Adonis Diaries

Archive for June 2009

Camping High


1.   I built ideas, pyramids of them.

The heads reaching to the stars,

The bases never touching ground.

Beautiful Pyramids, camping from up high.

Everybody looked base, mean and redundant.

Everything seemed tedious, small and crawling.

I am reverting to basics:  One idea at a time.

One of them crazy ideas will be I.


2.   A poet is known by one poem,

A writer by one book,

A statesman by one decision,

A leader by one stand.

One of them crazy ideas will be I.


The writer, the poet, the statesman or the leader,

No matter whom I’ll be,

That’s fine with me.

380.  Reactions to the genocide in the Sabra and Chaltila camps; (June 21, 2009)


381.  Women: Urban and Rural (Al Said, Egypt); (June 22, 2009)


382.  Modern Times Ulysses; (June 22, 2009)


383.  Women: Urban and rural (Cairo, Egypt); June 23, 2009


384.  The Bible of Global Problems: Global Resolutions; (June 23, 2009)


385.  Women in Foreplay; (June 24, 2009)


386.  Global Resolutions of World problems; (June 28, 2009)


387.  “A summer in Jerusalem” by Cochana Miller Boukhobza (June 28, 2009)


388.  The Days of Pardon; (June 29, 2009)


389. Another wave of assassinations readied: Bi-Weekly report (#26) (June 29, 2009)

Ulysses Revisited (June 22, 2009)


            Ulysses in the Odyssey was away of his City-State Ithaca for 20 years. The first ten years were spent battling Troy.  The next ten years were disposed of in other kinds of adventures and he was buffeted by storms and sea dangers. Ulysses was very lucky being loved by Calypso for over seven years in a paradise–like island. The love of Ulysses and Calypso were mutual; in fact, Ulysses knew Calypso far better than he knew Penelope; he loved Calypso much more than Penelope.  Ulysses real life was not in Ithaca; he matured and experienced life outside of Ithaca.  That Ulysses’ nostalgia for Ithaca to be so great is not within the realm of reason or of feelings. Homer wanted Ulysses to return for some other purposes.  The stronger nostalgia is the poorer the memory.  Nostalgia is self-sufficient in emotions and absorbed in its sufferings; it does not need any refreshing of reminiscences.

            We find Ulysses sleeping under an ancient familiar olive tree in Ithaca.  How many familiar trees remain after 20 years of absence in our modern times? The harbor is unchanged. A single bulldozer can move a small hill and open a breach into a new horizon, or block another one.  Ulysses realizes that he is in Ithaca. 

            After killing the suitors to Penelope then Ulysses felt bored. His supposedly ancient compatriots are strangers to him; they are telling Ulysses stories of events that happened in Ithaca and people that died or whatever.  Ulysses is not interested in these unilateral conversations; he is waiting for someone to ask him about his adventures and life during the last 20 years. No one was interested in Ulysses’ life in the last 20 years; no one asked him “Tell us your adventure”.  Fortunately, Ulysses was shipwrecked in Pheacie on his way to Ithaca.  The king of Pheacie was interested in the stranger Ulysses and his adventures; Ulysses felt voluble and told his story in four long songs.

            Ulysses realized that his essence and the treasure of his life lay out of Ithaca. At this advanced age the present of Ulysses is fidgeted because the future is no longer a project or a vision to contemplate and plan for.  The only alternative for Ulysses to fill the present is to recount his very alive past 20 years.  No one in Ithaca is interested in the last 20 years of Ulysses.

            People figure out that they will live to be eighty as of the latest estimates in developed nations; implicitly, they admit that they will die and that they must be living in a developed State.  People always are absolutely certain that they will outlive their best friends by at least a decade; it is a matter of ego.  Youth doesn’t think about future; it is far away and redundant.  When we reach 30 then our present has value with urgency. We live our present according to how we view our future; we spend our present commensurate to our plans and projects expected in a future that will not change but for our specific projects and ideas.  Whatever change is forecasted for the world community is redundant. People over 60 have a chance to re-invent their lives or spend their present recalling their past; it is time to either write the autobiography or leave peacefully. Homer is taking the task of recording “Ulysses Memoirs”.  Ulysses is pretty old for his time and killing the suitors of Penelope must have exhausted the last shred of energy he saved.  The Odyssey is rightfully not interested of what happened before Ulysses went to war against Troy; that period is totally irrelevant to the story: Ulysses had forgotten that part of his early life anyway.

            Immigrants of my acquaintances come to visit after long absence.  As I try to ask about their life abroad there is always someone to interrupt me and divert the subject to local events, especially stupid local politics; stupid because I am no politician. The immigrants do not get back to my question simply because they were no Ulysses in the countries they lived in; over there it is daily toil, a wretched life for stupid survival.  Not many made it rich and their absence had no value or significance.  Returning immigrants were no Ulysses; they did not live with a Calypso on an enchanted Island and served by slaves for every whim they had.  They were the slaves and they did slave.  Nowadays, societies in developed States are not that interested in strangers: strangers are just statistics and grouped haphazardly for the sake of classification and central data processing. Immigrants don’t have much to tell; they fled for greener pastures that turned dry; dollars were not found on the streets. Whatever rich life they had is irrelevant if not supported by actual material riches. In any case, immigrants were too busy to enjoy their present and memorize the good days; whatever they recall are the worst days which are not pleasing for story telling.

            Immigrants who are in their sixties should not think returning “home”; they should banish “nostalgia” from their vocabulary; they should dissociate from people frequently mentioning “nostalgia”.  Home is where they are now; they do not need further exacerbations of realizing that they are strangers in their “homeland”.  Except if they decided to write their autobiography; then this would be the best location to remembering their real life abroad.

            Ulysses would have not found his old familiar olive tree; the unchanged harbor would have been studded with performing monster cranes.  Penelope would have been too old to ward off suitors if any.  Penelope would not have been waiting if she was pretty and intelligent enough in the first place.  Homer is a magician for transforming wretched reality into poetry, for describing nostalgia in its proper meaning, for showing us the period of real life and our inconsiderate valuing of the present.


Note:  The theme of this article was presented in the French novel “The Ignorance” of Milan Kundera.

The Near East Dilemma: Discussion, May 17, 2009, (Part 2)

Jean Dayeh, a Lebanese author and a veteran journalist investigative reporter, published recently “Jubran Tueny Sr. and the Century of Renaissance” in the Near East.

The first part of my review covered the background.

Around 1919, Syrian was the name of the populations comprising the current States of Syrian, Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan. This region is coined Levant by France, a former mandated power to the region.

Part two explains in details the positions of the various Levant countries (Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine) political parties and intelligentsia of the period during and after the First World War.

The discussions reported on the preferred status for Syria during the year 1919 and a couple of years afterward.  The year 1919 was critical for the Near East and the entire Arab World.

After almost a century, we are still reaping the consequences of the resolutions of the lengthy convention of the League of Nations that met in Paris for many months. The convention main purpose was to divide the spoils of the First World War.  Never such profusion of Syrian intellectual activities was so prolific and so divergent for uniting the spirits under a unified desire for autonomy.

The Lebanese and Syrian immigrants in the USA, France, and Egypt were very active.  In Egypt, there were first, the “Syrian Union Party” headed by Michel Lotfallah and the vice president was Mohammad Rasheed Rida.  This party supported the efforts of the Maronite Patriarch Howayek to have Lebanon under French mandate as preliminary phase to Lebanon’s independence and attaching four adjacent territories belonging to Syria so that Greater Lebanon could be “self-sufficient agriculturally”!

The second political party created in Cairo (Egypt) was the “Moderate Syrian Party” with founders Nicholas Choukry and Phares Nemr (owner of the daily “Al Mokkatam“),

The third party established in Egypt was the “Syrian Union” and headed by Nasseem Saybaa, Sami Juraidiny, Yacoob Saraaf (owner of the daily “Al Moktataf”, and Khalil Khayat.  Nasseem Saybaa expressed the position of this party for willingness to accepting a temporary USA mandate over all Syria unde the legitimate authority of King Faisal.  This political party was worried that England and France will not withdraw their armies in the region: There were indications that these two colonial powers intended to establish a Jewish State in Palestine.  The “Syrian Union” hoped to the last minutes that the US Congress would turn down the League of Nations proposed resolutions, but in vain.

In the small town of Mansoura, Egypt, a journalist Jubran Tueny Sr. (later the founder of the daily Al Nahar “The Day” in Lebanon) was for a French mandate over an independent Greater Lebanon on the ground that France saved the Lebanese immigrants from slaughter in Haiti while the US did not deign to intervene.

Tueny was convinced that it was the US that implicitly encouraged a Jewish “homeland” in Palestine, simply because the US lumped the Near East as Asia.  Tueny refused the presence of the Hijaz army (under the Hussein of Mecca) in Damascus and wanted it to withdraw as the Turkish forces did, because urban Syria is distinct from the nomadic Arab culture and civilization.

Chebli Chmayel was a sociologist and prolific thinker that spread the Masonic ideology that “those who tend the land should own it” (referring to the new Jewish immigrants who first focused on agriculture in colonies). Chmayel was typical of Masonic members who believed that democracy means that the majority of an ethnic group in a nation should govern and rule.

Both Syrian political parties founded in Egypt demanded an independent and secular Syrian nation, comprising Lebanon, but headed by King Faisal.

In Latin America there were Nehmeh Yafeth (an industrialist and wholesale merchant in Sao Paolo, Brazil) and Khalil Saadeh (father of Antoun Saadeh, the founder of the Syrian National Social Party in 1936).

Khalil Saadeh headed the “Democratic National Party” in Brazil and demanded the total independence of the Syrian Nation with no mandate and for Mount Lebanon to enjoy an autonomous State status within Syria.  Khalil Saadeh wrote the Arabic/English dictionary, and translated the new testament of Barnabas.  Khalil Saadeh could never digest the idea that a tribal leader from Mecca should be appointed King to urban Syria; he claimed that the Syrian people were not Arab, even if they spoke Arabic, and their culture has nothing to do with nomadic culture and literature.

In the USA, especially in the City of New York, there were the “Committee for Liberating Syria and Mount Lebanon” headed by Ayoub Thabet (later would be appointed first President to Lebanon by the French mandate) and Jubran Khalil Jubran as secretary.  The main members were Amine Rihany, Michael Nouaymeh, Abel Massih Hadad (owner of the daily “Al Saeh”, The Tourist), and Nasseeb Arida.

This council attempted to send volunteers under the “Orient Regiment” to fight alongside the French during the war but the efforts fizzled. This party was for the total independence of Syria after a brief mandate by France or the USA; Mount Lebanon was to enjoy strict decentralized status within the Syrian Nation.

The other political party in NY was the “Lebanese Renaissance” party and headed by Naoum Moukarzel (owner of the daily “Al Houda”).  This party was a staunch supporter of French mandate and giving Lebanon a Maronite authority and character.

In Paris there were the “Central Syrian Association” headed by Choukry Ghanem, and Dr. George Samneh.

In Mount Lebanon, the members of the “Administrative Council of Mount Lebanon” were for a confederate status of Lebanon with Syria under King Faisal.  Even Saadallah Howeiyek, brother of the Maronite Patriarch, and a member of this governing body was not with the Patriarch position for a separate Lebanese State under French mandate.

The Lebanese leaders were the most confused and disunited as to their status after the war.  Woodrow Wilson, the President of the USA, was confused by the diversity of opinions emanating from the Lebanese leaders assembled in Paris during the convention.  Wilson thus dispatched the investigative commission King-Crane to report the people wishes for their status.  France and England refused to join the commission because they had set on a project to divide and get mandate over the Near East.

The Syrian population did not have an army to fight the Turks alongside the “allies”; they were suffering famine and calamities due to locust invasion and the perpetual requisitions of the Turkish army in foodstuff and coerced soldiers.

The concept and principles of waging war, then and now, that only those parties or nations that effectively participated in the war were eligible to divide the spoil.  Syria who had no army was considered having no “legitimate rights” to share independence at the League of Nations who won the war.

Fooled Myself


I fooled myself. I pitied myself.

            I wanted to know all, diligently, for decades.

I wanted to change the World

            In my dreams, night or day.

Aloof, confused, distracted and detached of your Worlds.

             It was the right thing then.  Still right, now.

I now take one task at a time.

             Now that time is worth everything,

Time is irrelevant to me.

             I could be happy.

Another wave of assassinations readied: Bi-Weekly report (#26)


            Israel has readied another wave of assassinations in Lebanon.  The main strategy of Israel in Lebanon is to encourage civil wars because it is helpless to tame the Lebanese by brute force; it tried it three times after 1992 and failed miserably.  As soon as Israel gathers intelligence on social unrest in Lebanon then it begins enflaming sectarian conflicts that the Lebanese have not manage to overcome by its archaic political structure and election laws. 

            We can already predict the timing of political assassinations when the governments in Lebanon fail to form unity government.  Israel participated heavily in the execution of an international decision to assassinate late Rafic Hariri PM because the timing was appropriate.  After Israel and Cheney assassinated Rafic Hariri then Israel went on assassinating the intellectuals and activists George Hawi, Samir Kassir, and Jubran Tuweiny who were in the vanguard of seeking unity among the Lebanese.  The civil war failed to materialize because the leaders of the majority in the Parliament knew that these assassinations were perpetrated by Israel and not by the opposition or Syria.

            Israel resumed another wave of assisations on political figures and Deputies such as young Pierre Gemayel.  Civil war failed to take off and thus Israel decided to activate her military plan to invading south Lebanon for the seventh time.  The war occured in June 2006; after 33 days of active bombardement and destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure the ground attack failed miserably because Hezbollah resistance kept her ground and defended evey yard and evey town.

            The trend of assassination before the June war 2006 and afterward pointed to close cooperation with Israel among inside Lebanese leaders; it was as if the Lebanese leaders were implicitly selecting for Israel the potential personalities that are disposable for assassination because they constituted liability for the progress of George W. Bush and French Chirac strategy in the Greater Middle East.

            What prompted my article is that after the parliamentary election of June 7, 2009, the same majority in the Parliament are trying to resume their older plan of failing to form a unity government as was agreed on in Dowha.  The signs are pretty leaning toward that direction of hording the government and key civil posts in the administration.  The majority elected 4 under-secretaries to Nabih Berri in the Parliament such as Marwan Hamadeh, Fatfat, Ogasapian, and Zahrat and eliminated a representative of the Tayyar of General Aoun who has a block of 27 deputies out of 128.  These four under-secretaries are servile to their masters and big mouths but they share one other common denominator: they failed to recognize the new dynamics in the region and thus they have become huge liability to their leaders; they should have declined to resume doing politics as usual and stepped out of politics.


            My hunch is that if within 10 days Saad Hariri (called upon by 86 Deputies to form a government) drags his feet in constituting a unity government then Israel would have received the strong hint to try destabilizing Lebanon and would step in. It stands to reason that one of the first candidates for assassination could be from among those big mouths that are serious liabilities to their leaders and have served their duties. There is another Deputy who is a liability to all leaders and has no value in representing any one; his death has greater value for short term gains during the formation of a government.


            Iran won on two counts in the latest round of problems during and after the election.   The Iranians have proven that they have national objectives and are ready for reforms.  I would have been sceptic that the regime in Iran is functioning well if not for these mass demonstrations that are pointing direction for change and rejuvenation of an empire.

The Days of Pardon; (June 29, 2009)


            On the first Tuesday evening of each month, Adonai reserved a secluded quarter to meditate and write two lists.  Each list was divided in three categories.  First, Adonai would read his diary of the past month and take notes.  In the first list he would list the acts that he felt were unjust to his neighbors and individuals he dealt with; then the acts that he felt were unjust to society as a community, and then the acts that did not correspond to the commandments “Do not do to your neighbor what you don’t want him to do to you” such as do not steal, do not kill, do not arouse his jealousy, respect your parents, and the rest…  The second list contained what individuals, the community, and God did wrong to him in acts and calumnies.

            Early the next day of Wednesday, Adonai would seek an isolated place in nature, preferably a hill, and would read aloud the two lists.  Adonai would finish his ritual by saying with complete confidence: “I have been unjust to you God and you have been unjust to me.  This is my day of pardon. God, you forget my faults and I forget your faults.  Let us meet next month for another conversation”

            Adonai speech to God is the easier part on Wednesday: the hardest acts are to visiting his neighbors and communicating his candid and naïve habits.  Adonai knew that it is these visits and his candor that exacerbated the community wrath against him: he was stepping out of bound and drying the dirty clothes of the community to God without their assent. Adonai is repeating these mockeries 12 times a year; as if once a year should not be enough.  Adonai would not mind reducing the number of “Days of Pardon” but reading his diary would take longer and the lists might grow longer and more tedious without frequent homework. 

            A consensus might be appropriate: Adonai will resume his habit with the uncomplaining God once a month and he would visit his neighbors once a year.

My Warpy World


1.   I need to burn off my excess energy,

That stuff I used to have in abundance in my youth.

I burned it bending on desks,

Reading and learning.

About our warped literatures and histories,

Warped theories,

Warped philosophies, of a warped world we created.


2.   I now need to stretch time in my old age.

I don’t want time to fly by:

I am supposed to be scared

Of the imminent end.

No, I have to work double shifts to make ends meet.

I need to work harder to fulfill

Newly discovered dreams.

Global Resolutions of World problems; (June 28, 2009)

            This essay intends to offer viable global resolutions to the global problems that I posted previously.  I developed on the eight main global problems:


Fact one:  Climate and environment quickly deteriorating.

Fact two:  Birth control is not efficient in the mostly under-developed States

Fact three:  Potable water and water for irrigation are dwindling fast.

Fact four:  The middle classes in China and India are expanding alarmingly.

Fact five:  The world economy is experiencing serious deflationary period.

Fact six:  The world is going through deep financial crisis and recession.

Fact seven:  Effective military spending should decrease but it didn’t.

Fact eight:  The identity crisis around the world is destabilizing order and security.


            At this junction of human development, the global problems we have to face attest to the successes and accomplishments of man, his mental scientific genius, his legitimate ambitions for acquiring what he can afford to, his quest for liberty and the reward for a comfortable life after a hard day work.  The global problems we have to resolve attest to man ethical and moral failures to catching up to his mental agility.  Man has proven his individual instinct capability for survival in a sustainable earth; man has now to prove that he developed enough collective instinct to survive an earth on the way to depletion.


            The eight main problems cannot be solved separately; not a single problem can be solved by one nation.  The interactions among these problems mesh tightly and resolutions should be studied and analyzed as an entity, a complete package, by a world forum, meeting regularly, and then assigned to a central executive power.  The United Nation is firmly established and has a wide data base, current and on global scale.  The first step would reasonably be to re-organize the UN with fresh competence, specialized departments, and actual executive power but the State superpowers are not showing signs of investing time on re-structuring the UN potentials.

            Veto power by a single State (one of the G5) to shut down resolutions by the other 194 States is troubling.  More States are entitled politically and economically to be assigned permanent seats so that political decisions results from equitable balance in power.  In all Parliaments there are committees for specific issues; I don’t see why State representatives in the UN are not allocated in committees so that the world community feels that it has a share in the well being of earth’s citizens.


            Globalization after the fall of the Berlin Wall exacerbated many of these problems and added a few more serious problems: it belittled culture and replaced serious reflections with information; it pressured many States to organize into economic blocks to face up to a unipolar world power; it generated identity issues and radicalization of religious extremism under the guise of autonomous and independent tiny States; and it eradicated local based civilizations and traditions that had power to participate effectively in social progress and management.  The new ideologies of civilization clash, the death of history, the only valid political system of conservative capitalism, and the dominance of the American language and way of life were meant to confirm the new unipolar political system.  The world was to become a village governed by a central power and the financial crisis proved the danger of globalization “US style” or State ideology circumventing and crushing other viable ideologies. The US Defense Minister Rumsfeld went as far as cursing Europe as “senile old Europe” because it adhered to legitimate ethical standards.


            Environmental re-habilitation and climate management and control are political in essence.  This problem is linked to increased urbanization and over-production and competition on world market in order to boost GNPs and secure higher political ranking among the G20.  Containing CO2 emissions and stabilizing them to current levels is feasible at the expense of erecting nuclear power plants because the “clean” alternatives of elonean and hydraulic power generations are limited in production commensurate to the exorbitant cost.  China and India must convert any new car put on the highway into much cleaner energy efficient vehicles or any solution for stabilization of CO2 production will fail.

            The major worry is the emission of methane gas, worse 20 times than CO2 for the warming up process, which oceans have started to spew. Earth regeneration is a slow process and for the Arctic to recover is not foreseeable in the medium term.  Reforestation is also feasible but younger trees are no supplement to efficient old trees that are dying and decomposing.  Until the tropical forests resume their natural function of absorbing more CO2 than emitting then earth environment is in serious trouble.


            Birth rate control is plagued by superstition, ignorance, oligarchy systems, and extremism in many societies; these deficiencies are increasing and worsening in under-developed States.  Birth control must be a decentralized enterprise and tailored made to customs and traditions to be successful in the long term.  Only higher rate in education, exposure to other civilizations, active dissemination of female rights and enforcing them, and increased local facilities to generating job opportunities can stabilize birth rate to manageable level.


World finance currency has to be stabilized in order to avoid desastrous fluctuations not based on sound economic output and real trade exchange.  I suggest the following steps:

            First, the developed States have to agree on another tangible standard for currencies.  Gold would not do because the US has abolished it in 1967 because all the gold in the world could not sustain the huge amount of paper dollars circulating or intended to circulate around the world.  Gold extraction, even if practically depleted on ground of economic feasiblity, can always be re-used and circulated but has no industrial value.  The alternative is a basket of depleting minerals that are essentials for manufacturing and production.  The processed minerals do not have to be rare but very essentials for development.  The US can agree to this idea since it has huge reserves in many important minerals.

            Second, all the States that can account for at least 3% of all curency circulation should join an “International Money Printing Council” with tight control and monitoring creteria.  The first States in ranking with combined shares of over 50% of cash money in circulation on the global market should have a veto power.


            There are serious dangers that can wreck havoc to any global resolutions if politics succumb to one of Three Global Temptations.  It is appropriate to consider the example of a team of rock climbers.  The team has the appropriate equipments that are tested scientifically and the members have the proper physical training.  There are three main risks for the team to fail in his mission of reaching the top.


            The first temptation is that a member of the team going berserk and taking a dive: this member can carry down the rest of the team with him. A few people have this urgent temptation to dive, and when available, they would try dangerous acrobatics.  Luckily, the two populous nations of China and India have taken off; they have the tools, the technology, and the means to care for their over 2 billion citizens; the main worry is that they are trying to catch up in a few decades what took centuries for the USA, Europe, and Japan to reach in stable governments, and legitimate desires for comfort. The accelerated trends in China and India for over production are a dangerous temptation that needs to be tampered by political sharing at an equal footing.  

            There are many more millions who have been humiliated for centuries and robbed of their basic dignity; they have not gone berserk because of poverty in means for survival as individual; they are dangerous because of a collective sense of insignificance and desperation toward the policies of the colonial powers of resuming this process of humiliation and denying them even diplomatic respect as recognized States.  Not all Moslem States feel this desperation: Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Turkey have taken their destinies in their hand.  What the European Union and the USA have to focus on, right now, is to salvage the remnant of dignity among the Arab populations.


            The second temptation facing the team of climbers is the wall, the rock face. Most team members might have the techniques of sheltering from falling rocks, slippery sections, brittle portions, and blowing winds.  Human kind has learned to take shelter until the danger passes over.  Most of us have developed the instinct of prudence, such as not interference and keeping low levels. We are at a junction where danger is not to pass over on its own volition and no sheltering behavior can protect us for survival.

            Human kind has to move as a team of bold activists and turn out heavily to put their words and opinions at work.  If we hold to our tribal customs, our illusory identities, our comfortable life styles, our chimerical convictions then all is lost.  The team has to support the weakest member as difficulties surge and be confronted collectively.  The best means is to include the weakest members in the resolution programs so that they acquire the ropes, skills, and confidence to share in the task.


            The third temptation braving the team is deciding on the target of the mission and it has to be a collective goal. There are no tops to reach in human progress but there are defining phases.  We are at the dawn of Prehistory and a new kind of history has to be achieved and written. Tribal history has done its function but it is of no use for our current global problems. National wars, religious wars disguised as ethical values, ideological wars, cultural wars, or war of “civilization” have been tried and they all failed to bring reprieve and salvation. A new adventure for human kind is facing us boldly and we have to invent a new kind of history more appropriate to our survival. The new history should be focused on resuming our medical successes, eliminating pain and diseases, eradicating weapons of mass destruction, keeping us functional in old age, overcoming illiteracy, investing on continuing education, creating opportunities for various skills, desires, and achievements, preserving local languages and literature, managing human rights, and salvaging the dignity of every human being.


            Frankly, The European Union is actually the main laboratory for confirming that “Tribal History” is exhaling its last breath; that human dignity is not measured by fictitious apartheid scales based on color, religious affiliation or ethnic origins; that humiliating man is not a point of view or can generate any temporary benefit. If God has been angry for millennia then man has an opportunity to prove that he can harness collective instinct for survival to reverse that anger and make God feels proud of his Creation.

“A summer in Jerusalem” by Chochana Miller Boukhobza (father of bread)


            This French novel is the first of Chochana Miller Boukhobza published in 1986; she was 26 years old.  She described Jerusalem in captivating details. A Jewish family from Tunisia decided to immigrate to France; the family lived the immigrant adventure of wants and hard life in a poor quarter of “Chemin Vert” in Paris.  The elder girl (Sarah) was 17 when she exhorted her family to relocate to Israel. Three years later, as the family settle down in Jerusalem then Sarah fled back to Paris, leaving her conservative parents in complete disarray.  The father is bitter and angry with his daughter living away from the family.

            Sarah decided to spend her month vacation in Jerusalem after 3 years of absence.  Saba (grand father in Hebrew) of Sarah was orphaned and studied to be rabbi. Rachael or Safta (grand mother), a beautiful girl, married thinking her man is going to act and behave as rabbi, with a social class and potential financial potentials.  Saba was not interested in social affairs and spent his days reading at the synagogue; he also enjoyed drinking alcoholic beverages: he was an alcoholic. Safta insisted on playing the role of the wife of a fictitious rabbi in the Tunisian Jewish community; she would pray to Adonai (the name of God among the Sephardic immigrants, the God of Canaan and Phoenicia; The State of Israel of the Ashkenazi is trying to banish Adonai).

            In Paris, the father of Sarah had to cloth his father differently; instead of the “red tarbush or kabouch” Saba wore forced by his son to wear a hat; the serwal was changed to a European dress.  Saba learned to take the bus to the nearest Synagogue every day for the whole day.  Saba was only given bus fare and something to eat but he always managed to come home drunk; the Jews entering the Synagogue had all kinds of excuses to offering reading rabbis small changes.  Saba said of Paris “a country of images and idols”.  Safta was completely disoriented in Paris but she practically raisded the kids while confined in the apartment. She would never beat the kids but encouraged her son to do the chastising

            Saba and Safta were relegated to live in desert Beersheba with Sarah’s aunt.  They were buried in a cemetery by the Olive Mountain close to Jerusalem.

            The two younger brothers of Sarah are serving in the Israeli army (Tsahal) invading Lebanon in 1982 and entering the Capital Beirut and facilitating the genocides in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Chatila.

            The same as Safta ruined her life with Saba, the mother of Sarah, Camille, has ruined her life with her father.  The parents stopped having sexual contacts after the birth of the last son Joseph.  Camille cut her long hair and wore the scarf over her head to appease the anger of her husband.  When Camille is away of her husband she feels younger; she longes to visit her daughter in Paris and tour the museums and theaters but she never got around her wishes.  Camille is living awaiting her two sons to return home after the war.  No mother in Israel has a normal life.  It has been a succession of wars since the independence of the State of Israel; people have stopped planning for the future; they can die tomorrow.  The soldiers return bitter and discouraged because they never see the use of these wars that didn’t bring peace or security.

            Maud is a married neighbor of Sarah; she said “I don’t understand politics. I voted for Menahem Begin on instinct. Begin is the King of Israel”.  During Chabath (Saturday) that starts around 4 p.m. on Friday, people stay home; the streets are deserted, and shops close down. Food are cooked on Friday and kept warm for a whole day on electric warmers so that no one should cook after 4 p.m. 

            Lea is saying to Myriam “you will leave this State to the Arabs without reacting?” Miriam retorted “who are the masons, the cleaners, the gardeners, and the servers in restaurants? If the Palestinians decided to stop working for us and adopt passive resistance then Israel would vanish in no time.”  When in war, men are enlisted in the army and the crops are destroyed if Palestinians refuse to harvest.

            When Safta died the custom required all the close relatives of Safta to live in her son’s home for 7 days and nights.  They were the old generation of Tunisia; they were crippled; they just read and prayed; they waited to be nourished three times a day; they farted and urinated haphazardly but that what the rabbi recommended as the best remedy in order to forget mourning. Sarah fell in love with Henry, originally a Moroccan immigrant.  She didn’t stay home to care for the elderly visitors and exaggerated her make up and went out all night in shorts and mini-skirts bringing the wrath of her older generation.  She was considered crazy. Sarah had decided to stay in Jerusalem, quit her Jewish boyfriend waiting for her in Paris, and then marry Henri. Henry decided to go to Beirut on a reporting mission for three days; he did not return.


Note 1: The author Chochana Miller Boukhobza had hard time with the Israeli authority regarding acknowledging her Jewishness. She has American nationality and was converted by a “reformist” rabbi.  The conservative rabbi at the Israeli ministry of Interior suggested that Chochana be reconverted by an orthodox rabbi in order to avoid refusal of an Israeli citizenship according to the “law of return”.  She had to fight to circumvent these regulations and set uproar in Israel. The State of Israel refused to discriminate among types of Jews in order to encourage immigration to the State of Israel.


Note 2: (In spite of religions, the customs and traditions in the Arab World, especially in the Near East, are basically the same.  These customs are the inheritance of millennia of people of “The Land”.  The various religions changed headdresses and a little in the fashion for the sake of forcing discrimination for political reasons.  The clergies of the different religions needed a tad of fashion changes to retain political dominance among their corelegionnaires.  Outside, the headdresses might sort out the various sects but inside their homes the people are the same: their idioms, their habits, their food, and their interior style in furniture and comfort are the same. People before 1920 could not differentiate a Jew from a Christian or a Moslem.  Even after decades of living in Israel, the Arab Jewish immigrants have conserved their Arabic language and the customs they inherited from their original Arab States.  Many Arab diplomats, of States having signed “peace treaties” with Israel who could visit Jerusalem or Haifa or Yafa would declare that they felt in an Arab city.  All these wars have nothing to do with religion: they are the consequences of European Ashkenazi playing the colonialists and applying colonial rules and regulations of apartheid.)




June 2009

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