Palestine/Israel/Palestine

The events of May 1948 in Palestine have sparked trillions of conversations that have droned on in parallel for seventy years now. You may find a few thousand meaningful uncommon conversations post Nakba (the Catastrophe). They are exceedingly rare. Most “conversations” parrot propaganda mills (hasbara in Hebrew).  Below are concerns of an individual Israeli citizen. I have not redacted a single word.

Bill hi, I would suggest you come and visit Palestine – you know Palestine was Israel before 1948. If you come I would be only too happy to offer you coffee and you can tell me what you think about Israel and answer any of your questions if I can.

Even though I live here and spent hundreds of hours at lectures my memory unfortunately is not what it used to be as I am now 76. I live in Netanya and would be only too pleased to help you find answers from history lecturers to any questions you may have. My opinion on Israel seems a bit different to yours but I am sure we could have interesting chats.

I must tell you I am fascinated with BDS and how so many people really do have a problem with facts here and there but I always believe you have to visit a country and speak with the locals so as to make up your own mind.

I keep hearing from members that there is a Genocide in Israel and the disputed territories yet their own statistics show this to not be true.

How many members know that an Israeli president was sentenced to jail by an Arab judge. That Arabs account for 20% of the population and that is their representation at Universities and hospitals where they are professors and famous surgeons.

Please don’t mix up Israel and politicians – I would swap Bibi for Trump in a heartbeat. I think we should keep our correspondence private as I really do not want to cause anyone any grief.
Looking forward to your reply
Mike Altman, Netanya Israel

Hello Michael, Thank you so much for the very kind comments, they are gratefully received. In the two years I’ve been writing this blog, yours is the very first remark from an Israeli perspective — a succinct and thoughtful set of arguments as well. I certainly respect your wishes to maintain an off-blog conversation; however, I would also like to share your views with my audience. Please know that I am quite willing to make your comment visible — again, I understand your concern.
Here is one proposal: I am eager to write a post that addresses your points and to respond on each concern you express. An open conversation between viewpoints is sorely lacking, but desperately needed.

Droning on in parallel from differently selected events, statistics and perspectives proceeds without hope of resolution, and indefinitely.

I have been following the “conflict” for many decades now. I was born eight months before the events of 1948, so it is possible for me to relate each event. For example, I was a student in Germany during the Munich Olympics of 1972. So I was 25 years old and so was Israel/Palestine Palestine/Israel.

Perhaps a point-by-point response that does not reveal your name or location might be a worthy compromise between private and open dialog.
It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Michael. I look forward to learning from you 🙂

I try and reply to posts immediately but your reply was different to what I somehow expected. I do not at all mind our conversation being viewed online I incorrectly assumed it would be you that would rather have an offline chat.

Since I am blessed/cursed with a very over active imagination I manage to see things from multiple angles and standpoints. When I think of BDS my mind is flooded with so many questions of why does one well funded organization with ardent followers choose a basically one sided view of just one of the many obviously urgent problems on our planet. Reading articles I do understand that people are writing from their viewpoint but like I am colour blind I expect people to try and see what is there but maybe not visible to them. The thing about being colour blind is that the mind can force oneself to see the missing things if you think they should or could be there.

I have a childhood friend that adamantly believes that we should not intervene – like invading Iraq – we are obliged to do nothing and wait for evolution to choose a path for everyone. Maybe Obama also believed in doing nothing and the result was half a million people killed more wounded and displaced causing hardship and misery for millions more. Never mind the other millions migrating to Europe from Africa to find a better and safer life for them and their children.

The reason I mention this is because with all this abject misery surrounding us I would think that such a well-funded and run organization would not be focusing on just one problem amongst all others. I have always been able to analyse what I see and read and imagine the many directions things could take and how effective they could be. In my humble opinion I cannot see why BDS could succeed as it has already “solved” this complex problem without understanding too much about it.

My father would not have won many “father” awards but he was smart and instilled in me to never judge anyone until I have walked in their shoes. As an example, the last time I visited the Western wall myself and everyone else including tourists passed through metal detectors – like we do at airports today – thank goodness. After arms were taken onto the Temple Mount and used to kill two policeman.

The head of the police promised their families who happened to be Druse that they would take steps so it would not happen again. Maybe even to foreign visitors on this holy site. The police themselves decided to install metal detectors at the entrances and this is what caused the current serious problem. People prayed in the streets instead as they would not pass through the machines and dispersed after prayers with very little problems but in some parts of town young people rioted and people were injured and killed.
Please forgive the over long post but there is so much to say.
May you all have a very good week, Mike

Hello Michael, Thank you for your kind comments on my About page. Dialogues on this topic are as desperately needed as they are rare, and misinformation is the coin of the realm. I think it’s a good sign that both of us responded with consideration for the privacy of each. Would you mind if I wrote a new posting that contains your comments without redaction on my part? In other words, a genuine open and civil dialogue.

Shalom,
 
Bill

I have no problem whatsoever – in fact would welcome it.

A very strange time of year here as more than 4 million Israelis leave to spend a greener cooler holiday all over the world. Amazing when there are only 5,600,000 Danes in Denmark.

 Have a good week Bill

Mike

 

You are a kind soul, Michael. Our exchange already contains enough grist for the mill to inspire quite a few conversations. Actually, that observation on climate, travel and Denmark is sufficient for an entire post. 🙂

A superb week to you, Michael.

🙂 an interesting thought – if we can get the mill to spin faster it could take off – imagine that, flying windmills. Something to think about while trying to sleep.

Thanks for reading.

Ramallah Mix

Source: Ramallah Mix

I keep current with Palestine. I witness to counter the countless billions of dollars extinguished every day for the united status of quo. In a large enough way I am personally complicit: The State Department issued a passport that verifies my identity.

stone.cold.justice
This is abject primal fear, the kind that arrive when you are out of your mind frightened. It is not a simple detention. 

Palestinians on their own soil live everyday life in a police state every day. It’s just ironic that Israel is a front-runner in the race for fascism.

Video from December, 2015: holiday season.

Did you know that children throwing stones, reported throwing stones, thought to throw stones or not throwing stones are housed in Israeli prisons? The military uses GPS systems to locate a child’s bedroom for 2:00 A.M. visits.

Many Israelis enjoy the occasional guffaw. Who could even think of being offended by humor on a theme of Rachel Corrie pancakes. No one is suggesting that the society might be depraved, decadent or disgusting. Just wondering why I am so thin-skinned and sensitive. Why does that denim have a dark stain?

Thanks Thlwn for posting this video today on Twitter, and for being who you are. Grateful for the thankless task you serve, for your ability to garner humor in the face of evil most banal. It’s not an easy job.

I don’t read about this stuff in the New York Times. I don’t hear about this stuff on NPR. I don’t see this stuff on PBS.  So here I am reporting for duty.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

BDS and the Blacklisting of Pro-Palestinian Activists

Yesterday I learned about a pro-Israel operation you might be interested in. Propaganda online real time: Canary Mission

canarymission_logo

It comes complete with rapid-fire context-insensitive propaganda video:

Canary Mission: Radicals Exposed

One of the links on their website takes you to organizations that pro-Israel movements view as threats. Among them BDS, Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine.

Obviously the  links do not take you to the activist website but rather to an internal link. Here is what happens when you click the Canary resource for BDS.

Canary is not about freedom, justice or equality. It’s about learning from Senator Joseph McCarthy.

BDS Movement (this site is about Freedom/Justice/Equality)


 

joseph_goebbels_quote

Canary uses a dark agenda funded by a secret sponsor seeking to remove the privacy of innumerable activists and destroy their futures, i.e. a cleansing.

hasbara.israel.students.hashtag

Hasbara works by achieving a deft balance between information availability and media participation. It helps to have billions of dollars available to combat free and open society. Success depends upon promoting democratic principles on the de jure side while using fascist techniques on the de facto side. Then to proclaim that they continue the good fight as the only democracy in the Middle East: one protected by the most moral army in the world.

Corporate ownership (NYT, Time) and corporate sponsorship (NPR, PBS) permits bias to enter the news. The big lie requires billions of dollars to grow but it has shallow roots.

 

 

 

At Ariel University a Boycott Begins

What good may a boycott bring? It can expose human rights violations otherwise ignored. Many members of academia are joining together, bringing attention to a little-known school via a boycott.  This past Monday (14 March 2016) a thousand protesting professors announced their stand on Ariel University

In all fairness though I am providing an opposing viewpoint for your convenience,  Anne’s Opinions: a WordPress site that explains every Israeli human rights abuse as somehow explicable. See if Anne adopts a certain insular perspective.

https://boycottzionism.wordpress.com/2010/08/01/carlos-latuff-images-for-bds-activists/Does Anne know that her society lives and thrives on Palestinian soil? Is Ariel a university of Israel? Or is it another foothold in Occupied Palestine? Does it benefit Palestine or does it serve the 500,000 settlers on occupied land?

Anne’s blog post on the Ariel action: Let’s see you boycott this, idiots.

Just for the record, Ariel University is not in Israel.

At Ariel University, only Zionists need apply
Professors Amir Hetsroni (pictured) and Steve Salaita have much in common.

Here is a different perspective on Ariel:

At Ariel University, only Zionists need apply

The list of reasons for this BDS action: Israeli Academics for Peace.