Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why I Support Israel


- And how I’m putting my words into action.


We, the Palestinians, are the biggest benefactors of Israel’s generosity.

You heard me right.

Thanks to Israel, we the Palestinians, once a stagnant and forgotten mass of humanity on the edge of the Mediterranean, have been given an ethos, an identity, a life. We were orphans, abandoned by Arab siblings, left to fend for ourselves in a dangerous and inhospitable land where lives ended in either brutality or illness. And then they came, our oh-so-benevolent Semitic cousins who have travelled many miles from Europe, on a personal mission to look after our welfare.

What followed is a story like no other. One of love, compassion, selflessness.

Out of the sand, an oasis sprung forth. A state called Israel, a place where, we, the Palestinians would be given free access to health care and a myriad of other social benefits that citizens of neighbouring Arab states can only dream of.

Would have we ever learned to read and write, had it not been for Israel’s literacy campaigns?
What other state exempts its minority from military service, in an effort to give them a 3-year head-start in world-class universities?

Everywhere you look, Jewish caregivers are helping Palestinians manage every aspect of our lives. In Judea and Samaria, Palestinians are stopped at every juncture by a veritable army of good Samaritans. “Have you taken your vitamins” they ask, their voices heavy with concern. “Mrs. Barghouti, has your water broken yet? Please let us know, the ambulance is waiting to whisk you away”.

And then there’s democracy, sanitation, and electricity, and most importantly the state’s complimentary landscaping services. Indeed, in an effort to ensure the proliferation of superior architectural standards, unsafe structures are torn down free of charge, and the inhabitants encouraged to build again. Then there’s the massive sound barrier, a personal gift from one Palestinian-loving Israeli general, who saw it fit that no Arab would ever have trouble sleeping at night.

But the pièce de resistance is Gaza, a Palestinian city that is the lucky recipient of a massive makeover. If it’s not care packages that are being constantly dropped from the sky, it’s the team of nutritionists that work around the clock to ensure that those pampered Gazans receive just the right calorific intake to ensure bodies stay trim and tight, ready for those impromptu fashion-shoots where every Gazan is a model and every alley a catwalk.

- - - - -

Having read the above, oh dear readers, surely you are swept in a veritable trunami of emotions.

And so it's time to turn these feelings into concrete acts.

As a gesture of gratitude, I would like to raise funds for those living in Israel’s weak and vulnerable underbelly, those long-suffering inhabitants of Herziliya.

Please read my plea below and give generously.


Only $5,000 Can Feed and Clothe A Herziliya Family For A Week.

Avi Berger, was a successful V.P of Operations when his company’s head-office suddenly moved to Sderot. He and his wife, Talia, and their two kids were left behind.

The family is forced to live off a small trust fund and a stock portfolio showing almost no growth this last quarter. Their two children, Itai , 7 and Noa 13 have almost no disposable income.


The Bergers Need Your Help!

* Avi’s Volvo is 2 years old
* Noa’s ballet class is due for renewal
* Talia is forced to wear last year’s wardrobe

How Can You Help?

Your small donation can help return their life to normalcy. For only $5,000 a week, you can adopt this lovable Herziliya family and show them that someone cares.

Or if you prefer ,you can make a small donation that will still make a difference to their shattered lives. For example:

* Only $4,000 will send little Itai to tennis camp to work on his severely underdeveloped forehand
* Only $1,500 will allow Talia to continue purchasing bread containing 77 different imported grains and pulses.
* Only $3,500 will keep Noa out of group therapy and maintain her private sessions.

How Can You Be Sure That Your Money Will Accomplish Its Goal?

Easy. As soon as your payment is received, the Bergers will send you a personal e-mail thanking you for your contribution. Or if you prefer, they will make a DVD and send it to you.

* See Noa do underwater ballet!
* Watch Itai at Dressage!
* For an extra $7,000, their Thai cleaning lady will write as well.

32 comments:

nominally challenged said...

Absolutely brilliant!! I laughed out loud at "the state's complimentary landscaping services".

Leonid said...

Great post, the wonders of sublimation, I guess...

Reminds me of some Sayed Kashua's posts I read at Haaretz about 2 years ago.

Savtadotty said...

Dear Nizo,
22 years ago I moved to Israel with the intention of Oppressing Palestinians, and I believe I have failed miserably. In all that time, living in Tel Aviv, I have not even met one Palestinian in person, but now you point out how my government has made my job even more difficult. I will not give up! Please include me in your next plea for support.

Aviv said...

Aww shucks! You're too kind.

|3run0 said...

Don't forget Lieberman's offer of free, open-ended vacations for Arab-Israelis!

G said...

Perhpas there is some warm hearted Palestinian family willing to take in the Bergers and rescue them from poverty. Talia will have a blast living it up in Rammalah or Hevron

G

Nizo said...

NC,
merci :)

Leonid,
I appreciate the gesture, but for some reason Kashua's sense of humour rubs me the wrong way, I guess I'm not his target audience to begin with.

Savta,
Inshallah you'll get to oppress me with one of your soups, my favourite french onion gratiné with more cheese than .... (ya Allah I almost broke my Homo-rein fast)

Aviv,
I'm not that kind actually, I didn't give money to the black beggar who popped up against my window while I was pulling out of the Wal-mart parking lot.

Bruno,
Indeed! How could I forget!

G,
You know I should written that Avi's company's headquarters moved to Um El Fahm or Rahat instead of Sderot, but too late the text is written.

Anonymous said...

i agree with NC: LOL!

btw speaking of loving israel whatever happened to al-ghaliboon? i kinda miss him...

Ellie said...

:)

Anonymous said...

im the al-ghaliboon-asking anonymous and have returned to enlarge my tally of questions and ask the following:

what made the muslim arabs (both sunni and shia) get so religious in the past few decades? why dafka then and not earlier or later? and have the christians also become more religious recently? and (kinda unrelated but wuteva) what does your evangelical though palestinian aunt think of israel?


ya know maybe i should think up a name for myself and use it regularly. im the facebook guy from a couple of weeks ago and am currently transitioning from lurker to poster. hmmm... but i dont know what name 2 pick...

|3run0 said...

Nizo: "Indeed! How could I forget!"

If I recall correctly, your grandparents availed themselves of a similar opportunity to go to an extended camping trip in Lebanon ;^)

Nizo said...

Anonymous, I don't know what you should call yourself, but maybe you should pick something from the repertoire of insults that a fellow gay palestinian friend likes to fling at me. You see, he's overly refined while I can be rather boorish especially when I fart or belch around him.. Here are three names I hear quite often:

Jamoos el Jabal (Mountain Moose)
Bi'eer el Barari (Wilderness Camel)
Baghl el Widyan (Mule of the dry riverbeds)

As for the religiosity question I will answer it later, I'm soaking a patch of land to bring the worms up so I can go fishing.

Bruno,
:)

Ellie,
long time..

blatnoi said...

Fuck Avi Berger and his family in Herzeliya. Give the $5000 bucks to me, then I can afford to fix the giant scratch and dent on the side of my car, do the test for next year, and then live like a king until it all runs out. Maybe I could even buy a new car... or better clothes and could pay for the dinner of my dates so that eventually I would have a family just like Avi.

Hell, I'd move to Sderot for $5000 bucks a week. Or even, a month. I'd even move to Rahat (well, I'd come in to work on a commute from Beer Sheva). $10000 a week for Um El Fahm.

Ellie said...

Hey Nizo,

I've been super busy but needed a good laugh so of course thought of your blog. Always does the trick. I also thought that Lebanese cartoon blog you linked to was very good.

Best,
Ellie

Savtadotty said...

French onion soup gratinée will be on the menu in Florida whenever you show up (between October and January)...be warned, I've never made it, but I did order it at Le Boeuf sur le Toit in Les Halles once a long time ago, so at least I know how it should taste.

Mountain Moose said...

Given my semi-permanent location amidst the concrete mountains of the world's greatest city, "Mountain Moose" it is.

(since when are there moose in palestine?)

Regarding fishing beware of grubs: remember what happened last time...

Nizo said...

Mountain Moose!

Bravo on the name change.. As for moose in Palestine, no there aren't any but both my Pal friend and I myself live here in north america where moose are plentiful but where the scientific Arabic word for them is practically unpronounceable so we just replace it with jamoos which is originally used for ox.

Now, as for fishing, I was very unlucky, nothing I caught was worth keeping so I released it back to the wild so I can catch it another day when it's bigger..

As for the religiosity question you had posed earlier, I've written extensively about it here in the past, but mostly from a reactive angle where I express my disgust rather than try to seek answers on why Allah & co. are suddenly more popular.

I'm not an authority on the topic, I'm merely a by-stander but if I were to jot down a few points on the caused of increased religiosity, here's what I would write:

1-The death of pan-arabism and the ideological vacuum that was left in its place.

2-The Islamic revolution in iran

3-The services that Islamic organizations have provided to the poor in Egypt, Gaza, Algeria etc.. coinciding with the disappointment at the corruption and indifference of the (secular) ruling regimes.

Ma ata choshev?

Nizo said...

*on the cause

Andrew J. Brehm said...

"1-The death of pan-arabism and the ideological vacuum that was left in its place."

It is weird how things go and that Arabs always need a bigger ideology than everybody else. I would have thought that pan-arabism could have been replaced with patriotism.

Arabs sure have a knack for choosing big and failing ideologies.

"2-The Islamic revolution in iran"

This took a weird turn too. The Shah's regime was far less violent than the Islamic regime and more respected around the world, yet the Arabs never attempted to mimic imperial Iran, become monarchists or culturally advanced beyond the west or anything like that.

But when Iran became poorer and less respected and began mistreating its women, the Arab masses thought they had found their new ideology of choice. It's very weird. Are you guys looking for someone to beat you up?

To me this looks like a never-ending quest to impress the west without doing anything that would actually impress the west. It's an attempt to be faster than the fastest without running faster, an exercise to be better than the best without doing what they do.

"3-The services that Islamic organizations have provided to the poor in Egypt, Gaza, Algeria etc.. "

And all they asked in return is the lives of everyone's firstborn...

It occurs to me that Islam was less Islamic during the golden age of Islam than it is today.

And it was more successful.

Nizo said...

Andrew J. Brehm said...
" I would have thought that pan-arabism could have been replaced with patriotism."

Patriotism towards what? the motherland? Which motherland? Let's look at the Levant, the Lebanese/Syrian/Jordanian/Palestinian identities are less than a hundred years old, and with all the undercurrents and tribal divisions it doesn't look like they'll ever crystallize into an over-riding nationality to which people can truly give their allegiance.

Look at me for example, my family comes from the extreme north of Palestine, culturally I have more in common with a Lebanese or Syrian Melkite than a Gazan or West Bank Muslim. And yet, nationality-wise the Arabs lump me with the Gazans and West Bankers and expect me to share an identity with them. This isn't to say we're dramatically different, but the forces that lump us together are artificial and out of our control. Had Sykes and Picot drawn the border differently I could have been Lebanese and thus a Palestinian - hater.

The region straddles more fault lines than you can imagine ya Andrew.

As for point 2, the Shah was against the Arabs and pro-Israeli! Except perhaps for his friendship with some elites and the Quisling of a Jordanian King we like to call "Kalb el Ingleez" Kalb is analogous to the Hebrew Kelev, draw your own conclusions.

That said, the revolution wasn't necessarily embraced by the Arab masses, the barrier of Arab-Persian hostility was too high, but it did have a cultural impact.. especially in the gulf where I lived..the hijabs became more comprehensive.. the niqabs popped up..

As for point 3 about Islamic orgs asking for everybody's first born, what you think the Arab poor where sipping martinis while discussing the latest broadway show? They barely have bread to eat! If Satan himself were to rise up from the bowels of the earth and offer them a loaf of pita they'll give him first and second born... Besides, with their turbo-powered Saloon-doored vaginas, the Arab poor probably already have an 8th and 9th born baking in the oven.

Mountain Moose said...

"That said, the revolution wasn't necessarily embraced by the Arab masses, the barrier of Arab-Persian hostility was too high, but it did have a cultural impact.."

How did a Shia Persian revolution make Sunni Arabs more religious?

"If Satan himself were to rise up from the bowels of the earth and offer them a loaf of pita they'll give him first and second born..."

Would you say then that if Satan's little brother were to invest more in his Arab sector said sector would warm to him and cling to him?

"nothing I caught was worth keeping so I released it back to the wild so I can catch it another day when it's bigger.."

Would the wild be the water surrounding Montreal Island or another body of water? (where I come from one would think twice before fishing in the local water but not all city water is equally dirty, of course)

"practically unpronounceable"

And here I thought that the only ones with trouble pronouncing Arabic were we lead-tongued Westerners and our Chinese overlords...

Abu Sa'ar said...

Re rise of religiosity - it's not an Arab or Muslim phenomenon. The same is happening all over the West, including Israel. More people are becoming religious, and the religious are becoming more fanatical and anti-intellectual. I'd call it the descent of intellectualism rather than ascent of religiosity.

It's all about delegation of responsibility for comprehension and analysis of the universe.

ar said...

"1-The death of pan-arabism and the ideological vacuum that was left in its place.

2-The Islamic revolution in iran

3-The services that Islamic organizations have provided to the poor in Egypt, Gaza, Algeria etc.. coinciding with the disappointment at the corruption and indifference of the (secular) ruling regimes. "

I thought that it had more to do with the fact that the Soviet-Afghan war showed that Islam was a much better recruiting tool than pan-Arabism even before pan-Arabism died, because there are more non-Arab Muslims in Afghanistan than there are Christians in the entire Middle East and North Africa region.

"Look at me for example, my family comes from the extreme north of Palestine, culturally I have more in common with a Lebanese or Syrian Melkite than a Gazan or West Bank Muslim. And yet, nationality-wise the Arabs lump me with the Gazans and West Bankers and expect me to share an identity with them. This isn't to say we're dramatically different, but the forces that lump us together are artificial and out of our control. Had Sykes and Picot drawn the border differently I could have been Lebanese and thus a Palestinian - hater. "

I thought that the opposition to the Palestinians among Lebanese Christians was mostly in part of the Maronite community. Do the majority of Lebanese Melkites have similar political positions to the majority of Maronites?

Andrew J. Brehm said...

You are right, of course, Nizo.

But patriotism or loyalty to one's kings could still shape Arab society better than pan-arabism and Islamism did.

Royal Egypt was not a bad place.

And Maronite Lebanese certainly feel Lebanese patriotism. They stood for themselves, not for some ideology that was beyond their or Lebanon's power.

Very Tired Mountain Moose said...

Andrew: Good luck getting the Arabs to trust kings and countries... The burnt one fears fire...

"And Maronite Lebanese certainly feel Lebanese patriotism. They stood for themselves, not for some ideology that was beyond their or Lebanon's power."

But they were the elite. Good luck convincing those with a sense of being disenfranchised like the Shia that the regime they dont feel has ever been particularly concerned with their interests is their real best friend.

It's unfortunate that when people feel disenfranchised, "we will allow you to raise your head high and declare that you are an X while we fight for what you rightly deserve" groups become more popular. Well, actually, thats not bad in itself unless those groups start doing really stupid stuff and wreaking havoc upon their constituency.

Very Tired Mountain Moose said...

Might I add that when the complaint list against the religious paramilitary groups becomes as long as that of the regimes one might be able to expect another change of heart on the part of many.

Nizo said...

Andrew,
Egypt is a different animal altogether. They have their own identity but they are also exposed to outside forces. Did you know that Cairo was once a SHIITE CAPITAL under the Fatimids? We're talking about the most Sunni of Arab countries. As they say in French: rien n'est coulé dans le béton

(equivalent to nothing is written in stone)

life is full of surprises


Ar,
I think there's ongoing resentment of the Palestinians from large swathes of Lebanese society. Amal killed more Palestinians than the Maronites did. As for Melkites, I think there are 100,000 around the world.. they're numerically insignificant and I doubt anyone pays attention to what they think.. they also tend to vote orange, for general aoun who's allied himself with nassrallah. Anyway, the Palestinians haven't earned much goodwill in Lebanon. It's fine and dandy if the PLO had their eyes on Jordan, for the latter is nothing more than Palestine's hinterland, but Lebanon isn't for us to abuse.. Syria seems to relish in that role.


Very Tired Mountain Moose said...
Andrew: Good luck getting the Arabs to trust kings and countries... The burnt one fears fire...

"And Maronite Lebanese certainly feel Lebanese patriotism. They stood for themselves, not for some ideology that was beyond their or Lebanon's power."

But they were the elite. Good luck convincing those with a sense of being disenfranchised like the Shia that the regime they dont feel has ever been particularly concerned with their interests is their real best friend."

I agree. Did you know that when the borders of Lebanon were drawn up, the Maronites elders (or grand wizards as I like to call them) refused to add certain Syrian areas to their country for fear of including too many Orthodox christians, they preferred having the then politically dormant Shiites. Look who got the last laugh on that one!

Not As Tired Mountain Moose said...

lol thats crazy. who knows maybe a hundred years from now youll be the land hungry occupiers and we'll be the bloodthirsty terrorists. (but then again id like to hope our grand wizards are smart enough to stop that from happening)

btw ive always kinda thought that if lebanon had remade itself as the israel of the arab christians complete with right-of return-type-law while there was still a solid maronite majority lebanon would be a lot more stable. but i get the impression that lebanon is not israel and the maronites are not jews and maybe something like that happening might give the maronites enough of a sense of power to make the local minorities much less happy and much more rebellious... and also, adopting a religion-based identity rather than an pan-arab one might have alienated their arab friends, a move they sans western support (assuming they didnt get any but where would it come from) lebanon could probably not afford as well as israel...
but what happened happened and i guess im just speculating about events in another world

senior trip now, cya ;)

The Contentious Centrist said...

"What have the Romans ever done for us?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExWfh6sGyso

Anonymous said...

nizo,i was touched and saddened by the plight of avi berger and his family,no one should suffer this kind on deprivation.so i decided to help,i'm cash strapped at the moment so i will send some seashells instead.This island that i live on uses seashells as a currency.i always thought that here on this island we were badly off.but reading about avi b and his family i will have to change my mind

AKUS said...

You have a great blog. Come and visit ours.

Loved the Bedouin singing - I never saw that in all my years in Miluim. Druze and Bedouin - great people.

Anonymous said...

There should be laws against blogging post-lobotomy;

You feel alienated because you are gay, which sucks, and you don't deserve that. I'm afraid You are no better than the people you complain about, when you reciprocate with more bigotry.

You are entitled to your opinion... but be careful, your judgements & justifications are racist.

Your comments are far fetched from reality, especially historically. I understand your frustration.

May you find peace, happiness, and truth...