I got hacked this weekend.
My pal René Walling let me know about it in an email Sunday morning, and I immediately phoned up my host to ask for help. I’m hosted through Superb, a company recommended to me by the late, great Emru Townsend (through whom I met René). When Emru made this recommendation, I had no concept of the scope of his illness, or how very dearly it would cost him and his family. If I had known, I wouldn’t have nagged him for web help. But on Sunday, I was grateful that I had.
The site was hacked by a person claiming to represent the “Lebanese Cyb3r Army.” (During the examination of my corrupted files, I hesitantly asked my tech support serviceman, “Is it covered in L337 speak?”) The graphic taking the place of my site made reference to the FlotillaFAIL. Ironically, I had met a very sweet Lebanese couple Friday night after seeing Splice. They offered me a lychee cookie, and then we talked about our favourite desserts. They recommended some local Middle Eastern restaurants. “Go to Jerusalem,” the husband told me. “The restaurant! Not the city.”
“No, not the city,” I said. “The city would be too stressful.”
I said this casually, but perhaps I shouldn’t have. The truth is that people navigate the streets of Jerusalem daily. They work and dance and pray and have families there. At some point, the reality of war must fade, like the high-pitched ringing of tinnitis, into something shrill and persistent but easily forgotten during moments of pleasure. At least, that’s what the recollections of my friends Kung Fu Jew and Miriam Libicki would have me believe.
KFJ has been to Jerusalem. Multiple times. He’s volunteered there, studied there, dated Israeli girls there. The first time he returned, he said, offhandedly, “You know they’re bulldozing homes in Gaza.”
“Empty homes?” I asked.
He later went on to say this:
What Israelis and conservative American Jews don’t seem to care is that a surfeit of dignity for prolonged periods of time foments extremism and increases hatred. If Israel was looking for a policy that would enable it to be rid of Gaza, then it chose the stupidest one possible.
It’s safe to say that I’m with KFJ on this one. I hate what happened aboard that ship. I advocate a withdrawal from Gaza. I advocate peace and dignity for the people who live there. I think Israel’s government should listen to its young people in the diaspora, who are steadily refusing to “check their liberalism at the door” when it comes to Israeli politics. I think KFJ is right when he says that the conflict is not between nations, but between innocent people and purveyors of violence.
I don’t know why I was hacked and I still don’t. But if it forces me to express myself on this very thorny subject, so be it.