cause i love a party
December 19, 2008 § 3 Comments
these are not reasons i am going to palestine in a month:
1. i believe in non-violence, peace, dialogue, etc.
–sorry, but i dont believe in non-violence as anything more than a tactic. peace is a vague word that means anything it is twisted into. nowadays it means ‘calm’, ceasefire, bowed heads, acquiescence to the masters, and smouldering resentment. ‘dialogue’ (between israel and palestine) is a practice that every ngo in the region is required to do in order to get funding, but israelis and palestinians understand each other pretty well…there is a tiny piece of land (like the size of vermont) and both sides want it…its not a mis-communication problem it is an allocation of resources problem.
2. i really want to make a difference and feel useful
–oh god. i make a difference and feel useful everyday. i write, i talk to folks. i dont feel more useful in palestine than in the states. it is both hubristic and a diminishment of my humanity to imagine myself as a means to an abstracted end. in other words to objectify myself.
3. i love the adventure of living in a war zone
–there are adrenaline junkies a-plenty in the west bank. i wish i was one of them. then being there would be ‘awesome!’ i could say things like: so, we were at this demo and the soldiers started shooting tear gas and pushing the front line down trying to get to the palestinians but we held firm and joined hands and then the soldiers started using rubber bullets and my buddy mike (fill in anglo last name) got hit in the leg, so a bunch of us had to run over to him and do first aid, and shit was crazy, man, and we could barely see because of all the tear gas, and the soldiers wouldnt let ambulance in, it was awesome man! look at this nasty bruise i got…popped my cherry!
–instead i end up sounding more like this: it sucked. the internationals were crazy disorganized. i am not sure what the goal was of the demo. and the power dynamics between the local community and the internationals seem really off. i got this nasty sinus infection and so had to take some heavy medication to fall asleep. i heard some of the local guys sexually harrassing the international girls, and the girls dont know it since they barely know any arabic, but it seems like it is a situation which could turn out not well. i need to sit down with the chicas and teach them some useful phrases when dealing with some of the guys here. and i need to have a talk with the head international organizer about the philosophy that ‘we use our privilege to get in the way of the violence directed toward the palestinians’, that is a really ethnocentric and racist justification for what we do here. but some good things happened, the local community had some interesting visuals at the protest that i am sure are going to get carried in the major palestinian media outlets. and watching that british guy who was all bravado before the demo, run faster than the palestinians when the tear gas started was funny.
most international activists think of me as a real downer.
4. at least its not here
frankly, for the most part, it is a trade off. one type of sexism for another type of sexism. one type of racism for another type of racism. one view of the empire for another view of the empire. its not here. but its not there either. you know that line: wherever you go there you are? that is how i feel about traveling. the scenery changes but my daily life, rhythms, needs, exhaustions, inspirations remain the same. i dont become a different person.
so why do i go?
you know the answer.
because, i love a party.
the best parties are in palestine.
so i have to go back.
what kind of mother would i be if i did not introduce aza at a young age to the best parties on the planet?
a bad mother, that’s what kind.
a really bad mother.
she already owns black patent leather party shoes. and you should see her moves. and she is an excellent conversationalist. she makes the whole room laugh when she gets to the punchline.
and plus i miss taybeh beer.