New shirt.

I got a new shirt today:

Here it is tucked into my pants. And my pants contoured around my crotch:


I bought it at what may have been the world's smallest multicultural festival. There were at most 15 booths, probably not even that many. Maybe less than 10. As far as I am concerned it is already listed in the Guinness book of world records as smallest festival. Maybe everyone was in park city waiting to see Bob Dylan, or in their homes waiting to watch the Simpsons. Or maybe they were at Pioneer Park, asking around if any of the homeless people had heroin to sell and being duped paying 20$ for a little tobacco wrapped in plastic. Or maybe they were all in jail because they had accidentally asked an undercover cop in Pioneer Park if they had any heroin for sale.

But the shirt was only 10$ and the proceeds go to support Palestine. This is the first new shirt I can remember buying for myself since...I don't know. I can't remember the last time I purchased a new shirt.

For those unfamiliar with why I may be so excited to have a this shirt allow me to give a history lesson.

For most of the past two thousand years Jewish people have been in diaspora, meaning they were scattered about the world having no country of their own.

Towards the end of the 1800's as nationalist attitudes were rising amongst European intellectuals, secular Jews also became caught up in this fervor, wishing for a land of their own to escape the persecution widespread throughout Europe and Asia.

Prominent Jewish intellectuals wrote of the need for Jews to establish their own country and their writings were extremely influential. Palestine was but one of many places considered. Locations all around the world including South America were evaluated as possible homes for the Jewish people.

Eventually it was decided to settle in Palestine for symbolic but not religious reasons. In fact, religious Jews were strongly against the idea of an attempt to reclaim their homeland, feeling it should only be through the actions of God that Jews should return.

Beginning early last century secular Jews began moving to Palestine, purchasing land legally and resurrected Hebrew as a spoken language for the first time in almost two millennium. There was tension between those then inhabiting Palestine and the immigrating Jews, but the tension was low.

After a few decades religious Jews caught on to the idea that perhaps the return of the Jews people could happen through man's actions. It was then things took a turn for the worse. Because these religious people believed Palestinian land was theirs by right they felt no obligation to purchase land as had been happening before and began to take it by force!

This was generally opposed by governments around the world for obvious reasons, but then came the holocaust where...actually I can't remember what happened.(I joke, we all know what happened). After knowledge of Nazi concentration camps became known, sympathy for Jewish people increased as well as support for the Nation of Israel. This combined with a few well connected Israelis pointing out to various government leaders that Christian mythology taught that before their messiah could return Jews must return home. This eventually led to the United States and the United Nations recognizing Israel as a sovereign state.

As bad as it already was, things did not stop there. Religious support for the state of Isreal increased, and religious Jews continued their aggressive taking of lands they felt already belonged to them by divine right.

Imagine if one day a group of people decided your city was actually theirs and began aggressively moving in. Knocking over your house, killing your friends and building on your land. Imagine that as terrible as this might be for you and appeared so obviously unjust, the most powerful nation in the world is supporting these invaders because they are convinced by the an old book that was probably referring to something else altogether that these invaders are doing the will of god. No wonder some Arabs are so pissed.

1 comment:

ricky said...

you look like such a regular joe in a black tshirt