Spade, duck, fowl, apartheid, ghetto

Israel/Palestine
on 5 Comments

 Lets talk about spades.

Did you know that  saying “calling a spade a spade” may have originated as an early response to political correctness? When “black as an ace of spades” was a saying in use, it was describing a black person by his/her skin colour.  It was also stating the obvious. 

Now lets pinch this delightful comment  from 2006 from the commenter on Daniel Pipes blog: “ Look like a duck – walk like a duck – quack like a duck – call it fowl”

About 800,000 copies of latest The Economist will distribute in North America. Subscribers will read, among the other news and opinion, this description of Israel’s city of Lod or Lydda:

” NOT long ago, Lod, an Israeli city near the commercial hub of Tel Aviv, was a sleepy backwater. Its 20,000 Arabs among 45,000 Jews peppered their Arabic with Hebraisms, voted for Jewish parties, and described themselves as Israeli. The Arab population, drastically reduced in the 1948 war that marked Israel’s birth, has revived, exceeding its previous total.

But the calm has been disturbed. This month Israel’s leaders have taken their demand that the world—and the Palestinians—should recognise their state as specifically Jewish in exchange for a renewed freeze on building Jewish settlements in the West Bank, to Lod. Cabinet members have proposed “strengthening” the city’s population by bringing in more Jews (…)

Liberal Israelis fear that these measures may import the Arab-Israeli conflict, which had been largely confined to the territories occupied by Israel beyond the 1948 partition line, into Israel proper. Adding to the psychological barriers, the Lod authorities have erected physical ones. This year they have finished building a wall three metres high to separate Lod’s Jewish districts from its Arab ones. And where the Arab suburbs are cordoned off to prevent their spread, Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, encourages building for Jews to proceed with abandon.

(…)
By contrast, old Arab houses are under threat of demolition. Now and again, bulldozers demolish a couple, stressing Arab vulnerability. A study by a liberal Israeli group called Shatil (“Seedling”) estimates that 70% of Arab homes in Lod lack legal status. Many municipal services, such as street lighting and rubbish collection, stop at the boundaries of Arab suburbs. Sixteen kilometres (ten miles) from Tel Aviv, Israel’s richest city, sewage flows through some of Lod’s Arab streets.

Once mixed districts are separating. Ramat Eshkol, a housing estate built for Jewish immigrants in the ruins of Lod’s old Arab city, bulldozed after the 1948 war, is today a squalid slum, housing mostly Arabs. Piles of rubbish make it grimier than refugee camps in Gaza, the blockaded Palestinian territory 35km to the south. Gangs cruise the streets. The local community centre has been shut for the best part of a decade, says its last employee: the Jewish Agency, a welfare organisation, does not want it “overrun with Arabs”.

(…) Lod’s 120-strong police is Muslim-free.”

How many will call Duck a Duck and Spade a Spade? How many will call it Fowl and “an implement to manually move the earth from one geographic position to another?”

5 Responses

  1. potsherd
    October 15, 2010, 10:42 am

    This is the Israeli version of the KKK, except that it’s the government wearing the white hoods.

    Maybe people in the US will finally begin to recognize this.

  2. ehrens
    October 15, 2010, 11:53 am

    We should all note that Lod is in Israel proper and that this Apartheid wall serves no security function at all — as Israel claims its other walls do. It is simply there to put Arabs in a ghetto.

    This domestic example is one more reason why Palestinians cannot acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state. Besides, in Israel more attention should be paid to the “democratic” part of “Jewish and democratic” — if such a concoction is not an oxymoron.

  3. annie
    October 15, 2010, 2:50 pm

    i think you are mistaken wrt the term Let’s Call A Spade A Spade

    It was only recently, in the 20th century, that the term “spade” was used to refer to a Black person. Its origin comes from the “spade” suit in a deck of cards. Thus, with that definition, “calling a spade a spade” could mean calling a “racial epithet a racial epithet.”

    However, “calling a spade a spade” as an expression long predates the racial connotation of the word spade. As Random House explains, “to call a spade a spade” originated in ancient Greece.

    “The exact origin is uncertain; the playwright Menander, in a fragment, said “I call a fig a fig, a spade a spade,” but Lucian attributes the phrase to Aristophanes. Later, Plutarch notes that “The Macedonians are a rude and clownish people who call a spade a spade.” (It is worth noting that the Greek word translated as “spade” seems actually to mean something like “bowl” or “trough”; the “spade” may be based on a Renaissance mistranslation. In this case the original expression was “to call a bowl a bowl,” and thus the “spade” expression is “only” 500, rather than 2,500, years old.)” link to randomhouse.com

    The meaning of “to call a spade a spade” is to speak bluntly.

    more at the link.

    • RoHa
      October 16, 2010, 11:07 pm

      And to recognize that speaking bluntly is not the same as speaking coarsely, in the North of England they have “Call a spade a “spade”, but not a “bloody shovel”.”

  4. Keith
    October 15, 2010, 4:48 pm

    Simply stated, Zionism is Eastern European “blood and soil” nationalism, camouflaged with Judaic tradition. Blood and soil nationalism has a logic and trajectory captured in the German version that dares not speak its name. All that unfolds in Israel/Palestine is the logical consequence of the Zionist ideology.

Leave a Reply