The Israel I was taught about and lived in is becoming a very different place from the place that I really know and love. One of the hardest things for a person is to watch something that is important to them become something that is going horribly wrong.
A few weeks ago the folks at Cellcom (an Israeli Cel. company) put out an ad that spoke of hope between Palestinians and Israel - even Shalom Achshav - a group I really respect - said that it was a hopeful ad.
Well the folks in Bil'in decided to put the IDF to the test in response to the Cellcom ad talking about a soccer game between IDF Border Patrol and Palestinians beyond the wall.
See below the flip for what really happened.
In Ha'aretz today:
In the Cellcom advert, IDF soldiers on patrol along the fence stop their jeep when it is hit by a soccer ball from the Palestinian side of the fence. The ball soon bounces back to the Israeli side, at which point the soldiers decide to hold an impromptu game with the Palestinians, cheered on by female soldiers.
The advert has been extensively criticized for making light of the Palestinian suffering inflicted by the West Bank barrier.
A video recently posted on YouTube has tried to reenact the game in reality, and found that the result could not be further removed from the situation on the ground: when the Palestinians kick the ball to the other side of the fence, what they get in return is a salvo of tear gas grenades.
You can see the video on the link.
This is freakin' ridiculous - Israel was handed a total opportunity - had the soldiers kicked the ball back they could have totally scored points BUT... No - they had to fire tear gas instead.
If nothing else points to the need to end the occupation - this does. In my mind Israel is important. It is a dream that the Jewish people have been dreaming for thousands of years. Now that this dream is reality - the occupation is turning it into a nightmare. Make no mistakes about the diarists position - I am pro-Israel, but, this government has to go. They are destroying what Israel's founders wanted.
In other news,
"After studying the matter with education experts it was decided that the term nakba should be removed. It is inconceivable that in Israel we would talk about the establishment of the state as a catastrophe," said Yisrael Twito, a spokesman for Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar.
A passage in the textbook, describing the 1948 Middle East war at the time of Israel's creation, said: "The Arabs call the war the nakba - a war of catastrophe, loss and humiliation - and the Jews call it the Independence War."
Jafar Farrah, director of Mossawa, an Israeli-Arab advocacy group, said the decision to remove the term only "complicated the conflict". He called it an attempt to distort the truth and seek confrontation with the country's Arab population.
Now I personally never use the term "Nakba" - I always use "War of Independence" because that is what I think and feel. Yet it is important that Israelis learn about the term "Nakba" because 20% of the Israeli population thinks in those terms. I always thought education was about learning the facts from all sides. Apparently, the Israeli Ministry of Education doesn't think so.
Look, for many years in my mind Israel had a "moral high ground". I know I am going to get blasted for this but, that is my opinion. That moral "high ground" is gone with this government. To me the Ministry of Education with this ruling has/is destroying the good that I think regarding Israel. Today is a huge day of despair for me. I still support the state and people but when Israel starts doing things and running things the same way it's enemies do - what's the point anymore.....
One other note, those of you who think that I am making a case for the P.A. and/or Hamas you could not be more wrong. I am no fan of either of those organizations. I am an Israeli partisan - I just hate to see what they are doing to themselves and to the Palestinians. It needs to change.