Segunda-feira, 29 de Fevereiro de 2016

A VIDA NUMA MALA - Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt e Svenja Länder

LIVRO-NOVIDADE/ NEW BOOK RELEASE/ BUCH NEUERSCHEINUNG/ LIVRE-NOUVEAUTÉ/ YENI KITAP

 

AVidaNumaMala_Umschlag (1).jpg

 

 

 

A questão das Migrações, definidas como movimentos migratórios de pessoas entre vários países e regiões à procura de melhores condições de vida, ou para fugir à repressão e à guerra, é uma constante da História da Humanidade. Em A VIDA NUMA MALA, Armando Rodrigues de Sá e Outras Histórias, as aventuras de migração dos vários viajantes, vindos do Oriente e do Ocidente e que se encontram no porto de abrigo - Alemanha, são contadas pelos próprios no palco que as autoras criaram para este fim no projecto. Paralelamente, Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt e Svenja Länder descrevem e analisam as circunstâncias históricas, sociais, políticas e culturais que enformaram estas grandes vagas de emigração portuguesa, e também turca, nos anos 60, na direcção do centro da Europa, debruçando-se, por fim, sobre os movimentos migratórios actuais. Um desconhecido em Portugal, Armando Rodrigues de Sá é um símbolo da imigração na Alemanha que as autoras quiseram dar a conhecer a um público mais vasto. É deste símbolo criado pelos alemães que a jornalista e a historiadora partiram à procura dos testemunhos da família de Sá e de outros viajantes fazendo a ponte para os refugiados hoje. Last but not least, o Leitmotiv deste livro, em dois tempos, e a duas mãos, é a viagem de comboio efectuada por Armando Rodrigues de Sá, de Lisboa para Colónia, em 1964, viagem esta que a historiadora, Svenja Länder, e António de Sá, neto de Armando, voltaram a fazer em 2014. As fotografias que ilustram A VIDA NUMA MALA conferem ao projecto uma visualidade especialmente marcante e impossível de ignorar, ficando bem clara a mensagem que as autoras quiseram passar, «que o Mundo é de todos e que há lugar para todos» citado do comentário de José António Cerejo, Grande Repórter do Público, sobre o projecto de livro A VIDA NUMA MALA.

 

publicado por Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt - Jornalista às 10:23
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A VIDA NUMA MALA de Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt e Svenja Länder

LIVRO-NOVIDADE/ NEW BOOK RELEASE/ BUCH NEUERSCHEINUNG/ LIVRE-NOUVEAUTÉ/ YENI KITAP

 

AVidaNumaMala_Umschlag (1).jpg

 

 

 

A questão das Migrações, definidas como movimentos migratórios de pessoas entre vários países e regiões à procura de melhores condições de vida, ou para fugir à repressão e à guerra, é uma constante da História da Humanidade. Em A VIDA NUMA MALA, Armando Rodrigues de Sá e Outras Histórias, as aventuras de migração dos vários viajantes, vindos do Oriente e do Ocidente e que se encontram no porto de abrigo - Alemanha, são contadas pelos próprios no palco que as autoras criaram para este fim no projecto. Paralelamente, Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt e Svenja Länder descrevem e analisam as circunstâncias históricas, sociais, políticas e culturais que enformaram estas grandes vagas de emigração portuguesa, e também turca, nos anos 60, na direcção do centro da Europa, debruçando-se, por fim, sobre os movimentos migratórios actuais. Um desconhecido em Portugal, Armando Rodrigues de Sá é um símbolo da imigração na Alemanha que as autoras quiseram dar a conhecer a um público mais vasto. É deste símbolo criado pelos alemães que a jornalista e a historiadora partiram à procura dos testemunhos da família de Sá e de outros viajantes fazendo a ponte para os refugiados hoje. Last but not least, o Leitmotiv deste livro, em dois tempos, e a duas mãos, é a viagem de comboio efectuada por Armando Rodrigues de Sá, de Lisboa para Colónia, em 1964, viagem esta que a historiadora, Svenja Länder, e António de Sá, neto de Armando, voltaram a fazer em 2014. As fotografias que ilustram A VIDA NUMA MALA conferem ao projecto uma visualidade especialmente marcante e impossível de ignorar, ficando bem clara a mensagem que as autoras quiseram passar, «que o Mundo é de todos e que há lugar para todos» citado do comentário de José António Cerejo, Grande Repórter do Público, sobre o projecto de livro A VIDA NUMA MALA.

 

 

 

publicado por Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt - Jornalista às 10:15
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Quinta-feira, 16 de Abril de 2015

Dia do Holocausto em Israel - foi assim naquele ano ... Yom ha Shoa

CIMG1201.JPG

Jardim dos Justos no Museu de Yad Vashem

copyright © 2007 Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt

all copyright reserved - texts and photos  by cristina dangerfield-vogt

 

Um ano em Telavive

- Crónicas de uma portuguesa em Israel –

 

de Cristina Vogt-da Silva

(pseudónimo de Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt)

 

 

 

Extractos do texto original  de "Um Ano em Telavive" - o meu livro sobre Israel escrito entre 2007 e 2008


30.04.2008, „Holocaust Remembrance Day to begin tonight at Yad Vashem“ “Qassam hits Sderot home; residents treated for shock” “Qassam strikes Ashkelon district, woman and child treated for shock” – in Haaretz

 

O Dia do Holocausto - Yom ha Shoa


O dia do Holocausto em Israel é lembrado numa data diferente do dia Internacional do Holocausto e tem início ao pôr-do-sol e termina no dia seguinte ao pôr-do-sol. É um dia de discursos e recordações muito penosas para os sobreviventes. Muitos dos sionistas nunca entenderam a razão pela qual as vítimas, os judeus da Europa Central, não se souberam defender. Mas a complexidade de sentimentos das vítimas deste crime abominável passa pela sua própria incredulidade perante a perseguição que as vitimizou nas sociedades em que se sentiam e consideravam inseridos. Durante vários anos, os próprios judeus que já residiam na Palestina antes do Holocausto recusaram ouvir os relatos das vítimas, criando involuntariamente uma espécie de vitimização secundária que lhes tornou impossível esquecer e ultrapassar os seus traumas e pesadelos. Da programação televisiva neste dia doloroso constam exclusivamente documentários, filmes, mesas redondas, etc. sobre o Holocausto! Todos os locais de lazer e entretenimento estão fechados ao público e existe mesmo uma polícia especial para verificar o cumprimento da lei. É dia de sofrer em memória dos que sofreram – “lechol ish yesh shem, she naten lo elloim, naten lo ivo ve imo” (para cada pessoa um nome, que Deus lhe deu, e o seu pai e a sua mãe lhe deram) é o refrão de um hino cantado neste dia em que são lidos os seis milhões de nomes dos judeus assassinados no Holocausto, a Shoah, no parlamento israelita, o Knesset, e no museu dedicado ao holocausto, Yad Vashem, ambos em Jerusalém.

 

Dia em que, por vezes, os ânimos estão exaltados!...

 

...

 

1.05. 2008, “Palestinian medics say two wounded in IAF Gaza airstrike”,– in Haaretz
“Sirens wail nationwide as Israelis honor Holocaust victims”- in Haaretz


A sirene começou a tocar, durante um tempo interminável de angústia –  não temos máscara, não nos foi distribuída, o abrigo é na cave do prédio – o Hizbullah terá lançado um míssil de maior alcance neste dia fatídico, ou será de Gaza que fica apenas a setenta quilómetros de Telavive? Espreito pela janela e olho o silêncio na nossa rua...carros parados, portas abertas, pessoas estátuas, a cidade mergulhado numa reflexão hirta...não se ouve bombas, não há gritos, a sirene continua o seu sibilar ciciante, ensurdecedor...uma criança puxa o braço da mãe estátua, morde o beicinho, sai-lhe um grito que aumenta enquanto a sireme começa a emudecer o seu sopro prolongado ... os pássaros retomam o chilreio...as estátuas tornam-se pessoas, a criança recobra o grito, sorri ao sorriso da mãe. Foram dois minutos de reflexão assinalados pela sirene que soou por todo o país ao mesmo tempo em memória das vítimas do holocausto.


O que me trás imediatamente à memória o monumento inaugurado recentemente no Largo de São Domingos em Lisboa, em memória dos milhares de Judeus da capital assassinados pelos seus vizinhos, pelo mero facto de serem Judeus, um massacre acontecido há cerca de 500 anos na nossa pacata cidade dos brandos costumes. Um testemunho da nossa participação na perseguição deste povo que se diz "escolhido".

 

... 

 

"It was strange to see the men and women comrades in their holiday clothing and carrying their weapons. But this strange combination also spoke, saying other days will come, they will come .... This night will certainly go down in history. The tale will be told of the comrades, tired from their day's work and their night's guard duty, how their eyes lit up and all tiredness fled from their faces at the Voice of the Haganah's call to drink a fifth cup of wine to Hebrew Haifa," from the Journals of Ruth Gefen-Dotan of Kibbutz Ayelet Hashahar in the Upper Galilee. "


Este parágrafo dos diários de Ruth Gefen-Dotan é uma versão da história! Uma moeda tem duas faces e neste grande jogo da vida não é só a sorte ou o azar que decide caras ou coroas, neste caso, é a força interior nascida de uma história de perseguições centenária de um povo que se considera escolhido por Deus e que parece ter sido escolhido pelos homens como tubo de escape de todos os males sociais.

O reverso da medalha é ilustrado pela história do nosso já conhecido palestiniano de Lisboa. A sua família era originária de Haifa - uma família abastada e conceituada nesta cidade portuária, que foi obrigada a abandonar a cidade, onde tinha vivido durante vários séculos, quando os sionistas a conquistaram.  Separados do mar mediterrâneo por apenas uns sessenta quilómetros, mas para sempre pelos muros erigidos entre o Estado de Israel e a Cisjordânia, a cidade de Haifa é uma recordação de família desde a fundação do estado sionista imaginada na sua actualidade a partir de Nablus ou Schechem, o nome hebraico, que conta também uma história diferente. A Palestina é uma pátria perdida que está, simultânemamente, tão longe e tão perto!

Para visitar a família do nosso amigo terei de ir a Nablus, na Cisjordânia, e a minha entrada nos territórios estará dependente da discricionariedade dos soldados nos postos de controlo, e haverá alguns riscos, na própria Cisjordânia, em cujo território nem sempre a segurança dos turistas pode ser garantida. Mas pelo menos poderei passar para o outro lado do muro e voltar, vivenciar dois mundos, viver em directo esta situação absurda de dois povos separados por muros de incompreensão e intolerância mútuas. Um povo refugiado nos montes da Cisjordânia que não desiste do seu direito de retorno. Só que as casas dos palestinianos que partiram em marcha forçada expulsos pelos movimentos de guerrilha judeus estão ocupadas pelos judeus da Europa perseguidos pelos campos da morte. Quid juris?

No ano de sofrimento para uns e de regozijo para outros, de expulsão ou de salvação, conforme a vítima, esta família, em particular, fechou e trancou a porta da casa centenária, levando consigo a chave do seu lar. Partiram, pensando voltar. Aquela chave ocupa desde então lugar de honra na vitrina das recordações e é um símbolo do direito de retorno; nunca perderam a esperança de um dia voltar a abrir a porta daquela casa no litoral, deixada para trás num dia de verão tórrido.

 

Mas a história da humanidade está repleta de outros exílios e êxodos!

 

 

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 Qalandia Território ocupado da Palestina ou Territórios ... Posto de Controle

 

 

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Cisjordânia perto de Ramallah

 

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Campo de Refugiados de Qalandia a caminho de Ramallah, Cisjordânia

 

....

 

4.05.2008, “Palestinians: IDF kills civilian in Gaza; three rockets hit Sderot” – in Haaretz 

 

Começou a época de praia


Hoje é domingo, o primeiro dia útil da semana em Israel, dia de trabalho. Está um dia lindo e convidativo para ir dar uma olhada à praia. Monto a bicicleta e pedalo pelo parque Hayarkon em direcção ao mar. Passo o porto, Nahal Telavive, e pelos seus restaurantes turísticos com explanadas convidatias, e pedalo decididamente em direcção à minha praia favorita – a do Hilton, situada depois da praia dos ortodoxos, separada por muros, mesmo ao lado da praia reservada aos cães.

 

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 copyright all texts and photos © cristina dangerfield-vogt 2007

...

 

Pelo caminho, assalta-me e mantém-se como leitmotiv dos meus pensamentos uma frase sobre o povo judeu na diáspora de Stefan Zweig, no seu livro, “O Candelabro Enterrado”, escrito em 1937 : “o lamento do exílio comum era tudo o que os ligava sobre a terra”. Esta frase leva-me a outra, de cunho pessoal, que penso caracterizar os israelitas - a memória do exílio comum é o elo indestrutível que une este povo diverso, e os faz lutar por esta terra de Israel - cujos 60 anos de existência permanentemente ameaçada serão celebrados no dia 8 de Maio, e cujos soldados caídos por ela serão relembrados no dia anterior às celebrações, dia que é designado em hebraico por "Yom Hazikaron".

 

Mas há sempre o reverso da medalha - a Naqba, neste caso. (vide post seguinte a publicar)

 

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 Jaffa - Mural

 

© todos os direitos reservados (fotos e texto) neste blogue -  Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt

© copyright for all texts and photos in this blog - Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt since first posting

 

"Um Ano em Telavive" Original script copyright and Photos © registered by the author in June 2008, Lisbon, Portugal.

 

 

 

publicado por Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt - Jornalista às 11:19
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Quarta-feira, 28 de Janeiro de 2015

Nação Judaica e os "Justos e Honoráveis" dos holocaustos

 

Yed_Vashem_-_Der_Garten_der_"Gerechten_unter_den_Völkern".jpg (2272×1704)

Jardim dos Justos no Yad Vashem 

by courtesy with all rights reserved

 

 

Estórias de Compaixão

que ficaram na História

 

Muitos foram os holocaustos sofridos pela Nação Judaica. 

E muitos foram aqueles que os tentaram evitar e salvar os Judeus.

Não esqueçamos os Valentes da nossa história da Humanidade.

 

No passado dia 27 de Janeiro do corrente ano, lembrou-se, no Dia Internacional do Holocausto, os Judeus assassinados pela Intolerância. É uma data importante que nos lembra uma história trágica que nunca se deverá esquecer. A história da intolerância europeia - cristã - que marca a sua cultura ao longo de muitos séculos (e que alguns têm o mau gosto de designar por Leitkultur). Os Judeus sempre foram perseguidos neste continente. O anti-semitismo sempre foi uma componente marcante da cultura europeia.

 

Não esqueçamos porém as histórias de luz (nur) no meio desta escuridão. Muitos foram também aqueles que lutaram contra este estado das coisas contribuindo com mais alguns milagres para a história Judaica. Muitos foram os Judeus salvos e que encontraram refúgio noutras paragens.

 

É bom lembrar no Dia Internacional do Holocausto aqueles que se foram, aqueles que sofreram às mãos dos seus carrascos, mas não esqueçamos nunca de lembrar aqueles que já não estão entre nós e que arriscaram as suas vidas para socorrer os Judeus perseguidos. Os Honoráveis na História Judaica mencionados no Museu do Yad Vashem em Jerusalém. Seria bom que todos aqueles que contribuíram para mais uns milagres na história do povo judaico fossem lembrados e honrados naquele importante monumento contra o esquecimento.

 

E, assim, e para que não se esqueça, lembro o maior porto de abrigo da nação judaica - O Império Otomano. Lembro os diplomatas turcos que salvaram a vida de várias centenas de Judeus nos tempos da perseguição hitleriana na Europa, permintindo-lhes chegar sãos e salvos a Istambul no Expresso do Oriente.

 

Para mais leiam o meu artigo de fundo sobre O Êxodo dos Judeus Sefarditas para o Império Otomano publicado no jornal Portugal Post em Maio de 2014.

 

Magnificent Century zoomed in.jpg

 by courtesy of Izzet Pinto, Global Agency, Distributor, all rights reserved

 

http://www.portugalpost.de/2014/05/21/o-%C3%AAxodo-portugu%C3%AAs-para-o-imp%C3%A9rio-otomano/

 

E ainda o texto que se segue, publicado no Portugal Post online de Janeiro de 2012

 

"A propósito do Dia Internacional do Holocausto"

 

Num evento organizado pelo Congresso Europeu Judaico, que teve lugar na véspera do Dia Internacional do Holocausto de 2012, na sede da União Europeia em Bruxelas, o Presidente do Parlamento Europeu, Martin Schultz, afirmou que “os alemães de hoje não são os culpados do holocausto, mas são responsáveis por manter viva a sua memória”. Por sua vez, o Presidente do Congresso Europeu Judaico, Moshe Kantor, exortou a Europa “a reconhecer o Mal e a prevenir a sua ressurreição”.

 

Turquia lembra o Holocausto

Por ocasião do Dia Internacional do Holocausto, o Ministro turco dos Negócios Estrangeiros, afirmou que “devemos lembrar e honrar os mais de 6 milhões de judeus e membros das minorias que perderam as suas vidas nesta tragédia humana. Este dia, deve guiar-nos para uma cultura da compreensão mútua, tolerância e co-existência e, neste contexto, é importante aprender a lição e combater o racismo, a xenofobia e o anti-semitismo”. Durante a visita à sinagoga de Neve Shalom, em Istambul, o embaixador Tezgör pediu a monitorização séria da islamofobia e da xenofobia que são - “ameaças crescentes na Europa”. Terminou dizendo que partilha “a dor deste povo escolhido como alvo pela sua identidade.”.

 

A televisão estatal turca TRT transmitiu o filme “Shoa” de Claude Lanzmann no âmbito da campanha que visa promover o entendimento entre Judeus e Muçulmanos no país. O realizador francês afirmou ser “um acontecimento histórico” por ser a primeira vez que uma televisão estatal de um país muçulmano mostra este filme.

 

A Alemanha e os seus “ingénuos”

Recentemente, a revista alemã Stern revelou os resultados de uma sondagem, feita a mil e duzentas pessoas, que revelou que, um em cada cinco jovens alemães não sabe que Auschwitz foi um campo de morte nazi e um terço destes desconhece que Auschwitz é hoje na Polónia.

Estes resultados são preocupantes, sobretudo, sabendo que nas escolas alemãs o Holocausto e a sua literatura integram o programa escolar a partir do 7º ano.

No passado mês de Novembro, a nação alemã reagiu atónita às notícias sobre os terroristas neonazis e a infiltração pouco transparente das suas células pelos defensores da Constituição do País que, apesar dos malabarismo de corda bomba na fronteira da (i)licitude, não conseguiram evitar o assassínio de cidadãos alemães de origem turca.

 

Os judeus na Alemanha

O jornal israelita Haaretz surpreendeu recentemente com o título “Bem-vindo à comunidade judaica que está a crescer mais no mundo: Alemanha”. Segundo Seligmann, o editor do “Jewish Voice from Germany”, 100 000 Judeus estariam registados na comunidade, embora, na realidade, esse número possa já ir no dobro. Segundo o editor daquele jornal, se contarmos todos os judeus que vivem, actualmente, na Alemanha, estaríamos perto dos 250 000 (incluindo judeus alemães, russos, israelitas e americanos) – ou seja, metade do número de judeus que viveram neste país antes da Shoa.

 

Mas quem é Seligmann?

É um judeu israelita que veio para a Alemanha com os pais em 1957. Para ele foi um trauma deixar Israel; mas para os seus pais foi voltar à pátria de que tinham fugido vinte anos antes. Jornalista com artigos publicados no Spiegel, Bild, Die Welt e FAZ, e autor de seis romances, Seligmann foi o primeiro autor judeu a publicar um romance após a Segunda Guerra Mundial. Ele é também o editor da recentemente criada publicação judeo-alemã “The Jewish Voice from Germany”, cuja primeira edição, com uma tiragem de trinta mil exemplares, foi lida por 150 000 leitores na Alemanha, USA, Canadá, Reino Unido e Israel.

 

No editorial da primeira edição, Seligmann diz que o seu sonho “é o renascimento da vida judeo-alemã na Alemanha. Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Theodor Mommsen e Max Liebermann simbolizaram um florescimento único das artes, da cultura e da economia na Alemanha do seu tempo.”

 

Apetência pela capital

Em Berlim-Mitte ouve-se muito o hebraico falado por turistas israelitas de visita e pelos seus filhos que vieram passar uns anos nos bairros “in” da capital – Berlim está na moda entre os jovens israelitas. Assiste-se à retoma da vida judaica na capital: as sinagogas e as “yeshivas” são restauradas às suas antigas funções, maestros judeus dirigem orquestras de nomeada internacional na capital, os intelectuais judeus retomam visibilidade, abriu um restaurante israelita na fronteira com Prenzlauerberg e há mesmo uma discoteca israelita cheia de jovens “sabras”. Num artigo do referido jornal conta-se a história de milhares de israelitas em Berlim e numa foto vê-se quatro israelitas embrulhados em bandeiras alemãs e israelitas com o título “aprender a conhecermo-nos”!

 

Segundo declarações recentes do Ministro do Interior alemão, apesar do decréscimo do número de neonazis, regista-se o alastramento das actividades da extrema-direita e o aumento do seu potencial de violência, de que a comunidade judaica também é alvo. Porém, esta comunidade fervilha novamente de criatividade e de optimismo e contribui significativamente não só para a vida cultural da nação como para os cofres da “sexy e pobre” cidade através do turismo oriundo de Israel e da Diáspora.

 

Mas não esqueçamos nunca as circunstâncias históricas e factuais que levaram à tipificação do crime de genocídio após a Segunda Guerra Mundial, e lembremos, não só hoje, mas durante todo o ano, as vítimas e o desvario de um líder e dos seus correligionários que quiseram assassinar uma nação inteira por ser diferente. Na sociedade alemã existem muitos cidadãos diferentes: os muçulmanos, os judeus, os africanos, os asiáticos, inter alia. Infelizmente, nem todos os alemães foram ganhos para a causa do multiculturalismo. Para evitar uma repetição da História, e não só como farsa, há que reunir todos os grupos sociais e religiosos, a sociedade civil e o governo para combaterem, juntos, o fenómeno do “neonazismo” que ameaça o país e que, recentemente, tanto chocou a nação.

 

O Dia Internacional do Holocausto é um dia de reflexão e de aprendizagem com os erros do passado. E deveria ser um incentivo para lutarmos por um futuro mais harmonioso, pelo entendimento entre os povos e as suas culturas, e pela tolerância no mundo."

 

 

Türk_Pasaportu_film.jpg (300×429)

 by courtesy with all rights reserved

 

Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt

Berlim, Janeiro 2012 – publicado no jornal Portugal Post online

 

Um artigo meu publicado no Boletim de Notícias também nesta altura lembra os diplomatas turcos que salvaram muitos Judeus de uma morte certa!

 

"A propósito do Dia Internacional do Holocausto"

 

 “Quem salva uma vida, salva o mundo”

 Esta é uma frase comum ao Talmude e ao Alcorão

 

O filme "Passaporte Turco" do realizador Burak Arliel conta-nos histórias de diplomatas turcos em missão na Europa, que ao conferir a nacionalidade turca a muitos judeus os salvaram de uma morta certa e de ser mais um nome acrescentado à longa lista dos seis milhões de vítimas do holocausto.

 

Doze combóios do Oriente Expresso levaram estes novos "judeus turcos" para Istambul e salvaram-lhes a vida. Entre eles havia judeus europeus sem qualquer ligação à Turquia. Estes diplomatas turcos salvaram a vida a muitos judeus durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial.

 

Posteriormente, em entrevistas com os judeus que assim foram salvos, e com os diplomatas e o seus familiares, ficou patente que quando se quer agir, se pode evitar o mal. 

 

A Turquia e estes seus diplomatas merecem um lugar entre os honrados no museu do holocausto em Jerusalém.

 

E este filme vem retira do esquecimento a história destes corajosos diplomatas turcos, estacionados em vários países europeus, através de entrevistas, dos arquivos e filmes históricos.

 

Turkish Passport” foi exibido pela primeira vez em Cannes, em 18 de Maio 2011, e o filme concorreu ao Festival Europeu de Filme Independente na categoria de Documentário de 2012.

 

Este projecto de seis anos, revela uma história que passou despercebida e que foi esquecida durante sesssenta e seis anos. 

 

O segredo de como cidadãos turcos

salvaram centenas de judeus

do Holocausto

 

 

Righteous among the Nations Honored by Yad Vashem

 

Ulkumen, Selahattin 1989

Até 1 de Janeiro de 2011

 

'No state involvement in film'

 

Beginning of quote "Unbeknownst to many, Turkish diplomats on duty around Europe saved hundreds of Jews during World War II by giving them Turkish passports, enabling them to travel to safety in Turkey. This little known episode is told in an independent documentary entitled "Turkish Passport", being promoted as finally revealing "a secret kept for 66 years".The film recounts memories known mainly to 19 diplomats and the Jews they saved from German Nazi death camps. It is based on testimonies by witnesses and their relatives.

"To remember and never to forget," said Gunes Celikcan, 30, one of the producers, as he talked about why the film was made.  

"There is not much about what the Turks did during that period of history," Celikcan told AFP, as Turkey remained neutral during World War II.  

He said the diplomats saved around 2,000 Jews from the Holocaust but the exact figure is unknown. "We wanted to show this for the very first time and commemorate those diplomats," none of whom survive today, he said. The docudrama directed by Burak Arliel was first shown at the Cannes Film Festival in May. It has since been screened in Istanbul and other Turkish cities and made the rounds of festivals in the US and Europe. And though the buzz is quiet, it's building – and not all is favorable.

 Celikcan said the film has been six years in the making and "has nothing to do with the changing political spectrum".  But not all agree, including former Israeli cultural attaché in Turkey Batya Keinan. "The Turkish press office is using the movie for propaganda," Keinan said. "They are trying to say 'we are good people who protected Jews in the Holocaust and Palestinians now, and yet you shoot at us.' Shame on you." The comments have angered the movie's backers. "This film is not propaganda. ... There is no state involvement," said Asli Sena Genc, a representative for the Istanbul promoters. "This is a historical fact." Celikcan said the Turkish foreign ministry gave the filmmakers access to official archives, but ministry officials told AFP the film was a private initiative and the ministry made no official contribution. The docudrama recounts how the diplomats, including ambassador to Vichy France Saffet Arikan, found a way out for Turkish and foreign Jews, sending them to Istanbul on 12 trains at different points during the war. Behic Erkin, Turkey's ambassador to Paris from 1940-43, and Kudret Erbey, consul-general in the German city of Hamburg from 1940-45, were also involved. "Turkish diplomats did their best to save Jews amid the raging brutality against Jews during World War II," said Naim Guleryuz, a historian and onsultant on the film who heads a Turkish foundation that promotes the history and culture of Turkish Jews. "This part of the story is actually known by historians but we wanted to make it public knowledge through this documentary," he said. Researchers went to the United States, Israel, France and Germany, tracking down survivors or their relatives, some of whose tales are told on the film's official website. In one, Arlette Bules recalls when her father was arrested by the Germans and sent to the internment camp of Drancy, outside Paris."My mother immediately went to the Turkish Embassy and asked for help rescuing my father. Thanks to the letters written by the ambassador, my father was rescued," she said. Celikcan recalls another testimony about a Jewish father who called his two daughters to his deathbed after the war. "He told them 'never forget that it was the Turks who saved us' and then died making a military salute."" end of quote

 

Written in January 2012

 

All rights reserved by respective authors

Blog copyright of all texts and photos by Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt

 

 

 

publicado por Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt - Jornalista às 10:27
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Terça-feira, 22 de Julho de 2014

The General's Son by Miko Peled - author presents his book

Jerusalem, centro antigo, Bairro Árabe

Jerusalem, old city, Arab Quarter (wich is both Christian and Moslem), coming from Damaskus Gate

and walking in direction Wailing Wall...Al-Aqsa., Qubbat As-Sakhrah   (قبة الصخرة) or for the Hebrews -  Kipat Hasela (כיפת הסלע)

photo protected by copyright © September 2009 - cristina dangerfield-vogt 

 

 

Miko Peled is the author of "The General's Son", a book about his personal journey from Zionist to Peace Activist. Miko Peled is Jewish and Israeli and he treads "where angels fear to tread". This transcription of Miko Peled's book presentation was first published by the Palestine Center and does not necessarily reflect my views.

 

beginning of quote

 

"21 June 2012
The Palestine Center
Washington, DC
 

Mr. Miko Peled:

Thank you all for being here this afternoon. I see most of you are a lot more sensible than I and are not wearing a suit. I think on my next visit to D.C. I’ll be better prepared when it comes to that. Especially if it’s in the summer; there is got to be something wrong with a society that wears this and turns on the air conditioning and wastes all that energy. Something is wrong here.

I always like to begin my talk with a little disclaimer. The disclaimer is that if you came expecting to hear a balanced presentation, then you may as well ask for your money back. This is not a balanced presentation. Frankly, I don’t really believe that a balanced presentation on this particular issue is possible. If anybody says that their presentation is balanced, I think they are lying to themselves or lying to their audience. This is a very, very, very emotional, very complicated, very guttural issue. Whether you are Israeli, Palestinian, Jewish, or not Jewish, it really makes no difference. Many people who have never even been there have strong opinions and strong feelings on this. For me, it is a very personal issue as well. So, I like to put that upfront so that people don’t come back later and say, “Yes, but he wasn’t balanced.” Well he is not balanced. And like I said, I really don’t believe anybody is on this issue.

You know, I have been talking a lot about the book and the Israeli-Palestinian issue. And the issue of Zionism is a big part of that of course. My grandfather signed the [Israeli] Declaration of Independence, he was a Zionist leader, he immigrated to Palestine, he was a young Zionist back in the day, almost 100 years ago. As we know, Zionism is the movement to allow Jewish people to return to their homeland. 

And the notion of Jewish people returning is quite acceptable when we talk about it to people today, certainly. Now of course, these are not the same Jewish people who were exiled, it’s not even their descendants because they all died several thousand years ago. But it’s people who claim Jewish heritage, or connection to Jewish heritage, who were persecuted in Europe. Of course, persecution was a serious problem in Christian Europe for Jews, as we know. And therefore, the notion of Zionism became more accepted, but today it’s certainly acceptable. 

But somehow when we talk about the right of return of Palestinians, when we try to apply the same notion of return to Palestinians, people suddenly stand up and say, “This is completely unacceptable.” Which is interesting. The Palestinians who were displaced 65 years ago, many of them are still alive. Certainly their descendants are alive. So, if they are allowed to return, we are talking about actual people who were displaced. And whether you think they are displaced or whether you think they left on their own, regardless, they had to leave their homes, their homes are there. The right to return is something that we should respect. But somehow, when we talk about the Palestinian issue, even though there is a precedent with the Jewish issue with Zionism, it is unacceptable. 

So there is a bit of a double standard here really. Why is it okay for one nation to return but not okay for another nation to return? And one of the claims that is made is of course, well there’s a demographic threat. If all these Arabs come into Israel, then that constitutes a threat to Israeli Jews somehow. But as Jews were immigrating into Palestine, and then later when it became Israeli, into Israel, that didn’t seem to bother anybody that there was a demographic threat being presented to the Palestinian population. And all the Jews immigrating into Palestine, into Israel, over the last 65 or 70 years presented a serious demographic threat, but somehow that never appeared as an issue to others. So once again, this whole issue is somehow mired in double standard and mythology, and I think in a serious lack of honesty.

Now one of the crowning, if not the crowning, achievement of the Zionist movement was this [slide]. It was the decision by the United Nations, or the resolution taken by the United Nations, in November of 1947 to partition Palestine into two states: an Arab state and Jewish state. And this is what it looks like. The reason it was such a crowning achievement is because it gave recognition to the right of Jews to have a homeland in their historical homeland, to have a state in their historical homeland. This was a very, very important diplomatic achievement for the Zionist movement. 

Now the interesting thing is this. At the time, the Jewish community constituted about half a million people. The Palestinian Arab community constituted of about 1.2 or 1.3 million people. So it was by far the larger of the two communities. Yet the United Nations felt that it was right to give the larger portion of the country to the smaller community, which is a little strange. And the expectation was that the Palestinian community would somehow accept this. I don’t know what kind of expectation this was, or why anybody thought that would work. I think that when you look at the map it speaks for itself. It’s an absurd situation that couldn’t possibly have worked. But that is not the topic of my comments today. But I think this map really demonstrates how difficult it was.

Now, the two communities were somewhat on parallel lines. They were really two states in the making. As far as the Jewish community goes, they managed to develop an education system, a healthcare system, an [elected] assembly, an executive branch, all the markings of a democratic state to be. My grandfather was one of the founders of the health ministry and developed the healthcare system. And he was the de facto health minister at the time before the state was established.

But the one thing that the Jewish community developed that the Palestinians didn’t develop was a fighting force, a militia. The Haganah and the Palmach constituted of many thousands of young men and women who were very well trained, reasonably well equipped, and most importantly were very, very well indoctrinated. They were indoctrinated to believe in Zionism, to believe in the right of the Jewish people to return to their homeland, and in their role as deliverers, so to speak, of this right of this land back to the Jews. So then, after the United Nations gave its approval for the creation of a Jewish state, this militia began an extensive campaign of ethnic cleansing to rid the country of its Arab population in order to create a Jewish majority, in order to create a Jewish state that has as much of the land as possible with as little of the population as possible.

Now the story is – and again we talked about the double standard and the lies and the mythology that has developed around this issue – the story is that the small Jewish community was attacked by Arab countries. The story also is that the Palestinians who were displaced had left because their leaders had told them they had to leave, hoping to come back once they got rid of the Jews. And that somehow, the small Jewish militia managed to fight off these Arab countries, fight off the threat, conquer the land, displace the people, destroy more than 500 towns and villages, all this while under attack by all these big Arab armies. And then when you take a look at what happened between the end of 1947 and the end of 1948, it just doesn’t fit. It just doesn’t work. In a twelve-month period, they were able to conquer 80 percent of the country, displace almost a million people, destroy upwards of 500 towns and villages – and some of these towns were over 1,000 years old – destroy houses, destroy mosques, destroy hospitals, destroy schools… How were they able to do all this if there were being attacked from the outside, accomplish so much in a twelve-month period? Now the Zionists couldn’t claim that God was on their side because they were secular. These were Jews who left God outside, in exile.

Yet, at the end of 1948, beginning of 1949, of course, there was a Jewish state, and there was a very, very serious refugee problem. The Palestinians who did remain in the country, within Israel, suddenly, from owners of the land, became this unwanted, discombobulated community, who are now living at the graces of the new landlord. And they were given the term “the Arabs of Israel.” In other words, they just happened to be Arabs and they happened to be in Israel. They have no other identity; they have no connection to the land. They’re not Palestinians. They are Arabs of Israel, which means that they live at the favor of Israel.

And it’s interesting, I had a really interesting conversation with an older Jewish couple in San Diego, big supporters of Israel.  And they were saying, “You know, look at the Arabs in Israel and how well they are doing. In fact, they are doing so well that they don’t even want to leave.” You would be hard-pressed to find a house, a school, a hospital, a highway, a shopping mall in any of the Palestinian communities within Israel that was built over the last 70 years. I don’t know if zero investment, but very close to zero investment was made [in Palestinian communities]. While at the same time, towns and highways and malls and schools are being built all around them, but for Israeli Jews. The neglect that these communities suffer is criminal. The poverty levels are far below the national average of the poverty levels within Israel. So somehow this myth – again, that somehow they’re happy and that is why they don’t leave – they don’t leave because it’s their land. And this was the reality which had existed since the end of 1948.

Now this is my mother, when she was young. She is 85 years old now. And one of the stories that she has always told me, it’s in the book. I put this story in the book because it is so moving and it was so important. I remember her telling me this story over and over again as a child. She was born and raised in Jerusalem, and during the war my father was fighting, he was an officer in the Palmach – in the Hagganah. And she was living in a small apartment with her mother with two small children. Just for living with her mother and two small children in that apartment she deserves a gold medal, but that’s beside the point. 

As the Palestinian communities in West Jerusalem were being, what they call, “cleansed,” forced into exile, leaving, as they all left, their homes remained. And if you’ve been to Jerusalem then you know that there are certain neighborhoods where these homes are still there. These were beautiful homes – beautiful homes, with large gardens in the back and a lemon tree in the front. And she recalls as a child walking through these neighborhoods on a Saturday morning and seeing the families and so on. 

Well, when these homes became available, she was offered one of these homes. They were taken over by the Israeli forces and they were offered to Israeli families who needed them and of course she had two young children and a husband on the front lines, so she was offered one of these homes. And her comment to me was, “How could I possibly take the home of another mother? How can I take the home of another family? Can you imagine how much this family must miss their home, living in exile as they do?” She would comment on the Israeli trucks full of loot driving by. She couldn’t get over the shame. “How are they not ashamed to drive around, to take the loot this way, and empty these homes?”

As I was working on the book and as I was researching all of this material, this story was in the back of my head the whole time. And of course I spoke to her over and over again over the last months and days leading up to the book to hear this story again. But what’s interesting about this story is not only that she made a very moral decision at a very young age-- I mean think about it, you get a free home with no mortgage when you’re twenty two and you have two children and you say, “No.” But what she did for me, growing up, was she placed the Palestinian on an even plateau with Israelis, with everybody else. In other words, if something is wrong, it’s wrong. We shouldn’t do it to anybody else. It’s not because we’re Israelis, it’s okay for us, and this is very different from the way Israelis are taught about Palestinians, and we’ll talk about that in a little bit. But that was a very important part in I think the formation of my point of view, and the formation of me as a person. Her story and then it also lends itself, of course, to the Palestinian narrative of what happened in 1948.

I’m going to move ahead now, 20 years, this [slide] is my father. In the early 1960’s, he remained in the Israeli army. The militia – the Hagganah-- became the Israeli army after Israel was established as a state. 20 years later he was a general, and during the early to mid-sixties, there was a sense that war was in the air again. There was going to be war – there was a huge military build-up in Israel. He was in charge of logistics and armaments. So he had a big part in the military build-up on the Israeli side.

And the story that we hear about 1967, we learn it in Israel, we hear it here all the time, this is the acceptable story, is that once again the small state of Israel, the small Jewish state, was attacked by Arab armies, intending to destroy it, and once again, miraculously, this small Jewish state was able to defeat and destroy three Arab armies, conquer huge tracts of lands, triple the size of the country in fact, kill over 15,000 Arab soldiers, compared to 700 Israeli casualties – 15,000 in 6 days – and amass what was the biggest stockpile of Russian made arms outside of the soviet union at the time. And they did it in 6 days! And once again they can’t claim that it was God, because these are secular people. But in the mythology of being Jewish, and in the mythology of being Israel, this fits very well, because that’s what happened in 1948. That’s what happened when the Maccabees fought the Greeks. That’s what happened with David and Goliath. This is a long line of victories, of unlikely victories, that we as a minority have been able to achieve. So this is yet another one of them. Because we are the descendants of the Maccabees and King David and so on. 

Now, a lot has been written about that period leading up to the Six Day War. Israelis are, I think it’s perfectly fair to say, obsessed with the days leading up to that war. Books upon books, documentaries upon documentaries, Hebrew and English, and I’m sure in Arabic a lot have been written too. And so as I was working on the book, I went to the Israeli army archives to take a look at my father’s career. 
Actually I have to give credit to Amira Hass who suggested that I do that. But I went in to see all about his career – I mean he had a long and interesting military career, but I was really intrigued about what actually took place, the minutes of the meeting leading up to the war are available, they’re open. So I went to read it. And I’ve read all of the other books and I didn’t expect to find anything new, but when you read them as they come up, you actually see the minutes, the typewriter on the paper, and it was my father’s name coming up over and over again so it was interesting. 

Now his role in the push for war became something of a legend. He was one of two or three generals who were very persistent in pushing the Israeli cabinet to approve a preemptive strike and begin the war. Not only did he say it in no uncertain terms but he probably also crossed the line that a general should[n’t] cross when speaking to a prime minister – when speaking to the elected civilian government. He wasn’t the only one but he was very outspoken, and that was his legacy. 

So as I read the minutes of the meeting – several meetings – there was one item that I had never seen, I had never heard before. And that was where he claims, and other generals claim, that the Egyptian army is not prepared for war, that the Egyptian army is placing itself in danger by coming in close to us. Because what had happened if you recall, is [Egyptian] President [Gamal Abdel] Nasser kicked the [United Nations] (U.N.) peacekeeping forces from the Sinai, brought Egyptian troops into the Sinai which was supposed to be demilitarized and threatened to close the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships going up to Eilat, which constituted a breach of the ceasefire agreement between the two countries and really a cause for war… if you’re a military man. The cabinet saw it differently. The cabinet felt that it was important to pursue diplomatic means to end this conflict. 

But I had never seen that small item, that the Egyptians were not prepared for war. The claim is that the Egyptians are advancing an ill-prepared army, that they need at least a year and a half to two years in order to be prepared for war. And what he was blaming the Prime Minister with, he said, you’re being hesitant is encouraging him to proceed. We need to be more assertive and you need to give us the green light to attack. And then he said, “How dare you doubt the ability of this army that had never lost in battle? Why do we have to suffer this disgrace… this army that has delivered so much?” 

This tug of war between the two forces went on for some time and of course as we know, eventually the government, the Israeli Cabinet, did give the green light. The Israeli army attacked the Egyptians, destroyed the Egyptian Army, took the Sinai in a matter of days, and then went on to take the West Bank and the Golan Heights. 

Another interesting fact that comes up is that the generals on their own decided to take the West Bank and the Golan Heights, not waiting for government approval. There was no reason, that was not a part of the plan. There was no such plan. This was a decision that was taken by the generals themselves. But because it was so successful, of course, nobody ever said anything. The West Bank was a sore spot for Israeli generals who were young officers in 1948, and they felt it was a terrible shame, a big mistake that the West Bank wasn’t taken in 1948. Because militarily Israel had the capability of doing it but politically they decided not to, [David] Ben Gurion [first prime minister of Israel] decided not to. And they felt it was a sore spot for them, they felt it was an opportunity that was missed, and they wanted to finish the job, and that’s what they did, pushed the Israeli eastern boundary to the Jordan River. 

And I have this great picture here [slide], this is right after the victory. So just to reiterate one more time, this country that you hear about, that was attacked by Arab armies in six days, tripled the size of the country, destroyed three Arab armies, killed over 15000 soldiers, and was able to deliver for the first time after 2000 years the entire land of Israel back to the Jewish people. 

And these are the young men, these are the young generals, who did this. And the reason this picture is so interesting is because the man in the center, Zalman Shazar, was the president of the State of Israeli in those days. The President is kind of a symbolic position in Israel, but he was a man who did a lot. He was an important Zionist, he was a cabinet member before that. But he represents an older generation. And between the cabinet members and the generals, there was a generational thing. The cabinet members were all like him: they were older, they all came from exile, they came from Eastern Europe most of them, they never touched a gun, never lifted a gun in their lives. And they raised these young generals who by then were in their early 40’s to deliver, and they delivered. 

And here he is standing with these wonderful generals, these new Jews that had delivered the land of Israel, including what is considered the crown jewel, which is the Old City of Jerusalem, back to Jewish hands. So from their perspective this was a huge accomplishment, historical accomplishment, hard to describe in words. But the fact remains that there was no attack and there was no threat. The notion of an existential threat was put out there by the military in order to pressure the cabinet. They knew there was no threat, they said there was no threat. Later on, in years after the war many of them admitted that there was no threat, the whole notion of a threat was something that was developed for other reasons. And that the Egyptian Army, by crossing the Suez Canal into the Sinai Peninsula, did not put Israel at threat; they put themselves at a threat, because it allowed the Israeli army to destroy them and attack them. And you can imagine the lines of supplies into the desert, and so on and so forth, this is 45 years ago. But then another interesting thing happened. 

On the day of the very first meeting of the generals after the war, the very first weekly meeting that they had, the general’s staff, my father said, “We now have an opportunity to solve the Palestinian problem once and for all. The local Palestinian leadership is prepared to negotiate a peace-deal with Israel if we allow them to establish a state within the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.” In principle Israel and the Zionist movement already accepted the notion of partition. “These are our natural allies; it will be the first Arab state to live in peace with Israel and we have to take this opportunity to protect our own Jewish democracy.” He said this over and over again, and eventually [Israeli General Yitzhak] Rabin, who was the Chief of Staff, took him aside, and said, “You know what? This is not the climate to talk about giving the land back, this is not the right political climate.” 

What we know today is that immediately after the war, huge settlement projects began, expanding the boundaries of Jerusalem and in the West Bank and so on. A huge settlement expansion began pretty much right after the war was over, with the intention to make those conquests irreversible, with the intention of making the conquest of the West Bank permanent. 

Basically this [slide] is what happened in 1967. Palestine was erased and the entire country became Israel. And by the way, when you look at Israeli textbooks, Israeli geography books, and so on, or if you go on a trip, on a hike to one of the natural reserves in Israel, and you pick up a map, this is the map. This is Israel, the entire thing is Israel. Rarely will you ever find the name of a Palestinian town, rarely will you see mentioned the name of a Palestinian institution, like a university, rarely will you see any information about Palestinian populations, and so on. This became Israel and Palestine was wiped off the face of the earth, with one problem of course: there were still millions of Palestinians living there. 

My father retired in 1969, and then he went on to talk about the need for a resolution of the Palestinian problem through, as we call it today, the two state solution. And almost in the mid-1970’s, in 1974, [Palestinian leader] Yasser Arafat, who led the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization], made a strategic decision which was to explore the possibility of making peace with the Zionist state through a dialogue with Zionist Israelis like my father. It was my father, Uri Avnery, several other prominent Zionists who felt like this was the most important strategic objective that Israel has: to allow the Palestinians a Palestinian state in the West Bank so that we do not have to be an occupying power, so that we can maintain our Jewish democracy, this Jewish democracy which they have fought so hard to achieve. 

One of the things my father said was, “If we do not make peace with the Palestinians, if we don’t allow their national desires to materialize, we will become an occupying power and this will have detrimental effects on the moral fiber of the state and the moral fiber of the Israeli Army which will become inevitably a brutal occupying power, because resistance is bound to develop,“ and when resistance develops than the Israeli army has to fight it, and you get yourself into this cycle of violence. 

The man he met with was Issam Sartawi. My dad’s on the left [of the slide], Dr. Sartawi’s on the right. He was the Palestinian ambassador, the PLO ambassador to Paris, and for many, many years, as I’m sure some of you know, there was a wonderful dialogue – a very fruitful dialogue – except for one thing. On the Palestinian side these were official delegates of the PLO and on the Israeli side these were people who were actually renegades. The Israeli government was kept abreast of the discussions but had absolutely no interests, whatsoever, in pursuing a peace with the Palestinians, or with anyone else for that matter. 

The change in Israeli policy began when it was absolutely certain that there was no chance in the world that a Palestinian state could actually be established. Once the investments, and the settlements, had made the West Bank an integral part of the rest of Israel, then you heard Israeli politicians like Rabin and [current Israeli President Shimon] Peres, suddenly they had a want to negotiate with the PLO. Suddenly they had the willingness to negotiate and discuss a Palestinian state, but they knew for certain that a Palestinian state was no longer a viable possibility. How did they know? They created that reality. 

And I think it’s important to note here, that Israeli is famous I think for its three “no’s.” The three no’s were established by the most moderate, peace-loving, or whatever, peaceful, peace-leaning Israeli government: 1) No to negotiating on the Jordan River Valley, which is about a third of the West Bank; 2) No to negotiating the expanded boundaries of East Jerusalem, which is another 10 to 15 percent of the West Bank; 3) No to negotiating on the major settlement blocs, which are a big chunk of the West Bank. And these three no’s mean one thing: no to a Palestinian state. And when they knew for certain that this was not a possibility, then in the early 1990’s, and the mid-1990’s, with [the] Oslo [Accords] and so on, then they began talking and negotiating. 

Two years after my father passed away, my family had its first encounter with terrorism, where my niece, my sister’s little girl, Smadar, was killed by suicide bombers. So she was in Jerusalem, it was 4 September, right after school started. She went to buy school books with some friends. Two young Palestinians blew themselves up on Ben Yehuda Street. 

Now this was big news for several reasons. Number one: she was the granddaughter of a famous general. Number two: she was the granddaughter of “Mr. Peace-with-Palestine.” So, “He was Mr. Peace-in-Palestine, and they showed him, didn’t they?” This was the attitude. 

And so my sister’s apartment in Jerusalem was jam-packed with reporters, and mourners, and so on, but a lot of reporters, from morning to night. And the first thing my sister said was, well, she said two things. First thing she said was this. She was asked about retaliation and revenge and so on, and she said, first of all, she said, “No real mother would ever want this thing to happen to another mother. Don’t talk to me about retaliation.” And then she was asked, would she be willing to meet and talk with the other side. And she said, “No. But the other side is not the Palestinians. The other side is [Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin] “Bibi” Netanyahu (who was prime minister then), and the Israeli government, who brought these Palestinians to a point where they would kill themselves and take other civilians with them. The brutality of the occupation, the oppression of the people, the lack of hope with which these people have to live, with which these young Palestinians have to grow up, is what brought them to kill themselves and kill my daughter and therefore I point a finger at my own government and I will not discuss, and I will not talk to them, because they are the other side.”

Now this of course created even more news, and more reporters came. And The [Los Angeles] Times suddenly wrote about her, and The New York Times, and everybody. It was a big deal. But she put us all on a path, she put the entire family on the path which, me living in the U.S. at that time, forced me to suddenly stop and think, “I want to do something too. Something has to be done; we all have to do something.”

Now, it’s very easy for me, well, it’s relatively easy for me to come here and talk like this today. Many of you who are Jewish would know that this is actually very difficult to say as a Jewish person, to criticize Israel like this, to admit the crimes of the State of Israel, to admit the crimes of the IDF [Israeli Defense Forces], to realize that the State of Israel is actually capable of these things. But this wonderful myth that Israel is a wonderful democracy, that it is always being attacked, that it is always under threat, is a lot easier. And this is what we were raised to believe. 

And the good fortune that I had was that in San Diego, [California], there was a Jewish-Palestinian dialogue group which I decided to join and it was in that environment that I began to hear about the Palestinian narrative. So it wasn’t in a, you know, some kind of debate where someone was pointing their finger and saying, “You did this, you did this, you did this, you did this. We accuse you because you are an Israeli.” It was, “Here is what happened to my family, here is what happened to me, here is what happened to my grandparents,” which is an entirely different thing. And this is how I learned and of course it was not easy, it was painful and difficult, but that was the process by which I really began that journey.

I was born and raised in Israel and in San Diego in the year 2000 was the first time I had ever sat with Palestinians, ever actually met and sat with Palestinians in a normal setting to just talk. You know, the claim is that Jerusalem became united and mixed. It’s united and it’s mixed, but it’s also very segregated. So Israelis and Palestinians never actually do anything together and they never meet each other. 

So I began with dialogue in San Diego, and then I ventured in the West Bank and I ventured into Palestinian communities within Israel to learn more and that was kind of the beginning of my journey. And one of the things that I saw, one of the first things that I noticed, was as I was going into the Palestinian Territories, at every point there was this big sign right by the checkpoint. Now notice, the [slide’s] sign is in Hebrew. It’s huge. It’s white over red and it reads this way, it says, “This road leads into Area A which is under Palestinian control. Entry for Israelis is forbidden, it risks your life, it endangers your life, and it is a felony!!” Two exclamation marks. So if the fact that it endangers your life and is a felony wasn’t enough to stop you, the two exclamation marks will, for sure. 

And this is only in Hebrew, in other words, it only endangers your life if you are an Israeli. So if you’re a sensible person, you take a look and you go home. You turn around and you walk back. I mean, who would go through this? It’s dangerous. There’s probably, you know, shooting and fighting, and who knows what, on the other side, right? And then you find yourself in Ramallah, or in El-Bireh, or in Bethlehem, and you go, “There are people here and there are schools here and people go to work and there are traffic jams and taxis and, you know, markets.” And the thought began to develop in my mind, “Perhaps this was by design. Perhaps somebody does not want to see reconciliation; somebody does not want to see the two sides meet.” 

[Slide] This is a new sign, notice that it is also in Hebrew. I’m sure many of you have heard of Bilin and El-Bisarah, these towns, these villages, where there is an ongoing non-violent resistance every single week. So this road is called the ‘Apartheid Road,’ Route 443 I think it’s called, and the sign says that “by order of the Commanding General (the Commanding Officer) there is a prohibition on Israelis and Israeli vehicles to enter the Palestinian villages in the area.” Mind you, the road goes into settlements and that’s fine, there’s no danger there. But the prohibition is to go into Palestinian villages, knowing that Israelis go there in order to participate. 

So what is the point of all this? If we don’t get together, how are we going to solve this? Which is exactly the point. Solving it is not part of what Israel wants to achieve.


I have this picture here [slide]- this is another story in the book- this is a good friend of mine who sat in prison for many, many years for killing two soldiers, stabbing to death two soldiers. Now, I was a soldier. And the story, the way with which he was able- he and a few others were able- to come up and kill two fully-armed, fully-equipped Israeli soldiers on guard, in other words, they were on guard somewhere in some spot, in some post, with knives. And the question that beckons is, well, who is the terrorist here? 

Well obviously, he’s the terrorist, he sat in prison, the only reason he’s out of prison is he was released in one of these big prisoner exchanges that Israel had conducted with the PLO. But if you look at international law, he is not a terrorist because armed resistance against a racist, oppressive occupation is legal. And being part of an occupying army, and maintaining an entire population under a brutal occupation is illegal. He’s not the terrorist, I am. And of course he sat in prison, and one of the things Jamal was able to do, he’s shown me a lot about the prisoner, you cannot talk about Palestine without talking about the prisoners, without talking about the prisoner’s movement. 

Thousands upon thousands of Palestinians still sit in Israeli prisons in violation of international law. Over 90 percent of them are not charged, or accused, of any violent crime. Over 90 percent of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons are not charged for violent crimes. These are political prisoners. 

And this is because the majority of Palestinian resistance is not violent. This is a reflection of the reality which people often forget to notice. It’s another one of those double-standard myths, one of these lies, that Palestinian resistance means violence, that Palestinians are terrorists. The vast majority of Palestinian resistance to Israel has always been non-violent. 

And this man [slide], his name is Abu Ali Shaheed, he’s one chapter from the last, he was pretty much… I met him through Jamal, I met him very late in the project and he was the [Palestinian political party] Fatah commander of the southern part of Israel leading up to 1967. And after the 1967 war, he and Yasser Arafat toured the country up and down to look at the cells and to look at the resistance and so forth and he was caught and put in prison. He was probably number two or number three on Israel’s most wanted list.  

He was caught, he was put in prison, he was tortured, he sat in solitary confinement for almost 20 years.  The reason I met him is because I was told that he went and visited my fathers’ grave and I had never heard of him, I thought, “Why did he visit my father’s grave?” 

So I met him and over several days I recorded him and talked with him. His point was this: “Your father with his insistence that Israel must respect Palestinian rights washed the pain and washed the anger from my heart as a Palestinian who suffered the occupation, who suffered the massacres, who suffered all the injustice that Israel had placed upon my people.” He was still in prison for many years after that, but after he was released, on his own he would go and visit my father’s grave.  

And there are another couple of stories in the book that connect him with my father, you’ll have to read the book, it’s a very good story, about Abu Ali Shaheed. He was the leader from the prison. You have probably all read about [former South African President] Nelson Mandela’s story, about how he led the ANC [African National Congress] from prison, and he led the prisoners’ movement and accomplished amazing things. If you don’t know about the Palestinian prisoners’ movement, you need to educate yourself because it is one of the most remarkable achievements of Palestinian society and Palestinians as a people. 

And then, the very last chapter of my book talks about how do these two nations share a country. The reality is, half the population, or close to half the population are Palestinians and maybe a little bit over a half are Israelis. Projections are that in 20 years, Palestinians will be a majority. No one is going away. 

The way this country is run right now is everybody is governed by one government, so it’s one state, there is no question about that. There is one government that governs the lives of every single person there, it’s the Israeli government. They have laws for Israeli Jews, which are liberal democratic laws, they have laws for Palestinians who are citizens of Israel, which are completely different laws. There is a lot of legalized and cultural discrimination against them, and then there are the laws that govern the lives of the people in the West Bank and Gaza, which are horrendous laws, military laws. They are governed by the military and there is no law that protects them. 

The only way that we can get out of this that I can see, the only way that we move forward to the benefit of both sides is complete equal rights, a complete transformation from the Zionist racist state that exists today to a real pluralistic democracy where there are equal rights for everybody. That is the way forward. And I believe that people of conscience, people who believe in peace, people who want to see this problem solved need to focus their energies on accomplishing that, because that promises a bright future for both Israelis and Palestinians. 

Thank you all very much."


"Miko Peled is a writer and Israeli peace activist living in San Diego. His father was the late General Matti Peled, his grandfather Avraham Katsnelson signed the Israeli declaration of independence, and his niece Smadar was killed in a suicide attack in Jerusalem. He is the co founder of the Elbanna-Peled Foundtion in memory of Smadar Elhanan and Abir Aramin. He is a regular contributor to online publications includingThe Electronic IntifadaThe Palestine Chronicle, and his website mikopeled.com."



End of quotes

 

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publicado por Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt - Jornalista às 13:00
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Segunda-feira, 21 de Julho de 2014

Sayed Kashua leaving Israel

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/20/sayed-kashua-why-i-have-to-leave-israel

 

Sayed Kashua, Palestinian writer and columnist in the liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz, is leaving the country with his family for not being able to reconcile the unreconcilable...his Palestinian identity within the Jewish state  - Israel...why? Well, his daily life is made impossible by his origins and increase and intensification of threats to his family - for more information read the link to the The Guardian above...

 

And my text in the original script of my book "Um Ano em Telavive" where I mentioned Sayed Kashua and the situation in Israel, written between 2007-2008, in Portuguese

 

beginning of quote from "UM ANO EM TELAVIVE"

 

02.03.2008,     “Tel Aviv Stock Exchange slumps amid violence in south”

“Palestinians riot in Jerusalem area in wake of Gaza fighting”

“Pope appeals for unconditional end” to Gaza violence.

                        “EU condemns `disproportionate` use of force by IDF in Gaza”

– in Ha’aretz.

 

 

Novamente um dia bonito e solarengo, as temperaturas a subir não só meteorologicamente como meteoricamente, apetece-me pegar na bicicleta e ir para a praia e deitar-me na areia fina; as fragrâncias das flores entram pelas janelas abertas, afinal a Páscoa e o Purim estão à porta, também no ar as ameaças crescentes de todos os lados, o uso desproporcionado da força parece não ter limites, e os quassams - as impotentes armas dos pobres, a provocarem a resposta das sofisticadas armas israelitas e dos seus Apaches, que nas suas incursões em Gaza, acertam nos alvos com precisão, mas ainda não são suficientemente precisas para poupar os inocentes civis. A chamada 5ª coluna, os árabes deste país, que não fugiram ou foram expulsos, entrou em ebulição e começou a manifestar-se, até agora, pacificamente, um pouco por todo o país. Esta é uma tentativa de seguir os ensinamentos de Mahatma Ghandi no Médio Oriente, que mediante resistência passiva acabou finalmente com o império britânico na Índia, mas que resultou primeiro no massacre de Amritsar, quando os oficiais britânicos deram ordem de disparar sobre os civis: homens, mulheres e crianças que se manifestavam pacificamente naquela cidade em 1913. A Cisjordânia agita-se perigosamente, e o presidente Abbas acabou de suspender todos os contactos com o governo israelita: se a guerra ainda não começou oficialmente – a 3ª Intifada estará prestes a rebentar, dizem os pessimistas!

 

Do quarto do meu filho, sai uma enorme barulheira guerreira potenciada por colunas de som maiores do que ele, oiço as vozes de tenor dos oficiais que ordenam em cânone “headshot”, enquanto o meu filho e os amigos, jogando on-line, alheados dos perigosos jogos reais, se entretêm a disparar em guerras com feridos e mortos virtuais. Por enquanto, os rockets ainda não alcançam TA, mas vive-se uma normalidade intranquila.

 

Em Israel há vários grupos tanto de árabes como de judeus empenhados na luta pela paz entre os dois povos, porém a maioria da população de ambos os lados é extremamente ignorante dos outros. Sayed Kashua, um humorista e escritor israelita árabe de Tira, autor do guião da comédia televisiva Avoda Aravit – trabalho árabe, que tem tido um enorme sucesso entre os judeus, mas é visto mais criticamente pelos árabes, sugeria há algum tempo que este desconhecimento dos outros poderia e deveria ser superado. Ele dizia que se os árabes lessem os livros de Kertesz, Primo Levi, Appelfeld e Bashevis Singer sobre histórias pessoais nos tempos das perseguições anti-semitas na Europa, isso seria muito mais informativo e importante do que todos os livros históricos usados nas escolas e do que uma visita ao museu Yad Vashem – o museu do holocausto em Jerusalém, juntos. E, reconhece que eles - os árabes - tinham sido demasiado simplistas na sua incompreensão e recusa em aceitar os judeus fugidos. Ele perguntava-se, quando chegaria a altura de os árabes reconhecerem o direito de retorno dos judeus e a dos judeus aceitarem o direito de existência dos árabes em Israel. O artigo continuava, relatando um episódio ilustrador da atitude quotidiana neste país: um dia quando conduzia a sua filha à escola judeo-árabe como era habitual, deparou com uns rapazes dentro de um automóvel parado ao lado dele que pareciam perdidos e lhe perguntaram o caminho para o Monte Escopos. Ele baixou o vidro e informou-os, amável como todos os orientais, e no fim perguntaram-lhe que música era aquela que ele ouvia no carro – é a cantora Fayrouz (1) – respondeu, e antes de lhes poder perguntar se gostavam, sentiu escorrer-lhe um escarro pela face! (Tinham-lhe cuspido o seu ódio com desprezo...)

 

(1) uma conhecida cantora libanesa, considerada como a embaixadora mundial dos árabes entre as estrelas.

 

Atitudes de discriminação são correntes, apesar de este povo ser constituído por pessoas vindas de mais de 100 países diferentes.

 

Na última aula da Ulpan, vivi uma situação de conteúdo racista surpreendente; o tema em discussão era a violência na sociedade israelita, relativizando-a comparativamente a outros países, acabou-se a falar nos árabes, já nem sei a que propósito, geralmente evitamos assuntos polémicos de cariz político ou politicizante nas nossas aulas para não provocar animosidades, afinal estamos ali por interesses linguísticos e não outros; quando de repente a conversa mudou de tom e os meus colegas judeus da diáspora começaram numa incrível diatribe contra os árabes, seus conterrâneos, acusando-os de todos os pecados deste mundo, como se nunca tivesse existido nem o IDF, nem os muros da vergonha, nem a Naqba, nem a Máfia russa em Israel. Eu e os outros, não judeus, em silêncio absoluto e constrangido, resistindo aos nossos instintos de expressar opiniões próprias em democracia para não estragar o ambiente da turma em que ficaremos mais uns cinco meses, se a situação não se deteriorar num guerra que abranja todo o país e os expatriados forem aconselhados a sair.

 

No caso de guerra, todos os nossos novos amigos seriam chamados ao activo, porque são todos reservistas do exército, eles e elas!

 

Aproveitei a oportunidade para perguntar ao meu colega espanhol diplomata com é que avaliava a situação. Segundo ele, não temos de nos preocupar, porque só teremos de sair daqui, se os katiyuskas começarem a cair em TA, ou seja, apesar de Ashkelon ficar a apenas meia hora de automóvel, não há razões para nos preocuparmos antes, durante e depois, porque se for necessário, logo o saberemos - porém, desaconselhou-me de visitar o porto antigo de Ashkelon!

 

 

 

4.03.2008, “UN's Ban: Israel says Hezbollah has 30,000 rockets in S. Lebanon”

“Clashes erupt as IDF vehicles enter south Gaza” – in Ha’aretz.

 

Acordada pelo meu despertador dos últimos dias: os pássaros que todas as manhãs voam para os ramos da árvore que tamborilam leves nos vidros da janela, se regozijam com a primavera e se cortejam em duetos múltiplos, olho e vejo um céu azul forte que me faz querer saltar da cama para fora cheia de vitalidade e desfrutar ao máximo do novo dia.

 

Já prontos e ainda em correria matinal saímos fazendo os habituais slaloms pelo passeio sem chocar ou aterrar em nenhum dos obstáculos, quando quase caímos em cima de uns cãezinhos presos por trelas agarradas pela na mão insegura de uma senhora, que com a outra mão levo o rádio ao ouvido, escutando as notícias aos berros... distingo as palavras: Ashekon, Gaza, Hizbulah. Esta senhora que encontro todos os dias de cigarro e rédeas na mão, parece hoje segurar as rédeas dos acontecimentos pelo diapasão sonoro, prescindindo do seu calmo prazer quotidiano.

 

Mas como me dizia o Dave ontem - Ashkekon é longe!...as preocupações são dos ashkelonenses!

 

Perto da tabacaria, onde a revista Bellona, cuja capa tem sempre uma mulher nua em grande plano, ocupa todos os dias o lugar de honra no escaparate, encontro, diariamente, uma mãe com o filho, também eles à espera da carrinha do colégio. Há sete meses que nos vemos à mesma hora todos os dias; desde o inicial acenar de cabeça num gesto de reconhecimento mútuo do ritual diário paralelo, progredindo para o boker tov e mais tarde para um shalom, mais informal, aproximou-se hoje com um sorriso e falou-me pela primeira vez directamente. Já me disseram que quando a situação se deteriora se regista uma maior aproximação dos israelitas entre si, e não sei se terá sido o resultado dos acontecimentos dos últimos dias ou se o prazo de aproximação humana socialmente aceite estava cumprido, e por isso me dirigia agora a palavra mais directamente. Estes códigos comportamentais variam muito de país para país. Enfim, conversámos um pouco. A pergunta da praxe, se somos olim hadashim ou diplomatas, e o grande sorriso de aprovação ao falar-se na construção do Metro. Fiquei a saber que o filho frequenta uma escola oficial no centro de TA para crianças super dotadas, cujas carrinhas recolhem os alunos que moram na grande TA e que ministra um ensino especial e diferenciado. Enquanto, nas outras escolas os miúdos acabam as aulas às 13.30 horas, esta escola especial tem aulas até às 14.30 horas. Os israelitas investem muito em tecnologias de ponta e, de certa forma, estas crianças poderão vir a ser uma tecnologia de ponta do país, e são certamente um importante investimento para o futuro de Israel.

 

Se este país não estivesse constantemente em guerra, seria a Suíça do Médio Oriente, contudo, foi este estado permanente de conflito que incentivou a pesquisa e o desenvolvimento de tecnologias de guerra avançadas, como a tecnologia nanu e outras, que lhes permite equilibrar a balança de pagamentos com as exportações, para além de elemento dissuasor dos inimigos.

 

 

 

5.03.2008,       “MI: Iran arming Hezbollah with missiles sent via Turkey” 

“Thousands protest IDF Gaza offensive in Umm al-Fahm” – in Ha’aretz

 

 

                                                                                                                          

Está um tempo tão fabuloso que vesti um vestido de verão e calcei umas sandálias e fui às compras com uma amiga na rua Dizengof, para aproveitar os últimos saldos de inverno, que começaram há dois meses, já que poucos se lembram de planear agora o inverno seguinte.

 

Na montra de uma das lojas, vimos uns casacos de inverno retro giríssimos, de um estilista telavivense. Havia roupas tão engraçadas e originais que resolvemos abrir os cordões à bolsa e gastar o dinheiro que os nossos queridos maridos ganham mas não têm tempo de gastar – o que fariam eles sem nós! A simpatia do estilista foi subindo na razão directa das roupas empilhadas no balcão, numa euforia imparável que ameaçava empobrecer irremediavelmente as contas bancárias das esforçadas caras metade. Paga a conta, saímos dobradas pelo peso da culpa e continuámos a ver as montras. Entrámos na livraria Steimatzky, o equivalente à nossa Bertrand em termos de tradição, mas tão jovem como o estado de Israel, à procura dos livros de Sayed Kashua, o escritor que mencionei acima. Fiquei hesitante, já que, depois da experiência dele com a música de Fayrouz, eu não tinha bem a certeza como o meu pedido iria ser recebido. Decidi por uma questão de táctica pedir primeiro o livro “Beaufort” de Ron Leshem, um autor judeu, para criar uma atmosfera mais receptiva ao meu pedido posterior. O livro retrata a guerra do ponto de vista de um soldado do IDF, estacionado num posto no sul do Líbano, nos últimos momentos da presença de Israel naquele país. O livro foi a base de um filme homónimo.

 

Dirigi-me à empregada da livraria armada com o Beaufort e pedi-lhe “Dancing Arabs” e “Let it be morning” de Sayed Kashua. Olhou-me sem simpatia, e mandou-me procurá-los na estante por autores, em K. Não o encontrei, tive que voltar à mal-humorada rapariga, que verificou no computador se o tinham em stock – sim, e estavam ambos na livraria, mas não nas estantes. Obviamente, ou ela não tinha grande simpatia nem pelo autor nem por quem comprasse os seus livros, ou então era uma destas empregadas extremamente motivadas para os intervalos do café. De posse dos livros, ainda pensei num momento de optimismo irreflectido ir até ao parque Ha’yarkon, procurar o lugar de uma das aldeias árabes desaparecidas, embora só me lembrasse de ver placas honrando a memória do Haganah – a organização terrorista sionista que lutou contra os ingleses, e sentar-me à sombra de uma árvore a ler Sayed Kashua e ouvir os passarinhos, quando depois de reflectir, pensei ser mais seguro lê-lo na privacidade da minha sala iluminada e aquecida pelo mesmo sol que entra pelas vidraças das portas de correr.

 

Ao fim de tantas horas de compras, deu-nos uma fome e uma sede terríveis e resolvemos entrar no café Gotsa, um café da moda na Dizengof. A entrada num café em local central em TA é acompanhada de vários rituais: primeiro obstáculo a ultrapassar é o segurança, e carregadas como estamos com os vários sacos de compras, é também demorado, para além disso a minha amiga é africana; depois faz-se uma espécie de registo com a funcionária na caixa e espera-se que ela indique uma mesa – nada de iniciativas pessoais que possam parecer suspeitas - como a minha amiga é alérgica ao sol e sofremos ambas da paranóia local, que obviamente se desenvolveu nesta zona escaldante do mundo, não queríamos uma mesa vaga qualquer, mas sim uma à sombra e longe da exposta esplanada, o que não era assim tão fácil porque estávamos na hora do almoço. Finalmente, vagou uma mesa no lugar que pensámos ser o local mais seguro do café; ao lado uma mesa com duas senhoras idosas e a respectiva empregada filipina; as senhoras não conseguiam tirar os olhos da minha amiga nem fechar as bocas espantadas onde se via os restos da última garfada; de facto, ela era a única africana no café, uma estátua de ébano elegantemente vestida, de cabelos longos e brilhantes, entrançados em finas tranças e uma cara sorridente. Os únicos africanos que tínhamos visto na Dizengof, eram os refugiados de olhos vagos e sapatos acalcanhados. Recebemos várias ementas, que rapidamente descartámos, e escolhemos uma salada verde e uma água lisa, perante o olhar incrédulo da empregada, e ainda tivemos o descaramento de pedir um cesto de pão para acompanhar; obviamente tivemos de pedir o pão várias vezes porque a empregada não estava de acordo com a parcimónia da nossa refeição. E quando nos queríamos vingar e não lhe dar os 10 por cento da praxe, já ela nos trazia o troco deduzido da percentagem “obrigatória”. Cá fora a minha amiga confessou-me que passou o tempo aterrada e em alerta a ver se via algum rapaz de mochila suspeita entrar no café! Então e as mulheres suicidas – perguntei-lhe eu, também vêm de mochila? Saímos ilesas do café, dispostas a repetir a experiência.

 

End of quotation from "UM ANO EM TELAVIVE" (my book about Israel)

All Text and Photos protected by registered copyright © June 2008 written by Cristina Vogt-da Silva (aka cristina dangerfield-vogt)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

publicado por Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt - Jornalista às 11:25
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Sexta-feira, 7 de Março de 2014

Jaffa - a Palestinian ordeal inside Israel

I came accross this article today. It shows what is happening in Jaffa, a Palestinian enclave in the south of Tel Aviv, in what is today a district of this city -  and I will tell you that I was myself an eye witness to similar situations in Jaffa. So I can definitly say this is not an unique story, this is the daily life of Palestinians living in the south of Tel Aviv. Gentrification is another word and another world in old Palestinian cities inside Israel. A different dimension is given to gentrification in Jaffa, as it does not only mean social exclusion - it is also a political instrument which aims at the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes, and eventually from Israel. This daily sabotage of Palestinian lives, making their life as uncomfortable as possible in the hope they leave the country. This a process aiming at keeping the Jewish state, Jewish, and that goes on parallel to Israeli politics of building settlements in the Westbank. However it goes on mainly unnoticed by the foreign media, and is never mentioned in international negotiations about the future state of Palestine. The Palestinians that stayed in Israel are the big loosers in this process. They will continue being second class citizens in Israel and will never profit much from a future state of Palestine - if ever there is to be one! It never stops to amaze me, that Israeli Jews, who are descendants from those who along many centuries suffered injustices and were murdered in Europe and elsewhere are doing the same to Palestinians. One would have thought that the suffering of Jewish people living in the Diaspora would have given them empathy for others and stopped them from doing the same. However, the way it goes, it seems there were no lessons learned. 

 

Gentrification leaves one Jaffa family caged in their own home

Ismail Shawa never expected that a new luxury apartment building would have such an immediate and dramatic effect on his family’s life — that was until contractors sealed off the entrance to their home with a concrete wall, effectively trapping them inside.

By Yudit Ilany

Ismail Shawa standing in the window he is forced to climb through in order to exit and enter his Jaffa home. (Photo by Yudit Ilany)

Ismail Shawa standing in the window he is forced to climb through in order to exit and enter his Jaffa home. (Photo by Yudit Ilany)

To exit or enter his Jaffa home, Ismail Shawa, 62, has to remove the bars from his bedroom window and climb out and over the neighbor’s water pipes. He still has to cross a yard that doesn’t belong to him but for the time being, no has told him not to. The other option is to exit over another neighbor’s flimsy and crumbling asbestos roof.

When his wife, Itidal Shawa, 67, fell ill a week and a half ago, paramedics had to call in the fire brigade to extract her because there is no longer any other way out but to climb through the small window — or over the neighbor’s roof.

A judge from the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court described the arrangement as “not easy,” but asserted that the family “can still enter and exit their home.” Perhaps the judge wouldn’t mind entering his courtroom through a small, high-placed window.

And all of this because a contractor building a fancy new luxury apartment buildingnext door erected a concrete wall that blocks the entrance to the Shawas’ home.

The plot on which the fancy housing complex sits was bought from the Israel Land Authority some years ago. Perhaps no one paid attention to the fact that the only entrance to the Shawa family home is through the same plot. Or perhaps they did pay attention but simply didn’t care.

Rights of way are recognized by Israeli law, so the Shawas should have been safe. They should have been able to continue entering their home through the neighboring plot, the same way they have since they first moved into their home 37 years ago.

The Shawas are a regular Jaffa family, simple people. And fancy housing developers do what they want; they have connections, expensive lawyers and when necessary, employ private guard companies with less-than-perfect behavioral records, as the Shawas found out a few weeks ago.

The Shawa family’s story starts in 1977 when Ismail and Itidal got married, took out a bank loan and bought protected tenancy rights from Sa’ado Jabar, the owner of the building in which the Shawas’ ground-floor apartment is located. The Shawas’ only entrance has always been from the backside of the building and through the empty adjacent plot.

Seven children were born and over the years and the Shawas turned their backyard into a garden with orange, lemon and mandarin trees, a grape arbour and lots of flowers. The children had their own small “farm” for their pets: chickens, a dog and lots of birds. Over the years, the garden overflowed into to the empty plot next door, which prior to their gardening efforts had become a place where drug dealers and addicts hid their stashes, weapons and stolen goods. The municipality even encouraged the Shawas to use the plot, then owned by the Israel Land Authority.

Mr. Shawa worked as small-time businessman while Mrs. Shawa was at home educating the children. Two of the married children moved out. The other five, all adults now, still live at home.

In 2010 the neighboring plot was sold and one morning in 2012, the Shawas woke up to the sound of bulldozers destroying their lovely garden. Mr. Shawa called the police, who stood by and watched and wouldn’t allow him to take his property or save the garden furniture and bird cages. It was then that the Shawas learned of the building planned for next door.

Mr. Saado Jabar, the owner of the building, an elderly and well-respected man in Jaffa, spoke with the contractor who promised him the Shawas would be given right of way. “They made the agreement by shaking hands,” Sammy Jabar, the owner’s son says. “My father is of that generation where a man’s word and a handshake mean more than any paper.”

Nevertheless, Mr. Shawa went to court and appealed to the municipality. The municipality recognised Mr. Shawa’s right of way.

In spite of that, Mr. Shawa agreed to stop using the old entrance if another entrance was arranged for him and his family. This was not done, first and foremost, because it was almost impossible technically, but also because it would create another legal problem: somebody else owns the land on the other side of the building and there would be no guaranteed right of way there either.

Two weeks ago the Shawas came home to find their only entrance blocked off by a concrete wall being protected by nearly a dozen private guards. Unable to enter their home, the Shawas called the police and showed them a letter from the municipality’s building department clearly stating an entrance path to the Shawa family home must be left open. That didn’t help. The police stood by and did nothing.

Ismail Shawa's daughter speaks with police officers outside the family home (Photo by Yudit Ilany)

Ismail Shawa’s daughter speaks with police officers outside the family home (Photo by Yudit Ilany)

The Shawas immediately took the case to court and the duty judge decided not to issue a temporary injunction or demolition order. Thus, the Shawas spent their first night outside of their home, unable to enter it. The second day they brought equipment and climbed in, over the asbestos roof belonging to one of the neighbours on the other side. It was then that the fire department had to be called to extricate Mrs. Shawa.

When a court finally decided they should be given right of way, Mr. Shawa once again called the police in order to enforce their right of way. The police did not intervene. It turned out the developers had appealed.

Accepting the developers’ appeal, a second judge decided that the concrete wall blocking the Shawas’ entrance did not have to be demolished, ruling the Shawas “can still enter their home,” albeit in an “uneasy manner.”

Two weeks later, the Shawas still have to climb through their bedroom window to enter and exit their home because their other neighbor doesn’t want them to climb over her roof any longer. She’s rightfully afraid that its crumbling asbestos will crack or collapse.

The Shawas spoke to the developer of the new building next door. They say he couldn’t care less. Wealthy Tel Aviv developers building in Jaffa tend not to see the poor neighbors below their fancy luxury buildings.

The future tenants of the fancy apartments will one day soon live next door to people who have many reasons not to like them. People who have to climb through a window to enter their home. People who have no gas for cooking because they can no longer replace the empty gas canisters. And it seems that no one really cares. Welcome to gentrifying Jaffa, 2014.

Yudit Ilany is an activist in the Jaffa Popular Committee for Housing and Land Allocation Rights.

 

 

in 

 

publicado por Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt - Jornalista às 07:44
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Segunda-feira, 10 de Fevereiro de 2014

Would Sephardic Jews right to go back to Spain equal Palestinians rights for the same in Palestine?

Are Sefaradim going back to Spain? And whether this could be a good starting point for a think-tank seeking a fair solution for the on-going situation of Palestinian refugees?

 

Today I came accross news that descendants of Jews who were forced to leave Spain at the time of the Inquisition, about five hundred years ago,  might be able to re-acquire Spanish citizenship under a new bill to be passed but not yet approved by the Spanish government. This would no doubt create a very interesting precedent in terms of giving citizenship to populations expelled from regions where they were living before.

 

Ofourse, even if approved, the enforcement of such an eventual law will require many regulations to make it work out in real life. It is a law that has some potential to create a mass "exodus" from Israel to Spain. That is: if Israelis descendants of Spanish Jews can prove their ascendancy to the point of getting Spanish citizenship (this considering that Spain would be allowing dual nationality, which would be an exception to the rule) and if Spanish citizenship for descendants of Spanish Jews would entail right of abode. If Israel ceases to exist, as many Jewish Israelis seem to fear, we could be witnessing some millions of Sephardic Jews going back to Spain, or in Ladino, to Sefarad.

 

(in the newspaper Haaretz you can find several articles on this theme)

 

Interestingly last year the Portuguese Parliament approved the law of citizenship for Portuguese Jews expelled by Manuel I of Portugal back in the 1490^s. According to this law, descendants of Portuguese Jews have now a right to Portuguese citizenship  upon fulfillment  of certain requisites (in http://rr.sapo.pt/informacao_detalhe.aspx?fid=29&did=103737)

 

 

Is this a good way of correcting many historical wrong-doings?

 

However, let us think beyond. If Israel and Israelis want to be fair and just, and following the ratio of the Spanish law, this should also open the way for an Israeli law giving Palestinians the possibility to apply for Israeli citizenship rights if desired. After all many Palestinians were expelled from Palestine, exactly from the area which is nowadays Israel. The Palestinian exodus did not happen five hundred years ago. Not even a century has passed since the expulsion of Palestinians from Palestine - or, as most Israelis see it, "since they left!".  As a matter of fact here we are not only referring to descendants of Palestinians but also to the ones who were actually expelled from Palestine and are still living with the status of refugees since the Naqba, that started some 65 years ago. Thus following the reasoning of the Spanish law to be, and so cherished by Sefaradim in Israel and elsewhere, millions of Palestinians could have a right to apply for Israeli citizenship. Despite their houses and villages having been  destroyed by buldozers and in their place forests been planted and kibbutzim been built, their right of abode in their ancestors land could be "returned".

 

This could also constitute precedent for Germans expelled from East Prussia to go back to the regions as well as many others that through history were forced to leave their homes, their villages, their countries, either through persecution, defeat at war, expulsion, etc.  Exodus of populations can be observed all through history and they were caused by a myriad of reasons. The question should be whether such a posteriori recognitions are justified, fair and desirable and even if they are legitimate and where they could take us. And if they are all this, where do we stop making wrongs - good! What is the criteria for saying yes or no to return rights...

 

It would be desirable that this point is raised by the media and especially that the Spanish Government and not least Parliament put conditions to such a recognition of citizenship, such as demanding that the Israeli government finds an equally adequate solution to the Palestian refugee problem as pre-condition to passing the above law in Parliament. Notwithstanding, Palestinian refugees will continue homeless and countryless as long as they stay "refugees" and the Israeli unstopable settlements policy will continue undermining the geographical continuity of the future state of Palestine.

 

 

Remembering the everyday Naqba, the Palestinian Catastrophe, in my recent pictures taken in Israel/Palestine 

 

 

Lef side, 1st and 2nd photos - Mural in Jaffa; 

Right side, 1st and 2nd photos - Qalandia Refugee Camp

Bottom photos - Qalandiya Check point and Wall

(in some places 7 meters high concrete, wall, plus barbed wire on top)

 

 

 

Qalandiya - Border to Jerusalem  - exit to Israel for workers working in Jerusalem and living also in Ramallah. 

 

 

Arafat depicted as a young man on this mural painting near Qalandiya check-point

 

 

 

 

The little figure is Handala, a Palestinian defiance symbol, created by Naji al-Ali, as self-image at ten years old, when he was forced to leave Palestine. (also at Qalandiya check-point)

 

 Text and Photos copyright © 2014.02.10 Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt -

 

all texts and photos in all posts in this blog are protected by copyright.

 

any and all illegal use or infringement of any or several or all contents

including photos and videos of this blog therefore and heretofore

protected by copyrights shall be liable to prosecution

 

publicado por Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt - Jornalista às 09:27
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Terça-feira, 28 de Janeiro de 2014

Dia Internacional do Holocausto

A propósito do Dia Internacional do Holocausto

 

Num evento organizado pelo Congresso Europeu Judaico, que teve lugar na véspera do Dia Internacional do Holocausto, na sede da União Europeia em Bruxelas, o Presidente do Parlamento Europeu, Martin Schultz, afirmou que “os alemães de hoje não são os culpados do holocausto, mas são responsáveis por manter viva a sua memória”. Por sua vez, o Presidente do Congresso Europeu Judaico, Moshe Kantor, exortou a Europa “a reconhecer o Mal e a prevenir a sua ressurreição”.

 

Turquia lembra o Holocausto

Por ocasião do Dia Internacional do Holocausto, o Ministro turco dos Negócios Estrangeiros, afirmou que “devemos lembrar e honrar os mais de 6 milhões de judeus e membros das minorias que perderam as suas vidas nesta tragédia humana. Este dia, deve guiar-nos para uma cultura da compreensão mútua, tolerância e co-existência e, neste contexto, é importante aprender a lição e combater o racismo, a xenofobia e o anti-semitismo”. Durante a visita à sinagoga de Neve Shalom, em Istambul, o embaixador Tezgör pediu a monitorização séria da islamofobia e da xenofobia que são - “ameaças crescentes na Europa”. Terminou dizendo que partilha “a dor deste povo escolhido como alvo pela sua identidade.”.

 

A televisão estatal turca TRT transmitiu o filme “Shoa” de Claude Lanzmann no âmbito da campanha que visa promover o entendimento entre Judeus e Muçulmanos no país. O realizador francês afirmou ser “um acontecimento histórico” por ser a primeira vez que uma televisão estatal de um país muçulmano mostra este filme.

 

A Alemanha e os seus “ingénuos”

Recentemente, a revista alemã Stern revelou os resultados de uma sondagem, feita a mil e duzentas pessoas, que revelou que, um em cada cinco jovens alemães não sabe que Auschwitz foi um campo de morte nazi e um terço destes desconhece que Auschwitz é hoje na Polónia.

Estes resultados são preocupantes, sobretudo, sabendo que nas escolas alemãs o Holocausto e a sua literatura integram o programa escolar a partir do 7º ano.

No passado mês de Novembro, a nação alemã reagiu atónita às notícias sobre os terroristas neonazis e a infiltração pouco transparente das suas células pelos defensores da Constituição do País que, apesar dos malabarismo de corda bomba na fronteira da (i)licitude, não conseguiram evitar o assassínio de cidadãos alemães de origem turca.

 

Os judeus na Alemanha

O jornal israelita Haaretz surpreendeu recentemente com o título “Bem-vindo à comunidade judaica que está a crescer mais no mundo: Alemanha”. Segundo Seligmann, o editor do “Jewish Voice from Germany”, 100 000 Judeus estariam registados na comunidade, embora, na realidade, esse número possa já ir no dobro. Segundo o editor daquele jornal, se contarmos todos os judeus que vivem, actualmente, na Alemanha, estaríamos perto dos 250 000 (incluindo judeus alemães, russos, israelitas e americanos) – ou seja, metade do número de judeus que viveram neste país antes da Shoa.

 

Mas quem é Seligmann?

É um judeu israelita que veio para a Alemanha com os pais em 1957. Para ele foi um trauma deixar Israel; mas para os seus pais foi voltar à pátria de que tinham fugido vinte anos antes. Jornalista com artigos publicados no Spiegel, Bild, Die Welt e FAZ, e autor de seis romances, Seligmann foi o primeiro autor judeu a publicar um romance após a Segunda Guerra Mundial. Ele é também o editor da recentemente criada publicação judeo-alemã “The Jewish Voice from Germany”, cuja primeira edição, com uma tiragem de trinta mil exemplares, foi lida por 150 000 leitores na Alemanha, USA, Canadá, Reino Unido e Israel.

 

No editorial da primeira edição, Seligmann diz que o seu sonho “é o renascimento da vida judeo-alemã na Alemanha. Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Theodor Mommsen e Max Liebermann simbolizaram um florescimento único das artes, da cultura e da economia na Alemanha do seu tempo.”

 

Apetência pela capital

Em Berlim-Mitte ouve-se muito o hebraico falado por turistas israelitas de visita e pelos seus filhos que vieram passar uns anos nos bairros “in” da capital – Berlim está na moda entre os jovens israelitas. Assiste-se à retoma da vida judaica na capital: as sinagogas e as “yeshivas” são restauradas às suas antigas funções, maestros judeus dirigem orquestras de nomeada internacional na capital, os intelectuais judeus retomam visibilidade, abriu um restaurante israelita na fronteira com Prenzlauerberg e há mesmo uma discoteca israelita cheia de jovens “sabras”. Num artigo do referido jornal conta-se a história de milhares de israelitas em Berlim e numa foto vê-se quatro israelitas embrulhados em bandeiras alemãs e israelitas com o título “aprender a conhecermo-nos”!

 

Segundo declarações recentes do Ministro do Interior alemão, apesar do decréscimo do número de neonazis, regista-se o alastramento das actividades da extrema-direita e o aumento do seu potencial de violência, de que a comunidade judaica também é alvo. Porém, esta comunidade fervilha novamente de criatividade e de optimismo e contribui significativamente não só para a vida cultural da nação como para os cofres da “sexy e pobre” cidade através do turismo oriundo de Israel e da Diáspora.

 

Mas não esqueçamos nunca as circunstâncias históricas e factuais que levaram à tipificação do crime de genocídio após a Segunda Guerra Mundial, e lembremos, não só hoje, mas durante todo o ano, as vítimas e o desvario de um líder e dos seus correligionários que quiseram assassinar uma nação inteira por ser diferente. Na sociedade alemã existem muitos cidadãos diferentes: os muçulmanos, os judeus, os africanos, os asiáticos, inter alia. Infelizmente, nem todos os alemães foram ganhos para a causa do multiculturalismo. Para evitar uma repetição da História, e não só como farsa, há que reunir todos os grupos sociais e religiosos, a sociedade civil e o governo para combaterem, juntos, o fenómeno do “neonazismo” que ameaça o país e que, recentemente, tanto chocou a nação.

 

O Dia Internacional do Holocausto é um dia de reflexão e de aprendizagem com os erros do passado. E deveria ser um incentivo para lutarmos por um futuro mais harmonioso, pelo entendimento entre os povos e as suas culturas, e pela tolerância no mundo.

 

Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt

 

Berlim, Janeiro 2012 – publicado no jornal Portugal Post online

publicado por Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt - Jornalista às 07:42
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Quinta-feira, 9 de Janeiro de 2014

Um Ano em Telavive - curriculum

 

 

 

 

In this new year 2014 "One Year in Tel Aviv" is still kicking and stocks are moving , Um Ano em Telavive ... Ainda a registar movimento nas livrarias em que está à venda

 

O livro "Um Ano em Telavive" de Cristina Vogt-da Silva (pseudónimo de Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt) tem vindo a receber alguma atenção mediática desde a sua publicação. E, recentemente, algumas editoras estrangeiras sinalizaram apetência pela sua publicação nos respectivos países.

 

E, assim, para facilitar a consulta dos eventos mediáticos sobre o livro e a autora, apresenta-se uma lista por ordem decrescente para informação dos interessados. É só clicar nos links. Todos os artigos e as entrevistas são em língua portuguesa.

 

Below follows a list of Media events about "Um Ano em Telavive" de Cristina Vogt-da Silva for all interested

 

 

- to Date

 

 

Agosto 2012 no jornal Portugal Post

 

Book review of "Um Ano em Telavive" by Prof Dr Luísa Coelho from Instituto Camões published in Portugal Post.

 

Recensão sobre "Um Ano em Telavive" de Prof Dra Luísa Coelho, Leitora do Instituto Camões, em Berlim, na Freie Universitaet e na Humboldt Universitaet zu Berlin, publicada por gentileza do Portugal Post, na edição impressa de Agosto 2012.

 

http://www.portugalpost.de/index.php?id=29&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=229&cHash=7920b8b5996c4f1cbb291ffb5dfb7240

 

 

 

1.02. 2012, Berlin, Germany 

 

Presentation and launch of "Um Ano em Telavive" in Berlin, Germany with full house

 

Apresentação e lançamento na Alemanha de "Um Ano em Telavive" pela Prof. Dra. Luísa Coelho, Leitora do Instituto Camões. Evento com lotação esgotada.

 

 

 

Interview in the newspaper Portugal Post, published in September 2011

 

http://www.portugalpost.eu/fileadmin/templates/HLX22/downloads/2011/PORTUGAL%20POST%20-Set%2011.pdf
 
page 7.
 

Interview in the newspaper Mundo Português, published on 11 July 2011 
 
http://www.mundoportugues.org/content/1/9485/ano-telavive-aventuras-uma-portuguesa-israel/


 
 
Interview on Portuguese International Radio, RTPi (36 Minuten, broadcasted Live on Easter Sunday 2011) published by Associação de Amizade Luso-Turca 

 
http://www.turquiaportugal.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=130&catid=55
 
 
Presentation of "Um Ano em Telavive" in a literature programe at prime time on TVI24 "Livraria Ideal", on 11th March 2010
 
http://www.tvi24.iol.pt/programacao-cultura/livraria-ideal-tvi24/1044066-4665.html
 
 
The book "Um Ano em Telavive" de Cristina Vogt-da Silva was launched in Livraria Ler Devagar, na Lx Factory, in Lisbon, on 18th Dec 2009

(see slides of presentation)
 
http://www.slideshare.net/cristinadangerfieldv/lanamento-do-livro-um-ano-em-telavive-em-powerpoint
 

 

 

"Um Ano em Telavive" de Cristina Vogt-da Silva está à venda nas livrarias da Fnac, Bertrand e Bulhosa

e nos respectivos sites

 

You can find "Um Ano em Telavive" in the bookshops Fnac, Bertrand and Bulhosa, as well as online

 

http://www.fnac.pt/Um-Ano-em-Telavive-CRISTINA-VOGT-DA-SILVA/a288822

 

http://www.bulhosa.pt/livro/um-ano-em-telavive-cristina-vogt-da-silva/?from_page=Redirecionamento+da+Listagem&UDSID=0511102111123300697688131

 

http://www.bertrand.pt/?palavra=um%20ano%20em%20telavive&restricts=8066&facetcode=temas

 

 

tb. à venda em/ also for sale online at:

 

http://www.buknet.pt/?op=pesquisa&pesquisa=um+ano+em+telavive&t=1

 

 

http://www.wook.pt/ficha/um-ano-em-telavive/a/id/3306486

 

and 

 

at Amazon

 

http://www.amazon.de/Um-ano-em-Telavive-Portugiesisch/dp/9896364761

 

 

 

PS1 A autora é agora correspondente em Berlim do jornal - Portugal Post www.portugalpost.eu

     The autor is now Berlin correspondent for the newspaper - Portugal Post www.portugalpost.eu

 

PS2 Escreve num blog sobre Berlim com links para os artigos do PP/ Also writing about Berlin with links to articles in Portugal Post in

 

http://ickbinberlinerin.blogs.sapo.pt/

 

e num outro blog, sobre a Turquia / and in another blog also writing about Turkey

 

http://www.viagens-bloconotas.blogspot.com/

 

 

might be out of stock - sold out!

 

 

 

 

copyright © 21.10.2011 cristina vogt-da silva aka cristina dangerfield-vogt

 

publicado por Cristina Dangerfield-Vogt - Jornalista às 11:55
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