Tag Archives: middle east

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

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

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.

No lessons learned.

24 Jul

Some people claim to have learned lessons from the missile attacks on Israel, such as all of this being mere antisemitism and a repetition of the Third Reich. The same people probably also very carefully select their history books and happily buy into one-sided narratives that suit their comfort zone.

Personally, I like to leave my comfort zone and question things that sound too easy, such as “It’s all those Muslims’ fault, Israel is totally innocent”. Rarely can such long-lasting conflicts be blamed on one side making all the mistakes. Scrap that – never. So I left my comfort zone. I got sick. I cried. I raged. Then I calmed down and resumed leaving my comfort zone further and further behind.
Those who know me, know I refuse to view things in black and white, especially things as large as the Middle East conflict. I mean, I used to. But as a meritocrat and passionate intellectual and academic, I cannot breathe when I am not learning and feeding my mind facts. 

One such fact-feeding endeavor was when I started feeling weird about calling my land grandfather, Naeim Giladi, a senile traitor. I never met the men. I never listened to the man’s interviews or read his articles. All I knew about him, were statements from my parents about him having hated Israel. That made it simple for me.
But then I remembered my mother hates big dogs – and I love them! Have I ever dismissed my mother’s feelings in favor of my own? I mean, other than when I bought that Akita without asking her first… Wait a second! My mother hand been the victim of a horrific attack by a big dog, and witnessed another big dog kill a child on accident, by the mere force of its leap. While it may be wrong to hate all big dogs now, her hatred is not something that can be dismissed as the manifestation of an evil person’s black heart.

Now, there were two kinds of Israel haters I also wanted to examine more closely: my grandfather, and a big portion of Palestinians. I buy the blanket hatred against Israel as little as I bought Israel’s consistently pointing the finger at others anymore. Because both attitudes are wrong.
I found most answers in my grandfather’s book; a large portion of its content can be researched and confirmed by anyone who wishes to do so. 
Now, we can line up a few very simple facts to begin with – facts not exclusively found in Naeim’s book.
1. Israel was not built on deserted land; people have been living there – and not only Jews.
2. Palestine as a nation state may never have existed, but the land had indeed been referred to as Palestine and both local Jews and non-Jewish Arabs called Palestinians.
3. There is no Evil Gene in Muslims or Arabs that makes them born anti-semitic. Political views and religious beliefs are taught. Always. Sometimes by the object of the hatred.

Looking at these facts, anyone with an open mind and average intelligence or above, should feel a question nagging at them: if the land had been inhabited by people previously to the establishment of the state of Israel, where had they gone, and why did they leave? And why do Arabs appear to hate Israel? 

The Quran says nothing about Jews needing to die. Many Israel lobbyists actually use the Quran to discredit radical Islamists, saying that the Quran itself approves of Jews. However, the very same lobbyists now lose their argument against Muslims: well obviously, they don’t hate us because their religion tells them to!
In a propaganda video, an Israel lobbyist remarks that Arabs started attacking Jews in 1947. Why not earlier? Why then? Did a new mind control virus that only Arabs are susceptible to, break out in the Middle East? No. There was no Hitler Aids epidemic. A much different disease broke out that year: white supremacy. 1947 was the year that the state of Israel started to be built, by white Jews handed the land by white British to do with as they pleased.
Now, wait a minute! What are the British doing assigning and reassigning land that isn’t really theirs? Oh, wait, he’ve had this before. South Africa for example, where white people invaded the land, grabbed it, and shooed all the native black people into slums. And we also had this in america, where white people invaded the land, grabbed it, butchered the Natives, and had black slaves build them (the whites) something cozy. 

In other words, God didn’t give us Israel unless the Brits are his angels. Now, answer me honestly with “Yes” or “No” when I ask you if the native people of a land can be reasonably expected to surrender their homes and leave just because a bunch of foreigners are holding a holy book in one hand and a gun in the other, saying “God wants me to live here, now fuck off or I’ll make you”?
Because, see, it’s not really relevant whether the Palestinian Muslims were kicked out or herded into today’s Gaza Strip and the Best Wank after having fought and lost an armed struggle, or whether they had been helplessly beaten there every step of the way. Unless you are their landlord and they stopped paying the rent, you are never right to see people out of their homes, much less expect them to “get over it”.

This is also why the argument of the Palestinian Muslims having been offered such and such strip of land by Israel, is invalid. You can’t throw me out of my home and into a much crappier place, and then expect me to forgive you by offering me some bumblefuck place in the middle of nowhere. The scorn of being offered a consolation prize by the one who attacked and robbed me for no good reason, should be apparent even to the thickest among you.

See, before the state of Israel was established, Muslims did not hate Jews. Both groups were well respected by the other, and coexisted just fine. Muslims also would not have minded Israel being established on truly vacant land. But you sort of need to understand their feeling of resentment when Jews who aren’t even from around here – European, Russian, american, Soviet – Jews come and build their cities over the forcefully vacated houses of the Muslim inhabitants of that land.

My grandfather came to hate Israel after having loved and nearly died for it. Such a change of heart doesn’t happen over night and is not a decision one takes consciously. It is something that happens when enough is enough. In the beginning, my grandfather had been enthusiastic about the idea of a Jewish state. He helped smuggle Jews out of Iraq so they could start a new life in Israel. He went to death row for this endeavor. 
Sadly, he soon found out that not only was that state built at the expense of a large part of the land’s inhabitants, the pogroms he and other Arab Jews fled to Israel from, had also largely been staged or deliberately provoked by Israel’s founders themselves in an effort to populate Israel with Jews as quickly and as massively as possible. And when the Arab Jews arrived, they found that this land was built and run by white people who needed the Arab Jews mostly to replace the cheap labor force that the Muslim Arabs would have been, had they not been paid or forced to leave their homeland because Muslims weren’t quite the right kind of population for a Jewish state. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why Naeim Giladi gave Israel the finger and left.

 

Fast-forward to the 21. century.

Hamas is throwing rockets at, and Best Wankers are slitting throats of, Jewish Israelis. Now, while I know many simpletons haunt the net including this blog, I must ask you not to misread me: I do not defend the attacks on civilians. I consider the Itamar massacre, the missiles upon Israel, the murder of the three Jewish boys, as horrible a violent crime, as any. And I have no patience for violent criminals whatsoever. Be it a punch, a rape, or a massacre, I hate violent criminals.
However 1.
Strangely, mere suspects in the triple murder had had their houses bulldozed by Israel, which brutally arrested hundreds in the search for the killers. Now, when a Jew murders an Arab Muslim, Israel proceeds a lot more gently. Gag orders on identities even after confessions were made, the option to plead insanity, and obviously, no relatives of the suspect/convict having their homes destroyed. Why this difference in procedure? Why handle Muslims more roughly than Jews, for the same kind of crime? 40s america, anyone? Yes, I’ll just say it right here: Israel is treating its so-called citizens like america treated black people back then, with that very same attitude that turns “blacks” into “niggers”. Yes, as long as these Palestinians are under Israel’s thumb, they are its citizens. And Palestinian Authority or not, they are under Israel’s thumb or else Israel couldn’t just barge in as convenient, and arrest people and bulldoze their homes. The PA is a strawman, a joke, a comforter to silence those who say that Israel is robbing the Palestinian Arabs of their sovereignty. Israel still holds most power over the territories, whatever anyone may call them.

However 2.
The claim that Israel left Gaza for peace… If Israel can continue to carry out target assassinations and control what goes in and out of Gaza, and even switch off their electricity, Israel is not “out of Gaza”. It is so far up Gaza’s ass that Gaza is shitting Osem.
Ah, yes, Osem, another interesting point. Israel prides itself in delivering food and electricity to Gaza. Are prisons proud to say that their inmates receive the bare minimum required to survive? Not really, prisons rarely start bragging at any degree below offering continuing education and ways to re-establish oneself after release. Except, other than the terrorists there, Gaza is not just a cesspool of criminals and hence should not serve as a prison – there are normal people there whose only reason to hate Israel is to be caught in the middle of a fight they didn’t ask for.
Now you’ll ask a very valid question: “Why then, do they support Hamas?” Because Hamas still gives them more compassion than Israel does. Hamas may be evil, but when one side makes you poor, keeps you cooped up in slums, and makes sure you live a pointless life, and the other side gives or promises you purpose (even if through death), yet happens to be evil, well..? Consider that the Gazans consist of many generations of living and dying with the same pointlessness, and getting the same undignified treatment from Israel, and the same rhethoric from Hamas. There is no new fresh generation of hope there, only a repetition of not so ancient history. 

Also consider that nobody is born suicidal or commits suicide easily. No matter what our beliefs, survival instinct stops most of us from crossing certain lines. Suicide bombings or endangering one’s life by firing missiles or otherwise directly attacking Israel, are not part of Islam, and are contrary to our supreme survival instincts. Please, by all means, DO doubt that these terrorists kill themselves with any more ease than do other broken-hearted people in a last-ditch attempt to either end their own misery, or pave the way to a better future for their loved ones (no matter how wrong they may be to expect that to come out of their deeds). Suicide is always an act of despair. Muslims are no different. Muslims do not lack survival instinct, they do not have a kill-yourself-plus-infidels gene.

And food isn’t all people need to live a life that is too good to be wasted on hatred and terrorism. People need quality water. Reliable power. New clothes, decent health care/services, construction/renovation materials, decent schools and colleges, recreation. Israel mustn’t pride itself in throwing the Gazans a few tons of Osem. Would you praise a junkyard owner for throwing his chained dog low-quality kibble and water, while denying the animal all the other things it needs to live a dignified version of its one and only fleeting life, and beating it whenever it misbehaves as a result? Well, the Gazans are that dog. 

Fact: Gazans are born into a futile existence. There are no career paths there, no academic institutions, no airports to leave for a better life. They are born like hamsters in a pet shop, to either be eaten by their cage mates due to overpopulation and stress, or be bought by thoughtless adults as playthings for their children. Even if Hamas were funding education and prosperity for all their citizens, there would be no point to it. There is no getting out of Gaza. So Hamas investing in picking up the place, would merely result in the cage getting a golden paint job.  

So how can you be surprised that they tolerate or even support Hamas, knowing full well that Hamas endangers their lives as much as Israel renders them futile? At least, Hamas promises them that their deaths will have purpose, while Israel makes sure that their lives do not.

After you’ve let that sink in – or so I hope – I’m sure you’ll understand the following: today, especially among young people who haven’t lived through enough history yet, a lot of the anti-Israel sentiment among Muslims and pro-Palestinians may have transformed into blanket antisemitism. Many may not know exactly what they are protesting or defending, and many may simply use the plight of the Palestinians as an excuse for racism. 
However. The source of the hostility of Palestinians towards Jews, is not religiously or ethnically motivated. No matter what today’s generation may explain their feelings with, the conflict started because people were made homeless and empoverished for the sake of the Jewish state. For the sake of the Jewish state, its previous indigenous inhabitants have been split into two groups according to their religion and ancestry: Jews were declared citizens and Muslims were declared fuck-them. And now the Israel lobby is one-sidedly blaming them for the conflict, hiding behind pathetic, half-assed “outreach” and “offers” to pretend that they have, indeed, tried solving the conflict. However, you simply cannot expect people to stop hating you just because you offer them a bandaid for the shotgun wound you put in them when you took over their home.

Now, you are probably going to say I am one-sidedly blaming Israel. Well, not really. The land grab was initiated by the British, and Jews just happily took what they were offered – as would anyone. However, what Jews then proceeded to do, is unjustifiable. But so is terrorism, such as dumping missiles on civilians. However, it’s the only thing a desperate people such as the Gazans know how to do anymore to move Israel in any way. Israel is so strong and dominant that force seems the only way to still so much as scratch us. While Israel has a right and a duty to defend its citizens, haven’t we seen enough of these wars to know that they are no solution? 
If Hamas is destroyed, other terrorist factions will emerge. 
The only ways to end the hostility are to either eradicate all of Gaza so no potential attacker is left, and that’s genocide… 
Or for Israel to replace Hamas as the bringer of hope and purpose. And this would require Israel to stop treating the Gazans like chained junkyard dogs. It would require Israel to lift the blockade after a long and tolerant probation period during which the people of Gaza would be receiving more than food. Decent health care, rebuilding efforts, and humanity. There is simply no way there will be peace if Israel continues to treat Gazans and West Bank Arabs the way it does now. There is no way there will be peace if Israel continues to treat Jews and non-Jewish Arabs differently, even within “Israeli mainland”. You can simply not reasonably expect Hamas to pack up and leave one day and take all the other militants with them. Not as long as Israel keeps treating Arabs like less-than-human beings, and that is exactly what Israel does every time a Jew gets away with saying “Death to Arabs” while boycotts are staged when an Arab says something similar about Jews. And it is exactly what Israel does when it bulldozes the homes of the suspects in the murder of Jews, yet gives maximum humanity and legal protection to the Jewish murderers of Arabs. It is exactly what Israel does when it coops up a bunch of Arabs in a place where there is no real future, and then bombs them disproportionately for doing what a caged animal does: bite.

Had the roles been reversed, had Jews been the people surrounding a tiny strip of Palestine, forcefully grabbed by foreign Muslim invaders who threw out the Jews, would you sit by idly? Would you accept the situation? This is, again, a very simple Yes/No question. Few things in life are this simple, so rejoyce as you answer!

Drip drip boom

11 Jul

Drip drip boom
The rhythm of the region
Drip drip boom
The song of God’s Chosen People 
The chant of Allah’s Chosen Men

Drip, hatred seeps into your home
Drip, hatred creeps into your heart
While it sleeps.
Boom, in the morning it awakens
Sirens blaring, walls are shaking

Drip, three sons, one dying breath
Drip, a young boy burned to death
Blood freezes in their mothers’ hearts
Boom it breaks, blood spills from scars
Another mother soon joins in

Drip, one more green uniform falls
A flower reported, painful calls
Drip, one more green headband dies,
A martyr reported, streets echo with cries
A warrior’s blood, it drips on dirt
It drips unheard
Boom, a mother’s heart has ears

Drip, all mothers’ hearts bleed the same
For Eyal, Mohammed, for the losers of this game
Boom goes the mutual retribution
To make sure the others, too, remain in pain.

Drip goes the conscience after dark
Drip goes the sight that “the others”, in their eyes,
Boom – are us.

So do I hate Israel?

3 Jul

I keep getting told things such as:
“You clearly hate Israel!”
“Get the fuck out of Israel if you don’t like it!”
“You’d rather see every last Jew murdered by those Palestinians”
And so on. Nazi, antisemite, self-hating Jew, angry loser, etc.

Well, wrong. Also, those Israeli residents who call me a Nazi will from now on be sued for what little they’re worth.

I love Israel. I’m born here. I love the vitamin D, I love the gazillion cats, I love the beautiful men, the blunt and loud and lively people, I love how far Israel has come in so little time and how resilient and bold it is.
I admire the obscene number of Nobel Prize laureates Israel and Jews worldwide – who are in no way obligated to identify with Israel – have produced. I admire the technological, medical, and other developments made in Israel. Israel is a great contribution to the world from an industrial and science point of view. Israel has a lot to offer. Israelis, as a people, are often friendly, emotionally open, and happy to connect. There is, despite the ugly mud fights between right and left, religious and secular, Jewish and Arab, a great sense of unity in the face of many challenges, and more empathy for the hardship of fellow citizens (if publicized sufficiently – still it exceeds what I’ve seen in other countries).

However, this is only one side of the medal. Each medal has two sides and mass in between the two. The side described above is shiny and real, but the ugly, rusty, shit-covered other side is just as real.

When you love your child, you don’t mindlessly praise them. You most cerainly don’t only praise them. You will want the child to improve and work on/correct mistakes for the child’s sake and for the sake of the world that the child will live in and help create and impact. You will want bad behavior or questionable attitudes gone. This can only be done by means of pointing them out, discussing them, and finding a solution.
You don’t go around (if you love your child) denying that (if) he is a bully, steals, or scores fail grades. You don’t ignore your child’s problems for the sake of upholding your illusion of your perfect little angel.
That is, if you’re a good parent. Then you will praise the good, correct the bad, and hope your child will develop into a well-rounded, wholesome, grounded character who lives up to their own standards.

And at the latter, Israel is failing miserably, and hence I will continue to scold her. She is like the spoilt child that throws temper tantrums, shoves the other kids and steals their lunch money, and then gets excused because of how very truly gifted and also sweet and productive she can be. However, the latter must never justify or downplay the previous, so no matter how big a child prodigy Israel may be, she must learn to behave respectfully, compassionately, and fairly. And she currently does not and never has, or at least not to an acceptable degree.

And I will not have any “But compared to Syria”. If we have to compare ourselves to the smelliest of shitholes in order to look good, we have already lost the debate. We must compare ourselves to the countries Israel (pretends to?) strives to be like – the West. We must compare ourselves to Germany, to the Netherlands, Great Britain, Australia, perhaps america though at least we don’t have this much gun violence… And most of all, we must compare and live up to our own alleged standards of moral superiority. Overall and in our government, we do not.

This criticism doesn’t make me antisemitic, it doesn’t make me anti-Zionist.
I am Zionist in that I believe that Jews get to have this homeland called Israel where they can live passionately and freely as Jews, celebrating and practicing their Jewishness to any degree that each individual one of us pleases – from secular/reform to ultra-Orthodox. I do see this merit in the state of Israel.
However, I do not believe that we require the Zionist supremacy that is currently ruling this Jewish country. We do not need to oppress or put down Gentiles in order to elevate ourselves and enjoy our Jewish homeland as Jews. If the ideal of political Zionism, ie. Israel belonging to Jews, justifies the deportation of its non-Jewish natives, then Germany’s desire to be Aryan would have justified the deportation of all things non-Aryan. The idea of one ethnicity, religious group, race or other ruling supreme by forcefully minimizing incompatible populations, is of the same vileness everywhere, be it Jews or white supremacists. Israel, for being superior to its neighbors in aspects such as technological advance, education, firepower, money etc. has a responsibility to use this power gracefully but she does not. We are, for example, right to be pissed at having rockets fired at us, but if they kill nobody, then what the hell are we bombing and hitting countless civilians for in retaliation? The emotion may be understandable – in anger, don’t we all want to react excessively? – but we have a moral obligation, due to our own standards and pretenses and due to our superior power, to be better than that. We should, and more importantly – we fucking CAN!
Contrary to popular belief, Jews used to be welcome and able to practice in Muslim majority countries until the founding of our state came about and the founders used methods that would poison this peaceful coexistence. If Muslims could be Muslims in Muslim countries despite there being lots of Jews, why can’t Jews be Jews in a Jewish country and embrace its non-Jewish populations?

I am pro-Israel. I am anti-white supremacy (she is), ultra-rightwing Zionist (she is), religion-forced-down-everyones-throat (she is), fuck-everyone-else (she is) Israel. I adore this country, so I want her to be better than this. But regurgitating glorified hasbarah/propaganda, is not the way. It is the way of the coward who would rather live in blissfull denial than to weep at the face of the ugly truth, and then get hurt trying to improve shit.

Women’s Freedom in the West

9 Feb

Which woman is less oppressed, people ask, the one in the Israeli Olympic parade, or the one leading the Iranian team? The Israeli lady features bare thighs, the Iranian features bare nothing.

So obviously, the Israeli woman is a symbol for freedom and women’s rights, right?

Wrong.

Actually, people saying that the Iranian dress is oppressive and putting females in any kind of unfavorable or objectified position, aren’t really thinking. They seem to just grab anything that can reinforce their negative views on Islam in order to feel better about wherever they live.

You can be smart and successful all you want, if you’re an ugly female, that will still be more interesting to others. Or, best case scenario: “for someone so ugly, she’s got a good thing going”. 

ALL cultures objectify women. ALL cultures somehow make sure women look and dress in a way that pleases men and society. ALL cultures want women to be the object of pleasure and approval of some sort. You think the weightloss craze really worries about our health? No. Otherwise it’d address men equally. And think a bit further – when weightloss geared towards women is advertized, it’s usually about looking nice in a bikini or this and that outfit, or “for him”. Yes, you have the choice to disregard all the objectifying beauty demands, but we all know how fat or otherwise “ugly” (not conforming to beauty ideals) women are regarded and treated. Lovely choice we have here, huh. Either suffer to look pleasant, or be disregarded.
Do you think women in Israel would be wearing 12 centimeter shorts that almost make their labia majora pop out if it weren’t considered “sexy”? It’s not the heat, really, a long flowing skirt would actually keep them cooler than tight “hot pants” or “jorts”. Do you think the 2 tons of make-up that Israeli women tend to wear, all the hair dressing booths in the malls, the gigantic makeup departments, do you think those aren’t there to “help” women do their “job” and be pretty in the eye of the beholder? The Israeli woman in the picture is wearing a skirt with a seductive opening up her thigh, very close to the inside, for no reason other than her being a woman and her task being looking good and making the Israeli team look good. And that is the essence of objectification. The same reason – looking good and making who you represent look good – is behind the Iranian woman not showing skin. Both dress the way their culture says is pleasing.
Because while in Israel and other western(-ish) cultures women are supposed to look sexy and share the pleasure of that view, in Iran women are supposed to look modest and share the pleasure of that. Both cultures put woman in a spot where their main task is to please others. Even manners apply to women differently than to males. Women don’t fart, no, we also don’t poop, oh no, and we certainly do not talk about it because it’s not pleasant or pretty for us to do so. Men? “Duuuuuuuuude I just took a dump your mom’s size!”.
Why else are women in Israel exploited for commercials, advertizing, marketing etc. NO LESS than in other western(-ish) countries? Why are there half-naked or otherwise attractively presented women on every other billboard? Why is Bar Rafaeli one of the first things you see on the Ayalon? Because, in Israel too, the freedom of the female is an illusion and a ploy to make her WANT to fit into society’s expectations and demands. In the west, this is being pleasantly sexy, in Islamic countries, this is modesty. But in both countries, women, once they leave the privacy of their homes, are expected to look pleasant. THAT is why we are always told to lose weight (except in the breasts!), have hair extensions, dye our hair, get our nails done, wear this, wear that, black women relax their hair and are told to bleach their skin, and if you come dressed skimpily to the club to attract more male customers to buy drinks, admission is, of course, free for girls.

We women spend ridiculous amounts of time getting ready for as little as going to the supermarket, because we hate not looking good in public. We sigh with relief and comfort when, in the privacy of our homes, the bra and the half ton of makeup and the heels come off. Why do we wear all that if it’s so uncomfortable? If the best feeling is all that landing in a corner so we can crawl into our jammies, belch, fart, and put our feet on the table once no one’s watching?
This is NOT natural. This is conditioned. Women EVERYWHERE are conditioned from early childhood to always be pleasant. In Israel no less than elsewhere, are women who “don’t take care of their appearance” or who dress in certain ways, looked down upon and gossiped about. And in Israel, too, religious Jewish women and girls cover up every inch of skin. Many do so no more willingly than the “poor” Muslim women. Let’s not forget there are neighborhoods in Israel where a woman showing a bare thigh can get spat at or disowned and beaten by her family. Because everywhere, a woman’s main task seems to be earning society’s approval by being pretty and pleasant. A woman could find the cure for cancer and still not get the respect she deserves if she were to let her facial hair grow wild, be fat, shave her head bald, and wear unflattering clothes. The response all over (social) media would be: “Cool but she needs to shave that shit”. A man would get away with it. Men are measured by their achievements, their words, and their actions. Nobody has a problem with ugly, old or fat male Hollywood actors, but women? Face lifts, boob jobs, nose jobs, and rigorous diets and fitness, or the career. Is. Over. Women are judged by their appearance first and foremost. Everywhere.

Women aren’t free anywhere. Not in Israel, not in Iran, not in the US, not in Japan, not anywhere. Women are ALWAYS expected to please the local views. Women are always objectified. And as we can see by the comments here, a lot of them don’t even realize it. Oh, you’re applauded for wearing jorts and a crop top? Yeah, ever occurred to you that that is because you’re giving people what they want and making yourself the object of their pleasure? No girl wakes up one morning and decides to dress like they do in Amsterdam’s redlight district. She has seen it somewhere, presented as a desirable way to look if you want to be considered sexy, pretty, or attractive. Because if those 3 aren’t your main priorities as a woman, nobody pays attention to you. Susan Boyle “failed” because, while being an amazing singer, she was ugly. Adele is a great musician but her weight is more important to the media. Angela Merkel is a strong leader with balls and authority, but people only ever talk about her shitty looks. Miley Cyrus is a kinda okay singer but if she wants to keep selling, well, off go the clothes. Britney Spears’ career was dead when she shaved her head and gained weight. Gabourey Sidibe is a great actress, but she’s fat so her acting isn’t half as interesting to reporters as how she looks in some dress. Madonna has made a tremendous life’s work, but her year is summerized by interest in her flabby old skin. Girls are given Barbies and other whorish dolls for inspiration, and what is Barbie? A dumb blonde who is impossibly thin, ridiculously shallow, and all about a pleasant outside. Models are considered fat if they don’t have a 10 inch thigh gap. Models and celebs are photoshopped to death before their faces are printed, because god forbid the woman has flaws. And we women are all expected to try our hardest to look like that. Spend as much money on beauty as possible, and busy and distract ourselves with attempts to become prettier and thinner and smoother and younger-looking 24/7 because men can no longer commit us to the nuthouse when we suddenly start having opinions and ambitions. Oh, did I mention women often get paid less than men in similar or identical positions?

Yeah, women in the west are sooooooooo freeeeeeeeeee. LOL keep telling yourselves that.