Tuesday, June 04, 2024

Subway scenes

~ I'm angry at the New York City Transit Authority

You folks spent months renovating the 67th Avenue subway station, but you *didn't* install an elevator??!  Explain!!!

~ My first-ever subway-poster photo

Turtle Island Connections
by Dennis RedMoon Darkeem
a fine Native American artist
(I apologize for my poor skills as a photographer--
there was the head of another Native American
on the top left.)

~ He wouldn't let anything stop him

The man we saw in the subway using crutches had not only a prosthetic leg--he was moving his crutches with two prosthetic hands.  Never give up!

Sunday, June 02, 2024

A major issue in the 2024 election: Sex and power

I refuse to pull my punches--I think that laws prohibiting abortion, and the rumored-to-come laws prohibiting birth control, are attempts by governmental authorities to use their power to punish women for having sex.  Yes, men are also affected by pregnancy, but it doesn’t endanger (cis-gender) men’s lives.

Tunnel vision 😡

There are so many tunnels in Gaza that they might as well call it a subway system, though this is certainly the first subway system for which one needs a passport. I wish this were funny.  😡

Copied from Facebook:

[sharing from a friend]
The IDF had already discovered 700 (not a typo, seven hundred) tunnels in Rafah, 50 of which leading directly to Egypt and some big enough for a lorry to drive through - Gaza has an equestrian federation, after all. And now the IDF have discovered 20 tunnels with 82 shafts on the Philadelphia Corridor alone (the area between Gaza and Egypt). The entire Corridor is now in the hands of Israel and several long-range rockets were found 10-40 m from the Egyptian border. Gaza attacked Central Israel recently with dozens of long-range rockets, while Lebanon fired over a 100 rockets at civilians up North. 90.000 Israelis have been displaced for 8 months.

No other war . . . was under such an international microscope. Welcome to antisemitism

Copied from Facebook:

[sent to me by a friend. No idea who wrote it]
No other war in the history of all wars was under such an international microscope, no other army had to behave so politely towards its worst enemies, no other nation had to feed the criminals who murdered and kidnapped its own, no other soldier had to be so lenient with the savages that raped their women and burned their children and parents alive. No other country was ever more hated and questioned for defending itself, no other people, of any country in the world, were more harassed, insulted, punished, sanctioned, lied to, dehumanized by supporters of online terrorism and attacked and bombed daily by bloody sick terrorists. No other country had more UN resolutions, no other country attacked by terrorists of all kinds and coming from all parts of its borders was ever called a “terrorist state” when defending its citizens. No other body of military evidence about terrorist war crimes was more ignored by the WHO and other official bodies. No other truly occupied territory - like northern Cyprus, by Turkey or Crimea, by Russia... - ever flooded the streets or university campuses with such absurd and pathetic "activism" for a country that never cared about them before October . No other woman, of any nation or religion, was more doubted or less supported than Israeli women. No other hostage, from any terrorist attack, was more ignored by public opinion, no other BABY in the world was kidnapped for 6 months, during which time neither UNICEF, nor RED CROSS, nor AMNESTY..., no one was even tweeted once about it or questioned his captivity…
Welcome to antisemitism."
My Facebook comments: 


Shira Salamone
Shira Salamone
Does anyone have anything to say about *this?* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_civil_war
Syrian civil war - Wikipedia
Syrian civil war - Wikipedia
Syrian civil war - Wikipedia
Yemeni civil war (2014–present) - Wikipedia
Yemeni civil war (2014–present) - Wikipedia
Yemeni civil war (2014–present) - Wikipedia
What caused the civil war in Sudan and how has it become one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises?
What caused the civil war in Sudan and how has it become one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises?
What caused the civil war in Sudan and how has it become one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises?

Saturday, June 01, 2024

Three important essays on abortion and the Bible

Read three important essays on abortion and the Bible:

1. The Bible is Silent on Abortion, but Vocal about When Life Begins — Prof. Shawna Dolansky
2. Abortion in the Ancient Near East and Greco-Roman World — by Dr. Kristine Henriksen Garroway
3. A Fetus Is Not an Independent Life: Abortion in the Talmud
— Dr. Ronit Irshai

Thursday, May 30, 2024

The “omnicause”: Intersectionality on steroids

Here’s a quote from an e-mail that I received on May 28, 2024 from The Free Press:

In the months since October 7, you’ve probably seen banners with slogans that don’t make a whole lot of sense. Slogans likeFree Palestine Is a Climate Justice Issue.”   Or “Reproductive Justice Means Free Palestine.”   Or “Queers for Palestine.” All of these are examples of what the writer Alysia Ames dubbed the “omnicause” back in October. 

“It seems like where ‘intersectionality’ went wrong was assuming that anyone with any claim to oppression must be part of one omnicause + global warming for some reason,” she tweeted

In other words, either you back all our causes or you back none of them. 

Those of you who have been seriously involved for years in social-justice causes know what’s going on better than I do as a newcomer to climate-change activism.  I chose to get involved in Jewish climate-activism organizations specifically, in the hope of avoiding anti-Semitism.  But I carefully chose Jewish organizations that focus exclusively on climate action.  I’d been involved previously in a Jewish social-justice organization that claims to be focused on local political issues, yet, somehow, devotes an entire page of their website to the Israel/Palestine issue.  Feeling like an outsider in a social-justice organization simply by virtue of being a Zionist was uncomfortable.  Why can’t social-justice organizations simply focus on the issue at hand rather than insisting on so-called ideological purity regarding every political issue imaginable?  Is this “omnicause” approach authentic, or is it just a classic case of “virtue signaling?”

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

"The corn is as high as an elephant's eye"

"And it looks like it's climbing right up to the sky."

Pardon me for quoting from the musical "Oklahoma," but these are literally the tallest flowers I've ever seen!  Pretty, aren't they?

Ya'alah Ya'alah, by Kedmah: The Rising Song Piyyut Project

Here's another beautiful song from Kedmah, a project to bring Mizrachi Jewish music to the broader Jewish community.

"The Palestinian movement has hijacked the meaning of words"

Here's an excerpt from the SAPIR Journal essay, "The Palestine Propaganda Complex."

" . . . Adi [Schwartz] and I [Einat Wilf] had to spend years of research and write an entire book [The War of Return: How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian Dream Has Obstructed the Path to Peace] to refute the three-word, poster-sized slogan “Palestine for Palestinians.” To do this, we had to dissect the manner in which the words “refugee” and “return” have been completely abused in the context of the Arab refugees from the War of 1948 (known since the 1960s as “Palestinians”). The words were inverted to keep the war alive, deprive the Jewish state of legitimacy, and maintain a constant question mark over the Jewish state’s very existence. The process of twisting these words has been so effective that, even though almost none of the millions who are still called “Palestinian refugees” are, in fact, refugees by normal international standards, they continue to enjoy the name, status, financial support, and international sympathy of people who have just escaped war and need protection."

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Satmar Chassidim get the last laugh :(

For decades, Zionists considered the anti-Zionist Satmar Chassidim (who believe that Jews should have waited for the Messiah instead of creating a Jewish state on our own) to be traitors to the Jewish People.  Now, the tables have been turned--anti-Zionist Jews now consider Zionist Jews to be beyond the pale (albeit for completely different reasons).  Maybe I'm naive, but I didn't see this coming at all.  😢

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Nightmares, minor and major

I’m such a klutz (clumsy person) that I trip even in my dreams.  Fortunately, I always wake up before I dream that I’ve injured myself.  😊

I wish I could wake up from the nightmare that is this current Israel/Gaza conflict.  As an American, I can’t help seeing echoes of American history in this war.  The U.S. was in Vietnam for years, but the minute we withdrew, the Vietcong took control.  Much more recently, the U.S. was in Afghanistan for years, but the minute we withdrew, the Taliban took control.  What’s the point in risking the lives of all those Israeli soldiers and Gazan civilians if Israel can neither bring the hostages home nor prevent Hamas from lobbing rockets at Sderot (and anywhere else that their missiles can reach)? 

How did Israel end up in this impossible situation?

While we’re on the subject of Gaza, here’s a true story from the “People plan and G-d laughs” department—little did we know, when we planned our trip to Israel to see my now-deceased parents, that we’d be there during the Hitnatkut, Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza.  I remember riding a bus on which the driver was playing a radio nice and loud so that all the passengers could hear the news.  My Hebrew is dreadful, so I understood almost nothing, but I did hear what sounded like a list of names of communities being evacuated.  Since I’m a “Shabbat-morning ‘regular,’” attending synagogue almost every Saturday and hearing the Torah reading, I guess it’s not surprising that the only name I still remember to this day is Shirat HaYam.

Israel withdrew from Gaza at great expense:  military, financial, and emotional.  Thousands went overnight from living in nice homes and having good jobs to living in trailers and being unemployed.  Some got stuck for years paying off mortgages on houses that they would never see again.  And all of this was to give the Palestinians of Gaza a place to start a Palestinian state, however small, and put an end to the conflict once and for all.

But the Gazans elected Hamas, and, in the long run, Hamas turned Gaza into a weapons depot and rocket-launching site, digging a network of underground tunnels for troops and armament so extensive that it’s said to rival the London Underground in length.  Since there hasn’t been an election in Gaza for years, it’s hard to say whether or not this is the will of the people.  But Hamas doesn’t care anyway—they’ve long adopted the strategy of using the deaths of civilians as a public-relations weapon to make Israel look bad, which is why there are plenty of tunnels, but no bomb shelters, in Gaza.

Maybe I’m just too much of an American to understand this—why didn’t the Palestinians just take the gift of Gaza and make a state out of it?

On the other side of the border, there’s Netanyahu and his right-wing allies.  I’ve heard it said that Netanyahu deliberately played off Hamas against the Palestinian Authority to ensure that Israel would have no peace partner.  If that’s true, maybe I’m too much of an American to understand that, either.  Do Netanyahu and company really want power more than peace?

I read somewhere recently that Israel intends to continue this war until 2026.  I certainly hope that’s not true.  Israel is a small country.  It doesn’t have enough room for all those graves.  😢

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