Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A very powerful article I read in the Jerusalem Post.
It's about Jewish culture, but I think it's relevant to any culture. An article about belonging. About culture, history, and the future:

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1159193513875&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull



JPost.com » Opinion » Op-Ed Contributors » Article
Oct. 24, 2006 22:55 | Updated Oct. 24, 2006 23:19
Jewish identity - lite
By ARIEL BEERY


Set across a green cover, a piglet christens this fall's issue of Heeb Magazine promoting its food issue. Heeb is a biannual publication subtitled "the New Jew Review."

A highly-cited article in B'nai B'rith Magazine by Richard Greenberg and Deborah Nussbaum Cohen says New Jews are "fresh-faced iconoclasts," who are "thirsting for Jewish meaning and community, even though their definition of those terms often differs radically from the commonplace. Even though they often are ambivalent about the nature of their Jewish identity."

The identification of the New Jew has come at a critical time for the community. Fearing the breakdown of Jewish continuity, Jewish leaders are desperately looking for a way to reach out to elusive unaffiliated young Jews.

From the largest of federations to the smallest of family foundations everyone wants to hear what these Jews are saying. To make affiliation to the Jewish community more appealing, the past two years have seen nearly a dozen studies emerge on what makes this young Jewish population tick.

The most celebrated of the studies was conducted by sociologist Steven M. Cohen and historian Ari Y. Kelman, funded by the UJA-Federation of New York and the National Foundation for Jewish Culture.

Entitled "Cultural Events & Jewish Identities: Young Adult Jews in New York," it set out to test the claim that "Jewish cultural participation strengthens Jewish identities among young adults."

To answer this million dollar question, Cohen and Kelman reviewed data from the National Jewish Population Survey and found that even the most unaffiliated of Jews consume cultural Jewish products such as books and movies. They then interviewed 30 young Jews attending cultural events run by community-funded New Jew organizations in 13 non-Jewish locations in New York, such as bars and clubs with no observable Jewish marker. The events investigated were for the most part Jewish in aesthetic but with little to no Jewish traditional content -parties with a Jewish rapper, or employing Jewish wedding rituals for a punk rock show.

CELEBRATING THIS study, the UJA held a symposium concluding, according to notes taken by blogger Steven I. Weiss, that more resources need to be poured into events. To ensure maximum effectiveness in attracting the unaffiliated, they advised events should be cultural in focus and held in neutral - non-Jewish - locations.

Unfortunately, the most remarkable aspect of the Cohen/Kelman study has been ignored: The findings show that the majority of the Jews found attending cultural events - parties thrown by Heeb or surrounding klezmer music - already have extensive Jewish backgrounds.

Graduates of Hebrew schools, day schools and Camp Ramah, these Jews do have a history of engagement with the Jewish community - even though their current status is formally "unaffiliated."

This finding turns the tables on many assumptions: If young American Jews are not affiliating despite being more educated and engaged then ever, what causes Jews of my generation to leave the community behind?

CONSIDER THE spirit of our age, which is universalizing. The guiding zeitgeist emerging is one that stresses commonality and downplays deeper distinctions, reducing differences in culture to little more than consumer choices made by individuals instead of guiding elements of distinct peoples with distinct historical missions.

To use a computer model, today humans are thought to be running the same fundamental operating system, only choosing different programs according to preference - one program for Shabbat, another for Ramadan.

In other words, the assimilation of this new universalizing system has made collective institutions seem outdated to Jews who would like to do-it-themselves and shy away from the compromises that come from doing-it-together as a larger community.

What makes this assimilation so hard to see is that it looks and smells like particularism. Individuals wear their ethnic colors on their sleeve and spice their foods with traditional flavors. But one should not be mistaken. Just because someone looks Jewish and sounds Jewish does not mean that they will act Jewish.

Just because you drink Manishevitz and go to a klezmer concert does not make you any more Jewish than were you to drink tequila and listen to salsa.

In this sense, multiculturalist universalist Jews are as Jewish as the characters on Seinfeld - which is to say, not very. They are Jews on the street, but global citizens in their heart.

Heeb's focus on Jewish esthetic is an expression of this multicultural universalism. Ambivalent about their attachment to a collective distinct from humanity as a whole, Heeb's editors fight the cognitive dissonance of their audience with humor. According to Heeb's editor and publisher, Joshua Neuman, Heeb's mission is no more grandiose than having fun.

"If you're Jewish," he wrote me in an e-mail, "I think you might enjoy our magazine - that's pretty much it."

And fun it is. Taking Jewish stereotypes to extremes, requiring little more from its audience than knowledge of a few Yiddish phrases and an esthetic appreciation of Jewish food and humor, Heeb certainly is enjoyable. I buy it, and have each issue since it was first published.

The Jewish community has loved it too, lavishing tens of thousands of dollars a year in donations to Heeb through a fiscal sponsor, the NFJC, allowing the for-profit media group to benefit from a robust cash account.

I'M NOT sure that's the best way to preserve a distinctive Jewish people with a distinct mission of justice and culture that transcends mere esthetic choices.

Either the multiculturalist ethos will lead my generation to assimilate into the global community, thereby loosing our potential power as a collective actor, or we will use multiculturalism as a tool to open new pathways to a Hebrew identity shaped by Jewish knowledge and history.

If we believe the Jewish people to be inherently valuable, we should recognize that it is not enough to be Jewish in symbols.

Laughing about Heebs is great once in a while, but only after a robust Hebrew identity has been encouraged by programs that demand more from us than a night on the town listening to klezmer music.

The writer is editor and publisher of PresenTense Magazine. www.presentensemagazine.org

Monday, October 23, 2006




This weekend I went to a 1930's themed party in the legendary Hollywood towers.
It was unbelievable. Like entering a time machine into a different era. Everyone was dressed so perfect. You could see they had invested time both in researching and in finding the proper clothing for this occassion. There was a band playing 30's music, lots of champagne, and a women dressed like a street cigarrette seller, handing out free chocoloate cigars and cigarettes.

The two worlds I live in. On the one hand, a huge chunk of my heart is still in Israel. Reading the news. Watching on the CNN and Fox news websites the developing stories about the region. On the other hand I live in a city where people are constantly looking for new and exciting things to excite themselves.
Kind of crazy, how these two worlds are so different.

Seems like the Middle east is ruled by hatred. Ruled by lots of negative emotions.
Most of the energy of most of the people isn't towards making their lives better, but is condensed into hating one another.

Here in LA, everyone is living such a different life, not caring that much about anyone but themselves and their own goodness and well being, and in doing so, allowing their imaginating to work extra hours.

Can a man live in his heart in two continents?
I don't know. At the moment it seems hard. I guess like a person can't physically live in two places at once. Perhaps also the heart can't do so either.

XOX

Dan

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Part 2. My new friends commentary blog.

One of the cool things of the modern world, is that if you want to know what a lot of people are really thinking about something, all you have to do is simply log on to their blog, and Kaboom. You get to see inside their heart, brain and soul.

I noticed that my new Jordanian Friend, commentataed about the event we both attended on the website, I already quoted her yesterday. I actually posted this yesterday, but for some reason it didn't stick.

Here goes again. My attempt to help kep for prosterity, the thoughts of my friend about the new film institute.

http://amatalqa.blogspot.com/2006/09/rsica-something-big.html

Friday, September 22, 2006
RSICA: Something Big

I just got back from New York where His Majesty King Abullah announced The Red Sea Intitute of Cinematic Arts. This is a film school for the Middle East, and it will be in Aqaba. It's a 3-year MFA program done in partnership with the USC school of cinema and will be modeled after USC and AFI's approaches to teaching filmmaking. This is a dream becoming a reality. As a child growing up in Jordan, I always wanted to make movies. Now kids can grow up with such goals that can be attainable in Jordan, learning from industry professionals from around the world. The first class will beging in September 2008 as the facility has yet to break ground. You have to start somewhere, and there simply isn't a better place in the Middle East than Jordan.

Oh, and it was really cool to finally meet the big chief.

posted by Amin Matalqa @ 12:36 AM
64 Comments:

At 1:51 AM, Anonymous said...

I read what blogger Laith Majali posted about the film school and it said the school is also open to Israelis. Imagine, sitting next you will be an Israeli who is an IDF reservists and who may have killed or maimed an Arab few kilometers away from the film school. And then we in Jordan will help him make films about evil and terrorist Arabs. This is like Israeli film schools admitting skinheads and neo-nazis. Will we go along with anything if the price is right?

At 6:09 AM, Lubna said...

did you meet any of the big chief's half brothers? i'm curious about ali?? :D

At 10:37 AM, Amin Matalqa said...

I have to tell you, my friend, I have made some wonderful Israeli friends at the AFI, and it's quite narrow-minded of anyone to think that all Israelis want to kill Arabs or depict them as terrorists. There are many peace-loving Israelis who want peace. So please open your mind. We have to start talking to each other and there is no better a place than in film, where artists will show the humanity of their cultures to the world. If all people thought like you do, we would never have peace in the Middle East. My grandfather was Palestinian, and was ousted in 1948. I want dialogue between Arabs and Israelis more than anyone.

At 10:39 AM, Amin Matalqa said...

Hi Lubna,

I met Prince Ali a few times before, most recently in Jordan. He's very charismatic and funny, but as you may know, he's already taken. His wife, Princess Rym is the head of the Royal Film Comission.

At 11:58 AM, Anonymous said...

"it's quite narrow-minded of anyone to think that all Israelis want to kill Arabs or depict them as terrorists."

Except that Israel is a democracy and ever since Israel was founded, the majority of israelis voted for one government after another that continued stealing arab land, killing arabs, and expelling arabs, long before there was hamas or terror. Not to mention that in Israel mnilitary service is for all israelis. So chances are your israeli friends may have killed or shot or abused an innocent Arab. I used to hold you in high regard, I no longer do.

At 12:10 PM, Anonymous said...

Another anon.

So Amin, does the jordanian film school plan to have the israeli students sign a pledge not to ever make films defaming Arabs? How will you know the jordanian film school will be admitting "good" israelis? Background checks?

And as for dialoug with Israelis, I am sure the israelis would love to dialoug with Arabs who never plan to return to Palestine. It makes their job esier.

Amin, I think you will succeed in Amreeka. You say all the right things.

At 6:00 PM, Amin Matalqa said...

Look, I am not a fan of Israel's government. I was in Jordan when they attacked Lebanon. I despise Sharon and his likes. Olmert has joined the ranks. But you will find that many Israelis are not represented by their oppressive government. You have to get this through your head. Just like not all Arabs are terrorists, not all Israelis are Arab-haters. This should be a simple concept people should grasp. Anytime you generalize and reduce a people into a single opinion, you are doing yourself a disservice. Hate has never solved anything. Hate will never solve anything. Your way of thinking will continue to drive the viscious circle of hate. Nothing personal. I don't even know you. But please do open your mind to understanding that people are individuals with indivual opinions and beliefs. And artists and filmmakers will lead the future to understanding the humanity in both sides. Don't be so stupid to think that an Israeli will want to come to Jordan to learn how to make movies so he can go back to Israel and portray Arabs as terrorists.

At 11:55 PM, Anonymous said...

"Anytime you generalize and reduce a people into a single opinion, you are doing yourself a disservice"

What generlization? there is an invasion and innocent people are getting killed daily. and those who are killing them are Israelis and your drinkign beer with them. Do you think they will confess to you and say how many arabs they have killed or abused?

You did not answer the other questions posted. How can you tell a good israeli from a bad israeli? those who drink beer with are good israelis? will that be the test of admitting Israelis to the jordanian film school.

APPLICATION FORM:

Check One:

I DID DRINK BEER WITH AMIN.
NO I DID NOT DRINK BEER WIH AMIN.

At 12:50 AM, Banan said...

We are confusing two issues.

Amin has no control over who attends AFI be it Israelis (with blood on their hand or otherwise), Russians, Germans, ...AFI is an American school and they go by their own rules.

But in Jordan, we have a moral responsiblity and a business interest. Few Arab students will join this school knowing there will be supremacist jews (nice or not) attending the same class. This is bad for business, because most will prefer to go to Egypt or Morocco. Worse yet, another Arab country will open a competing business school with the only advantage of NOT permitting Israeli soldiers to sign up. Where do you think Arab and Muslim student will go? NOT TO JORDAN. Bad business.

But above all, there is something sinister about using the arts to shove Israeli soldiers down our throat when the Israelis themselvs will NEVER permit a Palestinian to attend their universities.

Amin, you are really going out of your way to defend a position that is bad from a business poitn of view and from an ethical point of view.

At 4:25 AM, Amin Matalqa said...

You're rushing to assume that I drink beer. How do you know that I drink beer? What if I don't drink beer?

What I am defending is the concept of humanizing one another. I am also telling you not to generalize.

And finally, I am telling you that this is essential for peace in the Middle East. I'm not going to tell you what to love or hate. It's up to you. It's your loss if you want to keep your ears closed.

At 4:41 AM, Amin Matalqa said...

By the way, this is so typical. Instead of recognizing how amazing this is, having an international film school of the highest standard in Jordan, something amazing for the future, you're nitpicking a little detail and complaining and wining.

At 6:51 AM, Anonymous said...

"What I am defending is the concept of humanizing one another."

Tell that to your Israeli friends. Ask them if they are willing to humanize those they had expelled from their towns and villages. See if they are willing to let them return to their homes? At the conceptual level, what you are saying souds great. But at the practicle level, your Israeli friends will ditch you at the moment you ask them to treat Arabs equally and allow expelled non-jews to return and live with jews. Amin, you can talk peace all you want to me and I will agree with you. But you are dealing with people who don't think non-jews have the same human rights as jews. don't take my word for it. Go as your israeli friends, and jewish friends too, if the are willing to accept the return of non-jews to their homes. Then come and talk to us about peace and dialoug. without substance, these are nothing but coup out words for those who don't give a damn about the misery and suffering of arabs. this way you and the israelis look like peace-lovers and those of us who want peace with substance look like assholes and radicals. Go ask your israeli friends the questions that will show us how committed they are to equality between jews and non-jews.

At 8:46 AM, Amin Matalqa said...

I think we all know there are radicals in Israel, and hostile immigrants, settlers, who have that hatred you're talking about. Those are not the people that will make the world a better place. Do yo actually think that all Israelis don't want to live in peace and harmony with Arabs? It's a basic human value, love your neighbor as you would love yourself. So what I'm saying to you is that in order to arrive at that substance you speak of, we need to communicate. Not through guns, not through yelling (although that's inevitable with Arabs and Jews, it's in our nature), but through communication. Film is one of the most powerful mediums of communication in this day and age. So if we teach our people how to make movies, good movies, and imagine if we also learn that Jews are not too different from Arabs, then we might actually get somewhere. I would rather have that than fueling the viscious circle of fanaticism. That's how we can have substance. If you disagree with me fine. I agree with you that there's an incredible amount of cruelty and injustice forced on the Palestinian people. I despise the Israeli governments for what they've done. But you have to give the people a chance to speak out. This is what film will do.

At 9:07 AM, Anonymous said...

Again, you speak at the conceptual level and you say things that we all agree with. But please ask your Israeli friends if they are willing to treat Arab as equal to Jews and as such allow those non-jews they have expelled to go back to their homes? it's that simple. it's not rocket science and it's not open to philosophizing. The Civil Rights movement and the Anti-Aprtheid movements were not about conceptual but legal. The Israelis would love for us to speak conceptual for the next 200 years. But the key difference between bullshit and honesty is in the substance. Now will you please ask your israeli and jewish friends the Question and tells us what they belive and if their answer is a YES are they willing to go public with it or is it the usual bullshit they say in private and as soon as they lan in Tal Aviv they don their Zionazi helmets and go shooting Arabs. SUBSTANCE PLEASE!

At 9:31 AM, Barak (not) said...

Shalom, I am Barak Gilad and I want to make peace with Arabs. But I will shoot every non-jew who will try to return back to Holy Land. Other than that, I am peace-loving and I love all the Arabs and I love love. And above all, I like cinema and filmmaking. To all the radicals out there, why won't you shake my hand and make peace?

At 10:07 AM, Amin Matalqa said...

Fair enough. I'll ask that question and let you know what they say.

At 10:12 AM, Anonymous said...

Thank you Amin.

At 12:09 AM, Anonymous said...

Not the same A ...a different one.

Anonymous I.....Stop laying a guilt trip on us. You failed to bring peace to us your way. Your fathers and grandfathers failed us before you. Now that we are making headways you lay a guilt trip on us. We are not responsible for what hate is doing to you and your friends. We will not succumb to to the old tried and failed methods. Don't be afraid of a future with peace and a promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all in the region. You are not going to get an inch of land, an iota of redress, a miniscule of a grievance resolved if all you do is complain and lay guilt trips on ones who take one small step forward.
Jordan made peace with Israel. About time you made peace. Start with yourself first and maybe, just maybe you'll see the light at the end of the tunnel.

At 2:37 AM, Anonymous said...

"We will not succumb to to the old tried and failed methods."

Since when is equality tried and failed? It workes in the Civil Rights movement and it worked in ending Aptrheid. If equality is tried in Israel, it will succeed.

"Jordan made peace with Israel."

The government made a treaty. Every survey conducted in Jordan says Jordanians do not agree with this treaty and do not consider israel a peacful country. if there was a referendum or democracy this treaty would have ended the day after it was signed.

At 3:20 AM, Muhannad said...

To Anon2:

And you have no problem if the israeli setting in the class next to you commanded an IDF tank that killed Lebanese women or flew a warplane the bombed Palestinian children?

You must be proud of yourself being someone resistant to guilt. How can parents raise people to gorw up like you? You should write a book about it.

May be we are selfish. True I never got bombed or shot at by Israelis, but I tell you I feel awful when I see those photos of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians torn to shreds. But you are a strong person, a person with neo-character, a Mr. Data, unlike those weaklings like us who still care even when we are not the ones who are directly in pain.

But it's all about money at the end. It has always been about money and who gets it. The carrot si tasty and the donkey needs a carrot.

At 4:02 AM, Anonymous said...

"About time you made peace. Start with yourself first and maybe, just maybe you'll see the light at the end of the tunnel."

I love it when people talk conceptual to avoid the horrific truth. how comde you ask me to make peace when I am not the one who occupies and I am not the one who assasinates and I am not the one who expells? I am the one against all of these things but to you that makes me the radical but the Israelis are the peace-loving people and we saw how peace loving they are in Lebanon.

How come you never point your question to the Israelis who are killing women and children?

Truly grotesque morality, always find ways to be in the good graces of the strong and the rich against those in need of our support and protection.

At 12:18 PM, Anonymous said...

Wow same old drama we hear whenever something good for our country comes up! wake up ya'll and start with co-exsistance...or shall we make it into a movie starting Gear and Aniston so that you all race to the cinema to watch and enjoy?

When would you all wake up and think as individuals that make a diffence , after all it's usually an individual at the end who bombs himself after being brainwashed by so-called united groups' crap, where were they to protect our innocent?

Still those individuals taged the rest of us arabs as terrorists? same way you are generalizing all individuals as being and having to be with one view of thinking...

When many of you are filling the seats of theaters everywhere in Amman assuming i generalize , People like Amin aspire and inspire many of us to follow our dreams and make that screan you watch rather than to re-live one non-stoping terror nightmare over &over again!

By the way...Ramadan kareem, arn't these bitter feelings supposed to pause durring the Holy month?

Congrats to all those who see beyond the horizons on the good news about our Jordanian film school, may it be a gate for a better future to all those who believe in this art...

This site is for a film makers journey...if you have something to say about that then you are in the right place ...othrewise...there are many other blogs where you can express your negative thoghts..try www.negativethinking.com.edu



Amin,
Cant wait to see the Captain Abu Raed site soon...Best of luck always

At 12:36 PM, Anonymous said...

so let me get this straight: those who want to stand up to murderers and supremacists and want to stand for the victims are negative and anti-peace.

Those who only think of themselvs and want to play sidekick to the rich and strong are pro-peace and positive poeple.

How interesting.

At 8:05 PM, Anonymous said...

hey!

i met amin in the AFI.

my name is oded. a jewish religous israely.

i want to say that it is easier to hate than to love. it is harder to build than to destroy.

anyone who is afraid to talk or avoids it is beneath those who do try.

i beleive that meeting people and tallking to them will only help treach an understading.
by the way- if amin wants to move to israel- hw could stay in our apartment till he finds his own place.as i invoited him this last summer to do.
i am not worried by the narrowminded who object positive thinking and actions.

they are simply a waste of time.


oded

At 8:50 PM, Amin Matalqa said...

Thanks everyone for being involved in this debate. Thanks everyone for talking, venting, and voicing. I hope a message can be reached here, that though dialogue we can come to understand. Through love, we can come to understand that we're all the same in the end. I'm not being idealistic. I'm being hopeful that maybe we can stop blaming and hating and start looking forward. Being progressive.
Much love to both side of the argument.
Amin

At 10:08 PM, Anonymous said...

To all of the anonymouses
The Goal is Justice (not just us),
Address of Grievance (not just grieving), Unity of purpose(not just perpetual disagreement), Peace with the enemy (not just piss on the enemy.
You don't make peace with your friends. You make peace with your enemy.

At 12:39 AM, PeaceLoving said...

"You make peace with your enemy."


Words of wisdome. TO ALL ZIONISTS OUT THERE I WANT TO MAKE PEACE WIHT YOU. I HAVE MY BAGGS PACKED READY AND I WANT TO LIVE IN HARMONEY WITH YOU IN SAFAD WHERE MY PARENTS WERE EXPELLED. WILL YOU LET ME RETURN?

At 12:53 AM, kinzi said...

Amin, I'm excited for the film school and what it will mean for the kids in school now who will become Jordan's reps in the industry in the future.

Nothing good comes easy, God bless you as you fight the good fight to make it happen.

At 2:00 AM, Shlomo said...

To Peaceloving Arab:

Peace to you too cousine. We can all get along if we make an effort. The good news is that for you, the effort is minimal. Just stay put and unpack your bags. I love you, God loves you. Lets hold hands. We must learn to love one another.

At 8:40 AM, Anonymous said...

Every thing is possible when there is peace. So make peace. Lets make peace. We'll work out our differences. You can come and live among us. We will love you just as much. There is already 2 million like you living among us. They weren't expelled. We know how to do it. If you don't know how to do it we'll take time out to teach you about democracy, minority rights, rule of the majority, limits on power, liberty, rule of law and order, free market, free speach, representative rule, religious freedom, personal responsibility. I hope all of your countries will be open for us to live in them too in peace among you. You know some of us were expelled from the Arab world as well. Do you think you are up to it?

At 1:46 PM, Anonymous said...

To Israeli: "You can come and live among us. We will love you just as much."

Great. Can you please post the Israeli law that permits expelled non-jews to return to Safad? Either I did not read anything about this new law or you are just another lying israeli who talks peace while pulling on the trigger.

At 6:37 PM, Anonymous said...

You can't put the horse before the cart dear friend. Peace comes first. Democracy has an inherent law and it is just as valid as the right to breath. Its called freedom of movement. That we can negotiate while we are making peace. I envision a peace treaty that will allow some the right of return to their homes among us. As I expect some of us will be allowed the right of return to their home among you. Lets face it no one is an island.

At 7:01 PM, Anonymous said...

Sorry "the cart before the horse".
Please go to www.metalks.com there you'll find lots of peace loving people from both sides. You may find it interesting and open for discussions on all issues.

At 9:30 AM, Remote Control said...

The Israeli gift that keeps on giving. When you cut throught the bull, this is what Israel is all about...

BBC: 'Million bomblets' in S Lebanon

Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 September 2006, 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK

Explosives expert prepares to detonate cluster bombs in Majdal Sellem, south Lebanon
There are three times more live devices than previously thought

Up to a million cluster bomblets discharged by Israel in its conflict with Hezbollah remain unexploded in southern Lebanon, the UN has said.

The UN's mine disposal agency says about 40% of the cluster bombs fired or dropped by Israel failed to detonate - three times the UN's previous estimate.

It says the problem could delay the return home of about 200,000 displaced people by up to two years.

The devices have killed 14 people in south Lebanon since the August truce.
...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5382192.stm

At 6:21 PM, Anonymous said...

More Israeli love. Peace to all. Love one anothers. Why can't we just get along.

---------------

Medics: IAF air strikes in Gaza kill girl, 14, wound seven

By Gideon Alon, Haaretz Correspondent and the Associated Press

Israel Air Force air strikes on a house in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah early Wednesday killed a 14-year-old girl and wounded seven other people, hospital officials said.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/767406.html

At 3:22 PM, Lubna said...

Yes, she is the head of the Royal film commission, and I do like her:) I know he's taken; he's just my favourite member of the royal family.

Besides this, I am with this School; it’s a humongous, amazing, good step forward for Jordan! It makes me proud.

At 8:11 PM, Anonymous said...

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At 9:32 AM, karima said...

"Avnery: Violence is part of the resistance to occupation. The basic fact is not the violence; the basic fact is the occupation. Violence is a symptom; the occupation is the disease - a mortal disease for everybody concerned, [both] the occupied and for the occupiers. Therefore, the first responsibility is to put an end to the occupation. And in order to put an end to the occupation, you must make peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people. This is the real aim, this is the real task."
This is a quote from Uri Avnery, an Israeli journalist living in Israel. I recommend you read more of what he writes. Here is one Israeli who does not share the politics of his country. As I certainly don't. But this does not mean that I make all Jews my enemies. I have many Jewish friends and have grown up in a country, Tunisia, where the Jewish community has existed for over 2,000 years. I now live in Morocco where the Jewish community, although shrunk over the years, is still an important part of Morocco. As a matter of fact, today, Yom Kippur, I, as a Muslim, am invited to break the fast with my Jewish friends. This... is what I call friendship, dialogue, communication, tolerance...
And to end off - another quote:
"Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people."
Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 - 1964)

Amin - keep up the good work!

At 11:48 PM, Raz said...

As a Jew and an Israeli may I say that this is the first time I have seen an arab blog. As I read some of the comments I am amazed at most of your distorted perceptions of History, I thought at least Jordanians whom I have meet a few would have a greater grasp on reality. Why is it non of you are aware of the arab massacers against Jews as far back as the 20's
(hebron) these are not made up massacers like the ones that muslims make up(deir yassin,Jenin,and i can go on)
how about all the REAL terrorist actions by muslims against Jews b4 '67. How about Jordans destruction of Jewish artifacts from 48-67 while Jordan illegally annexed Judea and Sameria. How about the fact that the muslims where "southern Syrians" and Egyptions until 1964 then decided they where "Palastinians". How about the 5 wars (which you lost) muslims started against the Jewish people in order to wipe them off the map...not to reach an agrement but to kill us..okay enough history how about today, 1.5 million muslims live in Israel,are members of the Kennest, and suprem court. muslims go to our schools every day and my doctor is a muslim and get this a women as well!! As far as returning to your"homes" well it was in 98% of the cases your own leaders who told you to leave your homes and wait till the Jews where pushed into the sea, and do you mean that the 850,000 Jews who where forced to leave arab lands from 48-54 should be allowed to return to there homes? and is this not just another attempt by the muslims to rid the area of the 1 and only Jewish nation by war of the womb? As far as the killing of today goes your "fighters" hide behind women and children hoping they will be killed for propaganda and we in Israel mourn those innocent deaths, while you celebrate the death of ours!. Stop making the same mistakes of your fathers and grandfathers , accept the Jewish nation allow the return of your brothers and sisters to there muslim homes as Jews accepted arab Jews to there Jewish homes, hold your leaders accountable for your plight and culture of death you embrace, and for heavens sake please stop reading your own propoganda and maybe there will be peace!! And I love how you laud over those Jewish writers who are on the fringe left of Israeli society.

At 12:05 AM, Raz p.s said...

If the muslims would lay down there weapons we could have peace...If we Jews would lay down our weapons we would be dead!!

At 5:21 AM, Anonymous said...

these negative coments are quite surprising, but also predictable. i live in israel with my israeli arab wife, who grew up here. she loves israel because of all of the freedom and privileges she has. she grew up in an arab town and, according to her, experienced 99% of the prejudice she's felt from her fellow muslims. sure, jews treated her bad because she is an arab, but nothing like her fellow arabs. she has travelled to the west bank, gaza, and other middle eastern countries and realizes how blessed she is to live where she does, and not under such arab oppression.

i am a also christian and we live in a jewish city becuase of my job. we tell everyone we meet who and what we are and have never had a problem. our religious jewish neighbors have been nothing but nice to us and they adore my wife.

say what you want about the zionists, but i know one thing: i could not be as free and open about who i am in any other place in the middle east. israel, with all her faults, is not the way you describe it. it is amazing to see such ignorance.

mike, who loves arabs and jews

At 7:12 AM, JOKE said...

great. after the jerusalem post article we will have all these israelis posting with arab names telling how great israel is to arabs and how nasty arabs are to other arabs.

At 10:30 AM, Anonymous said...

I am an Israeli reservist who is also a student film-maker. If I were to go the film school, I strongly expect that I will be sitting next to an Arab related to someone who has either blown up or stabbed to death many of my relatives or friends. All the pain they have caused me will not stop me because I know that the future is in peaceful co-existence. The previous post is for narrow minded fools who live in the past and know only death and fear. Peace is for the brave.

At 11:10 AM, Dan said...

Right on Amin! Make movies... not war.

Since when are Israelis the only one that are bloodthirsty demons?? Israel's government accepted one terrorist with lots of blood on his hands, yassir arafat, as a negotiating partner and in the end it was he would could not abandon the pornographic violence of terror and the corruption of politics. If Palestinians were to put someone up as a leader who was serious about real negotiations (rather than presentating maximalist demands in a media savvy way), then Israeli public opinion would sway quickly into a positive direction.

This school is a great idea, and Arabs and Jews attend school quite well together in Universities all over Israel. Why not an Arab country as well?

At 2:46 PM, Anonymous said...

"rather than presentating maximalist demands"

funny, a russian jews right to return to a country he never stepped foot is is a god given right.

A non-jew's right to return to a land he was expelled from in 1948 is maximalist demand. All along i thought that was a basic human right.

Israel is a supremacist freak show.

At 3:06 PM, Anonymous said...

"Arabs and Jews attend school quite well together in Universities all over Israel. "

Really? you mean Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews.

So what? Jordanian of all religions and races to go to the same schools in Jordan.

but how many palestinians are permitted to go to israeli universities openly and freely? NONE. So don't expect us to roll the welcome mat for you.

BTW, how many Arab children have you buried in Lebanon? Or is your specialty Arabs in Gaza? Or may by you are a pacifist who just likes to man checkponts and watch pregnant arab women abort their babies and old men with kidney problems perish.

You go fix your problems with the palestinains then you can come and talk to us about co-existance.

I find it rather disturbing that you think you can just drop by for coffee as if things are normal and as if we don't watch the news of your murders. just a couple of days ago you bombed two teenager to shreds. They were biking together. before that you killed a 14 years old girl. And almost everyday you send your snipers and missles to snuf the life out of so many non-jews. So you are either an emotioanlly troubled person who sees nothing wrong with killing Arabs then trying to be friends wiht them. Even the White South Africans had enough decency to know none of their black neighbours really liked them very much. But here you are a clinically self-absorbed human being who is totally incapable of seeing the ugliness of your actions and how they affect how others preceive you. I think the west has sheltered you for so long to the point you are incapable of telling right from wrong and decent from indecent.

At 10:47 PM, Anonymous said...

mr anonymous needs to get over his anger. life is not fair. we don't always get what we want, deserve. we can either brood about it and feel sorry for ourselves, plot revenge OR we can stop the madness.

but, hey, everybody is doin' it so let's keep the fire burning!

At 1:07 AM, Anonymous said...

signed (above) mike

At 3:00 AM, Anonymous said...

MR HOTAIR SAID: "we can either brood about it and feel sorry for ourselves, plot revenge OR we can stop the madness."

More fluffspeak that has no substance.

There are two madnesses and feel free to stop them anytime you wish: occupation & ethnic cleansing.

When you succeed, come and tell us the good news and we will buy you coffee. Other than that, you are full of worthless hotair.

At 6:46 AM, Anonymous said...

the only ethnic cleansing that hapened is removing jews from gaza (judenfrei). you know, ending the occupation there.

hyperbole in word or thought is simplistic and uneducated. jews don't hate arabs. take it from someone who lives here in the middle of them.

hate will destroy your soul, especially when the zionists have done nothing to you.
mike

At 8:07 PM, Anonymous said...

What a fascinating blog this is. It's a real revelation to start at the top of this thread and listen the the Israel bashing. As soon as someone who points out the opposing view on reality, all the locals go ballistic.

I totally agree with everything that Raz said. To conveniently leave out the reality of history is wrong. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were expelled from Iran, Iraq, Yemen, and on and on. Property confiscated. The Palestinian Arabs were told to leave and, as always is the case in war, populations shifted. The only difference here is that the Arab countries have kept, with the cooperation of the UN, thousands in refugee camps. Why? Why haven't these people's talents as farmers, herders, and on and on, been taken advantage of by the parent Arab countries... this is a historical first. Jews have ALWAYS had a presence in the M.E. Take the ball bearings out of the suicide belts, and make movies.

At 5:34 AM, Anonymous said...

"Hundreds of thousands of Jews were expelled from Iran, Iraq, Yemen, and on and on."

I am appauled at your talent for deception and distortion.

I lived the cold war years and I remember the pressure the US and the West applied on countries like USSR, Ethiopia, Yemen, and others to let the Jews leave to Israel. the US used blackmail, money, coercion to force those government to support airlifts of jews to Israel.

Yet here you are lying with a straight face about these airlifts as if they were some ethnic cleansing campaign against Jews.

I hate your lies.

Of course there were attacks against Jews, but hardly at the scale Arabs suffered at the hands of Jews in Israel and US. but the departure of jews from Arab and non-Arab countries was a compaign paid for and financed by Israel and its friends to beef-up its jewish majority. Even today, this ongoing.

STOP THE LIES FOR A CHANGE, PLEASE.

At 11:24 PM, Anonymous said...

anonymous,

you say:
"US and the West applied on countries like USSR, Ethiopia, Yemen, and others to let the Jews leave to Israel."

my nextdoor neighbors are iranian jews, had to leave iran in the dark of night. yesterday i was with an iraqi jew friend, had to leave iraq the same after proprety confiscated.

you can debate the scale and who was hurt the most (which is debatable). arabs are treated well in israel, better than arabs treat palestinians and arab christians. and arabs are treated bad ing the US?? whatever. by the way, do you help make palestinian refugees lives better, or just use them for your rhetorical purposes?

you can use partial facts, facts without context, mold them to your advantage or whatever, but when will you ever get over it and try to work towards peace? israel got out of gaza, lebanon, sinai, is on record for offering the golan back to syria (many times), and was planning to get out of the west bank until the war. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT??? arabs have it pretty good in israel (since, for example, jerusalem arabs completely object to being citizens of palestine if given the choice).

i think you are not interested in the whole truth, are prejudiced, and love to hate. but, hey, that's cool because everybody else is doin it. and why palestinians, if you really care about them, will continue to suffer.

mike

At 3:25 AM, Anonymous said...

"my nextdoor neighbors are iranian jews, had to leave iran in the dark of night."

If you want to lie, make it beliveable. There is still an Iranian jewish community living in Iran. Same in Iraq. Why?

I could care less what your israeli iranian neghbour says. Israel is based on many lies and Israelis are partners in these lies. I have no reason to belive your post because facts on the ground say you are lying. The paid-for airlifts, the jewish communities in Muslim countries, etc. You can't hide those with personal stories that only you can confirm.

Lets take this jewish explusion and exile story further. Here you have Israel, a nuclear state. its a regional super power and has a strong economy and a powerful military. How come there are more jews outside of Israel than in Israel? In your history books, you made up stories about jews being forcebly scattered becuse someome expelled them from Israel. Well here is Israel...TA DA! still, most jews live outside of Israel. Forced expulsions?

But you know how we know zionism is built on lies. The first lies is that "Israel is a land without poeple for people without land"

With few exceptions, I have never met an Israeli that did not lie. Lying is part of the Zionist culture. It's necessry to provide cover for its racist ideology.

At 7:13 AM, Anonymous said...

above,
why should i explain anything to someone who has their mind made up? my neighbors feared for their safety, real or perceived. they had to leave without anyone knowing, lest they be prevented and be in trouble, real or imagined. is it unimaginable for muslims to react to jews wanting to go to israel? look at your own irrationalality and i can understand.

you are a prime example why i do not live among muslims - everything is a conspiracy and everyone is a lair. you are truly pathetic. even if jews were the monsters you claim them to be, i'd take them any day over your worthless lot. thankfully i have that choice.

get a life, preferably in the real world.

mike

At 4:17 AM, Anonymous said...

SHALOM ARABS!!! I am Shlomo again. Remember me. i love the idea of film school where I can go and relax after I kill arab family of five. but i am sure you will understand since peace means you have to compromise, dialoug, and reach out. I want to reach out...oh...never mind the blood on my hand. love conquers all....Peace brothers...Sorry but I have to leave now. I see an arab kid in my crosshair. have to clean some land....Shalom...shlomo

----------------------------------------

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/773817.html

IDF troops kill five family members in Gaza clashes

By Amos Harel, Mijal Grinberg and Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondents and Reuters

Israel Defense Forces troops killed six Palestinians, among them five relatives, during raids in the southern Gaza Strip Thursday, witnesses and medics said.

They said troops backed by helicopter gunships entered the village of Abassan, east of Khan Yunis, at dark, touching off clashes. Of the five relatives, three were armed militants of the ruling Hamas party's militant wing. They were identified as Abed Rahman Kadiah, 25, Salah Kadiah, 25, and Naeel Kadiah, 22. The other two family members were bystanders, named as Adal Kadiah, 40, and his 13-year-old daughter Suhaib Kadiah.

The fourth militant was killed later Thursday as clashes raged into the afternoon. IDF troops opened fire on the man as he advanced toward them under cover of a large crowd.

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The IDF confirmed its forces were operating in the area looking for facilities used by militants. Troops fired on gunmen who tried to attack them, an army spokesman said. At least 11 Palestinians were wounded in the clashes.

"This is an area believed to conceal tunnels and other forms of infrastructure used by terrorist groups," he said.

Militants fired anti-tanks missiles at troops raiding the area, but there were no casualties among the soldiers.

Earlier Thursday, the Israel Air Force destroyed the house of a Hamas militant in the Jabalya refugee camp, which the IDF said was being used as a storehouse for weapons.

Also Thursday, two Qassam rockets fired by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip landed in open fields in the western Negev. There were no injuries in either incident, but some farmland was destroyed in one of the blasts.

In overnight raids in the West Bank early Thursday, IDF troops arrested 12 wanted militants. Troops came under explosives and gunfire while operating in Nablus and Tul Karm. There were no soldier casualties in either incident. A Palestinian was wounded during the Nablus operation, but his condition has not yet been confirmed.

In a separe incident Wednesday, IDF troops killed a would-be suicide bomber attempting to infiltrate the security fence south of the Karni crossing and a wanted militants in Nablus.

Troops operating in Nablus Wednesday also killed a wanted Palestinian militant from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, Abdullah Mansour, who they said attempted to detonate explosive near their position. Mansour's relatives said he was killed by a single bullet to the head as he looked outside his window at gunbattles taking place outside between militants and IDF troops.

The IDF's offensive in Gaza, ongoing for almost four-months, was launched after IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was abducted and two of his comrades killed in a cross-border raid on June 25. Israel has since mounted several major military operations in Gaza aimed at retrieving Shalit and stemming cross-border rocket fire by militants. Around 230 Palestinians, half of them civilians, have been killed.

The governing Palestinian faction Hamas, some of whose gunmen took part in Shalit's abduction, says the soldier should be traded for Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

Israel has publicly refused a prisoner swap although political sources expect it to relent as part of an Egyptian-brokered deal.

At 1:25 PM, Anonymous said...

above: did you read your article??

"three were armed militants" (ie, terrorists)

oh, and this is good:

"fourth militant was killed later Thursday as clashes raged into the afternoon. IDF troops opened fire on the man as he advanced toward them under cover of a large crowd"

it's revealing how your "militants" use palestinian civlians as human shields or israeli civilians as targets. nice.

by the way, thanks for proving my point for me.

"If Palestinians lay down their weapons, there will be peace. If Israel lays down their weapons, they will be dead."

peace, mike

At 2:46 PM, Anonymous said...

so this is how you get away with murdering people. you just say they are militants, no court, no justice, no proof. Just a sniper bullet or a missle. Just cold blooded murder, and all you have to offer us is an accusation that no one can verify. The Nazis said many terrible things about jews that they did not feel they had to prove. Are you asking us to accept your low-standards and theirs as suffcient to kill innocent people? Why deny this same standards to other terrorists groups, now that we seem to have a new acceptable standard for murder? So next time someone shoots an israeli all they have ot say is "jewish militant" and that should make it morally and legally acceptable and world opnion should understand. right? but of course if murdered Arabs are not militants, they are collateral damage, like the poor girls you have butchered today. Net result is you kill anytime and it's ligitmiate because arabs are either militants (and that I guess means you can kill them) or collateral damage (like the hundreds of lebenese women and children).

So you are just a killing machine directed at Arabs. wow. and you want to sign up for an arab film school and we are suppose to welcome you. Shit man, what will guarantee that you won't kill your arab classmates if you suspected they were militants? you have immunity when it comes to killing arabs.

You know what, no wonder very few arabs feel any sympathie for your losses. You are just cold blooded butchers with no remorese and no humanity.

-------------------------------

IAF missile strike on Hamas man's Gaza home kills 8-year-old girl

By Amos Harel, Mijal Grinberg and Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondents and Reuters

Oct 13, 2006

At least two Palestinians were killed and seven injured, one seriously, in an Israel Air Force missile strike on the Gaza City home of a Hamas leader Thursday night.

An IDF spokesman confirmed the air strike targeted the house of a Hamas commander, Sharaf Farwana, in the Sajaiyeh section of Gaza City near the border with Israel.

Farwana survived the attack, but the strike killed his brother, 25-year-old Aiman Farwana, and a 8-year-old girl.


The latest strike came after six Palestinians were killed in a clash between the Israel Defense Forces and militants in southern Gaza earlier in the day.

Shortly after the IAF strike, Palestinian gunners fired a Qassam rocket at Sderot. The rocket slammed into a electrical powerline and plunged the city into darkness. There were no reported casualties.

Also Thursday, a Hamas militant identified as Majid Darbiya was gunned down in Beit Lahia by unknown assailants.

Hamas vows revenge
A spokesman for the Hamas military wing earlier on Thursday vowed the group would take harsh revenge for the IDF operation in Gaza, in which six people - including four militants - were killed.

Five of the dead were members of the same family.

"In light of the ugly crimes in Khan Yunis and the northern Gaza Strip, we will bombard and strike in every place, north and south. The response will be powerful and will cause the earth to tremble. The enemy must now wait patiently for our actions," he said.

Witnesses and medics that said troops backed by helicopter gunships entered the village of Abassan, east of Khan Yunis, at dark, touching off clashes.

Of the five family members killed, three were armed militants of the ruling party's militant wing. They were identified as Abed Rahman Kadiah, 25, Salah Kadiah, 25, and Naeel Kadiah, 22. The other two family members were bystanders, named as Adal Kadiah, 40, and his 13-year-old son Suhaib Kadiah.

The fourth militant, Mohammed Barakha, 23, was killed later Thursday as clashes raged into the afternoon. IDF troops opened fire on Barakha as he advanced toward them under cover of a large crowd.

The IDF confirmed its forces were operating in the area looking for facilities used by militants. Troops fired on gunmen who tried to attack them, an army spokesman said. At least 11 Palestinians were wounded in the clashes.

"This is an area believed to conceal tunnels and other forms of infrastructure used by terrorist groups," he said.

Militants fired anti-tanks missiles at troops raiding the area, but there were no casualties among the soldiers.

Earlier Thursday, the Israel Air Force destroyed the house of a Hamas militant in the Jabalya refugee camp, which the IDF said was being used as a storehouse for weapons.

Also Thursday, two Qassam rockets fired by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip landed in open fields in the western Negev. There were no injuries in either incident, but some farmland was destroyed in one of the blasts.

In overnight raids in the West Bank early Thursday, IDF troops arrested 12 wanted militants. Troops came under explosives and gunfire while operating in Nablus and Tul Karm. There were no soldier casualties in either incident. A Palestinian was wounded during the Nablus operation, but his condition has not yet been confirmed.

At 12:21 AM, Anonymous said...

you're right, when a jew kills an arab it is unforgivable.

-when palestinians kill each other in gaza, or
-shi'ites kill sunnis in iraq by the hundreds, or
-sunnis kill shi'ites by the hundreds, or
-the sudan genocide, or
-"honor" killings on a daily basis in the muslim world, or
-weekly beheadings in thailand, and
-and all other jihad murder around the world....

*yawn*

no, the jews are much worse (that probably explains why you dance in the streets, bellies full of batlawa, when jews are killed. gotta maintain that "honor", no?

bottom line: muslims have BIG problems, and it's not jews. you can't blame everything you do away on others.

a little personal responsibility would go a long way, but your disasterous pride and ego won't let you.

you got problems? look in the mirror. only you can fix them.

you can have the last word. i'm outta here.

peace (you should try it), mike

At 3:07 AM, Anonymous said...

Mike, what is you IQ? how did you get from Palestine to Iraq? Do you ADD? Or u just plain slow? or is this the ususal if i am out of excuses, run to another topic? must be an IQ issue.

At 5:38 AM, Anonymous said...

Hello Arabs and Yellow Race people. We want to make peace with you low lives. Israel is a liberal western white democracy, not yellow. Please remember that....Peace...Israeli ambassador to Australia
---------------------

Foreign Ministry slams envoy's comments about 'yellow race'

Oct 13, 2006

By Charlotte Halle, Haaretz Correspondent

The Foreign Ministry on Friday condemned remarks by the Israeli ambassador to Australia in which he told Haaretz that the two countries are white sisters amid "the yellow race" of Asia.

"If the article is accurate, this is a grave and unacceptable remark," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The ministry said it will not return to business as usual if an internal examination confirms that the ambassador, Naftali Tamir, in fact made the comments attributed to him.

Tamir said that due to what he characterized as the racial similarities between Israel and Australia, the two countries should work together to enhance ties with other Asian countries.


"Israel and Australia are like sisters in Asia," Tamir said in an interview with Haaretz during a visit to Israel this week. "We are in Asia without the characteristics of Asians. We don't have yellow skin and slanted eyes. Asia is basically the yellow race. Australia and Israel are not - we are basically the white race. We are on the western side of Asia and they are on the southeastern side."

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/774471.html

At 3:23 PM, Anonymous said...

Guess all Israelis act in the same way ... even they tell you, how they love to live in peace with thier arab neighbours , but at the end they will stand against YOU!

no matter where your from jordan, ...., but this will all end for thier own good not for our good, so think about it again and make your own thoughts .

Yours
Agl

At 5:23 PM, Anonymous said...

"Guess all Israelis act in the same way ... even they tell you, how they love to live in peace with thier arab neighbours"


I guess when you are a democracy that elects its leaders, that means the killings and the brutality and the ethnis cleansings are the choice of the majority in Israel. Unlike the so called peace in jordan, which is the choice of leas than 1% of the population. Jordanians don't like to watch fellow human beings murdered by poeple they are forced to shake hands with.

Is that all you have to offer for all the killings you have committed? Your silly post?

Words are cheap and meangless when contrasted with your daily killing sprees. Actually, they reflect a deeply disturbed mentality when the killer extends a hand of peace then goes the next day to kill some more.

At 2:58 AM, Anonymous said...

democracy in Israel ? this is strange thing to say ... you have to learn the real meaning of democracy before having one thought that Israel is a democratic place... what happend to all Minorities living in Israel ? Muslims, Christians, others..., one example of your called democracy in Israel in why Muslims and Christians beeing banned to practice or pray in thier holy places, when the Jews allowed to have totaly free access to enter thier own worship places!

the ONE rule in Israel says " If your not Jewish your not a citizen "

Now you tell me what type of Democracy is this when your beeing tagged to be second or 3rd Grade citizen of your own Land ?!?




Another Blog about the same event:

Thursday, September 21, 2006
HM the King announces: A Jordanian School for Cinema
Start building your cinematic portfolios if you want to apply in 2008.


NEW YORK, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- King Abdullah II of Jordan presided over a ceremony in New York City on September 20th marking the creation of the Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts (RSICA) in Jordan's Red Sea resort town of Aqaba. The institute is a joint effort of the Royal Film Commission of Jordan and the School of Cinema-Television at the University of Southern California. The institute will enroll men and women from the Middle East region in a specialized learning environment dedicated to teaching all disciplines of the cinematic arts.

The Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts is in line with His Majesty's efforts to harness the skills of Jordanian youth by exposing them to the latest technologies in filmmaking and production. The institute would also contribute to His Majesty's vision of establishing a hub for intellectual and creative capital in Jordan, where youth in the region can be equipped with the necessary tools for success.

His Majesty drew on the expertise of filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who recommended the partnership with USC, to make this project a reality.

"When His Majesty the King approached me on the subject of a Jordan-based, world-class film school serving every country in the Middle East, including Israel, I immediately saw the importance and significance of such a venture for the people and the future of the region. I knew as a trustee of USC and a member of the school's Board of Councilors that the university had the exact expertise he needed for this incredible initiative," Spielberg said.

"The Middle East is a melting pot of cultural richness and diversity with story-telling traditions as old as time, yet contemporary cinematic stories from the region are in short supply," said Mr. Mouasher. "In establishing this institute we will draw from a diverse and vast pool of cultures and experiences, to offer a more complete idea and multi-faceted perspective to the viewer, and the world audience."

The University of Southern California is home to the oldest cinema program in the United States, which was founded in 1929 as a collaboration between USC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The School of Cinema-Television has over 10,000 living alumni who are among the entertainment industry's most distinguished animators, scholars, teachers, writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, sound experts and industry executives.

USC faculty and staff teams traveled to Jordan to conduct pilot programs in 2005 and 2006. Those experiences will now be formally expanded into the RSICA, a fully accredited and free-standing graduate school that will offer a three-year Masters of Fine Arts Degree through advanced education in cinema, television, and a wide range of dynamic screen-based media.

Construction of the RSICA campus is set to begin in early 2007 in Aqaba, a special economic zone in Jordan on the Red Sea, bordering Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel. Its facilities will include digital screening rooms, post-production, animation and interactive media laboratories; sound stages with green-screen and motion capture capacities; high-end professional video production packages and an extensive digital and print library.

Faculty will be drawn from industry, arts and academic institutions around the globe. Students will be admitted from Jordan, as well as the entire region, with first admissions in September 2008, and the first graduating class in June 2011. Admission will be based on a competitive portfolio, clear evidence of talent and outstanding personal expression, as well as strong potential for creative collaboration.

posted by Laith at 1:17 AM
10 Comments:

Anonymous said...

"world-class film school serving every country in the Middle East, including Israel"

The New Middle East? You can count me out.
3:34 AM
jameed said...

yalla balki shaghalnak mu3eed hanak
5:56 AM
Rambling Hal said...

What's the link to this article, can you post it please? Ibleeze??
6:50 AM
Ibrahim Owais said...

This is amazing ...
we really need such a thing in the region...

Thanks for sharing ...
6:54 AM
Ghaith Al-Amaireh said...

I’m really glad to hear that, a couple of months ago we hosted Ms Merva Faddoul from The Royal Film Commission and she talked a lot about improving and going world wide because we have some really good talents like yourself and Mr. Matalqa. I’ll be waiting for the day where we would see a decent Jordanian movie.
5:34 PM
User06644 said...

I commend the Jordanian Government and their people! The acceptance of Israelis into an Arab society is a ray of sunshine in such a dark part of the world. I wish all Muslim countries accepted the inevitable, the State of Israel.
1:46 AM
Deena said...

Hey Laith, check this out, your blog got mentioned in an Israeli paper!

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=1&cid=1159193355384&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
5:37 AM
Steve said...

Great idea and a long time coming. Many will want to have this experience and great work will certainly come from this. Congrats to all who are behind this but especially to the Jordanians and their progressive leadership.
10:26 AM
Anonymous said...

Jordan is so fucked up it need a heating fule not a Cinema school.
4:08 PM
Anonymous said...

Hi Laith,
i'm not quite sure if you are the one supporting this whole idea about the Media center with that terrorist state ( Israel). i think instead of goign around travelling and selling your brothers and sisters blood, water and land, you should go back to Karak where people are dying from cancer because of nuclear Israeli trash dumpped right next to your home town. make sure you solve your family's problems starting with the way they discriminate agains the women in the family to the Wasta and corruption that takes place in Jordan.
i think you and all the people behind this are pathetic, you run after money like dogs! make sme wanna throw up.
may be you should concider the Jordanian presioners in the Israeli presions before you make such an eventful activity with the anemy. you know htat to them you are nothing but a dof, right?
to hell with you. as they say: "elli sta7o, matoo"
ciao Majali
2:39 AM

Friday, October 20, 2006

Call from the Forward Newspaper.

I got a call from a journalist in NY from the Forward. She wanted to know what I thought about the contraversy surrounding the creating of the film school in Jordan online. As an artist, I preferred to express my point of view, which is that of tolerance. It was amazing that the bloggers are still creating a stir several weeks after the event. Later I went online to check if I've been missing anything, and indeed I had.

Here's some quotes and thoughts from another website I found. It seems there are lots of various links to the Google search Katzir and Jordan, so there might be others that have different views. I'm just quoting one of the first links to show up.

It's called : The Black Iris of Jordan.
http://www.black-iris.com/2006/10/03/jordanian-bloggers-the-red-sea-film-school/

Jordanian Bloggers & The Red Sea Film School
Published October 3rd, 2006 in Jordan, Movies, News, Israel and Blogging. 505 Views
Tags: Blogging, Israel, Movies, News.

An article in Israel’s Jerusalem Post caught my attention today. Keep in mind the source and try and read carefully, especially with regards to the name (of the King).

Arab bloggers fume that Jordan’s new Red Sea film school is open to Israelis

Jordanian King Abdullah II’s promise earlier this month to create a Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts in Jordan (RSICA), which will include Israeli film students, has caused a stir among bloggers on line from all over the Middle East.

“I read what blogger Laith Majali posted about the film school and it said the school is also open to Israelis. Imagine, sitting next to you will be an Israeli who is an IDF reservist and who may have killed or maimed an Arab a few kilometers away from the film school. And then we in Jordan will help him make films about evil and terrorist Arabs. This is like Israeli film schools admitting skinheads and neo-Nazis,” writes one anonymous blogger on amatalqa.blogspot.com, the blog of an LA film student.

The project, which was initiated on September 20 in New York by the Jordanian king along with the School of Cinema-Television at the University of Southern California, hopes to enroll men and women from the Middle East in a specialized learning environment dedicated to teaching all disciplines of the cinematic arts.

Participants in the inauguration ceremony also included Elizabeth M. Daley, dean of the School of Cinema-Television; Frank Price, chair of the school’s Board of Councilors and USC trustee; Samer Mouasher, commissioner of the Royal Film Commission of Jordan; as well as Israeli filmmaker Dan Katzir; and producer of Syrian descent Malek Akkad, producer of the film Halloween.

To initiate the film school, Hussein drew on the expertise of Jewish filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who recommended the partnership with USC.

Spielberg, who did not attend the event, wrote in a press release: “When His Majesty the king approached me on the subject of a Jordan-based, world-class film school serving every country in the Middle East, including Israel, I immediately saw the importance and significance of such a venture for the people and the future of the region. I knew as a trustee of USC and a member of the school’s Board of Councilors that the university had the exact expertise he needed for this incredible initiative.” It was Spielberg’s comment about including Israel in the vision for improving the film industry in the region that made bloggers angry.

Among the comments on majali.blogspot.com were: “…world-class film school serving every country in the Middle East, including Israel The New Middle East? You can count me out.”

Another commentator by the name of Shlomo responded: “Thank you. I can’t [wait] to learn filmmaking in Jordan to make films about terrorist Arabs.”

“People seem to be very skeptical about this project,” Katzir told The Jerusalem Post in an interview last week. “I believe that King Hussein was extremely brave to initiate this program a day after the [president] of Iran made some comments attacking Israel and there was a tense atmosphere in New York.” [read]

I wanted to point out some of the article’s discrepancies but decided to leave it to the imagination of the reader. Fellow blogger Natasha has a good post on the irresponsible journalism that’s worth a read.

+ Amin Matalqa
+ Laith Majali

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34 Responses to “Jordanian Bloggers & The Red Sea Film School”
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1 hamede
Oct 3rd, 2006 at 12:38 pm
I dont think it is a good idea.

2 Iman
Oct 3rd, 2006 at 2:14 pm
It’s a great initiative if it was aimed for all Arabs, but it’s not a good idea to include israelis. I mean if you want to have diplomatic relations with a country fine, but cooperating with it on cultural/social levels is different… if the israelis were at ‘peace’ with the Palestinians and weren’t threatening any of their other neighbors, it would be fine… but at the current time, it’s wrong to do so because jordan would be fully embracing a country that still poses a threat to its ‘brethren.’

3 Nas
Oct 3rd, 2006 at 2:47 pm
Iman, but don’t numerous Palestinian organizations, schools, universities etc, have cultural/social/educational cooperation and/or ties?

4 Muhammad Arrabi
Oct 3rd, 2006 at 2:51 pm
“I believe that King Hussein …”

King Hussein?
It was mentioned twice in the article

5 Iman
Oct 3rd, 2006 at 3:11 pm
Nas, I knew you were going to ask this …

when done on a state level, it’s entirely different!

Muhammad, I noticed that too!

6 Hamzeh N.
Oct 3rd, 2006 at 3:27 pm
I don’t think this institute is going to be exclusive to only Jordanians and Israelies. Who said that Arabs can’t join?

7 Nas
Oct 3rd, 2006 at 3:29 pm
Iman, well first of all, technically there is no actual palestinian state to begin with. second of all it makes little sense to say the people are allowed to cooperate with them but not the states. we tend to complain when it happens the other way around.

8 Amin Matalqa
Oct 4th, 2006 at 12:43 am
Think of it like this. If Seeds For Peace works between Israelis and Palestinians, then it should absolutely work for Arabs in general and Israelis. This is the perfect place for both sides to see the humanity in each other. How can people not see the potential in this amazing concept.

Steven Spielberg recently handed out 250 video camera to be split among Israelis and Palestinians. The idea behind that is that they would video-tape their lives and exchange tapes. Learn who they are. Learn from each other. I think it’s the most amazing idea. I’m really curious to find out what the results are going to be like when those tapes get exchanged soon.

9 Shu Fazee3
Oct 4th, 2006 at 4:35 am
“Iman, but don’t numerous Palestinian organizations, schools, universities etc, have cultural/social/educational cooperation and/or ties?”

At the present, most don’t. There is a boycott that was initiated. Second, when the palestinians refuse to deal with Israelis, they are starved and sanctions are imposed on them by Israel, West, US, and now Arabs. You can see that on the news as we speak.

http://www.pacbi.org/boycott_news_more.php?id=315_0_1_0_C

But it all depends on your values and self-respect. Israelis detest Arabs. All this talk about demographic threat is targeted at Arabs, who are Israeli citizens. All the killings and land grabs are targeted at Arabs not jews.

Besides, would you hire a KKK engineer just because he is nice to you? THey only hate you and other people in the US but don’t mind you living in Jordan. Would a black country knowingly deal with a White supremacist?

The question is how much self-respect do we have. I can’t understand how Arabs can be so naive so as to ignore the pernecious racist aspect of zionism. Did you see the ease by which Israelis can murder Arabs, women and children, in Lebanon? Do you not have any problem with that? How can you tell if you are dealing with good israelis or bad ones? do yo ureally belive an Israeli will confess to you about how many Arabs he abused or killed? if an Israeli is not willing to openly condemn the occupation and to endorse the universal declaration for human rights for Arabs (which included right of non-jews to return) that’s a pretty good sign you are being suckerd with a smile and empty words. Cant we just get along? RIGHT!

10 Nas
Oct 4th, 2006 at 5:02 am
“There is a boycott that was initiated. ”

there has to be something there for a boycott to be initiated.

“Israelis detest Arabs”

not all do and vice versa.

The question is how much self-respect do we have. I can’t understand how Arabs can be so naive so as to ignore the pernecious racist aspect of zionism. Did you see the ease by which Israelis can murder Arabs, women and children, in Lebanon? Do you not have any problem with that? How can you tell if you are dealing with good israelis or bad ones? do yo ureally belive an Israeli will confess to you about how many Arabs he abused or killed? if an Israeli is not willing to openly condemn the occupation and to endorse the universal declaration for human rights for Arabs (which included right of non-jews to return) that’s a pretty good sign you are being suckerd with a smile and empty words. Cant we just get along? RIGHT!

that’s all fair point. however i do see the idealism behind the desire to get along with the person you’re forced to live next door to. there’s an inevitability to these things. i guess hope is a rare thing in our region, but im not willing to relinquish it yet.

11 Shu Fazee3
Oct 4th, 2006 at 5:10 am
“Think of it like this. If Seeds For Peace works between Israelis and Palestinians, then it should absolutely work for Arabs in general and Israelis.”

Amin, Did it work for Palestinains or are you blind? Or may be you are desperate to come up with any reason to rationalize a terrible position you find your self in.

Seeds For Peace is great PR for Israel. It’s done so by exploiting Palestinian children to break the ice with rest of Arabs. how did it work? Did you see a study that shows Israelis who go through Seeds for Peace make sacrifices for equality? Where are they?

Amin, ever asked yourself why Seeds For Peace does not bring together Israelis and Skinheads/NeoNazies? Isn’t this a conflict that also needs special attention?

Here is why Israel does not care about this but cares to be seen shaking hands with misguided Arabs.

– the Israelis do not dialoug with Skinheads and Neo-Nazis? because there is no pressure on them from the West to do so. So there is no political value in it for Israel.

– Everything has to do with benefit to Israel not to other party. Heck all this stuff about dialoug suddenly collapsed when the Palestinains refused to recognize Israel. And the West supports this Israeli position too.

– there is no economic and political value for Israel to dialoug with Skinheads but there is so much to be gained for Israel to expand in the Arab and Muslim world in terms of new markets and speher of influence.

12 Shu Fazee3
Oct 4th, 2006 at 5:19 am
“however i do see the idealism behind the desire to get along with the person you’re forced to live next door to. ”

Lets be honest. Getting along with the neigbhourhood bully is not idealism its survival and self-serving.

From my expereince, only those whoes work or projects are impacted by good relations with Israelis/Jews tend to defend zero-substance “co-existance.”

There is something sinister about turning selfishness into some sort fo a great cause for peace. I don’t see the same people who are drooling over ties with Israelis beign equally eager to improve ties with Syria or Iran, both of which are closer to us culturally but we seem to have troubled relations with. Why? because there is not material benefit for from Syria or Iran.

All we are saying is that “Etha Bu’lee’tum Fas’tateeroo”

13 Nas
Oct 4th, 2006 at 5:47 am
“its survival and self-serving.”

that too.

“equally eager to improve ties with Syria or Iran”

well lets be fair here, compared to other arab nations jordan probably has the better relations with these two countries right now. heck its the only country that will even host an iranian diplomat. nevertheless, this isn’t about culture and the comparision while sound in theory is also a bit unfair since we are talking about the distance between a neighbour and a brother.

14 Lah Lah
Oct 4th, 2006 at 6:26 am
“Steven Spielberg recently handed out 250 video camera to be split among Israelis and Palestinians. The idea behind that is that they would video-tape their lives and exchange tapes.”

WOW! so Spielberg the billionair managed to squeeze 125 video cameras for the Palestinains. Just 125 video cameras and he is a hero for justice. What’s your point Amin? Did he condemn the occupation and expulsions or that not needed in your book to make a zionist a hero and a symbol of co-existance.

Let me guess what palestinian films will NOT be accepted: nothing on exthnic cleansing, nothing on brutality of occupation.

We will see all sorts of PR films about how happy palestinains are and may be the occasionsal film about a bad day at the checkpoint.

And of course lots of Israeli films about suicide bombers.

15 Iman
Oct 4th, 2006 at 12:20 pm
Iman, well first of all, technically there is no actual palestinian state to begin with.

umm. That. is. True!

second of all it makes little sense to say the people are allowed to cooperate with them but not the states.

How so? The way I see it is that cooperation on a state level has a lot more weight. When a State officially and fully embraces another not only politically but also culturally and socially then I am going to believe that it has more effect than when a group of individuals do!

we tend to complain when it happens the other way around.

Not true.

I am an adovcate of working together and bridging differences - and when some Palestinian people engage in social and cultural efforts side by side with israelis, it’s because they are trying to live in peace and harmony. I look at it as their own individual yet collective attempt to engage in ‘peace talks’ their own way. Though overall, I don’t see a problem with another state to engage in such social and cultural program, I do find it a problem when an established, sovereign and influential state like Jordan engages in cultural and social projects with another state like israel that is not at peace with the people of Stateless Palestine at such crucial time when ensuring peace and stability for the people of Palestine should be the main priority.

Who said that Arabs can’t join?

No one. My main concern with this is not really the project/initative or its mission; it’s more with the timing and what needs to be given more priority. I don’t see the need for cultural and social exchange with a state that continues to pose threats to neighbors.

16 Nas
Oct 4th, 2006 at 4:13 pm
How so?

because it’s hypocritical

I do find it a problem when an established, sovereign and influential state like Jordan engages in cultural and social projects with another state like israel that is not at peace with the people of Stateless Palestine at such crucial time when ensuring peace and stability for the people of Palestine should be the main priority.

so basically you’re saying it’s alright if Palestinians engage in peace efforts with Israelis, just not the state of Jordan?

and i gaurentee you that if and when Palestine ever becomes a soveriegn state the biggest relations it’s to have is with it’s neighbour to the west. moreso than it already does. culturally, socially and economically.

it’s more with the timing and what needs to be given more priority. I don’t see the need for cultural and social exchange with a state that continues to pose threats to neighbors

there is no such things as “good” timing in this conflict and moreover bridging cultural difference does help resolve the larger issues. that being said, should we ignore Israel completely when it comes to such projects. for example, the red-dead sea project to refuel the dead sea and bring much needed water into Jordan is probably the biggest undertaking in our history and will solve a great deal of our problems with water. should we abandon it because of israel, or is this an exceptional case that warrents our state working with theirs?

and as hamzeh said, the intent here is to create an institute that is open to everyone in the middle east.

17 Beddee Floos
Oct 4th, 2006 at 4:46 pm
To all jewish supremacist out there. Let me put your minds at ease and save you time. You can throw the best arguments you have learned from your Zionist Talking Points but you will only sound smart to yourelvs and to those who already support you for whatever self-serving reasons, but in a day or two, an Israeli will kill and Arab in cold blood, and nothing you say will matter.

It’s perverse and utterly obsence for you to come here to discuss peace when the killings are ongoing. I have never heard of such “peace-making” in my life. You are callous, cruel, and calculating. And for those who go along with you, they are not heros for peace, they are benefiting from this personally. Feel free to make peace with them, you will not go too far because they represent less than 1% of Jordanians who also do not give much weght to your words as your cruel nature is constantly being reaffrimed by your brutality which we see daily on TV.

So say all you want. It falls under the category of Hasbara.

18 upyernoz
Oct 5th, 2006 at 5:36 pm
personally, i can’t see anything wrong with the film school. the analogy to employing a KKK engineer is laughable. israelis, like everyone anywhere, are individuals. probably many israelis wouldn’t want to go to a school in the arab world (they are like the people quoted in the article). but the few that do will be a self-selecting group, so they won’t be the KKK types

as for the argument that states can have relations, but cultural exchanges are taboo. i understand the rule as you articulate it. but you don’t explain why i or anyone else should adopt your rule. usually its the opposite–cultural exchanges precede diplomatic recognition (that’s how the restoration of ties between the u.s. and vietnam worked, just to pick a random example)

anything that makes people deal with other people on a human level is a good thing. cultural boycotts targetting all israelis as israelis don’t accomplish anything. in fact, after several decades the record is fairly clear that they haven’t. i understand why people are attracted to hardline policies in the face of the latest news of some horrible action perpetuated by the israeli government, but that doesn’t mean the hardline policies actually make sense, or are at all productive.

at least that’s how i see it.

19 Haki
Oct 6th, 2006 at 7:59 am
Zionazi said: “anything that makes people deal with other people on a human level is a good thing.”

Really? Great. Then we want you to open your film scools in Israel to Neo-Nazis and Skinheads. I think this will help you deal with each other on a human level. After all, you have so much in common when you think of it. Zioniats and White Supremacists and Aryans have demographic threats they would like to deal with.

When you do the above, then we will open our shcools to you.

20 upyernoz
Oct 6th, 2006 at 12:36 pm
so let’s see, you’re “argument” comes down to labeling me a “nazi” merely because we i advocated talking.

because that’s why nazis were bad. all they did was talk.

21 Habibi
Oct 6th, 2006 at 1:31 pm
“so let’s see, you’re “argument” comes down to labeling me a “nazi” merely because we i advocated talking.”

Actually this is worse than nazi. the nazis did not play victim to the people they brutalized.

in your case, everyday you kill arabs, every day you repress them, every day you discrimninate agianst them, but you come over here with your sad violin and weep for peace. What a freak show dude!

To you this is a cheap adventure, and expereince: the Hebrew Hasbara Brigades in action, trying to win hearts an mind on the cheap. Low budget, zero substance co-existance with no ethical responsiblities and no standards of civilized conduct.

Peace does not work this way, you stop the almost daily murders then you come and talk about peaceful co-existance. so go shove your cheap dialoug somewhere else.

22 upyernoz
Oct 6th, 2006 at 2:31 pm
the nazis did not play victim to the people they brutalized

sure they did. the nazis came to power claiming that germany’s woes were all caused by the jews–including its humiliating defeat in world war one.

in your case, everyday you kill arabs, every day you repress them, every day you discrimninate agianst them, but you come over here with your sad violin and weep for peace. What a freak show dude!

To you this is a cheap adventure, and expereince: the Hebrew Hasbara Brigades in action, trying to win hearts an mind on the cheap. Low budget, zero substance co-existance with no ethical responsiblities and no standards of civilized conduct.

Peace does not work this way, you stop the almost daily murders then you come and talk about peaceful co-existance. so go shove your cheap dialoug somewhere else.

my case? i’ve never killed an arab, or anyone else for that matter. as far as i know i’ve never repressed or discriminated against them. do you even know who i am? what country i live in? what languages i speak? maybe that would be a good idea to find out before you call me a “freak show”

look, there’s no need for name calling. i’m not saying that israel isn’t causing intense suffering to a lot of people. that’s the unfortunate reality. and i’m not saying that israeli policy makers and their supporters should be left off the hook at all for their crimes. and honestly, i don’t see any conceivable way you could interpret what i have written so far to think that i have. i’m not even trying to claim that the film school will solve the israeli-palestinian conflict.

in fact, all i’m saying is that having a film school in jordan that also allows israelis to attend is not a bad idea. obviously, these will be israelis who don’t mind working with arabs. they do exist, you know. just like there are arabs who are willing to work with israelis. people are individuals and should be judged on an individual level.

23 basal magli
Oct 6th, 2006 at 4:46 pm
“these will be israelis who don’t mind working with arabs.”

Thank you your highness for your graciousness. We are most humbled by your royal willingness to come down and touch an Arab.

I will give you the benefit of the doubt. Everything you said is worthless. there is only one thing that matters.

Are you willing to uphold the Universal Declaration for Human Rights for jews and Palestinians alike. Meaning, non-jews who have been expelled have an inalianble right to go to their homes, and not only jews who enjoy the right of return.

UDHR “Article 13. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”

Yes, or no? No halfass answers please. yes or no. If no, don’t even bother posting because what you will hear from me will not please you. It will only confirm everything I said about your likes.

24 lksfadljk
Oct 6th, 2006 at 8:55 pm
Wasn’t it Condaliza Rice who said to the world that we should see crisis as an opportunity? Let’s see the crisis of giving up a seat in our universities to Israelis as an opportunity.

Sure, they can enroll in our film schools. All we’d need to do is to set up an illegal “Security fence” wall and several checkpoints around their residence so that they won’t be able to reach their schools. We’ll instill curfues on them while every other student will be allowed to roam wherever they please. Why not even drive a tank into their living room while they are watching TV? They did it in Nablus, we’ll do it in Aquaba. We won’t let them drive on the same streets we do. Perhaps two Apartheids make a right? and Yahweh help them if they try to take their car across any of the checkpoints. These are just a couple of quick ideas I’m throwing out here. Opportunity.

25 zaquen
Oct 8th, 2006 at 8:20 am
“anything that makes people deal with other people on a human level is a good thing.”

I agree. I don’t see how this film school idea is a bad thing. It seems like a lot of people want to believe that Israelis are one dimentional…not all Israelis hate Arabs, not all Israelis agree with their government…

26 upyernoz
Oct 8th, 2006 at 10:42 am
Thank you your highness for your graciousness. We are most humbled by your royal willingness to come down and touch an Arab.



Are you willing to uphold the Universal Declaration for Human Rights for jews and Palestinians alike. Meaning, non-jews who have been expelled have an inalianble right to go to their homes, and not only jews who enjoy the right of return.

for some reason you and habibi seem to think i’m israeli, or even some high ranking israeli official. it’s very odd debating someone whose entire counter-arguments (if i can call them that) seemed to be premised entirely on an incorrect assumption about who i am.

here’s my question, is there anyone who is able to argue for the anti-film school position without just dismissing what i say as “worthless” or pretend that i am some kind of arial sharon clone? if not, that speaks volumes about the weakness of your position. honestly, this is no different from when i try to write about the debacle of the iraq war and end up being accused of personally murdering people in the world trade center

27 lksfadljk
Oct 8th, 2006 at 4:48 pm
I’m sure anyone can agree that not every Israeli hates arabs or agrees with the Israeli government. That is needless to say. But why admit Israelis into a Jordanian university? To collect tuition fees from them and make money? To make the university a little more reputable abroad? What else is there to gain from giving this privelege to an already over-priveleged Israeli?
If you want a social and cultural exchange, this isn’t excatly an exchange. An exchange would be to take one Israeli student and drop him into the film school in Jordan, and to take one Jordanian student and throw him to some university in tel aviv. Those are how exchange programs usually work. As I said before, this is just another case of giving privilege to and already over priveleged israeli.

28 upyernoz
Oct 9th, 2006 at 9:18 am
An exchange would be to take one Israeli student and drop him into the film school in Jordan, and to take one Jordanian student and throw him to some university in tel aviv. Those are how exchange programs usually work.

you’re right. that would be better.

29 Shlomo The IDF Pacifict
Oct 12th, 2006 at 7:13 am
SHALOM ARABS!!! I am Shlomo again. Remember me. i love the idea of film school where I can go and relax after I kill arab family of five. but i am sure you will understand since peace means you have to compromise, dialoug, and reach out. I want to reach out…oh…never mind the blood on my hand. love conquers all.. Peace brothers…Sorry but I have to leave now. I see an arab kid in my crosshair. have to clean some land….Shalom…shlomo

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http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/773817.html

IDF troops kill five family members in Gaza clashes

By Amos Harel, Mijal Grinberg and Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondents and Reuters

Israel Defense Forces troops killed six Palestinians, among them five relatives, during raids in the southern Gaza Strip Thursday, witnesses and medics said.

They said troops backed by helicopter gunships entered the village of Abassan, east of Khan Yunis, at dark, touching off clashes. Of the five relatives, three were armed militants of the ruling Hamas party’s militant wing. They were identified as Abed Rahman Kadiah, 25, Salah Kadiah, 25, and Naeel Kadiah, 22. The other two family members were bystanders, named as Adal Kadiah, 40, and his 13-year-old daughter Suhaib Kadiah.

The fourth militant was killed later Thursday as clashes raged into the afternoon. IDF troops opened fire on the man as he advanced toward them under cover of a large crowd.

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The IDF confirmed its forces were operating in the area looking for facilities used by militants. Troops fired on gunmen who tried to attack them, an army spokesman said. At least 11 Palestinians were wounded in the clashes.

“This is an area believed to conceal tunnels and other forms of infrastructure used by terrorist groups,” he said.

Militants fired anti-tanks missiles at troops raiding the area, but there were no casualties among the soldiers.

Earlier Thursday, the Israel Air Force destroyed the house of a Hamas militant in the Jabalya refugee camp, which the IDF said was being used as a storehouse for weapons.

Also Thursday, two Qassam rockets fired by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip landed in open fields in the western Negev. There were no injuries in either incident, but some farmland was destroyed in one of the blasts.

In overnight raids in the West Bank early Thursday, IDF troops arrested 12 wanted militants. Troops came under explosives and gunfire while operating in Nablus and Tul Karm. There were no soldier casualties in either incident. A Palestinian was wounded during the Nablus operation, but his condition has not yet been confirmed.

In a separe incident Wednesday, IDF troops killed a would-be suicide bomber attempting to infiltrate the security fence south of the Karni crossing and a wanted militants in Nablus.

Troops operating in Nablus Wednesday also killed a wanted Palestinian militant from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, Abdullah Mansour, who they said attempted to detonate explosive near their position. Mansour’s relatives said he was killed by a single bullet to the head as he looked outside his window at gunbattles taking place outside between militants and IDF troops.

The IDF’s offensive in Gaza, ongoing for almost four-months, was launched after IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was abducted and two of his comrades killed in a cross-border raid on June 25. Israel has since mounted several major military operations in Gaza aimed at retrieving Shalit and stemming cross-border rocket fire by militants. Around 230 Palestinians, half of them civilians, have been killed.

The governing Palestinian faction Hamas, some of whose gunmen took part in Shalit’s abduction, says the soldier should be traded for Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

Israel has publicly refused a prisoner swap although political sources expect it to relent as part of an Egyptian-brokered deal.

30 Ariel Berg
Oct 12th, 2006 at 5:30 pm
Hi my partners in peace, I want to sign up for the Spielberg Peace Scholarship for IDF Soldiers to attend the Jordanian film school in Aqaba. Please see my CV below. I am still adding to it as we speak. Stay tuned. I love Arabs and love peace. Lets unite the moderates and stop the extremists…Peace..Ariel Bergm, IDF

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IAF missile strike on Hamas man’s Gaza home kills 8-year-old girl

By Amos Harel, Mijal Grinberg and Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondents and Reuters

Oct 13, 2006

At least two Palestinians were killed and seven injured, one seriously, in an Israel Air Force missile strike on the Gaza City home of a Hamas leader Thursday night.

An IDF spokesman confirmed the air strike targeted the house of a Hamas commander, Sharaf Farwana, in the Sajaiyeh section of Gaza City near the border with Israel.

Farwana survived the attack, but the strike killed his brother, 25-year-old Aiman Farwana, and a 8-year-old girl.

The latest strike came after six Palestinians were killed in a clash between the Israel Defense Forces and militants in southern Gaza earlier in the day.

Shortly after the IAF strike, Palestinian gunners fired a Qassam rocket at Sderot. The rocket slammed into a electrical powerline and plunged the city into darkness. There were no reported casualties.

Also Thursday, a Hamas militant identified as Majid Darbiya was gunned down in Beit Lahia by unknown assailants.

Hamas vows revenge
A spokesman for the Hamas military wing earlier on Thursday vowed the group would take harsh revenge for the IDF operation in Gaza, in which six people - including four militants - were killed.

Five of the dead were members of the same family.

“In light of the ugly crimes in Khan Yunis and the northern Gaza Strip, we will bombard and strike in every place, north and south. The response will be powerful and will cause the earth to tremble. The enemy must now wait patiently for our actions,” he said.

Witnesses and medics that said troops backed by helicopter gunships entered the village of Abassan, east of Khan Yunis, at dark, touching off clashes.

Of the five family members killed, three were armed militants of the ruling party’s militant wing. They were identified as Abed Rahman Kadiah, 25, Salah Kadiah, 25, and Naeel Kadiah, 22. The other two family members were bystanders, named as Adal Kadiah, 40, and his 13-year-old son Suhaib Kadiah.

The fourth militant, Mohammed Barakha, 23, was killed later Thursday as clashes raged into the afternoon. IDF troops opened fire on Barakha as he advanced toward them under cover of a large crowd.

The IDF confirmed its forces were operating in the area looking for facilities used by militants. Troops fired on gunmen who tried to attack them, an army spokesman said. At least 11 Palestinians were wounded in the clashes.

“This is an area believed to conceal tunnels and other forms of infrastructure used by terrorist groups,” he said.

Militants fired anti-tanks missiles at troops raiding the area, but there were no casualties among the soldiers.

Earlier Thursday, the Israel Air Force destroyed the house of a Hamas militant in the Jabalya refugee camp, which the IDF said was being used as a storehouse for weapons.

Also Thursday, two Qassam rockets fired by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip landed in open fields in the western Negev. There were no injuries in either incident, but some farmland was destroyed in one of the blasts.

In overnight raids in the West Bank early Thursday, IDF troops arrested 12 wanted militants. Troops came under explosives and gunfire while operating in Nablus and Tul Karm. There were no soldier casualties in either incident. A Palestinian was wounded during the Nablus operation, but his condition has not yet been confirmed.

31 mike
Oct 17th, 2006 at 7:57 am
i see that censorship is alive and well in jordan. too bad. i will always love arabs, as well as zionists. just wish things didn’t have to be this way.
until this is deleted: peace to all!

mike

1 Mental mayhem
Trackback on Oct 3rd, 2006 at 12:02 pm
2 Mental mayhem
Trackback on Oct 5th, 2006 at 2:19 pm
3 An Israeli Education at The Black Iris of Jordan
Pingback on Oct 16th, 2006 at 4:27 am


An Israeli Education
Published October 16th, 2006 in Jordan, Palestine, News and Israel. 160 Views
Tags: Israel, News, Palestine.

In light of recent debates on Jordan’s Red Sea Film School being open to everyone including Israelis as well as a recent decision by the Israeli army to ban new Palestinian students from entering Israeli universities, I thought this was an interesting article…

When Jordanian student Said Saleh Abu Ghosh chose to pursue a Master’s degree in desert studies he knew he’d have to also earn a PhD. Partially for the education and career benefits that go along with an advanced degree but also because he knew he would have to cover up his graduate study work. A native of Amman, Jordan, Abu Ghosh is currently researching the medicinal properties of algae at Ben Gurion University’s Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies - in Israel.

“We Jordanians don’t write on our CV that we studied in Israel. I did it once applying for a good job and they didn’t take me. When I deleted ‘Israel’ and applied to another job they accepted me. A PhD will cover up my Israeli Master’s. I have to be realistic,” Abu Ghosh admits.

A razor-stubbled, good natured mid-20-something, who is often decked out in lab whites and safety goggles, Abu Ghosh is one of a growing number of Jordanians who make their way to Israel each year to participate in desertification and land degradation studies despite pressure back home.

“I came here because in Jordan we’re two-thirds desert with limited resources. This school has professors who are international experts in the field of desertification and algae research,” Abu Ghosh relays. “Also, I needed to improve my English and I wanted to study with people from different backgrounds.”

Although Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1994, relations between the two countries remain largely icy, largely due to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Jordan, according to US Census Bureau figures, is at least 50 percent Palestinian.

Regardless, Jordanians and a wide range of other nationalities opt for environmental studies at the Albert Katz Institute because the school’s team of professors and researchers is renowned globally for breakthrough desertification technologies including drip irrigation, solar energy harnessing, algae cultivation and brackish water salmon farming.



Dana Rassas of Amman is already on the fast track to ambassadorship. She earned her undergrad in Utah and is currently completing her Master’s in Environmental Studies in Israel. She’ll go to the US for a PhD in law or environmental policy and will eventually return to the Middle East to work as a government lobbyist.

Regarding her Israel studies Rassas, a Palestinian with relatives in Jerusalem, adheres to caution. “I’m selective about who to tell in Jordan. I told my best friends I’m here and that’s it. Others I didn’t tell,” she admits. Rassas concurs with Abu Ghosh, saying her motives for earning a PhD include covering up the Israel leg of her education.

For Rassas, living alongside Israelis has been a learning experience that has included altering pre-existing notions. “I asked a fellow student something about God and when she said she doesn’t believe in God I was shocked. ‘You’re Jewish and you don’t believe in God?’ And she was a rabbi’s daughter! I had to differentiate between being Jewish culturally and ideologically,” she explains.

Maya Negev, an Israeli Albert Katz Master’s student, grew up in a liberal Jerusalem household. Currently mapping the country’s sixth to twelfth-graders to gauge their environmental literacy levels, she ultimately hopes to serve in an influential role fostering co-existence and environment. In working towards that goal, she volunteers at a Beersheva Arab-Israeli youth club and helps Hebron’s Palestinian farmers harvest olives.

Negev is neither surprised nor alarmed by the code of silence taken up by Jordanian colleagues regarding their studies. “With two-thirds of Jordan being Palestinian refugee, it’s hard for them to acknowledge a country where the Zionist is the enemy. But our studies together are surely influencing,” she reports.

“We have so much more in common than different. Even if I knew it before, it was emphasized when I slept and talked and ate with these people. We all have the same hopes so we’re all interested in the same things from the same angles. And the bottom line? The environment knows no borders.”

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5 Responses to “An Israeli Education”
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1 red_enclave
Oct 16th, 2006 at 5:40 am
An interesting article, I wonder if they would be given the cold shoulder by their colleagues, would there be discrimination? It’s just a thought. In fact I’ve never heard of desert studies. This si the first time. But I have to admit that the Israelis are very well educated @ expert in that field. Look at the land, it used to be arid and barren but now they have managed to grow plants on the former wasteland. Saudi Arabia too should do something about their land. (no connection to Israel here!)

2 lksfadljk
Oct 16th, 2006 at 1:47 pm
” Look at the land, it used to be arid and barren but now they have managed to grow plants on the former wasteland.”

OMG yes! They made the desert bloom!

please.

3 Iman
Oct 16th, 2006 at 3:08 pm
In fact I’ve never heard of desert studies. This si the first time.

first time for everything, which brings me to ask if this is your first time hearing of desert studies, how did you conclude that ‘israelis are very well educated @ (did you mean &?)expert in that field?’

lksfadljk,

Ugh! Please show some sensitivity to readers who may happen to respect God!

4 lksfadljk
Oct 16th, 2006 at 4:23 pm
Sorry for my lousy sarcasm. I get too excited sometimes in my responses (and I was being 100% sarcastic.. it’s hard to tell on the Internet)

5 Salam
Oct 17th, 2006 at 6:26 pm
Jordanians being staunchly anti-Zionist has little to do with the Palestinian roots of the bulk of its population. Egypt is not Palestinian and does not even have a Palestinian population that can influence affairs yet the government and the people are also repulsed by Israel and their brutality. Morocco and Mauritania are the same, leaders shake hands with Israel while the people throw up at the sight of the flag of the state of the war criminals of Israel. Fact is, even if there were not a single Palestinian sole in Jordan, Jordanians are overwhelmingly Arabs and/or Muslims, and human beings who are, like other human beings, are instinctively revolted at the sight of injustice and repulsed by anti-arab supremacist.

So even if all Jordanians with Palestinian blood or “nasab” leave today (and that’s over 70% of Jordan) the majority of Jordanians will still be loath to shake hands with the violent Israelis. And with the rising Islamist cultural influence and a rebound of traditional leftists in Jordan, expect rejection of Israel to become a consensus except for a dirty dozen and their surrounding parasites.

Of course if Israel stops acting out its deeply disturbed supremacist ideology, things may change. We have seen that in the heady days of the peace process.