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The Final Solution
September 28, 2004 8:29 PM   Subscribe

Would You, as a Human Being, be Willing to Shake Hands with a Jew?
posted by Mick (113 comments total)

 
This is going to go swimmingly, I'm sure.
posted by trharlan at 8:32 PM on September 28, 2004


*sidles up, extends cold hands, waits for flames*
posted by Krrrlson at 8:34 PM on September 28, 2004


Looks like a shitstorm is coming in hard, ma. Better head to the cellar.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:35 PM on September 28, 2004


that's just sad. (and which prophets did we kill this time?)
posted by amberglow at 8:35 PM on September 28, 2004


racist people exist in the world. film at 11.
posted by Stynxno at 8:35 PM on September 28, 2004


That article is surprisingly well-balanced and fair.

(slowly backs up, then suddenly dives into nearby trench)
posted by neckro23 at 8:36 PM on September 28, 2004


And this is posted to MetaFilter why? I see pretty well nothing here that makes this at all interesting.
posted by fenriq at 8:40 PM on September 28, 2004


A++++! WOULD SHAKE HANDS WITH JEW AGAIN!
posted by quonsar at 8:41 PM on September 28, 2004 [1 favorite]


I am shocked, shocked to learn that there is antisemitism in Saudi Arabia.
posted by PrinceValium at 8:44 PM on September 28, 2004


I know I didn't expect it.

What's that? [points towards something out the window]
posted by five fresh fish at 8:47 PM on September 28, 2004


I see pretty well nothing here that makes this at all interesting.

It could be an element in a larger FPP that illustrates racist attitudes in the world today, or even just anti-semitic attitudes. Has potential, but needs more work.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:47 PM on September 28, 2004


Well, I thought it was interesting. I didn't realize to what degree the average person in Saudi Arabia thinks the Jew is her or her "eternal enemy." I live in Tennessee. We don't have Jews.
posted by sklero at 8:48 PM on September 28, 2004


I like how Saudia Arabians believe Jews to be their number one threat. Hello, we want your oil, we're coming to get you. You can only fund so many terrorist attacks until President Cheney gets elected in 2008. They didn't call him "Cheney the Vicious" for nothing.
posted by geoff. at 8:49 PM on September 28, 2004


quonsar, flat out brilliant. seriously, the funniest reference I've seen on the web in quite a while, and absolutely out of left field in this thread, kudos!
posted by jonson at 8:50 PM on September 28, 2004


I think the bigger question is whether a Jew would shake hands with you.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:51 PM on September 28, 2004


um...sklero--we're everywhere, even Tennessee : >

yes, i know you were kidding--i hope
posted by amberglow at 8:52 PM on September 28, 2004


ok, maybe we're not in Saudi Arabia.
posted by amberglow at 8:54 PM on September 28, 2004


I wonder how Jewish settlers in Palestinian areas would feel about shaking hands with Muslims.

I have a feeling that responses would be just as positive as in this FPP...
posted by clevershark at 8:56 PM on September 28, 2004


quonsar, flat out brilliant.

exactly what i thought when i first saw it!
posted by quonsar at 8:57 PM on September 28, 2004


Less than half a percent in Tennesee.

And I'd bet sklero knows that Tennesee contains at least one Jew.
posted by trharlan at 8:58 PM on September 28, 2004


Don't a lot of settlers have Muslims working for or with them?
posted by amberglow at 9:00 PM on September 28, 2004


Don't a lot of settlers have Muslims working for or with them?

I wouldn't bet on that. I'm guessing you're talking about kibbutz, not settlements.
posted by clevershark at 9:05 PM on September 28, 2004


I wouldn't bet on that. I'm guessing you're talking about kibbutz, not settlements.

I was under the impression that numerous Palestinians Muslims worked in Israel, and I would think a majority of the population would, in fact, shake hands with a Muslim. The settlers however are a lot more extreme.

Also, keep in mind that, although I'm sure Saudi Arabian public opinion isn't very kind to Jews, no one there would dare say that they would shake hands with a Jew on public television, no matter what they thought.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:14 PM on September 28, 2004


Does this remind anyone else of Borat? The reporter even looks like him. Not so subtle, mind you.
posted by Evstar at 9:14 PM on September 28, 2004


Why is everyone so afraid to answer the question?

I, _sirmissalot_, would totally be willing to shake hands with a Jew (or Jewess).
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 9:17 PM on September 28, 2004


Sounds like the ol' Hatfield & McCoy routine they've got over in the MidEast is never at a loss for yuks. How international onlookers can "choose sides" in a neverending cultural-spiritual war like theirs has always been a mind-scrambler to me. I wish the US would resign to stay completely out of it. We're not the boss of Israel & our peace-brokering efforts are a compulsory charade we put on make us look like responsible parents tut-tutting their misbehaving children. The "children" are going to go one misbehaving til they've painted themselves out of the landscape. I say, let them.

/couldn't possibly use any more hyphens in one paragraph

/also happy to not be alone in thinking the interviewer was SB Cohen/Borat/Ali G

posted by dhoyt at 9:18 PM on September 28, 2004


I thought for a minute that this was this guy doing the interview it seemed so ridiculous. But then I realised it wasn't.

Nice way to help the world along there.

(On Preview) Evstar, dhoyt
posted by bdave at 9:26 PM on September 28, 2004


MEMRI who?

"Bridging the language gap between the Middle East and the West", indeed.
posted by LimePi at 9:31 PM on September 28, 2004


That Borat guy looks oddly like Mahir!
posted by clevershark at 9:33 PM on September 28, 2004


And Mahir looks a wee bit like Ringo.
posted by dhoyt at 9:36 PM on September 28, 2004


Erm...can you say "Jewess"? Can I say it, even to ask? Isn't that like "negress"?

Oh, man, I'm going to hell now.
posted by waldo at 9:41 PM on September 28, 2004


Gilda said it, so maybe you can. : >
posted by amberglow at 9:43 PM on September 28, 2004


You idiot! We made up the Five Jew Bankers!
posted by darukaru at 9:45 PM on September 28, 2004


but the site got the jingle wrong--it's not Nasa, but Nassau (as in the island and the county)
posted by amberglow at 9:46 PM on September 28, 2004


Oh and can anyone explain the usage of "you as a human being"? I mean that's implied in English obviously, is there some kind of ambiguity that exists in the Arabic language that needs to specify this? I find there are several grammatical oddities that make Arabic -> English translations very sterile and as if coming from some kind of Arabic response generator (I mean look at those responses, very Orwellian and practiced). I can't believe that Arabians actually talk this way in their native language, it's like the Coneheads.
posted by geoff. at 9:48 PM on September 28, 2004


'If a Child Asks You Who 'Who are the Jews,' What Would You Answer?'

I grew up in a family that used phrases like "dirty jew" and "they'll jew you down," etc. When I was a wee youngster, I asked my mother's friend what a Jew was and he said, "It means cheap people. They bicker with you about everything." I literally thought it was a synonym for "cheap bastard".

One day, my mother remarries and we move to a nicer part of town. A few weeks into school and me and the other kids are waiting outside class for the teacher to arrive. I open some gum. This kid, Rob, who I find annoying, asks me for a piece. I say no, but he keeps asking. I toss a piece on the ground (they're individually sealed) and he picks it up and eats it. I say, "What are you, Rob? A Jew?"

Silence.

About 15 boys surround me in a large circle. Rob says, "Yeah, I am. Why?"

I later find out that my new school is 94% Jewish. I got the asskicking of my life. Daily. For the rest of the year.

I've since growed up, learned what Jews are (dated a bunch, too), and learned to never take my family's word for anything without verifying it from non-mom-related sources.

This has been issue 37 in the series of "The Adventures of Dobbs as a Youngster".
posted by dobbs at 9:48 PM on September 28, 2004


Jewish girls have big titsl
posted by delmoi at 9:55 PM on September 28, 2004


btw, quonsar wins the thread.
posted by delmoi at 9:56 PM on September 28, 2004


Jewish girls have big tits

Would you, as a human being, be willing to shake them?
posted by dhoyt at 10:13 PM on September 28, 2004


Good point on the "as a human being" business. As opposed to what... "would you, as a crustacean..."?
posted by clevershark at 10:16 PM on September 28, 2004


amberglow, trharlan: Yes, I was kidding. I assume there to be at least a few Jews in Nashville. But I personally can't think of a single Jewish person I've ever known. Which is why the whole "let's hate the Jews" thing is all the more nonsensical to me.

"Would you, as a Tennessean, shake the hand of a Romulan?"
posted by sklero at 10:26 PM on September 28, 2004


This kind of thing just goes to show you that there are a lot of assholes who can't tell the difference between the political and the personal.
posted by majick at 10:34 PM on September 28, 2004


Sorry, I don't buy this. I've been all over the world and so I know that extreme racism exists universally--in pockets. This page suggests that all Saudis hate Jews, which I don't believe. They probably asked the "man in the street" on one of the corners of the poorest, most radical neighborhoods of town.

For some reason, Memphis has a huge Jewish population.
posted by squirrel at 10:43 PM on September 28, 2004


My guess is that whatever "as a human being" is translated from means something like "personally". Either that, or the interviewer doesn't consider jews human.
posted by Tlogmer at 10:58 PM on September 28, 2004


This is one of those Borat joke skits for the Ali G show, right?
posted by mathowie at 10:59 PM on September 28, 2004


squirrel: Interesting. I better get on down I-40 and get to shakin' some hands.
posted by sklero at 10:59 PM on September 28, 2004


Oh and yes, I thought it was Borat at first, too.
posted by sklero at 10:59 PM on September 28, 2004


I think "as a human being" is meant as an alternative to "as an Arab", "as a Muslim".

When those British and German soldiers celebrated Christmas between the trenches of WWI, it was "as human beings" not "as soldiers."
posted by bashos_frog at 11:16 PM on September 28, 2004


Regardless of how representative they are, these ideas are somewhat chilling, speaking as an Enemy of the Prophet and Filthy Occupier of Arab Lands.

I wonder, though, how do those neocons behind Memri intend to go about making Muslims love Jews? By blowing more of them up or something?
posted by inksyndicate at 11:17 PM on September 28, 2004


Okay, upon follow up, I must split my kudos 50/50 between quonsar & the originator of the comment, Mr Crash Davis. Well done, the both of you, still the funniest thing I've read online in ages.
posted by jonson at 12:07 AM on September 29, 2004


Anti-Semitism in Saudi Arabia
posted by Silune at 12:35 AM on September 29, 2004


All together now...

"In my country we have problem...."
posted by salmacis at 12:48 AM on September 29, 2004


Jewish girls have big tits

Would you, as a human being, be willing to shake them?


Yes!
posted by wsg at 12:48 AM on September 29, 2004


Coming soon on MEMRI:

Man on the street interview in Israel:

"Would you be willing, as an Israeli, to shake hands with a Palestinian?"

*yawn*

you know Mick, a bit of a background on the many reasons why there are many many centuries of very bad blood between those two Middle Eastern religions would be appreciated, next time. it would probably redeem a shit fpp like this one

just another good foreign-affairs related fpp from the man who gave us interesting commentary like

This is nothing more than scare tactics from the DNC, and all you chicken littles are either too stupid to figure it out or willing to do anything to make sure your side wins.


so, leaving for Iraq anytime soon, Mick, back up that nice rhetoric with some non-keyboard action? or are you one of the "chicken littles"?
______

also: "would you, as a human being, be willing to shake hands with a Mick?" (pun intended)

*snicker*
posted by matteo at 1:14 AM on September 29, 2004


ahem
posted by magullo at 1:38 AM on September 29, 2004


No need to go to a "settlement" or a Kibbutz. Arabs are employed in supermarkets, restaurants and across all the service industries, mostly in low wage jobs (It's safe to assume that most are muslims). In the supermarket I frequent some of the female employees wear head scarves, there are others that if it wasn't for the name tag I, in my ignorance, would assume are jews of eastern extraction.
FYI racism is alive and kicking in Israel, both at the personal and institutional level but a TV piece along these lines would be inconceivable, we like our racism covert.
posted by golo at 1:44 AM on September 29, 2004


... there are others that if it wasn't for the name tag I, in my ignorance, would assume are jews of eastern extraction.

That's an important point. Israeli society has a lot of cultural diversity, though that diversity may not have as much amplitude as we're used to in the US or in parts of Europe. Economic-class mobility is high, too. I'm told there used to be (probably still is, that stuff doesn't change in ten years) a lot of prejudice against non-Ashkenazim and against "religious people". ("Dark people", an Israeli prof told me the latter were called -- a double entendre about dark clothing and a dour outlook. Another person in her building sidled up one day and quietly asked: "You're not selling [your condo] to any dark people, are you?" She knew instantly what the woman meant.)

Saudi society I would expect to be much more culturally homogenous, with much less social mobility. I would imagine it's inconceivable for a Jew to prosper in Saudi, and rather difficult for a Christian. But many Arabs prosper, though perhaps not easily, in Israel.
posted by lodurr at 2:08 AM on September 29, 2004


For those who didn't follow the Borat references, Sacha Baron Cohen suggested to a country-music bar somewhere in the USA that we "throw the Jew down the well". They sang along. (video)
posted by iffley at 2:18 AM on September 29, 2004


Yes, but the chap in the first picture is not Borat, the character of Sacha Baron Cohen. If it were, it would be funny.

'Would You, as a Human Being, be Willing to Shake Hands with a Jew?' isn't how Cohen would phrase the question in his Borat persona - it doesn't fit the convoluted, awkward sentence structure. That said, if a Borat interview *was* transcribed, it would come across as funny in text, so I can see the room for confusion.

I'm not sure even Cohen has the cojones to take that routine to Saudi Arabia.
posted by nthdegx at 2:47 AM on September 29, 2004


Oh shit. I've hugged Jews. Including male ones.
I'm going to hell.
posted by i_cola at 2:59 AM on September 29, 2004


RE: Antisemitism.

Are not Arabs also Semitic People? Where's that 'We're not Anit-Semitic" Poem from a few months back?
posted by hughbot at 3:53 AM on September 29, 2004


Humanity is fucked.
posted by Optamystic at 4:22 AM on September 29, 2004


Huh, when I was in Israel, the most religious people were the Ashkenazi. The Sfaradim not so much but are socially looked down upon. It seems it's a ongoing problem.

Hundreds of years of anti-semitism? I thought that was Europe. Until recently, while the faith of Islam has never been *keen* on faiths not their own (but this holds true of most religions), they gave a certain amount of respect to Judaic and Christian faith. "Children of The Book" was created by the Prophet Mohammed.
posted by Dagobert at 4:36 AM on September 29, 2004


My dad was a German lecturer at King Saud University in Riyadh for years. A couple of anecdotes from Saudi TV:

Talk show with a group of Mullahs discussing morality.
Man calls in.
Host: Go ahead.
Man: Dear Mullah, when I was on safari in Africa with my family and 5-year-old daughter, a crocodile lept up into our boat and ate her! I do not understand why Allah made this occur!
Mullah: Allah is wise and merciful. Perhaps your daughter was to bring shame to your family in the future.

Woman calls in.
Host: Go ahead.
Woman: Dear Mullah, I would like to learn to play the piano, but my husband is reluctant to allow it. Should I be allowed to learn?
Mullah: Absolutely not. It is immoral for women to play man's instruments. Except that on the occasion of your brother's wedding, you may play the hide of a certain animal.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:50 AM on September 29, 2004


And of course when anything, ANYTHING goes wrong in Saudi, it is not the fault of the person responsible, it is the will of Allah.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:53 AM on September 29, 2004


You know how many rivers or lakes there are in Saudi? No rivers or lakes.


No.





Riversorlakes.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:58 AM on September 29, 2004


My dad swears this is true: a British colleague of his saved a Saudi from drowning (in the sea of course, see above). The Saudi got onto the beach, made frantic prayers to Allah, and walked away without thanking him. The Brit was just a tool of Allah, and had no reason to be thanked himself.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:02 AM on September 29, 2004


Then there's the Saudi who got put on trial for murder. A baby had dropped from a badly-made balcony 5 stories above, and his car broke the baby's fall. Baby's dead, someone has to pay, and it isn't going to be the people who own the balcony!
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:05 AM on September 29, 2004


A Saudi collegue of my Dad's was questioned by relgious police after his veiled wife revealed her tongue in public. She was licking an icecream.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:06 AM on September 29, 2004


Woman commits adultery, gets stoned to death in a black sack.
Man has more than one wife, gets ENUFF RESPECT MOFO.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:12 AM on September 29, 2004


As I say, my dad taught German. His lessons had to be very carefully crafted. "Yes, I know that picture looks like he's holding a beer mug, but it's actually full of lemonade." "Yes, that woman the man is dancing with in a nightclub is his wife."

"What do you enjoy doing?"
"I go to my friend's house for coffee."
"And what do YOU enjoy doing?"
"I go to my friend's house for coffee."
"And how about you, what do you enjoy doing?"
"I go to my friend's house for coffee."

And of course, the number one sentiment about the German nation amongst Saudi university students: "Hitler was a bad man. But at least he killed six million Jews."
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:21 AM on September 29, 2004


At the airport, customs tried to confiscate my dad's _Saudi Arabian_ Arabic translation of George Orwell's Animal Farm. Not because it told people the truth about totalitarianism. Because it had a picture of some pigs on the front.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:23 AM on September 29, 2004


Get you own blog, fuckwit.
posted by Optamystic at 5:29 AM on September 29, 2004


By fuckwit, I, of course, mean anyone who misspells "your".
posted by Optamystic at 5:31 AM on September 29, 2004


Jewish girls have big titsl

Oh yeah!!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:31 AM on September 29, 2004


Those are pretty lousy jokes.

I think the "human being" phrasing is because they see us Jews as lower than human--sort of like the nazis, and haters thru history did. (that Jewdog kind of thing.)
posted by amberglow at 5:34 AM on September 29, 2004


Woof [I concur]
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:39 AM on September 29, 2004


I find this linked material deeply depressing.
posted by orange swan at 6:04 AM on September 29, 2004


For some reason, Memphis has a huge Jewish population.

Pharoah won't let 'em leave?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:15 AM on September 29, 2004


Yes, I was kidding. I assume there to be at least a few Jews in Nashville. But I personally can't think of a single Jewish person I've ever known. Which is why the whole "let's hate the Jews" thing is all the more nonsensical to me.

sklero, honey, you and me are going on a driving tour of Nashville's synagogues, this weekend. And then maybe to the Jewish Community Center for good measure. Oy.
posted by ChrisTN at 6:16 AM on September 29, 2004


Stainless: *bada boom CHING!*
posted by leotrotsky at 6:50 AM on September 29, 2004


Those are pretty lousy jokes.

Which jokes, sorry?
posted by nthdegx at 8:01 AM on September 29, 2004


Hey, take it easy, folks. These are our allies. We can't upset them.
posted by Slagman at 8:39 AM on September 29, 2004


squirrel: Sorry, I don't buy this. I've been all over the world and so I know that extreme racism exists universally--in pockets. This page suggests that all Saudis hate Jews, which I don't believe. They probably asked the "man in the street" on one of the corners of the poorest, most radical neighborhoods of town.

I've been to Saudi Arabia on business. First, there are no "poor, radical neighborhoods." You are very much mistaken if you think Islamic fundamentalism is restricted to poor people with no other choice. The upper levels of Saudi society (i.e., those associated, no matter how distantly, with the Royal Family) care as much about money as they do about Allah, but believe me, they are just as fervent as the people questioned in this article.

AnecdatalFilter: after slipping up and telling one of my hosts that I was going on day trips to Cairo and Tel Aviv, he told me in a friendly way where I might buy an inexpensive suit that I could wear as long as I was in Tel Aviv - and then burn without wasting a lot of money.
posted by JollyWanker at 8:51 AM on September 29, 2004


you know Mick, a bit of a background on the many reasons why there are many many centuries of very bad blood between those two Middle Eastern religions would be appreciated, next time. it would probably redeem a shit fpp like this one

I assume that this is common knowledge it's not my fault if you're ignorant.
posted by Mick at 9:09 AM on September 29, 2004


many many centuries of very bad blood

That's a frequently repeated cop-out. There's not even one full century of bad blood yet; it started with the Balfour Declaration in 1917, and the real nastiness only got going in the '20s when the Zionist colonization project started displacing native Arabs.
posted by Mars Saxman at 9:51 AM on September 29, 2004


It'd have been interesting to pose the same question a decade or two ago, in Ireland.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:57 AM on September 29, 2004


From the October 2004 Harper's Index:

Ratio of the minimum number of beheadings by the Saudi government last year to those by Saudi terrorists so far this year: 50:1

Unrelated story: I must admit I had a similar experience to dobbs'. Grew up on Canadian military bases, where there were no Jewish people whatsoever. Thought the word was a sort of slang term for "cheap." Even after reading The Merchant of Venice in high school, somehow didn't connect this bit of "slang" to Shylock's ethnicity. Had my dumb ass corrected by the first Jewish person I ever used this "slang" term in front of. Repented. Never did it again.
posted by gompa at 10:01 AM on September 29, 2004


Just as a counterpoint from the Arab media, there was recently a similar segment that I saw on Al Jazeera... most of the people interviewed said they wished for dialog and to speak with their enemies. Of course there were some who said war is the only way to deal with the issue of Palestine, but most of the people interviewed were saying that they needed to go forward with negotiation, etc.

MEMRI won't translate that program.
posted by cell divide at 10:04 AM on September 29, 2004


i'm thinking "as a human being" means "apart from the historical, religious and political, one human being to another" but i'm likely bound in my own linguistic prison....
posted by quonsar at 10:29 AM on September 29, 2004


MEMRI won't translate that program.

cell divide, MEMRI doesn't need to translate those sorts of conversations, because you can find articles referencing the need for US-Muslim dialogue just about anywhere...US, European, and Middle Eastern media included. Arab News, Lebanon Star, and other highly circulated sources from Arab media publish this news all the time. And it is answered. There have been countless "US-Muslim Relations" conferences held within the past 5 years, and numerous councils established in Washington & NY just for this purpose. Please don't lump MEMRI into a hidden influence/agenda. It is an invaluable resource for direct proof of the diseased hatred, bias, and 'calls to action' from angry imams preaching the death of Jews, and the destruction of Israel.

I thank you, MEMRI. Where else would I have learned that Jews are the descendants of pigs and dogs? Where else would I have learned that Jews actually kill Palestinian babies and use the blood in their Passover cakes? Late at night, Jews sneak into town and pour poison down the wells with their spindly jew-fingers, which are really long from handling so much money. Gosh, I hope I don't run into any of these Jewish monsters alone at night...they might stab me with their jew-horns! Mercy!
posted by naxosaxur at 10:49 AM on September 29, 2004


Would you, as a human being, shake hands with the Avengers?
posted by solistrato at 10:51 AM on September 29, 2004


Hey amberglow! You never told me you were a (gasp) Jew when you shook my hand!

(Still got the robot, BTW..)
posted by salmacis at 10:55 AM on September 29, 2004


America the Beautiful

9/15/2001 Iowa: "Would you shake hands with a muslim?"

1985 Alabama: "Would you shake hands with a person with A.I.D.S.?"

1955 Kansas: "Would you shake hands with a communist?"

1880 Oklahoma: "Would you shake hands with an Indian?"

And so on......
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:59 AM on September 29, 2004


sal! : >

It'd have been interesting to pose the same question a decade or two ago, in Ireland.
ah! I always knew those Irish bastards were antisemitic! ; >

and Secret: Don't forget the ever-popular "Would you ride a bus/drink from the same water fountain/let your kids go to school with/date a/marry a/hire a/stop your cab for a black person?"
posted by amberglow at 11:19 AM on September 29, 2004


It'd have been interesting to pose the same question a decade or two ago, in Ireland.

Er, similar question. Be rather pointless to ask the same question.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:07 PM on September 29, 2004


me loves the q
posted by anathema at 12:44 PM on September 29, 2004


Jewish girls have big tits

Only because they all have implants filled with the BLOOD OF CHILDREN.

Er... What I meant to say is that I believe this to be a lie, but any Jewish women with large breasts that wish to prove otherwise can do so. Keep in mind that I can not see very well so I need to feel the evidence in order to decide whether or not you are being truthful. I will wait paitently for volunteers in this scientific endeavor.
posted by bargle at 12:54 PM on September 29, 2004


"But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil." -Luke 6:35
posted by aaronshaf at 1:26 PM on September 29, 2004


q: "as a human being" in this particular case indicates someone who feels they are superior or 'more human' than the person they would be shaking hands with.

At least, that's how I read it.
posted by kamylyon at 1:37 PM on September 29, 2004


Luke 6:35

Ah yes, scriptural citations. That's just what this conflict needs more of.
posted by boaz at 2:04 PM on September 29, 2004


Good one PinkStainlessTail.
posted by euphorb at 2:21 PM on September 29, 2004


I'm surprised that people here are surprised at the video. I highly recommend reading what the US State Department has to say about the crazy religious persecution going on in the Kingdom--including against other Muslims, if they're Shia or otherwise non-Wahhabi. But that's life in a theocracy for you.

I would imagine it's inconceivable for a Jew to prosper in Saudi

...and...

I'm not sure even Cohen has the cojones to take that routine to Saudi Arabia.

Uh, apparently, a lot of people here aren't aware that Jews aren't allowed to enter or live in Saudi Arabia.

I don't just mean that the Saudis ban people from entering the country who were born in, live in, or have a passport stamp saying that they've traveled to Israel--Kuwait does that too, after all, and I presume other Islamic countries may as well. But the Saudi website recently put up a list of its overhauled requirements (i.e. less stringent rules) to get an entry visa, and there on the list underneath "no one who drinks alcohol" was "Jewish people". After a hue and cry raised by an American congressman, the Saudis took it off the website and said that it was up there "by mistake", that there was no such policy. Riiiiight. Which is why they require visitors to state their religion on their visa application form...even for other countries' government representatives.

(Buddhists who come to work as imported labor in Saudi Arabia run into the religion problem, too, and usually put down "Christian" on their visa form so they won't have trouble getting in or finding a job once they're in, Christians being People of The Book and thus slightly higher in the rankings of evil infidels than Buddhists, Hindus, Wiccans, etc.)

By the way, the big boobies thing is true--which is good, because it draws attention away from our big noses. And the horns. :-)
posted by Asparagirl at 6:18 PM on September 29, 2004


I got my horns filed down as a bar mitzvah present--you didn't, aspara? ; >


And meanwhile, in our own country, there's just as much stereotyping, idiocy, and hate: LETTER TO OUR ENEMIES
posted by amberglow at 9:37 PM on September 29, 2004


A charming letter, indeed. Makes one despair of humans ever getting over themselves enough to make peace possible.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:42 PM on September 29, 2004


"Jewish Barbie dolls, with their revealing clothes and shameful postures, accessories and tools are a symbol of decadence to the perverted West"

How can a Barbie doll be in a shameful posture unless you are a perverted enough Easterner(?) to pose one in a shameful posture? Barbie is so clearly jewish though, with her tiny button nose, blue eyes, ash blonde hair, yadda, yadda, yadda!
posted by DrDoberman at 3:56 AM on September 30, 2004


Maybe some of you guys didn't quite get the point about Borat. The guy in Saudi isn't Borat, and he's probably not doing it for a joke. But the Americans who sang "Throw the Jew down the well" weren't joking either. If our Saudi interviewer asked those Americans if they would "as human beings, be willing to shake hands with Jews" (perhaps after psychologically priming them to give a particular answer, as Borat did) I bet they'd respond the same way.

You'll find antisemites everywhere, though in Saudi Arabia it's pretty institutionalised. Antisemites in the USA are usually probably just more discreet than those in Saudi. As amberglow suggested, when racism is institutionalised (as it was in the USA even within my lifetime), it's more acceptable for individuals to support it.

As far as the phrase "as a human being" goes, I think it's far more likely to suggest "as one person to another" rather than to suggest "you're human and they're not". Would you be willing to consider the possibility that the second interpretation involves a degree of paranoia and an unwarranted assumption of racist intent?

I've met plenty of antisemitic Muslims, and I don't believe any of them think Jews are less human than themselves. That's just not a Muslim conception. Racist Muslims hate Jews in much the same way they hate Christians, Buddhists and Hindus - and in all those cases, the hate becomes open-hearted welcome if any member of those groups sees the light and accepts Islam.

The real difference for Muslims between Jews and other 'kaffirs' is that people claiming to represent all Jews grabbed some holy land that used to have mainly Arabs (of all three religions) living on it. You try telling Muslims that those were zionists rather than Jews, and that all Jews aren't responsible for something that someone else does in their name. Believe me, I've tried - but most antisemites I've met seem to believe that if you're a semite (in the 'Jewish' sense of the word) then you're a zionist.

(And, naxosaxur, the reason MEMRI should try to be balanced is this: because it's not balanced, we have no idea of the context of these interviews. Were they representative of all the interviews done? Were they part of a program that tried to show how desparate the rift between Arabs and Jews is?)
posted by iffley at 9:33 AM on September 30, 2004


A lot of this is in how you ask the question. Very few Americans would actually think twice about withdrawing their hand from an Arab if the occasion arose to shake hands with one at a party or in the workplace.

But if you put a reporter in their face, with a microphone, asking "Would you, as a human being, be willing to shake hands with... wait for it... an ARAB?" then the first thing they're going to think is "Gee, I better consider this. If a reporter thinks I might be wondering, then maybe I should be wondering. Hm."
posted by scarabic at 9:50 PM on September 30, 2004


Not that many Arabs aren't anti-semitic. They are. I find it extremely troubling, offensive, and counter productive, but, unfortunately, many of them are. My dad, for one rattles on about the Jew-controlled media all the time. My cousins were happy to email me that rumor about 2,000 Jews not showing up to work on 9/11. They're not bad people, and I highly doubt they would ever speak their racism in public. Nor do I think they would ever act on it. But the core of racism is impossible for me to deny. It's a tradition I had to reject, and remains a stain. I fight it whenever I have the chance. I think the prevailing fact is that my relatives know they're in America now and that sort of thing doesn't fly, so they keep a tight lid on it. This puts them in quite a bit of good company around here, too, I suspect.
posted by scarabic at 10:30 PM on September 30, 2004


quonsar, flat out brilliant. seriously, the funniest reference I've seen on the web in quite a while, and absolutely out of left field in this thread, kudos!

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posted by t r a c y at 11:54 PM on September 30, 2004


And then there's the recent news article about a group of settler Jews who refused to assist a Palestinian who was run over/shot by a settler.

The hate goes both ways 'round there.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:38 AM on October 1, 2004


This puts them in quite a bit of good company around here, too, I suspect.
You don't have to suspect--it's the truth. Hopefully, it lessens with each generation tho, being a learned outlook and attitude.
posted by amberglow at 10:42 AM on October 1, 2004


It'll lessen with each generation in America, one would think.

It's only intensifying with each generation in the wartown areas of the mid-East.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:54 PM on October 1, 2004


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