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Old City 101

The narrow alley where all these markets are is just under my window. Sound rises. Everybody argues in three languages, I guess, other than English.

On my way out Damascus Gate this morning here was this butcher shop with bodies of slaughtered animals for sale. In this heat, only the Goddess knows what you would do with one. Seeing so many of them together, all strung up and skinned, instantly struck me as a metaphor for this country.

There's the silent presence of the army everywhere, all kinds of colors [green, blue, a green beret; police insignia, all with loaded weapons.] Not kids, either, surprisingly. They only talk to each other. But they stare at you like some kind of T-Rex would stare at lunch.

I got lost for awhile this morning so I decided to stop into the local police branch to ask, but it was tightly locked and I'm sure I was on their cameras. I would rather have a camera pointed at me than a gun.

Palestinians are complaining to me that there are not enough tourists and it's easy to see why. I wanted to stay here in the Old City to get some local color and I dropped myself right into a paintbath. I knew this entire place was a combat zone and it sure is.

The Israelis even fight with each other [I knew this from what happened a year ago in Vermont in the art show audience.] The paper of today -- Jerusalem Post, in English [imagine!] has a story / pic of Udi Nir. Udi is 18 and refuses to serve so the IDF court imprisoned him for three weeks, then they will haul him out and sign him up again, if he refuses again, back to jail, lather, rinse, repeat. His friend Sahar comes up next week, she is going to object to the IDF on moral gorunds too, she'll get arrested too. They have this totally obscene idea that it is better to talk with Palestinian kids than shoot them. This makes them and their friends enemies of the state.

Then there's Zohara. Ms. Z. is the head of something called Shivyon, who's trying to get Israel to recognize non-violent forms of service to the nation, having no luck. She says people like Udi and Sahar are a disaster for the country, that only one in three eligible Israelis actually pick up a weapon atm, and if her own son can serve in the Army everybody should join in the misery.

I see why Kiota thought internet cafes suck. You always run out of time.

When her number came up for the IDF on 30 April 2007 there was a bit of a scare here on LJ, if you remember. But she reassured us that her medical / psych history would prevent her from being drafted, and even though she went into the prelim registration, she was right.

I dunno if that made her re-eligible in a year, maybe? But on 30 April 2008 she was where there are no armies at all.

Shalom and L'Chaim to everybody from Brad. Lots of love.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 22nd, 2008 04:35 pm (UTC)
Please take a lot of pictures. :)
Aug. 22nd, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
who's trying to get Israel to recognize non-violent forms of service to the nation

bwahahah. Y'know, there are other things to do and not do the IDF! Like being in the police. Yes. The military gives soldiers to the police. And there's a Shnat Sherut -- when you do other public service, like help in hospitals/schools whatever. And there's also a special section in the military that helps with education! People go to school and TEACH!!! Or a boarding school, or just homes for kids that were taken from home. Then there's the Home Front Command, where you can teach people how to defend themselves if there's earthquake/fire/missiles/whatever! Or, the place you can get if you have a combatable health profile, you can go to the job that teaches you how to rescue people from earthquakes/missiles/whatever.

Oh, let's not forget, that if you declare you're a pacifist during your first meeting with the military, people will more likely listen to your requests, other than if you just go at it in from the civilian front.

That is all.

{BTW, she wouldn't have been eligible after a year, or ever.}

Aug. 23rd, 2008 01:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the update, Neta! I knew I could trust you more than the Jerusalem Post. Voice of the insider, yes.

Yeah, Ki figured that too, but I didn't really know if it were just wishful thinking. "I am very unlikely to ever be drafted."
Aug. 23rd, 2008 04:28 am (UTC)
Wow. That sounds really scary.

The past few years, the Israel artisans have been coming here (malls and churches) to sell their wares.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


kiota too late for the stars
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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