- 1 month ago
"TEL AVIV: Following the death of former Israel prime minister Ariel Sharon – who has been in a coma since 2006 – plans for the 85-year-old’s state funeral have now been released. According to arrangements made by the Israeli government, Sharon’s burial plot is set to displace over 15,000 Palestinians living in the West Bank. The plot, located on the outskirts of Hebron, will take over land lived and farmed by Arabs for at least four centuries and will be surrounded by a five-metre tall concrete wall with armed sentry posts on each corner. It will also be connected to Israel by a four-lane commemorative highway. “It’s what he would have wanted,” said a source."
From the Arab version of The Onion
Nice pin-pricking.(via shortformblog)
This is too funny. RIP Prime Minister.
- 2 months ago
From Jonathan Freedland, New York Review of Books, “An Exclusive Corner of Hebron,” February 23, 2012. As elegant a description of life in divided and occupied Hebron as I have ever seen. This is something most Americans don’t know, but should.
On Israeli military maps, this shows up as a green road, which means that no Palestinian cars are allowed. Blue is for those streets where no Palestinian cars are allowed and no Palestinian shops are permitted to open. Then there are roads that are more restricted still: on those, no Palestinian is allowed to set foot. The Israel Defense Forces refer to such a road as a tzir sterili, literally a sterile road.
Most of the H2 Palestinians unlucky enough to have their homes on a tzir sterili have had their front doors sealed shut. To leave, they have to use a back door, which often means climbing out onto the roof and down via a series of ladders: inconvenient for those who are young and fit, difficult if not impossible for those who are old or infirm. Later I will see an elderly man, a bag of cement resting on his shoulder, walking with a boy I take to be his grandson. When he reaches a-Shuhada Street, once the main artery through central Hebron and a “sterile road” since 2000, he turns off and begins to ascend a steep series of rough-hewn steps, necessary in order to walk around rather than on the street. This will lead him through a series of unpaved, dusty paths, a longer, indirect alternative route to a-Shuhada Street. This is so neither his feet nor those of the little boy will touch the forbidden road—ensuring it remains sterili.
The street is lined with what used to be shops, now permanently closed behind green metal shutters. They are all covered by graffiti. In a short walk I see “Arabs out!” and “Death to the Arabs” as well as the less familiar “You have Arabs, you have mice,” which has been painted over but is still legible. So too is “Arabs to the crematorium,” close to the Muslim cemetery. (One notorious message, daubed in English but covered over a few years ago, read “Arabs to the gas chambers.”) The clenched fist symbol of the Kach party of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, the founder of the Jewish Defense League once ostracized as a fascist, appears in several places. But the most recurrent image is also the most shocking. It is the Star of David. Utterly familiar to Jewish eyes, it nevertheless is a shock to see that symbol—associated with Judaism itself and with the long history of Jewish suffering—used as a crude declaration of dominance, used, in fact, as an insult.
This is. Wow.
If there was ever a question about whether trends in history repeat themselves…
- 3 months ago
- 4 months ago
Teaching and discussing rights with my AP students.
Today I had the pleasure of teaching a lesson on the Declaration of Independence and the concepts of rights and consent of the governed embedded in the document. We traced some of the origins of the ideas and phrasing of the Declaration by looking at…
So I’ve probably written a dozen theses this week at the AP US History institute I’m at. It makes me realize: I have to make my students write EVERY DAY. Because I’ve gotten a lot better and feel ready to teach, just in 4 days. Practice in writing is key…