Saturday, December 22

Carnival censorship, "We must be cheerful, mustn't we?"

Yefet street is pretty much packed. A few local people from Jaffa, the majority from elsewhere, parents, children. The weather 's nice. "Gan HaShenaym" is packed. Kids sit on the grass, watching a theatre performance. The shelter normally operated by Sedaka Reut, a Palestinian Jewish youth movement who use it as a music studio for Jaffa's children, has been turned into a "hapak" the Hebrew acronym for "heder pikud kidmi", the front-line war room, all nicely along the militarized lines of Israel's civil society. Language is a give away. Police men and women run around. There are a few border police men as well and of course loads of employees from private guard companies.

Along Yefet there are stalls on both sides, selling "pitchifkes", small, gaudy and too expensive. The stalls belong to people from elsewhere. Except for one or two, run by stores along the way, none are local. The restaurants are packed. At least they are doing good business.
We didn't want to ruin the festivities for our local business women and men, so decided to put up small posters along the way, reminding the visitors of approaching home destructions in Jaffa. The maps are similar to those handed out by the municipality, only instead of dots showing the locations of the participating restaurants, we put little bulldozers.
Someone took the posters down, systematically. One by one. Only in a few cases, they didn't do their job in a thorough manner. The maps, showing little bulldozers where houses are about to be demolished have been torn down, but not entirely.
We must be cheerful after all; Ron Huldai, the mayor, wishes us all a happy holiday.

So what if 496 families will soon be homeless? Be Happy!!


Akiva said...

Very interesting post.

And congrats to the Israeli group Re'ut - Sadaka for the good work they are doing!Apparantly more than 7,000 Israeli high school students have participated in Re'ut-Sadaka youth groups, seminars, workshops, and field trips and more than 30,000 have attended lectures .

Let's also hope many of the Arab youth in Jafo will join Sherut Leumi when they have complted high school and so service in their communities for the year or so required and show their civic responsibily to their country they live in,the Jewish State of Israel.

Otherwise .... to paraphrase what Tzipi Livni said .... if there any Arabs in Israel who identify themselves as Palestinians,they can go live in Palestine,not Israel.Just like Arab countries did to the Mizrachi Jews in the late 1940's,1950's

yudit said...

Basically, Akiva, Sedaka Reut define themselves as a PALESTINIAN jewish youth movement.
So you prefer to send them away?
Most democratic!!

Israel has a large Palestinian population. By putting another name on them, you simply show a lack of respect towards other peoples' identity.

Sherut leumi? why?

Sedaka Reut operate a "communa" program where young people do community service for a year, as volunteers, in the country's mixed cities, Jaffa among them.
The groups are mixed.
But that it NOT sherut leumi program

ee said...

I think that Sherut Leumi is a great idea, I'm sorry I didn't do Sherut Leumi instead of my useless job in the army.
If all citizens had to do some kind of national service, maybe there'd be more of a feeling of commitment towards the state. On the other hand, I can understand why people whose basic needs are not fulfilled- would not want to serve (and here it doesn't matter if you're a Jew, Moslem, Christian or Druze).
My vision - equal rights, equal obligations. But of course that's fantasy at the moment.
Yudit, I hope you managed to enjoy the carnaval in spite of everything.