead? You’re expecting special treatment: for every single Jewish victim you want to see a wave of outrage, while the media simply don’t usually do “One person got murdered today, somewhere in the world”, if the murder isn’t too unusual in nature. Why should they for Jewish victims of terror, what’s so special about that? It being a regular thing? Oh, and school shootings and domestic violence and suicides aren’t? Individual corpses, much less non-lethal stabbings, don’t make headlines, Jew or no Jew, people stab each other all the time.

130 people died a brutal, undeserved death. Many more do in Syria and Sudan and other countries. You don’t care. You have no right to complain that this lack of outrage is mutual. Unless you’re like the Nazis and consider the lives of one ethnicity more precious than those of another. Are you?

The world’s atittude towards Israel is not one of anti-semitism for the most part, it’s one of “WTF why are those people so self-centered and inconsiderate for, while whining that they’re not being treated nicely themselves?”. And you are doing all in your power to keep it that way.
You do that when you dedicate your spare time to tell your fellow Israeli Jews to be ashamed of themselves for showing solidarity with Paris. If you were truly worthy of the title of God’s Chosen People (TM), you would dismiss the lack of reciprocity and, even if you don’t participate in the displays of support, keep your begrudging mouth shut and don’t attack others for showing that support. You should encourage any behavior that makes Israelis look better in the eyes of the world. Instead, you want Sudanese sent back to their certain deaths because some of them may steal a bicycle, you want Palestinians to be treated like animals in hopes that’ll shut them up, and you yell at people for openly supporting the victims of an atrocity.

You are a horrible Jew and you are a horrible human being. Stop picking and choosing who deserves sympathy by ethnicity, faith, or nationality. Stop pissing all over global grief for 130 dead by screeching that the occasional 1 to 3 victims of terror in Israel don’t get the same media attention because the concept of proportion is lost on you. And stop complaining that nobody shows you sympathy when you show it only to your own yourself. Compassion is ideally mutual, but when it isn’t, you should still be able to figure out which option leads to better relations and understanding, and it isn’t “La la la you don’t put up my flag, so I don’t put up yours!”

We will never find peace if we expect others to treat us better than we treat them. One has to take the first step – them or us, indeed. If not them, then I guess we have to do it ourselves. Showing compassion is never wrong. And whatever you get out of it, you did the right thing by offering your compassion, your tears, your sympathy. Only good can come out of not being a complete and utter cunt.

The Middle East Inversion

10 Nov

Last Saturday’s new episode of Doctor Who, now featuring the 12th incarnation of the lone and loved Timelord, drove a bulldozer from the last demolished Palestinian home right through my chest. If you live in a peaceful, stable nation that merely exports weapons to less stable nations and cashes in on the death and destruction they sow, you may have seen just another profound speech by a fictional TV icon, on a fictional war.

The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) is pointing at us.

The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) is pointing at us.

When you live in Israel, or across the fence, the wall, the checkpost, you have seen your people and those on the other side. You’ve seen youngsters throwing rocks and firebombs at soldiers and settlers, and you’ve seen soldiers shoot those kids, you’ve seen settlers attacking soldiers for failing to shoot and kill those kids, you’ve seen those kids’ parents drive into a crowd or stab a passer-by. You’ve seen bulldozers razing the homes of a terrorist’s family – not the terrorist’s home – and you’ve seen crowds shouting for bloody revenge.
And if you’re not completely jaded to what’s happening all around you, a bus ride from your doorstep at most, it hurt. It hurt having the Doctor pointing at you, your people, your government, your friend with that army-issued rifle or that home-made firebomb. Your cousin who takes the order to bulldoze the home of a terrorist’s mother, when nowhere else in the civilized world, family would be punished for their kin’s deeds. Your brother driving that borrowed car into a flock of children.

But while you may know those who do the deed – the Israeli soldiers, settlers, bulldozer drivers, the Palestinian stabbers, bombers, road ragers – you never know who they’ll hit. Does it feel right to know it’s none on your side? Or do you just feel numb, knowing at least you won’t be mourning anyone, for now? Is it not being someone from your side, good enough to sleep at night, knowing a person you know, is destroying a family who is also a person someone knows, someone loves?

Truth: You don’t know who the next Naftali Frenkel or Muhammad Abu Khdeir is going to be. You don’t know. But someone is going to die at someone else’s hand.

Consequence: This will never bring us peace. This will never free Palestine, this will never give the Jewish people a rest. You can’t expect people not to retaliate against perceived wrongs, much less when those wrongs precede a funeral. The consequence will be more death, and if one of yours has killed one of theirs, then one of yours will die. It will always be this way unless someone starts forgiving.

Two days ago, I was shopping cat food at my pet shop. The staff and I were having pizza and a laugh when the new girl got a call. There was some agitated talk in Russian, and I was just going to do an impression of angry Russian speech, when she hung up, and, staring blankly ahead, said: “My friend died.” The 20-year-old border guard, Binyamin Yakobowitz, who looks like 14 in Haaretz’s article, had been the “someone I know” of “someone I know”. You may just cringe, make a sad face, even feel a stab in your chest when you read names of casualties on your side, but you don’t know them, so you mourn them as you would Heath Ledger. Somehow you keep telling yourself: it’s never gonna be anyone I know. Yes, my friend at the pet shop told herself the same, I’m sure. Most Palestinians, those who hate Israelis, but abhorr violence, don’t want youths going out to attack soldiers or civilians, they hate hearing someone from their neighborhood has committed an attack. Not just because they know someone who isn’t the perpetrator, will suffer for the actions of the latter, but also because they might one day find themselves too close to the Israeli retaliation squad. However, they reall start internalizing how bad these attacks are, when it’s their own flesh and blood who eats retaliation. They, like us, tell themselves it’s never them, always the others. It’s always the others’ fault, and it’s always the others’ losses.

No.

We are all the others. And we never know who’ll be mourning whom next. But what we all must internalise, is that the mourning will continue, and one day hit too close for comfort, unless either of us, any of us, stop making others mourn.