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Tuesday, March 19, 2013
When we think of the Israeli/Palestinian issue, I believe that most people would not even let transgender, gay, lesbian or bisexual issues cross their mind in terms of the role it plays as both a solution and as part of the conflict. We so far have covered the viewpoints that the conflict takes on music, partially on politics, security, a little geography and of course, religion. I can see so many parallels that these websites present that greatly resemble and resonate with similarities between that of Palestinians being treated as unequal, and that of gays and lesbians, etc... being treated in a prejudice manner. One thing bugs me though. There is a gay pride parade every year in New York City where the population is well over 13 million people. In Jerusalem, the population is over 700,000 people, less than 1/20 the population of New York City. Yet violence emerged in an extremely quick and volatile manner against these people like the example of the ultra-orthodox man in the shortened documentary video who tried to stab and kill several people. It shows how singular minded some people can be when it comes to differences in sexuality and even gender. I posted earlier before break a picture of the wall in Jerusalem, where men are separated from the women, and it shows that not only that extreme prejudice against sexuality occurs, but between men and women.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Anyone can look at a map of current or old geography and see that Jordan is and has for a long time, been a neighbor of Israel. the chapter of the book that Amiry Suad wrote brought up a good point. An ongoing struggle between Jordan and Israel when it comes to displacement of Palestinians has become ever clear to me especially after reading this chapter of the novel. Jordan itself has displaced well over 700 Palestinians from their homes near the border touching Israel. Its disturbing to me that both governments are easily and strategically removing Palestinian residents from their countries. It is literally true when Palestinians claim that they are removed from homes to be displaced else where and not allowed to return because they are denied permits or passports of state recognition by both governments. What happens is Israel will remove Palestinians, trick them using excuses and lies to give them permits or in this case, "gas masks," and send them through Jordan's border when it sees a weakness in their border security. Also perhaps and not confirmed, but maybe border patrol officers and soldiers in Jordan were payed off by the Israeli government to let Palestinians in considerable numbers be allowed through the border during times of crisis like during the Iraq War. The same goes for Jordan, they do the exact same thing sometimes. And this cycle repeats and Palestinians get shoved back and forth between Jordan and Israel. As for the Iraq War, sure, Israel told Palestinian residents near the border that they needed gas masks because of a potential chemical weapons threat. But now that we know that Iraq never had WMD's (weapons of mass destruction), we know that they never had large scale capability of chemical warfare to expense on Israel or other countries. The fact is, the Bush Administration lied to the media and American citizens when they said that Saddam had chemical weapons and WMD's. The Israeli government was clearly informed of this lie as well and exploited it, using it as an excuse to remove Palestinians in the example given to us by Amiry Suad. It's disturbing, the ability of Israel to pacify a portion of its country with false information in desired areas to remove or get rid of Palestinians. And at the end of the day, I'm sure their government passed it off as a removal of Hamas involved individuals in that region, not of regular and innocent Palestinian citizens. Better media platforms with honest reporters need to rise and face this challenge, but I fear it won't be anytime soon.
Monday, March 4, 2013
We constantly see in the article "Homeland Redefined," that a two-state solution is emphasized as the major and most widely accepted political position to hold according to Noura Dabdoub. It might seem like a great idea up front to suggest the idea that the conflict will end when both the Palestinians and the Israelis have their own land to call home, but realistically, would it stop here, and is this the best option? I see the idea that Noura is trying to get across, but I don't believe it will help emotionally and physically, the suffering that Palestinians have gone through in any category except for identity. They would have a place to call home, but would this ultimately satisfy the needs of most of their people. One has to take into consideration other examples where similar situations have been carried out. One example of this would be Sudan. Sudan just recently was split into two different countries, one in the north, and one in the south. Where problems come into play, and I might be wrong, is that in Sudan, both governments fought over pipe lines for oil distribution, agricultural farms, and many other resource related issues. This caused a war for a short period of time between the two countries. Of course Israel's situation is different in many aspects, but do you believe that where there is resource such as oil that Israel is interested in, that after the separation of Israel into two states, they wouldn't try to sanction those resources and fight for them? Also, the US would never allow for a two state solution that separated Israel from any oil source within its boundaries. the reason for this is that the US would stop all military funding to Israel if they cut off a major source of oil supply for our economy. I love the idea of a homeland for Palestinians, but the main issue we face is figuring a way around resource distribution between the two states when formed that would not conflict with the US agenda.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
When we were young we had a different taste at least in most of our cases in music than we do now. It can change from time to time depending on the friends that you make, the people that you meet, and those you create relationships with. I can say that for me, it has become a very strange transition from just listening to breaks and dance music as a young student in middle school and high school to listening to country. Country music in the part of Bloomington where I used to live was always a big part of "living out in the country." It describes life for people that live on farms, love hard partying and cowgirls. It wouldn't be until much later in my life when I accepted going to IU which I would miss the old country; living out in the middle of nowhere life-style. It was always a part of me but I never liked the music and respected it until I no longer lived there anymore. It was a bad choice on my part because now it may not be until I'm middle aged when I am able to afford a house of my own at in the middle of nowhere like that again. It's unfortunate. But when we ask about music and if it can take avenues of different meaning of influencing another's life, it is very difficult to place a genre on it being gospel, or country for example. I now listen to two different kinds of music, and I think blending two kinds of music can open your eyes to two different worlds. It's like taking no sides on a conflict that involves two groups of people but listening to "music" from both sides and creating the best opinion using facts that you can about the situation.
Monday, February 25, 2013
"As violence intensifies in this small corner of the world, people retreat to their side, often placing their national identity far before their human identity." I have quoted this sentence from the homepage of the Heartbeat Project website. Recently I have to say I have become ever increasingly animated yet held back on my position towards the conflict in Israel that suggests singularity prejudiced combat between Israelis and Palestinians (with that being the Israeli Government picking on Palestinian citizens). The fact is, although Israel is technically a very small country located on the Mediterranean Sea, it becomes much bigger when it comes to politics and the involvement of other countries; primarily the involvement of the USA and other first world powers. There are important issues that I would like to present concerning the following information which is what is what opinion most people hold on the state of Israel and its current situation: Israel was a state created in 1947 as a homeland for persecuted and non-persecuted Jewish people. Currently with the knowledge that I have gained on the subject I maintain that a pacifistic state of mind such as producing music and peaceful negotiations are not the only solution to this conflict in Israel. I will continue to keep an open mind. I do however have friends that are not so open minded, but that also happen to be much more educated on this subject than I am. I do not agree with everything they say, but some bring up valid points. In fact, while we are at it, what is the conflict? It's Palestinians against Israelis correct? I have to say that after hearing quite a remarkable story from one of these friends of mine who works with and trains Israeli soldiers (an American citizen by the way), I find it hard to believe much of the critics and stories that are portrayed in the media concerning persecution and hatred of Palestinians from the Israeli government. I told my friend who shall remain anonymous that I was working on a school project for a class on Jerusalem. I had sent him an email two months ago and was unable to get in contact with him until now. Over Skype, he had showed me leases for an apartment that was requiring a payment that the owner could not afford and stopped paying months ago. Before he elaborately explained to me what it was about, I gave him the details of the assignment reading response which was due this week. Out of his own words he said, "music, diplomacy, and reaching out a call for peace in Jerusalem, is like asking the US government to cut off all connection to the outside world commercially, capitalistically and militaristically." I replied by saying I thought it was a bit extreme to think this way and create such an analogy. I kept questioning and arguing with him until he surfaced an idea that blew my mind. This is what he told me in a quick summary: Rap music and orchestras created for the welfare of people's imaginations (which I had explained to him in details about) and the need to find a peaceful solution to a problem that doesn't exist is irrational and foolish. I personally found what he initially said to be quite rude and inappropriate, but the facts he spilled opened many doors about the true policy of Israel, and what the real truth is that hides behind closed doors to an extent. He nor I are morally disconnected with the rights of others, but I did agree on some minor points that he made. But anyways, I shall continue with what he told me. He hit two very important controversial areas of discussion; eviction of Palestinian residents from Jerusalem, and how the state was formed and why. He continued with this reasoning per most of his words: The state of Israel was created not as a homeland for Jewish peoples, but as a forward operating base, refinery and port of trade for several of the leading world powers on a majority vote at a UN Convention in 1947. These three powers that allowed for this were the United States, Great Britain, and France. Other much smaller countries played a role as well, but these were the main powers that allowed the vote to go through in acceptance of creating the state of Israel. These mentioned countries now have military bases throughout the country whilst the countries that conned the vote for a State of Israel were, China and the USSR, and other smaller countries like those who voted with the USA, France and Great Britain. With a majority vote, it was decided that Israel would become a country, but that it would and can only be a country based on the following ideal; "Israel will be established solely as a homeland for the Jewish people." He then mentioned that even though this is what the UN decided on, it was not the actual reason for why Israel was created. He said that it was silly for anyone to believe that it was created for any other reason than as a military port for the USA. Simply put, the reason the term "homeland for the Jewish people" was used was so that the first world powers, China and the USSR could not place their military in regions of Israel. this was because they voted against the creation of the state of Israel. Each country that voted on the creation of the state of Israel had to wait in line to place military ports in Israel. The USA, holding the most influence at the time was strategically placed as first in line to create military bases in the new state in order to politically and economically support Israel so that oil reserves and a firm and stable ally could be created in the Middle East on the terms of American Policy. The next in line to support Israel and create bases was Canada, then France, then Great Britain. The USSR and China were not given permission to create embassies and military ports in the country at the time. This was the process and reason for the creation of the Israeli State as he described. Another point he wanted to make, which is what really angered me at first, is that he said that there is no conflict between Israel and Palestinians. He described the current conflict as an engagement of the government evicting the ever increasing impoverished population on the outskirts of Jerusalem from payments they can't make, while creating new homes, and replacing and renovating new complexes and apartments with bulldozers and construction equipment, so that internationally it is viewed as modernization and Industrialization of the economy of Israel, increasing the dollar value and strengthening their economy. I didn't believe his story but continued to keep an open mind to his opinion. But Wow... Sounds crazy right? well he flashed me 10 leases that were signed and contracted by individuals who lived in such apartments; oh, which by the way he helped evict while working with training and working with the local police force. out of ten residents, two of which they arrested that day from a Palestinian blockaded sector, 3 were Jewish Israelis, and 7 Palestinians. fro security reasons he was unable to tell me exactly where. But I thought the Government was only sanctioning Palestinians? The "ironic" part which he explained, was the fact that the majority of the people living on the outskirts happen to be Palestinian, but from what he showed me, the Israelis who live here as well were persecuted just as bad by the police force he worked with. when I asked him what the majority of the force thought in terms of the conflict, they said that they have nothing against Palestinians, and argued that "Israelis are the hardest to evict." "The two men we arrested were Israeli, not Palestinian." When I asked him why the blockade and fencing was needed, he simply replied," because we screen individuals who we evict, and if they come up with past data supporting they are involved with criminal activity or just fight and argue with us, we arrest them. If enough people screened in a sector throw red flags, we cordon it off and fence it up, so when people come in and out or try to hop over a fence, we can easily detect them and better screen everyone and make sure no one can get away that has involvement with Hamas, and or one of 13 recorded gangs in the area, and so forth regardless of their race or cultural identity." My questions are the following: how can music regardless of genre identity, change the political situation directly in Israel? My other question is: Since you use cultural identity based music to create awareness for this conflict, would you also be willing to help establish proceeds from these musical organizations to go towards better construction and building materials for these new homes created for non minimum-wage earning individuals, but those who can actually pay the rent for their apartments to further grow the economy to help all people as a whole?