Saturday, May 22, 2004

A week between Tel Aviv and Rafah

Exactly one week ago the big peace rally took place, in Rabin's square in Tel Aviv. The media says there were over 150 thousand people there.
I arrived at the square many hours before the planned beginning, I was asked to come by and help out with the preparations, which I did. I helped with banners, I met interesting people, I felt hopeful.
During the rally I was standing in the crowd, up front (which was not easy considering the amount of people there). At one point I looked over to one of the streets leading to the square and was amazed to see the road was packed with people. I then looked at the people around me and they were all listening to what was being said on stage. They were really listening. They weren't just standing there and waiting for the bands to come on, they weren't just hanging out with friends, they weren't even talking that much. They were just looking up on stage, listening and waiting for someone, that one person, who can lead them. Who can lead us. There was no one person like that that night, I'm afraid, but that doesn't discourage me, not yet.

After the excitement and boost of hope of the rally, came the IDF's incursion into Rafah.

It seems like it's impossible to take a step forward here without being later thrown 5 steps back.

And so the hope is starting to fade. But not really. It's still there. And even if realistically it's pointless, it doesn't matter. Nothing about this situation has ever been realistic or pragmatic or sensible.

I know I now want to do anything I can to make sure that this rally and the public discussion that's been floating around lately won't fade away.
Everyone I know will say I'm naive or just delusional. I probably am. But then again, I see nothing wrong with that.
I want to be able to fall asleep without thinking of ruined homes and dead children. On either side.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Hello hippies!

So apparently the hippies do care.

Seems we Israelis get much much more jumpy and ready to demonstrate when our soldiers get killed rather than when, say, civilians get murdered.

Saturday night, in Tel Aviv, a big demonstration will take place, urging the government to take action. Pull out of Gaza and start negotiating. Perhaps there's still a chance to jump start the peace process, if we're all not too far gone by now.

All I know is, this should've happened a long time ago.
And innocent civilians will go on suffering until we get going.

I know many people are going to the demonstration because of what happened in Gaza this week. Soldiers getting killed.
But there are many more who were planning to come before things blew up in Gaza. People who are sick and tired from both Palestinians and Israelis suffering at the hands of our leaders. People like me, who are horrified at the thought of IDF bulldozers demolishing houses in the south of the Gaza strip.

So if you see a shitload of Israelis demonstrating at Rabin Square on CNN tomorrow, don't dismiss it as Israelis who just want their soldiers out of danger but don't care about the Palestinian people.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

The hippies don't care anymore

Right now, sitting in my room in front of my computer, I hear overhead helicopters. Since I live a few kilometers from the Gaza strip, I often hear Israeli air force flying objects on their way to and from Gaza. Usually I don't pay much attention. Usually, I don't know exactly why they're there. This time I do.

The IDF went into Gaza last night in order to uncover and destroy rocket workshops. On the way out, one of their APCs (armored personnel carrier) was bombed, 6 soldiers were killed. Several Hamas people were killed and, naturally, innocent bystanders were hurt.
Now the Israelis are concerned about the soldiers' body parts. They really wouldn't wanna have to negotiate with Hamas right now.

In all this, people who were against Sharon's Gaza withdrawal plan claim that what happened today just goes to show they were right. People who supported the plan, naturally, same the exact same thing.

Over a dozen young people died today in Gaza and everyone wants a piece of it for their PR. They'll all get it too. Until the next time people die, today will be absolute proof that the Hamas, PLO, Sharon, Arafat, yesha and everyone else, left and right, peace and war, everyone's right.

And in the mean time, the Palestinian people are getting more and more desperate and the Israeli people are going more and more numb.
Even the hippies don't care anymore.

Monday, May 10, 2004

And so it begins

As this is the beginning, I should probably do a little intro-type thingy.

I've tried this whole blogging thing before but never actually had a concrete topic in mind. I was supposed to talk about anything and everything. Just speak my mind. Problem was, there was so much to talk about, I ended up not being able to write anything.

So this one has a topic. It has an issue. An agenda, if you will.

This is about giving people an oppertunity to hear a voice that isn't heard very often in the world today. It is the voice of an Israeli. A left wing Israeli. A pro-peace, anti-war, anti-occupation, Israeli jew.

However, I do not attempt to speak for anyone other than myself. The events that occure daily in this place are never just political. At least not for me. My point of view is pragmaticlly, idealistically and emotionally based.

I would muchly appreciate readers and their comments. Even angry ones.