Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 30th, 2014

 

It has ripened: racial apartheid in Israel

On November 5th 2014, Naftali Bennet published an opinion article titled “For Israel, Two-State Is No Solution” in the New York Times, asserting that “Israel cannot withdraw from more territory and cannot allow for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank.”

Instead, Bennet proposes, Israel should control the entire West Bank, creating clusters of ‘upgraded’ Palestinian Autonomy that will be “short of a state,” not being allowed to “control its own borders and… to have a military.” (But all of the West Bank is already controlled by Israel)

Although within Israel this publication went relatively unnoticed, it was a momentous action, signaling the beginning of the public unmasking of the one-sided Israeli solution; making visible a system of apartheid that evolved over a long time, but did so in increments and in a way that allows those in power to deny its existence.

(But all Israel’s actions have been one-sided when it suits its policies. Israel never followed up on any negotiation deal)

Bringing apartheid through the back door. (But Israel blatantly exhibits its apartheid policies up-front to the world community)

Na’aman Hirschfeld published this Nov. 23, 2014

Conditions are ripe for the racial apartheid that Israel has been gradually imposing on the territories since 1967

Coming out in the open – with a public primed to applaud and accept it.

 

The separation barrier between Israel and the West Bank.

The separation barrier (The Wall of Shame) between Israel and the West Bank. Photo by Nir Kafri
(No see Palestinians, No fear them: They don’t exist)

In South Africa apartheid was publicly visible from the onset, being the official state ideology, underlying its law, policy and actions.

In Israel by contrast, apartheid was developed in a way that masks its nature, employing the imposition of martial law and military control on the Palestinian population, to create a geo-social and physical separation between Israelis and Palestinians, while simultaneously facilitating the seizure and settlement of Palestinian.

For most Israelis, as well as many international observers, this apartheid is invisible because the first and to a degree primary purpose of this system is the restriction of Palestinian presence within Israeli space – geographically, socially, judicially, economically and culturally.

This effect is, by its nature, almost transparent within Israel itself: It occurs elsewhere – in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, areas into which most Israelis never venture and are in fact often not allowed to enter.

The Israeli settlers who do live in those areas, be it because of their ideological commitment or because of governmental economic incentives, as well as the military forces, governmental personnel, non-profit organizations, and commercial concerns that operate there, are actively and aggressively imposing this apartheid as “facts on the ground.”

Indeed this is the special characteristic of this apartheid: rather than being the foundational Ideology of the state, it is an apparatus that is seemingly extrinsic to it – a de facto system of oppression and segregation that is wholly unspoken of in official rhetoric and almost all Israeli media.

Although this apartheid was developed and shaped by the policies of almost all Israeli governments since 1967, it manifests primarily in praxis. This allows citizens and politicians alike to deny its existence (even to themselves.)

After all, no Israeli government ever publicly discussed enacting “apartheid”, and the system that does exist is disjointed, composed of many different elements that act in unison but not through the aegis of any single official entity or government directive.

This is now changing. Two days after Bennet published his article, the government approved a bill that extends Israeli civil law into the settlements automatically (settlers are already subject to civil law) and thus officially extends the state’s civil jurisdiction into the west bank, which being an occupied territory, is currently governed through martial law.

Alongside this territorializing action, which seeks to dissolve the distinction between the occupied and non-occupied, the democratic and secular basis of the state is under attack with the proposed “Jewish Nation-State Basic Law,” which Prime Minister Netanyahu vowed to push through as soon as possible.

The first clause of this law states:

“a. The State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people in which it realizes its aspiration for self-determination in accordance with its cultural and historic heritage;

b. The right to realize the national self-definition in the State of Israel is exclusive to the Jewish people;

c. The Land of Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and the place of establishment of the State of Israel.”

It further asserts the significance of “Jewish tradition as a source of inspiration” in legislation, demotes Arabic from being an official language into a secondary language, and sets the “basics of liberty, justice and peace envisioned by the prophets of Israel” as a defining characteristic of the state alongside democracy.

Erasing the Palestinians

If this bill becomes law, it would force the Supreme Court to give more weight in judicial decisions to the Jewish element than the democratic one in all instances in which there is a clash between the two, curtailing the judiciary and removing key checks and balances that have thus effectively prevented the enactment of a de jure apartheid through legislative and executive actions.

It would also dramatically exacerbate the bias against Palestinians who are Israeli citizens (euphemistically referred to in Israel as “Israeli-Arabs”,) while introducing the denial of the Palestinians’ claim to a homeland and of their right to self-determination into the legal foundation of the State of Israel itself; making the erasure of Palestine and Palestinians into the law of the land while enabling the expansion of the state to include the entire territory of the Land of Israel / Palestine.

There is little hope for those who wish to stop this process. The political discourse in Israel is so powerfully controlled by the right, that this government – which is the most right-wing in Israeli history – is often criticized publicly for being ‘leftist.’

Even if the ruling coalition were to collapse, which appears to be a real possibility, the next government will be in all probability even more extremely right-wing, with the two real contenders for premiership being Netanyahu and Bennet.

Although the rise of the extreme-right in Israel has been in the making for many years, a development that notably accelerated since “Operation Cast Lead,” the past year saw a massive shift to the right in Israeli politics and society at large. This was not merely the result of events that occurred, or of conditions that ripened, but rather of intentional actions aimed at ushering this very reality.

While the Israeli move to cease the peace-talks this April was significant, this was mostly symbolic because these talks were a sham from the get go.

The policy of settlement that was initiated by the first Netanyahu government (1996-‘99) and continued ever since, made the two state solution a non-viable possibility: Even a cursory look at the geographic distribution of the settlements makes it abundantly clear that without the forced evacuation of a huge number of settlers from the West Bank the formation of an actual Palestinian state is impossible, and such an evacuation became an impossibility once Ariel Sharon ceased being premier (2006).

The facade of a “peace process” finally collapsed five months ago, when the kidnapping of three Israeli-Jewish teenagers was cynically used by the government to manufacture a war. Although the Israeli security services knew early on that the teenagers were dead, the government falsely claimed that the teenagers were alive.

This was done in order to justify the transformation of the search into a large scale military operation against Hamas, initiating the spiral of escalations that eventually served as the official cause of war. It was also simultaneously used as an excuse to conduct a veritable propaganda campaign meant to shape the public’s opinion and collective experience by instilling a false sense of hope and solidarity with the families of the kidnapped – a campaign in which the established Israeli media was a willing participant.

As expected, when the bodies were eventually found, this false hope shattered, transforming into collective grief and outrage, and giving rise to an unprecedented wave of racial hatred that swept Israel.

The resulting burning of Mohammad Abu Khdeir and the ensuing large scale Palestinian demonstrations in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, against the background of escalation in the IDF’s bombardment of Gaza and Hamas’ launching of missiles, were used to galvanize the public, channeling the Israeli public’s wish for revenge into a justification for war.

Although the war ended in mid-august, by late September it became apparent that the Israeli government is trying to bring about a full scale intifada through aggressive steps in East Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the West Bank.

At the same time, a full-scale media war was initiated against the Palestinian Authority – shifting the responsibility for the escalating violence to Mahmud Abbas, while in fact agitating for more violence. This is an ‘end-game’ maneuver: The Israeli government closed the door on negotiations and has finally proved that it really is “no partner for peace,” forcing a situation in which there is no longer a solution, only a resolution.

A race has begun:

As the Palestinian Authority attempts to achieve statehood, at least on paper, with a UN recognition of it’s being a state – an effort that already acquired substantial momentum, the Israeli government is maneuvering to create a reality that will empty these moves of all meaning, finally dissolving the last vestiges of the Oslo Accords by bringing the West Bank in its entirety back under Israeli control, consigning Palestinians to semi-autonomous territories that will resemble South-Africa’s “Bantustans” in all but name.

Although there is a chance this maneuver will fail, there is also a good chance it will succeed.

Since Israeli governments proved time and again that “facts on the ground” are very hard to change, and given the distinct possibility that the shifting balance of world-power will dramatically fortify Israel as an irreplaceable ally for the west, the successful enactment of apartheid will postpone indefinitely the creation of a Palestinian state and shift the site of conflict and oppression from the occupied territories to the very core of Israeli society.

This is the end of Zionism its final result – a Jewish state that embodies the rationale of anti-Semitism.

Note:

ISRAEL CONFIRMS A “JEWISH STATE” IS A RACIST STATE.

“The Israeli cabinet on Sunday approved draft legislation that emphasized Israel’s Jewish character above its democratic nature.”

P.S. WHAT “democratic nature”?

The draft legislation emphasizes Israel’s Jewish character above its democratic nature, proposing to define Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, a…
nytimes.com|By Isabel Kershner

 

 

 

The Disease of Being Busy

I am so busy… have so much going on.

First of all: Need to set the context of the story. Like where people feel so busy.

by Omid Safi (@ostadjaan),  weekly columnist

I saw a dear friend a few days ago. I stopped by to ask her how she was doing, how her family was. She looked up, voice lowered, and just whimpered: “I’m so busy… I am so busy… have so much going on.”

Almost immediately after, I ran into another friend and asked him how he was. Again, same tone, same response: “I’m just so busy… got so much to do.”

The tone was exacerbated, tired, even overwhelmed.

And it’s not just adults. When we moved to North Carolina about ten years ago, we were thrilled to be moving to a city with a great school system. We found a diverse family neighborhood. Everything felt good, felt right.

After we settled in, we went to one of the friendly neighbors, asking if their daughter and our daughter could get together and play. The mother, a really lovely person, reached for her phone and pulled out the calendar function. She scrolled… and scrolled… and scrolled.

She finally said: “My daughter has a 45-minute opening two and half weeks from now. The rest of the time it’s gymnastics, piano, and voice lessons. She’s just…. so busy.”

Horribly destructive habits start early, really early.

How did we end up living like this?

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Why do we do this to our children?

When did we forget that we are human beings, Not human doings?

Whatever happened to a world in which kids get muddy, get dirty, get messy, and heavens, get bored?

Do we have to love our children so much that we overschedule them, making them stressed and busy — just like us?

What happened to a world in which we can sit with the people we love and have slow conversations about the state of our heart and soul, conversations that slowly unfold, conversations with pregnant pauses and silences that we are in no rush to fill?

How did we create a world in which we have more and more to do with less time for leisure, less time for reflection, less time for community, less time to just… be?

Somewhere we read, “The unexamined life is not worth living… for a human.” How are we supposed to live, to examine, to be, to become fully human when we are so busy?

This disease of being “busy” , when we are never at ease is spiritually destructive to our health and wellbeing. It saps our ability to be fully present with those we love the most in our families, and keeps us from forming the kind of community that we all so desperately crave.

Since the 1950s, we have had so many new technological innovations that we thought (or were promised) would make our lives easier, faster, simpler. Yet, we have no more “free” or leisurely time today than we did decades ago.

For some of us, the “privileged” ones, the lines between work and home have become blurred. We are on our devices. All the Freaking Time.

Smart phones and laptops mean that there is no division between the office and home. When the kids are in bed, we are back online.

One of my own daily struggles is the avalanche of email. I often refer to it as my jihad against email.

I am constantly buried under hundreds and hundreds of emails, and I have absolutely no idea how to make it stop. I’ve tried different techniques: only responding in the evenings, not responding over weekends, asking people to schedule more face-to-face time. They keep on coming, in volumes that are unfathomable: personal emails, business emails, hybrid emails.

And people expect a response — right now (Not correct). I, too, it turns out… am so busy.

The reality looks very different for others.

For many, working two jobs in low-paying sectors is the only way to keep the family afloat.

Twenty percent of our children are living in poverty, and too many of our parents are working minimum wage jobs just to put a roof over their head and something resembling food on the table. We are so busy.

The old models, including that of a nuclear family with one parent working outside the home (if it ever existed), have passed away for most of us. We now have a majority of families being single families, or where both parents are working outside the home. It is not working.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask in Arabic, Kayf haalak? or, in Persian, Haal-e shomaa chetoreh? How is your 7aal?

What is this haal that you inquire about?

It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know.

I am not asking how many items are on your to-do list, nor asking how many items are in your inbox. I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment.

Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch.

Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul.

Tell me you remember you are still a human being, not just a human doing.

Tell me you’re more than just a machine, checking off items from your to-do list. Have that conversation, that glance, that touch.

Be a healing conversation, one filled with grace and presence.

Put your hand on my arm, look me in the eye, and connect with me for one second.

Tell me something about your heart, and awaken my heart. Help me remember that I too am a full and complete human being, a human being who also craves a human touch.

I teach at a university where many students pride themselves on the “study hard, party hard” lifestyle. This might be a reflection of many of our lifestyles and our busy-ness — that even our means of relaxation is itself a reflection of that same world of overstimulation.

Our relaxation often takes the form of action-filled (yet mindless) films, or violent and face-paced sports.

I don’t have any magical solutions. All I know is that we are losing the ability to live a truly human life.

We need a different relationship to work, to technology.

We know what we want: a meaningful life, a sense of community, a balanced existence.

It’s not just about “leaning in” or faster iPhones. We want to be truly human.

W. B. Yeats once wrote:

“It takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than it does for a soldier to fight on a battlefield.”

How exactly are we supposed to examine the dark corners of our soul when we are so busy?

How are we supposed to live the examined life?

I am always a prisoner of hope, but I wonder if we are willing to have the structural conversation necessary about how to do that, how to live like that. Somehow we need a different model of organizing our lives, our societies, our families, our communities.

I want my kids to be dirty, messy, even bored — learning to become human.

I want us to have a kind of existence where we can pause, look each other in the eye, touch one another, and inquire together: Here is how my heart is doing? I am taking the time to reflect on my own existence; I am in touch enough with my own heart and soul to know how I fare, and I know how to express the state of my heart.

How is the state of your heart today?

Let us insist on a type of human-to-human connection where when one of us responds by saying, “I am just so busy,” we can follow up by saying, “I know, love. We all are. But I want to know how your heart is doing.”

Note: Even in retirement people need to feel totally busy. Many feel happy when retirement age is extended. That is why getting bed ridden is the end of the world.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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