Thursday, September 29

Rubble Rubbish Everywhere, especially in the air

Once upon a time. many many years ago (but not very far away), there was a lovely princess, named Andromeda*....

Jaffa was once known as the Bride of the Sea, a lovely meditarrenean city. Sea on one side, surrounded by orange groves on the other. A city of flowering gardens, a wealthy city due to its port, which served all of the country.

After 1948, after most of its original inhabitants had been made to leave, much of Jaffa stood empty. In many of the lovely villas and ancient houses, the plates cups and saucers were still on the table, sometimes the food still on the stove. People had left in a hurry, without taking much with them. They hoped they would be back again, soon.

Instead they found themselves in the refugee camps of Gaza and Lebanon or spread throughout the world, still longing for the lovely beach, the smell of orange flowers in the season, cold water melon on a hot summer night.

Yet, were they to visit Adjami today, they would have a hard time recognizing it. Many, thousands, of the beautiful old houses were torn down, leaving big scars in what used to be busy streets. The rubble of those houses was dumped on Jaffa's beach, creating a huge mountain of rubble, a few hundred dunams in size and 15 meters above the sea level, hiding the sea. Kedem street, which was once right on the beach, is far away form the sea today. Looking at aireal photographs made a mere 30 years ago, the beach looks completely different.
Later on, people from all over Tel Aviv started to dump their building rubble on the mountain as well, thus creating the "Har HaZevel" aka the Rubbish Mountain. Doing so was legal, it was, in fact, encouraged by the Tel Aviv municipality.

The huge monster mount disconnected much of Adjami from the sea, no longer a bride and definitely not of the sea.

Over the last 15-20 years Jaffa's people fought against the mountain (which according to the original planners was to become a villa neighborhood for Tel Aviv's wealthy, attracted by its orientalistic character). The fight was relatively successful, in the sense that further rubbish dumping was declared illegal, and the mountain is supposed to be turned into a park, as park for Jaffa's people first of all.

Plans were made and a small effort was made by the mishlama (a unit of the Tel Aviv municipality responsible for much of the running of the municipal services (and the lack thereoff, but that's another item) to ask us, Jaffa's people, what we want.
This was done by means of meetings of "focus groups" ("Devide and rule" has been an effective method for many years). The park plan will serve us, and ofcourse it is a million times better than the current situation.
This week the plan was presented by Dror Amir, of the Mishlama: part of the mount will be reshaped by removing part of the rubble and grinding it up. The mountain will be reshaped, and planted with local plants and tress, paths, cycle paths and beaches will be part of the concept. It looks not bad at all on paper.
Paths will run naturally from the streets leading to the park (Dudaim, Mendes France etc.) to the sea and the beach.

About 50 million will be spent on the project, which i hope wil give us a wonderful place, a new bridal dress perhaps for a somewhat weary "bride of the sea".

What very much worries me, is the method they have selected for getting rid of the rubble: grinding it.
The mountain contains, in addition to stone, concrete, marble, tiles, iron etc also lots of strange materials, some unknown and some of very ill repute, such as e.g. asbestos.. The wind on the beach is usually landwards, right into Adjami. The grinding process (expected to take about 2 years of daily work) will create lots of dust. And that dust will go to.... you got it. into our houses, noses, heads, lungs.

They (the contractor, the municipality) are supposed to run air quality checks, and when things are "too bad", halt the grinding process.
They told us "not to worry", "all will be well" and "trust us". Whenever i hear these sentences i get nervous, very nervous.

* Andromeda was a princess in Greek mythology, who was tied to a rock as an offer to pacify a sea monster that kept eating the poor fishermen. The story had a happy ending when the oor girl was saved by her hero and they lived forever etc. All of this happened in Jaffa, the rockformation, called "Andromeda's Rocks, can still be seen.

Friday, September 23

The Continued "Mid-Night In Jaffa" Saga

Adjami is flooded by police. In their jeeps, vans and on motor cycles, they make a great show of "being present". The roadblocks on Yefet Street have become an almost nightly event. Cars are stopped and searched, people walking in the streets are demanded to show their id card and explain what they are doing, bags are searched etc.

So once more, Abed was returning home from work, early friday morning. Carrying his usual small backpack with notebooks as well as a shopping bag with food, wine, some plates and candles, for today's planned dinner party with close friends.
Along Yefet (Adjami's main street) Abed is stopped once more, by 5 policemen, "yasamnikim" (special forces, in their khaki uniforms) in a jeep. All came out of the jeep and stood around Abed.

"Hi, what do you have in your bag?" "Some wine, notebooks, a shirt". And what do you carry in your shoppingbag? "Food".
"What are you doing here at this time of the night?" "I'm in my way back home from work"? "Where do you work?"
"Your ID please." Abed showed them his ID and they returned it to him, said "Good night" and were about to go.
The officer stood already next to the jeep and was about to go in. Abed said "just a second, i want your names please." The driver, who had been in the jeep all the time answered "Do you want to come with us to the regional police station? Get in the car." Abed answered, "sure no prblem, i don't mind, i'll come with you." None of the policemen nor the officer wore tags as they are supposed to.
The officer came back, as the driver said "He wants details". So the officer said "OK write down" and gave Abed a pen. The officer gave Abed a name: "Toni Boukra", the "mefaked siur" (the officer in command of the recon trip) as well as a number. Yet he did not show his police ID to Abed, so there is no way to know if the details provided were real.
Abed stood on the side in order to write down the number of the jeep. The policemen shouted at him and Abed went on his way direction home..

The number of the jeep: 22-2-53
The number of the Tony Boukra, the officer in command (if that is his real name) : 115337

True, there is a lot of crime in Jaffa. A lot of it poverty and drugs related. And the police do have a task in keeping the streets safe. However, prevention implies first of all fighting poverty, opening up opportunities for young people, stopping discriminination.
True, police street presence is a part of fighting crime. But what is happening today in Jaffa, is more harassment. Moreover, it shows the police don't really have a clue who's behind most of the crimes committed.
Instead the police engage in harassing people on the streets, stopping drivers for minor incidents and mostly small businesses for the grave offence of having one too many chairs on the sidewalk outside of their business. Jaffa's real problems are not taken care of.
But ofcourse it's good for the police efficiency statistics. Also the police spokesman can proudly report "they are doing something in Jaffa."

"The Man" is present, so how come we don't really feel safe?

Tuesday, September 20

Mahash and the OR Committee or Strange Fruit on the Middle Eastern Trees

Thirteen Arab Israeli citizens (or Palestinian Israelis or Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, whetever definition you prefer) were killed by the police, some of them by well aimed sniper fire from policemen who acted on the orders of high officers.

The killings (murders?) were investigated by the Or committee who in their report related to the discrimination against Israeli Arabs in general and suggested several of the policement involved in the killings should be criminally indicted. From there, Mahash (the police investigation department, which is part of the Ministry of Justice, on the assumption the police cannot investigate themselves) took over. They were to investigate the killings, gather evidence and prepare the material for the indictments, which are to be carried out by the prosecution.

And "surprise surprise", mahash were not able to find sufficient evidence against any of the policemen involved and all will go free.
A number of the bodies had not even been pathologically examined at the National Institute for Pathology at Abu Kabir (located in Jaffa by the way).

When Billie Holiday first sang "Strange Fruit", about the lynchings in the south of the US, she did so in New York's Carnegie. She was very scared the public would become violent and offended. Instead there was a prolonged silence after the last tone faded. then applause

Strange Fruit, no more fitting song under the current circumstances:

Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves
Blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees
Pastoral scene of the gallant south
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
The scent of magnolia sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh
Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck
for the rain to gather
for the wind to suck
for the sun to rot
for the tree to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop

Monday, September 19

What is in a name?

The French artist Alain Fleischer points out that the end of memory is the death of death, in "La Nuit Sans Stella" (The Night Without Stella). When the names are wiped out from the gravestones and the enamel images thrown out somewhere else, even memories fade.

In Jaffa whole streets as well as neighborhoods (e.g. Manshiye) have been wiped out, their buildings destroyed, the rubble thrown into the sea, thus creating the infamous "Givat HaZevel" or garbage hill.

But many of the still existing streets are difficult to recognize. Their names have been changed, e.g. "Howard" Street became Raziel Street, "Nuzha" became Jerusalem Boulevard etc. . People got used to the new names and very few still remember (or are aware of) the original names.
These name changes were not naive by any means, as they helped wipe out Jaffa's rich cultural Palestinian past. The old street names are reminiscent of the time when Jaffa was indeed "the Bride of Palestine", a cultural and intellectual center.

Jaffa has many unnamed streets, small alleys as well as little roads and side streets, indicated only by a number. A group of Jaffaites asked the municipality to consider giving those streets, especially in Arab majority neighborhoods, relevant names.
In all of Jaffa, there are 3 or 4 streets with Arab names. Even in 100% Arab neighborhoods, the streets are called after rabbis etc. and Jewish concepts. Sometimes this leads to funny mistakes. Friends of mine live in "Bsht" street, the Hebrew acronym of "HaBa'al Shem Tov", an important mystic rabbi who lived all his life in Eastern Europe some 200 years ago. But most of the people living there, both Arab families and recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union call the street "Bsht", unaware of the real meaning. The Ba'al Shemtov (of blessed memory), who had, according to the myth, a good sense of humor, would have had a good loud laugh, i like to think.
But who of the inhabitants is aware of the meaning of the name. Instead it is "bsht".

Some of the worst public housing in Jaffa is located in a street caled "Mikhlol Yofi" (Total Beauty) and another street is called "HeShemot HaGdolim" (the great names). Only a real cynic could think of these names for those streets, or someone who never visited the place. It's probably the latter.

But, as i stated before, a name is a name and once people get used to a street name, it is diificult to change it.

Now what about the numbered streets? The municipality intends to provide these with names. A small group of Jaffaites asked for street relative to Arab and Palestinian culture.
It would be nice to live in "Emile Habibi" Street (Palestinian Israeli author and recipient of the Israel Prize for Literature) or Abed El Wahab Plaza, or perhaps Om Kalthoum Road. And what about Fadwa Toukan Alley?
Yet i'm pretty sure it won't happen. Instead we'll get another bunch of names meaning nothing to Jaffa residents and wiping out yet one more piece of Jaffa's cultural identity.

And, by the way, in all of Tel Aviv, about 5% of the streets are named after women. That's much less than a sorry record.

Sunday, September 18

Bring in the Clowns: The Arab Jewish Community Center for (Wealthy) Jews Only?

The clown had a white face, a big red mouth and wore a black/pink glittery tux. His Hebrew was impeccable, sheinkin style.

Adjami is somewhat blessed by a fancy community center, supposedly catering to all Jaffaites from all ages. It has a multi culti name, the Arab Jewish Community Center.
Both staff and management are mixed Arab Jewish and all signs are in both Arabic and Hebrew.
Yet that's where equality stops.

Today the registration for courses and workshops started: a mobile stage on a truck travelled throughout the neighborhood. On the stage were a clown, a young darbuka drummer, balloons and a loud sound system.
The truck stopped in many corners and children and adults came to watch the show and participate in the fun and acticvities.
The only problem, the clown spoke only Hebrew and the music was American. There is nothing wrong with that as such, yet the young kids here do not speak Hebrew. Where i live, the children know only Arabic. Thi swas also the case in the public housing estate of Kedem street. And right now in front of the community center, where the party goes on. Where i live people like Arab music, local as well as Lebanese singers and Arabic speaking rappers, not American country music etc.
True, the flyers handed out were in both languages. But Adjami is an Arab neighborhood. So WHO exactly do they wish to attract to the center? The few failrly well to do and rich Jews living here?
It IS nice the center caters to all kids, the Jewish kids included.
Yet the tour strongly created the impression the center prefers its Hebrew speaking clients.
Perhaps because they have more money? Perhaps because they do not ask for a discount? I wonder.

I know quite a few children where i live, who would love to participate in the workshops, yet their parents cannot afford it, so the children stay out on the street. Is that what the clown wanted?

Friday, September 16

Support Vicky Knafo in a very difficult time!

For once this is not news about or concerning Jaffa.

In july 2003 single unemployed mum Vicky Knafo walked all they way from her southern Negev home to Jerusalem, to protest poverty and the new economic measures taken by Israel's ultra rightwing government.
Starting out alone, 128 women joined Vicky on her way, expressing their views in a courageous and convincing way.

Pini (Natanel Pinian), Vicky's son, in his early twenties, committed suicide last night in a cell in the Dimona police station.

Vicky needs our support.

Given the strange comment by one of my readers i felt the need to add some information:

Vicky Knafo is a Jewish woman from Dimona, a development town in the Negev.

A single parent, who was sacked from her job and unable to survive on the meager social security money she received.

Dimona is far from everywhere and there is no employment.
Unable to provide for her family and desparate, she decided to put her plea to the government. As she had no money for the trip, she set out walking all the eay to Jerusalem, carrying, by the way, an Israeli flag.

Somehow the media caught on and other women started to join her, for some part of the way and others all the way to Jerusalem.
People donated food and water and drivers passing by offered to take backpacks for a few kilometers to make it easier.

Vicky became a symbol for many women. She gave support and hope to many women.
The sad end is that she found a job but became unemployed again, after her employer got into financial trouble.
Now she lost her son.

I think we should support Vicky right now.


The poorest are kicked out of their homes

Zawah is in her forties, but looks in her 60-ies. Sorrow has aged her prematurely . She is crippled and half blind, a result of her diabetes. She also suffers from chronic bronchitis and very high blood pressure. Her kidneys don't work too well either. Every few months she is hospitalised.

She is a widow with an 18-year old daughter, a student.

Her only daughter often misses classes, as she has to take care of her mother. When not at home, Zawah's daughter always worries her mother might loose consciousness and fall.
Her daughter used to work as a house cleaner and sales girl, yet she was fired for loosing too many workhours, hours she spent caring for her ill mother.

The Halamish (public housing company of deserved ill repute) owned house...:

There is no glass in the huge living room window looking out over the sea (
true they have a million $ view of the Meditarrenean, but that's where the nice things stop.). There are no blinds either. So when it rains or storms, it gets wet and cold, very cold.
There is no bathroom floor and a small gardenhose leads from the bath tub to the neighbor down below as, there being no floor, there is no bath sewage pipe either.

In the kitchen there are no tiles, only a broken wall. But then, many of the walls are broken, huge cracks.

The electricity wiring sticks out from the wall. Scary given the rain coming in. The electricity comes form a neighbor, as the house was disconnected by the electricity company many months ago.
The same goes for the water, the municipality cut off the water supply a long time ago. Too many unpaid bills.

Zawah receives a tiny widows pension (1658 NIS a month, about US $ 364) .
She is probably elegible for invalid social security payment, but she is too ill to take care of this. The burocracy is staggering and she has no mony for public transport to go the the various offices. She's too ill.
The same goes for the discounts which she can probably get ( municipal taxes and her rent)

She used to receive food parcels every now and then, but they stopped arriving for an unknown reason and it's too hard for her to go to her social worker. she, almost blind, can hardly move, and only leaves to house to go to her GP.
She is supposed to make monthly visits to the specialists clinic at Wolfson Hospital. Not that far from the Kedem public housing estate where she lives, but she has no money for the bus, so she hasn't seen the specialists for ages.
Yet she needs their reports to qualify for an invalids social security payment.

Food: Zawah and her daughter often go hungry.

And ofcourse she has not paid the rent for ages, 618 NIS is a lot of money for her. She and her daighter live on 1680 a month.

As a result they want to kick her out of her place. The windowless, bathroomless place she calls home.

And she is not the only one. Yesterday 5 other families were served expulsion orders, families with children, an elderly cancer patient 3 weeks after an operation and undergoing chemotherapy. And the list goes on. ALL are Palestinian families. Weak families.

Halamish has a new general manager who apparently needs to make a show. Let us know he is The Man.

And that's very easy, especially when you attack the weakest members of a community. Sure, they have rental debts, ofcourse they have rent debts. They need to spend their money on food, medicine, school books fro their children etc..
They have been unemployed and their social assistance has been minimalized way below the poverty line. Many of them are hungry.
And now they are kicking them out of their homes.
Their lousy homes, homes unfit to house people. But they are homes and the people have no where to go.

Is there anybody out there? Does anyone listen?

Monday, September 12

Shirin, a Palestinian business woman from Jaffa

Shirin Agrabiya had been walking around with the idea of opening her own store for quite some time. She checked different options, made various plans yet somehow it didn't happen. She almost opened a video store, then considered a perfume venture, a fresh fruit juice bar or perhaps a kiosk. Each possibility was researched, analyzed and discussed. Until some days ago, when reality got the better of her. Somehow it happened.

She's become the owner of a small vegetable and fruit store on Yefet Street, operating it in cooperation with her father and siblings every day for many hours. But the store is hers.
Next to "Abu Nader's" a popular restaurant where she used to be a waitress, opposite "Abdu the Fisherman" (a fish store and restaurant) , where she used to wash the dishes, she now runs her own business.
Many of Israel's women work, yet the large majority are salaried employees, working in part-time positions earning the minimum wage or even less. Women business owners are fairly rare. Young Muslim Palestinian women owning their own store are really rare.
True, Shirin has already proven herself as a community activist capable of leading and inspiring others but this is a new challenge.

The fresh dates are sweet, the mangos magic and the grapes just right for eating.

Friday, September 9

Midnight fun in Jaffa

Ok, so the police brought in their forces, to show they are actually doing something in Jaffa. Present, fighting crime, "doing their thing" as it were. "Zero tolerance" or some such.

Abed finished working really late last night, at 2 o'clock. On his walk home, along Yefet street, a police van stops next to him, just opposite Fakhri Geday's pharmacy. Five policemen, "yasamnikim" (special forces) inside the van. One of them said "Ahalan", "hi" in Arabic, probably the only Arab word he knows. Abed, polite as always, answered "Ahalan" . The policeman was at that point, still in the van.
Two of the policemen came out of the car and started interrogating Abed.
"Do you have something?" "What do you mean by that?" "Do you have an ID card with you?" "What are you doing here"? I'm on my way back from work, I live here". "What do you have on you?" "Nothing". "What do you have in your bag?", pointing at Abed's black little knapsack. Abed told him he had a lot of things in his bag. The police man shouted "put the bag down, put it down right here". Another policeman came out of the car with a large flashlight. The atmosphere became tense. On seeing the flashlight Abed got scared he might get hit by the policemen and became quite worried, as the policemen took Abed to a dark corner underneath the pillars of an old building. A filthy, smelly and very dark spot which can hardly be seen from the street.
The policeman with the flashlight opened Abed's small black backpack and starting checking its contents while commenting upon each item.

One of the other policemen started interrogating Abed. Holding Abed's ID card in his hand he asked how come Abed is registered in Kalansawa (Abed's birth place). Abed explained to him that now he lives in Jaffa (He actually tried to register in Jaffa, but until now the Ministry of the Interior has refused to do so, in spite of the fact that he 's been living here for a long time. The reasons behind this refusal are totally unclear, long live Israeli democracy!). "Where in Jaffa do you live?" "In Adjami, in D. street."

The one with the flashlight kept going through Abed's bag asking the purpose of all his notebooks. (Abed is a poet and cinema director and always carries work-in-progress with him). Abed explained to him he has a diary, an addressbook and notebook. Then the policeman finds a movie cassette. Abed informed him it is a movie cassette. The policeman opened to look inside, then returned it to Abed's backpack.

The policeman interrogating him, asked Abed what he has in his pockets, placing his hand on Abeds bulging pocket. "My keys, cellphone and purse". "Show it to me". Abed got out the requested items and showed them, then returned them to his pocket.
In the mean time the other policeman searching Abed's back found Abed's passport and showed it to the interrogator. "What is this?". "My passport". It's an old passport, which was cancelled. By chance it happened to be in Abed's bag. Abed is not the most well-organized person in the world after all. "But it is cancelled". "Yes it is cancelled".

In the mean time the policeman searching the bag, found Abed's 2nd keychain, that of his parents' house in Kalansawa. It happens to have a keychain in the shape of the Palestinian map, with Arabic lettering on it.
Upon noticing the map the interrogator asks "What is this?"
"A map of the whole Israel" (Israel hashlema in Hebrew). "What does it say here?". "Jaffa, Haifa, El Kuds" (Jerusalem in Arabic), written in Arabic, which the policemen were not able to read.
The policeman returned the keys to their place, closed the bag, handed it over to Abed and said "Good night".


Education, Jaffa-style

Someone send me this link, to show there ARE reasons for optimism in Jaffa, and ofcourse there is some truth in that statement.

Yet most kids cannot attend the expensive private schools such as Tabeetha, Terra Santa, Freres and the very new and wonderful "Jaffa" school run by the Arabita organization. The other children have no choice but to attend the public schools.

Israel has a separate school system for Arabs and Jews. Guess where most of the funding goes. The illnesses of the Arab public school system are difficult to cure for many reasons. Some efforts are made by some people (e.g. at the "Kaf Bet" high school) but most schools are the pits. There is a lot of violence (also by staff towards students) and learning is not high on the priority list.

Many children drop out at a very young age. The official Arab school drop-out rate (in Jaffa) is 53%! But reality is even worse. Many children are registered, but never visit school. As the schools receive per-capita funding, they have no interest in reporting those children, some of them as young as 12 years old. These children are not counted in the drop out rate, although effectively they should be.

The department for the advancement of youth ("kidum noar") reaches out to these drop-outs and can assist them with schooling, but they also receive their funding only if they have a certain number of children in their informal frameworks. And, magic, as long as a child is registered at a school, he or she cannot be registered for the informal program for dropouts.
And ofcourse these kids keep being registered formally, as the schools do not wish to loose their funding. Thus, the children loose on both accounts.

Last year a small group of 6 drop-out girls (some of them as young as 13) was to start a special, high quality, pilot program geared to their personal needs. Everybody agreed it was a great idea, as these girls are in grave danger, living on the streets etc.. they would receive individual schooling in a very supportive setting which would also cater to their emotional needs. The specially designed framework w9ould let them experience success by using innovative educational methods carried out by specially trained teachers and other staff.

The program never took off, as the girls are formally registered (although they had been kicked out from all the schools they ever visited including, surprise surprise, the school in which they are still registered).

Yesterday i spent a few hours talking to a 12 year old Muslim girl who wants to leave school. Last year she came back home form school crying every single day. The school year started last sunday and with it the hel she has to go through: she's beaten up and bullied by her classmates again and again.
Last year some intervention was carried out, but it did not really help.
She wants to quit and sees no alternative.

She is 12 years old and already feels powerless, hopeless, defeated.

I could tell you about another little girl i know, also 12 years old. She is registered at the same school, but did not attend school at all, last year.
She has a "supervision order" from the juvenile court, but nobody actually carried out the supervision. She hangs around in the streets, day and night. She carries out all kinds of mischief (if that word is still applicable to the things she does, but at 12 there is no criminal responsibility in Israel) and is reall in danger. She is a victim of violence in the family, which was reported to social services, but nothing was done.
She is highly intelligent, but is not able to read nore write. Probably dyslexia, but i don't think anybody ever bothered to diagnose. Insetad they place children like her in special slow classes. Which is ofcourse the worst you can do. She is VERY intelligent and gets bored quickly, so she starts to act out. This ofcourse starts a chain reaction ending in her never ever visiting school.

And not much can be done, as there are no real educational frameworks for Arab girls who can no longer stay at home nor at school. So, yes her family is dangerous, she does not function. she probably should be in a special framework which can answer her needs, protect her and also allow her to develop her very good abilities.

Instead she is out on the streets.

Adalah are leading a legal battle for opening special educational frameworks for Arab girls who need protection and extra help. Until then, these girls are left to fend for themselves. And they are loosing.

But maybe that's what someone high up there wants. Or am i being paranoid?

Thursday, September 8

A Taste of Jaffa, Halamish Style

So what if the ceiling comes crumbling down?
If the walls are covered with black fungi?
Roaches all over the place?
The windows don't close too well?
Who needs a kitchen cupboard anyway?
Can't you simply use a bucket instead?
The staircase light stopped functioning that many months ago? It's romantic in the dark after all.

"Don't worry, we will take care of it".

When the authorities inform me to simply trust them, it 's time to become assertive. Halamish is Jaffa's public housing company, in case you didn't know.

Jaffa's public housing, specifically the Kedem Housing Estate, probably belongs to the worst ever category.
True, some of the flats have a beautiful view over the Mediterranean Sea and during summer, although they lack airconditioning , they have a lovely breeze coming any most hours of the day, but that is all the good that may be said about the place.

Constructed making use of substandard materials, and bad design they could not but turn into slums. The flats are badly overcrowded. Their upkeep is so below standard, it's difficult to describe. I would like policy makers and planners to live in these flats for 1 month. Ofcourse on social security. One month only, so they can have a "hands on" experience.

But, wonder o wonder, this week the Tel Aviv Municipality holds the "A Taste of Jaffa Festival", inviting the colonial forces to a culinary cultural trip of Jaffa.
Mostly, ofcourse, to Jaffa's "Old City", the fleamarket and the rest of safe bourgeois, gentrified north Jaffa, where "original, authentic" food can be sampled after a tour of the streets and artists' workshops.
Sure, Jaffa's business women and men need an influx of guests, and i'm happy form them if they can make a little money.
There is even going to be a tour of Adjami, to its "hidden corners". somehow i think the Kedem estate will not be part, i guess it is simply too well hidden from the public eye. I wouldn't be surprised if the municipality forgot about its existence. Except for the municipalwater department. They are very efficient in cuttng of families form the water supply.

Sunday, September 4

The hijacking of my cable connection

For the 2nd time in a week i suddenly found myself without an internet connection. This happens rather often. I'm connected through "Hot", the cable monopole of lukewarm stability.

The majority of my neighbors are not connected to the internet. Yet TV is popular. Many of my neighbors are prefer to watch satelite TV. The building has over 7 dishes on the roof and another few dishes connected here and there. But you cannot get all programs by satellite. Some are only available through cable.

As my internet connection kept disappearing and reappearing it seemed weird. All hardware and software tests were OK. Strange.

I believe in sharing. Not in disconnecting.

I still don't know who of my neighbors actually did this, but i'll find out.