Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Egged and the Student Plus RavKav

The bus system has a very nice thing known as a student bus card. However getting this is often a hellish experience, and the process taking 12 hours (note: this can be spread over more than one day) is not unheard of.
What Egged does it they set your RavKav card (semi-permanant bus pass that you charge with rides) as a student plus card, so you can buy student-price bus tickets.

This year Egged started something new. Instead of needing just a verification of studies (called an "ishur limudim") in order to set your RavKav (bus pass) as a "Student Plus" card, they now want a valid student ID card. They will also take an ishur limudim from this year provided that you have a student ID that was valid last year and both of these two things are from the same institution.

What do first year students do? And what do student whose universities are not listed on the option list do? Stay tuned for when I call Egged...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Racism (aka, here we go again): Part II

After the previous blog entry that I made, there were more comments made. I can no longer access the note, because the author has since blocked me on Facebook. Her last comment was this:

M: "[me], there is no claiming--it is a bona-fide fact. The old "land without people for a people without land" rears its head again. The concept that a place cannot exist unless it is an established, fixed nation, is a modern and Western idea. Yes, the British came, drew in boundaries, drew some maps, and said "THIS IS PALESTINE," but that does not alter the fact that a people had lived there in a settled state for centuries prior. What is a country, other than a collection of people with a similar cultural identity? Which is precisely the thing that Israel tries to tell the world--that we are just like Jordanians, or Lebanese, when we do, in fact, have our own culture and can't simply assimilate where we're thrown (the refugee camps in both of those countries are more than ample evidence of this). To deny an entire population an identity is a denial of humanity--and it is something that I would never even fathom doing. How can there be respect between two people if there is an insistence that their family's past history are merely "claims?" And it is precisely this lack of respect that forces me to block you, [me]. I don't mind disagreements--I WELCOME them, I want to talk these things out--but I cannot continue a relationship with anyone who clearly has very little respect for me, my family, or my life's journey. Adieu, adieu."

I can't reply to her on Facebook, because she has blocked me completely, so I will reply here:

Yes, M, you are correct-- there were people who had lived in areas before the British came in and drew borders-- borders that created a country, including the people who were within the borders and excluding those who were not.
A country is not a collection of people with a similar cultural identity, it is a place created by borders. Take the country of America-- that is a country, however if you take one person from the following states: NY, VT, VA, FL, IL, TX, MS, and CA and look at their cultural identities, they are completely different. Heck, take one person from New York City, one from Mount Vernon, one from Woodbourne, and one from Rochester and they will have different cultural identities, yet Mount Vernonites are not declaring themselves a separate country or stating that they have a unique cultural identity and therefore cannot possibly be "thrown into" the surrounding cities or towns (delineated by boundaries). Sorry, that argument does not hold water.

No one is claiming that your family and its history are "claims," however the group of people today who call themselves Palestinians DID NOT EXIST-- yes, I said it-- DID NOT EXIST-- until after Israel was created.
There was a group of people during the Biblical times known as Plishtim, or Philistines, however they are not today's modern-day Palestinians.

M, I too welcome debate and discussion, and unfortunately that is not going to happen between you and me because you have closed that avenue of discussion. You claim that I have very little respect for you, your family, or your life's journey, however you seem to not be willing to accept historical facts.

I wish you good luck in your life and hope that eventually you will get to a point that you are open enough to see other sides that may not agree with yours.