Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Getting Old

I'm a Dad. I'm not that old, or I am really old, depends on which side you're looking at.

I had to punish my 8 yr. old boy the other day. I told him he was going to write lines. I hated writing lines when I was a kid, which is why it's a good punishment - suffering without violence and a repetitive message.

He of course told me that he'd be at my ex's tomorrow and she won't make him. I told him I would call her and make sure he did his lines.

And then it struck me, nowadays, when someone is doing lines, it's never about coke.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fomenting Hate

I don't think of myself as anything but a person, and not a very good one at that. But everyone tells me I'm left wing so I must be, I think.

I'm an American living in Israel. For a sorta Jew, I'm about as red white and blue as you get. Love the South, hate racism, don't mind racism in professional comedy, love free speech, hot dogs, pumpkin pie, gumbo and people smiling and saying thank you and have a nice day.

My daughter was moved here to Israel when she was 8, she's about to turn twelve. In the midst of this war, my wife baked cakes for the soldiers on the front line and we asked my two older kids (from my ex) to write letters to the soldiers. My ex is also called a lefty, but not as lefty as me. Just so you know the home influence.

My son didn't like how his turned out and ripped his letter up.

My beautiful sweet daughter wrote a letter and drew a picture on the other side. Look at the picture. You don't need kid's tv shows to inculcate hate. You don't need militant training camps. All you need is the corrosive influence of racism and hate that permeates a culture. Hate and fear are in the air.

Look at the picture my sweet beautiful darling daughter drew and tell me we are better than them. They are us.

Israel's Culpability for Gaza

Now that they are in war mode, absolutely Israel is fighting in a humanitarian fashion while Hamas is fighting atrociously, but lets looks at the run up to the war. 

Here is a timeline: 1st. It begins when the PA and Hamas formed a unity govt. Even though the PA was declared the head of the unity gov't, having hamas in the govt was unacceptable - even though we can see that when hezbollah joined the govt in lebanon they began the work of governing and we have had near total quiet on the northern border. But Israel made it clear that no way Hamas could be in a unity govt - why not? because it would destroy the non existent peace process.

2nd - shortly after that, at the end of may, 2 Palestinian youths were shot dead by the IDF - because they were near where a protest had recently ended.

3rd - The 3 Israeli youths were kidnapped. If Israel didn't know they were dead, they absolutely should have. Israel publicly called out Hamas because anytime a Palestinian does anything they can't be acting alone, even though Hamas said it wasn't them and that sometimes people do stuff on their own. Imagine if Bibi was a leader and fired the police who screwed up the emergency call - and leveled with the public about their deaths - swore to find the killers, and reminded his citizens of their humanity. Maybe it was ordered by Hamas, but if he knew that, how did he not know the kidnapped youths were already dead?

4th - Israel retaliated with total collective punishment - the iron fist - shut down the Palestinian ghetto cities, killed over a dozen, including youths, massive arrests, over 500 people, destruction of homes - breaking in at all hours yada yada yada. Imagine if Bibi had been a leader and responded without the iron hand - especially if he knew they were dead. Or did he have to cover up the incompetence of the protective services by immediately showing force?

5th, Israel finds out youths are dead -- whole nation and worldwide jewry calls for revenge - soldiers, civilians, politicians howled for blood - How quickly a nation can become a bloodthirsty mob. Imagine if Bibi had been a leader and the first response was not a call for revenge, blood, and settlement building, but a call for peace.

6th - politicians announce settlements will be built out of revenge! cant have a state if you take all their land - thats good revenge, not actually killing anyone outright, just subjugating them. Everyone remembers the worldwide howls for revenge, it became the trending selfie, even soldiers and rabbis, calling for blood.

7th - israelis burn a palestinian youth alive, though they are members of shas/likud/utj etc, no one blames those parties despite their public howls for blood, because when jews do bad they are acting alone. No houses demolished. No collective punishment. But it shocked a world of Jews to stop posting pics calling for blood.

8th - Hamas begins firing rockets and acting despicably and Israel begins fighting humanly. And your argument is that Israel didn't want war? They did everything in their power, every choice they made was a direct line to a conflict. Maybe on purpose, maybe because of a right wing constituency, maybe as a knee jerk response to take the nations eye away from the police who screwed up the emergency call, maybe just because they suck and can't walk and chew gum at the same time, but every choice was a choice to ratchet up the violence.

Hamas are terrorists. Make no mistake. Their mode of warfare is atrocious and despicable. Their civilians are in immediate danger because of many of their actions. But does Israel bear any responsibility? Can anyone dispute these facts?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Jew Magic


Iranian cleric says Jews are sorcerers.

Is he right?

Check out the power of Jew Magic at JewMagic.net

Can you tap into JewMagic?

Eric Cantor - American First

Eric Cantor, the House Republican Majority leader, lost his re-election bid. I'm totally fine with that. I am staunchly against his politics and policies. However, what struck me were the two different tones regarding his defeat.

National American media outlets spoke of his job, his history, his campaign, what his loss means to politics in general and the Republicans and Tea Party specifically.

Israeli and local Jewish media outlets spoke about him being the last Jewish republican in the House.

America won and tribalism lost.

This disparate method of framing the conversation, those discussing politics and those discussing religion, reveals why America is great and why tribal logic is so dangerous.

To Americans, Erica Cantor was an American politician. To Jews, mostly around the world as few Jews are present in his district, he was a Jewish politician.

America has shown that assimilation and integration creates equality. Now compare that to Israel - a theocratic, autocratic, semi-democracy, run on the concept of tribalism and at war since its founding because of racial, ethnic, gender, and religious differences.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Settler Revenge

By now everyone who cares about these things has heard the story of the three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped and killed.

As revenge for their murders the settlers of Israel - which operate with support of the government of Israel, has decided to build on more occupied territory.


The above article is one of many; the day after the bodies were found Israeli cabinet members called for immediate settlement building in occupied territory.

How is building in occupied territory revenge for murder?

Simple. By building in the occupied territory you

a) increase the amount of jews in the occupied territory making removal of them in the event of a peace deal near impossible. Removing 5000 jews from Gaza nearly split the country apart, wait till they try removing 500,000 jews.

b) break up any contiguity to a potential Palestinian state - with settlement blocks break up any connection from arab town to arab town.

c) force more Palestinians off their lands and into ghettoes where water, electricity, and movements are all under martial law.

d) prevent any possibility of a 2 state solution.

Building settlements in occupied territory is the non-violent form of creating a combination of apartheid, genocide, and transfer.

Hard to keep crying you're the victim when you refuse to acknowledge your own actions.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Free Healthcare?

I think whoever designed the Israeli Health Care system must have worked in concert with the person who created the tax system.

I outlined how Israel frustrates workers and steals money here:

Now I'd like to tell you my experience with the health care system.

Most of the time it functions. It's national single payer health care so you accept that system doesn't offer the latest medicines, off label usage, or easy access to expensive testing (MRI). Most of the time you get a doctor's appointment - specialists can take weeks to months.

This reasonable though not exemplary system, functions. You pay for this middling level of care with high taxes.

Emergency care - that's our issue.

Before seeking emergency care you have to get a form 17, basically a permission slip from the health care organization permitting you to go to the emergency room. Given that its an emergency and you may not be in a position to acquire this form beforehand, they allow you to request the form after you go to the emergency room.

My first run-in with requesting a form 17 after the fact came when my wife was 9 months pregnant. It was 2am and she felt something like contractions. We grabbed our stuff and went to the hospital. Turned out not to be contractions and it was a whole week before we went back and she delivered.

But because there were no contractions our form 17 request was denied. We had to pay out of pocket for the hospital visit - almost 1000nis.

I chalked it up to a one time bad luck situation. A loophole that we got caught in but won't get caught in agains.

But today I was informed again that our form 17 was denied, and 2 times makes a pattern.

When my baby was 6 months old he fell off the bed. The bed wasn't high and he landed on a pillow and seemed fine, but omg, he was 6 and fell off a bed.

So we rushed to the hospital.

Baby was all fine, just a swollen lip.

The next day we requested a form 17. Today we were informed that because nothing had happened to him, he hadn't suffered any damage, we should have waited 24 hours and if there was a problem then we should've gone to the hospital.

And we will have to pay out of pocket again.  This is free healthcare?

#singleprayer #Healthcare #Israel #badmedicine #chasingmeoutofisrael