Hi there, I'm Rachel. I'm a 21 year old college graduate (I can finally say that!) who majored in computer science and math and I'm hella nerdy. I'm probably the biggest Avatar fan you will ever meet. I blog about my life, Avatar, Dragonlance, books, Jewish things, vegetarian things, and super cute animals (especially bunnies!) I love making new friends, so please message me if you want to talk! ^_^

I just found out that the three kidnapped Israeli teens’ bodies were found, and that they were most likely murdered shortly after the kidnapping took place. This is really upsetting news. My heart goes out to their families and friends.

gaywrites:

In the days leading up to Tel Aviv Pride, the city’s municipality building is lit up with rainbow-colored LED lights to create the biggest Pride flag ever. A record-breaking 130,000 people are expected to attend Tel Aviv’s parade and other Pride festivities this year. (via the Jerusalem Post

haaretz:

As several gay rights bills go to committee in the Knesset, Haaretz poll finds 70% of Israelis support equality for gay community

thearcanetheory:

Apparently, according to this article, the buses aren’t actually segregated according to ethno-national lines, nor were these bus lines created at the behest of settlers.

I think the article has its own biases, but that the lines cross over through various Arab and Jewish towns makes it hard to keep bus lines, well, segregated. Of course, this contradicts the initial reporting by Ha’aretz that broke this story, and mentioned the nature of the segregated bus lines - not to mention the torching of some of the buses since then.

(And obviously, even aside from this bus line issue, I think we can all agree that the Israeli rule over the West Bank is pretty shitty.)

It’s a quarter past 1 am and I can’t really cogitate more on this right now.

Thoughts?

I think this is another case of the media seeing something, jumping to conclusions based on ignorance of the situation, and using it as another opportunity to conveniently demonize Israel without actually doing their research. This happens so often that it doesn’t surprise me but it angers me because most people won’t do their research and they trust that the media does, which is sadly not always true. There are plenty of things to legitimately criticize Israel about but as far as I can tell from what I’ve read about this, it was grossly misreported.

this-is-not-jewish:

Rebloggable by request. The link in the post is here.

this-is-not-jewish:

Rebloggable by request. The link in the post is here.

[cw anti-semitism, occupation, colonialism, holocaust, whiteness]

docloudscomeinpurple:

dearjimmoriarty:

I’ve noticed that many non-Jews who criticize Israel use the word ‘colonialism’ to describe the illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and I just realized today why that rubs me the wrong way.

Criticize Israel all you want, but Israelis are not colonists.

To say that Israelis are colonists is to ignore the fact that Jews were forcibly expelled from our homeland, driven out of everywhere we tried to settle thereafter, nearly wiped out in the Shoah, and only relocated in Israel BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE WOULD TAKE US.

To say that Israelis are colonists is to compare them to the white Europeans who slaughtered my people, the white Europeans who conquered and decimated lands to which they had no ties whatsoever.

To say that Israelis are colonists is to deny that Jews have an indigenous tie to Israel. This is anti-semistism at its finest.

The eviction of Palestinians from their land is unethical, and it should be criticized. Criticism of Israel is not necessarily anti-Semitic.

But please remember that more than one group can be indigenous to a single region.

THIS. THIS. Thank you for this post!

jessarmentrout:

Several points that should be considered:

1.  The Palestinian territories are not occupied territory under international law, they are “disputed territory,” despite the fact that people who know better call them the former.

2.  Gaza is not occupied if there are no Israeli soldiers in the Gaza strip. The blockade is addressed in #7.

3.  There was an Israeli military presence protecting the Gush Katif settlement, and the same military presence dragged Jews from their homes in 2005 when Hamas pinky promised that if only the settlers were removed from the Gaza strip, they would cease all attempts at terror attacks on Israel.

4.  Gush Katif was the name of an Israeli settlement in Gaza.  The Jewish settlers there had bought the land in the Gaza strip from Arab Palestinian land owners and built homes there.  The only law broken was the law that forbade Arabs to sell land to Jews.

5. There has not been an Israeli military presence in the Gaza strip since 2005.

6.  Coincidentally, that is when the indiscriminate rocket fire on Israeli towns and civillians began.

7.  The current blockade of Gaza was a reaction to escalating terror attacks in 2005, just as the wall between the West Bank and Israel was built as a reaction to suicide bombers.  It’s important to order events properly to determine cause and effect.

8.  Every time Israel has eased the blockade of Gaza, rocket attacks on civillians have only increased.

9.  Israel supplies all power to the Gaza strip and in spite of the military operations, it has not cut power, and has continued to maintain that infrastructure, at its own peril.

10.  Hamas militants are launching rockets from the roofs of homes, playgrounds, and schools.  This leaves the Israelis with the option of not returning fire and allowing the rockets to keep falling on its own civillians, or to return fire, killing the human shields.  This is a lose-lose for Israel and a win-win for Hamas.

In summary, people in Sderot, Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Be’er Sheva have been unable to maintain normal lives for years because of continuous rocket fire.  Any easement of the blockade has only ever resulted in increased terror attacks, which the blockade was an initial response to.  Hamas swore that the removal of the Gush Katif settlement would eliminate terror, but in fact, it did the opposite, leading to the blockade.

What is Israel supposed to do?  Should they provide Gaza with power?  They already do.  Clean water?  They already do.  Free medical care for those with serious conditions?  They already do.  Allow in humanitarian aid and provide it themselves?  They already do.  So much so, that the market for goods in Gaza is so artificial that it’s nearly impossible to make a living running a growing or selling food, and selling building supplies, etc., because so much comes and is distributed for free.

I don’t think they want control of the strip— it’s a mess. They just want Hamas to stop firing on civillians.  Is Israel perfect?  No, but I don’t think we can really point to anything they’ve done, knowing the proper sequence of events, and really say that they definitely should have done anything differently in this situation.  Every bit of lenience they’ve ever shown, and every chance they have ever given Gazans to care for themselves and behave rationally has been thrown back in their face, forcing a reaction that people condemn without understanding.  It comes from the same mindset that demands the wealthy in this country give to the poor with no consideration for how either party ended up in its sympathetic or more powerful position.  Don’t demonize the capable.  

Civillian casualties in Gaza are going to be higher, but that is not because Israel is targeting civillians, unlike Hamas, it is because Hamas is making civillians areas targets by firing from them.  Israel expects condemnation and as a result, the military videos almost every target it strikes and posts the videos on youtube, showing militants firing from schools and civillian areas.  Unfortunately, this is going to be brushed aside again because those who appear weaker will always win the PR battle.  It feeds on an altruistic mindset.

The last operation of this kind was almost exactly 3 years ago, Operation Cast Lead.  Since that time, rocket fire dissipated in the months immediately following the operation, but for over 2 years now, has only increased, returning to unbearable levels.

Unrelated, but, I’d also like to add, that when Gush Katif was evacuated, the Israelis left schools, lush greenhouses and nice homes, all for the taking, but Gazans bulldozed everything because it was tainted by Jews, and I can’t help but find that despicable.

also like, and then I’ll shut up

thearcanetheory:

svetlana-del-rey:

posts about rockets falling on southern Israel get like, 13 notes maximum, and if my friends reblog them it feels like they’re doing it to idek…make me feel better? You know, rockets fall on Israel, they kill Israelis and displace them from their homes and make their children grow up with incredible trauma. Not unlike that experienced by Pakistanis constantly under the threat of a drone attack. Because ever since Hamas seized control of Gaza, rocket attacks have been relentless and indiscriminate. Even when people don’t die, the attacks leave scars.

How am I ever, ever supposed to believe that your interest in the conflict is purely political when I never see you get this outraged about the actions of another country, when it becomes patently clear to me that you have swallowed the anti-Semitic notion that Jews run the world and are the oppressor who doesn’t deserve pity.

Just like, unfollow me. I don’t talk about this shit because it’s amazingly fun. I have family in Ashdod. Fuck you.

here is a message I received from someone living in Sderot, someone I know well.

hey babe! as someone who lives in sderot since birth i can tell u that we see what they say on CNN and other americn and international news and cant help but laugh and cry couse 99% is not true! we dont have a life on a regular base but no one talks about that.. i havnt had school almost since the begining couse we were attacked and no one talked about that… and more annoying- they show pictures of people being carried couse they were hurt and we see the pictures where they put him down so he can go and throw stones couse he was NEVER REALLY HURT!! so i love u but this time there is no tragic other then the life that we have to live here couse no one seems to see whats REALLY going on… just us… so us is all we have rught now so its all we are going to protect! love u.. hope u r doing good:)))…… i know babe but we live like this for 10 years without no one caring or knowing what is happening on a daily bases.. … so yea.. its hard being in the safe room all day but maybe, just maybe, this time will be the end of it! and if not the end at least we did something to say “this is not right! 10 years its not right!”.. we want peace… they never wanted peace.. i know.. im here…! i will be strong and im trying to be safe:)) thanks motek! XOXO”

I want to re-iterate that the killing of innocent civilians is never ok. Ever. That absolutely applies to what’s going on in Gaza right now. But it also applies to the regular attacks on innocent civilians in Sderot, the vast majority of whom are working class agriculturalists and have no resources and no recourse. The government abandons them, and then uses their plight to go pull shit like this.

I can’t really respond to her letter directly, because tone policing someone about a situation they are living in is a thing that’s never ok. But all I can say is that the daily reality of the situation she lives through sounds awfully similar to some of the shit the residents of Gaza go through daily as well.

If you can’t recognize that there are innocent people who suffer on both sides of this mess, then fucking unfollow me right the fuck now. Because you’re more interested in promoting a trendy cause then you are in a just and stable peace.

Israel Launches “Operation Pillar of Defense” Against Hamas Terrorism in Gaza

girlactionfigure:

The Israel Project reports that Israel Launches Operation Pillar Of Defense To Uproot Hamas-Led Terror

Responding to months of rocket barrages by Hamas-led terror groups targeting more than a million Israeli civilians, the IDF today launched a widespread campaign targeting military infrastructure and operatives in the Gaza Strip. The campaign has been identified by Israeli military officials as “Operation Pillar Of Defense,” and began with a pin-point strike targeting Ahmed Jabari, the commander of Hamas’s military wing and a terrorist linked to hundreds of terror operations over the span of decades.

Jabari was Hamas’s “chief of staff,” and was second-in-command of the Iranian proxy’s al-Qassam Brigades. His history of terrorism stretches back to the early 1980s. In 1982 he was arrested and spent 13 years in jail for terror activities, and after his release he rose through the ranks of Hamas. He was in charge of Hamas’s military operations during the Second Intifada, the widespread suicide bombing campaign targeting Israeli civilians in the early 2000s, and oversaw the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006.

Also reportedly killed by early Israeli attacks was Raed Al Attar, Jabari’s second-in-command, raising speculation that Israel is deliberately seeking to degrade Hamas’s military leadership. Hamas commanders routinely go underground during major hostilities with Israel, including historically utilizing medical facilities, and the targeting of Jabari and Al Attar was done at the beginning of what the IDF is identifying as a widespread campaign.

Read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, The Muqata is live blogging Day 1 of the Gaza War 14-Nov-2012

It is generally admitted that a real end to Hamas violence — and keeping in mind the other terrorist groups in Gaza — cannot be achieved in any satisfying way without a ground offensive.

The continued air attack, even targeting specifically known leaders and munitions, can at best only push Hamas into a ceasefire — a ceasefire and not a peace, because Iran pulls the strings and will not allow a real peace.

If Israel cannot decisively deal with the very real rocket attack from Gaza, Netanyahu’s threats of taking action against Iran’s perceived nuclear threat against Israel will be taken less seriously.

Here is some of the latest from The Muqata (subtract 7 from the time given):

7:29 PM The IDF and Shabak are working closely together along with the Artillery units to take out individual Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

7:15 PM Throngs of Israeli student pack the Be’er Sheva train station, due to the closing of Ben Gurion University. To accommodate the masses of students, Israel Rail Road is sending extra long trains to evacuate the students looking to escape northward.

7:14 PM Israel has achieved a major success by taking out Hamas’s Fajr-5 rocket capabilities which could have hit Tel Aviv. IDF is reporting that Hamas wanted to prove their capabilities due to Israel’s strike on Jabari, but are now almost completely powerless to hit anything further than 40KM from Gaza.

Leaving, of course, within 40KM…

Keep updated on Operation Pillar of Defense

As an fyi

I know Israel is targeting terrorist targets in Gaza right now.

I know the media is going to flip out about it and call them genocidal/tyrannical/imperialist/*insert your favorite insult here* monsters.

But I’m going to say in advance I call bullshit on that because do you know how long Israel has been doing nothing while rockets have continued to fly into southern Israel from Gaza?

Nobody called Obama a murderer when he ordered the assassination of Osama Bin Laden. But I’m sure everyone is going to call Israel a murderer for killing that Hamas military leader.

I do not take joy in anyone’s death, even criminals. I hate war and I think it is a terrible thing. However, if rockets continues to rain over Israel, I understand that Israel cannot sit back and do nothing and I think any attempts to stop the rocket attacks are justified.

Contrary to what the media might tell you, Israel is targeting criminals right now. And if anyone is going to criticize them for that when they was all but dancing in the streets when Osama Bin Laden died, then I think that person is a complete hypocrite.

I just have a really bad feeling about this, because I know coverage of this is going to be so distorted.

girlactionfigure:

Thousands murdered in Syria, so UCI targets Jews building homes 

The “Associated Students of UCI” (University of California-Irvine) met last night and voted, 16-0, to divest from various companies that do business in Israel. The targeted companies include Caterpillar (of course,) Cement Roadstones Holding, Cemex, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, Raytheon, Sodastream and L-3 Communications.The reasons given are the usual mix of flat-out lies and absurd exaggerations. The resolution says that Israel practices “apartheid”, that it levels entire neighborhoods in refugee camps (I have yet to hear UNRWA mention that one,) and that it “ ruthlessly level[ed] civilian dense regions” during Cast Lead. Of course, ASUCI has nothing to say about the hundred of people likely to be murdered in Syria today, or about institutionalized discrimination against Palestinian Arabs in Lebanon to the extent that they cannot build houses or hold many jobs, or against Hamas celebrating the firing of deadly rockets at Israeli schoolchildren this week, or of the daily incitement in official Palestinian Arab media to destroy Israel completely.  No, they are far more concerned over Israel building a wall to stop suicide bombers.Years of anti-Israel and anti-semitic [in the case of Sodastream] indoctrination pays off. UCI’s professors and administration must be so proud. The executive board of the student government has yet to approve this absurd measure that targets the right of self-determination of Jews. We’ll see if they have any more sense or if they also get swept up in the pogrom-like mentality of viciously attacking anything to do with Israel.  (h/t Jennifer)   EofZ

girlactionfigure:

Thousands murdered in Syria, so UCI targets Jews building homes



The “Associated Students of UCI” (University of California-Irvine) met last night and voted, 16-0, to divest from various companies that do business in Israel.

The targeted companies include Caterpillar (of course,) Cement Roadstones Holding, Cemex, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, Raytheon, Sodastream and L-3 Communications.

The reasons given are the usual mix of flat-out lies and absurd exaggerations. The resolution says that Israel practices “apartheid”, that it levels entire neighborhoods in refugee camps (I have yet to hear UNRWA mention that one,) and that it “ ruthlessly level[ed] civilian dense regions” during Cast Lead.

Of course, ASUCI has nothing to say about the hundred of people likely to be murdered in Syria today, or about institutionalized discrimination against Palestinian Arabs in Lebanon to the extent that they cannot build houses or hold many jobs, or against Hamas celebrating the firing of deadly rockets at Israeli schoolchildren this week, or of the daily incitement in official Palestinian Arab media to destroy Israel completely. 

No, they are far more concerned over Israel building a wall to stop suicide bombers.


Years of anti-Israel and anti-semitic [in the case of Sodastream] indoctrination pays off. UCI’s professors and administration must be so proud.

The executive board of the student government has yet to approve this absurd measure that targets the right of self-determination of Jews. We’ll see if they have any more sense or if they also get swept up in the pogrom-like mentality of viciously attacking anything to do with Israel.

(h/t Jennifer)




EofZ

thought this was pretty interesting…….

mindintrusion1978:

Conclusions on Israel’s Legal Right to Settle in the West Bank and Gaza

The forgoing timeline summarizes the recent turbulent history of Palestine. What happened is often misinterpreted, and the charge is frequently made that Israeli settlements on the West Bank are illegal and that Israel is illegally occupying the West Bank. The legal case for such a statement is weak.

  • International-law arguments against the settlements have rested primarily upon two sources. The first of these, the 1907 Hague Regulations, protect the interests of a temporarily ousted sovereign in the context of a short-term occupation. Article 43 of the Regulations calls for the occupant to “respect …. the laws in force in the country” and Article 46 bars an occupying power from confiscating private property. 
    Settlements are also opposed through the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention. Article 49(6) states: “The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own population into territories it occupies”. Both these legal arguments rely upon the concept of “occupation of a legally owned land”. The following points neutralize this concept.
  • First, we should note that the 1949 armistice borders were not recognized by Arab states, which continued to refuse to recognize Israel. So it is contradictory for Arab states to later state that these are ‘legal’ borders; the 1949 Armistice Green Line is not Israel’s Legal Border!
  • Secondly, Jordan occupied both East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1948-49 war and only gained these areas via war and the Green Line of the UN armistice. These areas had never formally been allocated to Jordan and so were strictly unallocated Palestine Mandate territory. Later, between 1949 and 1967 Jordan simply attempted illegal annexation of this newly gained territory, but then in 1988 Jordan formally renounced any claim to the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Eminent legal scholars, such as Prof. Eugene Rostow therefore maintain that Israeli settlers have as much right to live in the West Bank as non-Jews. He states:
    “Under international law, neither Jordan nor the Palestinian Arab ‘people’ of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have a substantial claim to the sovereign possession of the occupied territories. The West Bank should be considered ‘unallocated territory’”.
  • The Israeli Government follows this argument and denies that the occupation of the West Bank is illegal on the grounds that the land was not previously occupied lawfully by any other state. This view is supported by Prof. Judge Schwebel (former President of the International Court of Justice) who states: 
    “The armistice agreements of 1949 expressly preserved the territorial claims of all parties and did not purport to establish definitive boundaries between them.”
    This of course agrees with those who drafted UN Resolution 242.
  • In June 2011, Dr. Jaques Gauthier, an international human rights lawyer from Toronto addressed the European Parliament in Brussels on the legal issues regarding Jerusalem and Israel. Referring to the 1922 British Mandate for Palestine and to Article 80 of the UN Charter he said:
    “For anyone who is interested in justice, these are issues which we have to study carefully … the rights vested in the Jewish people stand on very solid legal ground and are valid to this day.”
    Under Article 80 and the 1922 Mandate he maintained that Jerusalem cannot be divided and that Jews still have the legal right to settle anywhere in Mandated land.

So since there is no legal ownership of Judea and Samaria, these areas cannot be regarded as “occupied territory”. The armistice borders never received international recognition. All of western Palestine, from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, including Gaza and all of Jerusalem (as in Fig.3) remains legally open to Jewish settlement under the original British Mandate. International lawyers maintain that this right of settlement is protected by Article 80 of the UN Charter which recognizes the Trust (British Mandate) handed to it by the League of Nations.

It appears that the world prefers to believe a lie and still cry “occupied territory”!

Know what’s fucking pathetic?

thearcanetheory:

The rank anti-Semitism that totally chokes the Jewish tags, and makes Jewish Tumblr community so difficult to maintain some days?

It’s not nearly as bad as the rank anti-Semitism in the Israel-Palestine-Zionism tags. 

The assholes in the Jewish tags are deliberately shoving this shit in our faces.  What, did they expect us to like it? To like being targeted in our own spaces?

The assholes in the other tags are too busy pretending they aren’t anti-Semitic all while appropriating our history, distorting the truth about our history, and spreading blood libels about the Jews.

I am not saying that all anti-Zionism = anti-Semitism. I am saying, rather, that the use of anti-Zionism as a sort of shitty mask for anti-Semitism is widespread.

And it’s disgusting.

If you’ve ever wondered why Jews in general aren’t openly allying themselves with Palestine, you might want to consider the mess you’ve made of your own house before you decide global Zionist conspiracy is the answer.

Thank you for saying it like it is.

belzergeir:

Let me tell you something; this is one photo in a series of photos taken by Reuters.
The first is this;

The caption with this is;

A Palestinian woman tries to grab the weapon of an Israeli soldier in the West Bank village of Nabi Salih, near Ramallah, January 22, 2010.

Knowing that the soldier wouldn’t shoot at her, she tried to grab his gun. You can see her hand on it.
Trying to grab the weapon off the police/army in any other country would be a crime and the person would be arrested (this woman wasn’t even arrested). But the minute someone tries to grab the gun off an IDF soldier and he tries to push her away, they’re monsters. Double standards, much?
The second photo in this sequence is;

The caption doesn’t say anything, but here is the link for you to make sure.
As you can see, she is still holding onto the weapon, attempting to pull it from the soldier. As the OP was insinuating, the soldier couldn’t have been trying to hit her. He is holding onto the weapon at the end, and with only one hand. And with him leaning back, it is obvious that he is attempting to pull the weapon away from her.
Then the final photo, the one posted by OP. Intending to present the soldier as a monster is in fact the soldier raising the weapon high in the air to prevent the woman from trying to take it. Here is the original with the caption.
Even if he is raising it in the air to threaten her, so what? She tried to steal a gun, any normal soldier/police officer would do the same - to deter the person from trying to take it again. In fact, in the UK, police don’t carry guns, and whenever armed police are needed, a special armed unit is called. If someone were to try to snatch one of their guns out of their hand, I’m 95% sure that the person would be shot by one of the other armed police. But of course, that’s the UK so that’s okay, it’s only a crime for a soldier to stop a woman taking his gun in Israel!
Even look at the caption, “the woman ran away unhurt”.
Anywhere else in the world and she would have been arrested. This woman wasn’t.
‘Palestinians’ know that the IDF aren’t going to shoot them, which is why they often try to grab their weapons. They do this especially when there are photographers around - so that they can provoke the soldiers so that the photographers can try to get a photo for their Pallywood album - to spread lies and propaganda about a situation brought on by themselves.

belzergeir:

Let me tell you something; this is one photo in a series of photos taken by Reuters.

The first is this;

The caption with this is;

A Palestinian woman tries to grab the weapon of an Israeli soldier in the West Bank village of Nabi Salih, near Ramallah, January 22, 2010.

Knowing that the soldier wouldn’t shoot at her, she tried to grab his gun. You can see her hand on it.

Trying to grab the weapon off the police/army in any other country would be a crime and the person would be arrested (this woman wasn’t even arrested). But the minute someone tries to grab the gun off an IDF soldier and he tries to push her away, they’re monsters. Double standards, much?

The second photo in this sequence is;

The caption doesn’t say anything, but here is the link for you to make sure.

As you can see, she is still holding onto the weapon, attempting to pull it from the soldier. As the OP was insinuating, the soldier couldn’t have been trying to hit her. He is holding onto the weapon at the end, and with only one hand. And with him leaning back, it is obvious that he is attempting to pull the weapon away from her.

Then the final photo, the one posted by OP. Intending to present the soldier as a monster is in fact the soldier raising the weapon high in the air to prevent the woman from trying to take it. Here is the original with the caption.

Even if he is raising it in the air to threaten her, so what? She tried to steal a gun, any normal soldier/police officer would do the same - to deter the person from trying to take it again. In fact, in the UK, police don’t carry guns, and whenever armed police are needed, a special armed unit is called. If someone were to try to snatch one of their guns out of their hand, I’m 95% sure that the person would be shot by one of the other armed police. But of course, that’s the UK so that’s okay, it’s only a crime for a soldier to stop a woman taking his gun in Israel!

Even look at the caption, “the woman ran away unhurt”.

Anywhere else in the world and she would have been arrested. This woman wasn’t.

‘Palestinians’ know that the IDF aren’t going to shoot them, which is why they often try to grab their weapons. They do this especially when there are photographers around - so that they can provoke the soldiers so that the photographers can try to get a photo for their Pallywood album - to spread lies and propaganda about a situation brought on by themselves.

Israeli Arabs Who Are Proud To Live In Israel

girlactionfigure:

The Times of Israel had a piece last month about Israeli Arab Boshra Khalaila, who has been Telling Israel like it is — in Arabic. One place she spoke was in South Africa:

Boshra’s appearances on campus made waves, and, among her many radio appearances, she was interviewed by an Islamic, Arabic-language radio station in Johannesburg. The interviewer, a religious Saudi man, asked her questions which revealed a disheartening level of ignorance about Israel, the most over-scrutinized and documented country in the world — an ignorance that is unfortunately all too common.

“He asked why Israel doesn’t let Muslims pray or go to Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem; why only Jews are allowed to pray [in the State of Israel]. I told them that in my own small village in the Galilee there are not only one but two mosques and two imams who both get a monthly salary from the state. The interviewer was in shock. I added that I could go pray at Al Aqsa mosque at will, freely. Sure, sometimes there are security concerns and they limit entrance temporarily, but that’s it.”

The host was receptive to Boshra’s story and as the conversation turned to the rights of Arabs in Israel, her assertiveness grew.

“I said to him: ‘In Saudi Arabia, can a woman drive a car?’ He said no. I said: ‘I can.’ And he was silent. I asked: ‘Can a woman in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia meet a man and get to know him before getting married or is she just forced into marriage at a young age?’ He said no, she can’t. I said: ‘I can.’ And I would answer his questions with my own questions…and each time he would be stunned silent.”

Boshra went on to correct other popular misconceptions that the host had, including ideas about the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. She informed him of the supplies that Israel provides to the strip on a monthly basis, and she reminded him that Egypt also enforces the embargo. She asked him why it was Israel and not Egypt, an Arab county, that provided for the territory’s necessities. “He was speechless. He was often speechless during our interview.”

Read the whole thing.

That is not too say that life for an Arab living in Israel is free from discrimination — nor is Khalaila shy about admitting that fact.

However, Khalaila does open people’s eyes to the facts about Israel and makes and makes it possible for them to transcend the one-sided propaganda points that are being push and blindly accepted by so many.

Actually, Khalaila’s positive attitude about Israel is not unusual.

A poll this year found 52.8% of Israeli Arabs proud to be Israelis:

Israeli-Arab pride in Israel [Hebrew]
Alexander Yakobson Op Ed in Haaretz 1 February 2012

…According to “Democracy Index 2011″ on behalf of the Israel Democracy Institute, 52.8% of Arab citizens (compared to 88% of Jews) answer yes to the question if they are proud to be Israelis. Only 28.3% of respondents said they were “not at all proud” to be Israelis…

These findings are not unusual at all. In 2009, a survey conducted a week after the conclusion of “Operation Cast Lead”, found 45% of Arabs said they were proud to be Israelis. Years ago that figure was 53%. I happened to ask a group of British journalists … whether by their estimate 45% of Catholics in Northern Ireland ready to say “I am proud to be British”. “I do
not believe that 45 Catholics in Northern Ireland who are willing to say it, not to mention the 45%”, said one journalist.

And Israel Matzav writes about First pro-Israel Arab party formed:

Four and a half years ago, I blogged a column by Caroline Glick that claimed that most ‘Israeli Arabs’ are actually pro-Israel. So why do they continue to send the likes of Ahmad Tibi and Hanin Zoabi to the Knesset? Because there were no pro-Israel Arab parties. Until now. 42-year old Aatef Karinaoui has founded a party called El Amal Lat’gir — “Hope for Change” – to run for the Knesset in the upcoming elections.

But then again, what else would you expect to find in a democracy?