Sunday, June 26, 2011

Money Can't By You Love
But It Might Buy Some Peace and Justice
And Might Buy Some Salvation

Feeling guilty that you can't make it to the weekly demonstrations at Bilin or Sheikh Jara? Well here is another way you can help - by making sure that the Israeli legal system isn't used to crush the most daring voices for Jewish-Palestinian cooperation operating today in Israel/Palestine.

See Noam Sheizaf on why you should support Anarchists Against The Wall, and then give some money - here - as your part in the fight for peace and justice: for saving both the Palestinian and the Jewish People.

Haredim Have a Better Idea

I usually disagree with the Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) on just about everything, especially their ideas re Jewish identity. But this time they definitely have a better idea.

At a panel discussion on conversion, at the Israel President's Conference, haredi Rabbi Shmuel Jakobovits (son of the late, British Chief Rabbi Lord Immanuel Jakobovits) said:
"the solution [to Israel's conversion problems] is to separate religion and state, leave people to their own relationships with God and let the state handle its own relationships with its citizens."
In other words Israel should not be a de-jure Jewish State. Take that Bibi !
Read more in the Forward.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Na Nach Nachman

More fun and joy brought to you by those wild and wacky Bratslav Hassidim! What started out as a soleful, introspective, and deeply psychological brand of Hassidism has morphed into a bunch of racists goons.

The graffiti above was scrawled on an Arab shop just inside the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. The text reads:

Na Nach Nachman of Uman

He is not a prophet,
Just another Arab,
His beard is full of lice,
He sells goat cheese,
He's a construction worker
Even when he fasts on Ramadan,
Muhamed, homo son of a whore,

Muhamed is dead
Muhamed is dead
Death to Arabs!

(It rhymes in Hebrew)

So next time you see one of those kippas with the Bratsalver motto "Na Nach Nachman Me'Uman"" don't smile and think its cute; go tell the wearer what you think of it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Dawning of an Age

I saw this painting on the art auction site Hammersite. The painting, by an unknown artist, is dated 1841. The book is a science text.

If I was feeling a bit richer I might have bought it.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011


Early Tuesday morning someone set fire to a mosque in the West Bank village of Maghayer near Ramallah. From the graffiti sprayed on the walls it is obvious that the arsonist(s) were Jewish Israelis: security authorities suspect settlers from the neaby settlement of Alei Ayin. (Read details at Haaretz)

Prime Minister Netanyahu claims to be shocked, and called the act criminal."Freedom of religion is a core tenet of the State of Israel," he said - forgetting, for a minute, that Israel has not in fact annexed the West Bank where the crime took place: it prefers the muddled legal status of occupation.

But is Bibi really shocked? If so he shouldn't be. Not when his own ministers speak at at a rally where, moments later, particpants shout "Death to Arabs" and "May Arab Villages Burn", and where the Israeli police protect the shouting mob as it parades through Arab neighborhoods intimidating all in its path. (See here.)If calling to burn Arab villages is condoned, why is the burning of a mosque in an Arab village such a surprise.

Or is Bibi just playing for the cameras: like Louie, the police inspector in Casablanca, it is hard to belive he didn't know or really cares.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

The Marching Season

In Northern Ireland, every year on July 12th, the radical Protestant "Orangemen" march to commemorate the 1690 victory of the Protestant King "Billy" (William of Orange) over the Catholic King James II. In the days of the "troubles", when Protestants and Catholics were literally at each others throats, there were many marches on July 12 and on the days leading up to it - and the militant Protestants would make a point of marching through Catholic neighbourhoods and taunting them - as if to say "we won that battle and now we rule this land and you Catholics have no standing." Predictably riots would break out and often people would be killed. Early July thus became know as the Marching Season, and was looked forward to with dread by anyone who cared about peace and co-existence in Northern Ireland. Eventually, when London put Ulster under direct rule, one of the first things it did was re-route the marches away from Catholic neighbourhoods.

One wonders if, even in the most hateful times in Northern Ireland, the Orange marchers shouted taunts like "Death to the Papists!", "Mary is Dead!", or "May Your Neigbourhoods Burn!" as they marched through the Catholic neighbourhoods. And own wonders if the British Army came out to protect the marchers as they shouted these taunts at the Catholic residents.

In early June 1967, Israel defeated the Arabs in the Six Day War, and on June 7 (28th of Iyyar by the Hebrew Calendar) Israel captured the Old City of Jerusalem. Every year since has been celebrated as an official Israeli holiday. In past several years the holiday had been marked by marches by Israeli nationalists through the Arab neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem. Each year there is taunting. This year's march reached new heights (or depths) of taunting and intimidation. The marchers - 10s of thousands according the the Jerusalem Post - shout and sing slogans like "Death to Arabs", "Mohamed is Dead" and "May Your Villages Burn." The police and army protect the marchers as they pass through Arab neighbourhoods. of Knesset march with the shouting crowds, and cabinet ministers address the rally at the beginning of the march. Members You can read about it in the Jerusalem Post, but then do watch the video above. You really have to see it to believe it.

Thursday, June 02, 2011


Note necklace.