Stageleft poises the question in Sunday Morning Satire
I’m told these cartoons are satire, a descriptor which apparently somehow negates their Anti-Arab message. Maybe – that’s true in the same sort of way, that a cartoon a Hebrew speaker, yarmulke wearing, bulldozer operator who can’t seem to destroy the right house or olive grove and would rather be playing Guitar Hero anyway, is just satire rather than propaganda.
Firstly, if the ‘Hebrew speaker, yarmulke wearing, bulldozer operator’ was really a ‘Hebrew speaker’ he would be wearing a ‘kippah’ and not a yarmulke. But I would like to say, I stand in awe in how far Stageleft will go to avoid writing the word “Jew”. If that is not a serious commitment to PC gibberish, what the hell is?
StageLeft seems to be under the delusion Israelis do not savage themselves in the same way they do everyone else. But there is a kind of satire which is found on the wildly popular Israeli television program called Eretz Nehederet. Evelyn Gordon carried a description of a recent episode which was broadcasted on Israel’s Channel 2.
In the skit, showing an average day in the home of a family in Judea and Samaria, the mother is using a Palestinian - down on all fours - as an ironing board; the daughter, when refused permission by her mother to go a party, and denied money from her father, has a tantrum and calls her parents and her brother Nazis. Meanwhile, a trigger-happy grandfather with an American accent shoots his rifle indiscriminately, first hitting the Arab/ironing board and then a soldier who has come to the door - which has been booby-trapped with a bucket of acid.
So, yes, I do believe a ‘Hebrew speaker, yarmulke wearing, bulldozer operator who can’t seem to destroy the right house or olive grove and would rather be playing Guitar Hero’ doesn’t seem so entirely out of line here and would probably be quite popular. Of course, in Israeli satire, one would characterize such a character as a ‘Kippah wearing, Jewish settler bulldozer operator, who can’t seem to destroy the right house or olive grove and would rather be playing Halo 3 or Gears of War’.
I also found this quote from an old NY Times article (circa 2006) about Eretz Nehederet (translates to A Wonderful Country).
Although Palestinians do not seem to watch the show in significant numbers, at least one prominent Palestinian figure has been tuning in. Zakariya Zubeidi, a Palestinian militant leader who was, until recently, on Israel's most-wanted list, told the Israeli newspaper Maariv last February that the show made him laugh. "I hear they want to make me into a character; if they do I will end the cease-fire," he said, jokingly referring to an agreement by Palestinian militant groups at the time to suspend attacks on Israelis.
StageLeft writes here in the comments – “The fact that it is satire does not negate the fact that it is anti-Arab propaganda.
Oh, please - give me a fracking break. This is not the satirization of the Arab world with a message of anti-Arabism but satirization of Palestinian ‘miltant’ culture and the mocking of which it soo richly deserves. Who knew StageLeft would be attempting to create a scared cow out of the culture of Al Aqsa Martyrs/Hamas/Islamic Jihad?
Let’s roll to Episode 2.
Here we have a fat, pimply-faced Jewish boy with glasses who shakes, begs on his knees, all the while - whining to be released to go home to play Guitar Hero. Not exactly a shining and stellar example of Jewish manhood. Does this characterization make it Jewish satire or Jewish propaganda? And if its propaganda, what is the point of the fat pimply nerdy whiny Jewish boy? And if, this is merely allegedly ‘anti-Arab’ propaganda what is the point of Ahmed & Salim becoming friends with the fat nerdie Jewish boy and what should we make of Ahmed & Salim wanting to keep in touch with him via Facebook?
Stageleft, take a leaf out of Israeli pop culture and loose the dire pc glumness which seems to infect and poisons almost every single thing you write about Israeli Jews. Better yet, learn something about the ethos of Israeli Jewish culture before you indict first.
But what would I know? I am merely the ‘anti-Arab’ bigot in StageLeft's world.