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themiddle

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  • Was this Hasbara? Because I would hate to think that Israel’s hard-schnorred dollars went to this shit.

    Look…if you people really think that making fun of Muslims is going to help your cause, well…I would like a crack at it. r

    • Kelsey, I don’t do “hasbara.” I also find it laughable that so many who put out Palestinian propaganda always bring up that term when somebody calls them on their bullshit. As for this, I believe it is privately funded. Although one short section makes fun of Muslims with a nasty generalization, this piece is making fun of certain leaders in the Muslim world and their approach to Israel.

  • More like the whole thing is making fun of Muslims and their religion in a general way, one that is both crude and offensive. I guess for (some) sections of Israel, this is their version of Blackface, except it isn’t just Arabs being portrayed as backward and violent but Muslims in general (Turkish, Persian) call it “Muslimface”.

    I dunno if Israel is supposed to be a “Western” country; the label seems problematic. Whatever, suffice to say that in the rest of the developed world, the practice of dressing up like foreigners, particularly those of different ethic groups in order to mock them and their culture is viewed as a high-level asshattery, even on the right. Not endearing at all.

  • No, Pinsky, Israel is a Western country if you count countries such as Greece, Italy and the US as Western countries.

    Now let’s review. This is called a video and it is made by a group of people. Those people are not “Israel” but a group of people who live in Israel. They are not “dressing” up anybody unless you can point to a time when Nasrallah has ever been seen in garb different than what he is wearing here. Is it the fake accents that bother you? I’m sure if they were depicting Israelis, they’d poke fun at their accents.

    When the video comments about resolution methods and two leaders have knives out, the video uses the term “Islamists” not Muslims. The Kurdish murder joke is reflective of the hypocrisy of Erdogan in his claims. Are you suggesting that Turkey doesn’t kill large numbers of Kurds and hasn’t done so over the years (even their own propaganda admits to killing thousands of civilians)? Nasrallah is depicted as the vassal of Iran, which he is. The leader of Iran is depicted as threatening Israel with missiles, which he has. Saying “death to the Jews” is not something we haven’t heard before. So what exactly is bothering you, Pinsky?

    Let me guess, the stupidity of the video? That’s why I labeled it as a confused parody. But if the problem is that this video is making fun of a different ethnic group’s culture, then perhaps you can tell us what is inaccurate in this depiction. Sure, the acting is atrocious and not funny, but what exactly is inaccurate here? The knives out? How many Syrians did Assad Sr. murder in Hama? How many Lebanese were killed with Syria in control of their country during the years in which the civil war began and Israel entered in 1982? How many times has Ahmadenijad threatened Israel with destruction? How many times has Iran made a point of boasting about its missile capabilities? Have Hizbullah and Iran been held responsible for the blowing up of the Jewish community buildings in Buenos Aires? Has Nasrallah spoken with demagoguery on numerous occasions? Has Iran summoned him and chided him after the second Lebanon war? Has Erdogan made a point of siding with Iran and Syria while behaving as if Turkey is no longer interested in pointing itself to the West? And are there not ridiculous flotillas being sent out while in certain Western countries the gay pride movements now have Palestinian advocates who ignore the Muslim world’s views and actions against gays while they deplore Israel?

    Not endearing at all, amateurish and kinda stupid. But what here is so inaccurate that you resent it so?

  • Pinsky? What cave do you live in? Ever hear of Inspector Clouseau? How about Borat? Bruno? Hans and Franz? Dieter from Sprockets? Terrence and Philip? The Zohan? Apu?

    One man’s high-level asshatery is like, everyone else’s standard issue comedy fare.

  • ck,

    Inspector Clousseau? Hanz & Franz? Sprockets? You’re really reaching here. Comparing SNL skits based on caricatures of people who don’t even really exist outside the American imagination with a video portraying Muslims as funny talking, wife beating yokels baying for Jew blood.

    I’m not saying there isn’t anything problematic even about these examples but the difference is pretty clear to anyone arguing in good faith. I don’t know what the consensus among Germans/Austrians is about Hanz & Franz but I’m pretty confident they wouldn’t find it especially problematic or mean-spirited. I doubt many Muslims upon seeing this video would reach the same conclusion.

    Borat of course is offensive but I won’t get into that here. The outlier is Apu, and that definitely is problematic but again the difference is that Apu is a fully realized actual character who’s humanity has been fleshed out for two decades. Not a stereotype. As a result many Indian and Pakistani Americans actually have an affection for Apu. The contrast with a bunch of Israelis playing dress-up and making a LOLMuslims!1 video is pretty stark.

  • themiddle,

    My soapbox is rapidly collapsing under me so I’ll be brief. Wasn’t trying to insult Israel by saying they weren’t Western. Just a question of geography. How far does “the West” go before it becomes the East?

    As for the video, No I don’t think referring to them as ‘Islamists’ let’s them off the hook. This distinction is plagued by the same problems as Jew/Zionist IMO, all the more so because the video is called the “Muslim War Council” and throughout the video the references are to the Muslim world, Muslim warfare, Islamic weapons etc. “Islamists” are only referred to once.

  • But Pinsky, you can’t deny that Nasrallah, Ahmadenijad and Erdogan are basing their actions on religious grounds and that they are Muslims. You can’t deny that although Assad leads what is ostensibly a nationalist movement, he has allied himself with those who act on the basis of Islam against Israel.

    It can’t be that dead Turkish flotilla members are “martyrs” and Iran, a Muslim theocracy, threatens Israel, and Syria supplies Hizbullah, a fanatical religious group, with weapons to destroy all of the Jews (Nasrallah’s comment), and when somebody makes fun of them on this basis, suddenly it’s all offensive.

    Lowbrow? Yes. Offensive? Where is the lie? Each of the links I provided took a couple of seconds to find. With a more intensive search, I bet I could match much of what is said in this video to actual statements by leaders in the Muslim world and in fact even many of the statements directly to these leaders.

    The part that made me really uncomfortable and still does was the wife-beating claim. It appeared to me to be a negative stereotype that was not related to political events. I looked it up, however, and learned that there are many imams who inform their followers that it is an acceptable practice in Islam. It is described and explained in numerous places. In fact, a large Islamic conference is coming up in Canada and the keynote speaker was a religious leader, Zakir Naik, who has spoken openly about wife beating . You can see he’s still on their poster. And here’s the video. No, this isn’t an attempt at comedy by some Israelis.

    That doesn’t change my discomfort at that part of the video, but the rest of it is comedy. Rough and not very funny, but it is nothing more than comedy. And sadly, the comedy, while broad and based on stereotypes, is based on facts.

  • The outlier is Apu, and that definitely is problematic but again the difference is that Apu is a fully realized actual character who’s humanity has been fleshed out for two decades. Not a stereotype.

    If I understand Pinsky correctly, it seems that his problem with the video’s depiction of four political leaders is that you didn’t showcase their humanity. Oh, and the fact that they’re Muslim. In real life Muslims may only be depicted in a way that shows them to be incredibly humane, no matter how many people bin Laden, Zawahiry, Assad, Erdogan, Nasrallah, Ahmedinejad, etc., have actually killed or how many people’s lives they have demagogued for the sake of violence and national pride. He’ll have none of it.

    Next thing you know Charles Manson will convert to Islam so that Pinsky can defend his essential humanity, too. Because Muslims are afforded the protection that comes with taking offense to things. If they find it offensive, it is wrong. Period. Finish. End of story.

    What a retarded morality.

  • In other words:

    The person with the most hurt feelings is the most innocent. Sensitivity to one’s self absolves you of criticism for the wrongs you do others.

    I think I can figure out where bullshit like that leads…

  • And in other words…

    Narcissists are very sensitive people. But only when it comes to their own needs.

    Actually, that’s precisely so.

    Pinsky is putting a pathology on a pedestal and calling it humanity.

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