Curb your racism

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I’ve watched every episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm I could get hold of, and the clip from this Season 8 episode has left me grim-faced and angry. Larry David and Jeff enthusiastically check-out a (fictional) L.A. Palestinian restaurant, ‘Al-Abbas’, famed for its chicken, and whilst praising the cuisine they set about insulting the people. Scanning a poster with the words, Freedom for Palestine,  Jeff concludes “yeah, they do not like the Jews”, and as the men perv over a glamorous woman assumed to be Palestinian, Jeff remarks that “if by some chance she’s going to get over her anti-Semitism” she won’t sleep with Larry anyway. Larry’s retort is that desiring someone “who doesn’t even acknowledge your right to exist, wants your destruction” is a turn-on.

Hilarious. Offensive. Laughable.

Larry David’s right to exist in his homeland, America, seems ‘pretty, pretty’ secure. Slandering all Palestinians as anti-Semitic on an irreverent and popular TV show like this is a new low, and is an example of cultural and ethnic arrogance; it is no joke to imply that the Palestinian people’s ongoing struggle for justice poses an existential threat to privileged, Jewish men. Antony Loewenstein’s comment on the clip: “Is it possible for even liberal Jews on mainstream American TV to not frame Arabs and Palestinians as all anti-Semites? Apparently not”. Meanwhile, Haaretz is grinning like a fool at Larry’s joke that this is best place for Jews to cheat on their wives – since they would never be seen. If you side with the oppressor, you won’t be seen dead in the company of the oppressed. 

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