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September 26 2014

July 10 2014

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Growing Up Privileged in Apartheid, Colonial Israel - Shir Hever on Reality Asserts Itself (1/5) | TRNN 2014-07-09




Shir Hever is an economic researcher in the Alternative Information Center, a Palestinian-Israeli organization active in Jerusalem and Beit-Sahour. Hever researches the economic aspect of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory, some of his research topics include the international aid to the Palestinians and to Israel, the effects of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories on the Israeli economy, and the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns against Israel. His work also includes giving lectures and presentations on the economy of the occupation. He is a graduate student at the Freie Universitat in Berlin, and researches the privatization of security in Israel. His first book: Political Economy of Israel’s Occupation: Repression Beyond Exploitation, was published by Pluto Press.

[...]

HEVER: I was born in Jerusalem, and I was born into a lefty household, a critical household. And the most important thing that I think my parents taught me and raised me with is this idea that I have to be aware of my own privileges and to take responsibility for them, because Israeli society is extremely divided and extremely hierarchical, and I am lucky to have been born male, white, Jewish, Ashkenazi, so in all of these categories in which I had an advantage, and my parents told me this is an unfair advantage.

[...]

JAY: Now, just because it’s an interesting kind of historical note, there’s kind of two types of Zionist fascists. There are Zionists who are simply very aggressive against Palestinians and people called them fascists, and then there are Zionists who loved Mussolini.

HEVER: Yeah, I’m talking about the second kind. I’m talking about real—people who really adopt this kind of Zionist—or this kind of fascist ideology that the state is above everything, and that we all have to conform to a certain idea, and that we should find our great leader. So that kind of Zionism is not mainstream, actually, and it’s not in power. In many demonstrations that I had the chance to go to, people tend to shout that fascism will not pass.But, of course, when you look at it from a more academic point of view, there’s a difference between fascism and other kinds of repressive regimes, and I would say Israel is a colonial regime, a colonialist regime, in which there’s apartheid, there’s very deep entrenched repression.

But in a colonialist system there’s always fear. And you grow up with this fear also. You always know—.

JAY: Did you?

HEVER: Yeah, yeah. I mean, when I would go to certain areas or when I took a taxi with a Palestinian driver, then even my closest family would get nervous about it. And then it made me wonder: how come you taught me that everybody’s equal but you’re still afraid of Palestinians?

[...]

(M)y close family, my immediate family, they were very supportive of my opinions. And we had many political debates at home—sometimes arguments, but in the end I think for the outsider it doesn’t seem like we’re that much far apart. When you go a little bit further to the extended family, then that’s a whole different story. And most of the family on my mother’s side stopped speaking with me after I decided not to go to the army. And so, yeah, my mother’s parents, who were fighters in the Palmach, they had a completely different worldview and a very Zionist right-wing perspective in which they believe that all of these policies against Palestinians were completely justified.

JAY: And your grandparents, were any of them—when did they come to Israel? Did you have direct family that were killed during World War II?

HEVER: Yeah. So this is actually the exact—the interesting intersection of two stories, because my mother’s side of the family came to Palestine before the Holocaust, before the Second World War, and participated in the Nakba against Palestinians. And my father’s family—.

JAY: So they came during the ’30s or ’20s?

HEVER: Yeah, over some time, but yeah. And my father’s family came right after the war. They escaped from the Nazis in Poland. And the vast majority of the family in Poland was exterminated by the Nazis. So they escaped to the Soviet Union, where they lived pretty harsh years during the war. And then the family scattered again, and that part of the family that chose to go to Palestine, to Israel, happened to be my side of the family.

[...]

HEVER: That is a concept called Hebrew labor, and it was done very openly and without shame because there was at that point of time no concept that such structural and comprehensive racism against a particular group of people is something that Jews should also be worried about. I mean, it wasn’t something that was even in people’s minds so much, because Palestinians were part of the scenery, part of the background, and not treated as the native inhabitants of Palestine. But it has to be said also that during those fights it wasn’t—even though it was a colonial situation, in which Zionists were supported by foreign powers in coming and colonizing Palestine, it wasn’t clear if they were going to succeed or not, and it wasn’t clear until 1948 whether they would succeed or not. So from the personal stories of these people, they saw themselves as heroes or as overcoming a great adversity, and not as people who had all their options and decided that here’s a little piece of land that we want to add to our collection. From their point of view, this was their chance to have their own piece of land, and when looking at the colonial powers, the European colonial powers operating all of the world, they didn’t think that what they were doing was so strange or peculiar.

[...]

HEVER: And during the ’90s there was—the Oslo process began. There was a coalition between Yitzhak Rabin from the Labor Party and Meretz, which was the part that they supported. Meretz was the liberal party for human rights, but still a Zionist party. And this coalition started to negotiate with Yasser Arafat and to start the Oslo process. But at the same time, they would implement these policies that were just completely undemocratic and—for example, to take 400 people who were suspected of being members of the Hamas Party without a trial and just deport them. And at that point my parents had a kind of crisis of faith and they decided not to support his party anymore. And I would say this is the moment where Zionism was no longer accepted.

[...]

HEVER: I think the moment that I made that choice is actually much later, because it’s possible to have all these opinions but still play the game and go to any regular career path. But after I decided not to go into the army and after I decided to go to university, in the university I experienced something that changed my mind.

JAY: But back up one moment. You decide not to go into the army. (...) That’s a big decision in Israel.

HEVER: Well, I was again lucky to be in this very interesting time period where Netanyahu just became prime minister, and he was being very bombastic about his announcements, and a lot of people started doubting the good sense of going into the army. So it was a time where it was relatively easy to get out. At first I thought, I will go into the army, because I went to a very militaristic school. My school was very proud of all the intelligence officers that used to come out of it. So I thought, okay, I don’t want to be an occupier, I don’t want to be a combat soldier in the occupied territory, but if I’ll find some some kind of loophole that I can be a teacher or do some kind of noncombat work for the army, I’ll do that.

[...]

And I used to support the Oslo process, because I used to read the Israeli newspapers, and it seemed like Israel is being very generous and willing to negotiate, when in fact—. But my mother, I said that she was working for the government. She would bring me some documents about the Oslo process, and there I would be able to read about the water allocation and about land allocation and say, well, this is certainly not a fair kind of negotiation. But then, when the Second Intifada started, it was repressed with extreme violence by the Israeli military, by the Israeli police. And that was also a moment in which I felt that even living in Israel is becoming unbearable for me. But there’s always kind of the worry, is it going to get to the next step? I think this immediate tendency to compare it with the ’30s in Germany is because it’s a Jewish society.

[...]

–-----

oAnth :

Palmach

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palmach

The Palmach (Hebrew: פלמ"ח, acronym for Plugot Maḥatz (Hebrew: פלוגות מחץ), lit. “strike forces”) was the elite fighting force of the Haganah, the underground army of the Yishuv (Jewish community) during the period of the British Mandate for Palestine. The Palmach was established on 15 May 1941. By the outbreak of the Israeli War for Independence in 1948 it consisted of over 2,000 men and women in three fighting brigades and auxiliary aerial, naval and intelligence units. With the creation of Israel’s army, the three Palmach Brigades were disbanded. This and political reasons led to many of the senior Palmach officers resigning in 1950.


Meretz

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meretz#Ideology

Meretz defines itself as a Zionist, left-wing, social-democratic party. The party is a member of the Socialist International and an observer member of the Party of European Socialists. It sees itself as the political representative of the Israeli Peace movement in the Knesset – as well as municipal councils and other local political bodies.
In the international media it has been described as left-wing, social-democratic, dovish, secular, civil libertarian, and anti-occupation.

Hebrew Labor

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_labor#Terminology


"Hebrew labor" is often also referred to as “Jewish labor” although the former is the literal translation of “avoda ivrit”. According to Even-Zohar the immigrants of the Second Aliyah preferred to use the word “Hebrew” because they wanted to emphasize the difference between their “new Hebrew” identity and the “old Diaspora Jewish” identity. For them the word “Hebrew” had romantic connotations with the “purity” and “authenticity” of the existence of the “Hebrew nation in its land”, like it had been in the past.

    Related to the concept of “Hebrew labor” was the concept of “alien labor”. Ben-Gurion wrote about the settlers of the First Aliyah: “They introduced the idol of exile to the temple of national rebirth, and the creation of the new homeland was desecrated by avodah zara”. According to Shapira avodah zara means both “alien labor” and, in a religious sense, “idol worship”. Along with bloodshed and incest this is one of the three worst sins in Judaism. Application of this concept to the employment of Arab workers by Jews depicted this as a taboo.



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February 16 2014

Tourists Killed in Terrorist Attack in Sinai, Egypt

A bomb blast ripped through a bus carrying 30 tourists in Sinai, Egypt, today, killing at least two South Korean tourists and the Egyptian bus driver. According to reports, the tourists had completed touring St Catherine's Monastery and were on their way to Israel, when the bomb exploded.

Netizens were left scrambling for information.

According to journalist Kristen McTighe:

She adds:

Firas Al-Atraqchi says:

ABC News Middle East Correspondent Alexander Marquardt has other information:

And Hamdy Kassem concludes [ar]:

Those of us who are not journalists will not know what happened in the Taba bus blast because of the contradicting information and casualty figures. It is a struggle for journalists to get information in a country which denies all information

And if this is not enough, The Big Pharaoh claims the Muslim Brotherhood Twitter account is spreading more mis-information:

Soon enough, photographs surfaced online.

Fatima Said shares this photograph of the remains of a charred bus:

Egyptian blogger and journalist Muhamed Sabry remarks on the photograph saying:

And Amro Ali shares the photograph of the Egyptian bus driver, said to be killed in the blast:

Zeinobia, on Egyptian Chronicles, is alarmed tourists are being targeted. She blogs:

We are back to the days of the 1990s where tourists were a main target. Actually we are back to the 2000s where South Sinai had its share from several terrorist attacks.
Now the attacks moved to South where tourism industry began to catch up.
I am concerned that after targeting the tourists in Taba in 2000s , the security forces unleashed hell abusing locals there affecting their relationship with the state till this day in addition to whatever happening in the North now from military campaign against the terrorist groups things will go from bad to worse to worst.

Meanwhile, Egyptian netizens are kissing their tourism industry goodbye.

Nasry Esmat bitterly tweets [ar]:

We as a nation are not effected with a number of people killed … all we care about is tourism for economic reasons

Mohamed El Dahshan notes:

Ashraf Khalil adds:

And Mona Eltahawy fumes:

February 12 2014

VIDEOS: Argentina's Melting Pot of Culinary Traditions

[All links lead to Spanish-language sites unless otherwise noted.]

The diverse migratory flows that have reached Argentina from the 1880′s and until now contributed to the richness and variety of the typical [en] cuisine in the country.

The various ‘ferias de colectividades’ (cultural fairs) that take place throughout Argentina are good illustrations of this. In these fairs we can witness not only a display of each community's traditions, folkloric dances, beauty pageants and souvenirs but also their traditional dishes. For instance, during the Fiesta de Colectividades in the city of Rosario that takes place every year, a varied menu is offered representing the multiple communities (Latin, European and Asian) that compose the Argentinian society. In this video, we can see how typical Paraguayan food is prepared and sold during that same fair in Rosario.


On Facebook, the page Encuentro Anual de Colectividades (Annual Gathering of Communities) shows some dishes that will be sold during the 2014 program in the city of Alta Gracia [es]. The city, located in the Córdoba province, is quite famous because it is where the revolutionary Che Guevara [en] lived for 12 years.

Imagen de la página de facebook Encuentro Anual de Colectividades

Photo posted on the Facebook Page of the Encuentro Anual de Colectividades event

Every September, the Misiones province [en] also celebrates its traditional Fiesta Nacional del Inmigrante (National Feast of the Immigrant). For the occasion, the Polish community, among other migrant groups, cooks Kursak Polski na Royezaj, better known as Polish chicken.

Ingredientes
1 pollo
1 cebolla grande
2 ajo puerro
1 morrón rojo mediano
1 morrón verde mediano
200 gramos crema de leche
200 gramos champiñones
sal y pimienta

Preparación de la salsa
Picar la cebolla bien fina, rehogar con una cucharada de aceite, agregar los morrones cortados en daditos, agregar el ajo puerro picado muy fino. Revolver muy bien, agregar crema de leche y los champignones.
Cocinar durante cinco minutos, agregar sal y pimienta a gusto.
Optativo nuez moscada.
Si queda muy espesa la salsa agregar leche para suavizar. Servir acompañado con pollo a la parrilla o al horno

Ingredients

1 Chicken

1 Large Onion

2 Leeks

1 Medium Red Pepper

1 Medium Green Pepper

200 g. Cream

200 g. Mushrooms

Salt and Pepper

Preparation of the sauce

Chop the onions very finely. Fry lightly with one tbsp of oil. Add the peppers after they've been diced followed by the leeks finely cut. Stir well. Add the cream and mushrooms.

Cook for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add some nutmeg if you wish. If sauce gets too thick, add some milk. Serve with grilled or roast chicken.

In addition there are community-specific celebrations, such as the one by the Volga Germans [en], who settled mostly in the province of Entre Ríos. The Volga Germans lived in the region of southeastern European Russia, close to the Volga river [en]. They came to Argentina in 1878 and preserved their traditions as well as their language. Cuisine is naturally at the heart of these traditions. This video produced by the Asociación Argentina de Descendientes de Alemanes del Volga (Argentinian Association of the Volga Germans Descendants) demonstrates how to prepare a Kreppel:


There also many restaurants serving foreign food. The Croatian community in Argentina, for instance, keeps its culinary traditions with restaurants like Dobar Tek, offering a rich Croatian menu. This video shows the “art” of preparing an apple strudel.


The Armenian community is also quite influential in Argentina. Romina Boyadjian suggests the 5 best dishes in Armenian cuisine while pointing out that the Community in the diaspora has reinvented the typical dishes:

Algo curioso es que la comida armenia que se come en Argentina es muy distinta a la que se consume en Armenia. Esto tiene que ver con las reinvenciones que hacen los diferentes pueblos al partir de su tierra natal, las costumbres que traen consigo y lo que termina siendo valorado en la nueva comunidad. Hay comidas que acá se consideran típicas y que allá apenas se conocen.

It's quite intriguing that the Armenian cuisine we eat in Argentina is quite different from the one actually consumed in Armenia. This has to do with the reinventions done by the different populations based on their homeland, the traditions that they bring and what ends up being valued in the new community.  Some dishes are considered traditional yet they are barely known there (in Armenia).

One of the cities symbolizing the Jewish immigration to Argentina is Moisés Ville [en], established by the first immigrants who reached the country. On the YouTube account of the initiative Señal Santa Fe we can see the city and get to know how traditions are preserved through well-known dishes such as the strudel or the Knish [en] among others:


But which dish was quickly adopted by immigrants upon their arrival to the country? The asado [en] without any doubt, especially because the majority of the newcomers were peasants and meat was quite cheap. The Club Argentino de Asadores a la Estaca (Argetinian Club of Rotisseurs) has some photos for you to enjoy.

Asado a la Estaca - Imagen. Laura Schneider

Asado – Photo by Laura Schneider

January 27 2014

Congrats Tunisia on the New Constitution!

Bloggers from across the region paid tribute to Tunisia for adopting a new constitution, three years after the ousting of dictator Zeine el Abidin Ben Ali.

The country, the first to join the so-called Arab Spring, is on the right path, they say.

Yemeni blogger Noon Arabia congratulates Tunisians:

Algerian Megari Larbi follows suit:

From Egypt, Mohamed El Dahshan laments the situation in his own country:

The comparisons with Egypt continue.

Borzou Daragahi tweets:

And Israeli Elizabeth Tsurkov chimes in:

Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt adds:

January 26 2014

Cries of Discrimination as Israel Detains Illegal African Immigrants

La grève des immigrés africains  à Tel-Aviv

Screenshot of African immigrant demonstrators in Tel-Aviv via Zahi Shaked on YouTube 

About 30,000 undocumented Africans living in Israel [fr] mounted a three-day strike and a series of protests backed by human rights defenders in early January against an act that allows Israeli authorities to place illegal immigrants in detention without any trial nor case review for up to a year.

Aside from the new law, approved on December 10, 2013, protesters denounced the refusal of Israeli authorities to consider their applications for refugee status as well as the detention of hundreds of them. The video below highlights the scale of events and presents protesters demands:   

The Holot detention centre in the Negev desert, near the border between Israel and Egypt, already has received numerous inmates since December 2013.

The site irinnews.org offered an idea of the centre's capacity

Holot can house 3,300 migrants and is set to expand, eventually reaching a capacity of between 6,000 and 9,000 people, according to Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Israel's Public Security Minister.

The anti-illegal African feeling has reached alarming levels, fed by hate speech, such as the “Le sentiment” video published by Djemila Yamina. The video shows Israeli citizens stating in a public gathering that illegal immigrants are “psychopaths, scum and manure that need to be expelled from our country”

Elsewhere, minority extremist groups have attacked immigrants. In Israel, the government and the judiciary systems are taking an active part. Previously in July 2012, Allain Jules condemned [fr] on his blog:

 Ce qui se passe en Israël actuellement est indigne. Entre un ministre qui demande que les clandestins soient simplement assassinés, puisqu’il recommande qu’on tire sur eux au moment où ils tenteront de franchir les frontières, un autre qui parle du risque d’impureté future de l’État d’Israël qui doit garder son caractère juif 

What is going on in Israel is shameful. Between a minister demanding that illegal immigrants are simply assassinated, suggesting we shoot at them at the very moment they try to cross the borders, and another minister that talks about the risks of impurity for the future state of Israel that must retain its Jewish character

Racism was apparent even before the new law. On July 18, 2013, Darfuri asylum-seeker and actor, Babaker (Babi) Ibrahim was arrested simply for not having a receipt for his bicycle.

Jean Shaoul explained [fr] the reality for asylum seekers in Israel on his blog cameroonvoice.com: 

En vertu de la loi israélienne, il est interdit aux immigrés de travailler tant qu'ils ne sont pas enregistrés comme demandeurs d'asile. Ce qui leur est pratiquement impossible. En effet, selon l’agence des Nations unies pour les réfugiés, alors que le taux de reconnaissance national moyen des demandeurs d’asile est de 39 pour cent, en Israël ce taux est inférieur à 1 pour cent. En Israël, la plupart des demandeurs d’asile sont des Erythréens et des Soudanais qui connaissent un taux de reconnaissance international moyen de 84 pour cent et de 64 pour cent respectivement.

By virtue of the Israeli law, work is prohibited for immigrants as long as they are not registered as asylum seekers. Which is virtually impossible for them. In effect, according to United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), while the national average recognition rate for asylum seekers is 39 percent, in Israel this rate is lower than 1 percent. In Israel, the majority of asylum claimants are Eritreans and Sudanese, that have an international recognition rate of 84 percent and 64 percent respectively.

 In a post published on a Mediapart blog, JOSEPH AKOUISSONNE [fr] wrote:

Ce racisme est incompréhensible de la part d’un peuple qui a souffert de l’abjection nazie, avec sa cohorte d'actes odieux visant à l'extermination des juifs. Pourtant, c'était bien Madame Golda Meir qui proclamait que  : « …les Africains et le peuple juif partagent des points communs. Ils ont été victimes de l’histoire : morts dans les camps de concentration ou réduits en esclavage… » Dans les années 1960, l'état d'Israël avait tissé des liens très forts avec le continent noir. Des étudiants africains étaient accueillis dans les kibboutz. Inversement, nombreux étaient les Israéliens qui allaient en Afrique pour soutenir le développement des états fraîchement indépendants. Il faut aussi rappeler le combat des juifs sud-africains, aux côtés de Nelson Mandela dans sa lutte contre l’apartheid. Sans oublier ceux qui s’engagèrent avec les militants des Droits Civiques aux États-Unis.

This racism is incomprehensible coming from people who have suffered under the Nazis, with its cohort of heinous acts aimed at Jewish extermination. Nevertheless, it was Golda Meir who proclaimed that:  “… Africans and Jews share common points. They have been victims of history, who died in concentration camps or have been enslaved… “. In the 1960s, the Israeli State forged strong links with the African continent. African students were welcomed into the kibbutz. Vice versa, there were plenty of Israelis who were involved in supporting the development of the newly enacted independent states. It is worth mentioning too the struggle of South African Jews alongside Nelson Mandela in the strife against apartheid. Not to forget those who engaged with the Civil Rights activists in the United States.

What is it about illegal immigration that provokes so much hatred in Israel? In response, JOL Press site presents figures [fr] from the Freedom 4 Refugees Association:

“Environ 50 000 demandeurs d'asile et réfugiés africains vivent aujourd’hui en Israël. Nous avons fui la persécution, les forces militaires, la dictature, les guerres civiles et le génocide. Au lieu d'être traités comme des réfugiés par le gouvernement d'Israël, nous sommes traités comme des criminels » explique Freedom4Refugees. ”Nous réclamons l’abrogation de la loi, la fin des arrestations, et la libération de tous les demandeurs d'asile et les réfugiés emprisonnés”, ont encore déclaré les réfugiés dans une pétition relayée par l’association Freedom4Refugees. Principalement d'origine soudanaise, sud-soudanaise et érythréenne, les manifestants demandent également que les demandes d'asile soient effectuées de “manière individuelle, équitable et transparente ”.

“Approximately 50,000 asylum seekers live currently in Israel. We fled persecution, military forces, dictatorship, civil wars and genocide. Instead of being treated as refugees by the government of Israel, we are being dealt with as criminals,” explained Freedom4Refugees. “We demand that the law be revoked, the end of arrests, and the release of all asylum seekers and refugees imprisoned,” the refugees declared in a petition communicated by the Freedom4Refugees Association. Mainly Sudanese, South Sudanese and Eritrean demonstrators further demand that asylum applications are made “in an individual, fair and transparent way”.

Al Monitor website noted the discriminatory character of measures taken against African immigrants:

At the same time, however, there are some 93,000 “tourists without valid visas” in Israel, about half of them from the former Soviet Union. Needless to say, the government is not building special detainment centers for them. The number of people requesting asylum is also significantly lower than the number of legal guest workers in Israel (approximately 70,000), much to the relief of those companies that arrange to bring them to the country and employ them.

There has been striking indifference at an international level. In an article published on Rue89, Renée Greusard disclosed everyday racism against Israel's black population:

Quand nous abordons ce sujet ensemble, David Sheen, le journaliste américain, pèse ses mots et parle plus lentement :

“Le niveau de racisme actuel en Israël, il peut être comparé à ce qu’on a connu dans d’autres pays occidentaux, il y a cinquante, soixante ans. Les gens se font insulter dans la rue. Souvent, quand les Noirs entrent dans les bus, les gens se bouchent le nez, bloquent les places à côté d’eux, ouvrent les fenêtres, pestent : “Ah ! Mais on n’a pas besoin de tous ces Noirs !”

Dans les autres pays, les gens sont gênés par leurs pensées racistes. Ils ne les disent pas en public. Là, non. C’est un racisme assuré, et dont les gens sont fiers. “

When we address this issue together, American journalist David Sheen weighs his words and talks slowly: 

“The current level of racism in Israel can be compared to what has been experienced in other Western countries 50, 60 years ago. People are insulted in the streets. Often when blacks board buses, people would plug their noses and block the seats near them, opening the windows while ranting ‘Ah! But we don't need all these blacks!' 

In other countries, people are embarrassed by their racist thoughts. They do not divulge them in public. Here, not quite. They are confident and proud on their racism.”

These anti-black sentiments can be observed even from the comments published on blogs and online media such as  lemonde.frseneweb.com and tempsreel.nouvelobs.com.  

These types of comments frequently arouse passions on both sides of the issue. An article by Jack Guez on Yahoo News has received 2,410 comments, and many of these comments have in turn attracted plenty of “likes”. The comment below has received 82 favourable opinions

People criticize Israel but no one says a thing about Saudi Arabia, why? 

Saudi Arabia expelled 200,000 Africans a few weeks ago!

The death of Ariel Sharon brought the protests and strike to a temporary halt for a few days. However, the struggle of the undocumented migrants in Israel continues. After marching outside the offices of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as well as other foreign embassies in Tel-Aviv, protesters have held demonstrations in front of The Knesset, the Israeli Parliament in Jerusalem. Nevertheless, the government continues to herald sluggish proposals.

December 12 2013

Israel/Palestine: “We Want Peace”

What happens when a Palestinian is “discovered” on a train in Israel? They send him back home with the message, “Go to your people and tell them that we want peace.” Read Hamze Awawde's inspiring account here.

November 09 2013

In Response to Danny Ayalon: The REAL Truth about Palestine

In a video released in July 2011, Israeli Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon offered his version of the “Israel Palestinian Conflict: The Truth About the West Bank”. In the video he explained the meaning of terms such as Palestine, the West Bank and the Occupied Territories based on the official Israeli narrative that denies the existence of Palestine. In response, on November 6, 2013, two Palestinian young women react to Ayalon with historic facts and sources, from Herodote and Aristotle to Ariel Sharon´s birth certificate that identifies him as born in Palestine.

November 06 2013

Forensics reveal Arafat was killed with polonium, widow says

Forensics reveal Arafat was killed with polonium, widow says
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/forensics-reveal-arafat-was-killed-polonium-widow-says

http://english.al-akhbar.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/4cols/leading_images/426196-01-08.jpg

A September 28, 1998 file photo shows Palestinian leader #Yasser_Arafat addressing the 53rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. (Photo: AFP - Timothy A. Clary)

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned to death in 2004 with radioactive polonium, his widow Suha said on Wednesday after receiving the results of Swiss forensic tests on her husband’s corpse. “We are revealing a real crime, a political assassination,” she told Reuters in Paris. (...)

#Israel #Palestine #Top_News

November 05 2013

Palestinian Pick-Up Lines

Humor, especially dark humor, is a culturally acquired taste – especially in a war zone. The hashtag #PalestinianPickUpLines has recently been trending on Twitter, garnering tens of additions in the past few days.

These proposals, sometimes warm and funny, other times angry and political, reflect the reality of life in Palestine and the Palestinian diaspora.

British-born Firas Nabil, who identifies himself as “Palestinian at heart,” offers several romanticisms, including:

Jordanian Sara Amro contributes:

Mufeed Okal of Nablus, Palestine, puts forth an impassioned plea:

And Israeli journalist and pro-Palestinian activist Mairav Zonszein quips:

Blogger Woman Unveiled writes that this humorous trend provides a sense of relief from the hardships of daily life.

“I am the type of person who believes that the way to move forward on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is to focus on the current issues without letting past events hold back progress… As Palestinians continue to face hardships and an infringement on their most basic human rights, one trend on Twitter sheds light on how humor can help ease some of this pain… The pick-up lines definitely garner laughs in a way that also brings to light the different ways Israel’s actions, often illegal under international law, disrupt the daily lives of Palestinians.”

It is a weakness of Twitter themes that despite being salient at the moment, it is difficult to trace their origins and development. Likewise, little information is available about this trend, which reflects others before it, like the March emergence of the same tag, and previous ones like the July 2011 hashtag #SiegePickUpLines.

Egyptian blogger Mosa'ab Elshamy, along with his friend identified on Twitter as WelshInGaza (no longer available) declares himself responsible for #SiegePickUpLines. He explains that the two conceived the idea after a conversation about humor in the face of life in Gaza.

“Arabs usually face their misery with humor. It was a question which arose from pure curiosity and was fascinating when others (many Palestinians included) joined in the collective ridiculing of the illegal Gaza siege and the daily hardship people face in the, ahem, strip. As tweets flew, more people seemed not to limit the jokes on the siege, power cuts, tunnels and, ahem, rockets but other situations like the flotilla, UN resolutions, two-state solution and US politicians.

Elshamy includes among his favorite tweets:

“Baby, you must be from PalestFINE.”
“I’d never leave you (even if I could).”
“We may not have human rights, but baby, we have human needs…”
“Dating me is like being Israel, you’ll never have to apologize for anything, girl.”
“Baby are you a drone? ‘Cause you’ve been buzzing in my head alllll day.”
“They say opposites attract. Will you be the Hamas to my Fateh”
“Baby, let’s get together and make a one state solution.”

Yasmeen El Khoudary, who blogs at Gaza, Out of the Blue (and who is also a Global Voices Online author), adds:

“As a Palestinian from Gaza who believes in the power of sarcastic humor, I loved this. Its the -humane- short jokes and statements that really shed light on the truth, more than any misleading and -often biased- news story.”

If you know more about the history of these two trends, or ones like them, please comment and share.

In the meantime, it seems that in hard times we reach out to each other using humor to commiserate and connect. If you enjoyed reading about #PalestinianPickUpLines and #SiegePickUpLines, #HumorHeals and #ShutdownPickUpLines, from the recent U.S. government shutdown, may also appeal. What others have you come across that make you laugh or appreciate your current situation more? We want to hear from you.

Thumbnail Credit:
- Rusty Stewart on Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Hat tip:
- Jennine Abdul at The Lowercase Arab blog

‘Women Should Be Submissive', and Other Google Autocomplete Suggestions

A series of ads by UN Women, revealed in late October, used the Google Autocomplete feature to uncover widespread negative attitudes toward women. Global Voices followed reactions to the UN Women campaign and conducted its own experiment in different languages. The results of searches conducted both within the UN Women campaign and Global Voices revealed popular attitudes not only about women’s social and professional roles, but also about their sexuality, appearance and relationships with men.

UN Women ad featuring Google autocomplete suggestions for the phrase

UN Women ad featuring Google autocomplete suggestions for the phrase “women shouldn't”

The creators of the UN Women ads used search phrases like “women cannot”, “women shouldn’t”, “women should” and “women need to” completed by genuine Google search terms to highlight overwhelmingly negative stereotypes, sexist and highly discriminatory views held about women by society globally. The ads quickly went viral and sparked a heated discussion online. Last week, creators have announced that they are planning to expand the campaign in response to the mass online reaction.

The auto-complete function for searches, according to Google, predicts users’ queries based on the search activity of all users of the web as well as the content of indexed pages. The predictions may also be influenced by past searches of the particular user if they are signed into their Google account.

Global Voices asked its contributors from around the world to carry out Google searches using the same or similar phrases as those used in the UN Women campaign, in their own languages. The searches done between October 19 and October 25, 2013, revealed attitudes about the roles women are expected to take in society, often demonstrating the same global prejudices, but sometimes showing contradictions in different countries. Below are searches in 12 languages from different countries and continents:

Spanish

Chile

“Women should not…”. A screenshot by Silvia Viñas. October 21, 2013.

Women should not…
Women should not preach
Women should not work
Women should not talk in the congregation
Women should not drive

Peru

“Women cannot…” A screenshot by Juan Arellano. October 21, 2013.

Women cannot…
Women cannot preach
Women cannot be pastors
Women cannot donate blood
Women cannot live without man

Puerto Rico

“Women should…”. A screenshot by Firuzeh Shokooh Valle. October 21, 2013.

Women should…
Women should be submissive
Women should use the veil
Women should preach
Women should work

French

France

“Women should…”. A screenshot by Suzanne Lehn. October 21, 2013.

Women should…
women should stay at home
women should work
should women preach
women should wear skirts
women should be submissive
women should know
women should vote
women should stay at home
should women work
women should do the cooking

“Women don't know…”. A screen shot by Rayna St. October 21, 2013.

Women don’t know…
women don't know how to drive
women don't know what they want
women don't know how to be in love
women don't know how to read cards

Arabic

Egypt (similar results in Jordan)

“Woman cannot…”. A screenshot by Tarek Amr. October 21, 2013.

Woman cannot…
Woman cannot live without marriage
Woman cannot live without a man
Woman cannot keep a secret
Woman cannot interpret man's silence

Chinese

“Women cannot…”. A screenshot by Gloria Wang. October 21, 2013.

Women cannot…
Women cannot be too smart
Women can't drive
Women cannot give birth
10 topics women cannot discuss with their husbands

Romanian

“Women should not…”. A screenshot by Diana Lungu. October 21, 2013.

women should not…
women should be loved not understood
women should not be understood
women should not wear pants
what women should not do in bed

 Italian

Italy

“Women should…”. A screenshot by Gaia Resta. October 22, 2013.

Women should…
Women should stay at home
should play hard to get
should stay in the kitchen
should be subdued

“Women should not…”. A screenshot by Gaia Resta. October 22, 2013.

Women should not…
Women should not be understood
should not work
should not be understood but loved
should not read

 German

Germany

“Woman should not…”. A screenshot by Katrin Zinoun. October 21, 2013.

Woman should not…
Woman should not teach
My wife should not work

“Woman can…”. A screenshot by Katrin Zinoun. October 21, 2013.

Woman can….
Woman cannot come
Woman cannot get pregnant
Woman cannot cook
Woman cannot get a baby

 Hebrew

“Women don't…”. A screenshot by
Gilad Lotan. October 21, 2013.

Women don't…
Women don't work
Women are not modest
Women don't know how to drive
Women don't want to have kids

 Hungarian

“A woman should be…”. A screenshot by Marietta Le.
October 21, 2013.

A woman should be…
a woman should be a chef in the kitchen
a woman should be pretty and ruthless

 Danish

“Women cannot…”. A screenshot by Solana Larsen. October 20, 2013.

Women cannot…
Women cannot drive
Women cannot control vagina
Women cannot be color blind
Women cannot barbecue

In Danish, the searches for “women cannot” and “women can” yielded the same results.

Russian
Russia

“Women should not…”. A screenshot by Veronica Khokhlova. October 19, 2013.

Women should not…
Women should not be believed
Women should not lift heavy things
Women should not drink
Women should not be trusted

 English

The UK

“Women should…”. A screenshot by Annie Zaman. October 25, 2013.

Women should…
Women should be seen and not heard
Women should stay at home
Women should know their place

 Not all searches carried out by members of Global Voices community turned up negative terms. Nevertheless, the results of the experiment largely confirm UN Women’s worrying conclusion that a great deal of work still remains to be done in order to advance women’s rights and empowerment around the world.

October 08 2013

#IranJeans: Yes, We Do Wear Jeans, Mr. Netanyahu

#IranJeans

‘You see Mr. Nethanyahu, we all wear jeans.’ Mana Neyestani, a leading cartoonist (used with permission)


Iranians flooded the internet with posts, tweets and photos as they mocked the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamian Netanyahu's remark that Iranians are not free to wear jeans.

Netanyahu, in an interview on BBC Persian on Saturday said “If the people of Iran were free they could wear blue jeans, listen to Western music and have free elections.”

Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian-Israeli Middle East analyst, says , “What Prime Minister Netanyahu was thinking about when he was saying these things about Iran was most probably the former USSR.”

It is #IranJeans vs. Netanyahu.

Arash Kamangir, a Toronto-based blogger and cyber activist, says on Twitter:

Iiriix, a project manager from Iran published a photo of a shop selling Jeans in Iran and writes:

Nima Shirazi notes that the Israeli Prime Minister called Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s new president, “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” and tweets:

hhhhhN,avi,D says he wants to know Nethanyahu's size in jeans and tweets:

The blogger Freedomseeker has another idea, and published a photo that apparently shows Iranian police stopping women in the street for what they are wearing. The blogger ironically says [fa], “Now I am listening to western pop music in disguise.”

Another blogger, Andarbab writes [fa] I am not for the Israeli Prime Minister, his problem with the Islamic Republic is about nuclear bombs and he does not care about Iranian people. But here is an article published [fa] in the semi-official Isna news where a cinema expert claims that his image was not broadcast on TV because he wore jeans.

October 01 2013

Iranian FM denounces Israeli « lies »

Iranian FM denounces Israeli “lies”
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/iranian-fm-denounces-israeli-lies

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of lying in his rejection of Tehran’s overtures to the West as a cosmetic ‘charm offensive.’ “We have seen nothing from Netanyahu but lies and actions to deceive and scare, and international public opinion will not let these lies go unanswered,” Zarif said in an interview with Iranian television broadcast on Tuesday. read (...)

#Iran #Israel #Top_News #united_states

September 03 2013

August 20 2013

Egypt's Rulers Have a New Friend in DC : The Israel Lobby | The Cable

Egypt’s Rulers Have a New Friend in DC: The Israel Lobby | The Cable

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/08/19/egypts_rulers_have_a_new_friend_in_dc_the_israel_lobby

As pressure mounts on Washington to cut off U.S. military aid to Egypt, Cairo has found an awkward ally in the form of AIPAC, the influential pro-Israel lobby firm that is actively pushing for continued U.S. aid to Egypt.

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/files/140650757.jpg

Long considered an incentive for Cairo to maintain peaceful ties with Israel, America’s $1.3 billion package in annual U.S. military assistance to Egypt has come under global criticism as Egypt’s military continues its bloody crackdown against anti-government protesters with U.S.-funded tanks and tear gas.

#egypte #israel

New Israeli towns : Looking south | The Economist

New Israeli towns: Looking south | The Economist

http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21583670-israeli-planners-want-switch-development-new-frontiers-looking-south?fsrc=scn/fb/wl/pe/lookingsouth

New Israeli towns

Looking south

Israeli planners want to switch development to new frontiers
Aug 17th 2013 | KIRIYAT HADRACHA |From the print edition

Make it bloom for Zion

AFTER decades of building Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which Palestinians see as the basis of their would-be state, Israel’s government may be moving its focus south. Long in a slump, construction in Israel’s southern desert, the Negev, is outpacing not only that of the West Bank settlements, but in central Israel as well. At a cost of $6 billion, Israel is transforming the wastes around Beersheba, on the edge of the Negev, and building new cities, including one that is the country’s largest such project. By 2020 Israel plans to boost its Negev population by 50% to 1m, almost twice the number of settlers now in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

http://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/290-width/images/print-edition/P/20130817_MAP002_1.jpg

#israel #palestine #occupation #colonisation

August 15 2013

Les invitations récentes d'artistes africains en israel ont conduit la Campagne BDS France à se…

Les invitations récentes d’artistes africains en israel ont conduit la Campagne BDS France à se poser des questions sur les relations troubles entre l’état colonial et ce continent, et à écrire une Tribune que le Courrier, un quotidien généraliste de Genève, a accepté de publier.
http://www.lecourrier.ch/112809/l_israfrique_passe_aussi_par_la_musique
#palestine #israel #BDS #afrique #boycott-culturel #Salif-Keita

August 03 2013

Temporalités et perceptions de la séparation entre Israéliens et Palestiniens par Cédric Parizot

Temporalités et perceptions de la séparation entre Israéliens et Palestiniens

par Cédric Parizot

http://bcrfj.revues.org/6291?&id=6291

La politique de séparation mise en place par Israël depuis les années 1990 n’a pas créé de division territoriale entre Israéliens et Palestiniens. En revanche, elle a réorganisé leurs trajectoires et assujetti ces populations à des régimes de temps distincts. Partant d’une étude ethnographique des pratiques spatiales de Juifs israéliens, de Palestiniens de Cisjordanie et de Palestiniens de citoyenneté israélienne, cet article montre comment ces régimes de temps contribuent à modeler chez ces groupes des perceptions radicalement distinctes de l’espace.

http://bcrfj.revues.org/docannexe/image/6291/img-1-small480.png

Dans un processus de feuilletage, ces constructions se superposent comme autant d’espaces/temps anthropologiques sur un même lieu ou sur les mêmes parcours. Ce feuilletage montre que le régime de séparation ne vient donc pas simplement renforcer les écarts entre Israéliens et Palestiniens en créant une asymétrie au niveau de l’usage et de l’expérience de l’espace/temps, mais qu’il vient également accentuer ou introduire des divisions au sein de ces populations. L’étude des subjectivités souligne par ailleurs les processus par lesquels ces acteurs contribuent eux aussi à construire la discontinuité et la distinction entre leurs espaces respectifs dans un contexte où ils restent pourtant fortement interconnectés et imbriqués. La mise en perspective de ce feuilletage est enfin significative dans la mesure où elle permet de reconsidérer les conditions dans lesquelles se construisent les représentations, les discours et les analyses du conflit israélo-palestinien. À travers leurs pratiques quotidiennes, les Israéliens, les Palestiniens, ainsi que les acteurs et les observateurs internationaux élaborent et construisent des perceptions des limites, de l’Autre et du conflit radicalement décalées, dans la mesure où celles-ci sont conditionnées par des expériences spécifiques de l’espace/temps.

#israel #palestine #occupation #colonisation

July 29 2013

Les nouvelles négociations israélo-palestiniennes | Le blog de Charles Enderlin

Les nouvelles négociations israélo-palestiniennes | Le blog de Charles Enderlin

http://geopolis.francetvinfo.fr/charles-enderlin/2013/07/29/les-nouvelles-negociations-israelo-palestiniennes.html

Mais, en fait, il y a une autre raison pour laquelle la diplomatie américaine, l’union Européenne, la Ligue arabe – qui a relancé son plan de paix - ont fait un tel effort pour la reprise des pourparlers. Tous craignent l’effondrement de l’Autorité autonome et l’annonce par l’OLP, qu’en raison de l’importance de la colonisation, la paix avec Israël est impossible. Cela signifierait la remise en question des traités avec l’Égypte et la Jordanie, censés faire partie d’un processus de paix régionale. En d’autres termes, personne ne veut plonger le Proche Orient dans une nouvelle crise. Rendez-vous dans neuf mois…

#israel #palestine #enderlin

*Drama before Israeli's President's visit to Latvia* Today Israeli President Shimon Peres is…

Drama before Israeli’s President’s visit to Latvia

Today Israeli President Shimon Peres is arriving to Latvia for two days visit. But shortly before it last week there was small scandal - Israel argued that President Andris Bērziņš does not want to attend a Holocauset memorial ceremony.
Delegates from Israel usually have hard program in Latvia - they attend Holocaust Memorials and other places where Jewish people were tortured or killed in Latvia. Usually it also includes apologizing from Latvia’s side for those Latvians who participated in killing Jewish.
Latvia denies these allegations that Andris Bērziņš does not want to attend Holocaust Memorial and stresses that this year Shimon Peres will have opportunity to attend Žanis Lipke- man who saved many Jewish during war- museum and see that there were also Latvians who helped.

Latvia’s President Avoiding Holocaust Memorial - Jewish World - News - Israel National News
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/170162

Latvian President Andris Berzins is making an effort to avoid attending a Holocaust memorial ceremony together with Israel’s President Shimon Peres during his upcoming visit to Latvia next week.

Berzins aides responded to a request from senior Israeli staff that he attend the ceremony at the Rumbula Forest with Peres, saying Berzins was too busy. They also reportedly told Israeli aides there is a state policy in the country preventing the Latvian president from accompanying visiting presidents to ceremonies, according to Israeli media.

The ceremony commemorates the deaths of 24,000 Jews from Riga and 1,000 German Jews murdered in the forest in November-December 1941 by the Einsatzgruppen units of the SS Nazi police, assisted by Latvian police and volunteers. They were transported to the forest by train and thrown into pits dug by the German Jews at the site.

#Latvia #Israel #Shimon_Peres #Andris_Bērziņš #Žanis_Lipke #Jewish #Rumbula_forest

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