Palestinian Independence

I am a supporter of Palestinian independence and a foe of apartheid: the dramatic separation of “the other” by a privileged people. A de jure and de facto status quo is brutally enforced upon the other.  I have followed Palestine and Israel for a long time. I stand on the side of justice and human rights as defined by the United Nations.  Palestine is a people whose culture is constantly threatened. Israel enjoys independence, Palestine does not.

Contemporary movements arise in unexpected but nevertheless appropriate ways. So they blossom in the same era. Fine parallels.
Contemporary movements arise in unexpected ways. They blossom in this era as related hashtags: #OneStruggle

Olive trees are an immortal theme in the land of Palestine.

olivetree_grandma
A Palestinian grandmother or mom and her children protecting their olive trees from demolition

Metaphor: olive branch in Genesis 8:11

genesis_811
When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.

South Africa was another victim of British Empire. It was divided and conquered. Upon attaining independence from Britain, the State of South Africa adopted the divide and conquer technique. It was called Apartheid.

Apartheid (Afrikaans pronunciation: [ɐˈpartɦɛit]; an Afrikaans word meaning "the state of being apart", literally "apart-hood") was a system of racial segregation in South Africa enforced through legislation by the National Party (NP), the governing party from 1948 to 1994.
Apartheid (Afrikaans pronunciation: [ɐˈpartɦɛit]; an Afrikaans word meaning “the state of being apart”, literally “apart-hood”) was a system of racial segregation in South Africa enforced through legislation by the National Party (NP), the governing party from 1948 to 1994.
separation wall

This painting on the separation wall dividing Israeli and Palestinians employs the vehicle (metaphor) of art. Simple but powerful. It reminds me of all the graffiti that adorned the west side of the Berlin Wall (some might have called it the Berlin Fence between 1961 and 1989) until both the west and the east sides of that wall finally fell in 1989.

August 17, 2015

News item:

The Defense Ministry resumed construction on Monday of the separation barrier near Beit Jala, south of Jerusalem, even though the High Court of Justice had invalidated the building of the barrier in that region and ordered the state to reconsider it.

(August 17, 2015 Haaretz)


India gained its independence from the British Raj in 1947.

British Raj (rāj, lit. "rule" in Hindi) or British India, officially the British Indian Empire, and internationally and contemporaneously, India, is the term used synonymously for the region, the rule, and the period, from 1858 to 1947, of the British Empire on the Indian subcontinent.
British Raj (rāj, lit. “rule” in Hindi) or British India, officially the British Indian Empire, and internationally and contemporaneously, India, is the term used synonymously for the region, the rule, and the period, from 1858 to 1947, of the British Empire on the Indian subcontinent.

The British relinquished their imperial hold on Palestine the following year. In 1948 truth became a victim of war.

british_mandate

There is a worn  slogan: “a land without a people for a people without a land.” But Palestine was not an uninhabited region.It was the home of three (3) cultures in 1948: three adherents of a monotheistic faith, secular and others, such as Bedouin nomads.

When the British left the three cultures remained. 700,000 Palestinians began a diaspora (67 years so far) that relocated them to the West Bank of the Jordan River, a small segment along the Mediterranean known as Gaza and throughout the world.

Many Palestinians lived on the Mediterranean coast in 1947. Certainly this would be my choice too, the climate is that of Southern California. Californians prefer the coast, but they also live elsewhere in their state. They live in Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego, i.e. all over the state of California. Many Israelis enjoy the Mediterranean coast, but some prefer Jerusalem, a divided city similar to the previously divided Berlin: capital city of the German Democratic Republic and largest city of the German Federal Republic at the time of Nakba.

During the 1947 creation of the state of Israel, the homeland of the Palestinian people for more than a thousand years was taken from them by force. All subsequent crimes–on both sides–inevitably follow from this original injustice. Yet a peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has continued over the years despite the ongoing violence which has prevailed since the very beginning.
During the 1947 creation of the state of Israel, the homeland of the Palestinian people for more than a thousand years was taken from them by force. All subsequent crimes–on both sides–inevitably follow from this original injustice. Yet a peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has continued over the years despite the ongoing violence which has prevailed since the very beginning.

Sams Life in Jeddah A WordPress blog

Was the event of 1948النكبةم Nakba Catastrophe) or Israel Independence Day יום העצמאות‎ (Yom Ha’atzmaut)?

Catastrophe number two: the event of 1967: النكسة‎ يوم (The Naksa World Turned Upside Down).

Below, Moriarty as metaphor for the poorly understood victims of great crimes: the Palestinian people:

Picture to yourself the pilot fish with the shark, the jackal with the lion—anything that is insignificant in companionship with what is formidable: not only formidable, Watson, but sinister—in the highest degree sinister. That is where he comes within my purview. ‘You have heard me speak of Professor Moriarty?’

‘The famous scientific criminal, as famous among crooks -‘

‘My blushes, Watson!’ Holmes murmured in a deprecating voice.

‘I was about to say, “as he is unknown to the public”.’

‘A touch! A distinct touch!’ cried Holmes. ‘You are developing a certain unexpected vein of pawky humour, Watson, against which I must learn to guard myself. But in calling Moriarty a criminal you are uttering libel in the eyes of the law…

from A. Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes story The Valley of Fear.

German Grammar in the Everyday Every Day

Fashioning a German Lesson Plan from Anything at Hand

Class topic of the day (des Tages): how picking up a plastic bag off the street and reading the language printed on that bag may help you learn language. The one I have here is your classic bad-news-for-the-environment plastic bag. I retrieved one for each of you, so it’s a handout. Later in the day you can three-hole punch this handout and put it in your binder under today’s date.

handout
Your handout for this class: Let’s say I had snagged this bag from under a parked car in the Kröger lot, before the plastic could pose a wildlife hazard. Now it’s in the lesson plan as an instructional resource. Note: 3 holes have not yet been punched. Please include margin notes using your felt-tip pen. Thank You. THANK YOU.

Today’s exercise allows you to use innate perceptual senses to discern meaning from everyday texts, and to discover potential contexts for your favorite words. Remember that new knowledge is fragile knowledge, so be gentle with yourself and feel free to make mistakes. In this class the student who makes the most mistakes gets the highest mark since she learns from her own mistakes. Also, if the present-moment reader finds an error in this post I get a point.

Use this bag later in your life for sandwiches, knickknacks, sturdy water bottles and items with words written upon them.

Anyway, pick up your red Sharpie and write ‘rot‘ on the handout. Think about how similar ‘t’ and ‘d’ sound: “Ta Da!” and recall the apocryphal tale of Saxons (Sachsen) moving to England to start a new language. On that hypothetical boat Saxons decided to change their ‘t’ to a ‘d’ and say ‘good‘ rather than ‘gut‘ and day instead of ‘Tag‘. And then call it English.

migration routes around 800 C.E.
migration routes around 800 C.E.

Draw a rainbow with your Sharpies and label each color separately in your language of choice or else in German. Gather the things you want to put in your handout. Label that bag with its contents, z.B.:

  • Apfel (grüner)
  • Brot (rotes)
  • Papier (weißes)
  • Banane (gelbe oder grüne oder schwarze oder schwarzgelbe oder oder oder)
  • Apfelsaft (süßer)

Now place each object (each noun) into the bag (in die Tüte) and take a walk (einen Spaziergang machen). Connect the Umlaut dots atop the ‘u’ to form an ‘o’, thus reminding you just how crafty those dang Saxons were (Tüte becomes tote). Those tapfere Sachsen even simplified the ‘chs’ in their former German language to an ‘x’ in the new language (nächste becomes next).  While on this relaxing stroll let your friends (strangers optional) know about the contents of your bag:

Hallo. Hier in meiner Tüte habe ich einen grünen Apfel. Gebrauchtes Papier ist immer das Beste. Glaubst du das.

Let’s say you forget to bring your own shopping bag to Kröger. At least save those plastic hazards in your vehicle or Rücksack and drop them into the fiber recycling drum in their foyer (the place where you grab a shopping cart).

Thinking about Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew, Gießen and Savak

The culture where I live does not seem particularly interested in learning foreign languages. But the written, the spoken, and the audible become a part of the soul and a blessing to humanity when civilized thought can gain a foothold.
Nelson-Mandela-on-Language

My interest in German language led to an opportunity for study in Giessen, at that time West Germany, from 1971 to 1973. Upon arriving at Justus Liebig Universität I learned German as a second language with fellow students from Iran, Japan, Egypt among others. German was the tongue we shared, so that we could talk to the brain. Then we could join the citIzenry and talk to the heart.

Abteilung der Uni
Just be natural! It’s important when learning languages

Some people take on an alternate identity to ward off conversation. It was common for Americans traveling in Europe in the early 1970’s to attach a Canadian maple leaf to their person. This to avoid conversations about Vietnam. It was convenient to merge into the background. But such maneuvers may lead to a false sense of comfort: ease and convenience have long-term consequences. It is just as convenient to avoid discussions on long festering Middle East issues today. Are the sound bites you hear from a source without an agenda? Unfortunately, the truth can be hidden, often deliberately by perpetuating lies that simply make life more convenient or comfortable for the liar.

Under Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (Shah from 1941 to 1979) many Iranians studied at German universities such as Justus Liebig. Our Iranian fellows shared an ability to converse in German about Savak and the Persian experience. Neither Farsi nor English was necessary to bridge a gulf separating us from each other. Who knew that Pahlavi was complicit in dark matters. The Iranian people knew.

Farsi Keyboard
Farsi script is so similar to Arabic!

Guy Wallace explains Savak.

Imagine a monarchy that is 2500 years old, that began with Cyrus the Great and ended with Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s deposition. Might a civilization both ancient and modern have evolved a complex history and culture In 2.5 millenia? Might Farsi hint at subtleties in the Persian soul? What about the country name itself: Persia, Iran? Does its religion suggest potential geopolitical significance? Can we question the translation of the colloquial Farsi into English of the conveniently repeated  Death to America (More accurately translated as Down with America).

Farsi speakers use this invocation to express transitory frustration, perhaps at stubbing a toe. In a future post I want to discuss the nature of curse words in Farsi, Arabic and Hebrew. Stay tuned.

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