mr. 0bam@, you will not be getting my vote this year. neither will your opposition, but the point is, you.will.not. why? simply put, this: ‘“when there are efforts to boycott or divest from Israel, we will stand against them. And whenever an effort is made to de-legitimize the state of Israel, my administration has opposed them.”’
i got a wild hare and decided that i should donate to my friend val hoyle’s campaign for house rep for the state of oregon. i never ever ever donate money these days. i have to spend too much on comfort food right now. but i’ve known val since 2004 – the kerry-oregon campaign – and i know how amazing she is. i also know that our values are quite aligned, and she’s a take-no-bs east coaster. i know she plays politics when she needs to, but i also know that she’s one tough chicka and she’s going to do her best not to let others get away with crap. so, i donated a small amount of $ to her campaign, because of that. oh, and i also know that under that tough east coast skin is a heart of gold, really a heart of bright shiny gold. i’ve gotten to see it and a take-no-bs east coaster politician with a heart of gold is exactly the kind of candidate that i’m willing to donate a wee bit of cash too.
i’ve been reading the news as it comes out about the israeli attack on the gaza freedom flotilla. there are of course two sides to it. there’s the side of those who were attacked and then the side of those who did the attacking. i try to read with an open mind – the side of the attacker. i try to believe that the activists had weapons and were planning an attack from the moment they knew that the israeli defense force (IDF) was surrounding them. i try to believe in the innocence of the individual IDF members, even though what they were doing – trying to stop this flotilla in international waters – was clearly illegal. seeing both sides, in my opinion, is the pacifist thing to do. rather than attacking back, just listen and learn. this is their perspective on things, this is their narrative. i have my perspective, my narrative, and i want it listened to as well.
joy in palestine, though, reminds us of the israeli spin machine.
“A friend of mine was charged with “assault with a baby,” because when they demolished his house for the 3rd time, he handed his daughter to a soldier. He said, “I don’t have anyone where for her to sleep. You take her.” Another friend of mine was speaking at a completely nonviolent. He was beaten until his ribs were broken and then he was charged with assaulting a police officer. At his trial the police officer who testified admitted he wasn’t there and couldn’t even find the area where the demo took place on a map. My friend still went to jail.”
i am reminded of the american spin machine. the one that took us to occupation of iraq and afghanistan, and into so many places where we caused atrocities. it’s powerful and convincing. those spin machines are coming from legitimate governments versus the words of activists and their legitimate organizations but who don’t have the power of legitimacy of nationhood behind them. it’s easier for the general public, the masses, to be convinced by the governments, especially in the case of palestine, where for 60 years they have been painted as the attackers of the innocent and oppressed israelis. how can the state of israel be an attacker? look at the centuries of oppression, pogroms, and holocausts committed against the people who the country was created for. how can such an oppressed people ever become the oppressed?
i haven’t finished paulo freire’s “pedagogy of the oppressed” but i have gotten far enough to read where he talks about how rather than learning how not to oppress, those who have been oppressed learn how to oppress. it’s a powerful comment and drawing from my experience in the LGBTA community i can see it. i can see the oppression in my own behavior and language. when we are powerless, we want power, and we express that power in the ways we learned. thus it makes sense, to me at least, that israel would act the way it does, and for its spin machine to spin as fast as possible so that it can legitimize its actions. the state of israel, and my own state, needs to be right.
and so what do we do with all the reports coming in the aftermath of the attack on the flotilla? i can’t speak for we, i can speak for me. me, i read them – as many as i can. i mourn the dead and injured, i can read the spin with an open mind acknowledging that even peace activists can be moved to violence when threatened, i can be grateful that this attack is causing a greater dialogue about the siege on gaza, i can continue to pray that the suffering of the palestinians and israelis will stop, soon. that’s easy though. i’m quite distanced from all of that. i can also take what i’m thinking about peace and oppression in israel and palestine and apply it to my own life and try to hold those who inflict (perceived) injury on me in light rather than dark. i can spend time thinking about the impacts of peace in my personal life on peace in the bigger world.
that’s all hippy-dippy-touchy-feely-crap, i know that. it’s not practical. but in times like this – when the world is full of such uncertainty and people suffering all over because of the actions of others of us – we need a bit of the touchy-feely-hippy-dippy-crap. we need some hope and peace.
and i’ll finish with this, sabeel’s (short) litany for gaza:
Eternal God, arbiter of justice and champion of peace, reach into the deep pit of violence, despair, and ruthlessness that shapes the lives of so many in Palestine and Israel. The nations are in an uproar, kingdoms totter, people cry out.
You, O God, are our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Grant, O God, healing to the men and women injured during the Israeli military assault. Bring grace and consolation to those who mourn the dead.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be filled.
God who has proclaimed release to the captives and freedom to the oppressed, may all who have been taken prisoner for their involvement in the flotilla return safely home. We remember these and others who are unjustly detained.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, who has sent me to proclaim release to the captives…and to let the oppressed go free.
Lord of all, make known to all in Palestine and Israel that your love extends to all people, that might is not right, that fear begets fear, that love conquers all. Give hope to the many who, in love, speak and act boldly for justice.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
God of Justice, we pray that the nations of the world will no longer stand idly by, but uphold the rights of the oppressed in Gaza, the West Bank, and around the globe . We, the peoples of many lands, “reaffirm [our] faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small.” [UN Charter: Preamble]
Your judgements are just, O Lord, you will hold all nations accountable for what they have done, and also for what they have left undone.
God who offers life in abundance, break the chains of injustice that shackle the people of Gaza. May the blockade that limits food and medicine, toys and cement, culture and trade, friendships and families be swiftly ended. May the people of Gaza and of the West Bank be brought together in unity.
They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. For like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. [Isaiah 65]
God of equity, who knows no distinction between race or creed or colour, help us to be ever impatient in our encounter with injustice and abuse. As ambassadors for Christ, do not allow our hearts to be hardened, but let us live your message of justice, peace and reconciliation. We remember the words of your prophet: “The effect of justice will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” [Isaiah 32:16-18]
God, in your grace, transform the world.
while the pacifist in me really hates what mr. frank said, what the right says is even worse.. all the time. and what do most liberal politicians seem to do? not a lot. they just take it, and they don’t counter it with any sort of pacifist talk or stopping wars or any gandhian type actions. so because of that this is why i actually appreciate barney frank’s candor in the below interchange (oh, and fwiw – barney frank is both gay and jewish).
Feministe’s post, so good i had to just post it here and FULLY CREDIT THEM. why? because i couldn’t guarantee readers would go there and the visual image is just too important..
btw, go say “Y’ALL ROCK.” for this post, and all their other posts.
Two of the most important women’s-rights-related bill-signings in the past few years.
today is the day – yep, and not only that but as i type this we’ve only got one hour left of this hell that has been known as the bush presidency. i’ve been waiting for this day for 8 years. along with soooo many others… like the innocent iraqi’s who have lost loved ones and who continue to loose loved ones each and every day, like the innocent iraqi’s who have been forced to become refugees because of an illegal war, like the innocents in afghanistan who have also been the targets of a blood thirsty president.. like the prisoners at guantanamo, and those who have had their civil liberties snatched from them by the patriot act.. and the arab american community in this country who has been the target of racist hatred spurned on by this man. and on and on and on.
i hear he’s a nice guy, but as a president he lacked so much. it’s time he goes back to being just a nice guy so that someone qualified to run the country can do so.
2008 was not a good year for me, really. but i should remember – there are things about it that i liked. here they are:
- i finally settled on a chair for my phd. and every time i talk to her about my disseration work i find myself grateful that she’s my chair.
- i also finalized my 5 person committee for my phd. not only are they all really amazing scholars, but i like each one personally. i am confident that the 5 of them will work excellently together. i know of committees where they don’t work well together and it makes for a miserable experience for the student.
- my friends in eugene still love me, and i them. i’m glad that this distance hasn’t changed that. i need those people. i’m glad that the fact that we’re all changing as well hasn’t changed my relationships as well.
- i went to palestine – i could go on and on and on about that trip.
- i found peace with the lds church.
- i finally felt like the christian church was truly accessible to me.
- my mormon friends didn’t reject me when i left their church. they still love me and i them. i miss many of my lds friends that i only saw at church.
- my world in logan has grown.
- i found a church community that i fit into and a church leader who encourages me in all that i am, and who is willing to help me in those things about me i’m not so thrilled about. i could go on and on about all the things i’m grateful to pastor p. for.
- i think my papa and i actually got closer – even though we didn’t see each other at all face to face. i’m grateful he’s my dad.
okay, enough feel good crap. i have a lot of hopes for 2009 – some personal, some global. my friend sally expresses my hopes so much better than me, so i’m just copying and pasting it here.. though one thing i will say is – i still want what i asked for for christmas. oh, what did i ask for? an end to the blockade of gaza, an end to the oppression of the palestinians by the israeli’s.
sally also doesn’t mention cancer. it’s so personal for me – i want people like my dad, sarah smith, erin buenger, carl wilton, jeanne sather, and all the other warriors out there to be able to forget that cancer exists. and i don’t want any of us who love my dad, sarah, erin, carl, jeanne and all the other warriors to ever have to go through what christi thomas’ and leroy sievers’ loved ones have to go through because of this awful disease.
okay here’s sally’s hopes for 2009
this is the letter i just wrote to my congress person:
Hi Mr. DeFazio -
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