Monday, December 31, 2012

Attack on Israel and Calls for Peace, are they One and the Same?

The Syrian killing - the biggest civilian massacre in Middle-East's modern history - is of no interest for most peace movements around the world

The Israeli government has approved the construction of 3,000 new homes in the occupied West Bank. A famous Israeli Rabbi has issued new dressing guidelines for religious women, stating that not even girls as young as three should expose any part of their body or wear bright colors. New regulation undermining human-rights and democracy are commonly raised in the Israeli parliament these days. It is as though Israel is playing into the hands of the anti-Israeli campaigners, whoever they might be. And they love it, especially the government sponsored Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

“We told you that Israel is against peace,” reminded us a French NGO, after the announcement of the new construction.

Israel prefers to keep entrenching its occupation, expanding its illegal settlements, and devouring Palestinian land, rather than pursue a genuine peace with the Palestinians on the basis of UN Resolutions and International Law.” Cries SABEEL – and NGO sponsored by the Swedish and Dutch governments – in their annual Christmas message.

Bethlehem, a city of peace, has been disfigured by tanks and soldiers on its streets,” reads the back of a Christmas card issued by War on Want, which receives British government funding.

One might be forgiven to believe that it's values like peace, justice, and human rights that motivated these statements.

But if peace is their genuine goal, why don't they mention Hamas leader, Mr. Haniyeh, who reiterated in his speech a few weeks ago that Hamas will keep fighting Israel until it is annihilated. Isn't he an obstacle to the peace process?

If justice is the motivation, shouldn't they mention, at least in a side note, the number of 'City of Peace'-originated suicide bombers responsible for the killing of dozen Israel civilians.

And if human right is what they care about, aren't they missing the largest civilian massacre in the modern history of the middle east. A massacre of 45,000 Syrians that is still taking place at this very moment.

But it's not truth, peace and justice that they care about. Those are merely excuses for the relentless anti-Israeli attacks that have been going on since the inception of Israel, regardless of what the Israel's policy of the time might have been.

But it's high time to call these organizations to reconsider their position. After all, with the worrisome changes undergoing Israel, it's slipping down the slope of becoming less democratic, more politically extreme and more religious – the very values practiced by the countries these NGOs have been embracing when attacking Israel. If Israel became like Syria, for instance, would it free its attackers to focus on where they are needed the most, like Congo, where monthly 40,000 war-related deaths have already consumed more than 6 million lives?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Quotes from the Honest Guru: Religion

Religion is the only known invention that uses love to fuel murder

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Can we Change the World?

This is a tile from the 12th century, found in Toledo (Spain). It says

The rules of society:
  1. The poor works
  2. The rich exploits him
  3. The soldier defends the two
  4. The contributor pays for the three
  5. The lazy rests for the four
  6. The drunk drinks for the five
  7. The bankers swindle the six
  8. The lawyer deceives the seven
  9. The doctor. kills the eight
  10. The undertaker buries the nine
  11. The politician lives off the ten

Monday, August 13, 2012

Israel, Egypt, War, and the Olympics

A single attack by Gazatians on Egypt, and the Egyptians, in retaliation, have closed the border with Gaza, and the world keeps quiet. When attacks on Israel had came from Gaza and Israel had closed the border, the world went wild. But then, when Israel was attacked,  there were no Olympics games.

And a related issue. The ambassador of Syria in Tehran declared today that his country is in war with Israel which, together with the USA, are responsible for the grave situation in Syria. And this post Olympic games.

I just can't seem to make sense of it all.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Goodbye Arab Spring; Welcome Back Misery

 This is not a Zionist agent

Story 1:
In 2010, before the Arab spring, a serious of shark attacks on swimmers in the water of the Egyptian resort of Sharm El Sheikh lead to the Egyptian media blaming Israel for training the sharks to destroy the Egyptian economy.

Story 2:
At the onset of the Libyan revolution, Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan tyrant – for years a supporter of anti-American and anti-Israeli campaign – was blamed by the Arab media for working for the Israeli Mossad.

Story 3:
When his father, Hafez al-Assad died, there was a moment of hope that the UK-educated, self spoken new Syrian leader will enter peace negotiations with Israel. Within months, it became clear that his views about Israel are even more extreme than his father's. This, however, did not stop the Arab media from blaming him to be a Zionist agent, when he launches his massacre rampage against his own people .

And today
A group of Jihadist from Gaza attacked an Egyptian post, killed 16 Egyptian soldiers, stole their armored vehicle and used them to break through the Israel border. Once in Israel they where intercepted and destroyed. But who is there to blame? Israel, of course. The Egyptian government is now claiming that the Mossad was trying to destabilize the newly elected Egyptian government. Naturally, nobody even tries to explain why would Israel want to have an unstable Egypt as it south border.

For the last hundred year, nobody has killed, maimed, terrorized or tortured as many Arabs as the Arabs themselves. But until the Arab people start listening to reason and fact, and unless hey wake to realize that blaming Israel for their own misdoings will not solve their problem, their misery is here to stay – probably forever.

Pround to be an Atheist, or the Devil's Miracle

Repentance, was the noble intention of the good soul who sent me the set of picture from the Southern Californian blaze. The flames consumed everything along their way, and only the single cross (at the right corner of the first image) survived. Wasn't it a sign of a God? Wasn't it a true miracle?

Well, if indeed it was a miracle and not the result of the unpredictability of fires - as some infidels will surely claim - it must be the work of a devil: one who saves a relic for those who have been consumed by his doing, to come and pray to him again.

If this is your symbol of a miracle, I am proud to be an atheist.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

War and Childhood

It was the night of the 22nd of May 1967. I had already been put to bed, when our neighbors Hana and Motti stormed in. My bedroom door, muffling their voices, could not mask the heated atmosphere in the other room. Nut my suspense did not last long. Rushing into my room, my mother cried, “Quickly. Put on your clothes. We are going to Grandpa's to watch the news!”

A three-quarter moon lit our way through the valley. A lone male Little Owl was screeching monotonously in the distance and I, holding my parents hands, was dragged up the hill faster than my legs could carry me. “Faster!” my father, my father, kept rushing us impatiently. “We mustn't miss the news.”

My grandparent's door was open, the place full of neighbors. Grandpa, on his knees, attempting to reduce the flickering of the image, was turning the television channel button. All around discussions, arguments, excited voices. “Quiet!” everybody hushed everyone else once the image of a large clock, its second-hand ticking towards the twelve, took over the screen. Five seconds to the English news ... four … three, the room turned silent. Only my father spoke, translating the words of the announcer. In the background Gamal Abdel Nasser, the president of Egypt, gave a speech.

"The Jews threaten us with war and we say to them, ahlan wa shlan, you are welcome. Rabin we are waiting for you. We are ready! We will not accept any coexistence with Israel. Today the issue is not the establishment of peace between the Arab states and Israel. Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight…”

An image of a map replaced Nasser's speech. The announcer kept talking. Abba did not. “Why did you stop? What's he saying? Can anyone tell what’s going on?” The atmosphere in the room was clearly irritated, nervous, anxious. Everybody's stares were directed at my father.

“It is confirmed,” my father's whisper roared in the silenced room. “Nasser has blocked the Straits of Tiran … Another war is imminent.”

A question from the Honest Guru

If Jesus lived today, could he create Christianity without a blog, a Facebook twitter accounts?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Quotes From the Honest Guru: Life Choices

An entire generation goes to school to study subjects they have no interest in, so that they could find employment they don’t like, to afford things they don't need. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

On the Road

(Original Image Kemal)

Chris began to question the wisdom of this trip when the jerky stop at the rail-crossing had startled him into awakening. A green pine-tree like cardboard dangled from the mirror, exuding smell of bathroom spray. The air-conditioner was blasting cool air. Pink Floyd played quietly on the radio. It was an unfamiliar car.

"Morning hunk. You awake?" The middle aged woman at the wheel, her white t-shirt tight against her flowing breasts, flipped open the lid of a cigarette pack, tapped it twice on her tanned thigh, and pointed the poking-out cigarette in Chris' direction. "Want a cigarette?"

Too groggy to find voice, Chris shook my head in refusal. Reaching for the cigarette with her lips, she slowly pulled it out. Chris turned his face away from the smoke and looked out of the window. The passing train seemed to stretch with no beginning or end. Piles of cement and chalk – likely from the nearby quarries – were tugged along the tracks, railcar after railcar, no faster than a walking pace. It was going to be a long wait. Behind the tracks, punctured with caves, the sun-baked south tip of the Mountain sloped down into the banana plantations. Evening was falling fast.

"Are you local?"

Chris shook his head.

"A student?" she guessed.

This time, Chris nodded in approval.

"You don't say much," she said. "are you a freshmen?"

Chris nodded again.

"Going home for the break, are you? Your family must be excited. I remember when my son came home from uni for the first time."

"No, I'm here to visit some friends."

"A girlfriend? She inquired. "My son didn't have a girlfriend for long time. He has one now. A lovely girl. Everything looks better when you have a girlfriend. Don't you think?" she winked, as if sharing a secret.

Chris felt his cheeks burning red. He turned his face to look out of the window. But gentle stroke on his thigh brought him back. Holding a cigarette in one arm, having the other in his lap, the woman used her elbow to keep the car in the middle of the long road. Chris felt panic numbing his body. He had never learned how to say no to a woman. Even if he had, he did not want to risk staying stranded on this empty road, when night was falling. He had been warned about the dangers of hitchhiking, but like always, he knew better. Now he was about to learn.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Fallen Teeth

(Mamila in the 1960's. Photo by Igal Morag)

With its main entrance in Israel, and its far wall in Jordan, the dilapidated old people's home, originally a luxurious mansion, towered over the neighborhood of Mamila. With falling walls and alleyways blocked by piles of debris, it was not the neighborhood of choice.

On summer days, when snipers would hide from the punishing sun and not attempt to shoot the occasional passers-by, the old people would open the metal shutters that protected their large window, and sunbath. It was on one of these days that Mathilda, suffering from a cough attack, had dropped her teeth to the ground below. This would not have been a problem if it were not for the fact that the teeth fell in the no-man-zone between the countries. The old people, crowding at the window, watched the unfolding of events as the army on both sides and the United Nation were summoned.

First to arrive in an open Jeep was an unshaved Israeli Colonel. He was followed by a United Nations car – the one that looks like a white funeral car with big black UN written on it. Soldiers rushed out of the white car and opened the door for an officer, who moved with a puffed chest, as if he owned the border. None of the old people in the window had ever seen so many medals sparkling on a single chest, and a cacophony of animated arguments, pushes and shoves, erupted over what they were for, and how he could move his legs in such overly starched trousers.

The UN officer approached the fence and talked with the Israeli Colonel, until a convoy arrived from the Jordanian side. A Jordanian General emerged from an armored car and approached the fence. With shouting and a great deal of hand movements, the sides communicated over the many rolls of barbwire that separated the countries. Eventually, the three sent their soldiers to stand back, while they started moving the wires aside, making their way towards each other through the slippery dirt. As they didn't have gloves on, it was a painful job, and the occasional rude word turned into a flood when the UN officer spotless uniform got caught in the barbwire and ripped. He was French.

When they finally found the teeth stuck deep in the mud, a new discussion erupted. The Jordanian General pointed his walking staff at the soldiers and then at the teeth and back at the soldiers. The UN officer, clearly upset, argued vehemently. The Israeli Colonel, ignoring the two, simply bent forward, plucked the teeth from the mud and waved them triumphantly. On both sides, everyone cheered and clapped. That is, everyone except for the UN officer. He was still in a foul mood, shouting at his poor soldiers even when they drove off.”

The old people secured back the metal shutters. One by one they reclined on their straw mattresses in the room lit by a single dim yellow bulb. They were happy. That night they would have something to dream about.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

And they still truly believe that Israel is the devil

For those who can't speak Arabic, and fell a bit confused who does what to whom:  those with the guns are Syrian Assad's troops, the man in the hole, is a Syrian non Assad troop.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Quotes From the Honest Guru

Fear the old devil, as tomorrow he may reveal a new face

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Zen Story

One day Mara, the Evil One, was traveling through the villages of India with his attendant. They saw a man whose face was lit up in wonder. The man had just discovered something on the ground in front of him. Mara’s attendant asked what that was and Mara replied, "A piece of truth."

"Doesn’t this bother you when someone finds a piece of truth, O Evil One?" his attendant asked. "No," Mara replied. "Right after this, they usually make a belief out of it."

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Quotes From the Honest Guru

"Fuck friendship," she said. "What about the benefits?"

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Riddle From the Honest Guru

An entire culture that practices nothing but self confidence, so that they can attain the belief that they needn't practice anything else to reach perfection.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Quotes From the Honest Guru

Practice Makes Perfect. Practicing the wrong things makes you perfectly wrong.