Two bills are making their way through the knesset that would effectively outlaw use of the word ‘Nazi’ in common discourse. The bill alos bans, according to The Jerusalem Post:

Nazi-style prison garments, yellow Stars of David of the type distributed by the Nazis, swastikas and the word “Nazi” or words with a similar meaning or intention.

Ummn, I hate to impose any ivory-tower considerations, but what how can words, as opposed to people, have intentions?!?

In any case, one bill proposed a 7 year maximum punishment for violation of the law. Its author, MK Collete Avital of Labour, agreed to diminish the sentence in response to government opposition. “Even freedom of expression should have limits,” Avital claimed, arguing that it would be hypocritical to ask other countries to show no tolerance for casual use of such slurs and symbols without showing a similar intolerance in Israel itself. A second bill, introduced by MK Yuli Tamir (Labor), would impose a fine.

The right wing of the MK members presented objections, invoking issues related to freedom of speech and, oddly, a clever Seinfeld-defense:

MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union), who voted against the bills, said they were a grave affront to freedom of expression and in effect an attempt to “silence” opinions. Such a law would prevent the broadcast of Seinfield’s Nazi joke about soup, Eldad said, or the wearing of a yellow or orange Star of David.

I, for one, would not want to live in a country where the soup nazi episode was banned.

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  • I read an interesting article a while back about Jewish-themed pornography, and one element of the industry, which was one of the most lucid was the ‘holocaust porn’ industry – centered mainly in Israel….perhaps this is a crackdown of some sorts?

  • The Middle thinks this is not a good idea, but feels sympathetic to the idea that Israel cannot demand other countries to abide by certain mores that it does not uphold.

  • I don’t think that this is a good idea. Making too many laws is just an excuse for society falling apart and turning hetrogeneous, which, unfortunately is the attempt of many Israelis/Jewish non-believers.
    Ultimately, we should be able to reach a consensus about things like this and not need to make laws. To reach a consensus means mid/long-term planning to educate the public (like some cities and countries (not France or Italy) often do to get locals to be helpful to tourists) as well as actual serious public discourse, not just some the agenda that tabloid media moguls and their elitist friends decide.

    But Israel seems on a crash course to ‘relativism’, so get out the politicians and the lawyers and start making those laws!

  • I am pulled in two different directions. Yes the term Nazi used in a casual/insulting way is bad, but to outlaw it may be more os an socialist rahter than democratic way of apporoaching it.
    MY BIGGEST concern is are they going to bad the Sienfled episode about the Soup Nazi???? A shame to any sociaty that bans sienfeld!!

  • A word ban in Israel strikes me as so odd. Especially this choice of words. I’ll have to mull it over and post on it later.

    But one thing I do NOT have to think about is the concept of Holocaust porn. That’s just wrong.

  • Getting the Ban Back Together
    According to the Jerusalem Post (via Jewlicious), the Israeli Knesset is considering a ban on use of the word Nazi. Knesset members and the rest of the Israeli public may soon be breaking the law by using the word

  • For once, Muffti sort of agrees with Josh. What’s banning the word and symbol really designed to achieve?

  • The first comment alluded to the Israeli Holocaust Porn industry, which definitely would be affected by this legislation. Read this article on Jewish Porn – the relevant paragraphs have been reproduced below. Don’t click on the link or continue reading further if you get offended by these sorts of discussions. Anyhow, come to your own conclusions:

    At the extreme end of Jewish Porn, the terror of the concentration camps is re-enacted for sexual gratification. In Holocaust Porn, Jewish women are shown squatting and defecating in packed trains. They are shown having their heads shaved. They are emaciated, with their ribs poking out. They are incinerated in open ovens. They are gassed. They are sodomized with severed limbs, sometimes their own limbs.

    One can find staged photographs of a naked and shivering woman under a showerhead in a tiled hygienic facility. I have seen photos of a man dressed as a stormtrooper emptying a tank labeled “Gasoline” into a woman’s mouth. The woman holds the funnel and masturbates the Nazi with her right hand. These photos are grainy black-and-whites, yet are clearly contemporary.

    And here things get dirty: The Holocaust Porn industry is based in Israel. The films are mostly made by Israelis, and they are also mostly purchased by Israelis. The actresses are overwhelmingly Israeli-Russian immigrants.

    Is Israeli involvement in Holocaust Porn a sick manifestation of an addiction to persecution? Is it a reaction to assimilation—or a product of it? Is it the blackest form of satire? How different are these re-enactments from those rare bits of genuine Holocaust footage passed around for erotic consumption?

    In an essay on Holocaust Porn, Andrea Dworkin writes that the victims have become the victimizers. That’s not quite the point: the victims have become the victimizers while remaining the victims.

    The level of victimization found in more mainstream forms of JP is open to debate. Some, like Dworkin, herself from a family of survivors, argue that it is, if not a direct line, at least a slippery slope. Maybe. But one thing is sure: Anyone who stars in Holocaust Porn, or directs it or does editing or contributes in any way in its production or facilitates its distribution, or has masturbated to it or watched it, or snickered after overhearing a fleeting reference at the urinals in the synagogue—all of these people are going to hell, gehinnon, that mythic valley outside of Jerusalem’s walls.

  • ck, the conclusions I draw is that the idea of Holocaust porn is bullshit. That’s an article that mentions Holocaust porn based on Andrea Dworkin’s writings. I don’t believe she saw very much if anything when she wrote her angry book about Israel and its – in her view – disgusting masculine and militaristic culture that subjugates women. It is primarily from this book and her description of Israeli porn, that people (including the author of the article you linked) get information about Holocaust porn.

    The Night Porter and Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS might be close to Holocaust porn, but they aren’t Israeli films.

    I’m sorry but does anybody have any other sources about Israeli Holocaust porn? Unless we see some other source other than one article or articles mentioning Dworkin’s book, then I have to conclude this is some Internet myth propagated by the book. And what did she see exactly? Is there one movie like this? Was it made by Israelis? I’m sorry but this is too far-fetched and smacks of stretching a singular event she may have encountered into an entire movement so as to support her thesis (which was that Israel is a shitty country and particularly for women).

  • Message boards in Israel, written in Hebrew, lend credence to your belief that Holocaust porn is bullshit. I did say come to your own conclusions thiugh, right? So looks like Dworkin may have been wrong. But her contention that all heterosexual sex is, by definition, rape still stands, right?