Only In Israel

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The story of Baqa (or how to make a fence into a wall).

A few years ago, when the fence construction was just beginning, it began in the place where it was most needed. The garbage dump of the Arab-Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm. Unbelievably, before the fence was constructed, anyone, and I do mean anyone could cross over from Jenin's town center directly into Israel within less than an hour.

The fence then cut to the west, separating settlements like Shaqed and Rehan from the West Bank, and then returned to the Green Line, separating Kibbutzim Metzer and Magal from the neighbouring Arab villages of Qafin and Zeta. That entire section of the fence was very hotly contested by no else than the Israelis living in the Kibbutzim. They had a great relationship with the Arab villages surrounding them, specificly the Palestinian village of Qafin, many of whose residents worked in the Kibbutz. The Kibbutz member, most of whom are very very leftist, many supporters of "Peace Now" and "Gush Shalom" protested against the fence and tried to help their friends from Qaffin to fight the fence. And then something happened.

KIBBUTZ METZER, Israel, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Close to midnight the militant kicked open the door to Revital Ohayon´s small apartment in Kibbutz Metzer, 29 miles northeast of Tel Aviv.
He crossed the living room and entered the children´s room. Ohayon, 34, grabbed her little children and tried to shield them. They were screaming. Their voices traveled miles over an open phone line to her ex-husband, Avi, 34, who had just been talking to her.
The gunman pulled the trigger, killing Ohayon and her two sons, 5- year-old Matan and 4-year-old Noam. Some the bullets punctured the gray wood paneling beside a bloodstained bed.

Every objection to the fence was forgotten and the fence was built near Qaffin, on the Green line. Then, southwards, the fence planners had a real dilemma. The Arab Israeli town of Baqa al-gharbiyyah lay west of the Green line, it's citizens were IsraelArabs, loyal to the country. The Palestinian town of Baqa al-sharqiyyeh lay east of the Green line, it's citizens were Palestinians. Since 1967 the two villages were practicly joined together, with a crowded market which Israelis frequented in between. The choice made was not to separate the two villages (who have family ties, and are completely interconnected to one another), but rather move the fence to the east, thus making Baqa el-Sharqiyyeh and Baqa el-Gharbiyyeh united, on the Israeli side of the fence.

The blue line marks the original route of the fence,
the red line marks the current route.
source: Israeli Ministry of Defense.

The ISM and similar organisations protested, and appealed to the supreme court. The court ordered the fence to be moved and the fence east to Baqa was removed, and a new fence was built, directly on the Green line.

Workers dismantle the fence east of Baqa, 2003.

Houses were demolished, the entire Israeli-Palestinian market was destroyed, and a large wall was erected to separate the Israeli Baqa from the Palestinian Baqa. Why a wall? Because in a crowded town that's the only means out there to prevent people from crossing over, delivering weapons and suicide bombers.
Even now, although the fence is directly on the Green line, the Palestinians still protest. There are protests against the fence all the time in that region, even though it takes no Palestinian land whatsoever.

And this is the story of how a society destroys itself. First they alienated their allies from Metzer, thus sped up the construction of the fence, and then, by demanding the fence to be on the Green line, they separated families from each other, caused house demolitions, and made a fence into a wall.

Indymedia "Palestine" is officialy dead.

I don't know if anyone actually noticed but "Palestine Indymedia" (placed provocatively under the URL) is officially dead. Anyone trying to access it reaches the main Indymedia site.
Unfortunately Israel Indymedia is still around.
No word, on the entire blogosphere regarding the disappearence of "Palestine Indymedia", and obviously noone cares much either. Which is great.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Corrie's parents and the ISM time machine.

Last week, the parents of Pancake Corrie had to endure an attempted hijacking in Gaza. That's what the news told us.
GAZA (Reuters) - Palestinian gunmen briefly seized the parents of slain U.S. activist Rachel Corrie as they visited the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, but relented after being confronted by a member of the security forces, witnesses said.

They said Craig and Cindy Corrie, whose daughter was fatally run down by an Israeli bulldozer as she tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian building in 2003, were at the home of a friend in the Gaza town of Rafah when the gunmen arrived.

The gunmen appeared set on kidnapping the two Americans, the witnesses said. Gaza has seen a rash of foreigner abductions since Israel withdrew from the territory in September after 38 years of occupation.

But a local security officer intervened and the gunmen beat a retreat.

"A neighbor known to be a member of the security forces told the gunmen to leave," a witness said.

Now you can imgine what implications a story like that has. The parents of a "Palestinian martyr" threatened by gunman. Very bad publicity for them. Something has to be done. And indeed, the WAFA agency whitewashes the whole thing on January 6th, two days after the incident.
But even that isn't enough for the ISM. Something must be done, the media must somehow be responsible. They invent a time machine. Their report comes January 4th. Apparently on the day of the hijacking. The original report is here, complete with a map of Israel with all the Jewish towns wiped off.
Misterously enough, although January 4th was Wednesday, the post prior to the release cites "Thursday Morning" in past tense.
See for yourself:

The post from the blog.

The report itself is simply a series of insults to the intellegence of the person reading it. I'm genuinely insulted the ISM believs people who read their press releases are that stupid.
News reports stating that the parents of slain American human rights activist Rachel Corrie were the intended targets of an attempted kidnapping Wednesday in Gaza are incorrect. According to Craig and Cindy Corrie, contrary to news reports, the Corries were never threatened with kidnapping, nor did gunmen burst into the house where the Corries were staying.


Five people from Olympia, friends of Rachel, arrived two months ago in Rafah to work toward that goal. Three of them — Rochelle Gause, Will Hewitt and Serena Becker — were in the apartment when the men arrived at 1:30 a.m.. One of the two men was carrying a weapon. The men arrived in two cars with other passengers who remained inside the vehicles.
Ahh. Ofcourse. They didn't burst into the house, they just came to visit them at 1:30 AM. Could happen to anyone. I, for one, always have gunmen knocking on my door, with an escape car waitining for them outside at 1:30AM. It's all perfectly normal.

The three Americans in the apartment remained inside when the two men knocked on their door at 1:30 am, and called Dr. Nasrallah to tell him what was happening.

Dr. Nasrallah came and talked to the men and invited them to come down to his apartment. He learned that they, and the others in the two vehicles outside, were members of the family of Alaa al-Hamm, who had been arrested by the Palestinian police that evening on charges of involvement in previous kidnapping.
Such a weird coincidence, family members of a jailed hijacker come visit you at 1:30AM, with guns in their hands.

The Corries, who were staying at Dr. Nasrallah's home, got up and met the two men in the living room where they all drank tea together and discussed what they and the group of ORSCP participants were doing in Rafah. A neighbor, a Palestinian Authority security officer, also came over and joined the group. After a brief conversation with the security officer, the two men shook Craig and Cindy Corrie's hands, and, according to Cindy Corrie, told the Corries that they had "great respect for our daughter and for us" and then left.
They had a "cup of tea" with the lovely hijackers (Having cups of tea with terrorists seems like a custom with the ISM), when the security men neighbour misterously showed up and joined the conversation. Did he arrest the people who came to hijack foreigners? hell no. He talked with them.

Over the next few hours, ORSCP members from Olympia met with their Rafah partners to discuss the situation. "We weren't just concerned for our own safety," the ORSCP group said. "We were also concerned about being a burden on the people here who have put so much work into this project."
Now why would you be concerned over your own safety? Just a few paragraphs back there, you've said "you were never threatened". Could it be you misunderstood that friendly chat over tea you had with the nice gunmen?

"We will continue to support the Palestinian struggle for freedom and human rights,” the ORSCP participants said in a group statement. "The Israeli occupation has led to the militarization of a portion of Palestinian society and the continued Israeli occupation undermines the ability of Palestinians to have a free society."
What occupation? There are no Israelis in Gaza, soldiers or settlers. Just Palestinians. I guess we're underminind their ability to have a free society by mind controlling them.

So, what do we have here... ISM doctors reports and dates, and then whitewashes armed hijackers who endangered their own people, simply to improve the Palestinian PR. Pathetic.

Norway boycotts Israel, for a few minutes.

Norway's federal government has threatened to boycott Israel, following one of its districts deciding to do so. That held for about 3 minutes, till the US intervened.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice threatened Norway with "serious political consequences" after Finance Minister and Socialist Left Party leader Kristin Halvorsen admitted to supporting a boycott of Israeli goods.

The reaction was reportedly given to the Norwegian embassy in Washington DC, and it was made clear that the statements came from the top level of the US State Department, newspaper VG reports.

Norway's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre, responded immediately with written explanations to both Israel and the USA, clarifying the government's stance, while Halvorsen distanced her party's policy from that of the government's.

That's neat, I think the last time I saw a blonde giving out so fast was in a porn movie.
And if you're into boycotting Israel, may I suggest you start with Intel proccessors, planned and produced in Israel. Now would be the time to move your entire country's computers to AMDs. And good luck with that one.
Good guys 1 : Terrorists 0.

Friday, January 13, 2006

The things I never knew about myself.

You know, I've just discovered something.
Apparently, I hate brown people. That's according to Jesus' General, ofcourse. He wrote a whole piece about the nominees in the JIB 2005 awards and I'm mentioned there (woo-woo, thanks for the traffic) as an example to someone who hates brown people.
Only in Israel's caption for a photo showing soldiers beating a brown person:

That kinda gives a new interpretation to "go back to where you came from".

That photo ofcourse is this picture of Lazer. Lazer, for those of you who don't know, is a violent protestor against the security barrier, or in other terms, protesting for the continuous explosions of Palestinians in Israeli crowded places. Lazer has attacked soldiers countless times, throwing punches and kicks, and I have the bruises to prove it.
He's a scumbag pure and simple. And the joke in the photo "going back to where you came from", would be a joke about his weight, comparing him to a whale, thrown by greenpeace back into the sea.
Lazer is an Israeli, and a self-hating Jew. So while this Captain Jesus' or whatever the moron's name is, likes to divide the world into various categories of colour and race, you can check me and the rest of the world's Jews in the same box.
As usual, the anti-Israel crowd is sadly mistaken. Pathetic as they are, it's more ridiculous that people actually believe the crap they spew.

Oh, Captain Jesus also made another error, I believe I introduced Pancake Corrie jokes long before Aaron.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

I'm a nominee!

Turns out that while I was away someone nominated me for Israellycool's JIB2005 awards. This is a great source of pride for me. This blog has been running for quite some time (over 2 and a half years), despite that, I never participated in any blog competition, or hoped of winning one.
Anyway, I'm nominated in the "best Israeli advocacy blog" and in the "Best Series" section for my posts regarding typical anti-barrier protests in the West Bank.
Voting starts January 9th, hope you remember me then.

"The scent of mint"

This charming short story was published in Maariv two weeks ago, I remember really wanting to translate it and post it on this blog, but then I found out ofek5 of "Eye in the sky" has already done it.
So I'll just point you the right direction.