Sunday, July 31, 2011

Precious Life


This movie saddened and shocked me. I will give a deeper analysis later. Basically what I want to say here is the message is dismal if you are looking for a happy ending and a solution to the Middle East conflict. I felt horrified by the arrogance of the mother of this child who the Israelis saved and her insistence that they are doing this because they have to see that the Arabs need help. (?) Her comment that 'The Jews do strange things for us.'  The journalist asks her 'Why do you think they are helping you, why?' 'Well', she shrugged,'You understand now the Arabs need help' and then she said something along the lines of the Arabs deserve sympathy and understanding. Her self interest and narcissism blew me away as did the caring and the compassion of the Israelis - this journalist and the doctor as well as nurses and doctors.
Yes, I was shocked by the argument that came next. She was aware of Jewish festivals and they spoke about Tish'A B'av - the mourning and fast for the destruction of our Holy Temple in Jerusalem. She contradicted him and said 'No it is ours. It is not yours.' And thus the argument went. I had the hairs on the back of my neck standing up in horror. Islam started as a religion in about the sixth or seventh century of the Christian Era, Our Temple was destroyed in 70 CE and they are trying to say that it is theirs???
Then she tells the journalist, that she would not mind her son to grow up to be a martyr - a shahid. the journalist was shocked as would any normal person be. You could see she enjoyed the shock of the Israeli journalist, so she goes on to tell him that death for the people of Aza is a natural event, they are used to it and she appears almost scornful in her comment to him, 'When one person dies, for you, your whole world is turned upside down.' He replies,'That is because we value life.' She smiles and tells him, 'For us death is a natural event and we are not afraid to die.' Then later she exclaims that they are all prepared to die for the liberation of Jerusalem and she even goes on to say that maybe her son Muhammed will be the one to liberate Jerusalem with a fiery sword.
Later in the documentary she and her other children are in a house in Aza during the  conflict with the Israelis and six bombs fell around their house, but did not explode. Maybe Hashem is showing her compassion for a reason and through the prayers of this doctor and other Jews who worked to save her son they were spared. It shows the compassion of the Abishter, even for our enemies and those who would kill us even though we have helped them. The world is a very ugly place and I wonder now at the future of this child and what will he be?
Even though we try our best, they will come to kill us. Even though we want peace, they do not and they will not budge an inch and they will take the money of the world and in return put a knife in the ribs of the benefactor.
The sanctity of life and the purpose of life is lost on them. They are stuck in a quagmire of hatred and anger with few exceptions. Brainwashed to a brutality that is a narcissistic expression of self-hood, they cannot see past it and delve into the greater purpose of being here. There is such potential for peace, but they will not negotiate despite what kindness, respect and dignity they are offered. the compassion of the Israelis is often for naught and I fear that they are going to be the victims. They will stand unarmed, some of them on the Highway to Peace they believe and the Arabs will kill them where they stand - unarmed or armed. It does not matter. Would they have done the same for an Israeli child, if the situation was reversed? I believe not. Hadas Fogel z'l is a prime example of what they would do to one of ours.
I would hope and pray for one or two not do act in such a way, but given half the chance....
And we, are we naive to believe that peace will happen one day? No, we are not. Because with G-D's help we keep working at peace and praying and hoping for a vision of HOPE for the Middle East and not just the Middle East but the world.
It is time for Moshiach and before the ninth so we can build and celebrate instead of fasting...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Super Schools, NOT super jails

Just reading a few notes and articles in the Sunday Age this morning. The Education Department has to find ways to strip itself of around $481 million. A few weeks back, I read an article about a super jail being built in this state Victoria. This proposed super jail is going to cost over a billion dollars.
What is going on in society and have we gone backwards instead of forwards? It is horrifying to think that they would even contemplate building such an institution and then deliberately strip funds from the Education Department. I guess they have to find the funds somewhere and also they need people to put into that big 'Super Jail'. I guess keeping people frustrated and uneducated is one sure way of doing it. Don't let the suckers and the impoverished work their way out of poverty through education. Keep the buggers down and they will revert to crime and then we just put them in jail.
What a sorry country we have become. This is under a Labor government too. It was a Brumby government initiative. I thought Labor was meant to be concerned about the welfare of the little guy. Does not appear so. I hope Ted Bailleau realises in time that this is not the way to go. To build a progressive society, you need to give people hope and a good education is one way to do it. More teachers, better education facilities and more education initiatives and you will see the way things will turn around in a few years. Takes a bit more planning and vision than just wacking people in jail when they step out of line, doesn't it? But it builds a better and more pleasant society.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

To Remember a Child..


Gently light
Wicks of these
Flames floating on water
Swimming flickering lights
Brightening the night sky
When a wind of grief howls
Into a hurricane which boils
Up from the deepest recesses
Of our minds, and still, still
We are stunned into silence.
Stunned by grief without name
For a child departed so bitterly,
So brutally close to the home
Where he will never walk through
The doorway again, to reach up and
Touch a mezuzah, ask his Ima
‘Ima I am hungry what can I eat?’
He will not play or fight with sisters
Again. He will not rise, a sweet face
Yet filled with sleep, to wash and daven
To sit and learn with his Tatty. Where
He was - now a void, a voice silenced.
By some cruel twist of fate, he never
Made the celebrations planned for him.
Bar mitzvah, his huppa, the bris of his sons
His sisters’ weddings, his daughters’ naming.
Our horror is buried deep down inside.
The wounded family hold us captive
And we want to ransom their sorrow
Their unimaginable loss, their grieving
With our prayers hoping unconditional
Love will heal a little, but we strangle
In the knowledge that there is no light
Nor colour to fill in the family portrait
So torn apart that only G-D can heal...
Send us Moishiah NOW!

Requiem for David Ngoombujarra

Early morning, they found you in a park
Lying on the manicured lawns
White folk enjoy
Your black arms stretched out
Feeling for the red, home dirt
Your eyes stare blank up to the skies
Of your dreaming desert ancestors
Cut off from your spirit guides.

You were alone
Where were your family?
Where were your friends?
Where were you tribespeople?
Where were your fans?
The audiences who watched you,
As you walked with one foot
Caught in dreamtime skies
Dragging the other, a crippled limb
Bound to the white man’s world
Maybe you had to go
To be healed
Of the malaise
Given you in return
For your stories
For your dreams
For your spirit
That became so twisted
In time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Most Character Building Experience is ......

To read through a report generated by the GIPA (FOI) from the NSW Department of Education and realise if it wasn't so tragic and some ill-informed comments driven by so much malice and prejudice about one's self, it is hilariously funny. I have material for some of the best comedy skits ever.
I also have now in possession a scanned copy of my NSW teaching certificate which I was supposed to have been awarded in 2004 the exact date is 30/1/04 and the date of issue is 01/02/06. I never received it. Part of the  reason was or the main reason I did not receive it was probably because I made a complaint of discrimination against a principal in September 2005 which resulted in a trail of malicious lies and half truths being perpetuated ad infinitum by a less that competent principal who, as he was fond of informing me (when I was trying to talk to him about strategies to deal with a group of good but difficult students), had 37 years experience in the NSW Teaching Service. Good I say, give the man a wooden spoon and hit him on the head with it, rattle what little brains he had and hopefully they will resettle in a more ordered fashion.
Things I found out through the GIPA are incredible. I found out that the retired principal who did my initial interview for the NSW Education Department obviously from the tone of his comments did not like me. He figured that he would give me casual approval, probably because he could not think of adequate reason to disqualify me.  In the scenario that he had denied me casual approval to teach in NSW he reasoned correctly that I would appeal and then his prejudice would be exposed. I do not know what I did to raise his ire, but he commented that I was confident to a fault.
I do know that the principal I complained against and had my complaint upheld had a real problem psychologically and that is what I did not understand then and to this day I cannot understand how such a person can be put in such a position to destroy the careers of others for no good reason except to protect their own egos.
I have two glowing reports from two female principals and was also highly thought of by the Deputy who was a man at Fairfield High School. I had a rather unpleasant report from Sheena James Head Teacher of English Macquarie Fields High School which is no surprise considering that the Daily Organiser hired me and dumped me on her and she stated as much from my first day in the school and made it quite plain that she did not want me for the position and had had someone else in mind for the replacement position I was filling. I think if I had known what she was going to do to me and the lies and the games, I really should have told Maquarie Fields , thank you very much but the school I am currently at Fairfield High School have offered me a position to the end of the year. The sad truth was that I had taken the position at MacQuarie High School from the 13th of August 2001 and that was in July. Meanwhile I took a two weeks casual job at Fairfield High School. At the end of the second week, the DP asked me to come back and even suggested I tell MacQuarie that I have a position which they want me until the end of the year. I did not, feeling honour bound to fulfil my commitment to MacQuarie. I had already accepted the job and felt that I really could not ring them two days before the 13th and say 'sorry guys, I am staying at Fairfield'. I wish I had done so. My time at Fairfield was fantastic. I had both English and ESL classes.  The staff of 13 in the English faculty were dedicated and professional.  I can say the same of Eskine Park where I taught for a term and Northmead. Sadly the same could not be said of Maquarie Fields. That was my personal experience of MacQuarie Fields which may be coloured by the fact that the HT felt I was somehow 'foisted on her department' and she made every effort to ensure that my time there was uncomfortable to the extreme. She was condescending and excluded me from information that was necessary for my  functioning as a teacher in the system. She bawled me out for no reason in front of students, taking a permanent teacher's word about an incident which smacked of rampant anti semitism and anti Israel sentiment. He was of Lebanese Heritage and he an another Leb teacher would make rather disparaging and vile comments about Israel and Jews when only they and I were in the staff room. Not wishing to make a scene and feeling very uncomfortable I would leave the staff room as afterall it was my word against theirs. And as this James woman pointed out to me, 'who do you think you are? You are just a bloody Temp. And Mxxx is a PERMANENT teacher. Do you know the difference. We should report you to the union.' Report me to the union for what I might have asked, but I was too shocked because I was being bawled out like a naughty junior high school student in front of students and colleagues alike. I was in a rather fragile state due to sickness in the family and other things happening in my personal life so I think I burst into tears. What I should have said to this idiotic Head Teacher who doesn't deserve the title Head Teacher was ,'Right, Ms James, go right ahead and report me and I will also have some things to say about the way I am being treated.' Trouble was, in those days I was too sensitive.
I can't publish a book on bullying but let me write my story out. At least I will have a healing and some others may learn from my mistakes in dealing with my bullying in the NSW department of Education and handle it better.