– "Where is Ban Ki Moon"? Al Masara 28.12

There is so little I know about Al Masara. There is little I know about the people who participate in the demonstrations, about how the majority of Al Masara people feel about us, Israeli activists who join the protests, about the village itself. Luckily enough, Mouhamad Al Zwahara, sent me this informative video.


There is so much I don't know about Al Masara.

About the region itself. I look at the map that shows in this short video, and I hope I understand a little bit better about how the village is being crippled and isolated by the nearby settlements. How the threat of land theft threatens the very daily living of the people, of their ability to provide for themselves.

 I wish I could be Al Masara protests saleswoman, Al Masara protests ambassador,  for a current theme repeats itself during Al Masara demonstrations: the protesters are crying out for the world to do something, to hold Israeli accountable for the violation of their rights, to intervene.Personally I suspect that the content of the speeches is a bit naive: so many atrocities are happening and the world does not care,   but how many atrocities receive such direct assistance and aid from the US as the one that is done to the Palestinian people? Has the response of the UN  to the latest settlement expansion by Israel not been impotent?

What is repeatedly being said by  Al Masara protest leaders, that although being few in number and unarmed compared to the heavily armed soldiers, and despite the "failure" to cross the human blockade the soldiers form each and every week, is that the people who protest hold their strength by knowing that they are not alone- either it is because of the physical presence of international activists- or merely by the UN recognition of the Palestinian state.  The protesters keep mentioning  how resilient the nature of the protest is- the protests go on for six years, many of the soldiers who beat the protesters now were only high school students when the demonstrations started.

This week's demonstration , as the one from two weeks ago, was dedicated to support hunger striking prisoner Samer Al  Issawi. One of the protesters had his hands cuffed and his eyes blindfolded, as a symbol to the way many prisoners are being held. For some unapparent reason, the soldiers seemed to be really excited or threatened by these  actions. The soldiers were also rather violent this week, to the point of beating a protester with their plastic shield in the leg and hitting another one in the face. In addition, the soldiers kept trying to capture some of the protesters by camera – perhaps for future persecution.

One of the speakers pointed out a small child in the crowd and told the soldiers: You put his father in jail, but this boy is not afraid of you".

Than he turned to the soldiers and started a guessing game, trying to figure out what is the original birthplace of each and every one of them. "You should go back there" , he told the soldiers.

I thought that perhaps, if people immigrate to this land only to oppress other people , they better go back to where they came from. That the presence of the military among civil population does nothing but provoke more hatred thus providing no safety. The words of Mahmoud Al- Zawa'ara from the video about Al Masara echoed in my mind: The people of Al Masara were born in Al Masara. They never left.

"Our children want to go the sea" said the speaker, and than he turned to the soldiers, running across the shielded soldiers, banging his hands and back  towards their shields, making a "circus" action out of the occupation, to the laughter of the kids. Maybe they don't get to see the sea, but they are educated to resist at a young age, because no proud human being would agree to live like this.IMG-20121228-01363 IMG-20121228-01345 IMG-20121228-01349 IMG-20121228-01344

The sorrow- my response to Lior Nordman's gruesome series "Why can't we all we all just get along"

"Controversial: Lior Nordman's ongoing series 'why cant we all just get along', features models dressed as members of different religions in intimate poses with soldiers, aims to break political and religious taboos"

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2252921/From-supermodels-army-catwalk-shows-missile-attacks-Tel-Aviv-Fashion-Week-sets-standards-ban-underweight-models-amid-Gaza-conflict.html#ixzz2G11tunOB

Lior Nordman's series of pictures tells us "a love story between a female Palestinian terrorist and an IDF soldier- in the end, she hangs herself by her explosive belt".
Mr. Nordman- Palestinian female militants are not "terrorists", not more than Hanna Senesh or Sara Aronson were.
No occupied person would fall in love, out of free will with his occupier. That is a pervasive Zionist fantasy that would never happen, because a heavily armed soldier and a female guerilla combatant are NOT "equal sides of an equation". It is as artistic a stalag fiction of the lowest level.
As an Israeli, as a woman and an activist I found myself so deeply hurt by the sexist, objectifying work , and I have no better way to express my objection but being creative.
I took a picture of myself, overwhelmed by the revolting material I've been exposed to, wearing a Hijab I bought in Ramallah- as some of my friends wish to see me wearing, carrying a message for justice, and compassion, offering nothing attractive, erotic or sexy but pure honesty ( a thing you might never know). I wish other people will follow my lead and take an action to boycott and divest from @thevice magazine,until this abusive work will be removed.

@daamworkersparty – לא זורקת את הקול שלי לפח

שנים אחרי, מדי פעם יש טריגר שפותח מחדש את הפצעים, שמזכיר לי כמה רבדים של זעם וכאב גדלו אותי  והיו מזוני העיקרי. מדי  פעם, כל הרע הזה שב ומציף אותי, בניגוד לציפיות של החברה והחברים, שאתגבר, שאמשיך הלאה, שלא אדבר. מה שמעורר אותי לתת קול הפעם הוא הופעתה של הגברת אסתי סגל בכרזות של דע"ם, בהן היא מתיימרת לתת קול לדרישה  לצדק כלכלי/חברתי/מדיני, בשעה שהיא עצמה בחרה לרמוס אותי , לרתום את עצמה לדיכוי ולעוול שנעשה לי באחת התקופות הקשות בחיי, כשלא הייתי שם ולא פנים , אלא א' המתלוננת נגד איש תקשורת ידוע, שהוא ככל הנראה אחד ממקורביה של אסתי סגל. מעבר להשמצות והכפשות כנגדי אותן פרסמה הגברת סגל בבלוג של קפה דה מרקר, היא הגדילה לעשות והוציאה מתחת למקלדת שלה טקסט מפואר שכותרתו "הקלות הבלתי נסבלת של הגשת תלונה על אונס למשטרה". בתמימותי, פניתי אליה וביקשתי שהמרצה במכללה, מבקרת הספרות , מייסדת שלום עכשיו והקופירייטרית תשמע גם את גרסתי , גרסת זבנית במרכול.  אני לא אחזור אפילו על המענה השפל וגס הרוח והפוגעני שזכיתי לו ממנה, את הדריכה חסרת המצפון על הזכות שלי לכבוד ולפרטיות.  הייתה תקופה שבה חיפשתי  רציונאליזציה והצדקה, וכל מיני הסברים פסיכולוגיים לשנאת נשים המכוונת כלפי נשים אחרות כמו זו שבה נהגה אסתי סגל. היום , אם עשיתי איזה התקדמות , אני מרשה לעצמי פשוט לכעוס, בלי לחמול,  בלי להקשיב לנפשות הטובות שמנסות לרמוז לי על מופרעותה- לכאורה של הגב' סגל שבשלה שלי להתעלות על עצמי ולהפגין חמלה.

עם זאת, אני בוחרת להחנות את העצמי הפגוע שלי בצד, ולא להפסיק לתמוך בדע"ם- מפלגת העובדים בהנהגתה של אסמא אגבארייה זחאלקה. וגם אם לא תעבור את אחוז החסימה בבחירות האלה, לא ארגיש שהקול שלי נזרק לפח. הקול שלי , מבחינתי מוקדש להבעת תמיכה באסמא אגבארייה זחאלקה,  להבעת תמיכה באחדות מדוכאים שגוברת על לאום ודת,  לאמונה שצדק חברתי ומדיני כרוכים זה בזה גם יחד.

הקול שלי, קולה של זבנית במרכול אולי לא שווה כמו זה של אסתי סגל- ובכל זאת אני בוחרת להשמיע אותו, כמו גם להשמיע ביקורת כלפי אלה שממשילים הצבעה לדעם לזריקת קולות לפח, כמו אלה שבוחרים להתנגח במי שמנוגח ממילא בשם טהרנות מוסרנית.

לא תמיד כוחינו במספרים. לא תמיד כוחינו באחדות מזוייפת.   הכוח בעיני יכול גם להיות האמונה- אמונה שיכול להיות יותר טוב, ובצורך לפעול כדי שיהיה טוב.

אלמלא ספגתי ביקורת, לא פעם ולא פעמיים על כך שפעולות שיזמתי וארגנתי היו "הפגנת חולשה" – בגלל שלא הצלחתי "לגייס" מספיק אנשים- ספק אם הייתי מבינה איך דווקא במצבים האלה מתממש הפתגם שווג'יא מבילעין אמר לי- "לפעמים אלף אנשים לא שווים אחד, ולפעמים עשרה אנשים שווים כמו אלף".

אני תוהה גם מאין שאובים הבטחון והידיעה של מה משפיע ומה לא משפיע, מה עובד ומה לא שאותם מביעים בלוגרים ופעילים.  אני שואבת נחמה ותקווה שאפקט הפרפר, מאי- המדעיות של הטבע החברתי ומהאי וודאות.

וונוסף על זאת, צריך לשחרר את עזה ולהיטיב את תנאיהם של עובדי הבניין

What the Zionist media don't want you to see in Al Masra village demonstrations

As journalist Haggai Matar say, the weekly demonstrations in Al Masara get  appropriate coverage in the Palestinian media (as you can see here- in arabic ) but are completely ignored by the Zionist media. I could think of numerous reasons for that. The most obvious reasons would  be the relatively small number of participants and the lack of bloodshed and violence that sell out the news, but I can also think of less visible reasons why the Zionist media ignores these demonstrations, and doesn't even bother to mention the name of the village among the names of the other villages that are protesting every Friday. The Zionist media paints those weekly demonstrations as violent riots and clashes contained by the Israeli army. A different image of a demonstration, one that doesn't include stone- throwing shabab would be disturbing and might highlight the fact that even the most peaceful and non-violent demonstration is prohibited under the military regime imposed over the west bank. Another reason I can think of to explain why 99.5% of Israeli people don't even know this village even exists on the map, and of curse are unaware if these demonstrations is because of what is said in those demonstrations. As in person, I don't feel I am in the right place to praise Palestinian non-violent resistance before I ended up condemning the Israeli violence and I am no great strategic to tell which tactic would be more efficient in saving lives and ending oppression.  I am afraid that praising Palestinian non violence is another way of encouraging people to die in silence, but what Al Masra people say should be heard as they, as the oppressed  people, have the right to say it, and I don't feel  that I do. I can recall a few epic quotes from the demonstrations in Al Masra. The speakers vary and so do the protest themes. "I am fighting for you too, soldier" said one of the protesters to the soldiers. "So that you can be free". "Our lands are calling us. our trees are calling us" said another protester at an other occasion. "Israel is like a small spoiled child that needs to be told by the world what it can and cannot do, so our  children and Haggai's children won't fight each other" Oum Hassan told us.

.I remember how the speakers spoke about the inner walls of mind, how they cried for peace, denounced violence so many times, and the soldiers response was aggressive protest dispersion. Right now the soldiers bring LRAD- long range acoustic device that cause deafness to the demonstrations, just in case. I am not saying that those speeches in Al Masra reflect every notion within the Palestinian resistance- in fact- on my way back I heard "Udrub Udrub Tel Aviv" song loudly played on the street. What I am saying is that nobody in the  weekly demonstrations need to be heard, but I think they need to beZionist media thinks that those Ghandi -style speeches  that are carried in those IMG-20121207-01331.

My dead people

"How can you support terrorist and betray your own people? Don't you care about all those who were killed?"

I often get this kind of response once I identify myself as a non zionist Israeli, hence, "Hamas supporter". My response to those people: I do remember. I was born here. I remember Eyal Sorek and his pregnant wife who were shot in their car, they were friends with my family, I've been in their house, and I've been to their Shiva'a. I've been to the funeral of the son of my science teacher and  in the shiva'a of  the son of my math teacher.My main teacher at 11th grade lost her son too. A friend of my friends, a girl my age died in a suicide bomb and I knew a guy who lost his ex-girlfriend in another suicide bomb. I had two friends that served in the army, and they told me how they buried their friends. I was living in Jerusalem during the second Intifada and I heard the bombs exploding. This is how I grew up and I don't believe any of those people deserved to die. However, I do believe that all those young lives were lost because of the inevitable hostility between the indigenous people and the settlers, that is the result of a colonialist project  that involves ethnic cleansing. I do believe that fear, torture and violence do no not get the best out of people- they get the worse out of  them. I am in no position to preach to non-violence, as my poor memory cannot point out how many struggles were won without it. All those deaths I've witnessed indirectly  came by the hands of the Palestinian resistance, by militants who believed that they are doing the best for their own people and perhaps the plight of the Palestinian people would be forgotten without them.

Years later I met Ashraf Abu Rahma, who lost both his mother and sister, and Bassem Tamimi, who lost his sister, and I dare not compare their individual pain to the pain of other people. I did learn enough to know that I want no one to die in war, not the occupier or the occupied, death is horrible and no civilian deserve it. To end the occupation, the colonialism, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine , to allow the Palestinian refugees to return to their lands and to compensate those who will choose not to do it is the only way I see possible to keep civilians out of the bloodshed. Only after the establishment of a democracy with full equality, I would dare to utter the word "Peace" I crave so much

אנרכיסטים נגד החבר

 

היה צריך קצת זמן שמישהו ירים את הכפפה ויפתח את הפה כדי לעשות מה שמאשה אברבוך עושה הכי טוב: לנפץ את הזגוגיות שבהן מושקע ההון הסימבולי. אני מנסה לנקז את המוגלה והדם והדמעות שוזלגים מסטטוסים זועמים בפייסבוק, ולכבס את הכביסה המלוכלכת בפומבי  תוך שימוש מינימלי בכוח ומינימום אבידות בנפש. אני לא מרגישה בבית  עם אנרכיסטים נגד הגדר. אני מתקשה יותר ויותר להזדהות עם דרכי הקבוצה וההתנהלות שלה. ועכשיו, עכשיו אני פשוט לא יכולה, עם כל הרצון . ההתרשמות שלי, בתור מישהי שמביטה מבחוץ, היא שמדובר בקבוצה שמייצגת בסך הכל, את השמאל הלבן  בתפארתו, ומדירה, גם אם בדרכי נועם, את מי שחורג מהשטאנץ של תואר אקדמי מתקדם, פלוס לובן, פלוס דרכון זר ופריבילגיות. אנרכיסטים נגד הגדר, במתכונת הנוכחית היא קבוצה סופר אליטיסטית שאין לי מקום וחלק בה. וזה חבל, כל כך חבל, שיש נורמות התנהגות מסויימות בשטחים הכבושים, אבל החוויה שאני חווה מהקבוצה הזאת בתוך קווי 1948 המטוהרים אתנית היא שונה. החוויה שלי שאת אותם מבני הכוח אותם מתיימרת הקבוצה לקעקע- היא משחזרת ומשעתקת. יש היררכיה, יש שווים יותר ויש שווים פחות.  והקבוצה הזאת, כמו כל קבוצה אחרת, מגבשת את עצמה סביב שעירים לעזאזל, פוגעת דווקא בחוליות החלשות יותר, מתנכרת לחברה שבתוכה היא עצמה חייה, ואולי אם הציפיות שלי לאוטופיה שוויונית ומכילה לא היו גבוהות יותר הייתי מתאכזבת פחות.  במאמר מוסגר אציין שאין כאן ביקורת אישית שמופנית כלפי אדם ספציפי או כמה אנשים- מדובר, שוב, לפי ההתרשמות שלי- בדינמיקה מתהווה. ואני  כמובן צופה מבחוץ, משולחן הלא מקובלים שבקפיטריה.

Maasara weekly demonstration: the army fail

I remember something a kindergarten teacher once said: A person can smile but his smile does not mean a smile, a person can laugh but his laughter does not laugh. It came back to my mind when I saw the line of soldiers who were forming a blockade in front of us. The soldiers were grinning, seemingly amused by our attempts to proceed the march and pass them. Some of us tried to tell them off , some of us shouted at them with frustration, and this ugly display of self contempt by the soldiers that came as response showed me how pleased they were to be the ones in control, the ones in power, no matter power over whom it was -in this case, they managed to suppress an  unarmed march of civilians – a bunch of kids who were holding flags and signs.

The soldiers were not restraint this time, we were told they "changed"(in a bad way) after the UN successful bid 194 that recognized Palestine as a state last week The other protesters described their behavior as "vulgar".

We were not given  any excuse why the soldiers  were dispersing the protest- we were not presented a closed military zone warrant-  I deduce it was just filling an order that forbids the occupied people to engage at any kind of protest, no matter of what nature it is.

The army fails when it succeeds in filling  its own orders- to control civil population. An army that faces civilians always fails. I don't believe that there is any soldier who drafts in the army  that wishes to encounter a group of rural protesters , accompanied by elderly peace activists to lecture him about humanity.

One of the protesters asked the soldiers, "what's the matter, why are you going crazy today"?as  the soldiers violently shoved us backwards, cursing us (although I don't consider – go live in a Palestinian village" or "faggot" a real curse. If my presence in a Palestinian village wasn't colonialist by nature, I would go live there). One of the soldiers even went as far as wishing Sara Beninga to be raped. Another  officer went unhinged, rabidly shouting "Dir Balak" ( watch it) at a small child who held a flag in front of his face. The soldiers chased Hassan Bourjia and knocked him to the ground. As I intervened, a soldier pushed my to the ground, leaving a bruise of my back. "why shakel?" the soldiers barked at Hassan. "Why are you being a trouble maker?"

A rural protest leader said: "I am not the person who goes into your village, you are  the person who goes into my village"." You are not willing to die for this land, but I am".

Another speaker told the soldiers: "We will leave you with your psychological problems, you sick people, you should all commit yourself to a mental hospital." In one year, he told the the soldiers, "you will all be just like your commander,transformed beyond cure. You are all  living under his reign, if he  tells you to jump, you all will".

The protesters chanted: "long live the popular resistance", "long live state of Palestine", and sang "watani watani" .(my homeland, my homeland")

Oum Hassan,  mother of prisoner Ali Bourjia, came forward, holding the flag proudly, calling the soldiers fascists, like Mussolini, like Hitler.

The soldiers brought long range , acoustic device in attempt to disperse us, but we fled the scene. " Do not think for one second that we are afraid of you", a protester told the soldiers.

*****

We first arrived the village as the prayer in the mosque ended. Many men were out in the streets as our car crossed it, and we knew that many of them are not in favor of the weekly demonstrations. Some of them do not participate in the demonstrations because of our presence there- they do not want to protest side by side with Israelis.

I have just finished reading Ousmane Sembene's novel Les bouts de bois de Dieu  This piece of post colonial literature reminded me of how even the best- intentioned colonialist supporter could be still found guilty in patronizing, objectifying, willifying  ,but am I a colonialist? I was born here and so did my parents, my grandparents came here at a very young age, I speak not any European language and hold no other passport. However. my grandparents didn't come to live across the 1948 boarders. Although the questions about my identity remains, there is little room for doubt why I came to Maasara and what I was doing there. I am here because of the occupation and the colonialism. I am a product of this process in many ways.

I am also ashamed to admit that there is a component of pleasure in going to Al Masara demonstration: it includes going out of the city to a beautiful village, taking a walk in the small fresh air, a notion of being  part of some kind of resistance. "Going to a Palestinian village" is not a punishment for me as the soldiers mean, but it is a guilty pleasure indeed. Sometimes I feel that denying myself of the privilege  of crossing the green line into 67' borders is the right thing to do. In other times I feel that I need to see the occupation with my own eyes, because within the 48' boarders what I experience is mostly  the  ethnic cleansing- the absence of the original people of Palestine.

On the way back, I took my chances, went inside one of the local shops and bought a bag of Arabian coffee, assuming that no matter who the manufacturer was , it will probably be better than "Elite" "zionist" coffee we have at the shops here, and my orientalist senses proved me right: this was a pack of rich Al-khalili (hebirnite) coffee, with wonderful aroma and taste I'm having now.