". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Thursday, September 29, 2011

From A Long-time Amiga & Lister

The NY Times, along with the rest of the primary media, seem to be wishing that the Occupy Wall Street story would go away.  Meanwhile, responding to Ms. ExPat's piece yesterday on Occupy Wall Street, a friend in Israel writes:

[ " >It seems to be a replica of the social protest that gained such a momentum here over the summer. They were also accused of being "without focus", " middle class spoiled brats," "sushi and narghilas"  but they brought close to a 1/2 million people to the streets. that is the equivalent of 15 million people on the streets in the US (some say 25, I'm being conservative here). I feel there is an international movement framing itself here, and it's equivalent in its demands. It should not be underestimated, even if it seems unfocused. . . .

>If you look at what is happening in spain, chile, israel and other places, I think it's the same all over. the middle class in every country where capitalism has gone wild is being proletariarized. once they wake up and see that its not "the security situation" (here); the "recession" (the u.s.) but a trend borne of policy, young people start coming out. and they know how to organize and how to speak to power and how to write. it remains to be seen here whether real change will come after the tent city phase, but they have completely changed the discourse in the country. They have taken academics (economists, sociologists) to advise them on how to negotiate with the government, which is what is happening at the moment. here they have banded with low income folks, under the banner "the people demand social justice" and "welfare state". that's what they want, and according to the polls, 87% of the population identifies with this.  " ]

BTW, this particular friend is a member of one of Israeli's Founding Families.  Her first name is that of the first Spy Network-Service, that began in the 19-teens, in the Middle East, started by her great whatever grandfather.
It's probably unneccesary to say that she and her friends and immediate family are anti-war with the Palestinians, appalled by the state of Israel and its leadership and its U.S. supporters in these matters, and is among those out on the streets.  She's currently writing her dissertation in ethnomusicology.  Her M.A. thesis was on the music of the Jews of Ethiopia.

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