Curse Like a Settler
Back in the 1980s there was a catchy girl band hit, Walk Like an Egyptian. Today, Yediot Achronot reports the Hilltop Youth are teaching Israel to curse like a settler, strongly but cleanly, and even in code. Instead of “Nazi scum,” you can now expect to hear the mellifluous “son of perverse rebellion,” or even more succinctly “son of Rahab” [whore].
Some sensitive souls among the extremist settlers must’ve been distressed to hear some of the foul language out of the mouths of the Hilltop Youth when faced with IDF soldiers pulling them from their illegal outposts. So they’ve published a new booklet with more appropriate language to use in cursing the authorities. This should go down as part of a longer essay entitled, Rhetoric of Occupation:
Upon…the start of the settlement outpost demolition season, here is the newest hit in [extremist settlements] Ramat Migron and Shvut Ami: the phrasebook for spoken curses. In a manner similar to the [phrases used on the] IDF two-way radio network, people in the Judea and Samaria hilltops will also start to talk in uniform curses.
A new booklet currently being distributed among the hilltop youth contains rules of behavior for the demolition of settlement outposts, and curses recommended for use in response to…police officers. From now on, the young people will use cleaner language and curses that incorporate Biblical themes, with more contemporary and sophisticated curses. “Garbage” and “scumbag”—out, “vinegar from wine” [phrase traditionally used to denote the wicked son of a righteous father] and “Indian”—in.
The “phrasebook” is very up to date, and so, for example, if a policeman acts without using judgment, he should be asked: “Who sent you, Ehud Barak the moron?” following the statements made by Histadrut Chairman Ofer Eini this past Wednesday about Barak. A policeman wearing a kippa will be called a “Mafdalnik” [i.e., supporter of the defunct moderate religious party]; a patrolman who reneges on his promises will be called “Bibi,” and if a leftist policeman comes to a settlement outpost, he should be called “Son of Rahab” [i.e., son of a whore, cf. Joshua 2:1].
…The introduction to the booklet…states: “There are no words to describe the feelings of a young man who encounters an ambush of policemen who knock the stuffing out of him, or a young woman who is beaten by violent Border Policemen…It is necessary to respond to policemen who crudely use foul language.”
…From now on the soundtrack of the evacuations will sound different…Right wing activist Itamar Ben Gvir said to Yedioth Ahronoth: “This booklet should lead to soul-searching among the policemen who participate in demolishing settlement outposts. We should not, of course, generalize about all policemen, many of them try to maintain restraint, but there are also policemen who do not, and they are the ones for whom the curses are intended.”
The event: “A policeman who scalps people and uses a club”
The curse: “Indian”
The event: “A policeman who acts without sense and without judgment”
The curse: “Who sent you, Ehud Barak the moron?”
The event: “A policeman who hits and hurts girls”
The curse: “Do you beat your wife, too? Pedophile!”
The event: “A policeman from a good right wing family who strays from the path and becomes an enemy of Israel”
The curse: “Vinegar from wine”
The event: “A policeman with a kippa who participates in demolishing homes”
The curse: “Mafdalnik”
The event: “A policeman from an extreme left wing background who puts into practice the views that he brought from home”
The curse: “Son of perverse rebellion” [see 1 Samuel 20:30], “Son of Rahab”
If the Hilltop Youth think this will undermine the resolve of the IDF they must be smoking a powerful drug. But an even more critical question is whether the IDF commanders and defense minister have the will to uproot illegal settlements. They are the key to this process and no amount of clean cursing or euphemisms will change that.
17 thoughts on “Curse Like a Settler – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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I’m sure it was written by Avigdor Lieberman. Maybe he should teach them to curse in Arabic, although I’m sure they’ve had plenty of practice.
I’m curious, who made him the Minister of Foreign Affairs precisely? Was it through the coalition agreement that made him Deputy Prime Minister? If that’s the case, then I’m just shocked that with all the hasbara efforts there is no oversight considering there’s documentary footage of his virulent racism and his years of living on what the world, unanimously, considers illegally occupied territory. I mean, I know that due to the circumstances, nearly anyone in real charge of Israel has some racism against Arabs (not a justification, just being realistic), but he doesn’t even hide it. And then when he tries to justify that hate by calling it nationalism and gets elected, it makes one think that the racism is epidemic in the country. If this is the case, then simply creating another state for the Palestinians RIGHT NEXT to the Israelis will not solve anything. Indeed, the separation does nothing to end the cycle of violence other than create an atmosphere of constant suspicion and paranoia in Israel, which, judging by the basic characteristic of how Israel has acted over the last 62 years, will lead to all sorts of doctrines justifying Israel’s #1 export, Arms, and its many wars. There is no two state solution.
Even though, I tend to agree with what you wrote, I am inclined to quote from BOSTON LEGAL: “Objection! Relevance?”
It’s true, I ranted a bit. I was waxing poetic regarding one particular settler and figured the category was appropriate. I’m open to having my post removed if it’s too out of context.
Don’t bother, maybe my reaction was a bit too harsh…
Do they use the name of Rahab as a curse because she was a prostitute? Or because she betrayed her own people in order to help the Israeli spies?
You would think that would elicit some gratitude at least.
I actually thought of how unjust such a term is because Rahab actually helped the two Israelite spies. You’d think they’d show a bit more gratitude. But then again, she wasn’t an Israelite & so doesn’t deserve respect, right? Sounds familiar…
I was told by a Jewish friend that apparently several prophets were descended from this woman!
As regards Rahab – the Hilltop boys don’t know their bible, she may have been a prostitute (Jewish sources prefer to see her as an “innkeeper”), but she recognised the Jewish god and saved the spies thus is in fact considered to be a positive character in Jewish sources, so much so that the Midrash says she married Joshua who was the Jewish leader of the time! The “son of Rahab” may in fact be considered complimentary to the person to whom this “curse” was addressed.
Indian – meaning Native American or Red Indian. The Hebrew still coins them “Indians”, and here the reference refers to the “scalping” which is removing the skullcap of the demonstrators.
You’re right. Why Indian ??
From a historical point of view, the Palestinians are the ‘Amerindians’ of the Holy Land. Settlers came from Europe and took over their land, pushing the frontier not westward but eastward by ethnic cleansing.
I think it’s time to adapt the ‘The Last of Mohicans’ to a Middel Eastern environment.
Referring to ‘Indians’ because of the ‘scalping’ of skullcaps is a false historical exemple.
In fact, the scalping of the ennemi has NEVER been an indigenous Amerindian habit, but was introduced by European settlers. Scalping facilitated the paying of each Indian killed, as the professional Indian-hunters did not have to bring the whole corpse.
As in Palestine, the colonizers have done a lot of rewriting history to blame the victims.
Seems to be six of this and half a dozen of that as to who started the scalping – also a bit like another conflict we know?
I wrote my thesis on racial stereotypes of Native Amerindians (though concentrated on Mexico), so I’m sorry, no ‘wikipedia’ entry would convince me of the responsability of the Natives – neither in the Americas nor in Palestine.
After all, the Palestinians didn’t not go to Europe to drag you out of the sthetls and bring you to Palestine. Your forefathers came without any invitation, didn’t behave as guests are supposed to behave according to Arab customs and though the hospitality of the Arabs is well-known, when the guest takes over the entire house, the orchards and the fields, leaving you in a shack in the back garden and oblige you to ask every time you want to use the bathroom, it’s time to say NO.
I too didn’t understand what “scalping” meant. Thanks.
“Your forefathers came without any invitation, didn’t behave as guests are supposed to behave according to Arab customs and though the hospitality of the Arabs is well-known, when the guest takes over the entire house, the orchards and the fields, leaving you in a shack in the back garden and oblige you to ask every time you want to use the bathroom, it’s time to say NO.”
I think your historical narrative is rather different from mine.
From my history lessons I learnt that there was a continuous Jewish presence in Palestine since the destruction of the 2nd. Temple in the year 70 (and, of course, before this as rulers) until the mass Jewish return to Palestine that began in the second half of the 19th. century.
Four major cities always had a Jewish presence – Jerusalem, Tsfat, Hebron, and Tiberius.
Your post seems to imply that the Jews “invaded” an Arab populated land and pushed them out. NOT SO!!! Jews were always there, sometimes as rulers, sometimes as an (oppressed) minority, but always there.
Many of today’s Palestinian ancestors are also immigrants to Palestine over the centuries from the Magreb and the Hadrmaut, no different as far as their indiginous belonging to the land from the Jews who also joined their fellow Jews in Palestine at different points in time.
As long as we can’t agree on a basic narrative such as this we can never really come to agree on any point which will lead to a solution.
We may argue about “the facts” as to what happened in the modern era (1917-today), but putting forward your opinion that the Jews as it were invaded from Europe an Arab land, or accepting Hertzl’s famous error of dreaming of “a people without a land to a land without a people” do not help solving the modern-day issues and leave us without any common denominator for the most basic of dialogue.
To start to try and have a fruitful dialogue we must accept that “Palestine” has for at least a thousand years been populated by both Arabs and Jews of various ethnic and\or geographical origins, and from there to try and find a way now to live either together or separately in the land of contention.
Agreeing on a ‘basic narrative’ is totally besides the point in the search for a solution. What is wrong with basic human decency ?
Who invaded who in the Middle Ages is really besides the point when right now families that have been living on lands for generations, are harassed by agressive religious settlers from America, Russia or where-ever, backed by a double standard-double agenda government and society that obviously doesn’t know its limits.
There are borders that are internationally agreed upon. It’s the 1967 line. Old arab villages on the western side are unfortunately destroyed and it’s former inhabitants should be compensated for that.
On the eastern side, the Westbank (and Gaza) there should be Palestinian jurisdiction and authonomy.
Is that so difficult to concede ?
This discussion is way OFF topic and we’ll surely come back to it later. Just: I know Jews have lived in ‘The Holy Land’ for the last 4000 years, so have other ethnic and religious groups, before, after and alongside the Jews. The Jews of the Old Yishouv were largely against the Zionist project of creating a Jewish state. Am I wrong ?
RE: “Back in the 1980s there was a catchy girl band hit, Walk Like an Egyptian.”- R.S.
Bangles – Walk Like an Egyptian (VIDEO, 03:22) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHngF_b3NuE