feeling more hate in Jerusalem

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 28 Comments

Clayton Swisher of AlJazeera English in West Jerusalem, channeling the same vibe that Max Blumenthal got to. Nobody drinking, but one guy says he would kill Obama, and a few others say he’s an Arab or a Muslim. Oh, and two say he doesn’t understand "the Arab mentality."

This is Israel today. Scary place. Can it change? Yes. Will have to.

28 Responses

  1. Mooser
    September 21, 2009, 10:42 am

    “Can it change? Yes.”

    You are a Zionist at heart, Phil. You couldn’t live if you weren’t.

    • Citizen
      September 22, 2009, 6:39 am

      What do you mean here, Mooser? Do you think Phil couldn’t live with a single
      state where Jews are outnumbered as equal rights voters? I think he’s conveyed the contrary opinion at time. Or, what?

  2. marc b.
    September 21, 2009, 10:53 am

    I just can’t square the commentary with my American sensibilities. Was that really ‘cool’ guy with the baseball cap and dreadlocks threatening to kill the US President because he is black? Jeez, but I thought that really ‘cool’ guys who wear baseball caps and sport dreadlocks are sensitive, progressive, thoughtful, peaceful (to borrow from Witty’s adjectival bag of rhetorical tricks). And the beautiful young stylish Israeli woman hates him because of his name? This image partly fits into my preconceptions (ie. physical beautiful is a symbol of narcissism and stupidity), but aren’t women inherently pacifists? This is all so confusing, I have to sit down.

    • potsherd
      September 21, 2009, 11:02 am

      You could feel the same hate in just about any city in the US today. This is an American phenomenon, not an Israeli, although perhaps in Israel people are more free to express their racism.

      • Citizen
        September 22, 2009, 6:49 am

        True, in the USA ethnic haters must speak in code (on all sides) in public, but how do you conclude from that “the same hate” is a prior an American phenomenon? And, our you lumping in all Americans or merely comparing American Jews with Israeli
        Jews? This clip’s short interviews took place in a main Jerusalem shopping area, not in an Israeli settlement compound akin in mentality to a neoNazi compound in some rural area out in the USA west. Please clarify what you mean. Thanks.

      • marc b.
        September 22, 2009, 11:09 am

        Yes, please explain. Are you arguing that ‘racism exists everywhere’, so, in effect, racism, particularly in Israel, is an irrelevant concern? This is a kissing cousin of the argument that Israeli colonialism isn’t so bad when compared with the colonial project in North America. Both arguments are equally specious.

        The point of my snarky comment is that people (i.e. Americans/Europeans) often incorrectly assume that a ‘Starbucks’ franchise in Tel Aviv is an indicator of shared values. Or that a youth in dreadlocks necessarily eats granola and hugs trees. Maybe this pr#ck does those things, when he is not threatening the life of a sitting head of state. I don’t know.

      • potsherd
        September 22, 2009, 1:15 pm

        I mean the same level of hate, like the racist hate directed towards Obama. In a climate of hate, all forms of hate flourish. I don’t believe it’s something the US can blame on Israel – if Israel had never existed, the US would still be full of haters and racists.

      • Citizen
        September 22, 2009, 1:25 pm

        I doubt if you went into any USA city area comparable to that shopping district in Jerusalem you would find such such sequential ethnic hate at each thrust of a public microphone in any random passerby’s face.

      • marc b.
        September 22, 2009, 2:26 pm

        That’s not very helpful. The video isn’t an investigation into the state of racism in America, or racism as an historical phenomenon. The purpose of the investigation, or at least as I see it, is to unmask an ugly part of Israeli society that is dressed up as violin-playing, button-down shirt wearing quaint geriatrics, and ‘Old Navy’ baseball-capped youth. Palestinians burning an effigy of George Bush is evidence of Palestinian irrationality and hatred, but these nuts are just, ho hum, suggesting that the assassination of the schvartze Obama might not be such a bad thing for Israel. He is, after all, a Muslim you know. Try a thought experiment, like the article suggests: Arab-Americans advocating the assassination of Lieberman or Netanyahu, because they are, afterall, Jews. Sounds pretty vile to me.

  3. Tuyzentfloot
    September 21, 2009, 11:29 am

    The drinking excuse is a red herring, but the buddies excuse is a bit more complicated. People will say different things on the street than in private, especially if they’re with buddies. When I saw the Wiesenthal clips I felt a lot of conformism.

    Felt it in my gut! I’d make a good president probably.

  4. bob
    September 21, 2009, 11:45 am

    I bet the people trying to dismiss Blumenthal’s first video as “non representative” wish they had thought it through.

    Maybe they’re hoping that the lack of coverage of this issue will help it blow by.

  5. jawad
    September 21, 2009, 12:36 pm

    “Mr Goldstone’s daughter, Nicole, who lived in Israel for many years but now lives in Canada, vigorously defended her father’s report in an interview on the army radio. “If it hadn’t been for him, the report would have been even harsher,” she said, speaking in Hebrew.”

    Economist via Angry Arab
    link to economist.com

    • Citizen
      September 22, 2009, 6:52 am

      I bet Nicole is speaking the truth; the report renders a boat load of facts, but
      it’s narrative thread and conclusion slips the obvious, the heavy weight tilted
      one way by that boatload of facts.

  6. David
    September 21, 2009, 12:39 pm

    I like that Obama is an Arab, but doesn’t understand the Arab mentality.

    Racism can be so confusing sometimes…

    • James
      September 21, 2009, 12:50 pm

      they have a name for it when it involves the jews and israel…. a self hating jew is the term i believe….

  7. MRW
    September 21, 2009, 12:39 pm

    Let’s see if they can drive this video off YouTube as they did Max’s.

    N.B. For any of you who want to download videos like Max’s or this one, use the free service at zamzar.com to convert any YouTube (or other) video in a wealth of file types for viewing on your own computer. MP4 is the best universal one. Zamzar converts it for you, and sends the download link to your inbox.

  8. Mooser
    September 21, 2009, 4:32 pm

    At any rate, it seem that Witty and Weiss agree! Gentle sausion will “change” the Israelis. ‘Splain it to them, Phil!

    • Donald
      September 21, 2009, 4:48 pm

      Well, they disagree on how much change is needed. Witty downplays almost every crime the Israelis commit.

      Phil doesn’t do that.

      • tree
        September 21, 2009, 5:06 pm

        I remember watching some morning news show about ten years ago or so. On one show segment they had on one of the first black women who had integrated a southern school in the 50’s. They also had on a white woman who had, as a teenager, been photographed spitting on this woman in a famous photograph. The white woman, who had previously apologized to the black woman in private, was on national TV in order to sincerely apologize for her much earlier behavior.

        Is change possible? Yes. But gentle moral suasion alone will not do it. Bad behaviors have to be confronted and opposed. If the black woman had waited until there was no opposition to integration then there would still be legal racial segregation in the US. That is why Witty’s call for gentle suasion is a fantasy that allows Israel to continue its racist ways. Witty is a co-dependent of Israel.

      • tree
        September 21, 2009, 5:11 pm

        Phil, on the other hand, sees the need for the moral confrontation and opposition. That’s one major difference between the two. Another big difference is that Phil is not afraid to self-question his own assumptions and biases. Witty is trapped by his, and is either incapable or unwilling to recognize, let alone confront, his biases.

      • pineywoodslim
        September 21, 2009, 7:27 pm

        Tree, one thing about the American experience with segregation that differs from the Israeli version is that in the US there were some traditional and historical philosophical/political underpinnings to the concept of equality for all citizens.

        And, yes, I know those ideals were generally honored in the breach, but they were still there lurking in the recesses of most folks’ consciences.

        So, I suspect that it is far easier for most Americans to eventually accept those ideals of universal equality in practice, than it will ever be for Israelis, whose state was founded on a far different basis.

      • Citizen
        September 22, 2009, 7:22 am

        You’re onto something, tree. Israel has all the trappings and moral/ethical code words of the west but that’s all–ironically, the obvious abberation from the general
        western civilization trend was Nazi Germany in that it turned to social Darwinism and
        a mythological ethnic past to exempt itself, as has Israel, an Israel who identifies with the West and yet equally feels justificed in standing apart from western civilization’s
        most honored values. Although not of equal moral historical weight, Weimar Germany really got an unfair shaft in 1918; the Shoah was much worse, supporting
        the present Israeli mentality. If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I?

      • DICKERSON3870
        September 23, 2009, 3:29 am

        RE: “one thing about the American experience with segregation that differs from the Israeli version is that in the US there were some traditional and historical philosophical/political underpinnings to the concept of equality for all citizens”

        MY COMMENT: Yes, whereas Israel has not yet even adopted a constitution!

    • Citizen
      September 22, 2009, 1:30 pm

      Mooser, it’s true that gentle sausion will not change the average man or woman in the street; nor will it change the elite idealogues with ivy league credentials. I’d just like to see the MSM in the USA give a more balanced portrait of what we are enabling in the Middle East at great cost to us.

  9. Kathleen
    September 21, 2009, 8:45 pm

    Yes some of the attitudes are very ‘scary”

  10. Todd
    September 22, 2009, 12:14 pm

    NPR/PBS can’t cover Israeli bigotry and racism in its countless broadcasts from Israel, yet it scoured America during the last presidential election to find and report on the few people dumb enough to offer a negative opinion about Oabam to someone with a microphone, recorder or camera. Why doesn’t that surpirse me?

    • MRW
      September 22, 2009, 3:43 pm

      NPR, PBS, and now HuffPo, are the grand practitioners of red-herring-journalism when it comes to bigotry and racism.

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