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Ten Tonys for ‘The Band’s Visit’ can’t make Israel a normal country

Middle East
on 51 Comments

When the Broadway show The Band’s Visit swept the Tonys this year, I decided I needed to see what all the fuss was about, in spite of it being set in Israel. Or maybe because.

The 90-minute musical, based on a 2007 Israeli film, has a mirage-like quality to it —  but it’s hard to tell at first if it’s a good mirage or not. The story is about an Egyptian police band of musicians that arrives mistakenly in an Israeli desert town in the Naqab/Negev, and they have to spend the night because there is no bus out until morning. Egyptians don’t have a ‘P’ sound in their language, hence P is pronounced as a B. If you’ve been to Egypt, you know that ‘Bebsi’ is ‘Pepsi.” As the show opens at the bus depot, their inability to pronounce the letter ‘P’ is what brings them to the wrong town.

As Ben Brantley puts it in his New York Times review, the Egyptians “board a bus… for an engagement at the Arab Cultural Center in the city of Petah Tikva. Thanks to some understandable confusion at the ticket counter, they wind up instead in the flyblown backwater of Bet Hatikva.” This “understandable confusion” is the opening scene in which the Egyptian buying the whole band’s bus tickets is trying to tell the ticket agent where they want to go. The young Israeli woman in the ticket booth is trying to understand which of the two towns he wants to go to and for comic relief, keeps repeating the town names louder and louder with emphasis on the B that the Egyptian can’t replicate. Everyone laughs in the audience and the story quickly moves on. However, I cringed at this supposed comic relief scene of “confusion.” Would it have been as funny if a Chinese person was trying to say he is going to a city starting with the letter ‘L’ that he couldn’t pronounce and the agent kept saying the word louder and louder? To my ears, this was a racist joke that the audience didn’t recognize as such — a racist joke that the whole show was based around.

Nevertheless, the affable Egyptian musicians are full of life; their vitality brightens up the stage and the Israeli desert village they have mistakenly stepped into. By contrast, the Israeli denizens are all vacuous and devoid of life, with empty lives and empty futures. The Band’s Visit quickly becomes a musical about the emptiness of life in this Israeli town and all its yearning for meaning.

Not everyone sees it that way. The Chicago Tribune’s Chris Jones wrote that “There is no mention of any macro Arab-Israeli conflict whatsoever. No need. This is a remarkable and boundlessly compassionate and humanistic piece of theater. It lets us know that that is as absurd an enmity as all the other things about which we fight.” Absurd an enmity? Is it absurd enmity to want to return to a homeland you have been expelled from and to fight for it? It’s not absurd if you are singing about losing your homeland in The Sound of Music!

Jones is right on one point, though; there is no mention of Palestine, Palestinians, or any “enmity” in the show. As if by not mentioning Palestine, it doesn’t exist.

The show would have you believe that this banal story could happen anywhere and that this Israeli village could be seen as an unimportant “anyplace.” What the show is trying to convey is that it could just as well have been a border village, say, in Spain with a band of musicians coming from Portugal and brightening up life in a dull town. It is trying to say that the story is about the universal human condition of suffering, yearning and longing and tries to posit Israel as just a normal country with normal problems.

But Israel is anything but normal and this story is specifically set in Israel where deep longings, it turns out, are insurmountable from the inside; the Israeli characters themselves cannot see their way out. The life force has to come from outside, from somewhere completely different and other, and it comes from of all places, the Arabs. Each one of the Egyptian musicians is accommodated for the night by a different “generous Israeli” who in the end benefits from the life force the Egyptian brings into their home. Each host has their own family problems, which the life force magically solves. Without this outside infusion of life, which is referred to as “something different” by the alluring, languorous Israeli cafe owner Dina, there is just frustration and ennui in the Israeli village. There’s no name for the life force because they don’t know what they’re missing in Israel; it’s just “something different” that they know not in their dull – but “normal” — lives.

It is clear that the Israeli villagers needed the Arabs who come and light up their world before they get on a bus and leave the next morning. And it’s clear that theirs is an authentic, ancient culture, which the Israelis covet deeply. In a scene in which Dina sings passionately with great longing to the straitlaced band leader whose culture prevents him from showing his own failings, her yearning and emptiness takes on an urgency as she longs for the old days when the life force came to her through Egyptian radio and brought the voices of Umm Kulthum and Omar Sharif through her mother’s transistor radio.

The music by David Yazbek which makes up the original songs is distinctly Eastern in tone and does lift the mood, but when the band members start to play actual Arabic music that is not appropriated and is authentically improvised as per Eastern musical tradition, the place comes alive. You don’t want them to stop playing. Through the 90 minutes, two or three musicians get a spotlight on them at a time, playing in different corners of the stage as divertimento, giving us a taste of what we will be missing when the band finally gets to the right town to perform. I found myself wanting them to abandon the infuriating story so they could just sit and play their instruments — which they finally did after the cast’s bows. Finally, the band was front and center, but as a tack-on at the end.

Unsurprisingly, there was never any mention of the reality that is Israel and the full picture which includes human rights abuses, land theft, appropriation, or anything else that would shatter the specious façade that Israel tries to maintain: that it is a regular country of hard working people who just want to make a life for themselves in a hostile land and that a few evil Palestinians and Hamas terrorists ruin things for everyone. This omission is the most dangerous kind of normalization, letting Israel off the hook and normalizing it to the point that the Israeli protagonist yearns for something she can grab on to in the culture they are blotting out, something she found alluring and invigorating in Umm Kulthum’s songs and Omar Sharif’s movies. In other words, the show uses the Arab characters and culture as far as they can serve the Israeli characters and the Israeli narrative, and then sends them on their way.

Let’s remember that this is the country that has appropriated hummus and falafel and called it Israeli food, and cannot abide Palestinians having the right to return to homes they lost 70 years ago at the creation of their state, but insists that all Jews from around the world have a right to “return” after 2000 years. This is also the country that has just passed a new law codifying inequality by legalizing discrimination based on one’s religion. If you are not Jewish, as 20% of the population within Israel’s 1948 borders is not, you can and will now be legally discriminated against. In legal terms, Israel is the country that has just codified apartheid and made discrimination constitutional. This is not normal. It’s no wonder that normalization projects are so important; they normalize the unacceptable.

Imagine this show set in South Africa during the apartheid era with a black band of musicians coming to a desolate town of white settlers and infusing their dreary world with life, humanizing them, even as their own people are dehumanized by the metanarrative. How would we see that story? Would it be permissible to let the settlers off the hook?

Still, The Band’s Visit was awarded 10 Tony Awards. Only a handful of shows have ever achieved that status, such as Fiddler on the Roof and Hello Dolly. Was this sweep out of guilt by the voters who know what the real Israel is and they can’t bear to call it out? Was it out of relief that, phew, this shows Israel as a “normal” country? Was it out of wishful thinking that this makes the liberation struggle of Palestinians disappear? Was it out of comfort that this washes away the dirty image Israel has today?

Whichever reasons prompted the approximately 750 voting members of the American Theatre Wing to vote for this 10-Tony sweep this year, the musical is in fact normalization of Israel to an extraordinary degree. And it is deeply distressing because such grand normalization makes the work of achieving justice for all the people in the region even more difficult than it already is. The Band’s Visit does the work of the Israeli propaganda wolf, but in sheep’s clothing.

 

About Noushin Framke

Noushin Framke has been advocating for Palestinian rights since 2004 in faith-based settings and is the co-editor of Why Palestine Matters, The Struggle To End Colonialism. She was one of the representatives of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in corporate engagement talks with Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions, three companies that the denomination voted to divest from in 2014 because of their profits from human rights abuses in Palestine.

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51 Responses

  1. Don
    Don
    July 28, 2018, 1:24 pm

    No criticism of the author intended here, but sometimes we can feel so strongly about something we can “see things that are not there”.

    “Would it have been as funny if a Chinese person was trying to say he is going to a city starting with the letter ‘L’ that he couldn’t pronounce and the agent kept saying the word louder and louder?”

    Actually, yes…very funny, and I don’t think at all racist…
    Do You Understand the Words That Are Coming Out of My Mouth?

  2. Jackdaw
    Jackdaw
    July 28, 2018, 2:19 pm

    After killing each other for a good many years, Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty.
    The average Egyptian can despise Israelis, but at least the killing has stopped.

    Mondoweiss and the Palestinians should have taken notice of the Egypt-Israel model long ago.

    • eljay
      eljay
      July 28, 2018, 3:02 pm

      || Jackdaw: After killing each other for a good many years, Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty.
      The average Egyptian can despise Israelis, but at least the killing has stopped.

      Mondoweiss and the Palestinians should have taken notice of the Egypt-Israel model long ago. ||

      Of course, it’s so totally obvious! Jewish supremacists (Zionists):
      – stole, militarily-occupied and colonized almost all of geographic Egypt;
      – established in it a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” of Israel;
      – oppressed, tortured and killed Egyptians; and
      – refused to allow Egyptian refugees to return to their homes and lands.

      Then, one day, Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty that resulted in Israel withdrawing from all of geographic Egypt. Egypt regained its sovereignty, Egyptian refugees returned to their homes and lands and the killing stopped.

      I have no doubt that the same will happen with Palestine and Palestinians when Israel withdraws from all of geographic Palestine.

      Israel and Jewish supremacists (Zionists) should have taken notice of the Egypt-Israel model long ago.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        August 2, 2018, 9:06 pm

        @eljay

        How could Israel(is) notice?

        They’re far too busy killing, violating other sovereign nations territory and planning the next regional war they want to undertake.

        When it comes to Israel and Palestine one side is by far the greater killer. It’s not even close enough to discuss.

    • Keith
      Keith
      July 28, 2018, 4:06 pm

      JACKDAW- “After killing each other for a good many years, Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty.”

      Yes, but only after Egyptian success in the 1973 war forced Israel to take Egypt seriously. Prior to that, Israel didn’t take Egypt seriously and scoffed at Sadat’s peace attempts. Surely you are aware of this? Since the Palestinians are weak and defenseless, the model doesn’t apply. Israel could unilaterally end the conflict beginning with ending the blockade of Gaza but Israel won’t. Period. Perhaps if the Gazans had nukes?

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        July 29, 2018, 5:53 am

        The IRA didn’t have nukes, but they ended the conflict .
        The Basque ETA didn’t have nukes, but they ended the conflict.
        Columbia’s FARC didn’t have nukes, but they ended the conflict.

        BTW, Sadat and Begin only made peace six years after the 1973 War.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        July 29, 2018, 9:25 am

        Israel does have nukes. Is it because of this or in spite of this that Israel won’t end the conflict with the Palestinians?

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        July 29, 2018, 9:32 am

        @ Jackdaw

        Neither the IRA nor the ERTA nor the FARC were fighting against a colonial Apartheid regime which was trying to expell the natives and take over their country.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        July 30, 2018, 3:32 am

        @Talkshit

        As agreed to at the San Remo Conference, the Jews were invited to return to Eretz Yisroel and settle there.

        It was the Arabs, who in the 1920’s, by attacking and murdering defenceless Jews, tried to strangle the Zionist infant in the crib.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        July 30, 2018, 8:58 am

        Jackdaw: “@Talkshit”

        Yes, infantile Zioinst shmock.

        Jackdaw “As agreed to at the San Remo Conference, the Jews were invited to return to Eretz Yisroel and settle there.”

        So? Were the Palestinians not fighting against a colonial Apartheid regime which was trying to expell the natives and take over their country? Do you really want to claim that the agreement in San Remo was something noble or just? Or do you want to admit that it was colonial and nothing else but the denial of self determination of the PEOPLE OF Palestine?

        Jackdaw: “It was the Arabs, who in the 1920’s, by attacking and murdering defenceless Jews, tried to strangle the Zionist infant in the crib.”

        Yes. Unfortunately that can happen when a specific group of people in your country announce to take over your land. But Jews would NEVER react the same way, righ?. In fact, Jews would never attack or murder defenseless Nonjews, right? For example shoot at innocent Nonjews who want to return to their homes.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        July 30, 2018, 3:22 pm

        “and nothing else but the denial of self determination of the PEOPLE OF Palestine?

        The Arabs drew first blood, and there were consequences.

        The League of Nations, in it’s wisdom, created Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, etc, for the Arabs. The League also sought to resettle Jews to Palestine, a country the Allies created on a map, same as they created Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Lebanon on a map.

        To wit, there were no Lebanese, Iraqis, Palestinians or Jordanian peoples, until the League of Nations created those national identities.

        Before the League acted, there were only Arabs, Kurds and Jews. That’s it.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        July 31, 2018, 1:09 am

        ” The League of Nations, in it’s wisdom, created …. Before the League acted, there were only Arabs, Kurds and Jews. That’s it.”

        What’s your point?

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        July 31, 2018, 8:43 am

        Jackdaw: “The Arabs drew first blood, and there were consequences.”

        I understand. So the consequence of the actions of Arabs who heard about the Zionist goal to deny them self determination was to deny them self determination.

        And being a supporter of colonialism and Apartheid you don’t have a problem with that, right?

        Jackdaw: “The League of Nations …”

        Yep. The Palestinians were never asked. Neither about the Jewish immigration policy that was enforced upon them under British de facto occupation as a result of a colonial perversion of the mandate system. Nor about the UN’s recommendation to partion Palestine against the right of self determination enshrined in the UN charter.

        Even within its initial borders the Jewish Apartheid Junta never held a referendum before it’s creation. It doesn’t even have an internal legitimation. ROFL. It’s just a terrorist and illegal combatant’s junta which took control after it terrorized the Goverment of Palestine into dissolution and expelled the majority of the citizens within its initial borders.

        That’s what you support. Shame on you!

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      July 28, 2018, 4:24 pm

      Jackdaw: “Mondoweiss and the Palestinians should have taken notice of the Egypt-Israel model long ago.”

      Yep. Palestine, too, should be liberated by force. Only then Israel will come to terms.

      • Nathan
        Nathan
        July 29, 2018, 8:31 pm

        Talkback – Are you wishing for the Palestinians a future of struggle, or are you suggesting that you wish to participate personally in the liberation by force of Palestine? The Palestinians have a long history of failure (political and military). They weren’t able to prevent the Jewish immigration to Palestine, and they weren’t able to prevent the rise of Israel. I can only hope that you don’t wish for them further failure. Maybe you have the strategic skills to defeat Israel (if you want to do something right, you should do it yourself)!

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        July 30, 2018, 12:16 am

        That “Nathan” just can’t help sniggering at the victims of theft, invasion, mass uprooting, mass murder and genocide.

        It’s good. It satisfies his inhuman sadism, so typical of Zionists, and it provides us a shining example of who the Zionists are.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        July 30, 2018, 12:38 am

        Nathan: “They weren’t able to prevent the Jewish immigration to Palestine, and they weren’t able to prevent the rise of Israel.”

        Similar to Apartheid South Africa.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso
        July 30, 2018, 10:35 am

        @Jackdaw
        Sigh. GET EDUCATED!!

        Reality:

        By incorporating the Balfour Declaration the 1922 League of Nations British Class A mandate for Palestine did facilitate Jewish immigration to “secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home,” but it did not call for the creation of a sovereign Jewish state or homeland in Palestine or any form of partition. This was made very clear in the Churchill Memorandum (1 July 1922) regarding the British Mandate: “[T]he status of all citizens of Palestine in the eyes of the law shall be Palestinian, and it has never been intended that they, or any section of them, should possess any other juridical status.”

        Furthermore, regarding the British Mandate, as approved by the Council of the League of Nations, the British government declared: “His Majesty’s Government therefore now declare unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State.” (Command Paper, 1922)

        In May 1939, the British government issued the MacDonald White Paper, which in accordance with the Mandate, ruled out any possibility of a Jewish state, and declared Great Britain “could not have intended Palestine should be converted into a Jewish state against the will of the Arab population of the country.” It called for a Palestinian state in which Jews and Arabs would govern jointly based on a constitution to be drafted by their representatives and those of Britain. The constitution would safeguard the “Jewish National Home” in Palestine and if good relations developed between Jews and Arabs, the country would be granted independence in ten years. Land sales to Jews were to be restricted and the annual level of Jewish immigration was to be limited to 15,000 for five years, following which, Palestinian Arab acquiescence would be required.

        Re: “It was the Arabs, who in the 1920’s, by attacking and murdering defenceless Jews…”

        Reality:
        On May 1, 1921, violence broke out in Jaffa and elsewhere in which 90 Jews and 62 Arabs were killed and many more wounded. (Smith, Palestine And The Israel/Arab Conflict, p. 72) The clashes were ignited in Tel Aviv and spread to Jaffa when Jewish socialists began protesting against Jewish communists who were parading in support of a Soviet Palestine. These disturbances by a foreign minority that espoused alien ideologies and showed little respect for local customs and mores (e.g., Jewish women dressing immodestly in public) were an unacceptable affront to Palestinians. As they saw it, their country and way of life were under siege from within by interlopers who as the 1919 U.S. King-Crane Commission had asserted, intended to dispossess them. They could take no more and vented their rage by attacking Zionists in their midst.

        In 1925, Vladimir Jabotinsky, a Zionist zealot from Poland, founded the fascistic Betar or Brown Shirts along with the Revisionist Party (origin of today’s Likud) which advocated “revision” of the British Mandate to include forcible Jewish colonization of then Transjordan in addition to Palestine. Such Jewish extremism, along with the racist rants of Rabbi Kook and threats against the Dome of the Rock by Revisionist demonstrators led to the terrible and bloody riots of 1929, resulting in the deaths of 133 Jews in Hebron and elsewhere.

        Although never acknowledged by Israel and its supporters, hundreds of Hebron’s Jews were taken in and protected by Muslims. Tragically, 64 of Hebron’s Jews died, but 650 were saved. Throughout the country 133 Jews were killed and 339 wounded while Palestinians suffered 116 dead and 232 wounded.

        Vincent Sheean, an eminent American journalist who arrived in Palestine as a pro-Zionist just days before the riots erupted, was shocked at what he saw: As he later wrote: “I was bitterly indignant with the Zionists for having, as I believed, brought on the disaster…. [W]hy couldn’t the Zionists leave it [Palestine] alone, it would never hold enough Jews to make even a beginning towards the solution of the Jewish problem; it would always be a prey to such ghastly horrors as those I saw everyday and every night….” (Vincent Sheean, Personal History, New York: Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc. 1935)

        Bitterly ironic is the fact that most Jews living in Hebron in 1929 were anti-Zionist. They were the descendants of the Sephardim who had founded the city’s Jewish Quarter near the tomb of the Patriarchs in the 1500’s after Jews were expelled from Spain and then welcomed and given sanctuary in the Arab world. Their numbers increased somewhat during the early 1900’s with the arrival of Hasidim from Poland who came to study. Many Muslims who were driven out of Spain by the Christians also moved to Hebron. Prior to Zionism, Jews and Muslims lived together harmoniously in Hebron for 400 years with the Jews always forming a small minority. There were very few if any Christians in the city.

        The friendship that existed between Muslims and Jews in Hebron was attested to by Israeli journalist Chaim Hanegbi, whose great grandfather was the city’s last Rabbi: “My grandfather lived very peacefully with his Arab neighbours…. His family joined the grape harvest every year, and the [Muslim] neighbours cooked kosher food so the Jews could share the feasts with them.” (Canada’s Globe and Mail, February 18, 1997)

        It should also be noted that in the spirit of reconciliation, Hebron’s mayor has stated publicly that he and his fellow Muslims would welcome the descendants of the city’s Jews if they chose to return and replace the Zionist fanatics who are presently there.

        BTW, in response to claims by Zionists today that properties of Jews in Hebron were illegally taken over by Arabs, it should be noted that evidence in the form of receipts for annual payments up to the year 1936 have been produced by Anwar Katib, former Jordanian governor of the District of Jerusalem which prove that much of the property they occupied was in fact leased. (Patricia Sellick, “The Old City of Hebron: Can It Be Saved?;” Journal of Palestine Studies, #92, Vol. XXlll, Summer 1994, p.75).

    • lyn117
      lyn117
      July 28, 2018, 5:09 pm

      As part of the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, Israel gave back all the land it had stolen from Egypt. It should do the same in a peace treaty with the Palestinians – give back all the land it stole – about 90% of greenline Israel.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        July 28, 2018, 9:50 pm

        All the land stolen by the Zionists is 100%, as the little real estate they paid for did not include state sovereignty.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      July 30, 2018, 10:20 am

      @jackdaw

      GET EDUCATED!!!

      The Likud Party Platform:
      a. “The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.”
      b. “Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem”
      c. “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”
      d. “…. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.”

    • Leahj
      Leahj
      August 1, 2018, 8:47 am

      Jackboot, ” As agreed to at the San Remo Conference, the Jews were invited to return to Eretz Yisroel and settle there. ”

      But, that invitation didn’t come from the Palestinians. It was more like me inviting all the pro-Palestinian posters here to go live in your house & drive your car. Which, now that I think of it, isn’t such a bad idea. It could be a valuable teaching moment.

  3. Nathan
    Nathan
    July 28, 2018, 4:12 pm

    “…the musical is in fact normalization of Israel to an extraordinary degree.”

    Oy. How could one even imagine that the American Theatre Wing does not share the animosity of an anti-Israel activist? I, too, have never come across an article or a book or a movie that sees the world differently than I do. So, I share with our author the sense of shock that others think that Israel is full of normal people and that an Israeli play is actually quite excellent. And, can you imagine “appropriating hummus and falafel”? That’s really just too much. Let’s add it to the list of endless grievances.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      July 28, 2018, 9:53 pm

      Oy. Another Zionist who believes he is “normal”.
      The smarter ones know better.

  4. Boris
    Boris
    July 29, 2018, 10:46 pm

    Egyptians don’t have a ‘P’ sound in their language, hence P is pronounced as a B. If you’ve been to Egypt, you know that ‘Bebsi’ is ‘Pepsi.”

    Well, there is no “Palestine” either.

    What language do Egyptian speak? Egyptian?

  5. SeaPort
    SeaPort
    July 30, 2018, 8:52 am

    Palestine is Felsteen in Arabic.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      July 30, 2018, 10:11 am

      Please, don’t confuse Boris with knowledge. According to him, there is no “Israel” either, because it’s not pronounced this way in hebrew or yiddish.

  6. Boomer
    Boomer
    July 31, 2018, 6:43 am

    re: “such grand normalization makes the work of achieving justice for all the people in the region even more difficult than it already is. ”

    True, and hardly new, and hardly limited to this instance. It’s been pervasive in U.S. media as long as I can remember.

  7. Emet
    Emet
    August 2, 2018, 9:51 am

    Israel is not a “normal” country because the Arabs and Muslims in the region have relentlessly waged war and campaigns of rejection. Had the Arabs accepted the 1947 Partition Plan as well as accepting that the Temple Mount is the holiest site for Jews, peace would have broken out a long time ago and many lives would have been spared.

    • eljay
      eljay
      August 2, 2018, 11:07 am

      || Emet: Israel is not a “normal” country because the Arabs and Muslims in the region have relentlessly waged war and campaigns of rejection. Had the Arabs accepted the 1947 Partition Plan as well as accepting that the Temple Mount is the holiest site for Jews, peace would have broken out a long time ago and many lives would have been spared. ||

      Similarly, the rapist is not a “normal” man because he covets, kidnaps, imprisons and does evil to women the women in his basement have relentlessly waged war and campaigns of rejection. Had the women accepted his Brutality Plan as well as accepting that their Groves of Eglantine are the holiest sites for him, peace would have broken out a long time ago and many lives would have been spared.

    • Keith
      Keith
      August 2, 2018, 11:39 am

      EMET- “Israel is not a “normal” country because the Arabs and Muslims in the region have relentlessly waged war and campaigns of rejection.”

      Yes, yes, Zionists are the victims. And until the Palestinians writhing under the Zionist boot confess to Jew-hatred and beg your forgiveness, you will have no alternative but to punish them for their intransigence.

      Israel is not a normal country because Zionists like you turn reality on its head. It is not as if the Arabs invaded the Pale of Settlement.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      August 2, 2018, 9:51 pm

      Had the Zionists not cooked up and carried out their crazy scheme, many lives would have been spared.

      But, Emet, your comment reveals your basic attitude.

      Jews want a state in Palestine, so the people who were living there should accept it, and let Jews have it.

      Jews want the Temple Mount, so the Muslims who have regarded it as holy, and who have had holy buildings there for 1300 years, should accept it, and let Jews have it.

      It’s “We matter, and you don’t.”

  8. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    August 5, 2018, 2:16 pm

    @mediocrebutnice

    “There really are Israelis, living in middle-of-nowhere towns, working in cafes and going on dates”

    You forgot doing their routine ethnically cleansing , sniper kill and child abuse stints in the most moral.

    Just a run of the mill brutal racist cult colony then. What`s the big deal.?

    “That regardless of all this bullshit that goes on in the country, there are people trying to live their lives at the end of the day”

    Here is a suggestion. Why don`t you explain to a Palestinian mother or father who have lost their child in a most moral killfest that they shouldn`t fret so much. As you say it is all bullshit.

    I am sure that they will love you to bits for your compassion and empathy.

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