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More Jewish Babies

February 23, 2010

I was reading this Amira Hass article when this huge advertisement saying “Have more Jewish babies” was blinking at me. This is the charity. It’s funny to see how pro-life politics in Israel are being framed in the context of the demographic “time-bomb,” as it is called in Israel, meaning that by common estimates, the number of Arab residents of Israel will outnumber the Jewish ones. Unfortunately, along with advocating higher birth rates for Jews, some are also calling for a reduction of the Palestinian population, aka genocide. Martin Kramer should be fired immediately from his post at Harvard. Recalling a class I took once on American electoral politics, I think it’s never a good thing when politicians start talking about babies. Really, babies need to be fed, cleaned up after and loved. That’s about it. Anytime babies start becoming the focus of politics, we should be alarmed. At best, it might be a shameless play for popularity; kissing babies, putting child-safety locks on car doors, etc. At worst, it locates the complicated issues facing contemporary citizens on the most vulnerable and un-responsible members of our society. Martin Kramer does this when he calls UN subsidies “neo-natal.” It sounds like he just threw in the only baby-related word he could think of, because  children in Gaza are surely not receiving neo-natal care.

See: Berlant, Lauren. The Queen of America Goes to Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship. Duke University Press: Durham & London, 1997.

Rachel Corrie

May 28, 2009

Here are a couple of interesting things that I’ve stumbled upon in the past few days.

“So this film is an independent investigation into the death of Rachel Corrie, but it turned out also to be an inquiry into the investigation itself, into the inquiry process of the Israeli army. Now, for example, the Israeli army says they are investigating possible violations of human rights during the bombings in Gaza in January. All the time the Israeli army investigates the killing of civilians, and in 99.9 of these cases, there is no independent investigation, and nobody’s punished, you know?

Not that it is the only army in the world that kills civilians. I’m not naive — it’s not. But maybe it is the one who kills civilians and it is so easy for the Western world to accept it and to swallow it. Maybe it is the only one where there are so many lies and hypocrisy around it, you know? It is not the army who kills the most civilians in the world, but maybe it is the army for which it is so easy to lie about it and to still be presented as democratic — this is a problem. The hypocrisy about it, you know? As an Israeli I would prefer them to be less hypocritical. If they continue to kill, at least I would like them to stop lying.”

“In Israel, when you are a Jew you can say what you want. When you are a Jew. That part is very important.”

 “it’s really time for the Americans, especially the Jews among them, to stop being intimidated by this pressure, from the Israeli lobby or whoever it is. They should say what they really feel. A lot of people are talking in our name who are not entitled to talk in our name.”

Hamid Dabashi article

April 6, 2009

Just as in the Summer of 2006 against the Hezbollah, the Christmas massacre of 2008-2009 in Gaza is the final indication of the military meltdown of Israel – that it has run out of military ideas, and that it is now not just morally bankrupt but far more crucially militarily clueless. Israel has already lost the Gaza invasion. The more the massive propaganda machinery of Israel around the world tries to hide its brute barbarity against civilian targets the more it has lost credibility in the eye of the global public opinion and the more its ugly militaristic disposition becomes naked.

More than from Obama, Israelis and their AIPAC operatives in the United States are afraid of the liberating and progressive movement that Obama has unleashed in the US – the movement of a new generation of Americans who wish to come to the fold of humanity at large and stop being the principle sponsor of warmongering around the globe. No one knows what will happen to this movement – will Obama deliver on his promises of change, will this movement dissipate, or will a new generation of young and progressive Americans wrest the destiny of their homeland from the confounding pathologies of predatory imperialism, vicious Zionism, and Christian messianism? It is impossible to tell – there is much cause for fear, and every reason for hope.

Naming names and denouncing individually every prominent Israeli intellectual who has publicly endorsed their elected officials’ wide-eyed barbarism, and then categorically boycotting their universities and colleges, film festivals and cultural institutions, is the single most important act of solidarity that their counterparts can do around the world. 1.5 million impoverished human beings have been choked to death in Gaza and this obscenity that calls itself “Israeli intellectuals” does not even blink and says it is the Hamas’ fault that they are being slaughtered in their hundreds by the Israeli military. 

“Hamas is the poor and impoverished representative of a poor and impoverished people.”

http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=14656

Great article from Alternet:

http://www.alternet.org/audits/127698?page=entire

Only A Matter of Time…

March 11, 2009

Ministry, Israeli consulate in New York embark on mission to fight search results showing images of war-torn Gaza when asked to find ‘Israel’; plan to flood web with positive images of Jewish state courtesy of topnotch photographers

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3683202,00.html

This goes nicely with the piece I found today about airbrushing of women’s bodies in magazines. 

http://video.nytimes.com/video/2009/03/09/opinion/1194838469575/sex-lies-and-photoshop.html