When you read one comment like this,

it makes all the negativity seem like…nothing.

eee, what a deviant idiot you are. You deliberately misunderstand the piece, make a ton of completely false allegations, put words in Audrey’s mouth that she clearly never said, and seriously misrepresent her article. I can only conclude from your propaganda effort that you have no interest in understanding the Palestinian point of view. Typically you portray every reasonable comment, and the mildest of requests for equal civil rights for all in Israel, as hysterically dangerous and seek refuge in the same old victimhood status, making surreal claims about the danger to Jewish Israelis of equal status for all citizens. Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, in Israel and Greater Israel, has created this problem, but how predictable that you want to blame them for threatening you with democracy and human rights. Pathetic.

Great piece, Audrey. This should be emblazoned at the start of all the torrent of disinformation that comes out of the Israel lobby:

At the end of the day, it’s not about one state or two. It’s about equality and democracy, and it’s about not having to leave your home. It’s about national identity, but more about humanity.

See my post on Mondoweiss for the context. In an hour, it’s gotten almost 30 comments. YES non-incendiary commentary read as hatred and bigotry! So exciting.


If I Had a Nickel…

Quite the situation in the Holy Land today: an Arab guy was convicted of rape when the intercourse was, by admission of the accusing female, completely consensual. So what gives? He told her he was Jewish. She found out later that he wasn’t, and decided that it now constituted rape. Wait…what?

So this guy introduced himself as someone he was not – haven’t we all done this? I’ve been “Margaret”, I’ve lied about being single or taken, I’ve omitted facts, and probably even deliberately made categorically untrue statements: all in similar situations. You meet someone, you don’t really care if they know the truth, you’re drunk, you’re at a bar or a party or whatever, and so what if you end up in bed together later? That’s how it goes. As far as I know, I’m not a rapist. Well, that’s because I’m not Arab.

Gideon Levy, a liberal Israeli commentator, was quoted as saying: “I would like to raise only one question with the judge. What if this guy had been a Jew who pretended to be a Muslim and had sex with a Muslim woman? Would he have been convicted of rape? The answer is: of course not.”

So he’s a rapist because he lied about who he was, and he told her he was interested in a serious relationship. What guy hasn’t said this in pursuit of a little something-something? “The sex therefore was obtained under false pretenses,” said the judge. If I had a nickel (shekel?) – or even a long-term relationship – for every one-night stand obtained under false pretenses…oh hey! I’d be rich on sending guys to jail just for being guys! Victory at last!

The story continues…they met, it was lust at first sight, she’s Jewish, he’s “Jewish”, let’s go off into this nearby building to consummate our newfound love and be fruitful and multiply because that’s what everybody wants, right? Newsflash, darling: next time, wait a few minutes, or a few days, before jumping into bed with strangers. I don’t care what he told you. He’s still a stranger. And if you want to throw caution to the wind and sleep with strangers (nothing wrong with that, my dear, on occasion), it’s your responsibility as an equal one-half of the deed to take the appropriate amount of responsibility. Look, we’ve all been there. Wake up, think “what was I thinking?”, and run to the nearest police station to cry rape. Except for that last part.

If you’re going to do stupid shit, at least own up to it. You had half the sex and as a consensual act, this is half your fault. Sorry. Maybe don’t be so gullible next time. As a rule, never believe what someone tells you in a situation where they might be wanting to have sex with you. They’re never telling the truth, the whole truth, or nothing but the truth.

Again, maybe I’m just an idealist, but I don’t think you’re supposed to accuse someone of rape and assault (heavy, man, heavy) just because you’re ashamed and embarrassed and you fucked up (no pun intended). Stop playing victim to your own stupidity.

Ameer Makhoul

This op-ed was published in al-Ahram, and is written by a woman I work with about her husband.

The story is a big deal here, but that’s how this works: no one on the other side of the pond knows, really, about these things. Look it up.

Spoiler alert: it made me cry.

He Said She Said: I SAID

The Post:


The Comment:

As an American Jew currently working at a Palestinian think tank in Haifa, I see both sides. Certainly, there is a chronic blindness – intentional or otherwise – on the part of the rest of the world towards the injustices done the Palestinians on the part of the Israeli government.

Yet as much as I fight for social justice (quote unquote), I can’t help but feel utterly betrayed by this Knesset motion, as I do every day in my work reading and researching these injustices towards Palestinians. It is not an issue of who Israel and the rest of the world may or may not be ignoring. It’s about questions of personal identity, questions that matter very deeply to a whole world of people. My own identity as a non-Orthodox Jew, the identity of Palestinian citizens of Israel as Palestinian, as Arab, as non-Jewish in a Jewish-only world: there is a similarity here.

Certainly this wrong is not nearly as damaging – yet – as the abuses towards the Palestinians. These are completely incomparable situations. But they bother me, and I predict many others, on two completely different levels. The move to “accredit” only Orthodox conversions is an offense to who I am. Israel’s daily policies against Palestinians are an offense to what I believe. These overlap but solicit different reactions. Fight or flight versus stay and play, so to speak.

If anything at all, we can hope that what comes from this is a newborn sense of understanding on the part of American Jews for the hardships and discrimination Palestinians endure in their daily lives.

Where to start?

Maybe with my second foray into East Amman, and the smiling lady at the bread shop where they cook it in the Iranian style, by throwing a round of dough onto the inside of a large open kiln and then pull it out and hand it to you fresh. Or maybe with the guys I saw dragging a full grown sheep across the sidewalk, still kicking. Or maybe with the fact that I spend an hour yesterday smashing raw meat through my hands, and then another hour stuffing my face with zaki kebabs and chubuz and basal and all sorts of other goodness. Or maybe with just the fact that the more I see of Jordan and Amman the more I want to stay. That everyone here is so nice and wants you to be here and see Jordan as they see Jordan. Like if you say your favorite thing in Jordan is the desert, the response is a smile that lights up the room. I have felt happier in the last few weeks than I have in recent memory – I won’t tell you it’s any kind of supreme bliss, but I have definitely been feeling a certain joy and excitement in life that has I think been shway lacking…

irony. they have it here, too.

I was lucky enough to get a native’s tour of East Amman (read: Palestinian camps) tonight. It was like a whole other city. It’s full of neighborhoods with character and community and real life, and, surprise, poverty. The thing that got me, though, was the fact that from just about everywhere in this part of the city – 100% Palestinian – you can see the huge Jordanian flag. And from West Amman you can’t see it at all. In any case, I am so glad I got to see that part of the city finally and insha’allah I will get to go back, maybe in daylight and maybe for a longer amount of time. It really was amazing – you could just feel the sense of community from the people on the street. As nice as people might be here in the West, over there in the East they are ten times nicer and it just seems more like a place to call home, despite all the hardships they face.