Operating since 2006, Social TV was established out of deep concern from the ability of Israeli Media to perform its duty as democracy’s “watch dog”. In the last two decades three major corporations have gained control over most of Israel’s television channels, newspapers, radio channels and popular news sites. As a result Israel’s media has become quite homogenous and pluralism of opinion declined… Today Social TV is the only independent on-line TV channel in Israel.
I’m very satisfied that the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement conducts itself with the utmost ethical consistency and respect to international law (if it didn’t, I wouldn’t advocate it). It’s true that it’s following the South African model, but at the same time it’s setting an example of its own. As a young activist, it’s a pleasure learning from its outspoken leaders. In my involvement in the movement, every step presents us with an ethical challenge. Avoiding the pitfall of a sweeping, uncommunicative action, the Global BDS movement, led by the Palestinian people, is employing guidelines of a “smart boycott”, differentiating institutions from individuals and Zionists from Jews. It’s never simple and dedicated research and much debate goes into every initiative. As a student of the boycott tactic, it’s just as important for me to learn what not to do, and examples are ample.
A simple google search with the words “Palestinian violence” yields over 86,000 pages, while a search with the words “Palestinian civil disobedience” generates only 47 pages.
Sometime in 1846, Henry David Thoreau spent a night in jail because he refused to pay his taxes. This was his way of opposing the Mexican-American War as well as the institution of slavery. A few years later he published the essay Civil Disobedience, which has since been read by millions of people, including many Israelis and Palestinians.
Kobi Snitz read the book. He is an Israeli anarchist who is currently serving a 20 day sentence for refusing to pay a 2,000 shekel fine.
Thirty-eight year-old Snitz was arrested with other activists in the small Palestinian village of Kharbatha back in 2004 while trying to prevent the demolition of the home of a prominent member of the local popular committee. The demolition, so it seems, was carried out both to intimidate and punish the local leader who had, just a couple of weeks earlier, began organizing weekly demonstrations against the annexation wall. Both the demonstrations and the attempt to stop the demolition were acts of civil disobedience.
I waited a bit to have a complete picture of Ha’aretz (“the elite left”) coverage of the Goldstone lead UN report on Gaza. Israeli citizens could have learned something about the government and themselves through this report. Instead, I learn, yet again, how corrupted the media, the government and the people are, by the Zionist mythos.
Keeping the Myth Alive
The first Ha’aretz article (and all the subsequent articles that weren’t written by Amira Hass or Gideon Levy) about the report plays on the myth that both sides of this “conflict” (a.k.a. “occupation”) are on equal footing:
UN probe: Israel, Palestinians both guilty of Gaza war crimes
This title is, of course, misleading, as anyone who’s taken the time to read just the table of contents of the report, can see a clear ratio that puts Israel to shame. But the sillies don’t stop there; Not only is the title misleading, when reporting about the mission, it’s misleading in characterization of the article it heads! The article mentions the main points (I’ve rephrased, in order to avoid linguistic bias, such as calling a massacre “war”):
M. Shahid Alam
“I think this is a very hard choice,
but the price, we think the price is worth it.”
When Genghis Khan swept through
Samarkand, he did not shrink
from the hard choices. His men carried out
a general carnage, not sparing women
or children. Afterwards, when Genghis
inspected the mounds of dead bodies,
skulls piled into pyramids, he knew
instinctively (he had been honed for it)
that the price was worth it. Genghis
did not care for carnage – he did not always
see the point of it. But it was Mongol mothers
he had to answer to. If the terror
in Samarkand produced one fewer body bag,
he thought, the price was worth it.
—first published in Black Bear Review (January 2001)
Genre-specific readers be alerted: this is first draft fiction, not reportage – though its material is entirely factual. Twenty seven years ago today.
The militia were Arabs, brother Arabs.
The Phalangists were already baying from east Beirut, howling revenge. Now Israel flew Haddad’s militia, la crème de la crème, up from the south. Both groups assembled at the airport, for General Sharon to ensure all were properly kitted out: with weapons, military rations, medical supplies; Israeli cocaine and Lebanese hashish; Mediterranean testosterone, bad breath.
Then he uncaged them.
At six on Thursday evening. In the first penetration, three hundred and twenty men were brought on thirty trucks. Four gangs invading from four approaches. These were the most blood-addicted, rape-happy, battle-addled of militiamen, men long ago surfeited on outrage, men who required ever more extreme atrocities to stir their glutted senses. Ever wilder, ever sharper.
Israel lit the sky for them. White phosphorus flares trailing and dancing. Fire above like a terrible sun in the ceiling, a sun switched on in anger, while the children are sleeping.
In woman’s womb, reposes the people’s future and in her soul the heart of a nation.
~ Frau Siber of the Ministry of the Interior (Germany 1933)
I know, I know, the Nazi comparison has been sooo done to death, but so has my statement that if the swastika fits- choke on it. Books have been devoted to the study of racial purity theories and practices, and what you’ll usually find is not only racism, but chauvinism, restricting women to mere purity producers.
Keeping Petah Tiqva Girls Pure
Many people find it insulting when I say Israel is a chauvinist state and nation. “Compare it to your beloved muslim regimes!” They spit venomously, as they tell me that “if all women were like [me], [they’d] turn gay”. Institutionalized chauvinism and racism has been prevalent in the Israeli government and institutions, since its inception. Municipal racism certainly isn’t new (definitely not to the city of Petah Tiqva); Palestinian citizens of Israel have been discriminated against for 61 years.