Yaba Yaba

what? another blog? you must be joking.

Over? We haven’t even started

with 6 comments

Only 30 hours after British intellectuals issue their ultimatum, Israel’s unilateral cease fire comes into effect. See David? We told you – these Israelis, they only understand one language.

So what now? Nothing. Gaza is still in ruins, its hospitals full of wounded. Israeli kids are still afraid to sleep. But the European left can sleep well tonight, and tomorrow return to contemplate the state of its holiday homes.

The last three weeks have been soaked in pain, anger and sadness. I am horrified by the pictures from Gaza and the cold facts of the carnage. I share the distress of families in southern Israel who live in constant fear. I make no comparison. Both are unacceptable. I am angry at the Israeli government for choosing a path of violence, and angry at the Hamas for leading the way to this path. This was a was on two peoples, conducted by two armies. The military actions of the Israeli government provided its citizens no more security than the absurd provocations of the Hamas provided its people dignity. I am sad for my friends, family and countrymen, who are blinded by fear and anger, to a point that then become numb to the pain of others.

But when it comes to the reactions I see around me, I am bemused and frustrated. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised, in smaller portions, I’ve seen it all before. Some call it anti-semitism. I won’t even grant them this halo. No, here wearing a Kaffiah is a fashion statement, and so is boycotting Israeli goods. You know what? I’m just bloody sick of it. Sick of hearing about pro-Israeli vs. pro-Palestinian, sick of hearing “like we did with South Africa”, sick of hearing the rape of language, the intolerable ease with which frightful words are casually scattered like guji berries on your morning yoghurt. Words which should be reserved for the worst events in history. Rwanda was a genocide. Srebrenica was a massacre, as was Sabra and Shatilla.

Let me spell it out. There is no “us” and “them”, there are those who want to live, and those who want to kill. If you really care, help the people doing good on the ground. All your chanting and picketing doesn’t twitch a single donkey’s hair in the middle east. It hasn’t saved the life of a single child. Hamas will still do what it thinks it should, and so will the Israeli government. I’ll let you in on a secret: you didn’t topple Apartheid either: De Klerk and Mandella did it. All your fancy petitions and demonstrations serve one purpose: to make you feel better about yourself, allow you to feel morally superior. Fuck that. Save the money you spend on your post-demo cappuccino, and donate it to one of these. Or pay for them to publish a half-page ad in the guardian in place of your righteous hate banter.








6 Responses

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  1. I agree with every word.


    January 18, 2009 at 6:49 am

  2. The war was not supported by American Jews.



    January 18, 2009 at 1:41 pm

  3. […] you really care about peace January 18, 2009 — Mira Vogel Another response to the Gaza protests from an Israeli peace activist who is resolute, pretty-near-tireless, but […]

  4. Amen to that.

    Now where’s the Mandela of Israel? And the Steve Biko of Palestine? Of Iraq, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, North Korea and every other god forsaken war torn, terrorized and exploited country? Is it not us?

    Andrew Eglinton

    January 19, 2009 at 12:51 am

  5. Both Israel and Palestine have an impressive array of people commited to dialogue, non-violence and a relentless struggle for peace and justice. Some of them you can find in the links I provided, some of them have been noted in this blog. The problem is that they don’t fit western media’s stories of “goodies and baddies”, regardless of “which side you’re on”. I don’t know about other places, but I would imagine the same is true.
    As much as I or you care, and would like to help, we cannot be someone else’s messiah. If we truly believe in democracy, self-determination and empowerment then only the resolution can only come from the people involved in the conflict. We can support, assist, and amplify their voice.


    January 19, 2009 at 1:05 am

  6. “The war was not supported by American Jews.”

    Evidence? Any? And I am not talking about internet petitions penned by Richard Silverstein and other anti-Zionist kooks.


    “Almost universally, groups with a general reputation for liberal politics and moderate dovishness sided with the hawks, giving the military campaign their unqualified support and calling for a “sustainable” or “effective” – as opposed to “immediate” – ceasefire.”


    January 19, 2009 at 6:15 pm

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