Monthly Archives: July 2014
Parece que nenhum colunista (dos vivos ou quase mortos) consegue começar uma crônica sem listar o livro que leram, os vários livros que leram, a “cultura adquirida” através de um outro colunista ou escritor. Pena. Coluna, crônica (seja la como se chama isso!) era o “livre pensar, é só pensar”. Agora parece que tem que ser factual, clinico. Tipo….”qualquer coisa, a culpa não é minha e sim do fulano que li ” (ai vem a editora, o ano XXCCVVEERR@@) e sei la o que mais.
ACABOU O PENSAMENTO LIVRE E SOLTO.
Sera? Ou sera que são meras breves férias? (engraçado isso: breves férias!!!)
Gal Costa under my direction and concept (Sorriso do Gato de Alice – 1994)
Victims – losers – winners: FANTASTIC INTERVIEW : Benjamin Netanyahu by Wolf Blitzer (CNN) and if you don’t get it, shut up!
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer interviewed Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv Sunday.
Blitzer: Your exit strategy from Gaza, what is it?
Netanyahu: Sustainable quiet. I mean we didn’t seek this escalation, Hamas forced it on us. They started rocketing our cities, steadily increasing the fire. I called for de-escalation, they refused. I accepted an Egyptian cease fire proposal backed up by the Arab League and the U.N., they refused. I accepted a humanitarian lull proposed by the United Nations, they refused. We’ll stop our operations when we can bring back quiet to our people.
Blitzer: Some of your Cabinet members think that the only way to do that is to reoccupy Gaza, which you evacuated and gave it up back in 2005. Do you support reoccupying Gaza?
Netanyahu: Well, I support taking whatever action is necessary to stop this insane situation. Just imagine. I mean, imagine what Israel is going through. Imagine that 75% of the U.S. population is under rocket fire, and they have to be in bomb shelters within 60 to 90 seconds. So, I’m not just talking about New York. New York, Washington, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, Miami, you name it. That’s impossible, you can’t live like that. So I think we have to bring back, restore reasonable, sustained quiet and security, and we’ll take whatever action is necessary to achieve that.
Blitzer: But that includes possibly reoccupying Gaza? Because a lot of your military planners are afraid of what they would call a quagmire, a dangerous quagmire.
They’ve wanted to kill as many of our 6 million Israelis who are targeted as they could. They haven’t succeeded, not for lack of trying.
Netanyahu: Nobody wants to go to excessive military lengths, but what is happening here is excessive. They’re not only targeting our cities, they’re deliberately firing thousands of rockets. They’ve already fired 2,000 rockets on our cities in the past few days on our cities. You can imagine this. It’s not only that, and they’ve wanted to kill as many of our 6 million Israelis who are targeted as they could. They haven’t succeeded, not for lack of trying. It’s because we’ve developed with American help, and I appreciate the help that President Obama and the U.S. Congress have given us to develop these Iron Dome fantastic systems, but some of the missiles perforate, and they hit our schools. So, we have to stop that, but in addition to the rockets, they’ve got now terror tunnels that they build in Palestinian homes in Gaza, they penetrate underground into Israeli territory, terrorists pop up there, try to murder civilians, kidnap Israelis, as they did with Gilad Shalit, so we’re taking action right now to neutralize those tunnels, and we’ll continue the action as long as is necessary.
Blitzer: You see these painful pictures, though, of these Palestinian children, and these refugees thousands of them fleeing their homes. It’s a horrendous sight what’s going on right now, if you look at the images, heart wrenching. What goes through your mind when you see that?
The Hamas deliberately target civilians and deliberately hides behind civilians.
Netanyahu: I’m very sad. When I see that I’m very sad. We’re sad for every civilian casualty. They’re not intended. This is the difference between us. The Hamas deliberately target civilians and deliberately hides behind civilians. They embed their rocketeers their rocket caches, their other weaponry from which they fire, which they use to fire on us, in civilian areas. What choice do we have? We have to protect ourselves. We try to target the rocketeers, we do, and all civilian casualties are unintended by us but actually intended by Hamas. They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can, because somebody said they use, I mean it’s gruesome, they use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause. They want the more dead, the better.
Blitzer: And the argument that your critics make is that you’re overreacting right now, over killing.
What can a country do? What would you do?
Netanyahu: Well look, I want to say this. There are very few examples in history of countries that have been rocketed on this scale. If you look at our response, it’s actually very measured and trying to be as pinpointed as we can. But I think when people say that, I appreciate the support we’ve received from President Obama and many world leaders for Israel’s right to self-defense, but others are saying, yeah you have the right to self-defense, as long as you don’t exercise it. What can a country do? What would you do? What would the people of the United States do if your cities were rocketed now, 2,000 rockets falling in American cities, you know, people would say in the United States, obliterate the people. We don’t want to obliterate them. We don’t want to, we don’t have any battle with the Palestinians in Gaza.
Blitzer: But it is brutal there, now.
Netanyahu: It’s very difficult because Hamas is using them, Palestinians, as human shields. We develop anti-missile systems to protect, we use anti-missile systems to protect our civilians. They use their civilians to protect their missiles. That’s the difference. So, against such a cynical, brutal, heartless enemy, we try to minimize civilian casualties, we try to target the military targets, and unfortunately there are civilian casualties which we regret and we don’t seek. They all fall on the responsibility of Hamas.
Blitzer: The President, President Obama urged the other day to all of the parties to return to the cease fire that was received in November 2012. Are you accepting his proposal, go back to that cease fire?
Netanyahu: I already did, I already did.
Blitzer: If Hamas were to say to you right now “We accept the cease fire,” would Israel withdraw its forces from Gaza?
Netanyahu: That was the Egyptian proposal, which we accepted and they refused.
Blitzer: If they accepted now, is it too late?
Netanyahu: I don’t know, I don’t want to speak about it being too late. I think the first thing is cessation of hostilities but then we’d have to —
Blitzer: Would Israel withdraw its forces as part of a cessation of hostilities?
Netanyahu: Well, first we’d have to deal with this tunnel business because we’re not leaving those tunnels —
Blitzer: So, you would stay until those tunnels are destroyed?
Netanyahu: We’re doing that right now, as we speak.
Blitzer: How long is that going to take?
Gaza, under all the previous agreements, should have been demilitarized.
Netanyahu: It’s being done fairly quickly. But I think the important thing right now is not to begin to put terms, the important thing right now is to end the hostilities, and we get into a situation where we have a sustainable cease fire. That means beginning to discuss the demilitarization of Gaza. Gaza, under all the previous agreements, should have been demilitarized. Instead of being demilitarized it became basically an Iranian-financed and equipped fortress of terror, with thousands and thousands of rockets and other weapons being smuggled and developed in it. That has to stop, those tunnels have to be shut down.
Blitzer: I’ve been here in Israel now for what, 10, 11 days, and many Israeli friends have said to me they are deeply concerned about what they see in this rise of tiny, but very violent and dangerous Jewish extremism. And as we saw that with that murder of that young Palestinian boy in the aftermath of the three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped and killed. How concerned are you about this? Because that police report that came out on the murder of that Palestinian, you read that, that was awful.I think many people in Gaza understand that Hamas is destroying Gaza, destroying their lives.
Netanyahu: Well, you know, here’s the difference. We don’t glorify these killers. We apprehended them three days after that tragic killing, immediately put them in custody, we’re putting them on trial. They’ll serve a good chunk of their lives in jail. That’s what we do with the killers. We don’t name public squares after them. We don’t glorify them. We don’t educate our people, our children in suicide kindergarten camps, happens in the Palestinian side, and you should see what Hamas is educating them to. No peace, no two- state solution, nothing. Just jihad. More and more violence, more and more murder, more and more bloodshed. This is not our way. We have, I think a society is tested not by the extreme fringes of that society, but how it takes care of them. We take care of those extreme fringes, we basically isolate them and ostracize them, and punish them. I think what you see in Palestinian society, but especially in Gaza, is that these people are lionized. And the worst thing that I see, the worst thing, is that they use their children, they use, they don’t give any thought about them. I mean, the Hamas leaders are divided into two — those who are in underground bunkers in Gaza, they don’t care, let the people there, you know, with the rocketeers and with the attack tunnels, let them die as Israel tries to surgically take them out. But they’re safe underground, the military leaders. And then they’ve got the political leaders. This guy Khaled Mashaal, he’s roaming around, five star hotel suites in the Gulf states, he’s having the time of his life, while he’s deliberately putting his people as fodder for this horrible terrorist war that they’re conducting against us. So, this has to stop, and I think many people in Gaza understand that Hamas is destroying Gaza, destroying their lives. They’ve taken tons, not tons, tens of thousands of tons of concrete that we enabled them to bring in to Gaza to build skyscrapers, to build schools, to build hospitals. You know what they did with that, Wolf? They put 700 tons of concrete into each one of these terror attack tunnels to penetrate Israel. Now we’ve discovered dozens of them, so you’re talking about tens of thousands of tons of concrete, instead of going for the benefit of the schools, the population, going for terrorism against Israel. I think the international community has to, once this is put in place, we really have to undertake a program to demilitarize Gaza and to change the situation because it is unacceptable. What makes it unacceptable is Hamas and Islamic jihad. These people are the worst terrorist, genocidal terrorists. They call for the destruction of Israel, and they call for the killing of every Jew wherever they can find them.
Blitzer: We’re out of time, but one final question on Iran. Now that the U.S., the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Germany, they’ve agreed to a four-month extension, allowing these talks with Iran and its nuclear program to continue. Does that mean a unilateral Israeli military strike, potentially, is off the table over the next four months?
Netanyahu: Now you know I never talk about what Israel will do or not do, but I think what is important is there wasn’t a bad deal, because there’s no deal. And no deal is better than a bad deal. We’ll see what the extension produces. I think a good deal is what was achieved with Syria. There, under the threat of U.S. military action and with a joint effort by President Obama and President Putin, Syria removed its chemicals and the capability to make chemical weapons. They didn’t just keep it in place, freeze it, and put it under a lock and put an inspector on it. They actually dismantled and removed. That’s not what Iran is holding out for. Iran wants to keep its capability and say “We’ll put in a lock under and you can inspect it.” But the whole idea for them is that at a certain point, they break the lock. The inspector will even say they broke the lock. It will take them a few weeks to put together the wherewithal for a nuclear bomb. That’s a bad deal. Don’t make that deal. Because if you think the Middle East is bad now, with ISIS, with Hamas, with Hezbollah, and with Iran, wait til Iran, one of the, the preeminent terrorist state of our time, has nuclear weapons. Then I would say the world goes into a tailspin. Don’t let it happen.
In the three-and-a half days that passed between the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir and the Shin Bet’s official acknowledgement that the six suspects arrested were likely “Jewish extremists,” the conversations, chance encounters and social media discourse within the Israeli public reflected denial.
The conversations evolved from “I can’t believe Jews did it, it must be some kind of honor killing in the family,” to “please tell me it wasn’t Jews that did it” and finally “those murderers were not acting like Jews, we are not like that.”
Denial, upon denial, upon denial.
How far do we have to go back? To the yet unsolved killings of Nadeem Nuwara and Mohammed Abu Daher in Bitounia, hit directly by live fire during a Nakba Day demonstration two months ago – to give just one recent example of a case in which Palestinian teenagers were targeted?
Or to the “price tag” arsonists who firebombed a home in Sinjil last November, nearly burning a family alive? How about Asher Weisgan, who lined up four Palestinian workers in August 2005 and just shot them, in the hope that the murders would set off a cycle of violence that would prevent the disengagement from Gaza?
We could go back further to Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination over his attempt to achieve peace with the Palestinians, to Baruch Goldstein’s massacre of 29 Muslims at prayer in Hebron, or even back to the early 1980s when the “Jewish underground” carried out its murder spree and planned a bloodbath by planting explosives in five Palestinian buses. These are just a few examples of so many instances over the past three and a half decades.
Anyone see a pattern here?
Now that the smears against the Abu Khdeir family — that they were somehow behind their son’s murder — have been proven baseless, the standard damage-control line is that somehow, the alleged murderers have betrayed “Jewish values” by kidnapping, murdering and burning a 16-year-old.
That’s the approach the politicians are taking. As an afterthought, they add that no matter how awful this murder is, our society condemns such things, arrests the murderers and keeps them locked away. But the Palestinians, they say, glorify the killing of children and hand out sweets after suicide bombings, educating their own children to become bombers. Don’t lecture us — our murderers are rotten apples, while their entire tree is poisoned.
So what? Even if this shallow comparison didn’t disregard all the many cases of anti-Arab terror over the years and the fact that Israel has been ruling over an occupied population for the past 47 years, what kind of a competition are we trying to win here? One in which the two societies create depraved murderers but one feels better about itself because it believes its depravity is not as bad as the other’s?
The defense mechanisms are already at work — this isn’t the way a Jew is supposed to act so it’s either just a few aberrations or, even better, it’s the result of the cruel reality of Palestinian terror, hatred and incitement our enemies have thrown at us; small wonder that some Jews have begun to act like Palestinians. An eye for an eye. What comfort, we have someone else to blame.
So that’s all right then, we can allow racism to continue to flourish around soccer games, including at the capital’s flagship team Beitar Jerusalem, with its La Familia supporters club who take pride in the fact that Beitar has never had an Arab player. Yes, of course La Familia doesn’t represent the majority of Beitar fans, but why have they not yet been ejected from Teddy Stadium?
Israelis can continue to agree on a school system that doesn’t include Arabic as a compulsory subject, teaches nothing of our neighbors’ culture and barely mentions human rights in civic studies. Let’s ignore the fact that Israeli Arab towns enjoy less budget funding, planning rights and infrastructure.
And above all, let’s believe the myth that we can continue to rule over 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank without the occupation entering our souls and blinding our judgment.
Even those of us who sincerely believe we are not racist in any way have been conditioned by a situation in which Jews are masters over another nation. Ending the occupation may not bring peace with our neighbors and it won’t remove racism from our society. Xenophobia exists everywhere and is an unavoidable human condition, but we can build up our intolerance of it. Ending our control over the Palestinians’ lives will allow Israelis to start cleaning out this rot that has been corrupting us for so long.
It’s not necessarily the settlers who are at fault. There is no reason to believe that the majority of Israelis living in the West Bank are capable of cold-blooded murder or even approved of it in any way. The “price tag” hate criminals are also a minority in the settlements – many of them are not even settlers. Most if not all of the six suspects live within the Green Line; Rabin’s assassin Yigal Amir was a resident of Herzliya, the comfortable middle-class town which until recently had a mayor who was a member of the left-leaning Meretz party.
The moral blindness has afflicted Israelis in general. We are all partners in this, accomplices in complacency, if not in deed.
We would like to believe that none of us, and no one we know, could even imagine participating in such vicious acts; but we have gotten used to living in an environment where casual racism is a norm. And when casual racism is normal, the distance between normal life and hate crimes of the worst kind rapidly shrinks.
This newspaper and the small but valiant community in Israel that continues to insist on having a discussion about human rights, in not closing our eyes to the injustices carried out in our name, in believing in an Israel and in a Zionism that can flourish untainted by racism and hate crimes, rather than continuously having to delude itself, are daily accused of being self-hating defeatists for telling the ugly truth. Now those who criticize us are waking up to reality for a few brief moments — but already are putting themselves back to sleep with the soporific talk of Jewish values and how much more ruthless the other side is.
Wake up and stay awake: There is no guarantee it won’t happen again. It will, and then you will be forced to go through the stages of denial and delusion once more.
Either come to terms with the fact that Jewish values, whatever they mean, are no safeguard against cruelty and depravity, and that we are living a lie of exalted morality, or get used to these rude awakenings.
Translation: Not even the Volkswagen factory produces 5 GOLS (a smaller version of the Golf) in 30 minutes
From Hans Aschenbach
The fact is that there is no need to process any of it. Having a place anywhere, regardless where or what is still…just a place. What we carry inside is what our HOME is. It is the essential U-Haul. Everyone has the right to be miserable but the trick is keeping the misery at bay any way we can. A starving person is “one who is lacking of nourishment”. We are all starving of something. If you can feed yourself and the body is healthy for it doesn’t mean that the mind is free of starvation. A person who is hungry for food can still keep his mind under control or look for a bright light, maybe a coming meal. I strongly believe that finding the courage is the key, not the food. A few months ago I fasted for 10 days and felt great. I felt great about being hungry because it was my choice. Honestly, you also have the choice at this point, but maybe not the courage because you give yourself too many ways (or thoughts) to feed the fire of depression and that forlorn feeling. You don’t like the world? Get in that long line and be grateful that you don’t like the world. What a pity that would be. You can make little differences in your writings, you can influence through your work. Maybe it doesn’t change the world on a BBC broadcast but there will be individuals that can be positively influenced to listen or react. That is all that is necessary. You first have to be willing to see that. I believe you are in a place and time in your existence to achieve just that. Just realize that it is OK to question. Stop trying to process that which will change through courage and peace. Peace meaning the way you approach these demons. You already know what they are. Battle is half-won and the glass is half-full.
Speaking of demons. Today’s performance (getting ready to take off for it 5 kms away in Wiesenthal) Now…in the voice-over of Rod Serling…..”Picture yourself the director of a men’s chorus without talent…You are about to make an appearance in a small, but ugly German village…an afternoon soirée with other choruses, most of whom are intoxicated since it is a Sunday afternoon and have even less talent, and it is muggy and warm. You must be dressed to conduct…the chorus will be in shirtsleeves of graying white shirts and smelling of last year’s soirée. You are in a country where soap is still on the list of rationed articles experienced during the Second World War and later cold war. Picture yourself standing in front of a half-drunk German audience of Grandmas and ex-east-German commies with last night’s bratwurst still caught between tooth and gum…more likely…denture and gum solidified in the adhesive. You must listen to searing strains of long forgotten voices (oh how we would like to forget)…..Yes…you have entered….zee tvilite tsone.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/hans.aschenbach?fref=ts
Kim Bodnia – one of the best actors in the world (did “Chief Butterknife” with me in Copenhagen 1996 – again in…
Maria de Lima in my new play “S.O.S. – Shakira’s Older Sister”(copyright Gerald Thomas 2014)
The European Union is a joke. A bad one. Or was the Tower of Babel a good experiment? Please remind me, for I forget. We’ve spent our entire existence fleeing from one another and attaching ourselves to mistaken identities related to Gods and Prophets. We’re exploring other planets and what? The Brits, the French and the Germans want to find common ground in Brussels when there is no ‘common ground’ in the House of Commons?
Please send your comments to NASA or to Susan Sontag’s grave and to Franz Ferdinand’s statue in Sarajevo.
June 6, 2014
Folha de São Paulo
São Paulo, quarta-feira, 29 de dezembro de 2004
Desta vez, a realidade ultrapassou a metáfora
ESPECIAL PARA A FOLHA, EM NOVA YORK
Não posso dizer que Susan Sontag era minha amiga, propriamente. Mas éramos “conhecidos”. E esse conhecimento se deu através de Samuel Beckett, seu fascínio pela obra dele e pelo fato de eu conhecer o mestre. Falo da década de 80, quando todos os ícones estavam vivos e eu estava em cartaz com a “Beckett Trilogy” no La MaMa, estrelada por Julian Beck, um grande amigo (esse, sim, enorme amigo) de Susan.
Susan vinha visitar a produção várias vezes, e íamos tomar café numa espelunca anexa ao teatro, na rua 4, no East Village. Ela me perguntava (a palavra mais certa seria “torturava” com perguntas) sobre Beckett: “Como ele é?”, “como anda?”, “como senta?”, “você conhece o apartamento dele?”. Coincidentemente, o nome da mulher de Beckett era Suzanne. Ela me atentou para esse fato.
Dias depois, recebo um telefonema, e ela me convida para conhecer sua ENORME coleção de botas de caubói, quando ainda morava na rua 17 e estava casada com a coreógrafa Lucinda Childs (que mais tarde, em 95, se tornou parceira minha numa produção fracassada, que tinha Luciano Berio como líder, em Florença).
Fiquei boquiaberto e não conseguia muito entender aquela intelectual, de quem eu tinha lido tudo e havia assistido aos debates (ela mediava Umberto Eco na New York University, mas não o deixava falar) e divagava apaixonadamente sobre Roland Barthes, com aquele “closet” repleto com prateleiras e mais prateleiras cheias de botas de caubói. “São o meu fetiche e não me pergunte mais!”, dizia ela, morrendo de rir. “Quem venceu a batalha contra o câncer [ela escreveu um livro sobre isso, “A Doença como Metáfora’) e tem um filho para sustentar, pode-se dar a esse luxo.”
Um dia me chamou às pressas para Boston, ou melhor, Cambridge, Massachusetts, onde fica o American Repertory Theatre. O diretor artístico de lá, Robert Brustein (um teórico importante do teatro americano), a havia convidado a montar uma peça de Diderot. E lá fomos nós. Daniela Thomas, eu e Alisa Solomon (minha amiga e crítica do “Village Voice”) e, decepcionados com a produção, não sabíamos o que dizer no final do espetáculo.
Mas a “flamboyance” de Susan não deixava espaço para que alguém inserisse qualquer tipo de crítica. O público dormia, e a crítica tinha caído de pau. Susan precisava de carinho e elogios. Alisa, vidrada em Sontag, procurou desviar o assunto e falar da sua obra como semióloga, e isso a irritou bastante. “Os críticos não iam tolerar a minha incursão no teatro. Seria demais para eles. Eles tinham que me destruir!!!!!”
De volta a Nova York e separada de Lucinda, recebo um telefonema dela. “Venha ver o meu novo apartamento na King Street, no SoHo. Agora estou morando do lado da Grove Press, ou seja, um pouco mais perto de Beckett.”
Achei engraçado a facilidade com que Susan tratou sua separação e a mudança. Era época de plena “guerra” entra ela e Camille Paglia na imprensa americana. Ela, dessa vez, me perguntou sobre Machado de Assis. Envergonhado, disse que não sabia muito sobre Machado e que era melhor continuarmos a falar sobre Beckett. Foi lá que ela teve a primeira idéia de encenar “Esperando Godot”. Só não sabia ainda onde.
Anos se passaram e ela aparecia esporadicamente. Viu o “Flash and Crash Days” no Lincoln Center e me mandou um cartão: “Não achei a produção à altura da trilogia Kafka, me ligue”. A essa altura, já estava casada com a fotógrafa Annie Leibovitz e morava no complexo “posh” aqui nessa mesma rua 23, onde moro, só que no lado do Chelsea. Annie, por sua vez, já havia sido namorada de Bia Feitler, a brasileira que revolucionou a diagramação da “Harper’s Bazaar” e “Rolling Stone” e nos deliciamos em conversa fútil.
Sempre foi ativa em vários aspectos da vida intelectual, mas perdemos contato nestes últimos anos. Eu a seguia pela imprensa e vi que foi uma das vozes mais lúcidas e ativas quando os aviões abateram o WTC e continuou sendo uma das vozes dissidentes e lúcidas na América até o fim.
Gerald Thomas é autor e diretor teatral