Gay porn mogul unveils pinkwashing documentary

The decision last week by the New York LGBT center to lift a ban on all Israel-related events, clearing the way for Sarah Schulman to present her book that is highly critical of the Jewish state, ends a two-year period in which the center deferred to the wishes of outspoken porn mogul Michael Lucas. Lucas has now stated that he wants others to boycott the center, but in the meantime he’s been busy promoting the Israeli brand. 

Earlier this month Lucas, who is known for anti-Muslim views, premiered Israel Undressed: Gay Men in the Promised Land, a documentary about Israel as the Middle East’s only tolerant, gay-friendly society.

Michael Lucas portrait shot
Michael Lucas. (Photo: Lucas Entertainment)

“Is homosexuality legal in Israel?” asks the trailer for Israel Undressed. The film features a member of Knesset, an “Arab-Israeli journalist,” a set of parents, a drag queen and a soldier (all gay men who present as upper-middle class). Each pundit dispels a misconception about Israel, mostly rebuffing the notion that the country is dangerous at all times—everywhere, for everyone. “People think that Israel is at constant war—that I go out of my house with a helmet.”

Israel Undressed‘s trailer also winks at Lucas’s known detestation of religious Jews. “People think… that it’s not ok to be gay here because of all of the religious,” says the drag queen as she fixes the hem of her dress.

The porn mogul called the religious “parasites” and worse in a 2007 op-ed for the New York Gay Blade:

There can be no doubt that these religious goons are the anal warts on the body of Israeli society. Their main activities are praying and breeding. For those huge accomplishments, they are excused from serving in the Israeli Defense Forces and are given welfare by the government, so that they never have to rest from praying and breeding to work like everyone else.

They are a small percentage of the society, but if somebody doesn’t stop the vermin from breeding full-time, there’s no telling what could happen in the future.

men of israel
Men of Israel. (Photo: Lucas Entertainment)

Born in Moscow in 1972, Lucas studied law and then began working as a model and prostitute. Today he is is renowned as a “porn king,” because he produces and often stars in big-budgeted adult films made by his company Lucas Entertainment. His magnum opus, Michael Lucas’s La Dolce Vita, cost $250,000, making it the highest-priced adult film in history, according to Lucas.

As a filmmaker Lucas branded himself a pro-Israel ambassador during the war with Lebanon when he organized a USO style live-sex show in Tel Aviv with free admission for soldiers. Then in 2009 he made Men of Israel, an adult film with scenes shot in Nakba ruins, or homes once belonging to Palestinians. In 2011 Lucas went on the offensive by spearheading a campaign to cancel an Israeli Apartheid Week event planned at the New York City LGBT Center. Lucas decried the organizers of the “Party to End Apartheid” as a “hate group,” comparing them to Fred Phelps, leader of the Westboro Baptist Church who is known for picketing funerals of U.S. soldiers with colorful sings that read: God Hates Fags.  Leveraging his celebrity Lucas also avowed if the center did not cancel the event he would rally donors to stop contributions.  The community center cowered, placing a moratorium on all Israel related events. Without notice the ban was lifted last week.

In less salacious advocacy Lucas is a regular contributor to mainstream LGBTQ publications. His anti-Muslim sentiments are underscored by the blog Queerty in 2010 in which Lucas states point-blank “I hate Muslims”:

I hate Muslims, absolutely. It’s a horrible, horrible religion. It’s a plague. People ignore me the way they ignore Rush Limbaugh because he’s a drug addict. Michael Lucas is just a porn star. People take time to call me irrelevant. They write three detailed pages on a blog about my irrelevance. … There are moments in life when silence is your fault and truth is your responsibility. The religion, the institution, the system of Islam — they are as talented and creative and passionate as anyone else. But they’re stuck in a horrible lie, brainwashed from birth to death. And now they have been stuck in time since the 7th century. They have not contributed to civilization in any way, in any field — political thought, science, music, architecture, nothing for century after century. What do they produce? Carpets. That’s how they should travel because that’s the only way they travel without killing people.

Lucas gave an earlier tirade against Muslims when speaking at Stanford University in 2008: “I have a problem with people separating terrorists from the world that breeds them, from the world that originates them, which is the world of Islam.” Lucas later defended his position in a campus newspaper op-ed:

Speaking of racism in relation to religion, not to a race, is a big disservice to language and to intelligence. I never in my life said or wrote a bad word about Arabs — go read any of my articles. My criticism was always addressed towards the religion and ideology of Islam. So I would like to ask Stanford students not to exploit the word ‘racism’ at their own convenience.

His outbursts have gained national attention. Both the Forward and the New Republic covered the story. Yet for the moment Lucas has only received praise for his documentary, with one exception from Queerty:

Both Lucas and Mozer [co-producer and director] have been accused of pinkwashing—promoting Israel’s gay-rights record in order to downplay human-rights abuses against Palestinians. Whether or not Undressing Israel will draw similar criticism will have to wait until the film premieres at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival in February.

In terms of the film’s basic premise, it is certainly true that same-sex unions are legal in Israel, along with rights for non-biological parents, and benefits for same-sex spouses. But the trailer plays like a commercial for Tel Aviv’s gay nightlife and Israel in general, rather than a meaningful look into the lives of LGBT people, or the occupation.

Even Israel’s own public relations machine paints a more complicated visual of homophobia in the Jewish state. “There’s no dearth of cases where soldiers complained about sexual harassment regarding their sexual orientation,” wrote the then closeted Cpl. Ido in a coming-out post for the IDF’s official blog. “The offenders were punished,” continued Ido. But cracking down against bigotry hardly renders homophobia a inconsequential issue, underscored by the fact that the soldier readily described homophobia in the army:

Even today ‘gay’ is used as a derogative by many people, mostly teens. Commanders are well-briefed about the proper use of language and take care not to use it in an insulting way. Somtimes it helps, sometimes not so much. But at least in the army being inoffensive is an order people have to follow, even the homophobes. [sic]

From viewing the trailer, the film appears inescapably polemical, intended to shift the outside world’s stereotypes of Israel, namely in America. The lack of depth into the gay experience and the white elephant of Israel’s occupation produce a synthetic tone. In that respect even though Lucas embarked on a genre known to be more true to life, the superficiality of his work renders it not unlike the rest of his work — pro-Israel pornography.

About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.
Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, Israel/Palestine, Media, US Politics

{ 115 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. allison, it must have made your skin crawl writing about this character. yuk!

    • sardelapasti says:

      makes your skin crawl… no more than with any other Zionist. Unfortunately no worse than its so nice leaders and its liberals.

    • goldmarx says:

      Why does THIS person make the skin crawl? Because he’s a handsome guy who might even arouse you, thereby diminishing your commitment to the BDS movement?

      • Because he’s a handsome guy who might even arouse you, thereby diminishing your commitment to the BDS movement?

        ahh, not really. i am probably to blame for opening the door on that thought tho. the revulsion is personal, i guess explicit self adoration is not a quality i find attractive. it’s not his looks, it’s his expression. and there’s something about bigotry i find particularly unsexy/repulsive. but that’s just me, to each his own.

      • Woody Tanaka says:

        “Why does THIS person make the skin crawl? ”

        He makes pornography on the ruins of the homes of people who were ethnically cleansed 70 years ago. That doesn’t make YOUR skin crawl??

      • Ellen says:

        Hate speech is horrifying, repulsive . I hate Muslims, absolutely. It’s a horrible, horrible religion. It’s a plague. ..the world that breeds them.

        Very sad that the New York LGBT center cowered to a hate monger.

      • sardelapasti says:

        goldmark – “Because he’s a handsome guy who might even arouse you… ”
        Annie is always so patient and softspoken. Even with you –judging of course from what you wrote– the … who gets it up watching “Ilse, the beast of the Stalag”

        • Annie is always so patient and softspoken.

          not really.

          the real me sometimes has to remind myself on occasion, i am on staff. so i can’t fully let loose at certain times when it might feel preferable. but in person, i don’t think any of my friends would describe me as softspoken (ever), and patience is definitely not one of my virtues. but thanks for the compliment!

      • kalithea says:

        Personally, as a male specimen he’s not my type at all; and I’m definitely not attracted to men who have EGO tattoed on their forehead. But I suppose there’s a market for individuals in love with their reflection. But here’s the thing that I find really ugly about him: hypocrisy.

        Wait for it…under the Zionist regime, GAYS HAVE MORE RIGHTS THAN PALESTINIANS.

      • American says:

        goldmarx says:
        February 19, 2013 at 11:37 am
        + Show content
        Why does THIS person make the skin crawl? Because he’s a handsome guy who might even arouse you, thereby diminishing your commitment to the BDS movement?>>>>

        Yuck, that’s a sick remark.

  2. bangpound says:

    One of the subjects of Lucas’s documentary is Eliad Cohen who is a minor international gay celebrity and model who was a face of “Arisa” club night in Tel Aviv. “Arisa” was funded by the Israeli foreign ministry in 2011 on a tour of Brazil. I wrote it up at the Electronic Intifada.

    What I found notable about Cohen’s contribution to Arisa club’s marketing is the explicit and implied violence against women for the purposes of amusement.

    This is important because Cohen’s appearance in this documentary and his history of state-sponsored pinkwashing advocacy suggests there’s more to the documentary’s production than meets the eye.

    Also worth considering is that Michael Lucas is a US citizen who went to Israel and hired actors to make a pornographic film. I wonder how he arranged this with the state!

    • Thanks for sharing Ben. I had no idea about Arisa and the Brazil tour.

    • goldmarx says:

      I checked the link to The Electronic Intifada, and there were no women in Cohen’s video, but rather a “feminized Orientalist” caricature. But clearly, a man on the receiving end of the violence. I don’t see how that qualifies as ‘violence against women’, especially since the audience is openly gay men, who are not known to be perpetrators of domestic or intimate violence against women.

      If Lucas arranged with the state to make “The Men of Israel”, it means that Israeli society, and to a certain extent, its governments, are not prudes on some issues, and that’s a good thing. By contrast, apartheid South Africa banned porn completely, and Israel is more progressive on this and on LGBTQ-related issues than even the US (let alone the old South Africa). And THAT is a big reason why it’s much tougher to get support for BDS against Israel, because South Africa was the defining standard of evil for progressives after World War II.

      • Woody Tanaka says:

        “If Lucas arranged with the state to make “The Men of Israel”, it means that Israeli society, and to a certain extent, its governments, are not prudes on some issues, and that’s a good thing.”

        Not necessarily. It depends on motive.

      • Woody Tanaka says:

        “I checked the link to The Electronic Intifada, and there were no women in Cohen’s video, but rather a ‘feminized Orientalist’ caricature. But clearly, a man on the receiving end of the violence. I don’t see how that qualifies as ‘violence against women’,”

        If a white man dressed in blackface was abused for entertainment, would you not see how it would constitute explicit and implied violence against black people?

      • Ellen says:

        So production and consumption of films on violence against others, and especially violence against a “feminized Orientalist” for arousal is characteristic of an oh so progressive and healthy society, one we are are assured its “its governments, are not prudes”

      • sardelapasti says:

        goldmark – ” apartheid South Africa banned porn completely, and Israel is more progressive on this and on LGBTQ-related issues”

        Between the dumb prostitute, the state who peddles him for PR, and the propaganda drudge who exalts his work as a highly valuable and “progressive” endeavor, which one is the whore?

  3. Sumud says:

    They have not contributed to civilization in any way, in any field — political thought, science, music, architecture, nothing for century after century.

    Lucas reveals himself as an ignorant dullard with a comment like this. With duckface.

    • aiman says:

      This guy sounds as ignorant as Frank Miller. The civilisation of Islam produced the highest number of polymaths in the shortest time span ever in human history and the highest number of polymaths in general. Look up Ibn Rushd, AlBeruni, Ibn Sina, Ibn Khaldun…they are unheard of but talking facts each of these men intellectually weighed more than Voltaire, Freud and Spinoza combined.

  4. eGuard says:

    We should write “Jewish state” in quotes, allways. It is not a serious thing,.

  5. asherpat says:

    “rather than a meaningful look into the lives of LGBT people, or the occupation”

    Allison, what is the connection between lives of LGBT and the O-word? How is the freedom (even if not perfect, but where is it perfect?) of LGBT in Israel related to occupation? Is there anything not evil about Israel that isn’s some kind of “washing”?

    BTW, Alison, since you seem to be staying in the belly of the beast – do you have enough professional courage to write about the good things of Israel (which are NOT some kind of “washing”, or not coming on account of Arabs? Or is it always a knee-jerk reaction “Israel-evil” “evil-Israel”?

    • what is the connection between lives of LGBT and the O-word?

      why don’t you ask the foreign ministry, because they seem to be using the (male) gay community in an attempt to obscure the occupation.

      BTW, Alison, since you seem to be staying in the belly of the beast – do you have enough professional courage to write about the good things of Israel

      courage? is that what you call it? 100 million dollars a year are invested in glamorizing the belly of the beast, certainly you don’t need allison, or MW to partner up. although i’m sure you’d love it. btw, doing what you do, advocating for israel..is that your idea of courage?

      how about you show some courage and tell the truth.

      • asherpat says:

        @Annie,

        “100 million dollars a year are invested in glamorizing the belly of the beast” ‘cos every country does it, now much does your country invests in glamorising itself?

        Is it that EVERYTHING about Israel (exception to non-Jews and the “corageous” loony left) is “bad”? Perhaps MW’s resident correspondent (I guess that this is what Allison is), can write something about A positive aspect? One thing is sure, that post will have the highest number of replies ever in MW history!

        • every country does it, now much does your country invests in glamorising itself?

          really? every country spends $14 dollars per person on pr? hmm. that would average out to over 4 billion dollars for the US. i don’t think that’s in our federal budget.

        • asherpat says:

          @Annie,

          “PR spend per person” is not relevant in this case, rather, the size of the intended target.

          But if you want comparison in figures, the Emirate of Qatar pays 30 million euros per season to a single PR channel – the Barcelona Football Club. At less than 2m people in Qatar, this results in about $20 per person, on one channel only!

          So $14 per person is not crazy, is it?

        • Kathleen says:

          “investing in glamorizing itself” One thing I have been noticing in Ohio and Colorado lots of Art museums doing shows on the Holocaust. Most of us have noticed how NPR does quite a few feel good about Israel programs. Or never forget the Holocaust programs.

          Just finished a weekend at the Boulder film festival which has only been going on for 9 years. Not one film on the Palestinians plight yet two films on the Holocaust. Going to dig into their 9 years of archives (hope I can access) and see if their board/screeners have ever allowed any films about the I/P issue through. When I last lived here for any length of time back in the 70′s the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center formed while many of us were working on shutting down Rocky Flats. RMPJC is still here and have talked with some of the folks who were there now and they have said that any time they really take the Palestinian Solidarity issue up here in this town they get slammed by the local Jewish community. So many ways this important issue has been shut down over the decades as well as how Israel has been promoted over the decades in the US

        • if you want comparison in figures, the Emirate of Qatar pays 30 million euros per season to a single PR channel – the Barcelona Football Club.

          i had no idea qatar spent 40 million a year promoting qatar’s image on this one station. could you provide us with some supporting links please?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “i had no idea qatar spent 40 million a year promoting qatar’s image on this one station. could you provide us with some supporting links please?”

          They don’t annie. asherpat is lying. Qatar Airlines is Barca’s shirt sponser. It’s advertising for the airline, not PR for the country. (And at only $38 mil./year to appear on the shirts of one of the premier football/soccer clubs in the world, with arguably the greatest living player, it’s a cheap deal.)

        • asherpat says:

          @Woody, I am not lying. The correct information is not that Qatar Airlines sponsors Barca, but rather Qatar Foundation. @Annie, you can find it here “FC Barcelona Has a New Sponsor: The Qatar Foundation” link to barcelona.theoffside.com .

          So now, when we are clear who is lying, don’t change subject, Woody, greatest player or not, it is still $20 v $14. And anyone opening CNN Int’l, Bloomber TV or BBC World NEws knows that the biggest spenders are Arab sovereign funds (eg Quwait Fund, Qatar Foundation etc). Not always Israel is the devil.

        • Ellen says:

          asherpat, One might not like the ability of sovereign funds or foundations to sponsor a sports team, buy interests in sporting equipment, etc, but heck….that is what they do! They make investments. And sports are a part of it.

          Rather that that investing in fear and militarization.

          It is an investment that makes all the sense in the world in light of the upcoming 2022 world cup in Qatar.

          As Israel squanders its resources on the sword, enriching a few families and building settlements for bible stories, Qatar is pouring billions and billions into an infrastructure for far into the future. The world cup is just a part of it and intended as a catalyst, right or wrong.

          As we get closer to 2022, there will be greater pressure to discredit anything related to Qatar.

          This like this:

          link to dailymail.co.uk

          So as Israel puts money into showing the world how gay and “free” and pink it is, in spite of the militarization of its society, places like Qatar are at least attempting to break out of the ghetto mentality.

          Sports is just one thing. Billions are now going into a medical center concentrating on women’s health issues of the developing world. This will give much more contribution to their society and that of the world than so called “start up nation” military economy.

          link to qf.com.qa

          This, too, is a Qatar Foundation initiative. What is wrong with it?

        • chinese box says:

          @Kathleen

          Or go to the Newseum in DC, where the I/P conflict, one of the biggest news stories for decades, is barely featured, almost as if it doesn’t exist. Why is that?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “@Woody, I am not lying.”

          Okay. Perhaps you’re merely ignorant. Which is it?

          “The correct information is not that Qatar Airlines sponsors Barca, but rather Qatar Foundation.”

          False. The contract signed in 2010 planned for the sponsorship to switch from the Qatar Foundation to another entity (i.e., Qatar Airlines) because Barcelona is heavily in debt and needed a high paying shirt sponsor but was, in 2010, when the contract was signed, heir to a tradition of having no commercial entities as shirt sponsors. Presumably having a non-profit sponsor for the first two years was seen as a way of gracefully entering the world of 21C sport, rather than going from UNICEF to a flag carrier.

          “it is still $20 v $14.”

          You’re comparing apples to oranges. israel’s PR efforts are PR efforts for the apartheid state. Qatar Airlines’ sponsorship is advertising for an airline, in a manner typical for flag carriers and European football. (See, e.g., Emirates / Arsenal ; Etihad / Man City, etc.)

        • asherpat says:

          @Woody, “gracefully” or not, Barca was wearing “Qatar Foundation” logo when they lost to Milan yesterday. I am not lying, and last time since I checked, Qatar Airlines was fully owned by the Emirate, so part of the state.

          And we were not discussing whether Israel is or isnt “appartheid state”, so please don’t “knee-jerk” into smears and divert the discussion from the issue of my original email – that Israel’s expenditures on PR are not excessive comparatively, apartheid or not.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “Allison, what is the connection between lives of LGBT and the O-word? How is the freedom (even if not perfect, but where is it perfect?) of LGBT in Israel related to occupation?”

      You really are tone deaf, aren’t you. Tell me, if Nazi Germany had granted LGBT people all the freedom in the world, and gave them $1M Reich Marks in benefits per year, would you have said, “Well, sure, the Nazis murdering Jews by the millions, but the lives of LGBT have never been better!!” Or do you get that freedom for one set of people does not ameliorate the oppression of another??

      • goldmarx says:

        That’s a good question. But progressives are used to having all their ducks lined up in a row. Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa had no redeeming features – they were reactionary on every major issue, so motivation for BDS then was easy. There was moral clarity.

        When someone who oppresses with one hand liberates with the other, such clarity is absent. Historically, leftists were in a quandary about the Communist bloc precisely for that reason. Democratic leftists found they could oppose Communism without denying the good deeds done by Communist forces (i.e., defeating Nazism).

        • but motivation for BDS is easy. There’s moral clarity. you can speak for yourself but don’t imagine there’s a mutual absence of moral clarity for everyone. that’s just silly-talk.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa had no redeeming features – they were reactionary on every major issue, so motivation for BDS then was easy.”

          I don’t know about South Africa, but there were some areas in which pre-war Nazi Germany had redeeming features for German workers in terms of social services and social safety net (albeing, some, in part because the previous alternative was the Great Depression). They weren’t much in the grand scheme of things, (and goes a ways toward explaining the high support the regime had during the war), they were not progressive, but they did exist.

        • sardelapasti says:

          “they were reactionary on every major issue”

          The Zionist entity is also reactionary on every major issue, too.
          Relative freedom for sexual preferences has nothing progressive about it. It was already the law of the land in Sparta, of all places. As for any and all Zionist homosexuals who let themselves be used by the *zi Propaganda Ministry, they may well get stoned by their own murderous religious fanatics.

        • goldmarx says:

          The social services and safety net were designed to “fatten up the lamb before the slaughter”, i.e. young Germans being drafted into the Wehrmacht to fight Stalin’s forces on the Russian front, the Allies, and elsewhere.

          You make Hitler sound like FDR, but what happened in the 1930s in Germany was no New Deal. It was a bribe, nothing more.

        • goldmarx says:

          “Relative freedom for sexual preferences has nothing progressive about it.”

          Really? So what was Stonewall all about? Perhaps some of those Mondoweiss staffers who live in San Francisco might want to weigh in on this matter…

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “The social services and safety net were designed to ‘fatten up the lamb before the slaughter’, i.e. young Germans being drafted into the Wehrmacht to fight Stalin’s forces on the Russian front, the Allies, and elsewhere.”

          Unhistorical nonsense. First, anyone who would suggest that Hitler of the early 1930s (or even through part of 1941) believed that there would be a need to bring “lambs to the slaughter” against the Soviets is a fool. (although he believed the fight against the French and British, then the Americans would be more difficult.)

          Second, the social services and social safety nets which the Nazis implimented were not limited to that demographic cohort, because Hitler had ideas and plans regarding the wholesale reconstruction of German (and world) society, in which the German people (at least, those who did not oppose his role and that of his party in his world view.)
          would be the beneficiaries. His was a sycretic ideology, to be sure, but there was ideology there. It is ignorant to think his was an exercise in vanity or bribery, although there was generous mixing of “self” and “Volk” in his psyche.

          “You make Hitler sound like FDR, but what happened in the 1930s in Germany was no New Deal.”

          No, I’m not making Hitler sound like FDR; I’m merely suggesting that Hitler addressed the social conditions in his country in 1933 and after. The fact that FDR did as well in his country simply reflects the fact that they both were the heads of state and head of government in their respective countries from 1933 into the 1940s. The similarities pretty much end there.

          “It was a bribe, nothing more.”

          You have no idea what you are talking about. Part of Hitler’s world view was the creation of a militarized polity, it is true, but that was one small part of what he envisioned for the German people and the world. For pete’s sakes, his was a nationalist/populist movement.

        • goldmarx says:

          You’re the ahistorical one. Hitler planned to attack the USSR from the beginning, as his attacks on “Judeo-Bolshevism” in Mein Kampf made clear, so yes, the social safety net was a bribe for the soldier-class and their families. Everyone else was slated for either extermination or slavery. (The wealthy, of course, did not need such nets for themselves)

          “For pete’s sakes, his was a nationalist/populist movement.” “For Pete’s sake”?? Do you not realize how emotional you sound, like you are defending Hitler? And for the record, his was a FASCIST movement, not a ‘nationalist/populist’ one. Hugo Chavez leads a nationalist/populist movement in Venezuela, for example.

          FDR’s New Deal came from the labor movement, which pressured him to adopt ideas earlier suggested by the US Socialist Party. Hitler sent the leaders of Germany’s labor movement to Dachau and Buchenwald.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “You’re the ahistorical one.”

          LOL. And I’m sure you tell Michael Phelps that he doesn’t swim all that well, too.

          “Hitler planned to attack the USSR from the beginning, as his attacks on ‘Judeo-Bolshevism’ in Mein Kampf made clear”

          I never said he didn’t. What I said was that he didn’t think that he would be leading “lambs to the slaughter.” (Or do you just not know what that phrase means but you use it anyway?) He believed that he could defeat the Soviet Union in an exceedingly short time, to the point that he sought to capture a couple million square kilos of European Russia, in an invasion started in summer, and didn’t provide the troops with winter clothing and developed no new weapon systems, not thinking any would be needed. He didn’t think that no German soldiers would be killed, but he did believe it would be a cakewalk. That’s the point.

          “so yes, the social safety net was a bribe for the soldier-class and their families.”

          No, you simply have no idea what you are talking about. He was reordering society on National Socialist principles, which included ideas about things what the members of a society of German people should be entitled as a result of their rights as Aryans. As I noted before, part of that was the creation of a society which promoted martial virtues, but if you believe that’s all it was, you are either ignorant or a fool.

          “Everyone else was slated for either extermination or slavery. (The wealthy, of course, did not need such nets for themselves)”

          Again, you have no idea what you are talking about. Certain non-Aryans, yes. Aryans and some others, no (in the short term, at least.)

          “‘For Pete’s sake’?? Do you not realize how emotional you sound, like you are defending Hitler?”

          I’m not defending Hitler, I’m exasperated at dealing with someone with a childish view of history, who doesn’t see this period as a group of humans who are acting out of human motivations, but as black-hat wearing cartoon villains.

          “And for the record, his was a FASCIST movement, not a ‘nationalist/populist’ one.”

          For the record, fascism is an authoritarian, nationalist/populist political movement. And for the record, Nazism was a syncretic völkisch movement, not a strictly fascist one. (Although I recognize the academic debate on whether it was a fascist movement, an extremist fascist movement, whether it was similar to fascism, etc. It’s a tiresome argument that I have little interest in because it’s nothing but box labeling. But if forced to discuss, it’s clear to me that it’s akin to, but no the same as, fascism, because where fascism exalts the nation, Nazism exalted what they viewed as the Aryan “Race.” Similar but not the same.)

          “Hugo Chavez leads a nationalist/populist movement in Venezuela, for example.”

          Yes. BFD. It’s not like nationalist/populists movements can only exist on the right rather than the left, or vice versa. Again, you have a cartoon-level view of things that does not serve you well.

          “FDR’s New Deal came from the labor movement, which pressured him to adopt ideas earlier suggested by the US Socialist Party. Hitler sent the leaders of Germany’s labor movement to Dachau and Buchenwald.”

          Yes, I know. Which is why your suggestion that I was somehow comparing the two was so very stupid of you.

        • woody, it’s the classic strawman flip. goldie inserts FDR into the mix and then lambasts you for it when you made no such comparison. only we’re supposed to forget that or not notice. and you failed in your role of falling for it and arguing in favor of the similarities he sees, which would make his job so much easier. there’s nothing new under the hasbara sun,just the same regurgitated tactics.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          You’re right, annie. Very transparent.

        • goldmarx says:

          I did not insert FDR into the mix. Woody did that when he used the phrase “social safety net”, which on the American Left is evocative of FDR’s New Deal.

        • goldie, here’s a wiki link on social safety net: link to en.wikipedia.org

          why don’t you scroll and tell us how many paragraphs down before some mention of FDR, it he’s even mentioned at all. i couldn’t find any reference to him on a cursory glance. and i’m part of the american left, you don’t speak for me. bottom line…you made the connection to FDR and claimed woody was comparing him to hitler and then started strawmaning away like a professional troll.

          why? let’s speculate hitler is a good way to distract from israel investing in islamophobic porn kings and the like to enhance their image. and act as gatekeepers in nyc’s LGBT community. reeks of desperation. pinkwashing is institutionalized within israel’s foreign ministry and your job is to defend it.. bummer!

        • goldmarx says:

          And of course, if it’s in Wikipedia, it must be true? Does everything Wikipedia says about Palestinians meet your approval?

          Speculation is a game two can play. Hmmm…let’s speculate that a faction of the BDS movement is trying to divert attention from Palestinian homophobia (and other social policy stances that mainstream leftists would consider appalling) by projecting onto Israel, acting as gatekeepers for Hamas. This faction’s job is made a bit more difficult than expected because another faction (let’s call it the Butlerites) think it’s important not to cover up the dark side of an oppressed group, because history shows that such coverups may work in the short term but backfire against said group in the long term.

          Bummer, indeed!

      • asherpat says:

        @Woody,

        your Nazi analogy is laughable. If the Nazis would do “good” things, I would still critisize the regime, but I wud not waste my time and the credibility of my intelligence on criticising them for the GOOD things that they do.

        • If the Nazis would do “good” things, I would still critisize the regime, but I wud not waste my time and the credibility of my intelligence on criticising them for the GOOD things that they do.

          really, you mean if nazis were pumping out attractive travel brochures of bavaria enhanced with half naked attractive men in nazi uniforms to lure tourists you’d be tempted to say some good things about them? in fact you’d consider yourself courageous for complimenting them? no mention of a pungent odor emanating from dachau’s crematorium wafting thru the air to ruin that holiday romance?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “your Nazi analogy is laughable. If the Nazis would do “good” things, I would still critisize the regime, but I wud not waste my time and the credibility of my intelligence on criticising them for the GOOD things that they do.”

          That makes no sense, asherpat. If they’re doing supposedly good things as a ruse to protect the evil they’re doing, you woudln’t point that out?? You’d fall for the ruse?

        • eljay says:

          Zio-supremacists are the people who want you to focus on the fact that the guy down the street provides extremely well for his family and is a winning hockey coach, and set aside the well-known fact that he frequently and brutally beats his wife and that he molests some of the young players he coaches.

          So, when the delivery truck drops off a brand-new, big-screen TV at his house, or when the local team wins another game, don’t waste your time and credibility of intelligence criticizing the GOOD things he does!

        • goldmarx says:

          Who’s talking about complimenting governments for their travel brochures? We’re talking about the legal and social status of gay people, not how some might be seen in advertising.

        • goldmarx says:

          Ah, but Israel’s porgressive stance on sexual minorities is not a ruse. The civil rights that the LGBTQ community enjoy in Israel came from their own struggle – it was not suddenly given to them on a silver platter because someone in the Hasbara Department came up with a nifty idea.

        • no, you’re talking about the legal and social status of gay people. allison’s post is very much about pinkwashing, and about how a porn king who’s branded himself a ‘pro-Israel ambassador’ is promoting brand israel.

        • struggle? they are funded by the state!

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “but Israel’s porgressive stance on sexual minorities is not a ruse.”

          But the use of that stance to suggest that isreal is a progressive state, rather than an ethno/religious-supremacist state, is a ruse. Just look at the astonishment born of ignorance that a few women were arrested at the Western Wall for attempting to exercise their freedom of religion. You could almost hear the subtext in the reports, “But how could israel do such a thing to these women? It’s a progressive country; see all the gay freedom in Tel Aviv.” To which one would respond, “no, it’s not. Not really.”

        • goldmarx says:

          “But the use of that stance to suggest that isreal is a progressive state, rather than an ethno/religious-supremacist state, is a ruse.”

          That’s better, but my point is that’s not what you said before. And, “socially liberal ethno/religious-supremacist state” would be a more accurate assessment.

        • goldmarx says:

          Annie, I was responding to a comment made in response to Allison’s post, a comment that appeared ignorant of the decades-long struggle for gay rights in Israel. Regardless of the original post, comments can take on a life of their own.

        • i’m perfectly aware of what you’ve been up to for the entire thread goldmarx, it’s as transparent as ever. and when you speak about what “we’re” talking about, i just wanted to point out “we’re” perfectly aware you’re diverting. it may interest you, that a report in hebrew about israel/US diplomacy in DC over the last week mentioned this one item absent from it’s english counterpart, from the google translation:
          link to nrg.co.il

          The main content dropped to emphasize national information request
          During his visit, the U.S. not to be broken down between the two countries. According to sources at the headquarters, one of the goals of the visit will be to turn the world’s attention to Israel’s positive achievements in various fields.

          so yap away all you want about ” the legal and social status of gay people.” but that status can’t wipe away the oppression of millions living under occupation. and that is what your diversion is about. if you have any concern for the legal and social status of people there are millions living in much worse conditions, hence the hypocricy of your faux concern is glaring.

        • goldmarx says:

          I never said that Israel’s progressive stance on LGBTQ issues wipes away the Occupation, any more than the official homophobia of Hamas does. And since I support the BDS movement, there is no need to conspiracy-monger about “diverting”.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “That’s better, but my point is that’s not what you said before.”

          Yes, it is. Your inability or unwillingness to understand is your own fault.

          “And, ‘socially liberal ethno/religious-supremacist state’ would be a more accurate assessment.”

          No, it wouldn’t. One cannot be “socially liberal” and be an “ethno-religious supremacist state.” What you’re saying is an oxymoron, no more coherent than “minority-friendly Ku Klux Klan meeting.” You might get away with, “ethno-religious supremacist state that doesn’t, at least officially, discriminate against gay people they way it does religious and ethnic minorities.”

        • Israel’s progressive stance on LGBTQ

          still humping the hasbara huh? zzzzzzzzzz
          conspiracy mongering about “diverting”? go read the hasbara handbook, they train people how to use diversion as a point scoring technique. of course you didn’t say ‘LGBTQ issues wipes away the Occupation’, because you’ve said nothing that indicates you even acknowledge pinkwashing. you don’t want to talk about that (the topic) . you want to talk about how progressive israel is, we get it. and what of that maariv article in hebrew i blockquoted? is this your idea of “conspiracy mongering”

          turn the world’s attention to Israel’s positive achievements

          turn from what? it’s called diversion goldie. turn the world from what everyone thinks of when they think of israel..the occupation of palestine! israel can’t hide from it, so let’s talk about Israel’s positive achievements……Israel’s progressive stance on LGBTQ

          that’s what you’re doing.

        • Ellen says:

          You diverted from the pink propaganda to sarcastic ridicule by immediately projecting into the thread by stating what you think are Annie’s repressed sexual desires for the “handsome guy.”

          And with that tactic to not only ridicule someone, but to move a discussion on pathetic state propaganda with a porn mogul into the ridiculous.

          (As an aside, porn is a lot like the war industry: it is very big, almost universal, extremely profitable and dehumanizes. It has nothing to do with sexuality or straight or gay. Just as conflict has nothing to do with peace, but instead control — like some porn.

          This way, with your diversion and praise of Lucas, no one has to even think about the real purpose of the article!

          As for your feigned support of BDS: That is really BS and you know it. (Many anti Zionist are on the fence about it, so support or not of it means nothing at all.)

          Sardipasti said it best:

          “Between the dumb prostitute, the state who peddles him for PR, and the propaganda drudge who exalts his work as a highly valuable and “progressive” endeavor, which one is the whore?”

        • Ellen says:

          Annie, you are too kind to Goldie.

          The harder they work as discrediting, especially with dishonest and crude tactics, the more pathetic and desperate they sound. Most are not very bright and cannot debate outside of the spoon fed talking points.

        • American says:

          goldmarx says:

          Who’s talking about complimenting governments for their travel brochures? We’re talking about the legal and social status of gay people, not how some might be seen in advertising.”>>>>>>

          The legal status of gay people in Israel is not as important a priority as the Palestines , be they gay or straight, that Israel is occupying and oppressing.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “I never said that Israel’s progressive stance on LGBTQ issues wipes away the Occupation, any more than the official homophobia of Hamas does. And since I support the BDS movement”

          What does Hamas have to do with anything??? oh, that’s right. Nothing. Other than for you zio blow-hards to yet again try to divert from the main subject of the crime of zionism and the zionists.

        • goldmarx says:

          Israeli gay rights organizations were funded by the state? OK, I’ll bite – where on the all-knowing Wikipedia is this mentioned?

  6. eljay says:

    Somewhere in this story, there’s a joke about fellating a donkey just waiting to be made. Hmmm…just how well-endowed is Mr. Lucas? ;-)

    :-)

  7. RE: “Even Israel’s own public relations machine paints a more complicated visual of homophobia in the Jewish state.” ~ Deger

    SEE: “Israeli earthquakes are gays’ fault, says MP”, By Tom Chivers and agencies, The Telegraph (U.K.), 02/21/08

    [EXCERPTS] An Israeli MP has blamed a spate of recent earthquakes in the Middle East on gays.
    Six earthquakes have struck Israel and neighbouring Lebanon and Jordan in recent months, with two coming last week alone. Shlomo Benizri, of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Shas party, suggested that the tremors could be stopped through the simple expedient of repealing various liberalising laws on homosexuality that have been passed by the Israeli parliament, or Knesset, in recent years. . .
    . . . “God says you shake your genitals where you are not supposed to and I will shake my world in order to wake you up,” he added. . .

    SOURCE – link to telegraph.co.uk

  8. RE: “In terms of the film’s basic premise, it is certainly true that same-sex unions are legal in Israel . . . But the trailer plays like a commercial for Tel Aviv’s gay nightlife and Israel in general . . . “ ~ Deger

    SPEAKING OF “TEL AVIV’S GAY NIGHTLIFE”, THIS FROM WIKIPEDIA [2009 Tel Aviv gay centre shooting]:

    [EXCERPTS] The 2009 Tel Aviv gay centre shooting resulted in the deaths of two people and injuries to at least fifteen others at the Tel Aviv branch of the Israeli GLBT Association, at the “Bar-Noar” (Hebrew: בר-נוער‎, “Youth Bar”), on Nahmani Street in Tel Aviv, Israel, on 1 August 2009. A 26-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl were killed.[1][2] . . .
    . . . As of January 2013, the crime remains unsolved. . .

    . . . The gunman entered the building where a weekly event was being held (in the basement), shot in several directions and then fled on foot.[2][5][6] The building was frequented by gay teenagers who engage in social activities and listen to music.[6][11] The centre was small with one terrace; thus preventing anyone from escaping.[6] They instead hid under a bed and tables as shots were fired.[6][11] Israeli television said the crime scene was a “bloodbath”.[7]. . .
    . . . The shooter was masked, dressed in black and used a pistol to carry out his attack.[2][5][8][11][12] It is not believed his motive was related to nationalist terror but the exact motive is currently unclear.[2] The city’s gay community stated the killer had a homophobic motive while police have cautioned people that the attack may not have been a hate crime and that the motive remains unknown . . .

    SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

  9. “They have not contributed to civilization in any way, in any field — political thought, science, music, architecture, nothing for century after century. ”
    Was this your money shot? Just because you have no knowledge of it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Google is your friend. Just enter two words “Islamic civilisation” and there’s a year (conservative estimation) worth of reading material about scientists, astronomers, doctors, mathematicians, philosophers, architects, poets, musicians, theologians, etc. century after century, dumbass!

    • There’s no excuse, even for a porn star gay or straight to ignore the existence of such a thing as the Islamic Golden Age which only came to a halt thanks to the terrifying Mogol onslaught:
      link to en.wikipedia.org

      • goldmarx says:

        You are correct, but Lucas also goes after religious Jews, as acknowledged earlier in Ms. Deger’s article.

        By the way, if homophobic religious Jews will be fully drafted into Israel’s armed forces, what will they do when encountering openly gay soldiers? Might there be a violent backlash in the IDF? Folks should be careful what they wish for…

        • You are correct, but Lucas also goes after religious Jews, as acknowledged earlier in Ms. Deger’s article.

          but? i am sorry, i fail to make the connection between your rebuttal and the subject being addressed by thankgodimatheist. does lucas go after judaism?
          even in his rebuttal he says My criticism was always addressed towards the religion and ideology of Islam. so if you’re making an equivalence please show where lucas criticizes the religion and ideology of judaism.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “By the way, if homophobic religious Jews will be fully drafted into Israel’s armed forces, what will they do when encountering openly gay soldiers? Might there be a violent backlash in the IDF? Folks should be careful what they wish for…”

          I assume that the israeli terror forces have a code of conduct. I assume that the homophobe’s conduct would then violate it. I also assume that this code would contain a method for adjudicating the matter and setting out punishment. Why would the fact that the homophobe claims religion matter?

        • besides, religious jews are just as likely to be gay or homophobic as anyone else.

        • goldmarx says:

          I am sure he has attacked Orthodox Judaism at least, since most gay Jews see that as the cause of homophobia in the Jewish community.

        • goldmarx says:

          Well, Woody, you write as if there is some decency in the ‘Israeli terror forces’ after all, what with all this talk of codes and adjudication!

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Well, Woody, you write as if there is some decency in the ‘Israeli terror forces’ after all, what with all this talk of codes and adjudication!”

          Only because you’re not thinking deeply enough, if at all. The fact that the isreali terror forces have a code and might adjudicate amongst themselves does not mean they are not also indecedent. For example, the SS had codes of conduct and disciplinary procedures, but it didn’t keep them from being indecent. Soviet-era communist constitutions often contained impressive guarantees of human rights. Didn’t keep them from being indecent. Etc.

      • I was too much in a hurry to go to sleep (too late) before finishing with the subject which is completed by a second Golden Age, Andalusian Arab/Islamic in Spain this time (711 to 1492) without which the European/Western Renaissance wouldn’t have taken place:
        The Genius of Arab Civilization: Source of Renaissance
        By John John Richard Hayes
        link to books.google.com.au

  10. a blah chick says:

    Wow, that is quite a shot of Mr. Lucas looking all fit and manly. He’s done it with an Arab dude, no doubt in my mind. All cats are the same color in the dark.

    By the by if the Gay scene in Israel so free and easy why is it that one only hears about Tel Aviv? I heard that if you want to live openly as a Gay person in Israel you move there you don’t stay in your hometown.

  11. MRW says:

    And now they have been stuck in time since the 7th century. They have not contributed to civilization in any way, in any field — political thought, science, music, architecture, nothing for century after century. What do they produce? Carpets. That’s how they should travel because that’s the only way they travel without killing people.

    Mr. Lucas must be looking in the mirror, because it was Jews locked in religious ghettos who produced no political thought, science, music, or architecture for century after century, and for a period of over 1,500 years. It was Jews who killed their own for violating dress codes on the sabbath, and got away with it until Napoleon made it a crime. It was Jews who produced zilch until they escaped the orthodoxy of their religion to live in the Islamic world of Spain and Constantinople, where they could thrive as human beings and creators.

    The Islamists created the basis of western science. Their medical tools are used today exactly as they were created over 1,000 years ago in 2013 NYC’s Mount Sinai Hospital’s operating rooms. They created algebra; Jews didn’t. They invented the scientific method; Jews didn’t. They formalized architecture; Jews didn’t. They built the first universities; Jews didn’t. They invented optics; Jews didn’t. They created the library and sponsored scholarship; Jews didn’t. They discovered and perfected maritime technology; Jews didn’t. They invented the sextant (which the Brits claim they did but didn’t); Jews didn’t.

    http://www.1001inventions.com

    • MK_Ultra says:

      Excellent comment, MRW, excellent!

    • goldmarx says:

      Actually, locked in the ghettos, Jews did quite well producing their own liturgical music and synagogue architecture. And while Maimonides thrived in Islamist Spain, he was certainly Orthodox, if occasionally more retrograde than some of his more traditional Orthodox Jews (i.e. recommending circumcision to oppose masturbation)

      • Ellen says:

        Not into mine is” bigger than yours” arguments, but you since you are defending the ugly hate talk of whats-his-name?

        First Jews were not” locked” into Ghettos.

        And what exactly contribution to global advancement were the “liturgical music and synagogue architecture” came out of the prisons of Jewish ghettos in Europe.

        While many quite beautiful, they sure seem to be based on the simple prayer room, a basilica or even (gasp!) Islamic looking.

        • goldmarx says:

          You have me confused with MRW, since he first introduced the ‘locked into ghettos’ rhetoric. I was simply conceding that point for the sake of a better argument.

          As far as contributions to global advancement, that of course is highly subjective and ultimately a matter of taste.

        • Ellen says:

          goldmarx, I have not confused you with anyone. The “locked in ghettos” rhetoric and meme is repeated by you, no matter where or from whom you picked it.

          Adopting disingenuous hyperbole and repeating destroys an argument.

          Contributions that advance civilization are NOT a matter of taste. They simply are. Some of the most profound scientific contributions to the west in the 16th and 17th century came from the “Arabik” culture and science.

          Early members and major influences on the British Royal Society of Science.

          link to royalsociety.org

          These developments have nothing to do with “taste.”

          Then again one who finds a narcissistic pouting porn mogul Lucas a “handsome guy” might not be able to determine what a “matter of taste” even is.

        • goldmarx says:

          Since MRW was the first to use the ‘locked into ghettoes” phrase, what about his argument, Ellen?

          My view is that both Islamic and Judiac civilizations have made advancements in civilization – Jews having won a disproportionate number of Nobel Prizes is a commonly cited fact – and any comparison, especially in the examples I used, in art and architecture, are a matter of taste. Just because you get on your high horse and say otherwise does not make it so.

    • tokyobk says:

      As your link says, it was not Islamists. It was Muslims and others sharing an Islamic and world civilization. The distinction matters.

      Yes, its a crucial moment for unleashing the creativity of the ghettoes. Napoleon famously said (something like) “to the Jewish citizen, everything. To the Jewish nation, nothing.

      And it speaks to the nature of humanity and society, not Judaism or Islam in particular.

    • eeer…actually not exactly. During the Abbasid Caliphate (Baghdad) and the Umayyad Caliphate (al-Andalus), or what we call the “Islamic Golden Age,” Jews and Christians also held important roles in society and were part of the scientific and artistic contributions to humanity. The whole “1,500″ years of ghettos is the Ashkenazi history. The Jews of the Arab world were in much better situation and some of Judaism’s major figures came from this context–Rambam, Shabbati Svi, etc… aside from being one of Judaism’s most renowned philosophers, Rambam was a doctor to the calipha known as the “court Jew,” and Shabbati Svi held public orgies and founded a spin-off religion. These two alone not only brought new thought to the world at large, but they fundamentally changed how Judaism is practiced.

      • jon s says:

        Th story of the Jews under Islam wasn’t all good, and under Chistianity wasn’t all bad. Also I wouldn’t the Rambam and Shabtai Zvi in the same breath…

        • The condition of Jews under the calipha was by no means equality (or equity) under the law–but the central point is that Jews gave major contributions to the Golden Age of Islam.

        • sardelapasti says:

          “… Jews under Islam wasn’t all good, and under Chistianity wasn’t all bad”
          That’s not the point. And has nothing to do with religion itself, but their image of the secular authority. Xianism has been Constantinian from its first official state religion status under the doctrine that religious uniformity of the population is a must for survival of the state. Abandoned since the French and American revolutions, but made official, with a vengeance, by the Zionist entity and its anachronistic medieval theocracy in the 20th century.
          Islamic rulers, on the other hand, do not follow this doctrine. They did proselytize and encouraged conversion but the essential tenet was that of tolerating (monotheist) diversity. Except for the Hijaz but that’s another story.

        • Jon s
          You may want to have a look what David J Wasserstein wrote about just that:
          ” So, what did the Muslims do for the Jews?”
          By David J Wasserstein, May 24, 2012

          “Islam saved Jewry. This is an unpopular, discomforting claim in the modern world. But it is a historical truth. The argument for it is double. First, in 570 CE, when the Prophet Mohammad was born, the Jews and Judaism were on the way to oblivion. And second, the coming of Islam saved them, providing a new context in which they not only survived, but flourished, laying foundations for subsequent Jewish cultural prosperity – also in Christendom – through the medieval period into the modern world.”

          And:
          “In the developing Islamic societies of the classical and medieval periods, being a Jew meant belonging to a category defined under law, enjoying certain rights and protections, alongside various obligations. These rights and protections were not as extensive or as generous as those enjoyed by Muslims, and the obligations were greater but, for the first few centuries, the Muslims themselves were a minority, and the practical differences were not all that great.

          Along with legal near-equality came social and economic equality. Jews were not confined to ghettos, either literally or in terms of economic activity. The societies of Islam were, in effect, open societies. In religious terms, too, Jews enjoyed virtually full freedom. They might not build many new synagogues – in theory – and they might not make too public their profession of their faith, but there was no really significant restriction on the practice of their religion. Along with internal legal autonomy, they also enjoyed formal representation, through leaders of their own, before the authorities of the state. Imperfect and often not quite as rosy as this might sound, it was at least the broad norm.”

          And:
          “Jewish cultural prosperity in the middle ages operated in large part as a function of Muslim, Arabic cultural (and to some degree political) prosperity: when Muslim Arabic culture thrived, so did that of the Jews; when Muslim Arabic culture declined, so did that of the Jews.”
          link to thejc.com

      • MRW says:

        Correct, Allison, as I have stated many times here. It’s in my archives. The Sephardics (via Spain/Portugal/Netherlands) also reigned supreme here (vis-à-vis the Ashkenazis) in the US until the middle of the 1800s, and were instrumental in starting the stock exchange, museums, and universities. Cardozo, Touro, de Leon.

        I doubt Mr. Gay Porn Mogul is Sephardic. So I was talking to him. ;-)

    • piotr says:

      There are good reasons to believe that while Muslim did make developments in algebra and the very terms algebra and algorithm come from titles of their books, they actually got the key ideas from India.

      • aiman says:

        Piotr, early Muslims made considerable forays into philosophical and scientific discourses and made many inventions that were not pioneered in India. Yes like all thinkers they were influenced by those that came before just as today’s Muslims cannot claim great and profound European achievements as their own. How does that nullify those achievements? Also AlBeruni travelled to India, you might want to look him up. In truth, I am more with Gamal on this topic. We are just one family, even if distant relatives as AlBeruni would say. Also achievements are made by individuals, not cultures. As the Prophet Muhammad said: a tribe that does not desist from boasting of its forefathers is like a beetle which rolleth forward a ball of dung by the end of its nose.

        • MRW says:

          Aiman,

          As the Prophet Muhammad said: a tribe that does not desist from boasting of its forefathers is like a beetle which rolleth forward a ball of dung by the end of its nose.

          What a great statement. Similarly your own, “Also achievements are made by individuals, not cultures.”

  12. Eva Smagacz says:

    The number of people who self identify in Israel as non-religeous/secular is shrinking: from about 40 percent in 1970 ties to 20 percent forty years later. With them, the social and geographical space for LGBT community is getting smaller.

  13. tokyobk says:

    - When Israel pink-washes shame on them.
    -If other countries in the area and in Asia, Europe and Africa have no pink to wash with, shame on them.
    -No need to compare Ibn Khaldun to Voltaire. They are both important and anyone who thinks Arabs and Muslims have not contributed to civilization is an idiot not worth arguing with.
    -If you are a principled One Stater (based on democracy and rights), the pink in Israel -should- be a good thing in itself. As should be orthodox men getting thrown off buses for trying to make women sit in the back.
    -Max Blumenthal rule works here too. You may hate the messenger and the context but refute the video. Gays in Tel Aviv do have more rights to free expression and more redress to homophobia. This is “baby” not bathwater.” Refer to above.

  14. Citizen says:

    Isn’t richard simmons wonderful?

  15. radii says:

    In Japan there are two ways of speaking – to foreigners or in social settings everything is always wonderful and it is only in private conversation that you can get real interaction … much of the world is this way with regard to homosexuality … in much of Latin and Muslim culture (and Hindus too) homosexuality is practiced quite commonly but it is not acknowledged nor spoken of and if it is it is condemned officially and everyone denies they do it or that it goes on – really, it is ridiculous when so much of it is going on … as long as the societal norms are conformed to in public and everyone lies about what goes on in private the facade can maintain

  16. MK_Ultra says:

    Interesting. I thought that the government of ISreal had made boycotts illegal. Oh, never mind. I almost forgot that it’s boycotts against them; however, they are freerer than the wind to boycott anything they don’t like or don’t agree with. Sometimes I forget that Hypocrisy (capitalized on purpose), is a mental illness with the ISreali types and their admirers and followers.

  17. gamal says:

    but what are “contributions” to “civilisation”, where does one go to drop them off, should one have one.

    and what possible import could such a weird notion have to inter-personal relations.

    I mean tbk, would you at the same time hold the belief that one derives some “rights” from a putative contribution to “civilization” (to which one is how related?) while maintaining that there are those, obviously there must be, who do not come the Contributors (To Civilization), what of them.

    Does this mean that Richard Feynman owns my stuff?

    Isnt civilization an innate human characteristic isnt everyone always participating in human civilization, which is an expression of our incredible ability to co-operate, to empathize, to nurture, to create, think, all the good stuff, you dont earn anything for “contributing”, other than a profound sense of gratitude towards all beings i dont really get what else “civilization” could engender.

    who receives these contributions and decides what they are worth in terms of the conquest and despoliation of others, is taking others rights and things a sign of civilization?

    Where is the list (sean this means you) of those who can claim some vicarious contribution, a very vague notion, jazz, phonetic alphabets, socks, double entry book keeping and roasting coffee beans, to that indefinable and imponderable idea our civilization, and what rights do we get, yes i come from stock who have made enormous contributions er i guess but what rights over others without such illustrious cultural progenitors, do i get, i need something concrete for all the sacrifices and effort i made to come from some “people”, as result i reckon of some quite complex sex, which may have contained non-contributory stock, or is fucking a sufficient contribution, in your book.

    i mean its just a joke right a fictive moral environment where your own emotions and hopes and dreads, likes dislikes are being given an unwarranted influence on your notions of what constitutes “rights”.

    Progressive is not a virtue from which you either derive rights or in the event of its absence curtail them, everyone irrespective of descent or any other quality must surely derive their rights in the identical manner to everyone else without reference to some mythic notion of “Civilizational Advance” in the name of which we can act like barbarians.

    dear sir cant you see how flesh creepingly inhuman this discourse is, the flock of seagulls once made a track, a defiant cry from the youth of the then aging estates and slum rehousing schemes, at the time many middle class youth invaded previously working class areas and in the pubs and clubs regail the local youth with tales of their voyage on dadies boat, farm their place at oxford etc the title of their piece was i believe “So What You C**t”, it neatly encapsulated the only rational response to such a brutal and inhuman metric with which to consider others and to run ones interactions with them. Civilization includes everyone, is not a stick with which anyone can be beaten, and who can asses contributions, and their ramifications its a joke man, isnt it, what institution is in charge of this endeavour, i’d like to spend some of the credit for “Algebra” on seizing next doors goats (and pumpkin) is there a number i could call.

  18. kalithea says:

    “They have not contributed to civilization in any way, in any field — political thought, science, music, architecture, nothing for century after century. What do they produce?”

    He says this about Muslims and states he’s not a racist, because religion is not a race and he nevers says anything against Arabs. Whaa? The vast majority of Arabs ARE Muslim…who’s he kidding? Oh, and what has HE produced in his life that benefits humanity? Wait for it…PORNNNNNNN. Like he invented something new…Low life racist matter, you know, as in DREG!

    Israel needs this character to make it look even worse than it is, if that’s even possible.

  19. kalithea says:

    Hmm…2011″Wall” Calendar…and here I thought there was a dress code requisite for posing at the holiest site in Israel? Some ambassador for Israel this character is! But then Israel IS founded on the so-called “sacred” and the extremely profane; so there’s all kinds of symbolic truth to that image. I say, let him carry on! Because when one thinks of Israel, the first word that should immediately come to mind is definitely…DEPRAVED.

  20. piotr says:

    “The religion, the institution, the system of Islam — they are as talented and creative and passionate as anyone else. But they’re stuck in a horrible lie, brainwashed from birth to death. And now they have been stuck in time since the 7th century.”

    This is the bad thing about Islam as compared with Orthodox Judaism: inventions! Judaism sticks to principles developed at least 1000 years earlier. Although for a bystander it is a bit hard to tell what the big difference is except for the tribalism.

  21. gamal says:

    “The religion, the institution, the system of Islam — they are as talented and creative and passionate as anyone else. But they’re stuck in a horrible lie, brainwashed from birth to death. And now they have been stuck in time since the 7th century.”

    again no its an elementary facet of “reality” that they are persons of the 21st century, the 7th century was a long time ago.

    It is only in an environment that is utterly ignorant of Islamic history that anyone could assert the absurd notion that “Islam” is stuck in the 7th century what does that even mean, I mean the “Islam” of 120AH was vastly different to that of 670AH yeah, so where did, of course not to mention the long intervening period during which honestly shit has been happening, you cant even be bothered to read a book or two, the 7th century, god help us, who defines who is allowed to be what when!!! ? be here now, yes they qualify, 21st century people your bretheren, here now, as they are, these are modern people.

    you dont smell a musty aroma emanating from those idiotic stuck in the 7th century ideas, oh no sorry it was the product of your detailed analysis of the sources, had you said 17th century no argument from me, but then i am quite prejudiced and find history, which is free of essentialising non-sequiturs, too confusing, how do you feel about it?

    ah yes the 7th

    “Rumi’s elder and contemporary Farid al-Din Attar (1142-1220), published here by an exciting new press out of Melbourne, is a good place to start. Attar, whose name means perfumer, is probably best known in the West for his Conference of the Birds, made famous by the Peter Brook production. Legend has it that Attar helped Rumi on his path to divine knowledge when the boy came into his shop and left with a copy of his Book of Mysteries. Here we have some of Attar’s short lyrics in a bilingual edition, translated into English for the first time by two Australians, scholar and schoolteacher Kenneth Avery and young poet Ali Alizadeh.

    The marvel is that in a tradition of poetry that lends itself to the sentimental, there is not one mushy line. Attar’s strong voice springs up earthy, irreverent, full of wild beauty:

    Since there is no one to be our companion in Love
    The prayer mat is for the pious: wine dregs and vice for us …
    If the wine-bringers of the spirit sit with the devout
    their wine is for the aesthetics; lees and hangovers for us …

    “Cure is for the purists,” the poems goes on, celebrating an ecstatic overthrowing of mere piety. In its place the Sufi wanted direct encounter with the beloved, which required nothing less than an extinguishment of the self.

    Love of the Beloved burned me like a candle, head to foot.
    My soul-bird burned like a moth, wing and feather.

    The fire of her love smoked my heart like aloes;
    then her fire consumed both the smoke and the aloes.

    A coal from her face fell into the desert:
    both worlds burned like kindling from her ember.

    I was to offer my soul to the soul-mate.
    The Beloved outsmarted me; I got burnt.

    There’s nothing left of my blood or flesh, but ash”

    god if only they’d update…we wouldnt need to steal their shit.