Monday, August 11, 2014

the negotiation farce..

i get it that negotiating with terrorists is bad..

(a) it discouages the moderates.. rather than rewarding them for being cooperative - they see how violence is the only language we understand..

(b) it empowers the extremists.. the palestinian public is likely to view hamas as more effective than abbas if we give in to hamas' demands while we keep on ignoring abbas. and the palestinian authority..

(c) it sets a bad precedent.. copycat violence and terror may well follow when other groups start to view us a societ in capitulation..

(d) it benefits those that want to kill you..

now i understand good and well for these very reasons why we have avoided negotiating with hamas for so long.. it doesnt help that hamas' charter expressly includes the destruction of israel - an ambition that hamas plays out on a daily basis..

but what i dont understand is why our government needs to lie about it.. we have negotiated with hamas so many times.. whether it be previous ceasefire attempts following previous conflict breakouts or whether in connection with the release of gilad shalit..

so why did so many palestinians and israelis need to die and so many houses be destroyed and so many people rendered homeless if we could have just sat down for a chat and solved things.. why did we need an escalation that would force our respective governments to demontrate unachievable achievements when they could have quietly progressed common interests without the public following their every move as it seeks to avert a sense of meaningless loss of life..

my point is - if youre doing it anyway - then just do it.. and do it properly.. and get the best and most peaceful outcome you can for our nations.. so we can stop apologising for our existence and for the low number of israeli casulaties and the gazan deaths for which we blame hamas and they blame us.. who needs this nonsense..

Sunday, August 10, 2014

and so we set sail..

the sails are up.. everything is running fine on board.. the mobile island of telaviv has once again set sail and left the shores of israel.. gaza and the israeli towns around couldnt feel further away.. they may as well be somewhere on another planet where little purple people eat little star shaped purple things..

the news is again no longer about us.. we watch it like everyone else - only that unlike everyone else - we are only a few dozen kms away.. its now about them.. and they dont really exist - theyre news people.. somewhere on another planet where little purple news people cry about purple newsy things.. while telavivs restaurants are full again and beaches overflowing..

of course i am relieved that the sirens in telaviv have gone quiet.. this summer feels truncated as we enter a state of denial regarding the past 4+ weeks and reattach the present to the time continuum somewhere just before the war commenced.. deleting the war from our minds.. permanently empty trash..

the death toll in gaza has now fully morphed into a stat.. no one really died.. its just a number near 2000 that died.. so now when we count we can skip that number - dont worry our computers and gadgets as they will do it automatically.. who ever counts that high anyway - you wont even notice that the number has gone.. so we dont need to feel guilty for not grieving..

we now await the demand for inquiries which will probably only be launched once all battle embers are out.. almost makes me wonder if the anticipation itself is prolonging the smouldering and thus allowing other developments to supersede our prevalence such as isis kidnapping hundreds of people in northern iraq or perhaps the next syrian massacre - the ebola breakout in the ivory coast works too - there is even an israeli dr who went to help = good pr for our humanitarian side.. but it would be cynical of me to say that the lack of finality is anyway supporting any political cause.. so im trying to refrain..

when the reports end up being issued we too will relate to them as a foreign nation.. telaviv will cast its judgment between having its soup and its schnitzel during one of its dinners and by desert move on to something more - how do you say - happening maybe..

the breeze is pleasant and there are no clouds on the horizon.. hoping for calm seas ahead..

mira awad (arab) and some musicians (jewish) making some mellow sounds that fuse arabic vocals with some worldy sounds - i felt like posting it right here..

Our relationship is a blood connection,
a bleeding connection,
a philosophical bleeding,
a bleeding with aesthetic measures.
Our relationship is distance, is intimacy,...

is contradictions,
contradictions that make me find aesthetics in a bleeding.

Friday, August 8, 2014

separation anxiety..

everyone knew the ceasefire would crash today because hamas told us so.. so many times.. they promised.. how odd is that..

it didn't stop us from ignoring its crash..

we set off further north to a little town that we love on the carmel mountain (not more than a long hill) and walked around with the girls.. on the way to the car we saw a little café/restaurant owned by a winery called tishbi.. it was nothing short of amazing.. one of those unforgettable lunch spots that you can only find by perfect accident..

imagine a pizza with crust thin enough not to take over the flavours but thick enough to remind you that youre not just eating toppings.. with a bounty of cheese that is carefully not overdone.. drizzled in olive oil with anchovies loosely scattered and a handful of juicy calamata olives sitting amongst a couple of basil leaves.. only now imagine it as perfect.. over-dramatized? maybe..

we also had a salad that for the first time impressed me more than the salad at entrecote in paris.. and that is saying something..

we drove home through the countryside.. skimming through towns like pardes hanna and benyamina.. suddenly feeling like we could be anywhere..

the radio was trying to haunt us with warnings and reminders of how to seek shelter while driving if a siren is sounded.. it was almost funny how they promised that they would let us know if a siren was sounded to make sure we remained tuned in.. but even though the radio was on - we tuned out..

the Israeli tourism board has been feverishly working overtime to urgently produce massive billboards encouraging us to get back to our lives and to stay local for our holidays and help the troubled businesses in the south..

so hamas - you might take away our ceasefire - you might decide to renew your rocket fire and who knows - we might even decide to fire back (for which we undoubtedly will be once again squarely blamed by everyone - as usual).. but i think you have exhausted our panic and exhausted our patience for safety rooms..

somehow i hope (for the sake more of the gazans than anyone else) that this is just your childish way of showing us that you don't like packing up your toys even when game time is over.. now please put down the joystick - go to your families - hug each of them - apologise for these deadly antics and start working to secure a life for each.. ruining ours has not succeeded.. we're here to stay..

Thursday, August 7, 2014

here today there tomorrow..

eight years ago when i first surfed portugal a bunch of belgians told me how they had fled the big city.. how the ballooning islamification had driven them to the countryside and how they would never return to the city.. one of them had left the country for that very reason.. i was in shock.. but they had heavy predictions for belgium that to me seemed over the top and exaggerated..

watching this video now makes me cringe.. belgium of all places was nation that knew how to merge two peoples.. french speaking and flemmish got along to create an incredible little hub.. they of all people know how to get along.. maybe to a fault..

how do you feel about this.. how do you feel about radical islam pushing aside moderate islam in western europe and growing to the extent that very soon a western european country may face sharia law.. in which case belgium may have to be excluded from the EU.. belgium.. yes the country of castles and international organisations.. chocolate.. and burqas and niqabs and beards and hidden women and honour killings and who knows maybe jihad..

and then what.. will belgium try to liberate the muslims of france? will they send rockets? what next guys and gals..

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

playing chicken..

just as we had started to get used to a bit of quiet the news reports are full of hamas threats of the conflict reigniting tomorrow.. 

hamas is apparently saying that they wont back down until all their demands are met.. they want more war in the meantime..

rather than approaching the UN or the security council or NGOs or whatever to push their demands forward - they somehow have reached the conclusion that rockets might help.. or maybe its the rockets in combination with the international pressure that will result from israel defending itself from those rockets..

i have said this before but gazans need to come to the table to shake this off.. and the palestinians need to decide.. is gaza its own thing and if so - then gaza needs to take responsibility - or - is gaza part of the palestinian entity in which case the PA needs to start issuing clearer messages rather than sharing a unity government..

it might even be over..

i have already started to dream of sirens at night.. i knew this would happen..

i still find myself continuing to choose cautionary driving routes as a matter of habit even though it takes me longer to get to work and home..

i have been left with so many questions and so few answers..

we really don't know whats going on..

i hope this never happens again..

thank you to all those who followed my blog and to all those who offered on going support..

in a few weeks this will all seem like old news.. for hundreds of thousands of gazans and israelis who live close to the border and do not necessarily feel like their concerns have been addressed - we (in telaviv) will soon appear indifferent and detached..

may we all heal and may we finally solve our differences..

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

national dehydration..

are we in are we out? who knows.. its all become quite unclear.. are we negotiating are we not? also unclear.. will there be more sirens? who knows.. are we satisfied that objectives were achieved? maybe in telaviv certainly not in the israeli towns around gaza.. do we have the energy for a peace deal now and would be be able to trust it? who knows..

and the dead.. how many are there? no really.. how many?? yes please include the severely wounded that will be declared dead in a week or two.. i just want to know.. so i can get my guilt and grief ledger in order.. no not just on our side.. give the true and ugly details of how many palestinians were killed too.. because yes it does matter.. i dont care how rotten the hamas are and it is irrelevant whether or not we can justify it under international law.. since when did international law hug people people who lost their kids or quench the pain of a loved one or slithers of their body being buried??

and what on earth happened to our abducted soldiers? i dont get it.. we suddenly figured out that there were dead and not adbucted?

i think the smoke screens and protests and media carnage and hatred frenzy around the world has left us a bit confused.. i dont even know what to do with all the hatred.. paris and london never felt further away.. and celebrities - please stop talking about topics you know nothing about.. seriously.. not just those who hate us - those who love us (supposedly) too - its stomach turning to hear everyone's ignorance echo through the web..

i know that the justification for war often gets blended into a cocktail with the humanitarian sides.. sometimes the humanitarian argument (why sometimes - always) is used against us.. ie it is not humantiarian of us to defend ourselves and to kill palestinians in doing so because not enough of us have died.. and other times the duty to defend our citizens is used against the palestinians such that no matter how many of them die its justified as long as we are busy attempting to defend our own.. put in such terms - is it so hard to see that either argument can easily be taken to an extreme? where did all the pragmatic people go?? come back.. we need you to help us push aside the nonsense and allow reason to surface..

as individuals - palestinians and israelis - how do we justify our national loyalty if what defines it right now is the centrality of a mass hatred that we either emit from our collective essence or alternatively suffer collectively from others?? cant we offer ourselves any better fate??

we have designed starwars like defence systems.. you have built tunnel systems that would make us proud in telaviv if only they had an underground.. :) we have both weathered so much and invested so much in this hatred.. imagine a world in which we invested in absolutely anything else.. how amazing could that be..

Saturday, August 2, 2014

war filtration..

to the far left you see a church spire and then a bit to its right a mosque's minaret.. synagogues don't have tall features normally so you cant see the synagogues around them.. but they coexist.. this is yaffo.. gaza used to be like this.. my friends parents used to go there for cheap grocery shopping and to enjoy the beach.. the hatred was not always there..

many (not all) of my arab friends.. specifically muslims - not my middle eastern christian friends (some by the way refuse to be called arab and insist that they are Israeli christians) are now fully recruited into the hatescape.. this has resulted in a defriending process which is nothing short of a broad separation of forces.. people who had built bridges of hope with me since the lebanon war in 2006.. people I had never met.. people I had met regularly.. people I had only scarcely known.. people I had been introduced to and formed connections with online.. people i had camped with in the desert.. people i had broken bread with on the shores of the deadsea on crispy winter nights overlooking the hill top lights of Jordan.. people i had harmoniously beaten drums of friendship with around campfires.. people i hosted in my house and who had invited me to theirs.. people who for years had fully known my opinions and i theirs..

as I said - those who really love peace have not moved an inch.. they don't engage in war related antagonism but rather accept that each of us has his or her own pain and lets the other be..

the war is reaching a certain crescendo and especially now that an israeli soldier appears to actually have been abducted by hamas and we (as a nation) are preparing for another collective scar.. a wound that will remain ajar for years and ultimately only be healed by Israel releasing hundreds of hamas murderers such that the bleeding wont really ever end.. on the one hand I think we are sick of this.. we hear that the army has identified most of the tunnels and has been avidly working to destroy them (cant help but think of all that wasted money effort and soul).. and yet today despite initial hopes for a quiet weekend at 6am a very long siren was sounded over telaviv and again my wife and i shuffled half shut eyed to our safe room trying not to wake the girls and hugged it out before heading back to bed..

in theory unless a real ceasefire is reached this could go on forever.. hamas could continue raining this safety nuisance upon us and the world including ban ki moon and our best friend's president mr Obama (did I mention that I haven't liked him for a long time?) will point their heavy fingers at us staring at us in blame..

i mean for goodness' sake.. a foreign journalist watches rockets being shot at us from a hospital and while reporting it - urges for us not to use her report for our own purposes.. what is up with that.. the world needs to know.. but even if it did whod care..

anyway hamas is now fighting in reverse.. it knows we are sick of this and want it over and so its threatening us as it walks backwards that if the ceasefire isn't bilateral it wont be honoured.. like it ever was..

gazans - rise up and end this mess - get rid of your murderous and treacherous leaders who are using you as cannon fodder while they buy fancy houses around the world and watch you starve.. they are billionaires and you are dying of hunger even though the UN has given you billions..

filter them out..