The world is now split between those who want Israel to go on existing and those who do not. That’s just how it is, and to go on proving that this is the case is a waste of time. We need to focus on how the situation can be fixed. Obviously no matter what Israel does militarily or politically, the country will be hated by the rest of the world. Obviously, as appealing as it is to say, so what, let the world think what it wants, modern weaponry being what it is, it might be better if we could all just get along.
So here’s my plan for Israel’s PR: The country needs to emphasize the fact that even if it is politically aligned with the United States, it is culturally far more similar to the non-American or anti-American world. My knowledge of culture in Israel is, of course, limited, but my sense from hanging around enough Israeli expat cafes in NYC is that the “arsim” look Laya mocks is popular one. It’s hard to tell, in NYC, if a given hangout is Israelitrash or Eurotrash. I can only tell apart a group of, say, Italians and a group of Israelis by language. Both cultures seem so different from that of the United States, with people so much slimmer and so much more willing to empty bottles of hair gel. I’m with Laya, the hairstyles are a bit much, but aesthetically, the look is at least marginally better than whatever the men of Chicago’s Michigan Avenue have come up with.
But more importantly,the existence of “arsim” is proof, without a doubt, of Israel’s existence. Leave aside Zionism, religion, the need to respond to thousands of years of oppression–there’s now a country where people look a certain way, eat a certain way, and just generally have a certain national lifestyle. Israel is no longer an experiment, and what better proof than a unique, nationally-specific type of bad fashion? We in America have mullets and Abercrombie, the Germans have the hetero-but-butch look for women, the French have the messed-up hair and overuse of scarves, so let Israel have its own special blend of tackiness.