Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Monday's Presentation

The presentations last Monday were very interesting.  The first one made me wonder when Jews ceased to be referred to as 'Isrealits' and became known as 'Jews'.  I agree that it is hard to study the history of Palestinian and Jewish interactions.  It was impressive how the presentation was able to span a very wide span of time, from the early beginnings to modernity, in twenty minutes.
The second presentation:  I think it is a good idea to have a resource that defines what social activism is.  One thing I might ad to the resource, is a list of places that someone can get involved in already in Bloomington.  I know that on the City of Bloomington's website there is a link for all the volunteer opportunities.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Today's Presentations

Both of the presentations today were very well done, and I am excited to see what everyone else is going to present!

The 1st Presentation:
These questions would be really interesting to take to an ever wider pool of people to see how the results would change.  The overall conclusion appears that everybody who identifies with one of the three Abrahamic religions gernally views Jerusalem as a sacred city.  Creating interview questions is so difficult, and I wonder, for future reserach purposes, how the questions could be phrased so that 'sacred' and 'conflit' are not in the questions.  That way we can see if those two aspects are a part of how they see Jerusalem.

The 2nd Presentation:
I am interested now in looking more into 'Chefs for Peace'.  Identity is so strongly connected to food, and as was mentioned in the presentation, politics also joins in.  It seems that the questions 'who had it first', or 'the appropriate name' for certain dishes gets impossible to really answer.  Everything draws influences on what was presented to them in the past.  Who 'owns' a certain dish is really determined by how far the person wants to look back in the history of the food's origin.  The  politics around growing and picking zatar is something that I never heard of.  It makes me wonder how many people are fined each year for trying to pick the spice, and how hard it is to grow inside.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


This course has been very interested and I can say that it is unlike any other course I have taken.  In the evaluation I think it is worth while to focus on the following things:

The importance of being able to video conference people who are active in the conflict/occupation and who are experts in their respective fields.

The readings and the blog.  The reading have been both helpful and beneficial to the class.  There was a suggestion in one of the classes to have 'blog partners' and I agree that this is a great idea for blog interaction.

In the recent classes we have dealt more with minority groups and I feel that in a future class it would be helpful to learn more about these minorities.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

B'Tselem and Ir Amim
First off this video from the B'Tselem video archive struck me as really interesting, and I loved watching the youth in Gaza play at the summer camp.

When I was googling the upcoming demolition in Anatot I really did not find as many news articles as I thought I would.  Instead I found many many organizations and blogs that were on either side of the issue.  I am very interested in hearing what Eitan has to say about settlement demonstrations and the interactions between all those involved on either side.  

One thing I was wondering while reading through the political tours offered from the Ir Amim group, is how far back into history for one the tour delves into.  Second I wondered who are the people who take these tours and it the tours ever encounter political debates on the tours.   I have never been on a political tour, and I feel if I am ever able to visit Jerusalem, I would like to check their tours out.  

The video project from B'Tselem has some very powerful footage.  I wonder how publicized their video get.  Earlier in the year I went to see the Manhattan Film Festival here at IU, and this year there was a video of the Egyptian Revolution.  It would be interesting if a video about the situation could reach such an international audience.  this organization comments on how many of these videos show a reality that many within Israel are not aware exists within Palestine.  

A common theme amongst these NGO groups is showing the public a reality that is either overlooked or not even made available.  It really shows how important it is to go beyond what is just on the surface.  

My question of Eitan, is how he got involved with these organizations and in light of current political events between Israel and Palestine, what his thoughts are.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Another identity

GLBT community is one that I have never talked about in any Palestine/Israeli context.  Both the "open House' and the other organizations we have links so show that there is another identity that is wanting its voice heard.  There have been different identities struggling over the years and now as this voice is coming together, it will definably join the mix.  It is interesting how the GLBT, in their fight for their rights, that it is an issue that crosses the typical identity divide.  That is, the Palestinian/Israeli divide, since there are members of the GLBT community on both sides.

I would like to know more about what is happening with the Israeli government on GLBT issues, and also more about how these organizations, like the Open House, are received or not received by the communities.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Journal 6

Discuss the role of music in your life. How does music help define who you are as a person? How is music used as a method of communication, and what do you see as the role of music in conflict? Feel free to share significant tunes on your blog, or in class.

Music plays a very big role in my life. Everyone in my family plays one or more instruments. My mom, sisters, and I play classical music, but my dad and mom love to play folk music. I play the viola, and for a little over ten years it was my life. There defiantly is a release that comes from making music. If you are sad, angry, or happy there is something to play that can compliment the feeling.

Music can communicate on a different level because music is universal. Two musicians who do nothing about each other or even a mutual language can play together. I feel that there is a role for music in conflicts. It can be a non violent way to demonstrate frustration as well as a way to work together with people from the other side of the conflict. There defiantly is something to be said for the unique feeling of being a part of a greater whole when playing in an orchestra. Each section has its own part and voice, but when they come together it is one sound. I remember, one of the favorite pieces I got to play in an orchestra was 'Mars, The Bringer of War' by Gustav Holst. The music is so intense, but it is so much fun to play. A side note, to anyone who knows the Star Wars music, the Imperial March took inspiration from this piece.

I feel that music has the ability to see everyone's human side beyond political and other boundaries.  Music can communicate every emotion and I think that is so important to have a way to express with or to others.