A lot of haters.
June 5, 2009 3:55 PM   Subscribe

Max Blumenthal is Feeling the Hate In Jerusalem on Eve of Obama's Cairo Address (SLYT).

See Max Blumenthal's shocking footage of the reaction by some Israelis and American Jews in Jerusalem to Obama's speech to the Muslim world. Co-produced by Joseph Dana, aka Ibn Ezra: ibnezra.wordpress.com and Mondoweiss, a blog that covers the Israel-Palestine conflict and the Middle East from a progressive Jewish perspective.
posted by T.D. Strange (82 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: this is a short hatey YT video when there's already an open thread about Obama/Egypt. Why? -- jessamyn



 
If there's [more inside], then it's not a (SLYT)!
posted by hermitosis at 3:57 PM on June 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


spoiler: 15 half drunk 20 somethings curse Obama, wish he'd visited them
posted by nangua at 4:02 PM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Eh, I didn't think reposting the youtube description really counted.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:03 PM on June 5, 2009


This is hardly a broad sampling of Israelis and American Jews (it seemed mostly American Jews to me). It seemed to be about 15-20 drunk fratboys with the opinions you'd expect from such.
posted by Falconetti at 4:04 PM on June 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


this is a really crazy video and i think would benefit from a backgrounder on the diasporic longings of jews in america, which includes both american-israeli jews as well as jews raised on the diet of "the holocaust happened and this identifies you as a jew" which is, perhaps against our intuition, more dramatically enforced, culturally speaking, in america than israel.

israeli teens are very different from american jews, which is what makes it all the funnier when american jews go to israel to drink in jerusalem and "feel" jewish. all the while, israelis are laughing at the pathetic-ness of the american jews in trying to create a common "international jewry" that only american culturalists and right-wing politicians (ie netanyahu) believe and/or feed on.
posted by yonation at 4:06 PM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


It was pretty much all American Jews in Jerusalem. I loved the girl who didn't know who Netanyahu was, though. That was just precious.
posted by delmoi at 4:07 PM on June 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Haha. I was spell checking the guy's name and it turns out that Benjamin Netanyahu has a Twitter account.
posted by delmoi at 4:08 PM on June 5, 2009


Wait a minute, all of that was in Jerusalem? How could anyone there not know who Benyamin Netanyahu is?
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 4:08 PM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


"I'm a political science major so I know my shit. Who's Benyamin Yahoo?"
posted by ooga_booga at 4:08 PM on June 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


What an awful video, and a dangerous one too. I wish, like someone else said, he'd captured a broader swath of Jewish opinion about Obama and, more importantly, didn't make it seem like a bunch of drunken, Jewish teenagers spoke for the larger Jewish population.
posted by adrober at 4:09 PM on June 5, 2009


I always interview drunks when I'm looking for intelligent political opinion.
posted by doctor_negative at 4:10 PM on June 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


Saw it earlier. Try going into a bar late night in any city in America, esp. college town, and ask about this or that one....filming lots of party types in a bar is not a very good sample of a nation's response to anything. That said, Israelis to the right are very down on Obama; lefties delighted with him.
posted by Postroad at 4:12 PM on June 5, 2009


Some reaction from Ta-Hehisi Coates

But the greater point about this style of "journalism," is made by this headline which I came across--"Drunk Americans=Israeli Public Opinion." Man listen, hand me a fifth of Henny, a video camera, and an hour, and I'll show you Negroes claiming that God's messenger lives in a space-ship orbiting the earth.

The Henny is for me. The Negroes can be found, sober, saying anything. As can all people. That's the point. Bigotry is human. Why would the blacks and Jews be any different?

posted by shothotbot at 4:13 PM on June 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


I always interview drunks when I'm looking for intelligent political opinion.

I elect them.
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:14 PM on June 5, 2009


As Obama says, we should work together to try to find common ground. So, I am willing to admit that I agree with the man who spoke immediately before the end credits.
posted by Flunkie at 4:14 PM on June 5, 2009


this video is embarrassing, but mostly for the producers (I'm glad this film has "credits") who believe that passing this off as journalism is in any way responsible or helpful.
posted by milestogo at 4:17 PM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Blumenthal seems to have a particular one-note talent of getting stupid people to reveal themselves. Perhaps the best outcome is that the people in his videos see themselves and are horrified and shocked into a process of self-examination.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:21 PM on June 5, 2009


Christ, what a collection of assholes.
posted by Saxon Kane at 4:28 PM on June 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Haha. I was spell checking the guy's name and it turns out that Benjamin Netanyahu has a Twitter account

I told you twitter was for shit.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:36 PM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is morbidly entertaining, but, yeah, it's just drunken frat boys doing that Drunken Frat Boy Thing. Max Blumenthal has taken some footage I vaguely recall as being amusing, but there's something cheap and desperate to this. Also, where's Eminem?

Though the "Who's Netanyahu?" bit, in Jerusalem, was pretty shocking, even for an American tourist... one hopes the girl minored in Drama, with special independent coursework in Deadpan Improv.
posted by darth_tedious at 4:37 PM on June 5, 2009


I enjoyed the video I went to a school in upstate new york and met many people very similar to the ones interviewed. Having said that some people seem to be treating this like journalism or something. This is Jay Walking. It's some drunk idiots. There should be no need for balance or fairness, but there should also be no need to take this as anything other than a joke.
posted by I Foody at 4:50 PM on June 5, 2009


Benjamin Netanya ... Netanyahaha ... notgonnworkhereanymore, anyway.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:55 PM on June 5, 2009 [15 favorites]


I see a lot of chopped liver in that video.

Oy!
posted by chillmost at 5:01 PM on June 5, 2009


It seemed to be about 15-20 drunk fratboys with the opinions you'd expect from such.


Really? "White power! Fuck the niggers!" seems pretty extreme even for drunk fratboys.
posted by Bizurke at 5:03 PM on June 5, 2009 [9 favorites]


Max Blumenthal seems unable to differentiate between reporting the news and manufacturing it. One wonders if he ever sat down to ask himself what, beyond career advancement, his reportage is meant to accomplish.
posted by felix betachat at 5:05 PM on June 5, 2009


spoiler: 15 half drunk 20 somethings curse Obama, wish he'd visited them

This is a pretty pointless post.

And, yeah, I would expect a bunch of fratboys to rant about white power and throw around racial slurs.

Pretty hateful, stupid stuff for Metafilter.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:08 PM on June 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Was this the guy who tried to get Malkin to autograph a photo of Japanese-American internment camp detainees?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:09 PM on June 5, 2009


> One wonders if he ever sat down to ask himself what, beyond career advancement, his reportage is meant to accomplish.

In modern journalism, that's rarely considered the right question to ask.
posted by darth_tedious at 5:10 PM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Did anyone else catch "I worked for the Obama campaign, but..." lead-in? WTF?
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 5:10 PM on June 5, 2009


It's a shame you chose to link to this YouTube that's circling around rather than the Ibn Ezra blog which contains first-hand accounts of talking with hardcore Jewish settlers on Palestinian farmland and translating their blog posts and photos.
posted by shii at 5:12 PM on June 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


A jew saying "white power, fuck that nigger."

Now I've seen everything.
posted by Max Power at 5:18 PM on June 5, 2009


Sorry, I was thinking of Mike Stark.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:20 PM on June 5, 2009


this video is embarrassing, but mostly for the producers...who believe that passing this off as journalism is in any way responsible or helpful.

I think that comment is embarrassing for you. While no one should mistake this short video for a documentary, to dismiss it as entirely as being without any insight whatsoever into the anti-Obama backlash now occurring among some segments of Israeli and Jewish society seems equally silly.

The fact is that these young people are expressing what is indeed a rising sentiment among some, and no amount of "oh drunk youngsters will say anything" excuses can get around that. Is it the end of the story? Of course not. But as a brief snapshot into a certain fearful and hysterical mindset, I think the video is actually very revealing.
posted by ornate insect at 5:21 PM on June 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


I pledge allegiance to the flag ...
posted by jeffburdges at 5:26 PM on June 5, 2009


Before we dismiss this as "just drunken American tourists", let's be clear about one thing: by the Law of Return, every one of these "just Jewish-American tourists" can become an Israeli voter any time he or she wants to.

Just like Baruch Goldstein, or Meir Kahane.
posted by orthogonality at 5:34 PM on June 5, 2009


Of course not. But as a brief snapshot into a certain fearful and hysterical mindset, I think the video is actually very revealing.

So it's been revealed that there are drunk, bigoted right wing American Jews in Israel. I'm not sure we needed a muckracking video to know that there are dumbasses in every culture- an actual piece of non-superficial journalism might have been useful.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:38 PM on June 5, 2009


The fact is that these young people are expressing what is indeed a rising sentiment among some, and no amount of "oh drunk youngsters will say anything" excuses can get around that. Is it the end of the story? Of course not. But as a brief snapshot into a certain fearful and hysterical mindset, I think the video is actually very revealing.
posted by ornate insect at 8:21 PM


Oh c'mon. They interview about eight kids total, and they can barely get a lucid thought across between all the "fuck Obama", "nigger" and "pussy" comments.

This video is a waste.
posted by orme at 5:45 PM on June 5, 2009


"Before we dismiss this as "just drunken American tourists", let's be clear about one thing: by the Law of Return, every one of these "just Jewish-American tourists" can become an Israeli voter any time he or she wants to."

Well until they do that has sweet FA to do with anything. That's like saying because anyone with an EU passport can live in London indefinitely whenever some German neo-nazis thugs decide to beat up some Turkish immigrants that it reflects poorly on the English.

This video presents absolutely zero opinions of Israeli's who, you know, live and work in Israel.
posted by PenDevil at 5:46 PM on June 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


So it's been revealed that there are drunk, bigoted right wing American Jews in Israel.

No. It's been revealed that Obama's recent trip to the mideast and demand for a settlement freeze has touched off some nerves in Israel. Some formerly loyal supporters of Obama are now revealing a great deal of antipathy towards him. This video did not occur in a vacuum: anyone who watched the news last night and saw reactions from Israeli settlers to Obama's Cairo speech will recognize a rising wave of anti-Obama sentiment. How widespread that sentiment is, how deep it goes, how long it will last, only time will tell. But people here attacking the video for being "superficial" are missing the point: the video is certainly not meant as in-depth analysis. But it's also unthinkable that one could have found so much vitriol against Obama among these same people even a few short months ago. One can make too much of this video, but one can also make too little of it.
posted by ornate insect at 5:48 PM on June 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile, in Holland, according to unconfirmed exit polls Geert Wilders' Party of Freedom appears to have obtained around 17% of the votes for the European parliament election, which had a record low turnout of voters, 36,5% of the people having the right to vote at this election. Rounding to 20% , if my math is correct his voters are about 7% of all the people having the right to vote.

Apparently Wilders supports banning the Quran in Holland, while advocating his own personal freedom of speech on the grounds that the Quran incites to violence, as if the whole text was an outright uninterrupted apology of violence and racism.

Assuming that the Blumenthal video isn't just a doctored provocation of some kind and that it is representative of some minority, it seems easy to see in these half drunk half propaganda regurgitating "students" a sample of the kind of people that may have voted Wilders in Holland, thanks to the shallowness of their interest and understanding of politics.

Clearly expecting the far right to goosestep their way into parliaments while waving nazi flags is delusional, as history may repeat, but doesn't necessarily repeat exaclty with the same form and symbols that were used in the past. The very same Mario Borghezio from the Lega Party in Italy was caught suggesting some group in France to NOT use any far right rethoric or symbols, as that would have clearly backfired, but instead to present themselves as groups supporting "local" interest and problems.
posted by elpapacito at 6:06 PM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Before we dismiss this as "just drunken American tourists", let's be clear about one thing: by the Law of Return, every one of these "just Jewish-American tourists" can become an Israeli voter any time he or she wants to.

Big fucking deal. The Israeli Parliament is a dysfunctional mess. Hard to see how an anti-Obama vote in Israel could change anything.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:09 PM on June 5, 2009


What a bunch of fucking morons.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 6:22 PM on June 5, 2009


sigh
posted by Xoebe at 6:25 PM on June 5, 2009


I think I need to start an advocacy group on behalf of "drunk frat boys," because

I would expect a bunch of fratboys to rant about white power and throw around racial slurs.

I wouldn't, and I once upon a time I was a drunk frat boy. We were afraid of the white power racist guys we'd run into on road trips. Really, a more accurate stereotype would be "drunk frat boys doing bong hits all night and wondering why they can't get laid."
posted by kanewai at 6:44 PM on June 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


This...is..so.....NOT shocking.
posted by tarvuz at 6:45 PM on June 5, 2009


This is hardly the first time that there have been accusations of overt racism against black Israelis... so mush so that Black Israelis have even been refused schooling with white students.... so yes, let's accept that racism against Blacks is a major problem in Israel.
posted by markkraft at 6:59 PM on June 5, 2009


I was just about to quote the very same two paragraphs by Ta-Nehisi Coates quoted by shothotbot above. Really gets at how little there is here.
posted by rottytooth at 7:36 PM on June 5, 2009


I sense a bit of political bias in the film maker. the people selection is very upsetting and certainly not representative of the majority of Israelis. I hope people don't buy this muslim propaganda. There is way too much of it on the internet already.
posted by fightoplankton at 7:56 PM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Heh, these lot are bad enough, imagine what the Russians are like.
posted by Artw at 8:09 PM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I hope people don't buy this muslim propaganda.

Uh... Max BLUMENTHAL is a Muslim? Yeah, I don't think so.
posted by Saxon Kane at 8:41 PM on June 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


"muslim propaganda"???? is that really the best response you can come up with?
posted by exhilaration at 8:42 PM on June 5, 2009


I hope people don't buy this muslim propaganda.

I hope people don't feed this troll.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:43 PM on June 5, 2009


I hope people don't buy this muslim propaganda.

I do hope people buy this Big Mouth Billy Bass. Look, he's singing "Take Me To the River"! And now his tail's flapping!

Oh, Billy...
posted by dirigibleman at 9:22 PM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Before we dismiss this as "just drunken American tourists", let's be clear about one thing: by the Law of Return, every one of these "just Jewish-American tourists" can become an Israeli voter any time he or she wants to.

the israelis really are facing a bleak future, aren't they?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:48 PM on June 5, 2009


Look, all I'm saying is Blumenthal seems to like and report from whichever perspective will get him the most attention.

Blumenthal's journalistic style compared to M. Night Shyamalan
posted by fightoplankton at 9:59 PM on June 5, 2009


That's not the same as calling it "Muslim propaganda" by a long shot.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:02 PM on June 5, 2009


Did anyone else catch "I worked for the Obama campaign, but..." lead-in? WTF?

Yeah, his friends seemed to have a WTF moment themselves listening to him...it suddenly got really quiet there for a moment.
posted by zardoz at 10:24 PM on June 5, 2009


what i am getting at...
the result of such journalism to much affect is very similar to what is seen with Islamic propaganda on the net. I have seen several works that although are not overtly anti-israel, they do express the pro-israel perspective somewhat negatively.
posted by fightoplankton at 10:28 PM on June 5, 2009


That's still inaccurate, though. Calling Blumenthal's stunt "Muslim propaganda" and then backpedalling by saying what you meant was it's "very similar" to Islamic propaganda because both this video and said propaganda depict pro-Israel voices negatively is more or less the same as saying that anyone depicting pro-Israeli positions negatively is peddling Muslim propaganda. Not everyone who finds some of the voices of the pro-Israel crowd repugnant is necessarily Islamist.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:48 PM on June 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Expressing "the pro-Israel perspective somewhat negatively" does not make something Islamic propaganda, it just makes it not pro-Israel propaganda.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 10:48 PM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


the result of such journalism to much affect is very similar to what is seen with Islamic propaganda on the net.

That's completely absurd. Cite specific examples. You can call anything that disagrees with your point of view "propaganda" and you're still being a crank. Blumenthal is clearly something of a stunt journalist, but he doesn't purport that this video is an authoritative portrait of Israeli sentiment.

So, at this point, all it seems that you did was unwittingly out yourself as an Islamophobe and tossed out a very facile and cheap dialectic.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:04 PM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


yes. I must admit i expressed myself poorly, and for that I apologize. I've seen some propoganda that implement this as a tactic, using negative depictions of the pro-israel movement to promulgate a more extreme idea. In that way, it doesn't exactly seem dissimilar. I will search around to see if I can find an example. Can anyone else think of one off the top of their head in the mean time?
posted by fightoplankton at 11:05 PM on June 5, 2009


"Blumenthal's journalistic style compared to M. Night Shyamalan"

Hey... it's a Weekly Standard link, founded by Bill Kristol.

If you're going to muddy the water, couldn't you at least use actual, factual mud, as opposed to raw sewage?

You may not like the embarrassing things he is showing about the radical right in the Jewish community, but there literally isn't a single thing in that hit piece that undermines the reality of what he shows.

The fact is, Blumenthal's weapon is showing all the rest of us what he sees all too often within Jewish society, which we ourselves rarely ever see. That's not "muslim propoganda"... that's pointing out the dangerous, hateful, racist tendencies of Israeli extremism. Sunlight is, as they say, the best disinfectant.

It's important to note that this video wasn't something he had to search around for over a long period of time, with the goal of building a picture based on wild exceptions to the norm. Rather, it was taken in a short period of time *JUST LAST NIGHT*, with a minimal need for editing. It was easy for Blumenthal to find such opinions. There's no questioning the context of his audience, either... they clearly knew what they were saying, and they meant it.

Really, would we question the validity of video used to expose hate speech and violent extremism within the United States? Would we question their loyalty?!

The fact is, most Israelis know damn well that racism and hate speech are rife within Israeli society... and most do nothing about it.

Hell, Israel's own politicians frequently accuse each other of being racist... Avigdor Lieberman, who clearly is a racist, calls Peretz of the Labor Party racist... who returns the favor. Livni, the supposed "reformist" in the last election, and the daughter of a convicted terrorist bomber, is called a racist by Eli Yishai of the Shas Party... a party which was created to represent Sephardic Jews, who feel they need their own party because of Ashkenazi racism. Of course, it is claimed that Shas' spiritual leader is virulently racist as well. Oh... and don't even get me started on Netanyahu and Likud. He considers the clearly racist, arguably facist Moshe Faglin to be a "loony"... and yet his policies are identical.

Israel's politicians consider each other to be racists.... they can't all be wrong, can they?!

... and who enables them?!
posted by markkraft at 11:14 PM on June 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


Can anyone else think of one off the top of their head in the mean time?

You know you're just asking others to pull you out of that dirty hole you dug yourself into, right?
posted by Burhanistan at 11:14 PM on June 5, 2009


Although, not exactly what I was looking for maybe someone can someone get what I mean:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/10381214

We have a bunch of quotes which do not really reflect Israel positively, and does not say explicitly that israel is wrong in the whole israel-palestine affair. The affect is still somewhat the same though.
posted by fightoplankton at 11:36 PM on June 5, 2009


fightoplankton, come off it already FFS. Groups on every side of every conflict distort the egregious comments of their opposition.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:39 PM on June 5, 2009


"We have a bunch of quotes which do not really reflect Israel positively, and does not say explicitly that israel is wrong in the whole israel-palestine affair. The affect is still somewhat the same though."

So, you're saying that because Israel's leaders have been repeatedly quoted making racist statements calling for lebensraum, someone might get the wrong idea and think that all Israelis are racist and want to take land from the Palestinians?

Clearly, though, that's neither a true or fair analysis. Only *many* Israelis are racist and want to take land from Palestinians...absolutely not all.

There are a lot of good Israelis out there. They can't win a popular election, but believe me... they're out there.

They used to be the silent majority, I hear. Now, most of them are just silent.
posted by markkraft at 11:56 PM on June 5, 2009


I am not an "Islamaphobe". I have studied islam, its religion, culture, and history. I've read the qur'an, hadiths, and other texts on the topic of Islam. Calling my perspective phobic, which is to say involving fear/anxiety which is irrational just isn't true. It is simply a rational stance on a topic. The link I posted to the standard was not to validate my argument, and was intended to be taken somewhat aside from the rest of the comment. I thought the comparison with m. night was amusing and relevant. since no one seems to get what I was saying, which i guess is my own falt, I will "come off it already". I did not mean incite such quarrel. again, i am sorry.
posted by fightoplankton at 11:57 PM on June 5, 2009


Very well. Inna li-llahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un. La hawla wa la quwwata il-lah bil-lah. Et cetera.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:04 AM on June 6, 2009


Oh, and here's a good reason for Israel's silent majority to stay silent.

A one-year prison sentence for suggesting that Israel can be Jewish... or Democratic... but not both... or "that will bring about an act of hate, degradation or lack of loyalty to the state or to government authorities or to its laws that were justly established."

"Uri Strauss of the University of Massachusetts says that characterizing Israel as both Jewish and democratic is contradictory. “A state can either be democratic, or it can be Jewish, but not both,” Strauss argues.

Specifically, Strauss notes that the Israeli government can disqualify candidates for political office of any party that opposes the Jewish character of the state. “This law has been used to disqualify candidates for calling for a democratic state, in which all citizens have equal rights,” Strauss says.

There are also a number of laws in Israel, Strauss explains, that discriminate against Palestinians on the basis of race. “For example, 93% of the land in Israel is, by law, under the trusteeship of the Jewish National Fund. By the JNF’s constitution, this land is for the exclusive use of Jews — it may not be rented or leased by Palestinians.”"


Better not go to Israel, Yuri... being an intellectual is illegal there!
posted by markkraft at 12:31 AM on June 6, 2009


Here's another blumenthal video. Apparently he's doing a bit more there then wandering around interviewing drunk Americans. That was from this blog that someone upthread mentioned.
posted by delmoi at 12:51 AM on June 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


You *are* an islamophobe. You reflexively attributed this video to "muslim propaganda", and have been trying to backpedal on that to not look like a bigot.. But you are.
And if the only criticism of Blumenthal's journalism you can find comes from, well, the weekly standard.. What a joke. The turd-in-chief is calling Blumenthal "dirty", and i'm supposed to care?
posted by vivelame at 12:52 AM on June 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Eh, as a rabid Muslim myself I'm not so sure fightoplankton is a bonafide Isalamophobe, just more an exceedingly poor framer of arguments.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:01 AM on June 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


A jew saying "white power, fuck that nigger."

Now I've seen everything.

No you haven't. There are plenty of Jews who disgrace the religion and the community by aligning themselves with the sort of racist scumbags who will come for the Jews when they're done exterminating the darker-skinned folks. Case in point:

Marcus Epstein, half-Jewish, half-Korean, all racist white nationalist, convicted of a race-based assault on an African American woman in Washington DC, defended vociferously by his employers, Bay Buchanan and Tom Tancredo. Story is breaking big today, finally, because Tancredo and Buchanan have been defending Epstein as a depressive alcoholic "kid" (at 26!) who made a mistake and deserves forgiveness, with Buchanan going so far as to compare his public shaming on the internet with a "lynching."

As for Blumenthal's video, I am amazed at all the "this isn't journalism, it's self promotion/rabble rousing" comments. It's not supposed to be an article in the NY Times. It's a standard tool of real journalism to capture the evidence for something on film; in fact it's step one. I think attacking Blumenthal for making this video smacks of special pleading on behalf of Israel and American Jewish youth of the sort depicted in the video. I didn't hear any such complaints when we were routinely being appalled by videos of white racists at Sarah Palin rallies during the presidential campaign. All of a sudden the standard for "journalism" on MeFi requires the balanced representation of all sides of a debate, and moderation in the reportage of extremist views and outrageous conduct? Why, because it's embarrassing to Israel? To the Jewish community?

And WTF with calling them "kids?" They are in their 20s. People in their 20s are fighting and dying for us in Afghanistan and Iraq, and these brave little brats are drinking and talking ugly shit on the streets of Jerusalem? Why don't they go sign up and fight for Israel if they're so tough? Excusing them for being drunk is no less bizarre. People don't say things they don't believe when they're drunk. They just lose the filter and reveal their true feelings more openly. The Mel Gibson defense (currently being employed to try to save Buchanan's and Tancredo's asses as an excuse for Marcus Epstein's hate crime) holds no water here. It's OK to be shameful if you're drunk? Good to know. I'm sure lots of hate crimes are committed by intoxicated people. Let's give 'em all a pass.

These little scumbag "kids" should be identified, shamed publicly, and outed to their campus communities, and the nation. They'll probably wind up as lawyers, doctors, judges, and executives. This video should follow them throughout their careers.

I'm glad it was posted. This video deserves a wide viewing by Americans who reflexively buy the AIPAC spin that what's good for Israel is good for America.

As for calling it "Muslim propaganda," that's fucking rich. What this reveals is that there are right wing Zionists every bit as ugly as the worst Muslim extremists (which some of us already knew), and that some of them are privileged American brats making aaliyah so they can drink and fuck with abandon while discovering their ethnic roots.

I wish I'd been there to spit on them.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:14 AM on June 6, 2009 [10 favorites]


Ooh, a new opportunity for the usual suspects to jack off to their anti-Israel screeds when the previous virulently anti-Israeli thread has barely scrolled off the main page. By all means, keep seething.
posted by Krrrlson at 8:45 AM on June 6, 2009


I didn't get the impression that this was supposed to be some sort of complete, balanced journalistic survey of Israeli popular opinion, so I think any criticism along those lines is misplaced.

Alcohol loosens tongues, and a pub is often a good place to find out what is really top of mind with the patrons. Clearly the expressed sentiments were well received and popular. That's scary, that these sentiments were gathered so easily, in one evening's session. Unless of course someone can tell me that that area, or that pub, just happens to be well-known for that sort of sentiment.

(Maybe I'm naive, but even in my most drunken college revels, me and my circle weren't given to unapologetic racist bile like that. is that sort of thing really common? Can you hit any upscale college pub near an Ivy League school and regularly find people freely spouting such filth?)
posted by Artful Codger at 9:05 AM on June 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Whoa, I had no idea some settlements could be like that. Thanks, delmoi.
posted by ignignokt at 9:08 AM on June 6, 2009


hey! the bad apple defense works for everyone!
posted by klanawa at 9:18 AM on June 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ooh, a new opportunity for the usual suspects to jack off to their anti-Israel screeds when the previous virulently anti-Israeli thread has barely scrolled off the main page. By all means, keep seething.
posted by Krrrlson


What the bloody hell are you talking about, Krrrlson? Who is going on anti-israel screeds here? If you're going to be such a repugnant troll, at least pay attention to the thread. But you're going to do your standard act of tossing a shitty, inflammatory statement which will be summarily refuted, and then you'll slink away back under your bridge to gnaw on dried goat bones.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:28 AM on June 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Krrrlson, am I a "usual suspect?"

First, I can't recall the last time I said fuck all about Israel on MeFi; I rarely weigh in on the topic. My ancestors died at Auschwitz and in Russian pogroms too; I'm not opposed to Israel's existence, just the way it conducts itself as a settler state colonial power. In fact, surveys say the majority of Israelis agree with me. The real problem is that what's "good for Israel" isn't what the extremist Zionists -- the majority of whom are Americans (Bibi, I'm looking right at you) -- say it is. Like extremists everywhere, their continued existence depends on the sustaining of hatred and war. And their definition of what's "good for Israel" is precisely what's bad for the US, and for the non-extremist majority in Israel as well.

Instead of attacking messengers, put up an argument: are you defending this sort of rhetoric? Or excusing it? Or making a moral equivalence case?

But accept this: a majority of the American people support a two state solution and a limit to our support for Likud's ambitions and an end to settlements in the OT, including a majority of American Jews (who amount to a trivial portion of the electorate in any case, especially without making common cause with the deeply anti-Semitic evangelical far right). So does a majority of Israelis. Under those circumstances, it's only a matter of time before the minority positions -- as they continue to harden -- become unsustainable as the kind of political illusion which has made it possible for AIPAC and company to scare American politicians into knee-jerk support for whatever Israel's right wingers want.

Get used to it. It's a new era.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:58 AM on June 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Before we dismiss this as "just drunken American tourists", let's be clear about one thing: by the Law of Return, every one of these "just Jewish-American tourists" can become an Israeli voter any time he or she wants to.

Ms. "I Majored in Political Science and I Really Know My Shit" doesn't even know who Benjamin Netanyahu is. How would she vote in an Israel election? She probably doesn't even vote in the US, which is where she's obviously from.
posted by blucevalo at 10:23 AM on June 6, 2009


Ooh, a new opportunity for the usual suspects to jack off to their anti-Israel screeds when the previous virulently anti-Israeli thread has barely scrolled off the main page. By all means, keep seething.

Take me to the river
*flap flapflap flapflapflap*
Put me in the water
*flap flap flapflapflap*
Punch me in the face now
*flapflap flapflap flap*
Worship Master Satan
*flapflapflap flapflap flap*
posted by dirigibleman at 11:39 AM on June 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


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