Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Last Sacred Cow or the Defense of Palestinian Militant Culture

My Ahmed & Salim cartoon has made the Sunday Morning Satire post at Stageleft and much like the United Arab Emirates, Ahmed and Salim has apparently struck some kind of sore spot with Stageleft. I tried to respond directly there but my comment is obviously lost in some kind of progressive moderation zone. It will probably show up later but I am impatient.

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.

6 comments:

Balbulican said...

Forgive for defiling your comments page with my presence, but Stageleft is on a bus at the moment. This is his coblogger.

a) Your comment was routed to moderation because it contained multiple links, not because of its content.

b) You comment 'StageLeft seems to be under the delusion Israelis do not savage themselves in the same way they do everyone else.'

You are mistaken. Stageleft commented on A cartoon. Not ALL cartoons or Israeli humour. Two specific cartoons.

Thanks.

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Balbulican, sorry you feel it’s a defilement to show up in my comments – It must be my a case of my Jew-do. Eventually everyone around me finds themselves corrupted or so I am reminded regularly.

Remember scathing personal attacks against me are allowed but only for their snark/humour value.

1) I did suggest my comment would eventually show up in the post but I was ‘impatient’ hence my post.

2) No, I believe you are mistaken. Stageleft specifically stated here - http://thelastamazon.blogspot.com/2009/03/banned-in-united-arab-emirates.html

Sure it's satire, in much the same way that a cartoon about a Hebrew speaking bulldozer operator wearing a yarmulke, who can't seem to destroy the right houses, or the right olive grove, and would rather be playing Guitar Hero anyway, is satire. Would you, or others, consider that particular cartoon to be propaganda or satire?

I said, not only was his example satire but it fit right in with popular Israeli satire and gave examples of Israelis savaging their own in a way which fit in using SL’s own example. SL is contending these two cartoons are anti-Arab propaganda. Obviously, I disagree with both the propaganda and the ‘anti-Arab’ bits.

Furthermore, I believe if these cartoons were made by say…the creators of South Park or even Egyptian or Saudi cartoonists - would we even be debating the whole satire/propaganda ‘anti-Arab’ issue?

I think not, and it is only because Israeli-Jews had the tenacity and gall to mock the sacred culture of Palestinian militantism this has become an issue. But I am the bigot for not dissimulating both the ‘anti-Arabism’ and the ‘propaganda’ value of these satirical cartoons.

Its probably a case of my inner Jew blinding me to the obvious light but my question to you specifically is - do you believe SNL or South Park is satire or propaganda? And if not propaganda -why not.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't respond to you either as the jew cooties are easy to catch

Balbulican said...

The reference to defilement was a comment on your deletion of a comment I made, quoting John McCain. Still don't quite understand what went on there, but no problem - your blog, your rules, and I don't intrude where unwelcome. I am responding here to a direct query of yours.

"Its probably a case of my inner Jew blinding me to the obvious light but my question to you specifically is - do you believe SNL or South Park is satire or propaganda? And if not propaganda -why not."

As I noted in the discussion at Stageleft, South Park is an "equal opportunity" mocker - no group is immune from mockery.

Balbulican said...

May I also respectfully direct your attention to two points, made elsewhere in the discussion:

a) The terms "satire" and "propaganda" are not, and have never been, mutually incompatible: and,

b) I thought it was funny.

beachnut said...

Wow, Kateland...even my jaw dropped at these cartoons.
But thank-you for posting them.
Too bad the arab world can't laugh along. No sense of humor, those guys.
On a positive note, now you're a cootie-pie!
You lucky blogger, you.