Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Beitar/for EI

Kornfein: "Umm al-Fahm will come to commit provocation"

Itzik Kornfein will ask the tribunal that the crowdless game that is expected to be imposed on Beitar will be as soon as tonight's Israel Cup match. Avi Luzon has warned: "You don't understand what is about to transpire. UEFA and FIFA are strong into this story."

By Yaniv Tuchman, nrg/Maariv

Itzik Kornfein will show up today at 11 am at the [Israeli Football] Federation tribunal and ask that Beitar Jerusalem's game tonight at 7 pm against Macabbee Umm al-Fahm within the [Israel] Cup tournament be held without a crowd. The Federation will not object to this request, and the judge, Emanuel Sela, will have to decide whether to accept it.

Midday yesterday, Kornfein, accompanied by board of directors members Israel Goldschmidt and Momi Dahan, arrived at the Federation offices. The Chair [of the board] asked for [Federation] chairperson Avi Luzon's support regarding the events expected following the upcoming signing of the Muslim players from Chechnya.

Also present in the meeting were other senior officials in the Federation, and they all had objectionable things to say about the events of last Saturday at Teddy Stadium. "Yu don't understand what's going to happen," we're Luzon's opening words. "UEFA and FIFA are strong into this story. They're aware of everything (probably also because of the letter sent by MK Ahmed Tibi – Y.T.) and they will not give up. If this business in the bleachers continues, Beitar will have it, and have it hard."

Kornfein clarified that the top officials of Beitar, as well as tens of thousands of its fans oppose what had happened on Saturday, and that he is willing to take any dramatic step to combat this phenomenon. Subsequently, the idea of clearing the bleachers of fans altogether came up, and the Federation did not voice any objection to it.

"We'll have to recruit all of the good fans"

"We aren't trying to sweep the problem [under the rug]," Kornfein said last night. "It won't be over tonight. In a week and a half we have a home game against Sakhnin, and there, too, there will be an explosive atmosphere. It is better if the game without a crowd, which will inevitably will be imposed upon us by the tribunal, should be against Umm al-Fahm, so that we would have enough time to prepare for the other games that follow it. We will need the cooperation of all factors in order to combat the people who may bring a disaster upon Beitar."

Are you really that afraid of the game against Umm al-Fahm?

"Over the last two days all we've been hearing is that the people of Umm al-Fahm have been threatening to get off the pitch as soon as they'll be cursed at. I'm afraid that there will be an attempt at a provocation which will critically harm Beitar. Where on earth has it been heard that a team sends letters the night before a game threatening to take its players off the pitch if they're cursed at on a racist basis? I'm afraid that as soon as one curse is heard, they'll get off the pitch and incite a storm of international scale."

"My sense is that Umm al-Fahm will come to this game with the goal of committing this provocation, and after that we would not be able to get out of it. I understand that they have sold tickets, and perhaps they thought they might make a profit at Teddy, because in Cup matches the teams split the revenues, which is why we are also willing to grant them a symbolic monetary compensation.

Assuming the judge accepts your request, what will happen next?

"We will have to recruit all of our good fans to help us. We will need the police. We don't intend to fold with respect to hiring the Chechnyan players. There are 500 fans here who hold the entire club as hostages. A few hundreds who hold tens of maybe hundreds of thousands of thousands hostages, who understand that we cannot keep on living like this."

"Beitar has been fighting racism for a long time now, and with some success. The fans' association is with us, and since Saturday we've been getting thousands of messages from fans asking us not to give up. Our fans must realize that this is no longer a game. It's not a laughing matter. The senior institutions in world football will punish us severely. When that comes, nobody will be ale to say we haven't been forewarned."

Beitar will be playing tonight with a partial lineup. Shai Hadad is injured and will be replaced by Eli Dassa. Dario Fernandez was yellowed out and Barak Moshe will take his place. Avi Reikai isn't totally fit, so Steven Cohen is set to play in his stead. It seems at if some of the Beitar players won't oppose a game with no crowd. "What happened against Bney Yehuda is intolerable," one player said last night. "It's awful to play when half of the fans are cursing on the basis of race."

Monday, September 10, 2012

To blog or not to blog?

I've been out of the United States since the end of July. At this juncture – and yes, this may sound overly dramatic – I don't know whether I'll ever return there. If I do, it may be as soon as in less than two months.

I've spent most of the past month and half in Palestine (the part most of you would call 'Israel'), with the exception of a week in Berlin.

Most of my time has been uneventful.

I will be flying to London, via Warsaw, on Saturday morning to begin my year-long adventure at the University of Essex. If there is anything worth writing about once I'm there, you'll read about it. For now, I'll just STFU.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Support from a friend

A couple of days ago I received the following message from my friend Sara Nimis of Georgetown University. With her permission, I am posting it below.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
On July 8, 2012 9:14:57 PM PDT, Sara Nimis wrote:

Dear Uri,

I have been following the story of your arrest on facebook, and I wanted to extend my support to you. I have been sort of chewing over the negative reactions of other GLBT activists to what happened, and I thought I would share my thoughts (take them or leave them).

First of all, I think that what you did is a completely acceptable form of civil disobedience, the same kind that has been used effectively by many earlier activists for civil rights: you put your personal self in the face of a functionary who is “just doing their job” by upholding a discriminatory law. By doing this you force that person to think about that law. You present them with the choice to uphold it or to join you in standing against it. You are forcing them to move from being a passive tool of the unfair law, or to take the risk of showing some kind of ethical solidarity with you, taking that risk with you.

The response of the nurse to the very interesting professional dilemma with which you presented her is really quite shocking to me, perhaps because I am identified as “straight” and so have never experienced this type of violent criminalization against mere presence in a place where same-sex intercourse has been cast as a threat to the general welfare.

Her reaction--to me--is nothing less than stunning evidence of the kind of hypocricy and violence that is at the heart of this law you are opposing. That she resorted to calling the police in the first place is evidence of the desire to criminalize forms of sexuality that do not conform to her idea of “normal”. That she lied in order to have you arrested is evidence of her awareness that the law is not on her side in this issue, and that her discrimination is excessive and illegal, further implicating her as a violent bigot.

What is even more stunning to me is the response of GLBT advocates to the situation. To me, no dedicated professional can ever hide behind the claim that they have no say in the unjust laws that they enact. If she was a poor working single mom and not a bigot, she could have said, “I’m really sorry, I agree that the law is wrong, but I can’t take your blood. It could cost me my job.” If she truly believed that you represented a danger, she could have had a civil conversation with you: maybe she would have learned something. Someone committed to your cause could have stood said, “I am going to take your blood, and if they fire me for it, I will sue them.” These are precisely the kinds of actions that lead to the overturning of unfair laws.

So why do these supposed advocates choose to attack you (and viciously!)? What about you is so very threatening to them? I think this points to something in the GLBT advocacy culture that I find deeply disturbing. The GLBT rhetoric is dominated by issues that have at their heart the protection of white male privilege among upper middle class gay males. Specifically, discussions of gay marriage focus on how gay men can meet up with all of the WASP standards of social acceptability: monogamy, church-goingness, and financial success. This was what bothered me about the following video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLnn96n3Lpg

My concern with this discourse is that accepting gay men who are exactly like straight men except in the bedroom somehow allows everyone to pat themselves on the back for being so progressive without having to deal with very real issues about the places in our society where people’s actual lives are at risk or turned upside-down because of their sexual expression.

I feel like the harsh attacks on you come from a fear that you are messing with the don’t-rock-the-boat approach of this movement. They would have you say: I have no intention of messing with your fascist institutions as long as you let me join the country club.

In many ways, this approach supports the mechanisms that undermine the welfare of LGBT people who don’t share their privilege, and who, in fact, would be better served if the country club and the institutions that support it were burned to the ground. People of means and influence (Mary Cheney for example) have the luxury to ignore the plight of LGBT people who suffer in places like where you and I live, where law enforcement works with local actors to create a de facto criminalization, through lies and coverups, of being gay in the public space.

Anyone who believes that that woman was not a violent bigot actively working to punish people for not expressing sexually in the same way that she does is living in a dream world where every gay household is in a gated community paid for by two three-figure incomes.

I believe that people like you, who come from a background of dealing with issues of sexuality as fully integrated into other oppressive discourses of class, gender, ethnicity, nationalism, and religious authority could bring a much broader vision to this movement as it is presently constituted in the US.

That is my two cents, anyway.

I wish you the very best, and I hope that you are not discouraged by those who are merely seeking acceptance by the existing order, rather than its radical reconfiguration.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Suspended with Pay / For Donating while Gay

(Hey, it rhymes!)

This morning I was notified of Indiana University's decision to extend my suspension, with pay, until the end of the period of my original contract. This means I will still be paid until July 30, but will not be allowed to teach or be in contact with the people who until last week were my students and colleagues.

This, after a brief meeting I had yesterday with the vice provost for faculty and academic affairs and one of the associate deans of the College of Arts and Sciences.

I will let the vice provost's letter speak for itself. I have only redacted a few addresses and names that are not pertinent to the affair. Beneath the letter is my short response, sent to Dr. Gieryn via email.

My response:

Dear Dr. Gieryn,

Thank you for promptly informing me of the resolution of your investigation.

Upon payment of my July salary, I will immediately donate $1,000 to the Indiana University Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Student Support Services Office.

Uri Horesh

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Radio Interview

I tried unsuccessfully to upload an audio file of a radio interview I did yesterday with Michaelangelo Signiorile here. However, I did manage to upload it elsewhere. Enjoy.

Queer, fierce, non-violent

I don't think I've done this before (with the exception of articles I've translated into English or Arabic), but I'm devoting this post to an article I just read elsewhere. I have tweeted it. I posted it on Facebook. But it is so relevant to everything that I have been doing in the past few years, and indeed in the past few days, that I felt a strong urge to share it here as well.

I have been asked this week several times, by friends, journalists and university administrators, why I did what I did; why I "had" to protest the FDA ban on "gay blood;" why I didn't leave the bloodmobile when I was asked to; essentially, why wasn't I just a good little heteronormative, capitalist, Zionist, Judeo-Christian, Western, patriarchal, monogamous, little boy. 

Joseph Varilone, I don't know you, but here's to you, my friend:

By Joseph Varilone, LSA Senior at the University of Michigan

Friday, June 22, 2012

Follow up: To resign or not to resign?

Following my arrest on Wednesday, and upon my release from the county jail on Thursday, I phoned my boss at the summer program at Indiana University in which I have been teaching for the past few weeks and offered my resignation out of good will. This, after she had asked my father to assure me that I would still be a welcome member in the program.

Today, she phoned me and followed up with an email repeating a very different message than the one she had previously conveyed to my father.

I am still unsure how to respond. The message is appended below, verbatim (copied addressees are a dean and lawyers at the general counsel office; email addresses have been redacted):

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Stern-Gottschalk, Ariann"
Date: June 22, 2012 5:11:25 PM EDT
To: Uri Horesh
Cc: "Bucur-Deckard, Maria", "O'Guinn, M Dave", "Springston, Emily Auld"
Subject: Follow-up to today's phone call

Dear Uri:

I am writing to follow-up on our phone call today.

I appreciate your offer of resignation and that may be the most appropriate resolution of this matter. I am not requiring you to resign, but doing so is an option for you to resolve this matter efficiently. If you wish to resign, please put your resignation in writing to me no later than Monday, June 25. I would like to assure you that the reasons for your resignation will be kept confidential and not shared with your colleagues and students.

If you choose not to resign, per the University’s normal process, I will suspend you with pay pending an investigation into your underlying conduct. As you are aware, you are subject to the code of conduct set forth for all academic personnel, and I thus have to review available information to determine if your conduct violated the code, and if such conduct rises to the level of a sanction and/or the termination of your employment.

If I do not hear from you in writing by the close of business on Monday, June 25, I will move forward with the investigation.


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