Skip to the bottom for some Prince of Egypt talk.
As people who know me are aware, I think about Israel a lot. I think about it every day, I know stuff about it that probably doesn’t occur to most people, or that they forget just as quickly as they found it out. And that’s fine, everyone has their passions and for most people, passion is not the State of Israel.
Anyway, it’s got to the point that people do ask me what’s missing from the latest stories about Israel, the bits that the media conveniently forgets to mention, because them evil Jews amirite?
Bits like, the 14 year-old who got shot had actually just stabbed 3 people and then ran towards armed soldiers with the same knife. Or, someone announced themselves as a suicide bomber before getting tear-gassed. Because what the fuck else are you supposed to do when a terrorist is sprinting at you with a knife or about to detonate themselves???
(Well, if you’re Jewish, the answer is: you’re meant to let yourself die, because everyone who said “Never Again” that time has a brain like a fucking sieve.)
It’s good that people ask me what’s missing from the story, it’s much better than people taking reports at face value and assuming that Jews have done some horrible thing because … reasons?
But, it’s also really fucking exhausting, every time Israel is in the news (which is a lot), feeling the need to debunk all the bollocks. And I don’t actually swim through as much bollocks as the general population does, because we don’t even have a TV licence right now so I’m avoiding all that. But there’s SO. MUCH. STUFF. to counter and I feel physically drained by it all.
So I’m gonna drop in some other resources here, that will tell you about what is really going on, and then you can hear about some of it before having to involve me.
First, the most concise post about Israel I’ll ever manage to write. Learn some basic shit from this.
On Twitter, follow these accounts to get some missing details about events:
This Ongoing War – run by the parents of one of the victims of the Tamimis’ restaurant bombing.
StandWithUs – probably the main organisation advocating for Israel.
Julie Lenarz – expert on Islamic terrorism
Canary Mission – because Jews are the canaries in the world’s coal mine.
Pages to Like/ follow on Facebook for more in-depth posts:
StandWithUs – often has video clips that disprove mainstream reports.
Muslims of Israel – shows Israeli Muslims living normal lives next to Jews.
I Support the Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria – information about the area incorrectly referred to as the “West Bank.”
TICP – cartoon interpretations of the latest bollocks.
4IL – rebutting a lot of Hamas propaganda.
Operation Lifeshield – information about terrorist attacks and terrorism against Israel.
Visit Israel – general info.
There is even a term for these obviously orchestrated pictures and videos put out by them – “Pallywood.”
A fictional image made to discuss a hypothetical war which often gets shared as a real photo
Laughably bad fake brutality – which still somehow got shared around.
“Regarding your picture on page A5 of the Israeli soldier and the Palestinian on the Temple Mount — that Palestinian is actually my son, Tuvia Grossman, a Jewish student from Chicago. He, and two of his friends, were pulled from their taxicab while traveling in Jerusalem, by a mob of Palestinian Arabs, and were severely beaten and stabbed.That picture could not have been taken on the Temple Mount because there are no gas stations on the Temple Mount and certainly none with Hebrew lettering, like the one clearly seen behind the Israeli soldier attempting to protect my son from the mob.”
This ridiculous bullshit with a wheelchair-using terrorist who deliberately martyred himself – it’s amazing how people suddenly care about disabled people if they can use them against the Jews.
To cut an unfathomably-long story much shorter:
Israel is not a perfect place; Jews are, contrary to popular belief, members of the human species, and like all other humans, they can be shitty. The government of Israel, like any other government, can be shitty.
The fact that Netanyahu can even be investigated and taken to task, shows that Israel is a real functioning democracy; if Muslims tried any of the same things with Palestinian leaders serving their billionth terms, they’d just be executed.
Most of the things that are spread about Israel are simply not true. Some of them are blood libels that have been spread against Jews for hundreds of years (e.g. eating children, which I’ve seen evolve into “eating children alive” over Twitter), some are things made to sound sinister via the careful omission of specific historical facts. And, as more and more of the war becomes fought on social media, there is faking and editing of photos.
I am usually happy and able to answer a question about Israel that friends may come to me with. It’s good that they are asking instead of just swallowing narratives. But what would be even better, is people keeping themselves clued in.
When people are ranting to you about them evil Jews, you need to be able to say, “I support Israel.” You need to be able to say to someone’s face, “Jews are from Judea.”
You need to stand up to misrepresentation when you see it. Don’t bite your tongue about it. Make sure people learn their shit.
If these people succeed in getting Israel and Israelis to disappear, what exactly do you think is next for them??
If Israel is gone, it will be YOUR house that thousands of Hamas members are marching towards with axes and rocket launchers in hand. And only then will you realise what you’ve done.
Think very carefully when you’re listening to coverage of Israel. There is always something they haven’t mentioned.
In other news, we watched Prince of Egypt today on Netflix because it’s Passover and Easter.
It’s an absolutely beautiful film. Obviously a lot of artistic licence is taken (e.g. the film shows the Red Sea literally parting, when it’s postulated that it actually would have been crossed via reefs that existed at the time, and I’ve also heard the theory of an earthquake and resulting tsunami elsewhere that left the area shallow. And you could argue ’til the cows come home about whether the God of Israel timed that for the Jews).
It’s a film that can introduce you to the singing voice of the gorgeous and sadly deceased Ofra Haza, an Israeli singer whose parents made Aliyah from Yemen. She recorded the soundtrack in 18 languages!
It’s also got Patrick Stewart, Ralph Fiennes, and Jeff Goldblum, but also, Danny Glover, who is bizarrely anti-Semitic despite having been in this film.
Religious or not, it’s a film you should treat yourself to viewing around every Easter because honestly, it’s really something.
I get very emotional during this film (a.k.a. I start crying from Ofra Haza’s first song as Yocheved and carry on crying intermittently for the rest of the film) and tonight was no different.
I realised that the story of Moses might mean so much to me, because actually, I can see myself in it.
I am someone whose immediate family was (and let’s be honest, is) anti-Jewish. Many hideously unacceptable conversations were had in that house during my childhood. My mother’s family really went through some shit because of their Breton Pagan origins, and yet, not only was I warned away from Jews, but the phrase “Hitler was right” was said more than once.
And then one day, I realised that the non-Muslim Arabs we apparently descend from were Mizrahi Jews.
I realised the clues were always there. My dad used words and phrases that are only said by Jews. I didn’t realise that for a long time, because they were just there in the background of my childhood. He would also always feel the need to mention who was Jewish out of people in person and people he spotted on telly.
I don’t know if my grandmother was actually a bad person, or if my dad was just an asshole. He did a lot of things to us that make me lean towards the latter. But I can’t say for sure, because I never knew my grandparents before they died. Apparently my grandmother met me once when I was a baby and she was forbidden from seeing me again.
I’ve seen one photo of her that I can barely remember. I think it was black and white, either that or very faded, and I remember her looking not too different altogether from that photo of Ofra up there. But it’s hard to say for sure, because it’s been too long and it was just one glimpse.
The only thing I’m sure of is that my dad really hated his mother. I don’t know if that’s why he raised us to be anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli. My dad’s focus was always more on imbuing us with Japan’s films and games.
Anyway, there’s a part in the film when Moses’ brother, Aaron, says to him: “When did you start caring about slaves? Was it when you found out that you were one of us?”
And that line hits me, because I, selfishly, started caring about Jews when I realised I was one. I realised my life could be so easily ended as a result of the pro-Palestinian lies I had spread as an ignorant activist. I realised what I had done, when the hate and danger were pointing towards me.
My penance for the ill-will I directed towards Israel and Jews in the past, is having that same ill-will directed towards me. It’s watching everyone around me side with Corbyn and believe media bollocks. It’s watching everyone forget history.
Despite how much I’ve fucked up with my life, I like to think I’m building a relationship with God. I think he’s done me a fair few favours already, and I hope he will protect my children.
I’m certainly no Yocheved and I’d be a bit delusional to think I was the modern equivalent of Moses. I can’t see myself leading thousands of Jews anywhere from my wheelchair.
But I identify with his story, as someone who looked down on Jews, was unexpectedly Jewish, and now has to try and do a good thing for the Jewish people. My “good thing” might be directing people in my life towards the truth of Israel.
Maybe God has a larger purpose for me, I don’t know. I don’t know a lot of things. But at least, as an adult, I admit that, in contrast to teen Letti thinking she knows absolutely bloody everything.
On another note, we all know I love grey cats. For some reason, I have wanted to name a grey kitten Tzipporah for a really long time. As far as I know, this originates from a dream I had when I was young, in which I had a wonderful grey kitten who was named, you guessed it, Tzipporah.
Tzipporah is the wife of Moses, and the name comes from the word for “bird,” so is perhaps an ironic thing to call a cat. And yet, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for so long. You’d call such a cat “Tzippi” around the house on a day-to-day basis, obviously.
Another name that grows on me more as time goes on, is Miriam, that of Moses’ sister. Hamsot, the amulets I love to decorate my house with, are colloquially called the “Hand of Miriam.”
Anyway, I should really end this post now. TL;DR watch The Prince of Egypt and support Israel 🇮🇱.