Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Bibi of mine

The Bibi of mine has three apartments
What do you do when you feel the sting of social injustice as reflected in a raised cost of living and a faltering economy? In the States chances are you dress like  your ready to attend a reenactment of 1770’s America, waive some racist placards in front of the white house and elect a few multimillionaire congressman to represent the will of the tea baggers tea partyers. Any accredited economist, journalist or jackass that reads the news would tell you that that tea partyers are just a collative of pissed off, god fearing (and/or Jesus touching) white middle class people scared of the alleged big black Muslim man from Kenya who most Americans thought was more qualified to lead the United States then some senile old coot.  For some reason, that exists beyond the realms of normalcy, these eighteen Republican tea partiers brought America to a grounding holt, further devastating the economy, just to defend some sort of dysfunctional governmental ideology.  Does any of this make sense to you?

In Israel there is also a major social movement created in response to the nation’s economic derogation. The first inkling of it started when Israelis discovered that cottage cheese cost twice as much in Israel then it does in Europe. This in turn set off a national movement protesting the increased cost of living throughout Israel. If it had turned out that it had been cigarettes or beer, and not cottage cheese, there would have probably been a revolution so violent that it would have made the rebels in Libya look like a bunch of pussies.

Throughout residential areas in Tel-Aviv there are tent cities with communal kitchens and even libraries in neat rows along the grassy meridians that divide the spacious Tel-Aviv roads. In Jerusalem, almost every public park (including the one next to my building) has its own ragtag collection of tents. The plight of these tent dwellers has gained a pan-national citizenry including religious Jews, Arabs, semi religious Jews (the ones without the black hats) and normal/secular Jews. This movement eventually culminated in a nationwide mass rally on August 7 with Tel-Aviv 300,000 thousand people (according to Wikipedia this would be roughly ¾ of the cities entire population) and 30,000 in Jerusalem. At the time I was studying but decided that the test I was going to fail was far less interesting then the 30,000 people marching, chanting and bashing pots & pans outside my apartment. I floated through an ocean of people flowing through the streets of Jerusalem all the way to the prime minter’s protesters. Together we chanted ‘the people demand social justice,’ and others sang (to the tune of 99 bottles of beer on the wall) ‘ The Bibi of mine has three apartment , three apartments, has the Bibi of mine. And to me I have none.” (it doesn’t really translate well in English) a shirtless twenty-something year old banging a pot, while his friend waved a banner, dabbed blue war paint on my face before I climbed a tree to watch Israeli musicians do there shtick for the cheering crowd.

People say that this protest is in keeping with the Arab Spring, which would be true if it weren’t for the fact that Bibi (Benjamin Netanyahu Prime minster of Israel) is capitulating to the collective will of the people instead of popping caps into  the collective buttocks of the people (as is the case in Assyria, Libya and Bahrain). Well peace out I’m going to go drink a beer and take a nap before the next protests tonight.
Coming up soon; is Israel better then Canada? I’ll ask some Canadians who moved to Israel because of that Justin Beaber shit (also maybe Zionism).

Quick note: I actually wrote this three weeks ago and was going to edit it, but since I’m lazy I figured screw it and just posted it anyway. Since writing this there has been an even bigger mass protest and some of the tents have packed up but the movement is still going strong.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Kotel

When I was nine years old my parents told me that we were leaving home and moving half way across the world to a place called Indiana. As a nine year old British boy I was confused, since as any British child can tell you there are really only a three decent places to live in America; New York, California, and to lesser extent Texas (because that is where cowboys come from). Any of the other areas are just assumed to be complete crap. I’d always believed that my parents were smart, rational people until they announced one night that we would be moving to a place that sounded as exciting as an rectal examination. Don’t get me wrong I love Bloomington Indiana; it just took about six or seven years and the discovery of alcohol to realize it.
I had grown up in Oxford and had known most of my friends since that time I was a little half naked wanker running into walls and racing my blue tricycle down the Cowley road. However, since then, I’ve lost contact with most of my friends and that loss made it harder for me to make new ones in the new world. It took me two years after moving to Indiana to meet people that I still consider friends, because my original friendships had began around the time that my first memories had developed. Moving across the pond and not going back (for five years) wasn’t like turning over a new leaf, it was more akin to burning an old one. Even when I did go back I realized that they really weren’t my friends anymore, because of the decade long void created in my absence. So, instead, we become nothing more than ghostly acquaintances that float through each other’s lives through sporadic emails and sparse visits until eventually give in and realize that there really is nothing left for me in Oxford. That’s when the teenage identity crisis comes to a close and I know that I’m an American.
Three days ago: I walk from my apartment situated in modern  downtown Jerusalem all the way to the old city. I enter through the Jaffa gate and into the Armenian section. I wandered though a long brick archway where the insides are plastered with posters commemorating the Armenian genocide and past a courtyard leading to an ancient Armenian church. I take a left through a maze of smaller archaic walkways that lead to the Kotel. There an orthodox Jew asks me if I would like to put on Tefillin (phylacteries) so I can doven at the last vestige that is the Temple of Israel. As he help wraps the black leather around my arm he asks where I’m from and I tell him Indiana. In a thick Russian ascent he says welcome home Moyshe. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011


He said he’d been here for six months studying at the Mir Shevia in Jerusalem. I wondered how religious this stocky American could be drinking a beer with tizit hanging from a green Murphy’s beer t-shirt. He must have been at least modern Orthodox (like normal Orthodox just less gay hating) to study at the Mir sheivaia, the only Jewish school of learning to survive the Holocaust by relocating to Japanese controlled Shanghai.

“You like it here I asked?”

“No, not really. I miss Brooklyn everyone here seems to hate each other,” he said and to an extent I had to agree with him Israelis, do constantly seem as though there on edge which makes sense when considering every ten years there nation goes to war with at least two other neighboring countries. I forgot him and went back to the pool game with Juri, a Dutch friend I had met three years ago on a Kibbutz in Northern Israel. We were playing against a cameraman from a Dutch news agency and a friend of his visiting him in Jerusalem. I can’t remember her name because it was something Dutch and hard to pronounce, but Juri says he thinks that her name might have been Hezbollah.

After we lost me and Juri walked outside the bar so he could smoke. Outside Hezbollah came up to us and asked to barrow Juri’s lighter. She told us that the cameraman was an ex-boyfriend of hers and that she was staying with. She told us that in some ways her trip to Israel had challenged her expectations, even though she was nervous at constantly seeing young soldiers walk around with assault rifles slung over there soldiers but also surprised when she found out that Israel offered free fertility clinics to Israeli citizens regardless of ethnicity or sexual orientation. Even though Holland has universal healthcare such a procedure would still be hard to acquire and in America couples often spend thousands of dollars just for the opportunity to have an in vitro baby.

From all accounts we thought we had made a new friend until the two of them switched over to Dutch, which sounds sort of like a less angry version of German. I tried to fallow along but Dutch is a very hard language to learn on the spot. I did however recognize the fallowing words; Nazi, Homo, Juden/Jewish and Palestinian. Hezbollah walked back into the bar while Juri shook his head in disgust.

“Dumb Dutch bitch. She says that we shouldn’t treat the Palestinians like the Nazis treat us. I say to her what the fuck! You see us killing homos or making Arabs walk around with fucking stars or moons or whatever? You know any gas chambers where we kill them?”

So maybe this is why Israelis are always on edge, its not the wars, but rather the blatant hatred that comes with being the only Jewish state in 2,000 years. Someone like Hezbollah comes to Israel with preconceived notions and despite witnessing the exact opposite stubbornly clings on to those beliefs. Or maybe I’m completely wrong; maybe there are secret death camps somewhere in the occupied territories that still have never been found by journalists or humanitarians. Do the dozens and dozens of Arab’s walking around downtown Jerusalem know that the Israeli police are coming to pack off into cattle cars destined for gas chambers and furnaces? How about the gay pride parade in Jerusalem last Thursday? Are they aware of the fact that the master race has sealed their fate along with the 5 million or so Palestinians living in this region?
Clearly if Israel would like to join the ranks of such genocidal nations as Spain, Germany, Rwanda, United Sates Turkey, Sudan, Japan, Cambodia and Nicaragua they have a little catching up to. I mean Jesus Christ how can you be expected to conduct genocide against Palestinians when they have an ongoing population explosion circa 1948.  
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Monday, July 25, 2011

The flight over

A while ago I dated a girl up until she left to study abroad in Rome. We said we’d still be friends which lasted for about three emails. She kept a travel blog that over some silly sense of commitment I read it until I realized that it was actually pretty boring  and that I didn’t really care what she had to say anyway.

That is why I’m scared that this travel blog is going to be just as awful at least grammatically, if not for content alone, which is was why I was hesitant to write a blog until several friend’s told me they’d actually read it. I’m pretty sure they were all high at the time, which is probably the best time to agree to read some dyslexic jackass’s travel blog. I can’t blame them for being stoned since I was a little drunk when I agreed to write this blog. So here I am sitting on a plane somewhere in the mid Atlantic wondering if there’s any polite way to tell the two little hysterical bustards to shut the fuck up.  

It’s a combination of their kicking and the three cups of coffee that’s making me just a bit jittery on this twelve hour flight to Tel-Aviv. I left on the eve of Shabbas, or as normal people call it Friday night, a holy time of the week reserved for rest and Talmudic study, where work and travel is explicitly forbidden by God (the Jewish one). So if there is any flight to the holy land that fails this year due to hijackers or mechanical failures it will probably be this one since I’m sure that traveling on Shabbas really tickles the lord pink.

Since its Shabbas there are no Orthodox Jews on this flight, just normal Jews like me. For the most part I like Orthodox Jews even though there always trying to bring those of us who don’t quite love god as much as they do, into their fold through a combination of hospitality, Jewish guilt and free meals. I have two estranged married orthodox cousins living in Jerusalem that I want to try and visit but I’m worried that somehow years of rigorous  rabbinical studying will have given them telepathic powers that would reveal my deepest secret, being that I’m a sinner with little or no remorse for the crimes against god that I’ve committed. So far these crimes include; masturbation, cigarettes, sex with shikasa, sex without shiksas, bacon, shrimp, most of the last several thousand things that I’ve eaten, dressing like a woman, going to a drag show, masturbation, having any sort of physical contact with woman that I’m not related to and then doing most of these things and more during the Sabbath.  

But then I remember that my cousins don’t study Kabalah since most tradiotnal sexts of Orthodox Judiasm forbid studying it before the age of forty. Kabala is sort of like a Jewish spell book studied by a multitude of various contemporary and historical Jewish scholars such as the Bal-Shem-Tov as well as many Hollywood celebrities like Madonna and Ashton Kutcher.  The Bal-Shem-Tov is the mystical founder of the Lubavitch movement (also known as Chasidism),  a sect of orthodox Judaism that emphasizes music, dance and Kabalah. Since Matisyahu is the only Chasidic Jew I know of I can only assume he’s there leader or at least there chief advisor in Reggae based affairs. According to some stuff I read a long time ago Kabalists were able to perform minor miracles like raise the dead and breathe life into big clay monsters that would beat up gentiles that would threaten the Jews of Prague.

To learn more about any of the stuff mentioned feel free to read a book or just be a lazy douche like mor and skim Wikipedia. Well peace out and thanks for reading this. Coming up soon Juri the Dutch guy I met three years ago whose going to be crashing with me.