Lines (& some pics) composed in our home in the vale in the hills near Laverty’s Gap, Mullumbimby/Wilsons Creek, in 2008, some seven years after we moved here from Israel-occupied Palestine

This is a post I was preparing to publish before I was hospitalized the week before last.

001

how it goes

002

beside the pain
instead of the painkillers
a place to be, a place to do
a melody, a rhythm, a story,
a poem.

& where can it go?
i’m sure i don’t know,
but it’s not about going, or knowing.

can it be nothing
when it’s already a something?

or must we get personal?
or perhaps political?
prophetic? emphatic?
allusive, intellectual?

obviously someone with nothing to say
saying something to say something or nothing
or someone with something to hide,
and maybe something to show.

003

troppo
the world’s going troppo
(& in italian tróppo means too much)
tróppo tróppo, much too troppo

& the python
(here in bunjalung country)
isn’t frightened

troppo tragic & troppo magic
comedy, tragedy,
personal, ethnic, racial,
genophilic, xenophobic
tróppo tropical, tróppo topical
in all countries in all continents
majorities & minorities
indigenous & colonizer & refugee & immigrant
topdog & underdog, protester & sycophant
creatures, beseechers, teachers, preachers
of one true god or no true god

non tróppo adágio, not too slowly

& the python
isn’t frightened

is it about safety?
must loving one’s inherited culture
mean loving more those who bore it and bear it and share it
than others who bore and bear, inherit and share, a different culture?

is it in the DNA? a group centricity, a primal tribal fidelity,
to motherland or fatherland, to Birthia, the place that bore you,
baladi in arabic & moledet in hebrew
Falastin, Yisra’el, el ard, ha’aretz, The Land
before Earthia, the planet

where the python
isn’t frightened

so say it is
about safety, in the DNA –
we can still learn to live with the python
see the beauty in the patterns,
his, her, our own cultures, others’ cultures,
songs and languages, paintings, dances,
& seek more cooling
in the global warming
& more warming
in the global cooling

004

the python

the other evening still at twilight i took out the rubbish after dinner & on my way to the compost bin i saw across my path near the rubbish bins a long something that i didn’t remember being there before, it seemed too straight for a fallen branch, too wavy to be a stick. i decided not to venture passing it or stepping over it in the dark but i still wanted to throw the rubbish bag into the rubbish bin and the contents of the compost bag into the compost bin, so i went back and brought my strong rechargeable torch & saw it was a young, possibly very young python, no more than two meters long or two inches in diameter, with a beautiful pattern of diamonding lines and dots, sort of yellow-green and brown-black in the torchlight, which seemed to disconcert him a little but didn’t bother him too much, he just kept flicking his tongue but didn’t seem at all inclined to move, except at one point when while lifting the lid off the rubbish tin i swung the torch around and he made a quick turning movement of his head while raising it perhaps a foot or so off the ground and then lowered it into a small coil and remained motionless while i completed my two missions and closed the bins and keeping what i felt to be a safe distance from him and my torchlight still upon him, walked around him, saw our cat Chiquita sitting not far away, and called her to come home with me, more afraid that she might attack the snake than the other way around, because now she’s fully grown, and this is a very young python, but when she was maybe two and a half months old, a much bigger python caught her and her in his coils. i was having a shower at the time and heard the screams and didn’t know what they were and there was no one else at home. i ran straight out of the shower, out the front door, and there by the wall in the front garden was this big python rolled around little chiquita at least twice, and she was still screaming, i yelled at the python too but that didn’t help and i was afraid to grab him by the head so i picked up a stone and gave him a knock on the head, not too hard, but evidently enough to surprise him into letting go his grip and sliding away, while chiquita darted away into the bush and didn’t come back for several hours.

005

cottoncauliflower cumulus clouds in agate sky over green tree-topped hillside
with two, no, now three, no, now no
parachuted hangliders dancing in and out of the oval
framed by a branch of the jacaranda just outside & the top line of the treetops,

& in some sense we’re all of us
parachuted hangliders dancing in and out
here a moment, there a moment,
colored this way, then colored that way
coloring here a little there a little
some more, some less,
then gone

006

– Ah Soul, Arsehole, Asshole!

– Ah soul, arsehole, asshole!
– Of course, my horse.
Why grudge, my judge?
Why leave, my thieves?
No soul is not an arsehole, asshole.

Where caper my rapers? Born to rape
or be raped we have learned to choose love,
we choose to learn love. Now they caper in art alone,
in poetry, where none can be hurt. I
become a bit less of an arsehole, asshole.

There will be room and work for all who served
the dynasties of successive hierarchs, secret or overt,
as guardians of secrets, skilful liars, manipulators,
prosecutors and repressors, room for all the masters
and victims of shame and guilt, all the arseholes, assholes.

007

There was a red
yes, wheel,
yes, barrow, I re-
member, but
also a stain, a grow-
ing one, yes, and
yes, a flag,
and, yes a lot
of pain, a lot
of noise:

so much, yes
so much depended, yes
so much depends

008

in medias res, poetry

where soul sings to soul
in the midst of the things
that are
& the things
that aren’t

always in the midst of things
even while life’s ending
even while the globe warms
even

009

Wind & wandering

without a wind no sail will move
here in mid-ocean
yet a sail moves

without a destination no direction will be taken
no rudder will be turned
here in mid-ocean
yet a direction is taken
a rudder is turned

toward the setting sun

010

i think sometimes that
until we’re encompassed by compassion
we’ll stay impassioned by passion (fear too is a passion)
unconscious or conscious
or interned by self-concern, instructed, restricted, desentisized
by what at each moment we believe is our self-interest

i think sometimes that
we’re all so traumatized & so in denial
almost like we’re saying whatever happened or is happening
whatever we did or are doing or saw done or now see being done
to ourselves or to someone or to some many
near or far
it doesn’t matter
i’m ok, we’re ok, i’ll be ok, we’ll be ok
whatever we feel victims of or complicity in,
i’m ok, we’re ok, i’ll be ok, we’ll be ok

it’s surely a mechanism that helps us survive,
momentarily
but as all that we are,
which includes our denial
& its inevitable consequences
in closing the gates of compassion

 

 

011

Between Islamism and Islam
gapes the chasm of chaos

Between Zionism and Zion
the abyss of hypocrisy

The isms
breed schisms
powering jism after jism
rocket after rocket &
missile after missile
in the name of
in the game of
in the shame of
the Merciful,
el-Rakheem, ha-Rakhman.
HaRaM, I say, HaRaM.

012
WORDSMATTER

so much word smatter
but still words matter

013

rain for days and nights
psoriasis rioting, getting on top of it with tar, maybe,
fears of it spreading over my entire body,
as did my father’s pemphigus,
hacking cough at night, nothing comes out
danny has a brain tumor, sid has cancer in the rectum,
leah all over, jenny an aneurysm,
the grandchildren are growing beautifully
monk’s caps have little pools of water
at night the leaves glisten a sheer beauty
we are closed in, the bridge across the creek is flooding over
even in heavy rain some birds sing
strong gusts of wind

014

some lifelines, with images from my hard disk

horizontal
lifelines horiz

vertical
lifelines vert

in captions under photographslifelines 1 2
lifelines 3 4

lifelines 5 6one

some lifelines, with images from my hard disk

the german luftwaffe plane bombing a city during world war ii,
like those that bombed warsaw the day we fled,
an illustration from the time of poland’s collapse,
a tourist panorama of shanghai’s riverfront bund
as seen from then not yet pudong, i saw it from not so far across,
from mid-whangpoo, and the only actual photographs i have of me there,
already after the war had ended, one with my form 2 classmates
at the shanghai jewish school and our teacher mr. radet,
the year my father spent dying in hospital,
one of me posed in betar uniform for a photographer
who gave me two photos, both retouched, & one of them tinted
and passport photos of me and my cousin karol, charles,
me ten and he nine, in 1946, probably taken for our documents
for our voyages to a new home in australia.

015

on the lilac blossoming gentle jacaranda tree

lilac jacaranda 1

on the lilac blossoming gentle jacaranda tree
emanuel and amalia are climbing
& emanuel’s talking & amalia’s singing
on the lilac blossoming gentle jacaranda tree

around the lilac blossoming gentle jacaranda tree
amalia and emanuel are playing & running & walking
& emanuel’s singing & amalia’s talking
around the lilac blossoming gentle jacaranda tree

back from the lilac blossoming gentle jacaranda tree
emanuel & amalia ask grandma a question
& grandma gives them an answer and then they’re back again
around the lilac blossoming gentle jacaranda tree

and then on the lilac blossoming gentle jacaranda tree
emanuel and amalia sit where they’ve climbed to,
imagining, talking, talking, imagining
on the lilac blossoming gentle jacaranda tree

lilacjaca emanamalia

016

yes, but,
as nitza said only yesterday
maybe there have always been in the world
those who are willing to use force & violence for power & control
& those who aren’t, and won’t,
yes, and will always choose flight before fight,
maybe knowing, somehow, some mysterious, inexplicable way
that they don’t want to cross to the dark side
to become the same as those one could so easily
indignantly and always justifiably wish to smite

to go without physical resistance
into the Umschlagplatz, then to the train,
into the camp, then into the “shower chamber”
as i believe my maternal grandmother did,
and most probably also my father’s parents did
when it was already to late to flee

she said she knows now
she would not have been one of the uprisers
in the warsaw ghetto,
nor in the partisans, i added, & i feel the same today
but i can’t say that when i was younger i wouldn’t have been,
i know that for a time in my teens they were my heroes
& that having hated hitler as a child i had also adored stalin
& i also bought the zionist myth
& the communist myth

but i wanted to say
that i know it is so
also in palestine
where “israel” still rules

where some rule & some command & some execute,
some press, some swing, some drop, some throw
triggers, buttons, batons, rockets, stones, missiles, mortars, shells, bombs,
believing in the justice of their cause or in it for the power & the profit,
perhaps consciously &/or perhaps unconsciously &/or perhaps cynically,
but in any case somewhere lacking the capacity for empathy
of those who do even not pick up a stone & throw it at the oppressor’s soldiers

through two thousand years of exile
a jewish way of being evolved that was not violent,
not built on the exertion of physical force

or if somewhere that too is a myth
if jewish financiers have in some part of these two millennia
played roles on that dark side,

the myth at least has a following.

for the jew, not indigenous anywhere except perhaps two millennia ago in what is now called both palestine and israel, flight has of course been a more rational response than fight. emotionally too, you can feel good about yourself because you’re not doing harm to anyone, and you’re righteous, and this on top of being able to feel sorry for yourself as a victim of the heartless and iniquitous persecutors. you can yearn for a return to the ‘homeland’ that was never your homeland and would never be your homeland & in that melancholic languishing there was a terrible & strong romantic happiness. & then to be struck with the transformation, to now ‘have’ this ‘homeland’ but only by having to constantly keep fighting for it & in fact having to exercise brutal occupation powers over its more recently indigenous people in order to make this dream come true even though its whole purpose was to remain a dream for you, this is too mind-boggling if you don’t, and you know you don’t, want to go over to the dark side, because you have some inkling of what you yourself would be capable not only of doing but even more terrible of enjoying if you had that power without the constraints that now keep you from making that choice in the first place, too scary for words…

017

redeemed, is it, freed? liberated? from
the knowledge of good and evil, what-
ever, we no longer know good and evil,
are no longer punished for those two bites
of that forbidden fruit,
yet this is not Paradise
which, never lost, never regained,
lives for ever in that mythic realm
in our imagination, while in our lives
what we can know, at best, is what we want

018

וכבן עמי עם ישראל אני אומר סליחה
לכל בת ולכל בן של העם הפלסטיני באשר היא או הוא

על כל מה שעשו בני או בנות עמי לָךְ, לְךָ, לכם, לכן

איני מבקש שתסלחי, שתסלח, שתסלחו
איני מחפש את סליחתכם
איני מבקש שתחייכי, שתחייך, שתחייכו

אך הייתי חייב לומר את זה
כדי ללכת הלאה

& as a son of my people the Jewish people I say sorry
to every daughter and every son of the Palestinian people wherever they be
for everything done by sons or daughters of my people to each & all of you

I’m not asking you to forgive
I’m not seeking your forgiveness
I’m not asking you to smile

I just had to say this
to be able to go forward

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ANTI-ZIONISM / IS NOT / ANTI-SEMITISM

antizionism isnot meme2

Enough of the bald-faced Big Lie the pro-Zionists are pushing!
If anything’s increasing anti-Semitism in the world it’s the Zionist state’s crimes of commission & omission.

“Israel/Palestine, what is a just solution?” – a note for the coming AJDS workshop on this subject

“Israel/Palestine, what is a just solution?” This is the subject of a workshop that the Australian Jewish Democratic Society (AJDS) is holding in Melbourne on Sunday 30 April. The announcement says the following topics will be covered: the two state versus one state solution; the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign; and the right of return of Palestine refugees.
I would have loved to attend, but my health condition prevents me from traveling to Melbourne. So I’m posting this note on how I see this subject, in the hope that some of those attending may read it & may want, in the course of the workshop, to relate to points made here.

palestine hor bottomup

Talking about a just solution may seem utopian in the present circumstances.

Yet making this the subject of our contemplation is surely a most important moral choice: it is, first of all, taking a clear stand: What we seek, above all, is a just solution.

& articulating what is necessary for a just solution is surely a precondition for achieving as much of it as is achievable at any given stage.

If the goal is a just solution, it must be just to all concerned, no matter what their racial, ethnic, religious, national, or gender identity.

It seems to me that of “the topics to be covered” only the third, the right of return, really touches on the main subject. The second, BDS, is a question of strategy, not of a solution. The first, one state or two states, addresses the question of a just and equitable arrangement for the future harmonious co-existence of Palestinians & Israelis. But a just solution must surely also address past & present injustices. Not only for moral reasons, because otherwise the solution cannot be just, but also for pragmatic reasons: for people to believe in the possibility of a just future co-existence, they must also feel that justice will be done with regard to the past.

Thus any just solution must first of all acknowledge & attempt to redress the injustices that have been done and are still being done by Zionism and the Zionist State to the Palestinians whose homeland they have colonized.

Injustices perpetrated by people dispossessed or oppressed by colonization, in acts of resistance or revenge, cannot be justly considered as equally unconscionable as the acts of dispossession or oppression that prompted those responses.

The dispossessors & oppressors will need to acknowledge that
• The Zionist colonization, oriented to turn Palestine into “the Jewish State”, was from the outset unjust.
• The Balfour Declaration was unjust.
• The ethnic cleansing begun after the UN GA’s November 1947 recommendation for partition, & extended with the implementation of “Plan Dalet” on 1 April 1948, was unjust.
• The establishment in 1948 of the Zionist “Jewish state in Palestine, to be called Israel” was unjust.
• The continuing existence of the Zionist State ethnocracy in Palestine within the “Green Line” is unjust.
• The continuing military occupation, since 1967, of the West Bank and the continuing blockade of the Gaza Strip are unjust.

Each & all of these general injustices entails countless particular injustices to individual people: to non-Jewish Palestinians, obviously – but also, if less obviously, to “Israeli” Jewish Palestinians who have grown up in a regime that indoctrinates them to Zionist nationalism & forces them to serve in &/or be complicit in the continuing unjust occupation &/or exclusion from residence &/or full citizenship rights of non-Jewish Palestinians in their homeland.

Responsibility for all these injustices rests firstly on the Zionist movement & all its agencies & supporters, but also on the powers that have made the Zionist colonizing enterprise possible – from the Ottoman Sultanate, through Great Britain, the League of Nations, the United Nations, all the countries that have recognized, accepted &/or supported the Zionist State as a legitimate entity in Palestine, &above all the USA, & the multinational corporations that profit from the status quo….

All these injustices must be acknowledged before a viable solution can even be considered.

What must be guaranteed in a just solution?
• People who were exiled must be allowed to return to their homeland, & together with people now living in Palestine who were dispossessed &/or unjustly oppressed by the Zionist state &/or its “Israeli” settlers, must be allowed to repossess their homes or be adequately compensated.
• People who have no moral right to become residents of the country must no longer be granted automatic citizenship on their arrival there. The Zionist “Law of Return” which allows all Jews automatic citizenship must be revoked.
• The country, named Falastin in Arabic, & Eretz Yisrael in Hebrew, is by now the homeland of people who identify with two distinct nations & speak two different (if related) languages. In any just solution it can no longer be the state of only one of these nations. It can no longer be called Israel – a name that the present “State of Israel” was never entitled to, since the name “Israel” has for millennia been a name for all Jewry, all Jews in the world.
• In any just solution each of these nations must have equal rights to cultural autonomy, with educational & cultural institutions in the country’s two equal official languages.

re the two-state vs one-state solution:
Two states may then be an option, if majorities on both sides still want that. But that would be a kind of Grand Apartheid, & an anachronistic enhancing of conflicting nationalisms. It seems much more just & advanced to advocate for a binational state that grants full cultural autonomy to both nations.

re BDS: in terms of strategy, I think Ran Greenstein (Facebook, March 29 at 4:01pm) nails it:
‘Yes, a boycott definitely will help. But no, in South Africa boycott helped because it was triggered by and in turn amplified the mass struggle of millions on a daily basis, in the streets, factories, communities, schools, churches. Boycott without mass struggle is good, but let’s not delude ourselves that it could force change without an internal uprising.’
This doesn’t answer whether BDS is a just strategy.
But whether it is or isn’t, it will continue as long as the unjust Zionism regime continues to rule Palestine.
& Ran is right, it alone cannot bring about change: there needs to be an internal uprising.
But not of the non-Jewish Palestinians alone.

Without a change of heart among the “Israeli”-Jewish populace, a just solution cannot come about. There needs to be an internal uprising of this populace’s conscience, & it is towards this that the advocacy of Diaspora Jewry needs to be oriented: ‘Pursue justice, justice!’: Tzedek, tzedek tirdof!צֶדֶק צֶדֶק, תִּרְדֹּף

Raising the visibility of this issue at this time (1)

Posting this first “Raising the visibility” meme today. Featured is the cover of the report.
The entire report can be read here.

ESCWAr cover meme

The other day I posted a “Shame the UN” meme on my Facebook page:

shame un meme

From today’s Facebookings

they-told-me-meme

Of all my Facebooking moments today, the above I think pierced me the deepest (it’s from the 5th of the posts below), & so I’ve headlined the quote & memed a bit of the story

Richard Flantz shared Umar Al-Ghubari’s post.
42 mins ·

‘OUR NEIGHBOURS AND US’: MORE FROM UMM AL-HIRAN,
this a time a pic & a pithy paragraph by Umar Al-Ghubari, some of whose incisive writings in Hebrew exposing & analyzing the criminal Zionist occupation of Palestine I have been glad to be able to translate
:
“A pile of books near a pile of stones by a demolished house. One book, a civics textbook in Arabic for grade four, called ‘Our Neighbours and Us’, was in the pile. For real. I photographed it. The neighbours that destroyed the house kept the body of the deceased, who was killed by the neighbours a week ago, for the sake of neighbours who don’t want us as neighbours. Let the education ministry make up lies all it wants. The real school is reality. This time the name of the school is Umm al-Hiran.”
– Umar Al-Ghubari of Zochrot
(happy tp be able to share this English translation of his Arabic & Hebrew that I found in this post by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society)


Tamar Goldschmidt
5 hrs ·
A translation into English by Tal Haran

Tamar Goldschmidt:
On January 14, the boy Ahmad Shabir died. He did not die. He was murdered. By the Shabak (Israeli General Security Services).
I am translating the disturbing article written by Talal Al Nabih of the Palestine Communication Center in Gaza:

“Ahmad Shabir – the martyr who thwarted the Shabak.

Some justify it, necessarily, as ‘human’. But in Ahmad Shabir’s vocabulary this is totally negative, and he considers it treason, an assault on the dignity of life… ‘A life and death struggle’… This was the obsession that took over his mind for two years, and finally he decided. And chose to die standing.

‘Dad. come, I’ll sum this up. They have asked me to collaborate and I told them I’d rather die in Gaza and not sell them myself cheap, or harm any of my countrymen and homeland’. This is the essence of those 12 hours which 17-year old Ahmad Hassan Shabir spent in a holding cell of the Zionist Shabak, haggling – over receiving treatment and collaborating, or returning to Gaza to die.
Ahmad had foregone the surgery he was supposed to undergo in recent months, taking leave of life and leaving behind his story – ‘love of one’s homeland’, his dream – ‘healing hearts’ buried along with him, and he will from now on be named ‘martyr of the siege’.

Shabir’s story:
Young Shabir suffered congenital cardiac flaws. Throughout his life he traveled 40 times to receive medical treatment. However, for the past two years his attempts at such travel were refused by the Zionist authorities. Attempts to extort collaboration from him failed as Ahmad was determined, and preferred to return to Gaza untreated rather than becoming a traitor-collaborator.
The son’s position was repeated by his father. As the Israeli Occupation attempted to take advantage of the latter’s fatherly feelings, tempt and trick him. But all the authorities’ attempts failed as Hassan answered, ‘I refuse to sell my soul cheap and harm my own countrymen. Just as you are committed to what you call your country, so am I committed to my own state and homeland.’

About Ahmad’s illness and death, father Hassan Shabir told the Palestine Communication Center that his son suffered four congenital heart flaws, but had always been patient and hopeful to be cured. He lived his life in hope, travelling on occasion to hospitals inside Israel to get treatment.
The security check:
Apparently the first 17 years of Ahmad’s medical treatment were unhampered. However, for the past two years, 2015-2016, Ahmad and his family were fated to a via dolorosa of haggling with the Occupation authorities which made their life impossible.
The father explains: ‘the first time Ahmad and his mother were offered the possibility of medical treatment in return for collaboration by the Occupation authorities at the Bet Hanoun/Erez Checkpoint was on March 22, 2016. They refused but were still allowed to proceed.’
The father continues: ‘After their return, Ahmad and his mother traveled again on April 18, 2016 and the doctors set a date for cardiac catheterization surgery in September.
Again in Gaza, as the surgery date approached, they applied for permits to travel but were surprised to receive the Occupation authorities’ refusal, as they were now declared ‘denied entry’.
The security meeting:
On October 10, 2016 the parents came with their ill son to the Bet Hanoun Checkpoint after agreeing to meet with the Zionist Shabak, ‘which then began haggling in order to obtain security collaboration as the price for medical treatment’.
During this meeting, lasting from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., the Shabak agents destroyed Ahmad’s medication, while negotiating ‘collaboration’. He was interrogated about members of the ‘Palestinian resistance’, his neighbors and friends, says his mother.
The mother, in her forties, tells the Palestine Communication Center, tears in her eyes, that her son refused the tempting offers made by the Shabak official, leaving him for long hours alone and in an impossible state of mind, but her on was patient, entrusting his fate to God.
The mother says that the Shabak official summoned her as well and suggested she ‘collaborate’, but she persistently refused and told him: ‘I am a housewife, we have no interest in such matters. The only thing we care about is the medical treatment that Ahmad should receive, so that he can be cured and live like any other youngster in this world’.
She recalls her son’s dream, which he shared with her a few days before his death:
‘I hope to live another six months and complete my matriculation exams’. And she continues: ‘He dreamed of treating hearts (specializing in heart surgery), but after his final meeting with the Shabak, the gates closed and his health deteriorated, parting with this life on Friday, January 14, 2017, after praying at the mosque, reading the Cave Sura, speaking with us and helping me to hang some laundry to dry’.”

rf-udi-shoval

Some Facebook Posts from Yesterday & Today (It’s that kind of day…)

 

composite-meme

I’m sharing these posts mainly for followers of this blog-site who are not Facebook friends. But I don’t know if you can see them if you don’t have a Facebook account. So this is also an experiment. I’d be grateful to receive a comment telling if all the posts open fully to you, or are even visible. (& if they do, I’d also be happy to hear if anything here speaks to you…)

The posts, from earliest to latest: