exit strategy: swap and shop

Complex identities and conflicting and conflicted identities struggling with the burden of cynicism. Its hard to find the spiritual in profane times. But lets not work to hard at it.Dense and dark, the lyrical and the epic; the brooding and the benign. Do we really want to avoid the prophesized apocalypse. To wake up one morning with our presence, but the world not there. Is it necessary, this pushing of the nihilistic button, the “on” wash cycle to arrive at a sparkling clean New Jerusalem. The best results in cold-water wash in the Jordan River. The outcome is unclear, the conflict may be endless. The religious who pray for the messiah, perhaps should back off, they may actually get what they wished for; but, good from far may be far from good.

Gericault. Raft of the Medusa.---Genet:When a man invents an image he wants to propagate, that he may even want to substitute for himself, he starts by experimenting, making mistakes, sketching out freaks and other non-viable monsters that he has to tear up unless they disintegrate of their own accords. But the operative image is the one that's left after the person dies... Socrates, Christ, Saladin, Saint-Just and so on. They succeeded in projecting an image around themselves and into the future. Read More:http://culturedart.blogspot.com/2010/12/raft-of-medusa-gericault.html

…( Jean ) Genet clings to his nihilism not because he rejects God so much as he finds the world more interesting without Him. Challenged repeatedly by the Palestinians to profess his religion, he answers:

I didn’t believe in God. The idea of chance, a random combination of facts – a trick, even, of events, stars and beings owing their existence to themselves – such an idea seemed to me more pleasing and amusing than the idea of One God. The weight of religion crushes; chance rings lightness and laughter. Read More:http://www.electronicbookreview.com/thread/internetnation/s%27eclipser

…The newscasts, the t.v. journalism, invariably depict current phenomena, in whatever thin disguise, usually by sensationalizing them in place of arriving at an understanding of them. Limited context. Events keep moving, and the reporting  moves with them. So, transience is embedded into the contemporary, and into the news, which conveys the coverage by their movement. Even old newscasts seem contemporary despite the changed dress and gestural style of the newscasters. The contemporary is always in motion, and the speedier events move, the more inherently contemporary the moving images documenting them seem. Of course, there is an association between quick movement and contemporaneity :  liveliness perceived by transience hinges on the apidity with which it occurs : think of the reportings from the Middle East; the wars, hostages, exchanges, as a kind of reality mediated by images, almost  avant-garde art,  Futurism,  Abstract-Expressionism; an obsession, a pathology  with speedy, endlessly accelerating movement.  Emblematic of modernity; art  and the news, appropriated quickly into pop culture, must be fast  and changing to be modern.

Rembrandt. The Jewish Bride---Genet:Borders and frontiers pose an existential challenge, not a cultural one: A border is where human personality expresses itself most fully, whether in harmony or in contradiction with itself. If I'd had to be someone other than myself - a difficult choice - I'd have been a native of Alsace-Lorraine. It's quite different from being German or French. Whatever they may say, anyone approaching a frontier stops being a Jacobin and becomes a Machiavelli. It might be a good thing to extend border areas indefinitely - without of course, destroying the centres, since it's they that make the borders possible.--- Read More:http://www.electronicbookreview.com/thread/internetnation/s%27eclipser

…Margalit called the initiators of the Givat Hamatos project “terrorists” and vowed to make sure people around the world understood the “severity” of the project…. …A plan for more than 2,500 apartments in the new neighborhood at Givat Hamatos passed an important step in the approval process last week, in what activists are calling the most dramatic change in Jewish construction over the Green Line since the construction of Har Homa in late 1990s.

The news of the major housing project, which will create a neighborhood between Beit Safafa and Har Homa, was largely ignored amid the news of the Gilad Schalit prisoner swap deal….Read More:http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=241764

The actors and scenes in contemporary new reporting narratives and conventional religious narratives are both stereotyped. The home living room television, the entertainment center,  is actually  a kind of church ;- though not one for praising  God, but definitely one for personal inner contemplation, for it is ourselves, the viewer, the consumer, that we are gazing at on the screen. Both narratives are created for a mass audience,a clientele, in the process forming its psyche, the central elements of the  the collective unconscious. Also, each transmits desire and fear.  Religious dreams give rise to a desire and fear of God and in front of the television we desire, yet also fear ourselves.

…“I think that this is a decisive massacre of the option of returning to negotiations with Palestinians,” said City Councilor Meir Margalit (Meretz), who holds the east Jerusalem portfolio in the municipality.

Klee. Angel of History.---Beirut inspired one of Genet’s last creative bursts. His “Four Hours in Shatila” displays all that was brilliant and flawed in his committed essays. The description is riveting, as the reader meanders with Genet among the bloated, blackened corpses, observing each in clinical detail. But his political speculations are blurred and skewed, and suggest no exit. Genet could convey something of Palestinian suffering, but he had no plan to alleviate it. Indeed, such suffering contributed to his own equilibrium. “I would like

world not to change so that I can be against the world,” he said. And: “The day the Palestinians become institutionalized, I will no longer be on their side. The day the Palestinians become a nation like other nations, I will no longer be there.”--- Read More:http://www.martinkramer.org/sandbox/reader/archives/prisoner-of-hate-jean-genet-and-palestine/

Approvingly, Genet frequently cites Arafat’s 1974 speech before the UN, positing the future of the Palestinians in blunt metaphysical terms:

Europe and the rest of the world talk about us, photograph us, and so enable us to exist. But if the photographers stop coming, and radio and television and newspapers stop talking about us, Europe and the rest of the world will think, ‘The Palestinian Revolution is over. America and Israel have settled the matter between them.” Existence precedes essence. Yet essence is often all we live by. One of Genet’s recurring concerns is that existence hinges on the impossibility of a movement (or of a writer or of a self) preventing its own eclipse…Read More:http://www.electronicbookreview.com/thread/internetnation/s%27eclipser

“Givat Hamatos is different from other neighborhoods. Construction in neighborhoods already built doesn’t scare me, but this is only on paper and this is a totally new settlement.”…

---"The government knows the Palestinians cannot live with this, that settlements are the most important issue for them. The people behind this are pyromaniacs and terrorists because they are lighting fires all over the place that at the end of the day will set up a new wave of terrorist attacks."---Read More:http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/16/israel-settlement-isolate-arab-jerusalem?newsfeed=true

…Givat Hamatos currently has a caravan village that was built in 1991 to temporarily house Ethiopian Jews who were airlifted to Israel.

The plan for the new neighborhood has been in the works for years. The general construction plan for Givat Hamatos with 2,610 housing units was approved in September. At least some of the housing units will be reserved for an extension of the Arab Beit Safafa neighborhood….

Light and dark are usually mutually ambivalent at best.  It does imply  that, for the most part, we tread  in a  zone between waking and sleeping .Between vision  and being blind, or at least myopic and short sighted.  As it becomes more challenging  to see our way in the dark, we accumulate  more insight into our state of mind and our folly.  Old, the ancient must be cast aside for the new, the past must heed the call for the future; however fearful the transitional present seems to appear. Time is reborn from eternity, given new presence, through a mechanism of the apocalypse. Today, we are not as religious as medieval Europe, yet we still believe in the apocalypse, even if subliminally.  Festivities of the arrival of 2k demonstrated that we welcomed the new millennium with almost manic relief, an antidote against our depression at the death of the old millenium. The new  and hopefully a new consciousness, is upon us, safely, for the moment and the tired and fatigued old millennium, replete with antiquated ways of thinking and feeling, is an inert corpse ,and interred once and for all, beyond the pale of  haunting us. However, of course,  ghosts of bygone days always stalks us,looking to hunt us down…

---When he revisits a refugee camp in Baqa in 1984, he senses the revolution has capitulated. Without condescension, the prose conveys defeat in place (and in face) while the reflexive lyricism of the prose conveys the Palestinians' heartbreak as Genet's own: Instead of a broom there was a vacuum cleaner in the room. The blades of the fan turned, but it didn't amuse the kids. The Coca-Cola came cold from a refrigerator that was both visible and audible. But life here wasn't lived in comfort. It was lived in resigned acceptance of comfort. Everything I looked at was clean but poor, with the sort of ascetic elegance that comes from the sure and felicitous arrangement of a few cheap bits of furniture bought perhaps at the hardware store. In the right place, a white plastic bucket can be a work of art. Allow me a platitude: the room smiled but sadly, like a Palestinian face--- Read More:http://www.electronicbookreview.com/thread/internetnation/s%27eclipser image:http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/43.106.1

The project’s approval in September did not raise any red flags since the land for the project has many different owners, including the Spanish government and the Latin Patriarchate, said Margalit.

Determining and reorganizing the ownership for building purposes is a complicated legal process called “reparcelization” that can take years, leading activists and politicians to focus their energies elsewhere….Read More:http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=241764

---The root "fda" in Arabic signifies something relinquished in the certainty of gaining something more precious: a ransom, perhaps, or a sacrifice. "What made the fedayeen supermen," Genet wrote, "was that they put the predicament of all before their own individual wishes. They would set out for victory or death, even though each still remained a man alone with his own sensibilities and desires." In them he rediscovered one of the central themes that had occupied his earlier work. In The Miracle of the Rose, Genet had written: "Only children who want to be bandits in order to resemble the bandit they love ... dare have the audacity to play that character to the very end."--- Read More:http://www.ahdafsoueif.com/Articles/Genet_In_Palestine.pdf

…wo weeks ago, the Middle East Quartet strongly denounced expansion plans for 1,100 new units in the Gilo neighborhood, which is also located across the Green Line. Peace Now’s Hagit Ofran, who heads its Settlement Watch Team, called the Givat Hamatos plan “much more dramatic.”

“It’s three times the size, and it’s a whole new neighborhood and a new footprint,” she said.

The main argument that leftwing activists have against the project is its location, which continues a line of Jewish neighborhoods that separate Arab neighborhoods in southern Jerusalem from Bethlehem….

---What was it the Arab world so urgently needed, that the Palestinian resistance should come into being?" In training, not just his eye, but his heart and his genius on the Palestinian revolution, Genet also sees the world surrounding it: the Palestinian leaders who "serve two masters", the Arab rulers "faithful to America", America: "Does she support Israel ... or just make use of her?" And Israel: "If you're against Israel you're not an enemy or an opponent -- you're a terrorist. Terrorism is supposed to deal death indiscriminately, and must be destroyed wherever it appears. Very smart of Israel to carry the war right into the heart of vocabulary..."--- Read More:http://www.ahdafsoueif.com/Articles/Genet_In_Palestine.pdf image:http://joshuaabelow.blogspot.com/2011/04/soutinebacon-at-helly-nahmad-gallery.html

…“This is land that could be a potential connection from Beit Safafa to the Palestinian state, but now we’re going to close off [Beit Safafa] like an enclave,” Ofran said.

City Council member David “Didi” Hershkovitz (Yerushayalim Beiteinu), who sits on the municipality’s Local Planning and Building Committee, welcomed the new project. “Givat Hamatos is a prerequisite for massive building in Jerusalem,” he said on Friday.

“There is not and cannot be a division between west Jerusalem, Gilo and Har Homa. Anything otherwise is claims by leftists whose goal is trying to continue to delegitimize Israel.” …Read More:http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=241764
Millei’s amorphous surface is the mercurial creativity of the beginning, when all is “formless and empty” (Genesis 1.1), and the apocalyptic creativity of the end, when “Babylon, the Great Mother of Prostitutes and of the Abomination of the Earth” is “brought to ruin. . . in one hour” (Revelation 17.5, 18.19). At the end of time the “city of power” is pulverized into formless dust, and the “Holy City, the New Jerusalem” miraculously appears in the amorphous light (Revelation 18.10, 21.2). It is similar to the way the water of eternal life sprang from dead stone to lift the spirits of the children of Israel when they were wandering in the desert. Millei, one might say, is wandering in the desert of past creativity in search of fresh water to make a new artistic beginning. Even more: Genesis (1.1) tells us that “the Spirit of God is hovering over the waters,” and Millei hopes that the spirit of God — the creativity of God (reminding us that since antiquity the artist has been described as “enthusiastic,” that is, full of divine madness) — will hover over his waters. Clearly there is some sort of brooding spirit in them, be it devilish or divine. God’s first creative act was to separate light, which he saw was good, from darkness, which was implicitly bad. Millei’s “Quicksilver” paintings struggle with this primary creative act. Read More:http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/features/kuspit/john-millei1-14-10.asp
Dan Leon:Chaim Weizmann, for all his innumerable faults, was both a renowned scientist and a man of the world who had a deep understanding of the Jewish people. In 1951, a year before his death, he talked of “all the mistakes that are being made in this country. The Jews are a very small people quantitatively, but also a great people qualitatively. An ugly people, but also a beautiful people, a people that builds and destroys. A people of genius and at the same time a people of incredible stupidity.”

In a speech in 1958 Buber, aged eighty, while affirming the factual reality of the State of Israel, referred to “the most pernicious of all false teachings, that according to which the way of history is determined by power alone. . . . while faith in the spirit is retained only as mere phraseology.” Buber maintained that “he who will truly serve the spirit must seek to make good all that was once missed: he must seek to free once again the blocked path to an understanding with the Arab peoples [in] a peace of genuine cooperation.” Read More:http://www.crosscurrents.org/leon.htm

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