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It’s easier to be a vegan than an anti-Zionist in Israel

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The following report on a video about Israeli veganism was written by a friend of our site who cannot be identified by name due to position. –Editor.

Scroll down to the video in this piece in Haaretz, in Hebrew. As you can see, it has over 900,000 views – an astronomical number for Israel. It’s a clip showing the reactions of Israeli celebrities as they watch a video of kosher animal slaughtering in Haifa. Some of them are unable to watch thru the end of the video. All the celebrities are secular icons. At least one of them (the brawny dude with tattoos) is disgusted with the lack of feeling in kosher slaughtering.

My experience is that there are tons of Israeli vegans. Probably, due, in part, to the abundance of healthy, flavorful vegetables and fruit. This article also seems to feed off anti-religious sentiment.

But the point of the video for me is that they can watch any number of videos documenting the killing and abuse of Palestinians but they haven’t become anti-Zionists or even vocal anti-Occupation activists. Why aren’t there as many celebrity anti-Occupation activists as vegans?

Here are the comments of the celebrities, in Hebrew, translated into English, and paired with the speakers:

Tattooed man in black sleeveless shirt (“Israel Body +”):

Whoa, Holy smokes! O my god
Motherfucker, poor thing
He’s shaking. He is trying to live. Heartless!
What evil people. SOBs! [Crying]
He’s trying to escape. May God burn them.

So, they slaughter like that, one after the other?!
This is their kosher slaughtering?!
I won’t eat their meat [pulling off earphones, tearing up] even if it kills me. This is too much. Give me a minute.

I stopped eating meat 9 years ago when I saw [an expose] on Kolbotek [a consumer advocacy program]. I got so upset I smashed the TV.

I see Butch and Casey in every one of them… [more expletives]. It’s not as if I don’t know this happens every day but when you see it like this right in front of your face…then you get that it’s like your own animals….I see him trying to run away after being slaughtered and he kicks him so he can slaughter it again (makes a cutting motion)…so that you don’t even have a chance… The motherfucker!

Is this their kashrut?! […] This is their kosher meat.?!

Man in black T-shirt with mop of silver hair:

[Pulling off the earphones] I can’t. I won’t sleep. It makes me feel bad. I can’t watch any more.
I can’t see blood, not human or animal.
It’s awful. Will it be broadcast like that?

Woman with blond hair:

This is crazy. I am so proud of myself that I became a vegan.

People close their eyes and don’t see what they are doing to animals. It’s crazy.
Where do people get this evil come from? Don’t people have a heart? I don’t get it.

Man in white T-shirt with red hat bearing hemp leaf:

How can you see this and then say, “move on”.They are telling you in a straightforward way “this is the situation”. Now, what do you do with that?

Bald guy in blue “Underarmor” t-shirt:

There is no such thing as humane slaughter. Everyone tsk tsks. They need to see this to understand that there is no such thing….there is no such thing…we must just stop it. Stop eating meat. Period. There is no other way.

The video would seem to be part of a trend. If you google “Israeli vegans,” a bunch of articles show up. Some of the articles have the usual Hasbara spin (“World Capital of Veganism”). But they are also backed by data.

I can’t shake the feeling that veganism is a way for Israelis to sacrifice something while avoiding the Palestinian issue.

Why this particular cause? The daily lives of secular Israelis are dominated by kosher laws. You can only find non-kosher food in specialty shops, not supermarkets or chains of 7-Eleven’s. During the week of Passover, whole aisles of supermarkets are papered over so that you can’t find – or buy – the cakes and other leavened foods.

Veganism is a way of universalizing Jewish dietary laws while also taking a swipe at the Orthodox rabbinate’s meat and dairy certification business. Both of these follow two classic goals of Zionism: normalizing Jews/Judaism within the family of nations + anti-clericalism. Though it helps that the local veggies are so good.

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10 Responses

  1. Keith on October 10, 2017, 3:46 pm

    ” Both of these follow two classic goals of Zionism: normalizing Jews/Judaism within the family of nations + anti-clericalism.”

    Current Israeli policy promotes Judaism in Israel and is antithetical to normalizing Jews/Judaism within the family of nations. That these were the goals of early Zionists is questionable, to say the least.

    • Xpat on October 10, 2017, 7:10 pm

      1) These are secular celebrities. The default position of secular Israelis is to hate Orthodox Judaism more passionately than a transgender Christian abhors Christian fundamentalists.

      2) You may say that Israel is antithetical to normalizing Jews but you aren’t Israeli. I hear that an Israeli just hosted SNL and gave a speech in Hebrew…looks pretty normal to me.

      3) These were most definitely and explicitly the goals of the early Zionists. Read Theodore Herzl’s Der Judestadt (The Jewish State), the manifesto of the founder of political Zionism. The State of Israel’s founding Prime Minister David Ben Gurion is reported to have celebrated Jewish criminals because they showed that Israel had crime just like any other normal country.

      • JosephA on October 11, 2017, 12:48 am

        David Ben Gurion likely celebrated Jewish criminals because he was a criminal himself.

      • eljay on October 11, 2017, 8:38 am

        Zionists seem to work very hard…
        – to “normalize” Jews as oppressors, colonialists, (war) criminals and supremacists; and then, in order to shield them from being treated accordingly,
        – to “de-normalize” (or “single out”) Jews for favourable treatment.

      • Keith on October 11, 2017, 6:00 pm

        ELLIOTT- “These were most definitely and explicitly the goals of the early Zionists.”

        The primary goal of Zionism was always the re-establishment of a form of Jewish tribalism which had been fractured during the Enlightenment. Formerly, Jews were united religiously by Classical (pre-modern) Judaism, however, they had become fractured into Orthodox Jews, Conservative Jews, Reform Jews and secular Jews. The “normalization” of Jews would necessarily involve assimilation into the surrounding Gentile communities, Judaism becoming just another religion where church and state were separated. The Zionists opposed assimilation and wished to recreate a secular form of Jewish tribalism utilizing Blood and Soil nationalism along with colonialism to relocate European converts to Judaism to Palestine. This rejection of Western liberalism in favor of a reversion to a tribal past could only be considered normalizing relations within the family of nations if the nations were Blood and Soil fascists such as Nazi Germany. Of course, the Zionists had to spin this as the redemption of the Jewish people, a much more palatable way of phrasing it. A quote from early Zionist Vladimir Jabotinsky to capture the flavor of this “normalization.”

        “It is inconceivable, from the physical point of view, that a Jew born to a family of pure Jewish blood can become adapted to the spiritual outlook of a German or a Frenchman. He may be wholly imbued with that German fluid, but the nucleus of his spiritual structure will always remain Jewish.” (Vladimir Jabotinsky, quoted in “The Hidden History of Zionism,” by Ralph Schoenman, p26)

      • Xpat on October 11, 2017, 11:00 pm

        Jabotinsky was hardly an “early Zionist.” At least two generations after Herzl. Otherwise, yup, that’s why that gentleman fascist backed by his phalanx of black-shirted goons left the Zionist movement. There’s a reason why Jabotinsky was a “revisionist”.
        I agree with the comments that Zionism is normalizing and so on. This is about the Zionists’ perceptions of themselves, not our perceptions of them. Ditto for vegans, Israeli or otherwise.

      • Keith on October 12, 2017, 1:13 am

        ELLIOT- “… that’s why that gentleman fascist backed by his phalanx of black-shirted goons left the Zionist movement.”

        Did he? Why wasn’t I informed? Do you have some references to back that BS assertion? Of course, you are ignoring the meat of my comment about Zionism being the resurrection of Jewish tribalism, not some desire for “normalization.” Nice try Elliot.

  2. JLewisDickerson on October 11, 2017, 7:09 am

    It’s not quite as gruesome when a bit of (not so) modern technology is used.

    ■ Stunning
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia –
    Stunning is the process of rendering animals immobile or unconscious, with or without killing the animal, when or immediately prior to slaughtering them for food.

    ■ Captive bolt pistol
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia –
    A captive bolt pistol or gun (also variously known as a cattle gun, stunbolt gun, bolt gun, or stunner) is a device used for stunning animals prior to slaughter.
    The goal of captive bolt stunning is to inflict a forceful strike on the forehead with the bolt in order to induce unconsciousness. The bolt may or may not destroy part of the brain.


  3. Qualtrough on October 11, 2017, 11:57 pm

    Anthropomorphism is the term for attributing ‘human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities’. It is telling that Zionists can engage in that with animals while regarding Palestinians as non-humans.

    • Marnie on October 14, 2017, 6:23 am

      A neighbor had asked me how things were on my job and I said the people left alot to be desired. He said israelis care more about animals than human beings. Maybe that means israelis identify with animals more and see themselves as animals. They don’t seem able to identify with or want to inculcate more human/humane qualities because they are seen as weaknesses?

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