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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Summer 2014 Israeli Gaza invasion recap

These are posts from August I did on Facebook and should have put here on the blog instead . .

This is an Israeli soldier who is refusing to serve, his illustration of the conflict, rather good, if graphic, but that's genocide too, ugly:

"And forgive me for using this hard language, but when you have a group of people raping someone, and this person that is being raped starting to scratch, the first thing you want to do in order to stop the scratches is to stop the rape. And what Israel, official Israel, is trying to do is to continue the rape and deal with the scratches. And I say, stop the rape, stop the occupation, stop the apartheid, stop this inhumane ghettoization of Palestinians, and then—then—we can start talking, and we can reach peace agreements and all these beautiful words that now don’t mean anything for us."


Just like spring break! Yay! Except with war crimes... Right to defend themselves. Ha! Never again (to us).

Bob Schieffer?!?! I had thought of him as a pretty reasonable guy. He's joined the dark side, the majority, the Israeli propaganda machine, those who want the rape victim to stop scratching rather than the rape to stop.

List of op-eds calling for the elimination of Gaza

I think  this was prompted by someone asking me to prove Israel was stealing land, THEY want to push Israel into the sea, Israelis only want peace, or one of the other Israel-can-do-no-wrong lines of "reasoning."

Collective Punishment In Gaza

One of the best I've read lately. Facts are hard to come by in this conflict as we are blindly and recklessly supporting the oppressor. Rashid Khalidi, thank you!

U.S. Jewish Leader Henry Siegman to Israel: Stop Killing Palestinians and End the Occupation

HENRY SIEGMAN: ... And this is why I say there are several reasons for the Israeli action. A primary one is to prevent this new government from actually succeeding. It’s an attempt to break up the new unity government set up by the Palestinians.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Why would they do that? Why would they want to do that?

HENRY SIEGMAN: They want to do that, for the first time—for years, I have been suggesting and arguing that they want to do that because they are intent on preventing the development of a Palestinian state. To put it bluntly, they want all of it. They want all of Palestine.

Now, this is something that Netanyahu said openly and without any reservations when he was not in government. He wrote about it, published a book about it, his opposition to a Palestinian state, that Israel couldn’t allow that. The difference between the time that he—and he, incidentally, opposed not just Palestinian statehood. He opposed peace agreements with Egypt. He opposed peace agreements with Jordan. Any positive step towards a stabilization and a more peaceful region, Netanyahu has been on record as opposing.

My over 6 foot sunflower. Maybe I'll rename the blog sunflowers and genocide.

The shoe doesn't go on the other foot in Palestine

As always,  a great show for Democracy Now, great points made by the guest, Henry Siegman. Here are two:

What if the situation were reversed, and the Jewish population were locked into, were told, "Here, you have less than 2 percent of Palestine, so now behave. No more resistance. And let us deal with the rest"? Is there any Jew who would have said this is a reasonable proposition, that we cease our resistance, we cease our effort to establish a Jewish state, at least on one-half of Palestine, which is authorized by the U.N.? Nobody would agree to that.

He quoted a Hebrew saying in the Talmud here about putting oneself in another person's shoes. A proposition like his gets you called anti-semitic- or in his case, a self-hating Jew no doubt. I've proposed similar scenarios or tried to describe the land grabs in other terms and have been called some things.

Why hasn’t our government or anyone said, "Like Hamas, if you have parties like that in your government, you are not a peace partner, and you are a terrorist group, if in fact you use violence to implement your policy, as Hamas does"? So the hypocrisy in the discussion that is taking place publicly is just mind-boggling.

Such a good question! One we all want to know the answer to. He was talking about parties in Israel's government, mainstream ones, not on the fringe, whose platform does not allow for a Palestinian state anywhere in Palestine.

Defending Men's Rights ?!

Ok, I talked about the overblown rage in the rape nail polish affair, but I think this one deserves a bit of rage. Men's rights. That's right. In the rush to help women get a fair shot, equal pay, catch up after decades of being pushed to the back, we have forgotten men's rights to rule over everything and own everything. How dare us. (Roll your eyes here)

Not that they don't have issues. Some valid problems were mentioned like unfairness in custody hearings and higher suicide rates. Sure, these are things that need addressed, though probably not at the top of the list when you think of men's rights or likely when those men get together. I expect more what goes on to be blaming women for things, saying they are ok with helping women get equal pay and other things, but they need to be afforded the same breaks and "opportunities" (so they can stay ahead I guess).

When I read the complaint on not having a White House council on men and boys and having Womens' Studies, but not Mens' Studies, I felt like I was listening to white supremacists talk about white rights being violated by affirmative action or some other absurd argument.

Rape Nail Polish

Everyone's talking about this, so I'll say something too.

Most of the links when I searched this were very critical of this new product, accusing the creators of putting the blame on the victims, how dare them, etc. I definitely agree the victims of rape are not to be blamed. No question there. The perpetrators are criminals and something should be done to change that attitude or culture that makes men think rape is ok or that women ask for it in the way they dress and things like that.

I think some things are being overlooked in this aggressive opposition though. We aren't going to eradicate rape. That's as silly as a war or drugs or terrorism. It will always be the case that people 
do bad things, break the law, violate the rights of others. And, yes, we should work to stop that from happening, but during that rather slow process, we shouldn't make it seem like any attempt by a potential victim to protect themselves is wrong. The nail polish is just one more thing to put more power in the hands of the victims- at least that's how I looked at it- like learning self defense or carrying pepper spray. 

We can talk about how impractical it is- just let me stir my drink with my finger vigorously for approximately 30 seconds (or whatever the instructions happen to be) and then I can accept this drink you bought me- or I can check your drink for roofees, just let me stick my finger in your drink and stir it around some, of course I washed my hands after using the bathroom. But I don't think inventing things women can do to try and stay safe while they wait on the culture to change or all criminals to stop committing crimes is putting the blame on them.

Not to mention these are 4 college kids, undergrads maybe, so the fact that they did this is actually pretty cool. Just the fact that they invented it is newsworthy. And it's my alma mater. In the article I reference above, they even say

“We hope this future product will be able to shift the fear from the victims to the perpetrators, creating a risk that they might actually start to get caught,” co-founder Tyler Confrey-Maloney explained on Wednesday in a Facebook post.

So I don't really think a charge of victim blaming is really warranted. Anything that women can do to try and prevent this from happening to them I see as a good thing. The effectiveness and practicality are another matter. . . Some will say my cautious approval of this new tool is similar to me saying women should be paranoid about how they walk and dress lest they bring rape on themselves. That is going to the extreme, reductio ad absurdum. I'm saying use common sense, use the tools available to you and crime will always exist. The fault is always the rapists', yes, but if I see a possibility to do something to stop that from happening, I'll try it. It doesn't mean it's my fault if my effort fails or if I can't do anything about it.

That said, I probably wouldn't use it- it seems rather clunky and awkward, but if people want to, go for it. I think it would be fantastic if rapists were more afraid of being caught. If the nail polish helps with that, awesome. The laws really aren't doing that effectively either.

And I should mention again that these are college kids who designed something to use their new chemistry skills to try and solve a real world problem, something generally advocated in colleges. Maybe it solves nothing, but you have to at least try different things before you create something useful.

Note: My computer is possessed currently and insists on deleting furiously when I edit. I think I fixed this post, but am not sure if I found everything.