Author Archive for Ami Kaufman
I’ll be relaunching Half & Half on Friday. I’ll have a new address, a new WordPress theme, and some Google ads.
I’ve wanted a new address for a while now, got kinda tired of the wordpress stuck in the the middle, so – I bought a domain. Also, I had some complaints about reading white on a black background, so I’ve got a new theme I’m going to try out (we’ll see if I stick with it…). And since my traffic is up a bit, I’ve decided to see if I can make a buck or two from some ads (hope that doesn’t tick any of you off…).
On Friday I’ll give out the new URL, where you’ll be able to read the special, first anniversary post. Yup, it’s been a year.
So, basically, this is my last post on http://www.shmookty.wordpress.com. Thanks shmookty, it’s been a hell of a ride! 🙂
P.S. For those of you who didn’t know, “shmookty” is one of the first nicknames we gave our first daughter, Emma.
It’s 3 am in Jerusalem. Izzie’s just finished another consult with her ministers on how to get out of the mess Eli Yishai caused during the Biden visit.
She’s been crying the whole night.
Just as she finally begins to close her eyes, the phone rings.
Izzie: Yes, who is this?
Emanuel: It’s me, Rahm.
She can hear him smiling through the phone.
Izzie: Oh, I get it. So, you’re calling me to gloat now? Is that it?
Emanuel: Nah, of course not, kiddo! That’s not my style. I just wanted to check up on you…. hee-heee…pffffff (he can’t control the giggling)
Izzie: Yeah, right. I’ll bet. Well, for your information, I’m doing just fine. Just! Fine! (The tears start to roll and mess up her mascara again)
Emanuel: Really? You’re fine? Pfffff heee-heee!! Sorry, sorry…. I don’t know what’s wrong with me…. I mean… ummm…. you don’t sound fine… heeeeeheeee!!!
Emanuel: “A bit angry”??!!!? PFFFFFFFFF!!!!! Did you hear that??
Izzie hears someone else laughing in the room with him
Izzie: Who’s there!?! Baracky baby?!?! Is that you?
Axelrod: PFFFfffpfff sorry Izzie, it’s just me… David. Heeeee-heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee….
Izzie: Oh. The other –
Axelrod: – Yeah, Izzie, the other self-hating Jew! pfffff heeeeheeeee hoooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She can’t control the sobs now
Izzie: Stop…(sniff) it… (sniff) please…(sniffsniffsniiff)
Emanuel: OHHH G-d!!! OH! Feels so good!! Oh…. Sweet revenge…
Axelrod: Yeah, Izzie, I mean, you gotta admit: you had it comin’…
Izzie: I did not!
Axelrod: Oh, c’mon! What planet are you living on?! You’ve been lying to us ever since we took office!
Obama calls out for Rahm from the Oval Office
Izzie: Is that Baracky? Can I speak to him? Please???
Emanuel: Sure… If you want your head bitten off!!!! HEEEEE HHhooooo pffffff!!!
Emanuel: Oh G-d, Oh G-d, so good…. so goood…. oh… oh… ohhh…. oh, someone stop the pain…. ohhhhhhhhhhhh
Izzie: Please… (sniff)… Rahm… (sniff)… Let me speak to Barack…
Axelrod: Izzie, I don’t think that’s such a good idea….
Izzie: Please!!! (sob)… I’ll do anything!
Emanuel and Axelrod grin at each other
Emanuel: Will you stop building in East Jerusalem?
Izzie thinks for second
Emanuel: HEEEEEE!!!! Hooo !!!! I didn’t think so!!! HAaaa… Oh G-d… stop it, stop it… oh please… I can’t breath… please….
Axelrod: Oh G-d, I haven’t laughed this hard since my Zeidi used to tickle me as a kid….heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!
Emanuel: OK, OK, OK…. Listen, Iz…. seriously… we just wanted to try to cheer you up…
Axelrod: Yea Iz, seriously, we actually wanted to sing you a little song….
Izzie: Really? For real? Don’t make fun of me Rahm… I’m really not in the mood…
Emanuel: No, of course not! Just listen, OK?
Izzie: Well, OK…
Axelrod: OK. Let’s do this…
Emanuel and Axelrod look at each other, trying hard to keep the laughter in. They clear their throats simultaneously and go for it
Emanuel and Axelrod: “Who’s sorry now? Who’s sorry now? Whose heart is aching for breaking each vow?”
Izzie: You fucking bastards!
Emanuel and Axelrod: “Who’s sad and blue?” PFfffff “Who’s crying too?” Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Izzie: Fucking shmucks!
Emanuel and Axelrod: “Just like I cried over you?” HOooooooooooooHeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Izzie: Stop it! Get Barack on the phone! Now!!!!!!!!!!!!
Emanuel and Axelrod: “Right to the end, just like a friend”
Izzie: You’re gonna pay for this Rahm.
Emanuel and Axelrod: “I tried to warn you somehow”
Rahm: I did Izzie, I tried to warn you, I swear heeeeehooooooooo heeee pfffff
Emanuel and Axelrod: “You had your way, now you must pay” pfffffffffffffffffffffff
Emanuel and Axelrod: “I’m glad that YOU’RE SORRY NOWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
They both collapse in their chairs giggling uncontrollably, as Obama walks in
Obama: Rahm! What the hell is going on in here?
Rahm sits up straight, wipes the tears of joy from his eyes
Emanuel: Sorry, Mr. President… We were just fooling around a bit with Izzie….
Obama: Oh… well… in that case…
Obama: Keep up the good work!
I can’t decide whether I like this song by Efrat Gosh, or not. There’s something very cool about it, and yet extremely annoying at the same time…
But while searching for the video clip, I found out she made not one, not two – but seven different clips for it!
I’m dreaming of a white Intifada
Just like good ‘ole Ghandi used to do
Where the protests in Bil’in
And demos in Na’alin
Do more than a suicide bomber or two
I’m dreaming of a white Intifada
With every blog post that I write
May your boycotts topple Bibi
And the Right
And may all your Intifadas be white
Music: Irving Berlin
Lyrics: Ami “Seriously Twisted” Kaufman
Cross-posted with The Huffington Post
With Bibi Netanyahu turning out to be just another Yitzhak Shamir – the one who doesn’t initiate, doesn’t lead and does nothing to get things moving – the ball has been thrown into the Palestinians’ court. And if we stick with the sports metaphors for a bit, what a pleasure it is to see that someone has stepped up to the plate, on the other side, and has decided not to wait for the Israelis.
But what’s even more impressive is the change of tactics, a change that might actually work. Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian Prime Minister serving under Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen, is now leading what many around the world are calling the White Intifada: a struggle consisting of weekly non-violent protests against settlements and the separation fence, while striving for a declaration of independence by the summer of 2011. Fayyad, a former economist and technocrat, is also leading the ban on products from the settlements (seen below throwing products into a bonfire) and has shunned the use of Israeli VIP cards given to senior Palestinian figures so as not to be seen as collaborators with the occupation.
Overnight, Fayyad has turned from a dull official into a charismatic politician, enough for Shimon Peres to call him the Palestinian Ben Gurion. He’s also done much to rid Palestinian school books of anti-Israeli propoganda, and is getting good grades from everybody, especially the Americans, who are happy with the “yes to peace, no to violence” approach. As Aluf Benn writes:
“He is receiving enthusiastic approval from the U.S. administration as a successful manager. Some 2,600 Palestinian policemen have already graduated from the training course run by U.S. General Keith Dayton in Jordan and are back in the territories, expecting to serve an independent state, not as subordinate agents of an Israeli occupation.”
This new strategy from the Palestinian side was successfully set out in a recent op-ed by Ziad Abu Zayyad, a former minister and PLC member in the Palestinian Authority:
“There is a lesson to be learned here by us Palestinians: We cannot quash the Israeli repression machine with violence, because our violence will be used to justify and legitimize the brutality of the strong against the weak. Furthermore, Palestinians need to take into account the fact that they have allies on the Israeli side who share their rejection of the occupation and of discrimination; it is crucial to reinforce and nurture this relationship with them.
“Disseminating a culture of passive resistance against the oppression and atrocities of the occupation is the most efficacious method for fighting it: It should be promulgated and its circle expanded. It must not remain restricted to pockets of protest here and there, but should become a generalized modus operandi that encompasses all points of contact with the occupation and the settlements, which are trying to gobble up the land and obliterate all features of Palestinian identity. It must be clearly said that nonviolence is morally superior to force.”
This is a new kind of language coming out of the West Bank, and this new attitude and leadership from the Palestinian side is already bearing fruit on the diplomatic front. The foreign ministers of France and Spain, in a joint article recently published in Le Monde, called to expedite the establishment of a Palestinian state and complete its recognition by October 2011.
Fayyad and the White Intifada are the most refreshing and genuine attempt lately to get things moving in the right direction. As opposed to Israel’s long-standing policy of dunking its head in the sand, we’re finally seeing some true wisdom from the Palestinian side: mainly, that violence only makes Israelis react with more violence. The Fatah in the West Bank saw exactly where the violent struggle of the Hamas led to: the deadly Operation Cast Lead. Their biggest achievement since then has only been the Goldstone report, contested by many and supported by few.
The Europeans seem ready for a declaration in 2011. Will the U.S. be wise enough to not miss this train?
P.S. Just a few more words on Biden
There’s not much else to say about Israel announcing the construction of more housing units in East Jerusalem during Vice President Joe Biden’s visit. All the usual phrases have already been used: slap in the face, humiliation and so on.
As an Israeli, this is infuriating. The excuses make it even worse. When Netanyahu says that the “timing of the announcement was horrible”, what exactly was he thinking? That there’s a GOOD time to announce building in East Jerusalem? And what’s even worse than that, are the excuses along the lines of I wasn’t aware of the announcement”. A prime minister shouldn’t be too proud to show that he’s not exactly running a tight ship, to say the least.
But the most disappointing, maddening part of this was Biden’s light slap on Israel’s wrist. That’s all? We’re going to get away with it? Again?!?!
If I was an American watching Biden’s little reprimand on TV, I’d be mad at Israel – but even more embarrassed with the overwhelming weakness shown by the U.S. Vice President and the administration he represents.
One of the most common slogans used by Israeli left-wingers is “the occupation corrupts”. Meaning, it corrupts Israeli society – and even more importantly, it corrupts Israeli democracy.
But the damage that Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has done in its first year is so overwhelming, one can only wonder what will happen if he’s lucky enough to stay in power for a full four-year term.
And if you’re a foreigner, careful. We’ll have you deported if you’re not on our side.
He doesn’t believe anything – or anyone – anymore. The occupation has corrupted him.