12 thoughts on “Israeli Re-Branding: Guns and Black Hats Out, Golan Wine In – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Interesting outlook. Israel is the “black hats” the bad guys. Which I suppose makes those happy go lucky lads from Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, the “good guys”. Or let put it another way on another topic. I’m not particularly worked up by water boarding the guy who cut off Daniel Pearls head.
    But I’m thinking that you see that this is one and the same.

  2. Believe it or not, Pearlman, not every situation is analyzable as “good guys” and “bad guys.”

  3. Hey, I’m not even Jewish, but it’s pretty clear to me that Richard is drawing the parallels: militarism—guns, (Jewish) religious fundamentalist—black hats. Isn’t that a reasonable image?

    It seems to me you really have to be stretching to find something to bitch about not to get that. Is it because he was being critical of some Israeli actions?

  4. Ok, let me ask you this then. Is not Hamas and Hezbollah religious fundamentalists that are militaristic, heavily armed, and whose main purpose is the destruction of Israel and its Jewish inhabitants. Why aren’t they the guys in the black hats?

  5. Well, you see, Hasidic i.e. ultra-orthodox Jews actually wear black hats. That’s the point. That’s why it’s an apt image to use when referring to specifically Jewish ‘fundamentalists’.

    Muslims on the other hand, whatever their sect or persuasion, do not wear black hats.

    It has nothing whatsoever to do with cowboy movies.

    I hope that helps.

  6. Hasidic Jews are peaceful people. And when they get killed by Arab terrorists they take it has a punishment from God. You know the context that Silverstein is using here. The black hats in the movies are the bad guys. Which makes Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah the guys in the white hats. Why is that?

  7. There are so many more dimensions to Israel than just the conflict with the Palestinians. Israel offers a multitude of business and trade opportunities and touring Israel is just amazing. THere is also a wealth of opportunities for professional, academic and social groups to exchange information and learn from each other.

    If we wait for peace we define ourselves in terms of this conflict. So too with the Palestinians – if they define themselves solely in terms of their emnity with Israel then ultimately there is nothing there. Neither side should fall into this trap.

  8. Israel is the “black hats” the bad guys.

    Bill: I think you missed the joke. But Hasan Bateson, who as he says isn’t even Jewish, gets it.

    Aharoni urges his audience not to see Israel only in terms of religious extremism. You may or may not know this but haredi (ultra Orthodox Jews) are commonly known as “black hats” because they wear–well, black hats. The “black hat” had nothing to do with Israel being a bad guy. It referred to the ultra-Orthodox. I prob. shouldn’t have assumed people would get the joke.

  9. The best way to “re-brand” Israel is to stop stealing Palestinian land and water. It’s the Occupation and the Settlements, Stupid!!!!

  10. I understood what you meant by “black hats” though I have never heard that term used before for haredim. It’s hard to believe it’s a commonly used term. In any case, its a derogatory insulting way to refer to people. I’m sure haredim don’t refer to themselves as “black jats”. In any case it’s a derogatory, insulting term. Not quite as low as “rag heads” but down there in any case.

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