70th Birthday Party

Gaza

On Saturday Israel won the Eurovision song contest for the fourth time, despite not actually being in Europe.

Today is the 70th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.  To mark the occasion the US are moving their embassy from Tel Aviv, where most nations have their embassy, for political reasons, into Jerusalem.

When the state of Israel was created the City of Jerusalem and the town of Bethlehem were supposed to remain outside the politics of Palestine and Israel as a “Free City”.  Any movement of political influence into Jerusalem carries very weighty connotations for all sides.

The announcement that the Eurovision 2019 will be in Jerusalem is a further turn of the screw for hardline Jewish nationalism.  Strangely so because the real hardline ultra orthodox Jews absolutely hate the Eurovision, which is the greatest outpouring of gayness of the year for the European LGBT community.

On the Gaza strip Hammas have been leading assaults on the Israeli border all week.  The death toll in clashes with the Israeli military have doubled in one day today.  Tomorrow is the anniversary of the catastrophe, Nakba, when the Palestinians fled their homes, taking the keys they still hold today as symbols of their right to return.  As I have remarked before the Palestinian leaders love to squander the lives of their children in futile gestures because they are bought heavily into the martyr culture.  They fight a propaganda war with the blood of brainwashed innocents.

Keys

The Israeli military are as bad as the Hammas terrorists.  It would be possible to diffuse tensions with non-lethal interventions, but the hawks in the Israeli military like to make their points with unnecessary force.  It is a modus operandi born of too many years living in the shadow of dictatorial Islamic regimes who want to wipe you from the earth.  The truth today is that Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq are no longer a de-facto threat.  Palestinians are a paper tiger, armed with rockets by Iran and Saudi money, but rockets that are barely more than toys.

This birthday party is not a celebration for anyone in the region.  It is like a funeral in a dysfunctional family where everyone is trying not to be the one who starts the fist fight in the carpark, but secretly wants someone else to be that person.

Will the 100th birthday be any different?  Will it be any better?  Are people content to spend the next 30 years doing what they are doing today?

With everything going on in Israel/Palestine the least strange thing has to be an Israeli woman dressed in a Kimono in front of waving Chinese cats singing a song supporting the #MeToo movement.  Sing more, fight less.  The symbol of the Eurovision…a heart!

Eurovision

 

 

 

 

 

 

#MeToo nothing new

Pan and Syrinx, by Peter Paul Rubens

Pan and Syrinx, by Peter Paul Rubens

A priapic director, dressing gown flapping open, chasing a pretty actress round his hotel room.  A seedy image but hardly a new one.  As old as myth and fable.

A fable that gave us two of the most scary objects ever made by man.

Syrinx was a chaste nymph who was pursued by the God Pan, the goat legged wild spirit who represents the wilderness and fertility.  In a bid to avoid him Syrinx appealed to the water nymphs to hide her, and they turned her into hollow reeds.  As he passed Pan sighed and the hollow reeds resonated.  So he cut them and created the pan pipes.  So next time you are accosted by a brightly clad troupe of Peruvian troubadours in Subway, Underground or Metro you can blame it on the Ancient Greek Harvey Weinstein.   Pan pipes – a particular form of torture!

But for the ultimate torture comes another word derived from Syrinx herself.  The hollow reed was the model for the hollow needle, from which we get the word Syringe.  Next time you are at the doctor or dentist and this object of medieval torture emerges you know who to blame.

Panpipes.jpg