zaterdag, januari 06, 2007


The good, the bad & the ugly

The good:
[...]Two teenage refugees who escaped the massacre in Darfur traveled via Cairo, Sinai and Israeli jail to finally find refuge at Kibbutz Tse'elim. 'This is our family,' the two say[...]

Another surprise awaited him when he was invited to drink tea in the kibbutz's Bedouin tent. The tent reminded him very much of the refugee villages he had passed on his way, but the smell of smoke from the campfire and the taste of the tea that was cooked there reminded him of home. When his friend, A., who is also from Darfur, explained to him that the tent was a tourist attraction, M. burst out laughing. It was the first time he had laughed for many days.[...]

[...]But it is not just them; the entire kibbutz is lending a hand. The secretary solved the bureaucratic difficulties, one woman volunteered to teach them Hebrew and another to take care of their daily needs. "Someone has to supervise that they are eating properly and that they don't lack for anything," says Shulamit.

judging by their behavior in the family's home after only one week, the youths feel very much at home there. They ask Shulamit to prepare their favorite drink (chocolate) and run off to play with the computer when the adults are talking. "This is our family," A. says with unabashed pride.[...]

The bad:
[...]M., who is 16, managed to escape when his village was attacked almost three years ago by Arab militias. Like many others, he wandered from village to village and town to town until he reached the capital, Khartoum. There he was told by a group of survivors that his parents, sister and two brothers had not been so lucky; they had all been killed. M. who was only 14 at the time,[...]

[...]The story of A., who is 17, is very similar to that of his friend. He fled for his life, along with his family, when his home village of Kurma was attacked in 2003. His first stop was at a refugee camp in a nearby village, Nalma, where they arrived one night after a massacre in that village. "Everyone was dead there," he says. "There were men, women and children and we saw all the bodies. There were many bodies. I saw my father was in shock. He was never the same after that." A few days later, the camp where they were staying was attacked. In the flight from the camp at night, A. lost touch with his parents, brothers and sisters, and to this day has no idea whether they survived or what happened to them.[...]

The ugly:
[...]M. and A. were caught together while they were trying to cross the border in September 2005 and were taken together to jail.[...]

[...]When jail got really bad, the two declared a hunger strike together; in response, the prison authorities separated them. The one time that M., normally introverted and quiet, lost his cool and tried to resist the policemen, was the day they tried to put him back in his cell alone. The price for him was a broken left arm, which has not yet completely healed. For A., it meant a weekend in the Ofek prison for juvenile delinquents, which was accompanied, he says, by a terrible fear - "I didn't care where they took me but I was afraid M. would lose heart and do something to himself."[...]

Musa is still a boy, "about 17," he says, his large, coal black eyes fixed on the floor. An orphan from
Darfur, he has been on the run since gunmen shot and killed the aunt who raised him and set fire to the family hut, burning alive his young cousins.

His escape led him through Egypt and across the Sinai Desert into Israel. Here, instead of finding the freedom he sought, he has spent a year in prison under an Israeli law that jails infiltrators from enemy countries. He is one of about 220 Sudanese being held in Israel, most o
f whom have come in the past 18 months.[...]


This was 9 months ago. I wonder how they're doing now....

Israel - homeland of the jews - jews that have been victims of genocide - jews whose Torah orders them to be a light among the nations..... why is it so dark in the jewish homeland - and so cold?

Israel - in 1949 you've inserted a special clause into the Geneva Conventions :
requiring countries to differentiate between refugees from enemy countries and enemy nationals, citing the example of Jewish refugees seeking safety in England from Nazi Germany."

Israel - why do you measure with two measurements? Why do you trample on all of the principles you were supposed to defend, to shine your light on and show how it should be done? Don't you know.....

that the only right to exist is through practising what you've been preaching for centuries?
those centuries you were persecuted.... maltreated.... discriminated.... killed.... and:

you are failing!

I'm a jew. I believe in God. I believe jews are the 'chosen people' - but in the true meaning of the word, Israel..... a chosen people - as an example - whose light stems from the Torah and it's humane message towards mankind.....and:

you are failing!

The only way to win a battle is by showing your heart - a cause without a heart can't exist - not for long, anyway.

Wake up, Israel - go and look for your heart, before it's too late :(


In spite of their desperate SOS signals, ships from East Germany, Norway, Japan and Panama had already passed them by.
The Israeli captain and crew immediately offered food and water and decided to bring all the passengers on board. These were the first of three groups of Vietnamese refugees to be rescued and resettled. In the years 1977 through 1979, Israel welcomed over three hundred Vietnamese refugees. Now there is a thriving Vietnamese community in Israel....
It was a natural act to us, Mr. President. We remembered, we never have forgotten, the boat with 900 Jews [The St. Louis] having left Germany in the last weeks before the Second World War… traveling from harbor to harbor, from country to country, crying out for refuge. They were refused… Therefore it was natural that my first act as prime minister was to give those people a haven in the land of Israel.

Tse. Thanks so much for writing this important post. Yes, we have forgotten. We are so tied up in feeling sorry for ourselves and telling ourselves that the world hates us, that we have forgotten so much, and we justify everything - all of our own injustices - on this basis.

I only hope that the people who really need to read this, indeed read it. It's just that I don't really know who they are any more ...
You know Tsedaka, although I now live far away from the Missile East, I've spent a considerable part of my life studying and learning about Jews and Judaism. I have an enormous amount of respect for the Torah, Talmud, and specifically Pirkei Avot and what they had to offer humanity.

Nevertheless, there is something I do not understand: Israel has at its doortstep millions of refugees whith each a story that is sadder than the next.. (and if you want sad stories I have a dozen and a half). Why oh why doesn't Israel's generosity and goodwill manifest itself towards these people who paid in blood, sweat and tears when Israel was created.

My heart goes out to the Vietnamese and the Sudanese and all those who are downtrodden, but what about your neighbors the Palestinians? Doesn't kindness start at home? I, just like many others hate with a passion those violent Hamas militants who are out to kill and maim women and children, but we're not all militants. Most of us, just like you want to live and let live. I'm not asking you for an answer, for the subject is too complex.

All I want to do is express my frustration at Israel's misdirected goodwill while my people rot in the camps.
Very sad about what's happening in Darfur and the general silence in the Arab Street regarding the hundreds of thousands of people who have been killed in Darfur.

According to Guardian ... last yr in the Mustafa Mahmoud square,Mohandiseen in Cairo ...20 Sudanese migrants died when thousands of Egyptian riot police brutally evicted them from their protest camp in an affluent district of Cairo.Three years ago Egyptian police rounded up hundreds of Africans in what, according to Human Rights Watch, was referred to on a police document as "Operation Track Down Blacks".,14658,1675808,00.html

Nizo .... have a look at Raed Rafei's interesting article in LA Times (January 2, 2007)about Christian refugees in Lebanon and how they are prevented from returning to their homes in Kfarmata (Mount Lebanon ),1,7610610.story?track=rss&ctrack=1&cset=true
I did take a look at the LA Times article. I'm a little slow this morning, I've been painting for the last week and the fumes are getting to me.. but I fail to see the point. There are countless injustices in Lebanon done by one ethnic group towards the other. In the end, they're sectarian groups vying for power (just like in Bosnia in the 90's). The difference between Bosnia and Lebanon is how quickly alliances shift in Lebanon. This isn't about government policy targeting christians (who actually currently run the govt in Leb)
Thanks NC - I'd like to non-violently hammer it into conscience - to stand still for one second and REALIZE what is happening here.... how cold-cut beaurocracy and its feed has taken over pure human compassion and respect for life.

Nizo: to get into the 'millions' side of it would go beyond my comprehension since those millions have, from the very beginning, been turned into a non-human, political - power-struggle pawn by ALL involved (incl. and sometimes I think most of all the arab countries) - and, to my understanding, are living this role... (generalizing) - having been turned into the ace in this game for the destruction of Israel.

I still find it very hard to figure out how to come up with a just and humane 'solution' while by doing so, the existential threat looms over the head of one's very own existence. You know the hand reaching out to a drowning person trying to get him out of the water but falling over and drowning together? That's the feeling I get will happen at this stage...

"Misdirected goodwill"?? I'm complaining in this post about Israel's lack of good-will...

It's too easily concluded by you only Israel can do something about the camps. I agree that Israel's response to the militant section in Palestinian society overacts and may very well be mis-used from time to time - and I simply HATE collective punishment (goes against every bone in my body) - but to put Israel as the only one that could take this hardship off the shoulders of the Palestinians is an unreal notion. It takes two to tango - even in this. On individual human level though, I agree - the so called security rules Israel is applying are devillishly harsh and inhumane... Watch it with those fumes, hey LOL!

G.: that's what I meant by shining your light upon the nations ... don't look what and how others act or for what they are to blame, but be a light and show how it must be done irregardless of others.... Why else can one call itself 'chosen'?
light this up, please.

hope you end up living up to your name... and props for trying... with some chamsa luck it might even happen, but for now you are lighting more insensitivity than anything, and i say this as an israeli; open up a little!
Anonymous, I'm sorry, but I really don't understand what you write...

If you want, please clarify.
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