14 thoughts on “Kawabanga!

  1. Yigal Amir x1000’s! Why can’t they just stop making a mockery out of themselves and Judaism. I want nothing to do with those crazy dispensationalists. Leave them and let the Palestinians take care of them.

  2. Ninja, Ninjew who cares. the Gaza pull out is like throwing ninja on Israel. Nothing good in that act.

  3. From today’s Ha’aretz:
    A study in irony
    By Shira Philosof
    When Ala Fakhory told his parents that he intended to study at College of Judea and Samaria in Ariel, they were deeply opposed. It was not ideology that caused them to question his decision – it was fear that he would be surrounded by settlers who roam the college armed with pistols. Fakhory, who is one of 250 Arab students who attend the college, insisted. Near the end of his third year of study for a degree in electronic engineering, Fakhory says he experienced no racism on the part of students or faculty. In fact, he says, “Everyone treated me well.”
    The cabinet’s May decision to upgrade the status of the College of Judea and Samaria to a university came on the heels of an academic boycott by the British Association of University Teachers on Bar-Ilan University because of its relations with the college located in the territories (the boycott, which also included the University of Haifa, has been rescinded, for now).
    On the day of the cabinet’s decision, the college, attended by 8,500 students, received support from a surprising direction: an ad published in Haaretz included the signatures of three leaders of Arab local councils. In the ad, they congratulated the college on opening registration for the coming term.
    No racism
    Tall, slender, 24-year-old Fakhory was born and lives in the Arab community of Issawiyeh in East Jerusalem. Before beginning his studies at Ariel, he completed two years toward his degree in electronic engineering at the Ort College and he has worked for four years in the East Jerusalem Electric Company.
    When asked why he chose to study in Ariel, he responds, “I have Jewish friends, who work for the Israeli Electric Corporation, and some of them study here. They told me about the place. I was planning to study in Tel Aviv or Haifa, but it is more difficult to study and work at the same time there. I also heard the electronics department here is one of the finest in the country.”
    Fakhory, who defines himself as Palestinian, appeared to be momentarily flustered when asked if the political implications of his studying at this university bother him. But he immediately responded, “Politics didn’t interest me. My future is more important. I don’t legitimize the settlement by studying here.”
    But there are those in Fakhory’s family who would disagree. “They were opposed, but out of fear – not because of politics. They thought Ariel was a settlement outpost with a few caravans, and they had no idea there was a college here. They said there are extremists there, that I wouldn’t get along with them, and that I would face a great deal of racism. They tried to convince me to study somewhere else.”
    Despite that, even Fakhory was pleasantly surprised. “There is undisclosed racism everywhere. I don’t even feel that kind of hidden racism here. Until now, I haven’t felt that anyone treated me poorly. Not the faculty or the students.”
    In order to lend weight to these statements, Fakhory says that about two weeks after he began his studies, he entered a class expecting to see, “a lecturer with a skullcap and a personal weapon. But the professor was really nice.

    Other Arab students also feel comfortable at the college. When Mahmoud Amash, 22, from Jisr al-Zarqa, wants to describe his satisfaction with the college, he says he often stays here on weekends…. He plans to rent an apartment in Ariel during the coming term, and to study for a master’s degree in psychology at the college. Walking from the library to the administration building, he appears to have many friends.
    According to Amash, he is not interested in national politics, “despite the fact that there is clearly discrimination in terms of the infrastructure in Arab villages.” However, he does appear to be very interested in campus politics – he is an active member of the college’s student union. In conjunction with his role as the academic director of the student union, he assists students in academic matters, and with problems with professors and exams. In addition, he represents the Arab students in the student union. He even recently organized a field trip for them.
    Before elections, Amash founded a coalition with student union chairman Ilan Bronson, who persuaded him to throw his hat into the ring. Amash proudly claims that Bronson initiated the coalition because he knew Amash would draw Arab and Jewish votes. Bronson, a newly religious Jew, is a fourth-year psychology student from Kfar Sava who is active in the student union for the second year. He is only willing to say that relations in the college are good.
    Positive feelings
    Amash participated in research evaluating the sense of belonging on the part of Arab students. The soon-to-be-published research examined the feelings of students in Ariel College and Western Galilee College. The research was done concurrently at both colleges by Prof. Dan Soen, a multicultural sociologist and head of interdisciplinary studies at the College of Judea and Samaria; Dr. Nitza Davidovich, director of academic development and a lecturer in the Jewish studies department, also in Ariel, and Dr. Michal Kolan, of Western Galilee College. The results indicated that Arab students have a positive sense of belonging.
    Davidovich, who initiated the research, says the idea to research this question arose from her own personal feeling that relations with Arab students at the college were good. “My experience was very positive, and I wanted to examine whether that was coincidental.” The questionnaire examined three criteria: students’ identification, their positions and how they define the socio-academic climate in their colleges. According to Davidovich, some of the results were surprising. “The Arab students defined themselves as Israelis. They expressed a sense of equality in the institution and a sense of fairness and consideration on the part of the faculty.”
    She is encouraged by the results, but believes more can be done. “For example, students study apart. Every student studies with a member of his own sector.” She stresses that results were positive despite the political context of the college in Ariel. “The College of Judea and Samaria is an unusual case. It has a sensitive label, but, nonetheless, we got the feeling that the campus represents a real bridge.” According to her, there is still a need to examine the extent to which Arab students are integrated in the employment market, in continuing research.
    Outreach programs
    Rfaat Sweidan, the adviser to minority students in the college, including Druze and Circassians students, sits in a small room with walls covered by posters in Arabic and Hebrew. The door is open, and students constantly walk in and out. Their Arabic is occasionally interrupted by Hebrew words for “test” and “semester.”
    Sweidan has a master’s in social work from Bar-Ilan University, and served in a similar capacity at that university as well. He does not limit his role to assistance of Arab students, but also engages in outreach to find potential Arab students beyond the institution.
    “I promote programs for the Arab sector in Arab villages throughout the country,” he says, “by establishing prepatory courses for the bagrut matriculation exam under the auspices of the college. I also provide counseling pertaining to academic studies for individuals outside the college. Twelfth grade graduates in the Arab sector don’t always know what to do. They do not receive counseling in high school, and I try to help them as well. Most of the problems I encounter have to do with studying. But students turn to me with all sorts of problems, when they have a financial problem or a problem with a grade on an exam. If they want to receive special testing concessions or help in receiving a grant. And also sometimes with personal issues.”
    Sweidan says he has received very few complaints of racism from Arab students. He believes that the decision to study at this college comes also from lack of choice. “My gut feeling is that people come here to study, and they are not interested in ideology or politics. They are looking for a way to advance, and they find it here.”
    Sweidan enthusiastically describes a flexible system which allows students, at various levels, to attend the college. “Even someone who is not accepted to study at the college may study in the prepatory course. He receives tutoring hours, he can take workshops to improve his study skills and language instruction in English and Hebrew. We help him. It is difficult for Arab students to be accepted by institutions of higher education in Israel. That is why many Arab students study abroad: pharmacology in Jordan, medicine in Europe. In the Arab sector, a student seeking higher education goes wherever he is accepted.”

  4. That’s interesting. I hope that after most of the settlements are dismantled that Israelis will be allowed to return to the territories (as independent countries) and that Palestinians will be free to go to Israel. There’s no reason in my mind why that right should be denied to either group.

  5. Isaac,
    welcome, you have a lot to learn.
    Do you even know the whole story behind Yigal Amir and his best friend, Avishai Raviv?
    This story is so outlandish that it sounds like another Shabak provocation, like the anti-tank missile Dome of the Rock thing, the remote controlled plane onto the temple mount, the pig head catapult onto the temple mount, the endless amount of used tires found on road sides and in tire dumps, etc…
    The government is desperate. Support for the expulsion of Jews is waning. The only way that the public will get backon board is if the settlers can be demonized in one big ‘expose’. Settlers themselves know that using weapons is out of the question. They/we all know that only the settlers/right-wing/rel igious Jews have the most to lose if someone does ‘something’. Nothing drastic will prevent the insane plan, instead it would turn the tide against. The main struggle is to keep up the ‘low-intensity’ civil obedience and to not get drawn into fighting soldiers and policemen.
    Two Jews were arrested a while back for planning to blow up an Arab school in Jerusalem. Even they admit that it was a stupid plan. All settlers/right-wingers/ religious know that they have everything to lose and e v e r y o n e knows that the Shabak/government is desperately trying to provoke some settler or kipa-wearer’ to do something.
    Don’t believe everything you read in the news.

  6. And Ninja throwing stars?
    You see why you can’t trust the Israeli media? The reporters don’t even get the news first hand.
    If the story is even true, then what they are talking about is ‘ninjot’, (Asaf, you knew this right?) which are not ninja throwing stars but slang for spikes/nails that can be spread on the street to puncture tires.
    Now why would settlers want to puncture the tires of ordinary citizens and antagonize the people who they are trying to convince of their side? It’s not logical, but the story is slanted so that we are all to assume that at the next road blocking demonstrations, these evil settlers are going to damage private property.

  7. ok, I don’t no anything of the accuracey of this specific report. And I understand that the settlers aren’t all crazy ideologues by any stretch. I agree that they should be allowed to live there if they chose to do so. However, I think it is necessary that lands unfairly aquired be returned. I know not all of the settlements were built on such land, but some were, and its wrong for Jews to keep it. Additionally, I would add that even if it is someone’s right to live wherever they may chose, it doesn’t mean that they should use that right. If the only way they can live there is to endanger numerous Israeli soldiers and anger the Palestinians (regardless of its validity or invalidity however you may see it), I would say that their obligation to seek and pursue peace, to save lives, and do just do the smart thing is to simply not live there. Of course some people may not be first generation inhabitants of the settlement, and they definitely must be well compensated. However, I would extend that same right to Palestinian refugees and their descendants wherever they may be. The right for a Jew to live in Gaza is only as legitemate as a Sothern Lebanese Palestinian refugee’s right to live in the Galilee. I accept both rights as valid, but understand that for pragmatic reasons the leadership on both sides might simply wish to nullify both rights, thereby perserving the ethnographic integrity of each state for the forseeable future. I personally do not see ethnographic integrity as a suitable reason to violate the rights of individuals, and would hope to see a confederal solution emerge in the long run to allow Palestinians and Israelis to live where they please (I know how unlikely that is for the time being).

  8. these people are heavily armed to begin with (to protect themselves, logically, since they’re illegally squatting in another country and to an extent acting as their own protection, and because a self-appointed patrol is no fun without a loaded uzi), and we have to say road spikes anmd throwing stars are the weakest things we’ve ever heard settlers packing. As far as provoking kippe-wearers, you mean like that terrible monster Rabin mercilessly provoked them? Or that female minister who visited a beach on a holiday? These guys aren’t very thick-skinned anyway.

  9. Now why would settlers want to puncture the tires of ordinary citizens and antagonize the people who they are trying to convince of their side? It’s not logical…You’re giving them the benefit of the doubt, I see… But whether or not it’s ridiculous to attribute logic to a far-right movement, it does seem that ninjot could be used non-violently and without property destruction, i.e. for the purpose of forming roadblocks. I don’t really see why exactly Ha’aretz and Israeli police would feel the need to conspire to invent this kind of charge.

  10. ick, forgot no blockquote tags were allowed; “Now why would settlers want to puncture the tires of ordinary citizens and antagonize the people who they are trying to convince of their side? It’s not logical…” is a quote from josh’s comment above.

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