This is the Message Centre for Lady Pennywhistle - Back with a vengeance! [for a certain, limited value of Vengeance; actual amounts of Vengeance may vary]
Lady Pennywhistle - Back with a vengeance! [for a certain, limited value of Vengeance; actual amounts of Vengeance may vary] Started conversation Jul 5, 2014
I haven't dropped by in a while, and have a bunch of backlog to catch up, but with the recent news from Jerusalem, I thought I should probably let you all know that I'm alright. So, yeah, I'm alright, folks.
However, I am currently spending the weekend at my parents' apartment, which is in French Hill, so a lot closer to the various... stuff. It's been rather unnerving, hearing choppers and occasional bangs (we often get firework-bangs from Isawiyya and Shoafat, and I can't really tell them apart from gunshots or something like that, but the _context_ makes it a lot worse) and wondering what exactly is going on, and what will happen next. From the few updates I've seen (I try to avoid the news), some other places have seen stone-throwings and people lighting things on fire and general violence and horribleness.
I'm trying to be optimistic. My parents went to their regular greengrocer in nearby Wadi Joz, today, and saw some remnants of yesterday's mess (thrown stones, overturned garbage, things like that), but said things were quiet otherwise. So perhaps the crazies on both sides will settle down soon, and things will go back to normal.
On the other hand, the last week or two has really been pretty bad. Not just because of the actual events (the three boys kidnapped and murdered, the racist hooligans' lynch-leaning riots downtown, the Arab riots in the Eastern city, that murdered Arab kid who might be some twisted act of revenge or it might turn out to be some kind of blood libel... all of it) but the general atmosphere around it. Especially on 'my' side - I mean, not that the Palestinians don't have their share of s, they do, but it hurts more, and scares me more, when it's from the side I'm supposed to be on. When it's my people (and however far my opinions might be from theirs, however much I despise how they think and what they do, on some level I can't help feeling it _is_ my people). It feels like the extremists are becoming more mainstream. People calling for revenge. People calling for blood. It feels like all sorts of ugly things that have been festering for a while are now bursting open and bubbling to the surface, and with all this hatred and wrath on both sides, well, that is very scary.
Hence the journal title. I desperately hope things _won't_ get explosive any time soon, but with this atmosphere, it feels like they might, and I don't know if it can be stopped, or if it's past the point of no return.
Kinda makes me want to just get the hell away from here, but that's not really something I feel like I can--or should--do right now. Too many other things going on that I don't feel I can detach from.
And, well, like I said, I hope it'll all settle down. We've been through other rounds of mutual horribleness, before. I hope we'll get through this one, too.
(But I have some money in the bank, and a European passport, and a wonderful man missing me over in the States; these are things I find myself bearing in mind, just in case...)
Elektragheorgheni -Please read 'The Post' Posted Jul 5, 2014
Gosh sorry to see that Israel is having problems again. Here in the US things aren't great either. All the lousy compromises have put lots of people in lousy positions, making July 4 independence celebration a horrible joke. Fireworks have resulted in the deaths of 4 children in a Philadelphia row home with over 40 people left homeless probably as a result of misplaced fireworks---which are illegal in Pennsylvania.
Dmitri Gheorgheni - Not Banned in China Posted Jul 5, 2014
2legs - Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side... Posted Jul 5, 2014
politics and religions are both supposed to advocate living in peace together - sadly! they are the main cause of all fighting and conflicts throughout history
not much to pass on to the generations to follow is it
The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim Posted Jul 6, 2014
Please keep us apprised. You have a busy life and tend to take long hiatiuses from us.
You live in a contitious city, in a contentious nation, in a contentious region of a contentious world.
And besides all that, we just all love to hear from you regardless of what's going on.
Ah, jeez. Thanks, BG.
Like I said, I spent most of the day inside anyway. And right now I'm back in my apartment at the German Colony (which is a lot more central, and thus farther from the mess), so it's pretty nice and quiet.
And like I often say, everywhere is dangerous, on some level. We got this crap, but we dont have to worry about school shootings, or illegal firework explosions, or bear attacks...
Everyday life, at least for me, remains mostly the same. I was driving this morning to the temporary-but-lucrative questionnaire grading work I'm currently doing, with a Best of Bowie CD playing, singing out loud to the good bits in Suffragette City. I went to taekwondo class after work, and had lots of fun practising kicks and such. I'm staying up too late reading stuff online. It's pretty much the usual.
The news, though... It's hard to ignore. Seems that the guys who killed the Arab kid have been captured. And that it _was_ some sort of twisted nationalistic 'revenge' thing. It's so horrible. Do not look out the details - I try to avoid reading about it, because it really makes me sick. But it's pretty troubling. Feels like an escalation, even compared to previous racist nationalistic hate-crimes.
And it scares me to think of what might come next. I really hope things will quiet down soon. But with this amount of hatred (and with this amount of crazy racist nationalistic s) on both sides, it is quite worrying.
Looks like things aren't blowing over. We've actually had a missile siren here a little while ago - here in Jerusalem! I don't remember that since the Gulf War - which felt somewhat unreal. Me and my flatmate went out to the stairs, which is what you're supposed to do if you don't have a designated safe space. And... well, we just kinda sat there awkwardly, with the folks from the neighbouring flat. I figured it's probably a test or something.
I'm not really worried about missiles, though. Maybe that's not justified, but it just doesn't feel like much of a threat (if I were living in the south I might be speaking differently, of course). Just hoping fervently that this current situation ends up being more like one of the more recent operations, like Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense (oh really, that's the English name? Sheesh), rather than like the Intifada days.
I am not liking this, at all.
The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim Posted Jul 8, 2014
A BBC reporter just played those sirens on the radio here.
Dmitri Gheorgheni - Not Banned in China Posted Jul 8, 2014
Being ancient, I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis, and have actually cowered in a hallway during an atomic test drill.
I'm praying your situation turns out to be as free of lasting consequences as o urs was. But...well...it's worrying. Holding hopeful thoughts for you and yours.
I'm trying not to let it get to me, but it's all pretty distressing.
My brother actually got summoned to Reserve Service, today. Since he was just a clerk during his service, and is definitely non-combat in any way, and since his previous summons, some years ago, was just address-checking (walking around with some pieces of paper to see the people written on them still live where it's written they live), it's not like we're worried for his safety or anything - but still, it brings the situation closer to home.
The temptation to just buy a plane ticket and get away for a couple of weeks grows steadily. But still, I don't feel I should do that. I have a lot of stuff going on here. And things might still be over quickly.
 In Israel, just like military service is mandatory, the military also reserves (heheh) the right to summon you back now and then, for a few more decades - a lot of men do around 30 days a year, usually just security detail out in the middle of nowhere or something like this; women don't do it as much, although it depends on their specific job. And of course, one could get called up on special occasions, like now.
Florida Sailor All is well with the world Posted Jul 9, 2014
Have you read the novel 'Exodus' http://www.amazon.com/Exodus-Leon-Uris/dp/0553258478 ?
I found it a very interesting story about the founding of your country, and an insight to many of the current problems.
I do not pretend to understand all of the complex situation between Palestinian and Israeli. Please keep safe and know we all care about you
Okay, I've been venting here, but I don't want you lot to worry too much.
Specifically, the 'buying a plane ticket' thing isn't about fleeing to safety, as much as it is just wanting to be somewhere else and not think about it.
Things aren't great, yeah. Jerusalem is pretty quiet (no sirens since that one the other day), but other places definitely have it worse.
However, at this point, this is something we've been through before - a number of times over the last decade. Hamad fires rockets, Israel bombs Gaza, people on both sides suffer, and after some period of political posturing, both sides declare that they won, and things return to the status quo.
The powder keg still stands; with so much pressure on both sides, racism and hatred are a constant undercurrent. But at the moment, things seem to have settled down a bit from the child-murders and violent riots, and I gotta say, bad as the whole 'they bomb us, we bomb them, people suffer' routine is, I'm kinda relieved that's where we are at the moment, because it _is_ a routine. A sad routine, but like I said, we've been through it before. We know where it's going. We know it'll end.
So please, don't worry.
(Oh, and FS - I did not read the book, no. Did see the movie, but it was quite a long time ago, and I mostly remember the shocking blue eyes of a young Paul Newman. I did hear, however, that it's a rather less than accurate description of the situation... as is to be expected. This is a long and messy history, and doesn't really tend all that well to the sort of flowing descriptions that you'd need for a narrative fiction, or at least for one that is interesting to read.)
One of the clever cynics on Facebook wrote a pretty sharp post on this, which I've seen shared by some friends and decided to translate (and annotate) for your benefit. This might give you an idea of the general 'routine' (as least as it is seen by clever cynics).
For anyone who can't bother with the media for the upcoming month, here's a synopsis for Operation Protective Edge [*]:
Days 1-9: Heavy IAF bombardments with hundreds of attacks every day. Dozens of targets from the IDF's ‘target bank’ are destroyed. During one of these days two Hamas missiles will make it to Tel Aviv's territorial waters, and channel 2 will have a live broadcast of the celebrations in Gaza. The IDF boasts about how every day there are fewer Hamas missiles fired, but admits that there is a lot of work still ahead. Obama speaks about Israel's right for self defense. Abu Mazen prays that this time we'll do a better job [**]. Channel 10 premiers a new reality contest show about tossing dwarfs through a window.
Day 10: Increased threats about a ground-forces attack, Zehava Galon [***] writes a Facebook post saying why we shouldn't do that. Eldad Yaniv [****] writes a Facebook post about how the war is just out of the political and financial interests of Netanyahu and his stinker of a wife. Yoav Eliasi [*****] writes a violent post of some sort. A famous model gives an interview abroad where she's asked what she thinks of the war and says some crap. IDF accidentally kills a kid that had a terrorist crawling behind it. Haaretz has an in-depth interview with the kid's father.
Day 11: All the guys summoned to Reserve Service back in day 6 start grumbling that they were called up for nothing, and why don't we go in there already. Roger Waters vehemently attacks Israel and the Jews in general on Facebook. Haneen Zoabi [******] says in some Knesset committee that Israel is a terrorist state, and some journalist from Yisrael HaYom [*******] finds a picture of her from five years ago shaking hands with Ismail Haniya, and documentation of her sharing a hummus-with-mushrooms with Abu Mazen. A six and a half year old girl from Rehovot, that had a missile hit close to her house, moves us all with a lovely letter sking the PM to make mummy not cry anymore and her big brother Eran to come home safely from the army for Shabbat.
Day 12: An IDF missile hits a UN building / kindergarten / library for the blind, and Hamas reports about it to everyone and their wife, while ignoring the fact they use these places as armories and shooting positions. We scream to high heaven. We will regret that we have Avigdor Lieberman as a Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but show admiration for Israel's UN ambassador and say that he spoke really well at the Security Council. Channel 1 starts reporting about the operation, and in-between shows those damn slides with the signs [********]. Channel 2 broadcasts the ruins in Gaza.
Day 13: Ground forces attack. Yair Lapid writes some ridiculous and inarticulate Facebook post, peppered with factual mistakes about the history of some past war[*********].
A Hamas missile hits a house in one of the southern cities. Some Shas-allied rabbi explains that it's because of sodomy.
Day 14: A human error causes two-way friendly fire, two soldiers are wounded, one platoon sergeant is dismissed, and the platoon commander is sent off to do gruntwork. Some band from abroad cancels their planned show in Israel because of the situation. A footballer from the south blurts something about 'The Tel Avivian state' and Natan Zehavi bashes him on the radio [**********]. Facebook is flooded with clever memes about recent events.
Days 15-22: The number of casualties in Gaza approaches 800 people, out of which about 650 are terrorists. Obama and the UN talk about working to end the violence, but in reality don't do anything. A Bat Mitzvah for a girl from Sderot is held as planned, with the presence of various ex-reality-show celebrities and a free show volunteered by Eyal Golan. The women's organizations protest outside the event is also held as planned [***********]. The spokesperson for Shifa hospital in Gaza says that the situation is unbearable.
Days 23-25: Starting to talk about a ceasefire. Tamar Zandberg [************] writes a Facebook post saying 'we told you so'. Amnon Abramovitz [*************] says all sorts of things that only he can understand. Roni Daniel [**************] rants on a live broadcast, explaining why we mustn't stop now. Hamas reports in Gaza that they have conquered Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, and the Herzlia Interdisciplinary College. Erel Segal [***************] writes a column in Yisrael HaYom where he explains how the Religious-Zionist guys are the only ones that are really fighting, and the state doesn't care about them.
Somewhere around day 28, the ceasefire comes into force, around 14:00. Starting in the morning, there are heavy missile bombardments on the south, and on the other side, hundreds of IAF attacks on Gaza. The dwarf-tossing contest has its grand finals in Nokia Hall. The winner is a foreign worker from Eritrea, who is deported one day after winning. Hamas celebrates its victory in the streets of a demolished Gaza. Nasrallah calls to congratulate Haniyah, Obama calls to congratulate Netanyahu. The PM's office says that Hamas will understand and feel its defeat over the next few months. And the Land had Rest for two and a half hours [****************]
See you in two years for the next round, in the south or in the north. You're welcome to keep this synopsis, it'll be just as relevant then.
[*] seriously, who named this? The Hebrew name, Steadfast Cliff, is ridiculous enough, but the English name sounds like something from a condom ad.
[**] This refers to the ongoing rivalry between Fatah (headed by Abu Mazen, Mahmoud Abbas) and Hamas.
[***] Head of the left-wing Meretz party.
[****] Lawyer, journalist, and wannabe politician who ran under a 'clean and transparent politics' platform despite in the past being a lawyer and consultant for some of the more corrupt folks we had.
[*****] Had to look up who that is - turns out it's the non-stage name of an Israeli rapper.
[******] An Arab MP who enjoys provocations.
[*******] A free tabloid with a right-wing pro-Netanyahu lean.
[********] Channel 1 is the state-funded channel, kinda like BBC except a whole lot poorer, with lower-quality programming, and under constant threat of closure. It has a stigma of being behind the times, hence the joke about it only starting the reports on day 12, and also is currently running a campaign against the most recent closure threat where they show pictures of workers holding signs asking not to fire them.
[*********] Yair Lapid, Israel's Finance Minister, used to be a newspaper publicist, and fancies himself an intellectual even though he constantly makes really embarrassing mistakes, like calling Copernicus a Greek philosopher or mistranslating 'forefather' as 'four fathers'.
[**********] Natan Zehavi is an angry-and-outspoken radio DJ, I;m sure you know the type. The thing about Tel Aviv is because, being the liberal 'big city', there's a stereotype of it being aloof, detached from what's really happening - this despite the fact that like in many big cities, many residents moved there from elsewhere, so have families in the afflicted areas, and of course that it has many people that care in general. Tel Aviv is kinda easy to hate, especially as a concept.
[***********] Sderot is one of the southern towns that get heavily hit by Hamas missiles. Eyal Golan is a big-time mid-eastern-pop singer, who not long ago was involved in a rather nasty underage sex scandal (he only got out of it because his dad was the one who supplied the groupies, and he just didn't ask any questions), hence the protest.
[************] Another Meretz MP.
[*************] Political analyst and professional talking-head on one of the news shows.
[**************] Military analyst on one of the news shows, with a very gung-ho pro-military attitude.
[***************] Religious-zionist right-wing journalist and satirist.
[**************** Riffing on a well-known (at least in Hebrew) formula from the Book of Judges, 'And the land had rest forty years'.
Credit goes to some guy I don't know called Ofer Friedman.
Vestboy Posted Jul 10, 2014
Thinking about you and yours, and the people on the other side, too.
I was living in Birmingham, UK at the time of the IRA pub bombings there and remember the people's desire to take revenge on the nearest Irish person. Churches were fire bombed and people were frightened to go out, or open their mouths if they had an Irish accent.
It must be hard to say, "Nobody should "pay" for my child's death. Let the price be peace."
Forgiveness is massively hard, but it is the only solution that can last.
Key: Complain about this post
- 1: Lady Pennywhistle - Back with a vengeance! [for a certain, limited value of Vengeance; actual amounts of Vengeance may vary] (Jul 5, 2014)
- 2: Prof Animal Chaos.C.E.O..err! C.E.Idiot of H2G2 Fools Guild (Official).... A recipient of S.F.L and S.S.J.A.D.D...plus...S.N.A.F.U. (Jul 5, 2014)
- 3: Elektragheorgheni -Please read 'The Post' (Jul 5, 2014)
- 4: Dmitri Gheorgheni - Not Banned in China (Jul 5, 2014)
- 5: 2legs - Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side... (Jul 5, 2014)
- 6: Prof Animal Chaos.C.E.O..err! C.E.Idiot of H2G2 Fools Guild (Official).... A recipient of S.F.L and S.S.J.A.D.D...plus...S.N.A.F.U. (Jul 5, 2014)
- 7: Lady Pennywhistle - Back with a vengeance! [for a certain, limited value of Vengeance; actual amounts of Vengeance may vary] (Jul 6, 2014)
- 8: The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim (Jul 6, 2014)
- 9: Lady Pennywhistle - Back with a vengeance! [for a certain, limited value of Vengeance; actual amounts of Vengeance may vary] (Jul 6, 2014)
- 10: Lady Pennywhistle - Back with a vengeance! [for a certain, limited value of Vengeance; actual amounts of Vengeance may vary] (Jul 8, 2014)
- 11: The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim (Jul 8, 2014)
- 12: Dmitri Gheorgheni - Not Banned in China (Jul 8, 2014)
- 13: Lady Pennywhistle - Back with a vengeance! [for a certain, limited value of Vengeance; actual amounts of Vengeance may vary] (Jul 8, 2014)
- 14: Prof Animal Chaos.C.E.O..err! C.E.Idiot of H2G2 Fools Guild (Official).... A recipient of S.F.L and S.S.J.A.D.D...plus...S.N.A.F.U. (Jul 8, 2014)
- 15: Florida Sailor All is well with the world (Jul 9, 2014)
- 16: Lady Pennywhistle - Back with a vengeance! [for a certain, limited value of Vengeance; actual amounts of Vengeance may vary] (Jul 10, 2014)
- 17: Prof Animal Chaos.C.E.O..err! C.E.Idiot of H2G2 Fools Guild (Official).... A recipient of S.F.L and S.S.J.A.D.D...plus...S.N.A.F.U. (Jul 10, 2014)
- 18: Lady Pennywhistle - Back with a vengeance! [for a certain, limited value of Vengeance; actual amounts of Vengeance may vary] (Jul 10, 2014)
- 19: Lady Pennywhistle - Back with a vengeance! [for a certain, limited value of Vengeance; actual amounts of Vengeance may vary] (Jul 10, 2014)
- 20: Vestboy (Jul 10, 2014)