Tag Archives: Aliyah

So non-Jews should fuck off.

12 Aug

To the person who told me I can piss right off my own birthland where her entitled voluntarily immigrated ass is throwing its obscene weight around, and to anyone who identifies with her attitude:

Aren’t you one bigoted dripping cunt, disparaging non-Jewish people who live, work, serve, pay taxes and otherwise contribute to the society you want to thrive in… I’m sure you’re happy your sacred chosen people usually aren’t the ones shoveling shit in the sewers you want clean for your ass to shit in. What would you do without Arabs and Sudanese? Shit in flower pots and smash a tomato tree on it, that’s what.

Judging by your age I’m afraid it’s too late to ask you not to breed. You’re an immigrant and think you got a bigger claim on the land I and countless other non-Jewish people are BORN on, that’s ridiculous. YOU can leave, we can not. You could’ve stayed where you were, we were never anywhere else.

So please stop confusing your asshole for your mouth, you fascist, racist, bigoted, hate-filled human sewer.

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Apples and Pears are not Strawberries

11 Aug
A word of advice in dealing with cultural differences summarized in the 2 concepts of “Rudeness” and “Civilized/Primitive”. Because these are recurring complaints. There’s one very easy way to stop suffering from those things: not comparing to foreign standards.
 
These 2 concepts are invalid ways to judge a foreign culture. My advice lies in the answers to why I am calling them invalid.
 
Referring to Israelis as rude and judging us by how civilized or primitive we are – especially referring to Mizrachim and Arabs – boils down to you judging us by where you come from. You’re mice judging hamsters as having too short a tail.
Manners/mentality and the civilization/primitiveness of a people are dependent on culture, ie. country, especially the perception of those factors! They are different everywhere:
 
Japan – it’s rude to eat while walking and to refresh your lipstick on the subway. But pushing you in the back to stuff you on an overcrowded train, that’s totally okay and so is your boss putting you down as a person rather than an employee. Polite sentences often end in a “…but” so you can allow for the other person to feel okay with disagreeing. As in “But that’s just me”. Often they apologzie for so much as receiving a basic service or being asked to move out of the way. To me, all that politeness and apologizing seems ridiculous but it’s natural to the Japanese.
 
Arab world – better not greet people with your left hand. Who of you (non-Arabs) cares what hand you’re greeted with? I mean, we do a lot of “icky” stuff with both hands other than wiping our butts with our left…
 
Germany, many parts of the usa – God forbid you use sarcasm.
 
France, England – good table manners are everything, while I think food is to be eaten, not shown off, and not licking the plate clean is a waste of good sauce.
 
Western world – no eating moist meals with your fingers. Sri Lanka? Totally cool.
 
Most of Europe – it’s considered nice to smile at your face and sneer at your back. Honestly? I’ll take a fist in the face over all that fake niceness any day.
 
usa – terms of endearment towards non-dear people are often NOT considered condescending while I want to roundhouse-kick any stranger calling me “honey” because I feel patronized 99% of the time.
 
Belgium, France – first meetings are often done with a real or fake peck on the cheek. I freaked out when this first happened to me because where I come from, you don’t kiss strangers.
 
Much of Europe – any degree of assertiveness without “Um excuse me, might I” tends to be considered rude while I believe getting to the point without wasting breath and time is a great courtesy. Why waste a cashier’s time with “Um and I would please like the dead cat cologne please if you don’t mind” if you can say “And the dead cat spray”? Or even worse, when people consider a simple “No” rude and prefer a huge beating around the bush, excuses, “Umm”, “I’ll think about it”, and apologetic grimaces. What’s wrong with “No”? People have been so offended when I replied with those 2 letters to requests to draw them something…
 
Many parts of Africa – I’ve known Africans to be relatively loud, lively, and move-abouty. Most Europeans I’ve observed, prefer to avoid drawing attention to themselves, and consider overt liveliness in adults “primitive”.
 
Japan – tattoos are considered a sign of delinquency while in Israel, every other banker has some ink on their body. Don’t get me started on bleaching your hair, though that might be outdated.
 
Arab and African world, India – I can’t look at an African man just in order to acknowledge his presence, without him thinking I want him to ask for my number. This is a typically African, Indian, and Arab thing in my experience, and probably totally normal to them.
 
Muslim world – up to four wives. Most of the West frowns upon this, while there shouldn’t be anything wrong with polygamy if all partners are treated well. I wouldn’t mind being in one. Having 3 experts on gossip about my man, sounds awesome. And whenever I got a headache I can tell him to ask the other one.
 
Arab world – livestock for wives, but seriously, how is that any worse than Jewish weddings where people aren’t invited unless they bring a cash envelope, or those families deciding for their daughter that only a wealthy man is acceptable?
 
Fact: we judge other cultures on how primitive, civilized, or rude they are, by the standards of the culture WE grew up in. But why should one culture live or be judged by the standards of another? Which culture is right, which is wrong? No culture needs to care about how well it fits the standards of another, because why would the standard of culture A apply to culture B? Makes no sense!
 
Same goes for “primitive vs. civilized”. Most of the time, these judgments are passed by white people on “cultures of color”. Well, but… You got your white culture, and you got your black, brown, green culture..? How does one get to judge the other by its own standards? What makes white culture better or more desirable, when clearly, many cultures don’t care to attain it? Why do so many white people think that they should? Why should black women relax their hair, why should Arab men be less macho, why should south american tribesmen not have loud dances in the forest rather than get drunk at some club until they need a cab?
 
A culture would be neither primitive nor civilized if it weren’t judged by such standards which are largely White West concepts. The night isn’t black. We call it that because we perceive it that way from our own point of view. A dog’s smell is only unpleasant when a person sensitive to it, sniffs it. The dog himself, more often than not, doesn’t mind. Hell, homosexuality would never have been considered “wrong” if too big a bunch of people didn’t screech it was – another judgment of none-of-your-business, just as black culture is not white culture’s to judge. Are green beans really disgusting, or only by my individual judgment? And is a size 6 really huge, or is it just too big for your size 4 butt? Either get a size 4 pair of pants, or stop complaining that your butt keeps showing in the size 6. A German Shepherd is huge when you ask a Chihuahua, and tiny when you ask a Great Dane. Only compared to other German Shepherds can you neutrally say whether he’s big or small (compared to his breed’s average).
 
There would be nothing wrong with being “uncivilized”, “primitive” or “not modern” if there weren’t a bunch of people saying it’s wrong. There would be no “uncivilized”, “primitive” or “civilized” without people clinging to the concepts. But what validity has the judgment of a Frenchman when he’s addressing Africans? Why should those Africans strive to meet French standards? Those concepts are MADE UP. Oh so we have gadgets and burocracy and formalities… so civilized, so impressive and great… Ew, look at that person all happy sitting on their sheep skin in a tent in the savannah and eating a roasted turtle, let’s judge them and throw a Bible, a bottle of whiskey, a computer, and some literature at them because THAT is the right way to be a human!
 
Now apply to Israel. We Israelis may be rude for american standards. But most are not for Israeli standards. Now why would american standards matter anywhere outside america, and likewise, who should care about Israeli standards outside of Israel? Stop judging us by the norms of your country of origin and you’ll feel a lot less bothered. You will also be able to tell truly rude Israelis from regular Israelis who would be rude only by foreign (non-applicable) standards.

I believe the concepts of civilized/primitive are overrated. We all just want to live they way we, by our own individual and cultural standards, believe is best. If nobody gets hurt, why not let each one of us?

 
Trust me, it helps not to judge apples by pears.

Dear Ilana Hammerman

6 Sep

In response to this article by Ilana Hammerman in Haaretz.

I thought I was bad for begrudging my exes their newfound happiness. Hammerman, you sound like Tardar Sauce aka Grumpy Cat, except, Tard is truly an adorable little kitten who merely has a perpetual bitch face and has words put into her mouth by the Internet. You, on the other hand, are for real and that is why I am writing this.

Don’t get me wrong, I admire what you’re doing. I, too, wanted to stay and fight for change. But you know what they say – YOLO. I don’t want to fight. I want to walk my dog in the afternoon sun without burning, and eat whatever the hell I want without kashrut or over-inflated prices for the most basic foods. I want to sit down by the river and read comics. I want to talk to anyone I want without worrying about social media outrage for having picked the wrong friends. I want to spend my hard-earned money reasonably, not carefully. I want to have money left after filling my belly and paying my bills. Surely so do you, but I simply have, at this point, less motivation to help others before myself – much less do I have the means. I don’t even have a driver’s license, or money to get one. Other than write and educate, there is little I can do for a better Israel. And I can perfectly write from the comfort of a pretty home in a mild climate where I am not distracted by the thought of what the airconditioning is going to cost me.
But, I do wish I had your juice and your means to stay and help. I really do. But I am tired.

I can’t say I can’t believe I’m saying this because I have actually made peace with the thought and it seems obvious and sensible to me now.

I am hoping to leave Israel. Oh no, I immorally announced doing what many people haven’t got the means to. Mean ole me. Well, as I have said in my comment on the article, boohoo. And also, you are the one who is immoral for begrudging people their good news because, imaginary god forbid, others may feel bummed at being reminded that they can’t have what he – Rogel Alpher – is having. Well, boohoo. Am I writing angry letters to happy couples about how immoral they are to rub their happiness in my single and sex-starved face? Am I whining at Haaretz because I cannot afford a subscription to their articles if I want to feed my cats and dogs? 
You write that many who would love to leave, cannot do so for lack of money, language, foreign passport, or whatever. I wanted to write “boohoo” again here, but for the sake of the fancy look and feel of this article, I will be more mature than that and merely pick up some of your points.

Money – you know… I have seen very few Israelis not walking around with the newest smartphone and making their children fat, lazy and stupid by parking them behind a tablet. Should have made a choice then – buy gadgets or save up for your grand exit. And Israeli banks just love to bait the struggling with ridiculously big loans. Just take the offer and run. Banks exploit us, the 99%, all the time, talking us into ruining ourselves by offering credits, loans, and limit inflations we cannot pay back, ever. Exploit them back! Nothing immoral about kicking someone whose foot is always ready to kick you right in the teeth, and that is what the banks are. Yes, I did just say that.

Fluent English – I’m sorry, but for lack of awards and careers and wealth, I can only assume that I am not that gifted or super-smart, so how come I manage 6 languages and the oh-so-advanced Israelis who throw education and technological progress hasbarah all around, don’t even manage the most common language we are exposed to in everyday life, through music, television, social and other media, etc.? English is basic these days. How can you not pick up sufficient English to manage, and then follow some formal courses to perfect it? I thought Israelis were so very educated? Get to it! I knew a man once, a Yemeni from the Krayot, who went to live and work in Panama for 7 months. He had planned for it to be forever. The point is: he was not really an educated, intelligent, or  intellectual individual. He was rather simple, the type of simple that believes that lesbians can be cured through decent sex. He learned managable Spanish within less than half a year, by conversing with his fluent cousin on Skype. He got on his plane – leaving me heartbroken – and immediately found a job as a store manager in Panama. Spanish, not the English modern people OD on every time they open Facebook. He came back for missing his family, but he would have managed in Panama in terms of language and culture.
On the other hand, way too many Hebrew-raised Israelis cannot even manage their own mother tongue. Which is tragic and an affront to what Israel pretends to be: a petridish of genius.

Foreign passport – most immigrants don’t have one. They manage. So can the ever so advanced Israelis, unless of course we’ll just admit that we’re not that brilliant a people and we wouldn’t want that now, would we? Hasbarians love to parade around the image of the resilient Jew who can manage anywhere, against all odds. Well – be resilient and manage!

Education – if you don’t need a formal degree, education floats around free of charge on the Internet. How do you think I became fluent in conversational Japanese? Watching downloaded anime. How, do you think, did I perform a decent castration on a live rat? Google Images. HTML? Whatever Google spat out! Knowledge and skills don’t need to cost money and don’t require entrance exams. Hey Israeli, be ever so advanced and educated and figure something out! What sets humans apart from animals, is our superior intelligence. The major definition of intelligence is to be able to figure out solutions to problems and challenges. So don’t be an animal – isn’t that simple?

Now, the point of this post was that I meant to rub some immorality in your face by announcing that I, too, am itching and able to leave Israel. Let’s see, how did I get to Israel in the first place?
In 1983, little Anna Giladi, granddaughter of the notorious Naeim Giladi, was born in Tel Aviv, back when it was still affordable to the average Israeli, not just glorified immigrants with a lucky break or exceptionally good paycheck, or the desperate who will live like sardines, sandwiched between fifteen more roommates compromising the meaning of “home” (me-space). But since the economy was going to the dogs and my parents didn’t really fit anyway, my German mother took me back to Germany via a few years in both Poland and Ireland. After Germany, I lived in Belgium for 12 years until the age of 27 when I realized that many of my problems stemmed from not belonging. So at my breaking point, I took my mother’s advice and returned to Israel where I could at least be one of the native people and not an immigrant, a diplomat, or downright illegal. I could finally belong, or so I thought. Wanting to belong to a defined group also changed me into a rightwing Zionist faster than you could say “Occupation”, and Zionism makes life in Israel very gratifying indeed. You feel like you got a claim on the land, you belong to each other, and you’re there to protect it with words and weapons against any attacks. But Zionism soon showed me its ugly “other side”, one I could not get myself to embrace. When a good, hard-working, loving, funny young man feels like he has to hide the fact that he is Arab in order to be loved, Zionism has clearly done something abominably wrong. I woke up and realized that while I do believe that Jews should be able to live freely in the land of Israel, this must not be at the expense of other people. But it is. And I could not continue to pretend to be fine with that. I was not raised to be a bigot or a parasite. 

So the years went by and the hate mail from total strangers in my Facebook inbox accumulated. I could not even acknowledge the humanity of a Muslim or any Arab without being called a treasonous whore. New immigrants with little factual knowledge on Israel other than hasbarah, turned out to be blind government loyalists who valued their delusions above my friendship. I quickly became as hated as my grandfather for being a lot less aggressive in my criticism on Israel. Free speech is great, unless of course tyrannizing you with threats and insults day in, day out, is also covered by this right. Am I leaving because of idiots on Facebook? Hell no! But these idiots represent something bigger and way more invasive, way more present and influential than one message on Facebook. They represent an attitude impossible to escape in Israel, be it at the workplace, at university, at the coffee shop, or even the bedroom. And to perpetuate this and keep The Conflict going, mothers get to bury their sons after every war. A waste of young lives for a safety our own government helps jeopardize.

Israel has negatively shocked me before when it dropped cluster bombs (“precision attacks after sufficient warning to civilians” my gigantic ass) on Gaza in 2008. It continued to occasionally rattle me, but I always managed to justify it some way or another. But then, 2 suspects in the murders of the 3 settler boys had not their own, but their families’ houses bulldozed by Israel which also very brutally arrested hundreds for questioning, and basically unleashed a rain of terror on mere suspects thereof. But then, when 6 murderers of a Palestinian boy were wanted, Israel proceeded very gently and civilized. Due process every step of the way, lawyers, insanity pleas, underage leniency… No houses of suspects or their families were bulldozed, no bones of neighbors were broken during arrests. No social media shit storms howling “Death to (the murderers’ ethnic group)”. And while I believe that any murderer of an innocent child deserves maximum brutality, why do only Arab killers of Jews feel it? Because they killed three and those Jews only killed 1? But the killers of the 3 boys didn’t get three times the harshness, they and their towns got an utter hellraising. Because it was an act of terror? Well, then what was the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, and what does it matter why children were deliberately and brutally murdered? Parents got to bury what was left of their hearts, that is all.
And then, when there were just talks of a reasonable approach of Gaza – offering Gazans a reason to live rather than to die and take Jews down with them – Netanyahu announces a gigantic land grab.

I see so very much racism and hatred from the very people I love – the Israeli Jews. I specify Jews because while I love the Arab population just as much, “Israeli” should include anyone with an Israeli ID, Jew or gentile, yet is often used to refer to only Jews and I refuse to encourage such falsehoods. Israel is NOT exclusively Jewish, deal with it. I cannot seem to find Israeli patriots who are not hate-filled and racist towards Arabs, and as Haaretz has so tragically reported, Israel’s Zionist youth is actually proud of being racist. Even people who are not blatantly hate-filled will find excuses for citizens and law enforcement to brutalize and oppress Arabs. Never have I understood how a country that shows itself to the outside world as so very inclusive, tolerant, modern, advanced, and educated, can harbor and encourage so much stupidity and racism. I am surrounded by it, and ever since I have renounced my own part in it, I see how ugly it is. 
If I cannot live happily and freely in my own country which doesn’t even allow me to marry for lack of a Jewish mother (but is happy to take my taxes), if I cannot express my opinion without being slandered, insulted, and threatened just because I do not hate Arabs, then my people, despite being my people in my homeland, disgust me. If only the far-right can count on being able to freely express themselves without being labeled traitors or whores, then Israel has a problem and it is similar in essence to the problem Germany had not too many decades ago. Irgun Lahava is one example of the sheer and perfect ugliness of this problem. Not just for its bigoted and aggressive nature, but for its members: even the sweetest, otherwise most open-minded and anti-racist people I know, are members. In a group that terrorizes and bullies interfaith couples to break them up. In many other countries, members of bad organizations, are also otherwise bad or at least stupid, small-minded people, yet in Israel, even the best and the smartest tend to flock to hate groups. I was surrounded by academics when one of them gasped “You slept with an Arab? Oh my god, I hope you got an Aids test!” and the other degree holders joined in. After that, Gasper 1 kept forwarding my number to male friends who needed a quick lay, because she assumed I was the volunteer whore in town because of one Arab lover. What the..?

And from my observation, in order to be happy or at least content in Israel, most people need at least one of the following three things: passionate Judaism, Zionism, and/or money. Because when you neither care for religion and tradition, when you lost Zionism to uncensored history documents and a good look around, and when you make 25 Shekels an hour working 6 hours a day, well, life stops being all milk and honey. You have nothing to sugarcoat your relative poverty with, you have nothing to gain from the ugly sight of the predominant political attitude, and you have not even got your imaginary friend, God, to turn to. Open-mindedly living reality in Israel is very damned hard. And even my life before Israel, has been hard and I’m tired.
But I never felt compelled to take a stance against the people I love before. And I had never been punished for it before. I never before felt lumped in with a group who manages to wish death upon a minority, and squeal “Never again” in the same sentence. I never before felt so betrayed by the government I’m stuck with, a government aggravating the relations with the Palestinians while letting its 99% go to the dogs when the state’s massive budget is funneled into settlements, bullying or tyrannizing Arabs, and paying the ultra-Orthodox for doing exactly nothing to help. Have you seen Haifa? Have you seen the south of Tel Aviv? The streets are dirty and behind closed doors people flip coins for either a third meal or a new pair of socks. Every country has its problems, but I have not lived in one where the government so blatantly and scornfully disregarded the true wellbeing of its majority for the sake of staying on the good side of a wealthy and influential minority and PR. And well, the “First Lady”. In none of the other four countries I’ve lived, have I felt compelled to leave for being unable to reconcile my own ideals with the reality around me, and believe me, I’ve been wanting unicorns and Hobbit houses. In Israel, all I asked for was less bigotry and hatred, and more social justice – and especially, Israel living up to its own hasbarian standards… Never have I been a government loyalist, anywhere, but my current government is taking what little money we, the Israeli 99%, have, in order to piss off the Palestinians every step of the way, actively and directly putting our lives in danger as a reward for our sweat. I cannot stand for this any longer.

Wasn’t it also Haaretz – and my mother, and I – who observed that all the liberal intellectuals are itching to leave? I know the rightwingers will happily see us out, but “never forget” that “liberties” and “liberalism” have the same root .Your liberties are not achieved by people with your attitude. Israel has shot way past the Jewish dream and became a victim-gone-bully. With all the “sechel” (brains) leaving, Israel will degenerate more and more into a rightwing, bigoted, unequal society where the Arab is to the Jew what the black man is to the white american – guilty until proven innocent and to be treated accordingly. Where values are for PR only, while people struggle to survive and can’t really fill their bellies  with the lyrics of the Tikvah, which were so obviously written by a drunk. We cannot be a free people if we need to oppress a minority we angered and turned against us in the first place. My only morally right choice at this stage is hence to follow my grandfather’s example: get over my broken dreams and expectations of the loving, welcoming Israel where all people have an equal chance, and leave this cesspool of hatred behind. 

Obviously, I will cry on that flight, as I will miss things, and people. I will miss walking the ground I was born on. I will miss referring to the people around me, as my people. I will miss my Iraqi-Israeli family, especially my baby nephew who has grown on me like a heart tumor. I will miss the many lovely cats I meet everywhere. I will miss the gruffy, straightforward nature of Israeli encounters as I don’t really love the European politeness most of which is fake. I love how nobody cares what you look like. I will also miss Israel’s fuckedupness, as I call it – the sight of sloppily clad young soldiers with their guns and their oversized pants, the many buttcracks and the overall attitude of not giving a fuck. No decorum, whatsoever. I like that. I will miss that. I will also miss my workplace, that petshop with the fun and funny coworkers (two of whom are perfectly sweet, harmless, respectable Muslims) and its stupid customers who cannot tell a ferret from a hamster when their toddler’s life literally depends on it.

I will not miss, however, aforementioned bigotry and hatred, the everyday struggle, the cost of living as opposed to my paycheck, and I also will not miss the blatant and seemingly willful ignorance of the oh so educated average Israeli who still thinks it’s smart to buy dogs and cats in stores, Arabs are STD dispensers, or sushi makes sense in a Chinese restaurant. When I moved to Israel, I had been looking forward to meeting the hasbarah-propagated Israeli: intelligent, intellectual, and worldly. Yet, I keep genuinely impressing people with what I thought was trivia. As I said, humans versus animals and all that…

And also, I really, really hate the climate.