Monday, January 31, 2011

La revolución Egipcia - porque ninguna dictadura es buena.

La gente perdió el miedo, lucha por el pan, el trabajo, el futuro de sus hijos.......con FB, twitter y SMS  y por ser libres y poder elegir a sus lideres.Nadie pudo predecir esto, ni los "analistas" mas conocidos del Medio Oriente algunos de los cuales encontré en mi viaje al Mar Negro. No se cansaron de predecir el futuro y nadie pensó en esta revuelta popular.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Wishful thinking - snow & dessert

With some real winter visiting us, some rain and cold, we wait for some snow, maybe a wishful thinking, we'll see.

Friday, January 28, 2011


The magic of freezing the moment and stealing it, taking it with you as a property, far away…., in real life just a romantic moment in the life of strangers.  
La magia de detener el momento y robarlo, llevártelo como una propiedad, lejos...., en realidad es simplemente un momento romántico cotidiano de unos desconocidos.  
Potemkin Stairs, Odessa, Ukraine. September 2010.
From my work " Ten days on the Black Sea"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Invisible Occupation

Moshe Dayan used the expression "Invisible Occupation" after the Israeli victory in the Six Day War. The expression referred then to Israel's policy concerning the conquered territories in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Influenced by the slogan "no presence, no intervention and open bridges" Israel tried to preserve the Jordanian governmental model in order to minimize contact with the Palestinian population. Obviously there was a disjunction between discourse and practice: In reality the army was constantly present and intervening in matters of security and bureaucracy, the bridges were not always open and not for everyone. 43 years of occupation have changed Israel's society, policy and terminology: Today the occupation is in fact invisible to the Israeli population living inside the borders of the Green Line. Using visual language as a means of separation- walls, fences, bypass roads, security roads, towers and barricades the occupation disappeared from sight. The walls and barricades close the field of vision, turning the other side into something invisible, lacking identity. The physical obstacles create a new border beyond which the personal responsibility of each and every Israeli ends. Few Israelis not wearing uniforms, cross these barriers and enter the occupied territories, apart from the settlers for whom all the obstacles stand as a symbol of Israeli sovereignty. Justifying every act with "security circumstances", Israelis accept the absolute physical separation. The separation, allows shaking off the responsibility for working toward peace and the end of the occupation. I remember an Argentinean song I loved in my youth, saying: "Even if you can't see it- the sun is always there". Paraphrasing these words, we can say about the occupation: "Even if you can't see it, it is always there.
Quique Kierszenbaum

From my work " The Invisible Occupation"

Friday, January 21, 2011

"You'll never walk alone"

 Five settlers, dozens of human rights supporters met in the quiet Katamonim neighborhood  in Jerusalem. Those, the few, came to demonstrate and insult the leader of Rabbis for Human Rights, Rabbi Arik Asherman in front of his home, and those the most, came as a quick and spontaneous reaction to support their friend and comrade.
Under Israeli police permission 5 radical settlers demonstrated in front or Asherman's residence .The powerful reaction of the supporters and friends, and forgive my superficial comparasion but from where I come from this things always get mixed, reminded  me the the the song performed by fans of British football club Liverpool, "You'll never walk alone"

When you walk through the storm
Hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark
At the end of the storm
There's a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of the lark

Walk on, through the wind
Walk on, through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone
You'll never walk alone

Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone
You'll never walk alone

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A sad story with an almost happy end, or a good restart

Let’s start from the end, Maryia, Hamdi and Momen received last week the Israeli residency so they no longer need to worry about their future. They can stay in Israel, in the Jerusalem area under the medical treatment Maryia has been receiving since the attack. I can’t tell how happy I am. I’ve been following their story in the last almost five years and I want to share with you once more.

“Collateral damage”
The innocent victims of the "targeted killings" policy that Israel uses against Palestinian militant leaders of the Islamic groups are called "collateral damage".
The Aman family had all the possible reasons to be happy. Just a few days ago they bought a car, a white Mitsubishi. Hamdi, his uncle, his mother, his wife, his cousin, and his three sons decided to make the first trip in the new car to visit Hamdi's sister.
Squeezing in the back seat the family was enjoying the drive along Gaza streets.
Hamdi's daughter Mariya was dancing in the small space left between her mother's knees.
A black jeep was passing by their car when suddenly they felt a "huge wave" and immediately after, an explosion.
In the black jeep was Dahdouh, a Jihad Islamic leader.
Hamdi lost his wife Naima, his mother Hanan and his son Muhaned. Little Mariya and Uncle Nahed were severely inured. Nahed died later and Mariya was paralyzed from her neck down.
Later on she was taken to Alyn rehabilitation hospital in Jerusalem.
She has now completed a rehabilitation program.
Despite all problems Maryia and what was left from her family, Hamdi (father) and Momen (younger brother, 7) are a courageous family trying to overcome difficulties.
Maryia goes to a normative school, she started 3rd. grade, in the Jerusalem bilingual school.
Hamdi is fighting an order to move her from a rehabilitation centre in Israel to a rehabilitation center in the occupied West Bank. The Defense Ministry has been seeking since last year to send her to Ramallah's Abu Raya Rehabilitation Centre. The Israeli Supreme Court has been postponing the order for periods of six months.
Some time ago, Dan Halutz (former Chief of the Israeli Air Force and later Chief of Staff of the IDF) was asked about what a pilot feels when he drops a one ton bomb in a "targeted killing" mission over a populated area, causing innocent victims, and answered "a slight tremor in the wing of the airplane".

A few things changed since my last update, Maryia switched schools and she is going to another great project in the school for children with special needs of Ilanot. The whole family is about to move to the Arab town of Abu Gosh in the outskirts of Jerusalem, to a real house (specially redesigned for Maryias needs) and they finally will leave the hospital after 5 years.
Now with the residency they will have the chance of restart a new life, mainly without the fear of not knowing what will happen to them in the future. 
Of course this won’t make all what happened disappear, and the wounds and the lost will be always there.
Ironically the letter announcing the residency was signed by the (Ultra Orthodox - right wing) Interior Minister Eli Yshai, and as much as I try no to be cynical, it seems that the Carmel forest fire disaster made the Minister for once more human……or to pay some political price.

Collateral Damage - A photo reportage of Maryia Aman 

Monday, January 17, 2011

The creator of “no partner for peace” finally took off his mask.

The creator of “no partner for peace” finally took off his mask. After the almost complete destruction of the peace camp, Mr Barak decided to keep his chair and pay the full political price for it, giving the final shoot to the agonizing Labor Party. No real news. The ex general never was a big fun of the peace camp regardless to his discourse.
Mr Barak is now a formal member of the government of darkness …. He always was…….

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Fighting the Government of Darkness" - Demo in Tel Aviv of Human Rights NGOS

The weak up call of a deep winter sleep - leftists went back to the streets of Tel Aviv.
Some of the signs: "Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies", "Danger! End of Democracy Ahead", "Fighting the Government of Darkness" and "Democracy is Screaming for Help".

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Just a winter sunset at home

Just a winter sunset at home, simplemente un atardecer invernal en casa. Una o dos veces al anio tenemos estos regalos de la naturaleza,  estas pinturas naturales sobre nuestras cabezas que es dificil dejarlas pasar sin unas fotos.
Dramatico como los dias que vivimos. Dramatic as the days we live.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Shameful imprisonment - Haaretz Opinion - 11.01.11

Non-violent demonstration is not merely the right of every citizen, but also the duty of everyone who wishes to fight against wrong.

Haaretz Editorial
Jonathan Pollak, an activist against the occupation and a leader of the group Anarchists Against the Wall, is due to enter Hermon Prison this morning to serve the three-month term to which he was sentenced for illegal assembly. In January 2008 Pollak took part in a protest by bicycle riders in Tel Aviv against the siege of the Gaza Strip. Some 30 riders participated in the demonstration, but Pollak was the only one arrested, tried and punished. His arrest should trouble every citizen who cares about human rights in Israel.
Pollak had participated in a peaceful, non-violent demonstration, which is not merely the right of every citizen, but also the duty of everyone who wishes to fight against wrong. In similar demonstrations that took place on highways, such as that of the motorcyclists against raising insurance rates or the demonstration by firefighters, no one was arrested. The fact that Pollak was the only one arrested in the cyclists' demonstration raises serious suspicions that he was being singled out by police and the courts because of his long struggle against the occupation.
Pollak's incarceration is a link in a troubling chain of persecution by the establishment against leftist activists in the country. Following years of arresting non-violent Palestinian demonstrators, Israeli activists are now also being arrested: Nuri al-Okabi, who was convicted of setting up an illegal garage, received an aggravated sentence only because he was an activist for Bedouin rights, as Judge Zecharia Yeminy stated explicitly. Mossi Raz, a former MK, was beaten by a policemen and arrested during a demonstration against the killing of a protester in Bil'in. Now comes Pollak's arrest.
In parallel with anti-democratic legislation in the Knesset aimed at curtailing the activities of leftist organizations - which peaked with the establishment last week of a committee to investigate the funding of left-wing organizations - the police and courts are coming down hard on leftist activists.
In view of the legal system's inactivity against rabbis inciting racism and against violent and law-breaking settlers, one cannot escape the feeling that this is politically motivated persecution. The fact that the police and the courts contribute to this persecution is particularly grave.
Pollak's incarceration is a dark day: not only for Pollak but for all those who fear for democracy in Israel.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The new - old McCarthyism

Querido Jota:
how are you? Recently an old feeling from my adolescence back in the distant dark days of Latin America prowl these parts. For a while I feel that any kind of criticism against the government, institutions or the army is delegitimized, in a worrying way, as before over there.
Those who dare to express or demonstrate are labelled  traitors.
The intellectuals who have the courage to speak in their classes, public events or different gatherings are persecuted and then  delegitimized. Organizations for peace, human rights or those who are not willing to see the Arabs as their enemies are classified openly as disloyal to the state.
The new - old McCarthyism with which I grew up  shows its teeth ... 30 years later, in another place, another reality, but it is  the same feeling.
Yesterday while I was covering a demonstration in protest at  Israeli army actions against a Turkish Flotilla trying to break the siege of Gaza and also the commemoration of  the 43 years of the Israeli occupation, a smoke grenade was thrown to the middle of the crowd ...... yes  I know, the marks of the past make me fearful, but who can avoid feeling  that way in the face  of so much anger and the experiences of the past. 

From my work "Postcards from the Holy Land"
(C)Quique Kierszenbaum

Monday, January 3, 2011

And still the Tango - Y Todavia tanguean.....

A work done during the economic crisis in Buenos Aires 2002, and during the elections in which Nestor Kirchner was elected as new President 2003. Music Gotan Project Photo (C) Quique Kierszenbaum.
Missing South America these days.......