The slaughter of Israeli Arab women must end – Opinion – Israel News | Haaretz.com

In the names of Arab women and our Jewish sisters who have been murdered in this cursed land, it is time to fight the violence
— Read on www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-the-slaughter-of-israeli-arab-women-must-end-1.6176087

We must do better than this- we must demand better.

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The artistic soul of Israel can be found everywhere and in unlikely places

The artistic soul of Israel can be found in unlikely places

Fantastic article on the artistic soul of Israel. The relationship between all of us here is realized in this medium and in the most unlikely places. Feeling fortunate to live here today.
I found this after doing a google search for Amira Ziyan because there is an exhibition in Jerusalem right now which features Amira’s work. I will be featuring more of of it here too. Enjoy.

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HOW TO REPURPOSE FACEBOOK 101

Facebook was created as a social media networking application. Its intention was for people to:

Find classmates and old friends

Stay in contact with family

Connect with other people in the world

Globally participate in dialogue on a variety of topics

Network with others in your field of interest

Promote ideas

Share your opinions

These mentioned uses are what 100% of Facebook members choose to engage in daily. I have figured out something amazing! I can re-appropriate Facebook for a purpose that it was not ever intended for. We do not have to use social media as SOCIAL or MEDIA. Let me explain.

In October of 2017 I decided I didn’t like FB anymore. It was no longer interesting, fun or intelligent. By December, I had deleted my personal profile. In May of 2018, I republished my writer page, which is an extension of my WordPress blog, 1jewess.

Yet this was a problem too. How would I administer my page if I had deleted my profile? I had an alternate profile, but she had 700 friends and followers.

This is where it gets fascinating!

Facebook Toolkit

1. I discovered a Chrome extension for FB called Facebook Toolkit. This would allow me to unfriend everyone en masse. It allows you to do all kinds of sophisticated management. You can post to all of your groups at once; you can leave all of your groups at once and never be added back. You can send a message out to multiple people (not in a group) or post to multiple friends simultaneously. You can delete, block and purge in large quantities. The options are endless.

2. The purpose of me unfriending everyone was so that my profile would be empty of interaction.

3. I also blocked everyone so that they wouldn’t send me messages, tag me or have any ability to find me.

4. I limited all past posts to “only me”.

5. I never posted ever again to that wall.

So why didn’t I just delete that other profile too and start all over again from scratch? Because, it existed. I was no longer going to use FB to interact with people. I was no longer going to post statuses. I was no longer going to have people in my newsfeed. I was no longer going to receive any notifications.

I was able to tailor make FB into something very different than its actual intended purpose. I ONLY had pages: non-profits, companies, restaurants, bars, cafes, arts organizations, festivals, events, art galleries, fashion, design, architecture, pugs, pets, Buddhism, Kabbalah, yoga, travel, food, recipes and cooking, – the activities, places and information that was specifically useful to me. I created a very small niche collection of pages that were part of my REAL LIFE day-to-day existence here in Israel.

Consider it for a moment. No news (or just uber selective and limited), no media outlets, no gossip and no personal posts from individuals. No one could tag me, no one could message me- because I deactivated messenger. No one could stalk me or troll me either. I set myself free.

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I have more personal and deeper reasons for doing this, but that is a different blog topic. All I am saying is that you can take control of your life. You do not have to use any Internet application for it’s original purpose. You can manipulate these constructs to benefit you, not stress you out or annoy you.

Also, I never viewed my Facebook community as actual friends. It was merely an echo chamber where the choir would nod their heads in agreement. Occasionally a few would act out, get super emotional, but it never mattered because I didn’t know 97% of my FB peeps. I realized it was all ego based. The concept of “likes” and these stupid emotis were so childish to me. A very select few people who actually know me in real life, know how to get ahold of me. If you send my profile a request, I will likely never even get the notification for it. I am not here to collect friends. What would be the point? I do not post or read, ever. My profile is dormant. Get it? Leaving FB didn’t cost me anything at all. In fact, I gained everything from it.

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The other pro-tip is I deleted the Facebook app from my phone as well as the Messenger app. I cannot say enough good things about being released from the prison of a hand held device. I never knew what I was missing before. I was incapable of seeing that I was not being present in my life. I was living a version of reality with my head down looking into a screen. Once that stopped, I could see- really see the world around me and I became more engaged. The experiences were more intimate for me. I didn’t have to post every meal, selfies, every moment, feeling or opinion at every moment I was having it.

Ego

The notion that all of your thoughts are suppose to be a public announcement is nuts. The idea that your opinion is so important that you have to insert it every few minutes is sick. Facebook has created this toxic environment of a no filters society. It is rude, uncouth and a place of zero boundaries.

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Opinions

I hate Op Eds, I quit reading them and sharing them a year ago. The whole concept that all of our opinions are important is to say that opinions are supposed to be heard by the masses. They are OPINIONS. I do not have to give one flying fuck about an opinion and no one has to give a damn about my opinion. Where is it written that we have to validate, embrace, respect and consider everyone’s opinion? Guess what, an opinion is neither right nor wrong, hence it is an opinion. Did you not take 9th grade English class? It is not a PhD thesis. It is not a doctoral paper. It is not an academic argument. It is not a legal argument in a court of law. Quit applying such standards to the common, everyday man, run of the mill opinion, you fucking morons. I can just say shit. Poof. Just like that. I don’t even owe you an explanation.

Free Speech

Facebook is its own macro-culture of a billion users. That is 1 billion sheep. You can’t just say something anymore. You can’t just speak off the cuff, informally on your own damn wall. Some little asshole will show up and ruin the post for everyone. Some ego-based comment will erupt with hyper criticism. Someone will be offended. Someone will tell you that you are wrong. People you have never met in your entire life will tell you what you really meant in that post. They will preach at you and judge you for the content of your own fucking words and attempt to reinterpret it for everyone else. That cunt will then lecture you on the INTENT BEHIND your words- a stranger, a FB “friend”…

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The best part is that FB users do not know dick about how much of free speech is protected. I would watch people have full on meltdowns all because they thought what someone wrote was hate speech (which is legal). I would laugh my ass off. FB is an international community, but based in the U.S. Most do not know the statues on this in American. Legal threats would follow and I would be holding my sides because they ached so badly from my laughter of their emotional knee-jerk, uninformed, know-it-all reactions. Everyone on FB thinks they are an attorney, so stupid… The Supreme Court states that “fighting words” are what categorically fall under incitement, which is violence. One can invoke tons of hate speech without violating that. I digress, severely…

Parts of speech for English speakers

Because FB is global, you have tons of people interacting whose first language is not English. This is a bigger problem than anyone will acknowledge. I cannot begin to list all of the disasters that I witnessed on threaded discussions as a result of this. There are parts of speech that non- native English speakers- particularly non- American or non-Western people will ever comprehend. Hyperbole, sarcasm, paradoxical statements, exaggeration, humor or cultural illustrations are lost on them. Just because you guys are speaking English, doesn’t mean it is the same English. Have you ever tired to translate Hebrew or Arabic? OMFG! What a joke and the opposite is just as inept.

Fake profiles

Lastly, when I realized how many of my FB peeps I had daily interaction with, didn’t exist, I was thrown. Fake profiles, fake names, fake content- fake people. I talked to people online for three years who were not who they said they were. There I was, using my real name, my real face, my real life and there were hundreds of people who felt they had the right to lecture, shame, troll, harass and gossip about others in the community – and they didn’t even have an actual bonafide identity. Cowards, losers, failures, posers- not worthy of my respect or time. These were the ones who yelled the loudest, were ban the most often from FB and had no sense of social decorum whatsoever- yet demanded people listen to their fucking useless opinions.

GO

TO

HELL

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Validation and approval

Ultimately I think the reason FB and I parted ways is because I have never required the validation of anyone for my path nor sought the approval of those, even if they like me. It’s funny, I reached a point in early 2017, where I quit rendering my opinion at all and would only write a dry delivery of my day. I would talk about where I went, what I saw and what I experienced. People would show up and tell me I was wrong. Like somehow the conversation I had with the little old man in the Armenian quarter didn’t happen like I said it did, lol. The best part was and still is when I write about something non political and people show up and hijack the post in order to insert a political twist. Barf, gag, go home, I think you are a POS… and now I ban them from my page, because as I mentioned above, I have no FB friends. See?

Now days, I show the softer side of Jerusalem. People associate this city as being the most contentious place on earth. They only see the conflict, religion and politics. For those of us who actually live here, we see so much more that the world does not get exposure to. I decided I could do something DIFFERENT. Why repeat, regurgitate, recirculate the same damn info? I realized I could share beauty, art, food, festivals, cool, innovative, create things that are a normal part of life here. I choose to show Jerusalem- that means Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians alike. Fuck peace. I mean seriously. We have peace. It’s just a version of peace that no one understands because it is not a Western peace. It is our peace. It is a very imperfect peace. It is ours to contend with, not yours.

My haters would say- “she made Aliyah five minutes ago and thinks she knows everything.” This right here ^ is everything. They never understood that I know nothing. I know absolutely nothing at all, that’s the whole point.

We must be teachable. Growth requires learning. That cannot happen if you think you know something already. It is only when we destroy our ego, sit quietly and listen that there is any hope of learning.

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Coexistence without Peace initiatives Life without activism

So lately I’ve been spending time in Tel-Aviv/Yafo- i.e., Jaffa (Arabic name). I am seriously leaning toward moving to Jaffa’s old city, hopefully around the port or flea market. My friends have encouraged me to move to Tel Aviv and most people who meet me say- you should really live in Tel Aviv, it’s so you!

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Here’s the thing:

Tel Aviv is really not me. I don’t like to go out at night. I am selectively social, a misanthrope in recovery and do not enjoy parties, cookouts or crowds. I dislike the over populated beaches and honestly, I’m not 32 going on 21. The art scene is too commercial and quite frankly, I find it cheesy.

I love art, culture, quirkiness and most of all- I do not particularly enjoy a homogenized environment. This is what initially drew me to Jerusalem, yet I have grown out of my attraction to it for a myriad of reasons. I still love it, but there is a much better fit for me elsewhere.

There are many reasons I love Jaffa. The history is amazing, the old ruins, the stone streets and architecture have that Jerusalem charm. There are 46,000 people living there- 30,000 Jews and 16,000 Arabs. It is very Jewish, yet you don’t think about it because the Haredi costume is missing. Jews are just simply Jews. It feels like more people because of Tel Aviv, yet it doesn’t. The food is so much better than anything I’ve had thus far in Israel. The Arabic cafes serving killer Turkish coffee with Middle Eastern pastries, stunning tapestries, antique cups and that calm, cool vibe is so alluring. The sound of classical Arab music is so sensual and intricate. The rhythm is hypnotic and you can feel the essence of the place in your bones. The emerging art galleries have me hooked too and this is to say nothing of the stunning, non-commercial beach with its graffiti backdrop. The flea market is like a seaside town from a magical distant past. It’s unpretentious, super chill and authentic AF. Of course I’d prefer to live there. Crazy expensive though!!! Bah…

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It’s funny; I live around Arabs now in Musrara, across from Damascus gate. It feels nothing like Jaffa and here is why:

The Old City, or what we call “the seam,” East Jerusalem- this is the heart of the conflict. The air is always thick and tense. When I cross over to Damascus gate to the Arab shuk for produce, the vibe is not appealing to me at all. It doesn’t feel like Israel. It feels like you just walked into Palestine, a depressed one at that. None of them know I’m a Jew, just American. It’s super serious, the people are old, over weight and somber. Merchants play the call to prayer in their shops. They are not smiling or laughing and no one is speaking to me in order to entice me to barter. It is such a low energy there. They are not Israeli citizens; they are legal residents of the municipality. I feel like I am walking amongst the dead, it’s really hard to explain. It’s a failing cause they will die for, rather than a winning cause worth living for. The Palestinian friends I have made are either from Bethlehem or elsewhere, but not in Jerusalem. (Side note: I made a couple friends in Gaza and they are easier and warmer towards me, than Jerusalemite Palestinians.)

Jaffa is the opposite of this. The air is light and the vibe is upbeat and positive. It is fun and carefree, the people are young and healthy looking. People engage me when I am shopping, not pushy, but polite. It is a high energy level there. It feels like a cool beach town in the Middle East.

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The Jewish population is secular with a few religious people here and there, but I feel like I am part of the majority, not the minority. Jaffa is in my opinion, Israel’s best-kept secret. It is coexistence, minus coexistence propaganda. The shared life is organic there, not forced and no one talks it to death. Yeah, I get the political difference between East Jerusalem and Jaffa- believe me, I live it and don’t need a lecture. Yet the fact that no one shows hourly feeds of Jaffa or for that matter, Haifa (ultimate city of coexistence) attracts me even more. There is no Hasbara (fancy name for Israel advocacy where you explain Israel- WTF…). People are just simply living their lives and are not really cognizant of an organized attempt to sell the success of authentic peace to the world. I dig it.

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I remember thinking that if Jerusalem is the heart of the land of Israel, then Tel Aviv is the mind. I no longer see it that way at all. Where I live, UN employees driving their paid for SUV’s surround me. I have EU members in my hood, meddlesome Christian NGO’s who whisper soft, delicate anti-Semitism and thousands of tourists. All the while, the peace industry swarms here like flies to shit. They are so busy solving the issue that isn’t theirs to solve (I am not even sure it needs solving, but that’s a different blog). These groups I have just identified wouldn’t know peace if it was staring at them in the face. We do have a version of peace here. It simply is not a Western style of peace, it is uniquely our peace. There is peaceful existence all over this country between Jews and Arabs. Just because Area C and Jerusalem is the core of the conflict, the world thinks greater Israel is at war. This is so false.

I honestly think that if the peace industry would vacate Jerusalem, things would be better here for everyone. I’m not 100% sure I am leaving Jerusalem because of the Haredim’s judging eyes, the Rabbinate foothold, the Palestinians resentment, the know-it-all NGO’s, the soft spoken anti-Semitic European Christians or the UN. Collectively though- I am spent.

I gave up on activism many months ago. It’s weird when I run into someone who recognizes me and asks why I’ve quit. I still run my 1jewess blog, I just don’t do activism, and I don’t do hasbara. I do Israel. Imagine for a moment if we just started doing Israel. This means people have quit reading my blog since it’s not so political anymore- says a shit ton, eh?

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I used to get invited to peace conferences and people would consult me for my opinion (lol). No one seeks me out as much and it’s interesting because I think that what I do now is so much more valuable and fulfilling.

All I know is that when I am in Jaffa, it’s like 10 tons have lifted off me. If the world really gave a shit about a decent peace model here, they’d go to these other cities and see that we already have it.

 

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Israel unveils plan to pump billions into neglected Arab areas of East Jerusalem | The Times of Israel

Education, infrastructure and jobs program called ‘most comprehensive attempt’ yet to narrow gap between Arab and Jewish parts of city
— Read on www.timesofisrael.com/israel-unveils-plan-to-pump-billions-into-neglected-east-jerusalem/

This is an actual peace plan. Israel- puts her money where her mouth is.

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444 DAYS of Lies

Remembering why we do not trust Iran

It was 1979 and I was a little girl. I remember sitting with my parents watching the news. There was a man, bound in a chair with a blindfold. Suddenly it was removed and I saw his face. He was speaking slowly and appeared sad and exhausted. I felt concerned and asked my parents what was wrong with him. They told me he was being held as a hostage by Iranians because he was American. My little heart began to break and I was mesmerized, for the next 444 days to be exact.

I began watching coverage of this event each night and couldn’t get the image of the sad man out of my head. I went to school the next day and asked my teacher if we can help this sad man. She told me I could make him a card- I didn’t know schools around the country would eventually be doing this too.

The correlation of the U.S. allowing the deposed Shah of Iran to come and receive medical treatment was controversial. The Shah was overthrown by the new Islamic regime. He was a friend of the West and had the support of the U.S. and the U.K.

Not only did he have to flee as a result of political asylum, but also so did academics, scientists, philosophers, doctors, artists, and the best and brightest of Persian society was on the run for their lives.

They were Shia Muslims too.

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The regime, which ended a remarkable era, was also Shia Muslim.

President Carter knew that most countries didn’t want the Shah, but he found safety in Egypt, thanks to President Sadat (whom I have undying respect for, but that’s a different blog post.) Carter was afraid that our American Embassy in Tehran would be stormed if he permitted the Shah entrance. Carter did it anyway, at the urging of political advisor, Henry Kissinger.

Indeed, on November 4, 1979 a group of students, yes students, not military- stormed our embassy and took our American’s as their prisoners because the American government supported the Shah.

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The Shah supported women’s rights and gave them the opportunity to vote and hold professional positions in society. He wanted to see a booming economy and have a working relationship with the West. He was a Shia Muslim.

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The Iranian Hostage Crisis is the longest documented hostage event history.

444 days. That’s 1 year, 2 months, 2 weeks and 2 days of lying to their own people and of course, the world.

Carter attempted a woefully failed rescue that lead to the captors removing the hostages from the embassy and scattering them in Iran in order to avoid another rescue mission. They eventually were taken to a prison and ultimately a final location.

The Iranian regime was underway espousing its propaganda with a state run television and controlled media. The students told the people of Iran that the hostages were being treated well. They claimed the Americans were their “guests” and treated with respect and dignity.

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The hostages endured beatings

Theft

Execution threats

They were paraded blindfolded in front of an angry mob

They were bound for weeks at a time

They were subjected to solitary confinement

They were not allowed to speak for months at a time

They were not permitted to stand or walk for months at a time

Actual games of Russian roulette occurred

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I have read actual accounts from several hostages and the details are far worse.

As a result, Americans began to feel their Americaness. We became unified. Someone violated us, lied to us, harmed us and we watched every single one of those 444 days.

Make no mistake about it; this was the beginning of animosity towards the U.S. by Iran. Never think for a moment the deep hatred from the Islamic State has burned into their memory our allegiance to the Shah, to democracy, to religious and political freedom. We are everything they undid, we are everything they despise.

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As I sit today in my apartment in Musrara, Jerusalem I watch the homecoming video on Youtube. The Americans embarking from the plane at the air force base are walking into the crowd of cheering Americans and their faces say it all. They are not sad and tormented, they are not angry. They are smiling; they are laughing and have tears of joy. Peaceful people are strong, not weak. Peaceful nations are happy nations.

For those who forgot about this epic event in history and for those who were not alive during this painful 444 days, I ask you as a sign of respect for all that is democratic and for all who believe in freedom; you owe it to yourself and the future generations of the world to not trust Iran.

I contemplated uploading only these photos because they say it all.

I wonder if European countries would be so quick to jump in bed with Iran economically, if they had lived through these 444 days.

I wonder how many around the world will grasp why the U.S. doesn’t play ball with this regime.

I give you a reason to grasp our stance on Iran.

I have 444 reasons.

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You can’t just say something…

Does anyone besides me miss the good old days when we used to just be able to say something and not be required to explain it or defend it ?

Does anybody besides me miss the simplicity of being able to express a thought or opinion without it requiring you to extrapolate and then tell people your intent behind your words ?

I’ve witnessed the trajectory of this stupidity and can trace its origins to both Facebook and millennials.  The combination of these two ingredients have created a culture where you cannot speak off-the-cuff or informally.

Everything is a debate, everything is a fight.  The most simple phrase can spark a full-blown argument where people are analyzing your words, taking one phrase in a paragraph completely out of context and then you’re being grilled about it like the fucking inquisition.

I really do miss just being able to express a basic idea and leaving it at that.  It’s exhausting -the way I’ve trained myself to communicate on social media.  I have to preface everything I want to say first by thinking through all the possibilities of what could go wrong, which aspects will be misunderstood  and be preemptive.

It has literally ruined speech and dialogue.  I just want to be able to give the unedited version.  It’s all become a waste of time and a total drain. Can we please bring back fun?

I’m trying to envision people reading poetry or a classroom being asked to read a poem and discuss it in class.  I don’t think this would be possible today.

 

 

 

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