Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Yerushalayim shel Pnim, Yerushalayim shel Chutz

Jewish texts often talk about "Yerushalayim shel mata" and "yerushalayim shel mala" - that is, an earthly Jerusalem and a celestial, heavenly one. This parallels the concepts of beyt din shel mala and beyt din shel mata - the earthly court and the celestial court.

It sems to me that as one who is attractd to the G?d consciousness aspects of the Jewish tradition, the universalized awareness that G?d is everything and we are of that same source, a more useful and liberatory recasting of the concept would be to have a Yerushalayim shel pnim (an inner Jerusalem) and a Yerushalayim shel chutz (an external Jerusalem), which might be the city itself, or it might be any goal that you say you want to move towards....

The inner Jerusalem would be your metaphorical heart, the place from which your being-ness emenates (not that it emenates from anywhere, because IT is beyong time and space) and the still clear pool to which you return when the thoughts settle and the days imaginings and drama are done....

Yehuda Amicha kinda alluded to this Yerushalayim shel pnim a couple of times:

Inside the brand new museum
there's an old synagogue
inside the synagogue
is me
inside me
my heart
inside my heart
a museum
inside the museum
a synagogue
inside it
inside me
my heart
inside my heart
a museum

Poem Without an End

Beyom hahu yihiyeh Ado-ai echad ushemo echad - then Itself shall know Itself / and its name and its being will be one

Go Julia Go

For absolutely no rational or well -thought out reason(s) Julia Gillard gets my vote! Here are a few of the irrational ones:

1) She's a woman - maybe she'll do a better job than a man, and she gets my tokenistic vote as a generic representative of under represented woman kind

2) She doesn't appear to be too unfairly biased against Israel, and has not always joined the herds neighing in condemnation everytime Israel sneezes or coughs

3) She seems to be honest - for example she said on radio yesterday that she's not a believer - i.e. that she's an athiest - and I think this is wonderful that she doesn't misrepresent in order to try and gain votes. Not that I'm an athiest myself, on the contrary I believe that G?d believes in me, but I certainly think G?d needs to be freed from the shackles and manipulation of religion, and rather an honest athiest than a paedophile priest in charge.

4)She got a partner but not married to him (perfectly and beautifully legitimate) so she'll be married to her job, and she's childless, so Australia will be her baby

5) She seems to have some good ideas and be able to communicate them and give as good as she gets

6) She's a red head, just as David HaMelech - King David was

7) She's her own woman

8) I belive she'll go beyong knee jerk responses to the big issues

9) She comes of good working class stock

So Go Julia Go

English sayings that make no sense

"Don't be a tattle- tale" (In Australia: don't be a dobber)

Why do we say this to children, yet we expect adults to be whistleblowers and report corrupt or illegal practices? On the contrary, people who are willing to report to appropriate authorities the mis-behaviour of their peers are a vital part of the rule of law.

"It takes two to fight"
When a bully is involved, it often only takes one

"Two can live as cheaply as one"
Try it

"You can't have your cake and eat it"
The only way to have your cake IS to eat it

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dem Jews Blues

When my/your Jewishness is very important to someone else
they work this preoccupation into the conversation
very soon:
"food not kosher enough for you?"
"I know some very rich people - they became rich because they never gave a cent to anyone..."
"Martin Cohen - you must know him..."

they know nothing about me
not my thoughts, not my history
not my journey
but my Jewishness looms large in their sight
"oh is that your Yiddish genes coming out"
"yes the Jews control Hollywood"
I could argue
I could cite evidence to the contrary
but something in me whispers it will not help
that they need to much for me to be a role in their universe
which I refuse to be

Once in a hotel in East London
I overheard snatches of conversation:
a man in a suit, another man, a woman, the man in the suit was telling them
"why do you think everybbody 's always hated them...
there must be something to it
all through history..."
he was talking conpiracy

I wanted to walk around and say
"Hi, I'm Immanuel
and I love the sun
and to dance and to sing
and we used to have a dog called Ms Muffet
and none of what this man is saying is true."

But I felt too embarassed
I've never been one for confronting
and if people want to believe lies, its their affair...


I'm too hands on to be a theoretician
and too dreamy to be a technician

My definition: "Jew hatred - that phenomenon which allows the pressing problems of the world (poverty, dictatorships, rigidity of thought, religions of resentment, child slavery, homophobia, bigotry of all sorts, unconsciousness) to go unattended to.

So many Jews in the west live a strange half life - going to work, participating in and partaking of the life of their respective countries, contributing, sharing, being part of, and then suddenly you realise the person next to you at soccer or netball practice is openly espousing that your family in Israel are not fully human, and that they be, at best turned into refugees, at worst murdered and its extremely awkward - so many of us have been schooled to avoid conflict, be nice, pretend it will all go away - certainly that is what I do best....

Here's how it goes: the Jews / Israelis are accused of a crime (any incident will do, and the context is always ignored...after all any excuse is good enough for a bully). Along with the accusations of a crime, the idea of Israeli / Jewish power is obsessively doted upon....all evidence to the contrary being supressed. Once the perpetrators have firmly established in their psyche Jewish criminality and power, they have then justified the sewer of violent hatred that pours out from them as they commit real crimes of vandalism and assault upon their victims, Jews and Jew boeties i.e. anyone who dares express their human solidarity with us. Unfortunately we are only at the beginning of the current wave of this process, which generally needs a pile of Jewish corpses before it burns itself out

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Big Lie

The Big Lie - How the Sydney Morning Herald sells the biases of its newsroom as reportage.

A long time ago, in Israeli elections around 1990, someone put together a party called Bli Busha" (= shameless), to try and expose the flaws and vagaries of the political process, where much is promised and little delivered. Bli busha would be a good way to describe the way the SMH has approached its coverage of the "Free Gaza To Attack Israel" flotilla. It used an embedded partisan "reporter" (i.e. propogandist who articulates his personal predjudices under a thin veneer of reportage) someone who, like Robert Fink, Norman Finkenstein, and that other pulpit bashing professional do gooder whose instantly forgettable name and work escapes me right now, but I think he was given the City of Sydney peace prize recently in keeping with Mignon McLaughlin's observation that "Every society honours its live conformists, and its dead troublemakers." so paul McGeogh uses his negligible talents as a creative writer to systematically demonise and dehumanise Israelis, while whiteashing and sanitising one of the ugliest, most reactive and resentment driven causes of the 21st Century - the desire to establish an Islamic State in Gaza where personal freedoms are non existent and the glue of national identity is emnity towards Israelis and - lets cut the crap now - towards Jews simply because they're Jews.

So after the SMH's reportage has been exposed as full of distortions - the Israeli boys were armed with paint ball guns, not machine guns, they didn't attack first, the "activists" were neither peaceful or seeking peace, and the ommitted context was the state of war that Gaza's elected governemnt has declared on the state it dosn't even recognise as existing - it has learnt nothing and continues to try and shape the debate rather than simply inform it.

If the SMH's reporters still have the remnants of a sense of integrity they'll look for work elsewhere and condemn the editorial decision makers (and here I paraphrase the editorial which lectured, from a dizzy height, the Australian Jewish community about what stance it should take re Israel) which have turned the SMH into a tabloid gazette unless they're happy being part y hacks bleating along with the herd... and if the SMH's readers have any desire to be given a picture in the round, they'll be taking out subscriptions to other newspapers. Because if the SMH is systematically and programatically misrepresenting and manipulating re Israel, where else are they doing it - these things are impossible to contain and localise - having fashions run the newsroom spills over into every site of contention upon which newspapers report.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Allah bless Israel, HaShem bless Palestine

I feel most comfortable in the middle...not first ( too much pressure) and not last - (too much opprobrium) but in the middle. And to paraphrase David ben Gurion " we must resist Jew hatred as if there was no Jewish unconsciousness, and we must fight Jewish unconsciousness as if there were no Jew hatred."

Headnote: I suppose there must be a reason the Bhuddists say all identification with name and form is the root cause of suffering - whether one identifies as Israeli/Palestinian/Jew/Moslem/Progressive/Conservative one immediately takes on an identity based on not being the other, with its automatic exclusion and delegitimisation of everything that is not I... I hope this post won't just be another addition to the great unconscious clouds swirling around this loveless debate, where people seek to justify mentally held positions and make the other wrong...if only riot control police could spray clouds of clarity and open hearted compassion over everyone...

I don't agree with the definition of Israel as the Jewish State, and with the Jewish fundamentalists who would turn it into that, I see Israel as the State of the Jews, not the Jewish State, i.e. a democratic pluralist state in which minorities are equal before the law and there is complete separation between synagogue and state - something which only partially exists at this point in time.

Perhaps the people who have accused Israelis and Jews of all sorts of "crimes" over the last week on forums around the world are really trying to repress the "Jew" within them (I'm not talking about level headed, blanced and rational criticism of Israeli policy, I'm talking about the mediaeval Jew hatred which many forums have descended into )...because, as Sylvia Plath intimated, we are all Jews.

So like the homophobe who must ruthlessly repress their own homo-erotiism by going out and bashing some gays ( what we ruthless repress in ourselves we cannot bear to see others owning or acting out) - think the end of the film American Beauty - the Jew is asigned the role, in some people's inner cosmology, of carrying the parts of themselves they can't bear to own... just as the white American South attributed an exagerated and fanciful sexuality to African Americans, as a displacement and projection of its own represssed sexual energy...this, I suspect, is the mechanics of much newspaper reportage, and I would like it to be exposed as such, so that people become more conscious about the unconscious agendas that shape opinion about, and preocupation with, a particular subject.

And yet I will resist Jewish / Israeli reactivity with every fibre of my being as well - from Jewish victimology which reduces our history to only a sorry tale of persecution and misses out on all our golden ages and creative symbioses with other cultures and traditions, to the triumphalist discourses of Israelis living in Beit El and Hevron and Schem whose discourse has no space for the other... the Palestinians are our brothers and sisters and we can and must look beyond the conflict to the time when we will be forced to work together to manage scarce resources such as water and arable land. To borrow an idea from Amos Oz, May HaShem and Allah bless Israel and Palestine with a Checkovian compromise rather than curse them with a Shakespearian tragedy

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The latest craz(e) this winter!

Are your underpants a bit tight? Are you struggling to find work? Or in a job already but don't like your boss, or fellow workers? Want to meet some pretty girls? Or just generally bored and wanting to make your day? Then come and protest outside your nearest Israeli embassy. Its fun! Its easy! Everyone's doing it! Its the latest craze this winter. Hang out with friends, find people who agree with you and do stuff you can't do at home - throw rocks, spit, and vent your anger, rage and frustration. In fact, several leading mental health professionals recommend demonstrations outside Israeli embassies. Quentin Quisling, a psychologist, explains. "Its a quick, easy and cost effective form of catharsis. In Roman Times people had gladiator bouts and public crucifixions. In the middle ages there were stoning and the auto de fe - the public burnings of people the Catholic church felt threatened by. But modern people have to maintain this veneer of civility. We're starved for places where we can jeer and taunt and express our more primal emotions and the frustrations of modern life. Which is why when a safe, easy venue and a target that is essentially powerless to respond is offered to us on a plate, we should take full advantage. So come on everybody, lets get dressed up in our kafiyot, and feel important and good about ourselves."

The Mashat - The Flotilla

When I get life shocks that set of thoughts that make me anxious, I sometimes try to write - or think - my anxiety away. Generally the anxiety fades after a while, whether because of the passage of time or because of the writing...I image more the former. I also speak to people, to try and moderate my mind -talk (self-talk)

When I see posters calling for demonstrations against Israel, and using charged inflammatory language clearly designed to fan resentment and indignation, I get scared. This is not the language of peace or of people seeking solutions - it is the language of resentment and unconscious baggage and manipulation and aggression.

I anticipate that the Israeli point of view will not be considered and, as has happened on many campuses around the world, actively supressed. When I see posters showing the entire State of Israel covered with a Palestinian flag, I get scared at the way people calling for the obliteration of a country can do so with so little condemnation. Imagine a map of Australia entirely covered by an Indonesian or Malay flag, or of India entirely covered with a Pakistani flag.

There are long term ideas and short term ideas that well up in response to the responses to the flotilla.