Will ‘sex in the toilets’ really renew Zionism?

Ari Shavit. (Photo: Spiegel & Grau/NPR)

Ari Shavit. (Photo: Spiegel & Grau/NPR)

We have given a lot of attention to the Israeli journalist Ari Shavit’s book, My Promised Land, because so many leading American media have embraced his revivalist-Zionist themes, from the New York Times to NPR. Just the other night, PBS News Hour interviewed him and described his book as “acclaimed.”

The problem I’ve hammered on is that Shavit is a provincial: an excellent reporter of the Israeli Jewish scene, he operates completely inside the Israeli mindset. And so, as Jerome Slater showed in this devastating post, Shavit is an unreliable narrator when he claims that the Arabs have always wanted to destroy Israel. Or when he states that Syria and Iraq and Iran have threatened another “Holocaust” by building nuclear reactors.

These political stretchers need to be taken on strongly.

But here I wanted to focus on another aspect of the book that threatens Shavit’s role as an unreliable narrator: the sex reports. Shavit introduces his book by saying that Israel is a “powerhouse of vitality, creativity, and sensuality”– my emphasis– and at several points in the book and in interviews, Shavit lauds promiscuity in nightclubs as a healthy sign of Israel’s vitality. Myself, I have nothing against promiscuity in nightclubs. What’s unsettling about Shavit’s detailed observations is that they verge on prurience and worse, they are offered as a measure of Israel’s cultural promise. When it’s just young Jews having anonymous sex.

Indeed, the emphasis on anonymous sex brings to mind the Weimar Republic and Christopher Isherwood’s stories of licentious Berlin. But Shavit never really raises questions about what the sexual activity means. He’s like Tony the Tiger about it, he thinks it’s g-r-r-r-eat! Especially when compared with cultural repression in Arab societies. Except for comments he makes near the end of his sex report– the last part of my excerpts below.

Shavit has brought up the sex in interviews. When he talked to Sally Quinn at the Washington Post, he said that Israelis are uniquely sexy. On Terry Gross’s show, he said “being hedonistic is perfectly OK as long as you are moral and realistic.” With Margaret Warner the other night, he described Israel’s success story as one in which Israelis “have chosen life and are celebrating life.”

What follows are excerpts of Shavit’s sexual reports. Cool or creepy? Judge for yourself.

Michal Nadel [velvet rope woman at Tel Aviv club Allenby 58] says it feels like a tribe… She thinks it’s all very primitive and wonderful. When she gets into it and closes her eyes and moves her head from side to side, she can actually hear in the music the beating drums of ancient African tribes, the hooves of wild horses….”And everybody is together in this sexy, insane thing.”…

In an extravagant getup, with her provocative mannerisms, she tells the bouncers who to let in and who to turn away, all the while looking for the guy she’ll have fun with at dawn…

“Sometimes thousands crowd the doors. Guys in leather pants, girls with their breasts half bare. Because everyone knows that I will only let in the gorgeous ones.”

Ravid Zilberman [25-year-old barwoman]:

“It’s incredible to watch the soldiers. Water and oranges, that’s all they have–they don’t even drink alcohol. But even so, from midnight to six a.m., they never stop. They give everything they have on the dance floor. And when the night is over they go straight from Allenby 58 to the buses that will take them to Lebanon or to the territories or to some godforsaken skirmish Really, Israel is such a crazy place. And when these kid soldiers kiss their girls goodbye and put on their uniforms and go, I can’t help but get emotional. It really breaks my heart.”

Ori Stark, owner of the club Allenby 58:

Ori tells me they are now a movement….”Because this nation is all about war and death. Even our religion is very sad,with its Yom Kippur and all, always telling you to suffer and sacrifice… But here we have something very powerful that says ‘Fuck it.’ We don’t have to suffer and sacrifice anymore. Because now we are a fifty-year-old nation, and the armies of the surrounding Arab nations won’t invade us.”…

“We deserve it,” Stark continues. “Of all the people in the world, we deserve it.. So let us live….

“Now there is no shame, no pretense, no pressure to say anything. You don’t sing about love, you have sex. Sex now, sex right now, sex in the toilets. And this new physical authenticity is what’s real, this need for stimuli and pleasure and excitement. This is what Israel is about. Forget the Zionist crap. Forget the Jewish bullshit…

“And when they leave the toilets after a quarter of an hour, I watch them: there is no embrace, no affection, no tenderness. He goes this way, she goes that way. That’s it. We came, we came, we went.”

Shavit in his own voice:

They are very good looking, these youngsters. Here is an Israeli success story few write about. … And the closed intense space of Allenby 58 makes this sexy beauty all too apparent.

Without uttering a word, they make a statement through their liberation, though their sexual openness and their rhythmic ritual. They make it in trying to create a space of their own that is ritualistic, lustful, and fun….

Something extremely poignant happens when all these different sexual energies collide in one space, under one roof. Wiry boys with shaved heads hug each other by the stage. Gorgeous girls in diaphanous shirts dance by the bar. … And every minute, some couple goes off to do it in the other room. Boy-girl. Boy-boy. Girl-girl….

[A]nyone who thinks the new Israel is a fundamentalist theocracy doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about…

I end the night at a hip underground club in Tel Aviv located in a cellar, its walls painted black. Straight stuff, gay stuff, mixed stuff. A lot of dark stuff. “People really need it hard,” a twenty-five-year-old blond psychology student tells me as she offers me a tiny vial of cocaine, which I politely refuse….

The kids are good-looking all right, as sexy as ever. Lustful and provocative.

…What will happen to these beautiful dancers and to this sexy Tel Aviv when some of our really powerful rivals decide to strike? Returning from a quick encounter, the twenty-five year old blonde rejoins me at the bar. Looking around with glazed eyes and a bewildered smile, she says to no one in particular, ‘It’s a bubble. It’s an amazing bubble. It won’t last.”

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

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  1. amigo says:

    “And when these kid soldiers kiss their girls goodbye and put on their uniforms and go, I can’t help but get emotional. It really breaks my heart.””25 yr old bar woman.

    Me too.I wonder which of, “correction”, how many of these thugs will kill Palestinians or maim them or drive a bulldozer over them or knock down their houses or spray Skunk juice on them or beat up and arrest chidren and jail them or allow illegal settler thieves to destroy Olive trees to mention just a few crimes carried out by these criminals.

    Damn right it breaks my heart.

    • pabelmont says:

      amigo: You’ve nailed the argument. People do all kinds of things. Which of these things, that people do, justifies their crimes — or justifies immunity and impunity w.r.t. these crimes?

      I play and listen to classical music. Does that justify my crime (if any) or any other crime? You play soccer (futbol). Does that justify any crime, He has sex in phonebooths (if there are any anymore and if they are large enough for anyone but superman). Does that offer him immunity.

      Does it? Maybe the proper question is, “should it?”

      Israelis (or some of them) are sexy, perform sexually more or less openly rather than behind closed doors. Don’t ask if this is good or bad, moral or immoral. Ask if it justifies the crimes of the Israeli society.

      In other words, don’t let the bastards change the subject.

      Israeli Nobel prizes are all very well. Congratulations. But they don’t justify crime.
      Israeli sex in the nightclubs, ditto.

      • amigo says:

        “He has sex in phone booths (if there are any anymore and if they are large enough for anyone but superman).”Pablemont.

        Not to worry, the people who brought us the Computer, the mobile phone, cloud technology and the WWW have “that” problem in hand.

        As to this whole phenomena , there is no reason to assume that Israelis will act any different than prior triumphalist tyrants.

        Shavit,s hypocrisy is sickening.

  2. Krauss says:

    The sex angle is the continuation of the military angle. You know, the eroticization of the IDF as The New Jew. Now that Israel has gotten richer, fatter and less daring (we all remember Lebanon 2006), something has to substitute it and if that is heterosexual intercourse then so be it. (Homosex is saved for a rainy day when liberal academics are freeing themselves from the Zionist discourse, i.e pinkwashing).

    In 10 years it will not be sex as the secular Ashkenazi liberal class have started to abandon the project. Then it will be childrearing, “a real man is chaste and has lots of kids”. This is how you adapt the story to the oncoming Haredi wave about to engulf Israel in the coming decades. The story has to continually evolve to fit the dominant narrative and to try to eroticize it in order to sell it to both Jews and to those insecure, deep down, about the future prospects of the project. Often the propagandist himself.

    Meanwhile, Apartheid and boycotts both intensify. Not that Shavit notices.
    He is too busy looking into the toilet and trying to sell it to the world – and himself.

    • bintbiba says:

      @ Krauss… Perfect last paragraph!!
      Says it all, in a nutshell.

    • bilal a says:

      why would u raise a child with a woman/man u met in a toilet?

      This can’t be good for the existential demographic threat.

    • Inanna says:

      Krauss, I think you’ve got it right about the eroticization of the New Jew. And, as such, Jews are still object, not subject and it’s one of the tribe doing it and he doesn’t even realize that he is objectifying Jews just as anti-semites do. Even for Shavit Jews are not subject. Maybe he thinks that this is ‘positive’ rather than negative objectification so that’s ok? He seems so trapped inside the bubble that he doesn’t realize what he’s doing.

  3. American says:

    Sex addicts or perverts?…they have some kind of sex problem or equate sexual freedom with power and privilage sounds like to me…whatever it is it sounds slimey, not like a healthy sexuality.

    • one can find these scenes in lots of cities if one is looking. what’s interesting to me is that it’s what he sees, what he seeks out to write about and highlight. from phil’s allenby 58 link in the first blockquote:

      According to Shorr, unlike rock and roll, the nightlife scene doesn’t wax nostalgic about its past. He raises the question of whether there is in fact a way to remember the experience there was a building of this sort afforded the city.

      “I don’t miss the Allenby the way I miss other clubs that have been closed. I am not so nostalgic about its music, which today is considered awful, and I am not nostalgic about [the pub] Haglula. When you come right down to it, by the time this project arises the people who went clubbing there will already be 40 years old. Young people who are living in the city today no longer have any special relationship to this building. I really wouldn’t be in any hurry to put it on the heritage list – it’s better to leave it abandoned or raze it altogether.”

      the place is being turned into condos. they interview stark, the old owner too. and anyway, this scene is replicated all over the world and it’s been going on for decades, the poppers, the sex in bathrooms the cocaine the dance all night thing. i think he could be suffering from a case of nostalgia, not unusual for a man his age. and pretty much everywhere you go in the world the youth is there looking incredible. promiscuity isn’t unique to israel, i’m sure you can find it in fort lauderdale, daly city, albuquerque, and probably santa rosa for that matter. and SF, NY, brazil, dublin, berlin, paris, london of course. people party, and then they settle down. but for some reason israel’s built a tourist industry around selling the idea of their sex, as if it’s hotter or different. it isn’t. just looks like a regular night club scene to me:

      big deal/not.

      • just says:

        Très weird.

        How is this something to celebrate or anything unique?

      • Shingo says:

        one can find these scenes in lots of cities if one is looking. what’s interesting to me is that it’s what he sees, what he seeks out to write about and highlight.

        You are so right Annie,

        This has been Sydney for the last 30 years, and we don’t even bother talking about it anymore. Hell, this was my life 20 years ago. This is not edgy or unique to Israel or special.

        We have gay nightclubs where the guys and having sex all over the place. I mean seriously, this is so fucking cliche. These are young kids coming to terms with their sexuality and looking for affection. And in a few years, they will have all grown up, met someone to marry (or not) and realized they no longer have the ability to rebound from 24 hours of sleep deprivation, fueled by drugs and alcohol. They then realize this lifestyle has not only taken a toll physically, but emotionally too. I mean, what is there to celebrate about a man and a woman leaving a toilet and not even parting with a kiss? That’s nothing to celebrate, that’s just desperation.

        If anything, Shavit reveals more about himself than Israel. The fact that he thinks this is special, unique or healthy. It’s probably a consequence of his own upbringing and sexual inhibitions that he finds this all to risque.

        He doesn’t realize the cost this has on society. The failed marriages and broken families.

        The last few lines of the last quote says it all:

        It’s a bubble. It’s an amazing bubble. It won’t last.”

        And it doesn’t.

      • American says:

        @ annie

        The problem is this part of society is not anything to ‘brag about’ as Shavitis is doing..is the guy a moron?

  4. amigo says:

    “Shavit has brought up the sex in interviews. When he talked to Sally Quinn at the Washington Post, he said that Israelis are uniquely sexy.”

    Which Israelis is he referring to, may I dare ask.

    Is it possible that the other(say circa 20%) of Israelis,are also sexy.

    ““Sometimes thousands crowd the doors. Guys in leather pants, girls with their breasts half bare. Because everyone knows that I will only let in the gorgeous ones.””velvet rope woman???.

    Gosh I wonder how sexy she will appear to the Orthodox bus police if she travels home that route.Will they send her to the back of the bus.Will they think she is Sexy.

    link to nydailynews.com

    Does shavit show us this “sexy side” of ”
    Israelis.

  5. The apex of enlightenment.

    • just says:

      The nadir of introspection.

      All people have sex. Wonderful. But to think you are very special, very beautiful, very sexy is just plain narcissistic and weird to the nth degree.

  6. LeaNder says:

    How boring, another sucess story:

    We came, we came, we went

    Actually we already got it, sex as another easy victory. The allusion is apparent: veni, vidi, vici. Love, sex and victory, but go Shavit:

    Here is an Israeli success story few write about. … And the closed intense space of Allenby 58 makes this sexy beauty all too apparent.

    Just imagine, after all these years you can fuck whoever crosses your field of vision, no shiksas and shegetz around, just like paradise:

    says it feels like a tribe… She thinks it’s all very primitive and wonderful.

    I guess “sick” would suggest moral indignation, I don’t care what people do with their lives. But do I really have to read this book? Jerome was balanced to extend of stating there was much in it worthwhile and restricted his critique to books basic denials. This topic does sound pretty desperate to me, firmly clinging to the East-West juxtaposition, the “clash of culture”, the brave new post 911 world we cannot ever let go. Is that what stands for the at all means to be defended Western culture?

  7. amigo says:

    Interesting that the Name Allenby was used for this club.Are the bouncers in IDF uniform and do they make the clients wait hour after hour or just check their ID card to decide who is allowed to fornicate in the WC.

    Remember the Demographic time bomb.

    Shavit does Israel a disservice with this bragging but I for one do thank him. Keep it coming.

  8. Taxi says:

    Sounds like Tel Aviv is some forty-eight years late for the sexual revolution.

    Or is that Shavit is such a “provincial” square who’s never been to a nightclub till this very year in 2013?

    You go to any nightclub anywhere in the world and it’s exactly the same scene. Nothing “unique” about attractive youths going to nightclubs and doing nightclub stuff, like taking cocaine and having sex in the bathroom. A gang of clubsters somewhere in the world is probably doing exactly that as I’m writing this.

    Mister Shavit is confusing the common with the “unique”.

    • Ron Edwards says:

      Agreed. Significantly, he seems to be unaware of Beirut, not too far north. Is this yet another example of “Israeli salad?” Lookit this cool thing goin’ on here! We must have invented it!

    • Shingo says:

      Or is that Shavit is such a “provincial” square who’s never been to a nightclub till this very year in 2013?

      Superbly put Taxi.

      Shavit comes across as a 50 year old nerd who has been living a sheltered life and suddenly discovers the world has nightclubs and that young people look sexy wearing next to nothing.

      Sleazy old man having a mid life crisis.

  9. Elliot says:

    “[A]nyone who thinks the new Israel is a fundamentalist theocracy doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about…”

    ‘Provincial’ is right. Shavit tilts at the religious, forgetting that his real problem lies outside the Jewish shtetl. He’s not just stuck in his provincialism, he’s lost in time too. Nietzche and Wagner would have been proud. This is like rite of spring, shocking the prudish, Victorian world with sensuality.
    And the constant worry about what the rest of the world thinks of the Jews. Over a century later, Shavit is still trying to show Europe that the Jews can be free too.

    As others have suggested, is there a correlation between the accepted norm of semi-public compulsive and anonymous sex in Tel Aviv, and the same soldiers’ callous and brutal treatment of the Palestinians?

    • Ellen says:

      anonymous sex in public toilets in Tel Aviv and brutal treatment of other human beings…..is not free “love” but the real correlation of dehumanizing others.

  10. a blah chick says:

    “And when they leave the toilets after a quarter of an hour, I watch them: there is no embrace, no affection, no tenderness. He goes this way, she goes that way. That’s it. We came, we came, we went.”

    Sounds like a generation of young people so desensitized to the brutality they see or commit that they have to seek out high risk sex to feel anything.

    • just says:

      Sounds about right, abc.

      Pitiful, ain’t it?

    • chinese box says:

      That might also explain why so many flock to places like Goa to drug themselves out after their army service…also, apparently there are thousands of Israeli burnouts wandering around India who never make it back home–there is a documentary about this on youtube, here is the trailer:

      slightly off topic: I can understand why people enjoy promiscuous sex, but I’ve never understood people who feel the need to broadcast it or share all the intimate details with other people (who usually aren’t even interested).

  11. Citizen says:

    George Gross depicted both WW1 and decadent Weimar Germany. He escaped Hitler to the USA. He called his expressionistic conclusionary POV “A Little Yes, And a Big No.” He never painted all the fun had that was encouraged by the Lebensborn policy. You think that young, handsome, lyrical, Hitler boy who sang in Cabaret’s beer garden didn’t get laid? Hell, it was part of his job to have fun in the sun with all the BDM girls. So, tell me again, what all Israeli Jews invented? And how much they are a sexy, start-up nation? Are young Israelis going to beat out the lucrative porn attraction of shiksas in uniform, those milk-fed “girls next door”? St Pauli beer girls? I forgot, what’s the name of that Zionist comic book that’s a knock off of Captain America?

    • LeaNder says:

      Citizen, not only George Gross went to the US of A, a lot of others did. Not only painters, but writers Feuchtwanger, Brecht, Mann …

      But since you have been a soldier too once, wasn’t it Korea? Well maybe I get that wrong. The core image that rises from the passages that Phil cites for me, but maybe I have to read it first, is the juxtaposition of love and death implied by the presence of soldiers:

      They give everything they have on the dance floor. And when the night is over they go straight from Allenby 58 to the buses that will take them to Lebanon or to the territories or to some godforsaken skirmish Really, Israel is such a crazy place.

      The Berlin police, concerning Isherwood, in the Weimar Republic did not persecute gay people but somewhat used them to get information about the scene, if I remember correctly. I cannot really consider Weimar decadent, much of the demands from the public were quite understandable after the bigot 19th century. What is really the most significant difference to Israel to me are the clashes between right and left. Thus WWI, the fall of authoritarian systems, inflation, the Russian revolution in the background, and a very unstable political system dominates the scene for me.

  12. Citizen says:

    Maybe the question is, will we ever see a Jewish/Israeli version of Stan in American Dad? Or do we have to be content with an AIPAC-Israeli version of Starship Troopers?

  13. MLE says:

    Yeah so I went to Tel aviv and Beirut and the nightlife in Beirut was much “sexier”.

    • even the dusk is sexual in lebanon. lebanon reeks of sexuality.

      • Taxi says:

        Considering that Lebanon has been practicing democracy since 1948, plus it already had its sexual revolution back in the sixties (in tandem with the West), so then really, Lebanon is actually the “villa in the jungle”.

        The place is bursting with “sensual” people, young and old.

        • marc b. says:

          The place is bursting with “sensual” people, young and old.

          nail. head. that’s shavit’s problem. or at least one of them. he’s confusing sensuality with sexuality. sensuality implies a much fuller appreciation of one’s senses and the environment that’s stimulating them than a tab of ecstasy, jell0 shots and sex in a toilet stall.

  14. just says:

    ““It’s incredible to watch the soldiers. Water and oranges, that’s all they have–they don’t even drink alcohol. But even so, from midnight to six a.m., they never stop. They give everything they have on the dance floor. And when the night is over they go straight from Allenby 58 to the buses that will take them to Lebanon or to the territories or to some godforsaken skirmish Really, Israel is such a crazy place. And when these kid soldiers kiss their girls goodbye and put on their uniforms and go, I can’t help but get emotional. It really breaks my heart.””

    Really ‘incredible’ since they manufacture the “skirmishes” so that they can dance another day– dance on Palestinian graves.

  15. talknic says:

    “It’s incredible to watch the soldiers. Water and oranges, that’s all they have–they don’t even drink alcohol. But even so, from midnight to six a.m., they never stop.”

    Yeh, it’s amazing what snorting coke and/or a tab of ecstasy does

    • Shingo says:

      Yeah in the 90s, the nightclubs here in Sydney practically went out of business because ecstasy killed alcohol sales. They started charging $8 for a 500ml bottle of water.

  16. Taxi says:

    Now mister Shavit can in all honesty say: ‘I know a girl who knows a guy who can get cocaine’.

    A-shaka-boom!

  17. seafoid says:

    Shavit has to sell the myth to the Jews in the States who send the money. And the myth of the new Jews has so many elements of what the old jews are not. Tanned, cruel, muscular, confident. Wouldn’t ever get sand kicked in his face. Doesn’t read much. Decides his own destiny. Never neurotic, always decisive. Please send more money.

    And the Israeli woman is part of the spin. Only the young Israeli woman, however. Sexually available in that olive green uniform and she’s always up for a post coital sniper session in Gaza. Never mind all the women and kids living in poverty in Israel, check out how perky the young ones are.

    • Ellen says:

      You nailed it, seafoid. This is also a continuum of Israel promoting itself to the sex tourism industry.

      How many European and American Zionists can support tourism with weddings and bar mitzvahs? That is why the Israeli ministry of tourism started promoting the babes on the beach a few years back. Then we had campaigns with the women of the IDF. That was all a bit crude and blatant and attracted middle age guys from everywhere!

      This is much more subtile, it is given context and targeted to appeal to young birthrighters, or those who want-to-be, and who those who might stay.

      After all, Shavit is in the US promoting Israel under the guise of his book promotion. This angle of reporting on clubbing, drugs and cold fornication in bathrooms, which could be found in any major city, tells us nothing about his Promised Land.

  18. Sibiriak says:

    [A]nyone who thinks the new Israel is a fundamentalist theocracy doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about…

    I think that’s a crucial PR meme at play. In any case, if you want talk about sexy, take a look at this:

    link to bbc.co.uk

    “The sex manual for ultra-Orthodox Jews”

    Ultra-Orthodox boys and girls are educated separately, and have little interaction with the opposite sex until their marriage night, when they are expected to consummate their union.

    Physical touch with the opposite sex – even something like a handshake – is only permitted with one’s spouse and close family members. Access to films and the internet is often restricted.

    [...]The Newlywed’s Guide to Physical Intimacy, which Ribner co-wrote with Orthodox teacher Jennie Rosenfeld, starts with the very basics – explaining, for example, how the body shape of men and women differs.

    Ribner says Judaism regards sex as something positive, but it has become taboo to discuss it openly.

    “Sex is only appropriate within a marital context,” he says. “Beyond that it’s not talked about. Because of that, it’s become very difficult for people to have any kind of dialogue about it.”

    Orthodox couples often see pre-marital counsellors before their wedding to learn about sex and about Jewish religious laws of menstrual purity. But on their wedding night, many newly-weds still find themselves unprepared.

    “It’s embarrassing to have to call a [pre-marital] teacher in the middle of the night… but many people do,” says the book’s co-author Jennie Rosenfeld. “Others suffer in silence and try to muddle through.”

    Or this:
    link to haaretz.com

    “Frimet Goldberger tells about her personal struggle against the practice of forced head shaving.”

  19. OlegR says:

    Will talking about jewish ‘sex in the toilets’ really help the Palestinians?

    • talknic says:

      @OlegR

      “Will talking about jewish ‘sex in the toilets’ really help the Palestinians?”

      Probably not. It does however shine a light on the psyche of those who indulge in and are supportive of the practice and who’re engaged in the illegal acquisition and continued occupation of non-Israeli territories

  20. Shavit sounds like the archetypal middle-aged small-town guy getting his thrills by watching and imagining young kids exercise their sexual freedom in Tel Aviv clubs and bars, as if this has never happened in any other city in the world. Where has he been for the last thirty years? How salacious and unedifying. Even worse, he wants to elevate this cheap voyeurism into some sort of great observation about Israel, and specifically Jewish Israelis, despite the fact that he could have witnessed the same scene in countless countries and cities all over the world. So one can only conclude that it is not the banalities of night club sex and drugs which excite him but apparently the fact that they are young and Jewish. How perverse, and revealing.
    Of course he completely misses the darker undertones about the whole scenario. ”Because this nation is all about war and death”, says the clubowner, in a more insightful remark than any of Shavit’s wide-eyed purple prose. He is oblivious to the desperation implied here, the need to get high in order to blot out the realities, the numbed out cocaine couplings. For real sensuality he could of course read some of the great Persian and Arab poets, or listen to their songs, but that would involve some open-mindedness and appreciation of the culture and history of the region he has emigrated to. But no, like his compatriots he prefers the artificial stimulants of a passing scene, the superficial lure of the bright lights and loud music in order to blot out the reality. “It’s a bubble. It’s an amazing bubble. It won’t last.” What a fitting epitaph.

  21. NickJOCW says:

    We should pity 57 year old Shavit, he must really have missed out.

  22. chinese box says:

    The title of this post (and the quote from Shavit) is priceless….there was a notorious gay club called The Mineshaft (before my time, just read about it) in NYC with trough style toilets where people would piss on each other, and apparently many other unmentionable things that went on…finally it was closed down in the ’80s by the health department. The title just reminded me of that….LOL. Is this really how Israel wishes to market itself?