On being ‘schooled’ on anti-Semitism


Last week I made the outrageous decision to tweet to someone who should know better, someone who was claiming that an article about the rising anti-Semitism on Twitter was conflating anti-Semitism with anti-Israel sentiment. I thought perhaps I was missing something. I thought that perhaps he was misunderstanding what is behind so many of the tweets and articles and protests that abound.

I was wrong. 

Obviously, what do I know about anti-Semitism? I’m only Jewish. 

But you see, he and I are both lucky. We live in cities that experience relatively little anti-Semitism. We live in a country where it is easy to pretend that the world is not racism and anti-Semitic. We travel in circles where we discuss world events rationally and where we are able to distinguish between the actions of a government vs. the actions of a people.

Where we differ is that he – and so many of those on the left, especially in Australia – sees the world at large as matching his world and as being the ideal, whereas I see the world for how it is.

The world is a fucked up place. Every day, Jews around Europe are suffering from rising levels of anti-Semitism that are not rational arguments against the Israeli government. Jews in Denmark are being told not to wear their kippot (skullcaps) in public in order to protect their children from attacks. Jewish businesses in France and Belgium are being firebombed and attacked. Protestors are shouting ‘Death to the Jews’ and ‘Gas the Jews’. Hashtags such as #Hitlerwasright are trending on Twitter.

I want to shout to the world ‘WAKE THE FUCK UP!’ This is happening. This is not your rational anti-Israel sentiment. This is anti-Semitism on a global scale. For all your believe about the Israeli government – and I’m not here to argue one way or the other, so don’t bother commenting if that’s where you’re going – this needs to be stopped. 

How does it work that the world stands up and proclaims concern for human rights but as soon as Jewish people need the attention, they are silent? Where was the world in the 1930s? Where is the world now? At what stage will they stand up with the Jewish people instead of against them? 

This situation makes me so angry because I never thought I would be living in a world that firebombed Jewish businesses, that conflated Jew with Israel and boycotted Jewish businesses and where doctors refuse to treat Jewish patients (no, I’m not making this shit up). And yet the world stays quiet because they have decided that Israel, and by extension, the Jews, are the villains once more. 

When will we have the guts to stand up and say NO MORE?

59 Days to go…


It seems that more often than not, I get to Thursday or so and I exclaim ‘This has been a long week!’ 

Logically, every week is the same. Five days of work, 3 days of writing thesis and a day of so of watching terrible reality television and cleaning. That adds up to 9 days. A week is 9 days for everyone, right?

I know that this craziness will end soon – 59 days time, in fact. That’s when I hand in my thesis and get those 3 days back. Until then, I spend my weeks exhausted and drained and wishing for a holiday and realising that there’s no chance in hell of one coming my way in less than 59 days.

Someone said to me that other day that they didn’t know how I did it. I just looked at them. I had no words (and for those who know me, that’s a rare occurrence). How do I do it? I just do. It gets done. Somehow. What’s the point in falling in a heap unless it means someone else does everything for you?

So I put one foot in front of the other, every day. I get up, go to work, work out when I can (it’s all about #wycwyc for me) and write as much as I can. I’m also gentle with myself. I know that Monday nights are exhausting so I’m not going to get any writing done and that’s okay. I know that I need my Friday night dinners with the family to recharge. I know that for the next 59 days, I need to say no more than I say yes.

And I need to get the eff off Twitter if I want to get any work done. 

On questioning my political self, or ‘Does the the Left have an anti-Semitism problem?’


For as long as I’ve been able to hold political beliefs, I have been known as the lonely Leftie in my family. I’ve always liked to think of myself as more Centre Left than radical left but compared to my family, I’m as left-leaning as they get. Which has resulted in many a passionate discussion at the dining table when the whole family gathers, especially around election time – any election really. The last time my brother and I got into a ‘discussion’, my 9-year-old niece tearfully asked ‘why don’t you love each other anymore?’ and we had to laugh and explain that we still loved each other, we just thought the other was an idiot… in a loving way.

But now, as Israel is at war, my beliefs have started to waver. As I look at my left-leaning Twitter followers, I’ve noticed something disturbing. They all seem to be on the side of whoever they perceive to be the underdog, regardless of the situation. They also seem to only be aware and interested in trendy causes. Allow me to explain.

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A Response to “Women Against Feminism”


Mandy:

I’ve been trying to verbalise exactly why the whole ‘Women Against Feminism’ frustrates me, but I don’t have to. This post does it for me.

Originally posted on iwantedwings:

Imagine this:

The year is 2014. You are a white Western woman. You wake up in the morning in a comfortably sized house or flat. You have a full or part-time job that enables you to pay your rent or mortgage. You have been to school and maybe even college or university as well. You can read and write and count. You own a car or have a driver’s licence. You have enough money in your own bank account to feed and clothe yourself. You have access to the Internet. You can vote. You have a boyfriend or girlfriend of your choosing, who you can also marry if you want to, and raise a family with. You walk down the street wearing whatever you feel like wearing. You can go to bars and clubs and sleep with whomever you want.

Your world is full of freedom and possibility.

Then you…

View original 1,400 more words

Enforced rest AKA why am I so bad at relaxing these days?


I’m blogging from my bed today as my body has given up telling me quietly to rest and has now taken to yelling at me. My back is sore, my brain is tired and my body is exhausted. Last night I was in bed by 8pm and asleep by 8:15. I woke up briefly this morning at 6:30 to let my boss know that I was taking a sick day and promptly slept for another couple of hours, taking the total to 12 hours of sleep. Then I slept some more. I may even nap shortly.

Either I’ve turned into a child again or I’m sick. Since Freaky Friday is fictional, I’m going to go with being sick. This does not surprise me. 

On Sunday night, I could not get warm at all. I ended up sleeping with a hoodie on. I spent Monday at work feeling icy cold to my bones and walking around with my scarf on like a pashmina. FYI, my scarf is nothing like a pashmina so I looked like an idiot. 

Again, this does not surprise me because I suck as relaxing. Even when I’m procrastinating writing my thesis, I’m productive. I spent the weekend writing and cooking and filling the freezer. That was supposedly a relaxing weekend because I didn’t do much socialising. But I didn’t exactly rest. I did laundry and cleaned the bathroom. I went grocery shopping. I did not rest. I did not relax. I did not really give my body time off. 

And so here I am. Exhausted even after sleeping for 12+ hours. Sore and achy. Trapped in my apartment because my father has borrowed my car and it’s ridiculously windy outside anyway. Yes, I’m sitting here feeling crappy (albeit better than yesterday) and I’m thinking of going to the gym or going out to buy my brother’s birthday present because otherwise I’M WASTING TIME. But instead, I will sit here and read and maybe nap and hopefully my body will get what it needs and let me feel human again soon.

Skin like sandpaper


Last week, my skin went mental and reacted to something. Almost overnight, I had skin like sandpaper – dry, scaly, itchy beyond belief. I felt like I was wearing a mask, as if I was hiding from the world. 

I figured out that it could either be my moisturiser or my foundation so I stopped using both and bought 2 new moisturisers. I pampered my skin, reassured it that it was safe the shed the scales and re-emerge into the world. It took about 3 days to feel normal again and while my skin is still a little dry, my scaly mask has definitely shifted.

I reacted super quickly because I could feel and see the effects of the irritation and I felt like the world could see the effects too. In my mind, there was no question that I would change everything to make this reaction go away.

 And yet, when I react to food or a situation, I don’t seem to change as quickly. When my stomach is emphatically unhappy at the crap I’m shoving down my gullet, I ignore it. When I’m getting stressed out over a situation I can change, I do nothing. And then I wonder why I still feel crap when it’s really no wonder. In fact, it’s more of a wonder that I don’t fall down in a heap all the time.

I have fallen down in a heap today though. It’s been a long week and last night, I slept for almost 12 hours. I got up, went grocery shopping and my back seized up, a sure sign that my body has gone ‘F you, we’re on strike’. So instead of getting ALL THE THESIS written and ALL THE FOOD cooked, I slept some more and I’m taking it easy. I’m treating this as I treated my skin reacting. Bad reaction means a change must be made, so I’m making it.

Do you listen to your body when it cries out to you?

Remembering lost moments


Yesterday was a friend’s birthday and so Facebook was filled with posts wishing her a happy birthday. Except she’s not around to read those posts anymore. She passed away in February this year – a cruel loss thanks to cancer, a loss I think about every day.

She was an intensely private person and, as per her wishes, her husband deleted her Facebook page not long after her funeral because the last thing she wanted was an ever-present memorial online. That doesn’t mean that we think of her any less but it does mean that grieving is different. Which meant that, as I opened up Facebook yesterday, I wondered if the day would pass unseen or whether we would be ‘allowed’ to celebrate. I was thrilled to see a few posts pop up and so I joined the fray, carefully, vaguely. But it made me feel as if I was remembering her properly.

And then I start to remember all the lost moments, the moments when I thought I’d have all the time in the world to do something, to say something, to tell someone how much they mean to me. All those times when I made a decision to do something else, something that was the right decision at the time but something that I would give anything to redo now, in light of what I know.

I know now that a healthy bank balance is good but memories made with friends are better.

I know now that friendships change as our needs change and forcing them to stay static does nobody any good.

I know now that I value the inconsequential moments most – the laughs over a cup of tea, the texts that pop up when you need them most, the regular catch-ups you take for granted.

I think about my dear friend every day as I sit on the tram and pass by where she used to live, where we used to go for brunch, where she spent her last days. I remember fragments of conversations and some things make me laugh and others make me tear up.

As much as these moments and memories hurt sometimes, I cherish them. They’re a link to the past, a link to her.