Reader Michael Levin was inspired by the Israeli Tourism Ministry’s bogus tourism ad campaign Israel: No One Belongs Here More Than You, to create a mock ad of his own which I dutifully display here. Thanks to Michael for sharing his graphic creativity with us.
He features the good work of a number of courageous anti-Occupation groups within Israel/Palestine.
So where is the ad?
Richard Silverstein says
I just added it to the post.
I’m still not getting it, I see only the original ad (same as in your Apr 6 post).
Richard Silverstein says
If you’re not seeing TWO ads which say “Today in Israel” at the top of each one, then your browser isn’t displaying both. I see 2 ads. The first admittedly isn’t an ad but a parody. The second is the original ad.
Very strange. I could see it by copying the image URL from the page’s source code. Then I downloaded the page to look into the code, and there was a “display: none” tag in the first image (the parody, which is brilliant, btw.), preventing its display. When I looked at the source as displayed directly by the browser, this tag was absent, as it should be. Perhaps a bug in the browser (Firefox 3.0.8, 64bit Linux).
Oy, it was Adblock Plus thinking the first image was an actual ad. Fixed, sorry for the headache, if I gave you any.
Richard Silverstein says
I was thinking this as a possibility in the back of my mind.
A few years ago our ABC did a program on the women of Maschom Watch including an interview with Idith Zertal just while she was writing “Lords of the Land” with Akiva Eldar.
Idith said with great scorn of the fanatical settlers “what, they think god was a realtor”?
Summed it up nicely I thought, She was so lovely and grand motherly I wanted to adopt her.
Mr. Levin: Great idea; beautifully executed!
MJ Rosenberg says
Arie Brand says
It is great to see that in a society so in the grip of collective self righteous paranoia there are yet individuals who can escape from this and draw on the humanity they have in common with the ‘adversary’. Perhaps we should more systematically follow their activities.
“ISRAEL: NO ONE BELONGS HERE MORE THAN PALESTINIANS”
Really? Is that where you’re all holding now?
How does that correspond to “Today is a perfect day to support equal rights for all irrespective of religion, race or sex.”
And did we forget “sexual orientation” or is that just too inconvenient?
Richard Silverstein says
Do I detect a hint of combativeness, even a hint of partisan point scoring here? You wouldn’t be trying to score cheap pts. in a debate trying to point out that Israel cherishes people of all religions, ethnicities and sexual orientation, now would you? Because you should know that as many human rights issues as there might be in Arab society, there are just as many in Israeli society. And since you’re a woman & interested in the issue of gender rights perhaps you’ll explain to me why there are only something like 7 female Knesset members. And why a woman dressed as she would in any other western society would get beaten if she rode on certain bus lines in Israel. And why you’d have to sit in segregated sections on public transport in those neighborhoods.
Could it possibly be that both Israelis AND Arabs have a ways to go on this front? And if that’s the case why are you trying to score pts at the expense of one side & not the other.
I don’t know what “where you’re all holding” means.
What are you trying to say? You comment is a bit obtuse. Maybe it would help if you gave your interpretation or reading of Michael Levin’s satirical (or is it a spoof?–I get the two confused) ad. I have the sense from your petulant comment that you may be misinterpreting something.
Of course there’s a lot in Israel you should protest. And protests happen all the time. There are innumerable organizations working on behalf of the downtrodden in Israel. But let’s be realistic. The bus situation in Meah Shearim is troubling even though there have been no reported incidents for months and only one bus route was affected. There are 20 female members in the Knesset – that’s 16.66% about the same male to female ratio as the US Congress (441 members of Congress are male (83%) and 92 are female (17%)). Of course I’d like to see these and other issues improve in Israel, but please, let’s not compare that to honor killings of women and homosexuals, or to the sad state of democracy in both Gaza and the West Bank. I speak to friends in Gaza on a regular basis. I travel weekly to the West Bank. I do not have the luxury of viewing anything with rose tinted glasses. We do a disservice to truly progressive voices in Palestine by not adequately addressing the problems that plague their society and by exaggerating the problems in ours.
And maybe it’s because English is not my mother tongue, but please explain to me the implications of the last line of Levin’s poster and the title of this blog post? If I sounded “petulant” it was probably due to my confusion. I really have no idea what that last line means.
Richard Silverstein says
Of course, we’ll compare them because it is you making the entirely specious & borderline racist claim that human rights in Israel are superior to human rights in Arab societies. It is YOU who are comparing.
The very notion that Israel is superior to Arab societies bespeaks the benighted notions which brought George Bush and a U.S. invasion to Iraq. Remember how we were going to graft our wonderful western values onto Iraqi society and it would become liberal & democratic and we would be cheered on as liberators?? Whatever happened to that notion. You, at least, don’t make any claim that Israel should try to “improve” Arab societies. You merely pronounce them inferior.
Since when does anyone require you to “address the problems plaguing their society?” Did anyone ask you? Once again, this is the noblesse oblige model of cultural supremacy for which western liberals are so well known. And how would exagerrating the problems in Arab society and downplaying the problems in Israeli society be a service to Arabs or anyone?
You are flat out wrong to claim any superiority within your society over Arab society. There is more than enough to keep you occupied improving it w/o slumming through Palestinian society and telling Palestinians what’s wrong with them & holding yrself & yr Israeli society up as a model.
The last line in the poster was a parody of the last line of the ad. Instead of saying no one belongs in Israel more than tourists, as the original ad states; the spoof poster says no one belongs more in Israel than Palestinians (i.e. both those who live there now & who the likes of Lieberman seek to transfer; & those expelled in 1948).
mia – I hope you do come back to explain what about including Palestinians would contradict equal rights for all.
Thank you, Richard and Michael Levine. Someone on mondoweiss challenged the supposition that there was protest in Israel. This simplifies responding to such a challenge!
Mia – To expand on Richard’s answer, human rights are at issue everywhere. Even in the US, the concept is barely relevant to many people. While some areas seem to represent many more different elements of the struggle than others, none is entirely free of customs that deny equality to everyone.
Research of the question of ‘honor killings’ led me primarily to sites sponsored by pro-Israel groups. Most of the statistics in the data reviewed were old. Reports of recent ‘honor’ killings carried no further information regarding the deaths than that the investigating officer says he was told they were related to honor. I am not satisfied that sufficient information is available to anyone for accurate conclusions regarding what occurred.
For comparison, I tried “murder, females,” in Israel and the US. http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/intimates.htm US Department of Justice
The report of homicide trends in the U.S. detailing acts of intimate homicide in the US, 1976 to 2005 states about one third of female murder victims were killed by an intimate. (Google’s first page for Israel related to terrorist killings, which I also found interesting.)
People in the US continue to hold varying beliefs about sexuality, marriage and honor. It would not be unreasonable to suppose that a high percentage of the female deaths included in that third were the result of questions of personal honor. Perhaps as a motive, it might not be revealed as primary, particularly if the perpetrator was dead. Questions of motive are raised during trial in the US for capital crimes, and thus one learns that many deaths are attributed to a lack of respect between women and men that is evinced as a loss of honor.
As a pattern of behavior, the concept of honor killing is integral to the history of many cultures, lands and people. Within the US, the trend toward extinction of the behavior as ‘honor killing’ comes from the change in perspective of such behaviors as being a matter of individual identity, rather than as a specifically ethnic behavior. My brother has always greeted news of a new boyfriend by advising me to tell the new friend he’d better be nice to me, or my brother will beat him up. We’re fifth generation immigrants on one side, third on the other. The paternal side is Sicilian; I expect things still are a bit more tribal in Sicily, which is not as highly diverse in it’s population as the US.
Which is not to say that such patterns of behavior are not cause for concern and attention. Rather it is to say that singling out Palestinians for such behavior seems to dismiss problems within other cultures, including Israel, as if they carry less weight. Why are the Palestinians to be condemned more than others? Moreover, why would a cultural pattern shared with other areas make them belong less within Israel?
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/intimates.htm US Department of Justice
The report of homicide trends in the U.S. detailing acts of intimate homicide in the US, 1976 to 2005 states about one third of female murder victims were killed by an intimate.
That got buried in the verbiage.
In California, the trend in criminal process regarding rape is becoming more and more centralized at the point of incident to medical examination and treatment. That is something that can be introduced to counter such activity within a culture without punishing the society itself for the behavior.
Israel treats everything as terrorism; to do so is a pattern of behavior that verges on the psychopathic. I would argue this may be a consequence of the trauma suffered by the population immigrating during the time of revolution and world wars in the 20th century. Immigrants to the US during this period were vital to the US labor movement.
I do not mean to condemn Israel with my words, but to provoke a consideration of the consequences of such behavior.
Richard, are you in a particularly telepathic state today?
Richard Silverstein says
I’d like to think so!.
Addressing rape in such a way IMO is something most effectively done by those within a social group, rather than requiring intervention from outside – other, perhaps, than in the form of discussion with those who are dealing with such problems in their daily life. From the news reports, this issue is being addressed vigorously by many.
Addressing rape in such a way IMO is something most effectively done by those within a social group, rather than requiring intervention from outside – other, perhaps, than in the form of discussion with those who are dealing with such problems in their daily life. From the news reports, this issue is being addressed vigorously by many through-out the areas in which it is at issue.
Jerry Haber says
Great ad (hat tip to Margaret for telling me to look)
It’s not just great because of its cleverness. Its great because it says to me, “Go to Israel. Get involved — as Jews and as non-Jews — with the protest movements there.” It says “Zion will be built with justice.” It says that Palestine needs to liberated from injustice. It says, “Engage, engage, engage.”
Thank you for the challenge, Jerry.
Richard and Margaret,
Do you ever tire of having to answer the same Orientalist thought that wants to deflect the inequities of Israel’s society and want to exacerbate the problems in post-colonial societies as if that both were on equal footing? I know I do. It seems I went through all of this (except with the question of homosexuals) about a month ago.
Richard, thanks for the concise clarifications. I tend to get the closely related concepts of spoof, parody and satire mixed up together in my head. Muddled categorizing means muddled thinking!? mia, the charge of ‘petulant’ was a subjective assessment on my part and not that important. The point of your comment just wasn’t particularly clear.
Joshua – The same principles do apply. It seems odd to hear the thought described as Orientalist, in relation to the inequity of gender discrimination, yet that puts it in the proper time frame, very “old fashioned,” 19th to early 20th Century thinking. At the same time, now that I’ve done that I wonder, who are the ‘Orientalists’ thought to include? If one includes all the fundamental religious schools which advocate strict adherence to prejudicial forms of discrimination, it expands the field greatly. Yet to focus on any one IMO would take us straight into iniquitous inquiry.
I didn’t think that the last line of the spoof ad was a ‘parody’ at all; rather, I thought it made mathematical sense, as follows:
Let’s suppose that we can quantify the Palestinian right to be in Israel, and that this right evaluates to a value ‘x’. The last line of the spoof ad means that there are no groups with a right to be in Israel ‘y’ such that y is greater than x. For Mia’s benefit, I point out that the ad does not imply that y cannot be equal to x and it certainly doesn’t imply that y is necessarily less than x.
I have Nothing but contempt for you Tikun Olamers’ philosophy, which has just become a “religious” justification for A) we are all the same, let us not judge others or B) We(being the west or Israeli right wingers) are actully worse than the rest and are responsible for not only our problems but all of theirs as well: A moral muddle all around. We are not all the same. All of our cultures are not equally valid, and we should not be afraid to vocally state that. Politcal correctness is a sanitized lie, and pacifism is utopian and therefore evil. Vive le difference:
I’m not a deist, Abraham, so abuse of Tikun Olam doesn’t resound with me.
IMO You misuse the word ‘validity’ when you attempt to use it to describe cultures. “Validity refers to the degree to which a study accurately reflects or assesses the specific concept that the researcher is attempting to measure.” Cultures are not a quantity to be measured in such a way, nor are they inferior or superior.
When people refer to morality in commenting, I often find it difficult to comprehend the meaning of what is being said. Frequently, the comment seems to voice disapproval of one’s own assumption of personal responsibility. That this most often happens with people who support the actions of Israel may explain why the people of Israel accept the misery dealt out to those separated from them by a wall. Can it be they do not feel responsible for the actions of their government?
Perhaps many of the people in the US also lack a feeling of responsibility for the actions their government. Perturbing thought.
Thanks for the reply. Aside from the semantics of whether “validity” was the applicable term, my point remains. What disturbs me about “tikun Olam” as is true with much of modern “progressive” philosophy, is the assumption that there is no real “right” or “wrong”, just a panoply of equally valid arguments, depnding of where you lve or stand. Even though the West or Israel have plenty of flaws, we have clearly developed a model that has liberated many from tyranny and served humanty very well. We are entitled (imho) to say that our general model, rule of law, respect for minorities, independent judicary etc. More than that, that west becase of our checkered history are actually worse than the islamists, or other tin pot dictators because of “interference” or “colonialism”. while thse arguments have a sliver of truth, they do not account for the individual and national responsibilty they have for their lowly state. “Moral” is not a dirty word, and yes Western culture as currently constitued is superior quantitatively and qualitatively to Arab culture, at least by any small L “liberal measure.
Richard Silverstein says
Omigod, it’s another right-winger who learned his critique of progressive politics from the back of a cereal box. Lord, you don’t know crap about this blog if you claim I assume there is no right or wrong. Of course there is. What you don’t like though is who and what I call “wrong.” For you, Israel is always right.
Are you for real?? Who did Israel liberate from tyranny? The Palestinians? And you mean to tell me with a straight face that the wars against Lebanon and Gaza “served humanity very well??”
‘Moral’ may not be a dirty word, but ‘immoral’ and ‘racist’ ARE–and that’s what you are my poor deluded fellow.
Opinions do vary regarding the topics you broach. To what ‘you’ are entitled you did not make clear; however, the basis on which you claim that entitlment – general model, rule of law, respect for minorities, independent judiciary etc.- are attributes the West and Israel share with other nations in the world. You don’t provide grounds for your assertions that others are of a “lowly state,” except for your repeated assertion of superiority. Your assertions of superiority are offensive in their slighting of others. We do not, as surely you must recognize, agree.