One of the things am rather interested while in Palestine is to check for links and possible seeming similarities that cross the sectarian divides.
An element that pops up during this visit is people saying stuff, me not laughing, and them saying “its supposed to be a joke”.
I can not tell a joke to save my life, hence am trying to learn and yet to feel confident enough inflicting my learning(?) on other people.
In my mind, the fact am not entirel;y able to tell a joke is linked to cenrtain brutilised past. Hence when people around me seem needing to underline a jokey intent, am taking that as a link to some sort of communal brutalisation.
This is not a lack of sense of humour, but an in ability to share that sense without being slightly forcefull about it. That forcefulness which comes in “its supposed to be a joke”, and the fact that the supposed jokes go along lines of “hey, look at that person failings”, or stuff such as “you know how these people [insert some prejudice thinking here] are such and such..?” These might intend to be humorous, but all too often just aren’t.
Therefore, my experience is of people in palestine telling me “its supposed to be a joke”. Perhaps that line should be a unifying name for the place?
On way to Umm el Fahem art gallery Via skateboarding the 77.7km between the airport and the town of Umm el Fahem.
A few basic definitions to palestine oriented vocabulary:
The place commonly known as “israel” = palestine.
The p[lace commonly known as palestine/west-bank = palestine.
Am not dernying the exsitance of various communities, structures and organisations in the palestinian areas.
The area am skateboarding through, the one usually referred to as “israel” – is the Zionist oriented area of palestine. (this claiom is based upon experiencing people considering “israelies” to be either jews and or zionists. About 20-30 percent of the people there are either jews and nopt zionists or neither jews nor zionists. Hence am making the distinction and the umbrella of “palestine” he4lps focus the sort of unity of the area as a whole.
Palestinians, in this vobaulary are anyone who lives in the area commonlyt known as isareal/palestine, and have the following categories:
Palestian Jews, Zionists, Muslims, Cherkess, Druze, Christians, Seculars, Bedouins, etc.
Am using people’s own definitions they provide themselves, e.g. people call themselves zionists or muslims, These categorizations are based on people’s births’ religious and communal affiliations rather than ideas and arguments, feelings and aspirations that form, inform and feed lively political, cultural and social debates. I think these are sectarian, divisive and anti-democratic definitions, but that is what there is in palestine. (..and the middle east as a whole…)
Am referring here to communities and groupings in general. There are exceptions. There are people and organisations that do indeed attempt to go beyond the sectarian divides. I hope the Umm el Fahem gallery will turn out to be one of them.
Palestine is a name, no?
So why not just call it “israel”?
It seems to me that the name “israel” distorts what there is there in terms of groups and groupings of people. (assuming the naming thing is to do with people rather than giving winds directions..)
Lets say we called the usa of a California, or the british islands, the “english” islands…?
Point taken. But!! But why “palestine” rather than, say the ancient name of Canaan?
Yes, “palestine” has the difficulty of zionist and jews not feeling too palestinian. However, it highlights the fact that the people who feel slightly un happy about “palestine” are there as occupiers and yet – can be defined by palestine, even in their own terms. ie one can be palestinia and a jew and a zionist. One can not be an israeli and a palestinian refugee. Indeed, even the palestinians who are israelies are not reffered to as “palestinians” by the israelies, but as “arabs”. “israeli arabs”.
So palestine is a broader term in the area?
yes. however, perhaps not broad enough?
It seems that a wider x community name might be better than “palestine” – just am yet to find one.. Here’s an early attempt:
Canaan might be a good idea, however recently it has been used by the Cannites group, hence perhaps not entirely X community. Also, I think it conjours a certain pagan past of the area – based on writings islamic and jewish people think of as rather important – hence, might not exactly be defining for them.
How about the in-between-land?
Do you think the place is artistic?