Thursday, April 12
Facing the fear and blogging it anyway...
I've been talking with a couple of bloggers today about this story I wanna cover. It's a internal Israeli politics story and it may totally bore you, world news sometimes is boring, but before I even get into that the fellow bloggers and I have been discussing how this story might bring a rain of Little Green you-know-who rage down upon this here little blog and am I prepared to deal with that?
You mean, like, deal with a gang of uber-zionist kneejerk thugs via the internet? What, they won't be gentlemanly with a married Lady, capital L, who lives in the south? Bless their hearts, I know they will.
The thing is, I had to deal with a thug like that in person once. Many of you know I have my undergraduate degree from Brandeis University. Brandeis, for those of you who don't know, is a Jewish sponsored, non-sectarian university which was founded in 1948 as a kind of "Jewish Harvard," back right just before Harvard opened their admissions to Jews. Brandeis flourished anyway, and it's a damn fine school and I'm damn proud of my degree from there. And just so you know, I don't wave it around too much, but I have a degree from that "H" school too. I'm MORE proud of my Brandeis degree. Moving on.
The thug: I was hanging out in the slightly smelly "offices" of The Justice, the Brandeis school paper, eating lunch. Not too many people around. This very brawny guy stormed, and I mean stormed, into the office. "I want (reporter's name) NOW. I want the Justice's charter, NOW! We're gonna shut this paper down! Where's (reporter's name)!!! I want him here! He can't get away with this! Student Council's gonna meet and this paper is gonna get shut down!"
I mean this guy was screaming. At me. He was opening file cabinets and slamming them shut. I only knew he was some heavyset lug who sat on the student council, yeah, and he didn't know me from Eve though he probably labelled me "shiksa" the minute he walked in, which meant he wasn't really gonna fight me personally: I was not worth it. Yeah, there are guys at Brandeis who think that way. "Shiksa" (a derogatory term for non-Jewish woman-slash-whore) was my protection, and I knew it and he knew I knew it. Hope that doesn't sound too derogatory. It's just the way things were in that setting. No big whoop. Really.
Okay, here's the money quote and the admittedly hilarious punchline. What was this guy so upset about? The reporter he was so mad at and "wanted there NOW" had written a piece about this guy's bullying practices at student council meetings and had quoted an unnamed source as saying this guy had a "siege mentality."
So listen up, Little Green Foosballers. This Brandeis shiksa has faced greater sieges than you could lay down in comments. And if you attempt to call me an anti-Semite, a holocaust denier, a Nazi, an enemy, in any way, I gotta big bag of kosher candy hearts for ya right here:
Okay, now on to the boring internal politics of Israel story. The reason it interests me, apart from since it seems true it's a travesty, is that the current Israeli government is out-Rove-ing the Rove/Gonzales/Bush cabal. Karl is wondering why they can't get away with this kind of behavior and Gonzales is saying, well, we can't, YET. And Senator Lieberman is praying for the day they can.
Okay. Here is the deal. There's this member of the Kennesset, which is the Israeli Parliment. His name is Azmi Bishara. I don't quite understand all the politics here but apparently Bishara is one of those really radical Israelis who looks around and sees "Arab people" and thinks it might be a good idea to, um, okay, I'm pushing the Holocaust denial envelope here, but he thinks it might be a good idea to actually, like, talk to Arab people. Like, maybe, the Jordanians. Sheesh.
So he goes off TO JORDAN and talks to them. And government OFFICIALS in Israel are threatening him with not only removal from office, but arrest. Bishara has not returned to Israeli territory yet. And he may not. Doesn't George wish he could do that to Nancy.
Look, I'm going to be real careful here in showing off my sources, and in every instance I'm going to link to an ISRAELI newspaper or an ISRAELI blog. Got that? That's important. You'll see why.
Here's a story from the Israeli newspaper Haaretz about Bishara's travels and the reaction from Israeli hardliner politicians.
Okay, I just got off the phone with a friend of mine who has lived in Israel. This person says that Bishara is reviled in Israel by a lot of people as more than an Arab sympathizer, more of a collaborator. But this friend also said that he is DEFENDED by people who hate him, Israelis who think it's a good idea to keep the label "only democracy in the region" meme going strong.
That's the meme that resonates most with me, even when Joe Lieberman says it. 'Cause you see, Pammy, I don't like the way the Arab world treats their citizenry in general or their women in particular. Theocracy is theocracy and it's bad whether it's Christian, Jewish, Islamic, etc.
Sorry I know this post is rambling. But when I see an Israeli Kennesset member being threatened with arrest (?) because of his politics and another Kennesset member introducing a bill to disqualify for election anyone who meets with Arabs, I think we've gotta ask some questions here. Like, how do you, Mister Netanyahu, define democracy?
Here's an article from the Jerusalem Post, which confirms this Israeli blog post*, that the Israeli Government has imposed a gag order on the whole affair. *major thanks to whoever translated that post into English for posting.
Some commenters at the Jerusalem Post article think that since Azmi Bishara is still out of the country (apparently as a political exile, but no announcement has been made) but his family has returned, the Israeli security forces should arrest his family. Yeah.
As the blogger points out, if this is allowed to stand, who's next? I think that's a good, fair question.
Believe me, I've tried to be very fair covering this. I'm happy to have anyone challenge the facts and provide me with links, proof, problems. I've got a really open mind about all of this. Thanks.
permalink 11:45 AM