The nationalist machine tries to ‘sell’ city residents a story about honoring ‘defenders.’ But the latter respond: they are not defending anything anymore. They died and all that was left is a monument. By Eyal Sagi Bizjawi The central square in Bat-Yam, my hometown, is known as “the matseva” ("the headstone" or “monument”). As a child I did not really get the point. I knew the word “headstone” from graveyards, and I knew my grandmother had one. I did not know how my grandmother had a headstone on one side of the city, on the Holon border while there is another…Read More...
First we get hit by Hurricane Sandy while on vacation in New York. Now this. But hey, nothin’ like a good 'ol war to fix that writer’s block. Gotta hand it to Bibi, I’m blogging once again. Thanks, Bibi! (Or wait, should I thank Hamas, too? Yeah... I should. And Barak. Oh, and Barack. Oh, and AIPAC. Almost forgot AIPAC... phew! Thanks AIPAC!) ----------------------------------------- I was just leaving work in Rehovot as my wife and kids had to run to the stairwell when the sirens in Bat Yam came on. When I got back, I realized that we are now…Read More... | 5 Comments
Took this photo at an appliance shop in Bat Yam. It's a sticker on a Sharp fridge. 10 years warranty Sharp Better than yours Sharp Mehadrin To prevent Shabbat desecration The computerized mechanism is already built inside the fridge, no other installation is needed Authorized by the Halacha Technological InstituteRead More... | 12 Comments
Last night I posted one of my “Izzie in HolyLand” pieces. It was about the collective punishment Israel rewarded the West Bank village of Awarta, after the murder of the Fogel family from Itamar. In the post, I made Izzie have a nightmare about the same treatment Bat Yam would have had if a murder took place in nearby Jaffa. Something that would never happen, of course. That piece of satire was written with a lot of anger, a lot of frustration. It wasn’t the first time. I’ve written about the racism in Bat Yam with similar anger, when demos…Read More... | 15 Comments
The Prime Minister returns to his hate-mongering roots A strange dialogue took this place between grassroots rightwing activists and the government. A demonstration was held in Bat Yam under the slogan of fighting the Arabs, with an emphasis on the fear of “assimilation”, or, to use the more accurate and less laundered term, defilement of blood. One of the participants called for the killing of Jewish women who date Arabs. Even the Nazis didn’t go that far. A significant number of the Bat Yam demonstrators appeared, one day later, in southern Tel Aviv. They even (Hebrew) carried the same placards:…Read More... | 3 Comments
The similarities are shockingly stark. Everyday Israel is becomming more and more like the American South in the 1950’s. I am writing not about the West Bank or Gaza but about the Israel within the Green Line. Bibi Netanyahu warned today that violence against minorities will not be tolerated. The Prime Minister was responding to the raising tide of anti-minority violence against not just Palestinians but any minority that resides in Israel. Last week a rally took place in Bat Yam in which rightists protested the Arab takeover of the city. It seems that the style of vigilante justice that…Read More... | 2 Comments
I’m about to write something really controversial. Probably the most controversial thing ever said on +972. The Bat Yam Biennale, that currently has the Israeli media in such a tizz with gushing reports about the city’s gritty urbanism, is a load of bull. There. I said it. Look, I’m not even attempting to approach this from some sort of artistic point of view (you might already have realized this thanks to the very technical term I just used). I have no idea what the installations are meant to mean or whether they are any good. I’m writing this as someone…Read More...
There must be some consequence to how most of us grow up with dubious architecture. The "shikunim," dour apartment blocks not quite as gargantuan as those of eastern Europe, but about equally ornate, make up a great deal of the urban and suburban Israeli landscape. They were mostly built during the 1950s and 60s to accommodate huge waves of Jewish newcomers from North Africa and elsewhere. They have grown to become the natural habitat of the Jewish Israeli blue-collar class and lower-middle class. As the years pass, they tend to deteriorate, exposing cheap materials and offhand design, becoming even uglier.…Read More... | 4 Comments
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