zondag, september 23, 2007


What the heck?

I was trying to find a newsarticle, that was mentioned at Nizo's, about a double passport holder who was apprehended in Lebanon in connection with the murder of a Lebanese citizen. Being that the passport holder supposedly is Israeli, it sounds interesting. I can't find this story anywhere :(

Anyway, during my (google) search I stumbled upon the following which left me with my mouth wide open. I really didn't know. Did you?

Visa Application for Lebanon.

Restricted entry: The Government of Lebanon refuses entry to holders of Israeli and Palestinian passports. . . [...]

I knew about Israeli passport holders (duh!) - but Palestinian passport holders as well? Isn't that a bit strange? Especially seen in the light that Syrians don't need a visa at all (they're separately mentioned in the conditions for visa application in the above link) as well as most other arab citizens.

Palestinians are 'the enemy' as well?

Anyway, I thought this was interesting since 'we' Israeli's are shouting loud about the refusal having us (in peaceful manner :D ) in Lebanon (look at the criticism Lisa got and the reactions to that from Israeli's), but what is the excuse for refusing Palestinians? Seems like their passport 'situation' (and with that their space for moving around) is way more f-ed up yet, you never hear about that...

(and yes, yes: I know - 'israel' is the main 'perpetrator' restricting the palestinian freedom to move around. but this is a known fact and besides is argued -even if thought of as falsely- because of the situation. with lebanon though it's really strange since they are not in the same situation and have no reason at all to refuse visas to Palestinians).


vrijdag, september 21, 2007


"If only he could see my scars"

Although, I'm not a great believer in seeking repentance for sins one single day a year, because I believe this should be part of everyday living, and soon as someone finds out he has hurt someone else or caused any other inconvience one should try to correct it - there is something about Yom Kippur that makes me stand in awe. I can't explain why or what.

Aish pretty much express my feelings concerning what it means to be jewish (the way I see it).

Here are some parts for Yom Kippur:

"If only he could see my scars"

"If only we had the ability to see into other people's background and thus be able to appreciate their position.


Our sages teach us that our oblivion, our unawareness of the full ramifications of every harsh word and action, lasts only until the day of death. Then every soul stands in judgment and is made to witness, nay experience, the unedited video of his or her own life.


That is precisely what hell is: the inner inferno of remorse when we realize the full scope of the injury we have wrought. No external fire can compare in burning intensity to the regret we will each feel when we perceive the suffering we ourselves have caused.

And this is what I don't agree with:

We do not have to wait until the day of death to face and deal with all our harsh words, all our abusive actions. God has given us the gift of Yom Kippur, a day that has the potential to wipe clean our slates.


It is as if God presses the "Delete" button, and all the murky mess on our soul's screen disappears.

Sorry, I don't subscribe to this - I just CANNOT believe people can live ignorantly all year round and in one single day erase their sins.

Source: AISH

You should read it. It's an interesting observation of AISH - notwithstanding my disbelief in the meaning of Yom Kippur as they (and generally jews) explain it, it could be good advise not and never to jump to harsh reactions.... You never know which wounded nerve you hurt.


Prayers for Yom Kippur

Gmar chatimah tova,

zondag, september 16, 2007


Meltingpot? Well, whadda'ya say?

Source = Ynet

Melting pot or not

An Ethiopian, Arab, Russian, strictly Orthodox, Ashkenazi and Sephardi go out to find a job, rent an apartment and enroll a child in kindergarten. Discrimination? Racism? Absolutely.

An Ethiopian, Arab, Russian, strictly Orthodox, Ashkenazi and Sephardi man of the same age group and same educational background were sent by Yedioth Ahronoth to look for a job, find an apartment and enroll a child in kindergarten. Will their ethnicity have an effect in 2007 Israel? The answer, unfortunately, is yes.

The six were chosen to represent the different sectors of society. They approached more than 400 restaurants, cafes, apartments for rent, and kindergartens in 22 cities - from Kiryat Shmona to Eilat – in each conversation the applicant's background was mentioned either directly or in a roundabout way.

The Ashkenazi caller, Itai Unger, received the most positive answers and encountered no expressions of racism. The Sepharadi Yehuda Peretz arrived second while the strictly Orthodox and Russian immigrant arrived in third and fourth place respectively.

Yet, more than half of the calls made by the Ethiopian representative, Senbato Tamanu, resulted in a refusal and dozens contained derogatory remarks. Following closely, with more than 70 percent negative answers and numerous phone-slamming, was the Arab caller Said Hanin.

Following are some examples:

Tel Aviv

In the kindergarten in the upscale Dan neighborhood, Senbato, Itai and the strictly Orthodox, Yisrael, received positive responses. Said, on the other hand, was told that "we're booked, there are no vacancies."

The waiter position was no more relevant when Boris called but magically became available again for Itai.


The kindergarten teacher from Pisgat Ze'ev in Jerusalem chatted happily with Boris in fluent Russian. Senbato as well was answered positively but when Said called the answer was: "I don't want to hang up on you but you better look for another place."

At 4:50 pm Yehuda was invited for interview in a food stall in the Mall. At 5:00 pm Said was told "we are not hiring at he moment." At 5:15 pm Itai was asked to come in the next day for an interview.


Three competed on the waiter's job in a coffee shop: Boris, Yisrael and Itai. Boris and Yisrael received negative answers while Itai was summoned for a job interview.

Said, who had many failures in other cities, received positive answers when trying to enroll a child in kindergarten and when asking to rent an apartment.

Bat Yam

At the café Senbato applied for a job, they asked for an "espresso-machine's operator" certificate and explained "the machine we use is very complicated." Itai, on the other hand, was asked to attend a job interview even though he said he had no experience.


After many repeated calls, Holon turned out to be racism-free. All six representatives received positive answers. When Said asked the landlord "don't you mind that I'm an Arab?" the answer was: "Not in the least."

For your knowledge,

zaterdag, september 15, 2007



"I know". . .
"Huh". . .
"I've dreamed about it". . .
"Whaat?". . .
"Well, I dreamed. . ." and she started telling me what I wanted to tell her about. . .

In my youth I was half of the time at home and half of the time at 'my second home' - with what I saw (and they me) as my second family. At home with mum and dad I was only child and my parents had me at quite an 'old age' (well, in those days - in these days it is very normal to have children that late) - At my second home I was one of 7 'children'. The one closest to me was a girl my age. We hang out together, got into trouble together, had a whole 'gang' of boys 'protecting' us (brothers and their friends) and most of all: we laughed - ALL THE TIME.

To see something humoristic in almost everything was normal for us. The most embarassing moments were laughed away. Not just regular laughing but we never stopped, we had tears running over our cheeks all the time, we couldn't sometimes get out of it - and kept on laughing.
Many people felt as we were making fools of them, but that just wasn't true. We would laugh about ourselves and our blunders just as hard - if not harder.

Then I came to Israel, and I never, ever laughed that way anymore. As a matter of fact: I've never cried as much in my whole entire life as I've done here in Israel. Just a matter of wrong choices. . . and getting deeper and deeper in it. I'm not regretting it though - but suddenly I'm fed-up with that. As a matter of fact, I'm fed-up with that for a long time already but didn't realize it. Just laugh. I just want to laugh. I want to have fun (again) - and so when I had her on the phone the other night, although the things I had to tell her and she me were serious we were laughing -again- for 90% of the time. It's so wonderful to be able to laugh. It's like you distance yourself from the graveness of things and lift yourself above it all.

Anyway, I want to dedicate this post to my friend/sister(s) - Over the years we haven't been in contact very often, but we always knew when something was happening to the other:

One day I thought: "she pregnant" - I phoned her. .. . "How do you know?? I haven't told anybody yet!" - Then, one night I dreamed that one of her brothers (also a friend of mine) fell into my arms crying his eyes out and I phoned her again: "Your father.... ?" "Yes, he died yesterday", she said....

So that's why when I phoned her to tell about my decision - I actually didn't have to say anything. We know. 3600 kilometers apart, but this is a friend. I'm proud to say: this is MY friend. A friend for life.

A very grateful,

vrijdag, september 07, 2007


BethLehem or Lehem. . . ?

As I got out of the bus bringing me to the trainstation where I was to meet Yaeli for a socializing meeting in an area that was least problematic for people belonging to two peoples in one land separated by a complexity of the consequences of misuse by extremists/political greed to meet, the sign on the crossroad:

over 1 million people silently suffer from hunger

caught my eye in such manner that it follows me through the whole sequence of events and thoughts about it that led up until writing about this meeting just now and made it hard for me to do so (the writing) because it plays such a huge part in it - for me.....

Dalia made a dazzling 'come-back' at the gnblog after a break - by simply inviting whoever was interested to meet in 2 days time. ("action speaks louder than words" was the first thing that entered my head - click here to listen)

Many were interested, few were able to come due to a variety of reasons. In the end, Yehuda (who I am ashamed never noticed before virtually - sorry Yehuda!), Yaeli (who I only knew of that she was the same person from her blog step by step as the Yaeli from gn when I saw her - sorry Yaeli!), obviously (but not that obviously considering the difficulties of being mobile in the region where she's living) Dalia, Ramzi (the only one I 'know' rather long, I think 2 years, Ramzi?) and me - were able to make it.

After meeting with Yehuda and his lovely daughter and having a 'stop-over' at his also very lovely home in Jerusalem, we were on our way (me totally confused, hahaaa... it was okay to enter with a car with an Israeli license plate, but it was not advisable to walk around with a kipa, LOL) - to a meeting that as far as I can feel it is the kind of meeting that many are trying hard to prevent - by both Israel's government with it's stigmatizing separation policy and Palestinian extremists who don't like to leave a chance to misuse good intentions unused. Just imagine, that Israeli's will find out that regular Palestinians are just people like everyone else and no murdering terrorists and Palestinians will find out regular Israeli's don't approve of humiliating them and don't think themselves worth more than the Palestinians.

The meeting up at a road in (what they say, but I have no knowledge of geographical surroundings anyway) Gilo was -to me- HILARIOUS. Sad, if you think it was necessary, but sometimes the absurd makes me focus on the ridiculous side of it more, and has me in stitches. I truely felt as in a James Bond movie.... meticulously warding off anyone who might get an air of our 'secret mission' - LOL.

Of the meeting at the restaurant you can read in Yehuda's blog. It was nice, I felt totally at ease (which made me feel at unease, because I usually feel at ease everywhere and with everybody and afterwards have people tell me "but didn't you notice this?" "or that?" - which I haven't... but I pushed that away and relied on my gut feelings). Still I think we must have looked out of the regular there. I went to the restroom inside the restaurant and a group of men sitting there abruptly stopped their conversation when I walked by and looked at me euuhmmm. . . 'with great interest' - must have been my dazzling appearance for sure LOL - (this is a joke).

Yehuda also writes about the meeting at Ramzi's home, but my feelings about it are different. When Ramzi's father began telling about the humiliations he encountered for going to the city that his family has lived and/or worked in - I started to feel guilty. Why would I, definitely having my roots in the Netherlands although feeling completely Israeli after 30 years here, be able to visit that city freely and he not? To be quite honest, I would trade this 'freedom' without a moment's hesitation for being able to live in a wonderful house with a view in where I seem to disappear completely, relaxing me totally and get out of this stressed shamble of an appartment near the biggest highway in Ramat Gan - But, that's not the point. They must have worked hard for it and made the right decisions, which latter I am guilty of not having done....

There have been many instances on -mostly Dutch but also Lebanese- forums in which I was asked the question if I don't feel guilty 'stealing land from the original inhabitants' - and my reaction has always been (and will stay because I can't relate to outsiders sticking their nose in as if they're angels and I am the devil while I think they should first stick their hands into their own bossoms) very firmly: NO. Actually, I still think I'm not stealing land..... however to stand in front of a man personally, eye to eye, and as a relatively newcomer being able to move freely on the land his family lived on for ages while he can't, makes you feel guilty. It makes me feel guilty anyway. (and yes, I know: security, shooting in one's own foot, blablabla.... it all flushes down the drain when not talking politics but from man to man - and that should be the basic point. After all, everybody 'speaking for us' should be doing so for 'us' right? 'The" man....

We were given hospitality and friendliness that I recognize from my in-laws: arab. Afterwards I didn't feel comfortable with it - because this is not a matter of 'how much money one has' (no-one is obligated to spend that money on a bunch of total strangers - meaning not family or long-time friends, or on whatever one decides one wants to spend their money on) - but on manners I have come to feel familiar with, although not -as I wrote- comfortable. But, I accept.

Still.............. considering this and the sign of hungry people I spoke of in my opening (lehem in hebrew means bread) - here comes my integrated impression and conclusion which takes on the form of a question..

Why and how can a people of which 1/7th live in such poverty that they hardly have anything to eat - leave alone the humiliation of their children not being able to adventure into the same opportunities people with money are given in this country - hold on to a principle and not to the 'facts on the ground' - being: the demand and insisting on a respectful daily life, being given the same chances everyone else are given and the same quality of life - for the sake of it being called a 'jewish home'? What is this home if you don't have what to eat? Last night I saw in the news a mother living in a tent, having her son in a fighting unit in the IDF (meaning that, comes time, he will have to put his life in danger defending the 'jewish homeland') while his mother lives in a tent and when he's having his 'after' - he's sleeping in a tent????????

Excuse me.... I'm confused. I am very much for a jewish homeland, seen the facts on the ground that so many israeli's are born here and this is their homeland - and comparing the map of probable discrimination grounds (being jewish) - to the rest of the middle east - but I ask, sincerely (!) ask: what for in heaven's name? To have nothing to eat? To gamble on your children's life for what exactly? To make the life of people like Ramzi's father unbearable, come home and have no place to sleep - see your mother suffer in a tent?

I am for one fed up being led into false pretences: sure - there are extremists out there that want to see the 'jewish homeland' destroyed - but, what will they destroy? The fridge that's empty? The tent a soldier's mother, father and siblings is living in? Or the economy of Israel only the 18 families that are in charge of this country are relying on??

sorry, getting emotional.... gotta stop. I sure haven't got this experience integrated in the overall picture yet as can be noted -

Although you'd think this is my first 'experience' out 'in the territories' - it is not..... that's why I'm even surprised at myself, my good friends from Gaza that were here and with me before the IntifadaII I've lost contact with and they lived in a refugee camp - still.... those times were different: they could leave their children at my place and I could visit them without a hesitation. Was a solution too close in which power could be lost for the infuential then??


zondag, september 02, 2007


peaceloving dj's get your xxx over here ;-)

If you think you can put a radio-show together I found you a nice station to direct your energies to (and, most probably, have your voice heard as well relating to the promotion of peace.... )

It looks like you can send in your shows and they will broadcast it. What good it will do - I have not the faintest clue since they're located in the UK and the root of the problem lies here, in our very own Middle-East, but. . . it's still better than nothing.

Here you go, and if you get rich and famous from it, don't forget who mentioned it to you :D

Welcome to Salaam Shalom Radio


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