Saturday, January 10, 2009

Atlanta my front door: Gettin political or gettin fashionable?

Twice now, protests have gone through the center of Five Points, shouting “Long Live Palestine; Free, Free Palestine!” with a group of probably around 100 people in tow.
I have no problem with a good heated protest, and frankly it’s a relief to see people yelling and holding signs that had a liberal agenda rather than a conservative one. And I will just come out and say right now that I’m not one of those Jewish girls who thinks Israel is always right, because I don’t think a religious agenda can ever be good enough justification for kicking people out of their own land. “God gave it to us first, it’s here in the bible” isn’t as good as “I bought this land myself, it’s here in this official documentation.”
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Perhaps a better analogy than Nazi Tactics or Apartheid government would be to describe Israel's behavior as... kind of American. The Palestinians in this case are like our Native Americans, who were pushed aside on their land for a perceived larger purpose, housing homeless religious refugees from England. And I have to say, CNN really is an “Israeli Mouthpiece.” When is the last time you turned on the news and saw anything swung from the point of view of the other guys? Our country has a lot invested in Israel. They’re like our mini-me! A loyal conveniently located little democracy that we have nourished and raised after our own hearts. But like any angry shouting group, there are certain statements that go too far and sort of cause the other aspects of the larger argument to pale behind the crazy offensiveness. This group looks no better than any fundamentalist extreme group with the outlandish statements and graphic, emotionally charged images and words. Dead babies?
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Looks like the kinds of graphics pro-lifer rallies use to demonize pro-choicers. There was an anti-Obama rally a few months ago, and there were signs like this, and one guy yelled at me "Did you know Barack Obama murders babies?" If only John McCain's campaign had had this info, his candidacy would have been in the bag!! Then there is the aforementioned comparison’s with Nazi’s, and the oldest trick in the book: Parading around adorable children with signs! One of the hardest things about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that everyone is wrong and everyone is right. It’s gone on forever and will go on forever because there is no solution. EVERYONE makes a good point... and then everyone makes a terrible point, just awful. It’s like that scene in Fiddler on the Roof, when Tevye is listening to an argument saying “He's right... Perchik is right...” And then the rabbi’s son says “He’s right and he’s right... they can't both be right.” and Tevye says “You know, you are also right.” In other words, if you try, you can find some logic in ANYONE’S point of view, even some of the craziest of these protest signs. I ‘heart’ A-jad? I don’t know if this guy is going for irony or not, but let’s run with it. Yes, "A-jad' may be the puppet-president for a nuke-possessing totalitarian fundamentalist regime of the Shah, but damn can the man wear a suit!
I might be tempted to say I ‘heart’ him too when I see his tasteful elegant pairing of a camel colored sweater vest with a gray suit, not to mention his immaculately manicured beard. Clearly a GQ subscriber.

Star of david equals the swastika? That’s a toughie, it’s hard to justify grouping an entire demographic of people from all parts of the globe into one flat generalization, in conjunction with the most famous emotionally charged symbol from this century. Seems like a stretch and a cheap tactic, potentially offensive to both Jews and Nazis! What would Hitler say??
Look at that punum, you can tell he does not like it. Maybe it reminds him that he is himself half Jewish, and that would get any Nazi feelin all awkward.

Just like Ryan Gosling in The Believer, where he plays the hottest neo-Nazi possible and also happens to have a little secret of his own. That’s right, Jewish neo-Nazi!

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Sounds like riveting tear-jerking TV to me! If you have some disposable time, watch this clip from the film where he explains his racial views to a reporter.

I guess in the case of Hitler and Ryan Gosling’s character, the star of david equaling the swastika makes complete sense.

Suffice it to say that there’s a side to every point of view, but is it wise to get down on a whole group of people when part of your battle is to overcome such stereotyping yourself? Rendering others voiceless in blanket statements takes validity from your own voice. Why you gotta get down on the chosen?

Evident in this rare photo is Anne Frank's solidarity with Palestine!

Just like other celebrities and beautiful people lately:


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Although there seems to be some disagreement as to whether sporting a keffiyah is a political statement or a way to keep your neck warm with a pretty patterned piece of cloth. Fashion statement or political statement? You decide. I say maybe there's a little bit of each in the other.


(Thank you Matthew Hunt for the lovely protest pics)

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