When the war gets tough, Israel brings out that magic word that they seem to have a unique understanding of: “peace / Shalom”. That word which to any normal person means harmony, tolerance, end of violence and condemnation of destructive acts that cause suffering doesn’t mean the same thing to the average Israeli, who is basically a hardcore warmonger in sheep’s clothing. “Peace” to a normal person means good things, things we see our children paint, like blue skies, rainbows and people who are in harmony with man and the environment. To an Israeli, it means something entirely different. And that is why, in a moment when Israel has driven the million and a half human beings into a hell of suffering and starvation, then decided to bomb the living daylights out of them and destroy their lives and possessions, they bring out their weapons of mass persuasion, their Hasbara pros who are able to sing and talk about love and peace, while on the other side of the mouth they are spouting words of intolerance and accusations. Noa is called to the front lines each time there is a nasty bit of reality that involves her country, and this time, she’s been a busy little bee and getting busier.
Years ago, I used to be a fan of Noa. I saw her on the Festival of San Remo, and found her performance original and thought she had a special talent. I didn’t really care that she was Israeli, she seemed somewhat a-political. (Nowadays she sounds like a warbly Celine Dion, but this is the market, and she is part of it). But, times change and if someone is Israeli, given what Israel is, they have two choices, it seems: to embrace that Israeliness until the bitter end or to cast it off. Israel can’t leave anyone indifferent, given that it’s involved in occupation and war, and their performers, writers and “intellectuals” know they are showcasing the political agenda of their country. Noa never fails to come up with the goods, and I will explain some of her recent exploits, after a brief introduction.
For quite a long time, Israel has been dishing out one atrocity after another. It almost defies the imagination of where to begin in a timeline, there is simply too much that disgusts anyone with a conscience. Yet, let’s get close to home, very close to home, and go back only as far as the 2006 war against Lebanon. If there was a cruel and evil war, that was surely it. From Cluster bombs to bombing milk factories and power plants, roads, bridges and hospitals, not to leave out dropping bombs on convoys of families who were told to flee lest they be bombed within their homes, Israel left no stone unturned in their horrifying range of violence. Funnily enough, Noa appeared on TV in Italy a few times that month, once in a “fashion show” where she sang “Shalom” while images of the “poor settlers leaving Gaza in tears” were projected behind her. Yes, it was a shock, that this was the message: Israelis suffer. Then she and Gil Dor did a song on the evening TV news, she made a few more appearances just to bring the point home.
It kind of reminded me of something that happened this January. As Europeans know, 27 January is Shoah Memorial Day week month year. Yes, it starts some time on the eve of the 26th of January and then it ends on the eve of the 27th of January a year later. It is this way each year. And, when there is a bloodbath Israel is making happen, the celebrations are not only for about an hour a day, but from dawn till dawn. I must mention a memorable moment. I was on the phone with a friend in the West Bank and we were trying to get information about a mutual friend of ours, who we knew lived near the police station that was destroyed in the first bloody day of Israeli air raids. No one had been able to reach him and it won’t be hard to imagine the fear we had. Of course, any civilians suffering in a war is bad, but there is a difference when you know your loved ones are in the middle of it. It is a nightmare. In the other room, my husband was offering coffee to his colleagues who are rescue volunteers like he is. They turned on the news and during the height of the destruction in Gaza, all that could be reported was one Shoah item after another. It was pretty striking, the way reality was so different from what the mass media was proposing. I heard one of the ambulance drivers, someone who has no interest in politics at all, say, (and it really only works best in Italian…) “più porcate si fanno, più giorni della memoria ci mettono”, which roughly translates to: the more horrible things Israelis do, the more Holocaust Memorial Days they give us.” Yes, someone who doesn’t follow these things was able to understand the connection, there’s really no other excuse for the massive bombardment of Jewish victimhood and Israeli flags that we see especially in moments of horror against Arab peoples. Reality and Hasbara are two worlds that can never cross the divide.
So, where did Noa enter into all of this? She came to hasbara rescue in a major way: through internet in her “letter to the Palestinians” where she told them that the war was necessary in order to get rid of the bad guys (Hamas). Many people were utterly disgusted by this total lack of comprehension that this war was as dirty and filthy as it gets, that she can no longer pretend to be about peace when she is justifying the slaughter of innocents, which was precisely what she was doing. In fact, Juliano Mer Khamis and others initiated a petition to have her NOT sing a charity gig for Gazan children (published here http://palestinethinktank.com/2009/01/21/ban-achinoam-nini-noa-from-participating-at-gaza-charity-event/) and she pulled out, but then, she was called to sing her peace song and talk about how wonderfully peaceful she was on the worst television talk show in Italy, that of Fabio Fazio, who is sure to have one Israeli a week during wartime, people like Grossman, (sometimes appearing twice in one war month!) Well, right now, Noa is going to be the Israeli entry to the Eurovision song contest, Yawn. Which is of course OF COURSE having her sing a song about the theme Israelis are the world experts on, Peace. How much ya wanna bet she becomes the victim-darling-peace advocate… yes, reality and hasbara are worlds apart.
If you’d like to see Noa’s current vision of peace, check out her site this week where she talks about the Israeli elections. Sure, they didn’t go the way she (a leftist, she tells us) would have preferred but still : LEIBERMAN AIN’T HAMAS! And how bad is Hamas? Seeing that Noa moans about Israel being condemned by “Jew-haters” and “anti-Semites”, calling people who do this spreading INCREDIBLE propaganda (she spreads Hasbara…. different stuff, you don’t question hasbara, folks, unless you want to be insulted, bombed or occupied). Reminds me of when I saw Magdi Allam, a nutbar pro-Israel journalist. He said that those responsible for the war in Iraq were the “peace movement people who gave Saddam the hope that there was a way out of the war, and thus made him confident”. Yes, that kind of thinking is what Noa engages in: the “right” won because there was just so much nasty PROPAGANDA by Jew-haters going on. IT’S OUR FAULT! (OH, I’m getting into her style of shouting out things in all caps… sorry!)
Read it to believe it: the voice of peace. This post requires no commentary. Her hatred and Islamophobia speaks for itself. Hell, it could have been written by the ADL itself or anyone in The Israel Project, the MFA or any propaganda organ for Israel at all. It has a little something for everybody! http://www.noasmusic.com/index.asp
A few words about the Israeli elections and where things stand now, from my point of view:
Though i voted left, as always, I am not surprised by the results of the Israeli elections.
I am proud to live in a democratic country which has given voice to the people, even when i am unhappy with the result. I am proud to say that the ONLY party that was ever deemed illegal in Israel was KACH, lead by Kahana, the fanatic Jewish right wing party. Raam and Tal , two Arab parties who support Iran and refuse to recognize Israel as a homeland for the Jews, who don’t even make their party’s declaration of principles available in Hebrew, are kept in the Knesset. They are PROTECTED by the Israeli supreme court.
The Israeli election results, however saddening, were obvious, amongst other things, in the face of the INCREDIBLE propaganda spread around the world by the ENORMOUS amount of Anti-Semites and Jew- haters who are bent on destroying Israel. When the Israeli population sees the lies spread around, the hypocrisy of the world who sees Israel as the aggressor rather than a country acting in self defence, a world whose eyes are blind to the killing and the massacres by the MUSLIM fanatics of the Palestinian people, of Fatah, of women who dare to raise their head, of ANYONE who does not agree with them, when the Israeli people who number 7 million, 1.5 million of them Arabs, see around them 1.5 BILLION Arabs, with hardly ONE voice raised in peace, compared to the ENDLESS Israeli and Jewish voices raised in peace, then it is clear that the elections will go right.
A challenge for you:
Try Googling ’peace organizations’, see the endless, endless peace organizations based in Israel, Arabs and Jews together, and Jews everywhere in the world (the only one in Lebanon is in Lebanon, MICHIGAN!).
Then Google “Jewish terror´and see what you find….
Now, Google “Arab peace organizations…”, ?????????????
and Google “Arab/Muslim terror”……!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
By the way, Meretz, a very sane and liberal left wing organization who supports 2 states for 2 people, has supported both of Israel’s operations, in Lebanon and Gaza. Of course they have, because Meretz know very well that Israel was acting in self defence against fanatic, cruel, Nazi-like organizations, the Hamas and Hezbollah, who are holding innocent people captive, Arabs and Jews as one, and using them as human shields in their death-loving Jihad.
Why don’t you spend some time looking at THIS?
and for a thorough report, THIS:
and the list goes on and on.
I would like to say again:
both sides have failed to make peace, and now both sides have become more extreme, especially the Muslim side. Fortunately, Lieberman and his friends, which i care nothing for, can never compete with the death loving fanatics on the other side.
Now it is up to both sides to state their intentions for peace, recognition, co-existence and compromise.
I would like to raise my voice in support of peace, equal rights for all Arab citizens in Israel, equal rights for all Jewish people in all Arab countries, co-existence between Jews and Arabs in Israel and everywhere, Palestine alongside Israel in peace, prosperity and freedom.
Who will join?
And finally: The international community would do well to stop pointing fingers in such an unintelligent, not to say hateful, anti-Semitic and down-right stupid way, and start getting both sides to the table to start working out a deal.
All the best
Mary Rizzo is an art restorer, translator and writer living in Italy. Editor and co-founder of Palestine Think Tank, co-founder of Tlaxcala translations collective. Her personal blog is Peacepalestine.
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