60 thoughts on “Popular Culture Exposes Racism That Enables Israeli War Fever – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Bad taste maybe. But you go too far in your speculation. The ad is first and foremost a play on the Asfur TV show, which stars the guys you call “Slackers”. During that show these guys have a run in with the Mossad and this is as much a reference to that as it is to any recent news speculation.

    I wonder what you’re inferring with terms like “economic largesse” and “luxuriating in consumer options”. That Israelis watching cable TV in the midst of the mess our country is in isn’t acceptable? Don’t you think that’s just a little ridiculous. Perhaps we should only be allowed to watch cable after we’ve demonstrated outside the Knesset for at least half an hour each morning?

    This post shows that you are really unable to judge the nuances of what goes on here from the outside. Israeli society is nowhere near as evident or as obvious as you try and make out.

    Though I agree that this ad certainly doesn’t show any Israeli concern for unexplained explosions in Iran, it nevertheless riducules Israelis too. The taste is dubious, like the taste of 90% of Israeli TV today, but I think the expectation that TV ads should probe reality is going a little too far.

    1. “Bad taste” that Israel has killed several hundred Iranians over the past few yrs w. various plane crashes, assassinations & missile base explosions. I’ll say it’s bad taste–but only if you’re Israeli. If you’re Iranian, they might see it a bit differently.

      Yeah, I think Israelis basking in consumer goods & economic largesse while their security services & military terrorize their neighbors is pretty much disgusting. All that grand entertainment offered by HOT and those tablets & other devices allow you to keep your mind off doing anything about the real mess your country faces.

      I didn’t say all ads should probe reality (though ones which do are usually far more interesting than others), but ads that make Israelis cute & funny after your country has run roughshod over Iranians in its covert war are insulting beyond belief.

      1. Obviously “bad taste” refers to the ad and not to the “alleged” killing of Iranians by Israel.

        Get real. Of course Israelis want to keep up a regular life which includes cable TV. Are you suggesting that Israelis who don’t have cable TV or tablet devices are going to be more motivated to protest against their government. Pretty ludricrous.

        This advert doesn’t make Israelis seem either cute or funny, and again you simply can’t get that from outside. The suggestion that Israelis shouldn’t try to be either cute or funny because we are riding roughshod over Iranians is a strange one. I read in the newspaper than the Iranians are sending a model of the downed drone to the US. I thought that was pretty funny too.

        Condoning a situation in which Israelis aren’t allowed to live a normal life because Palestinians over the green line aren’t living a normal life either is an easy cop out, but not one that really contributes to finding a solution.

        And seemingly the HOT cable company can’t win. Across the green line they are often accused of treating those that live there as second class citizens when it comes to cable service

    1. Harmless? I suppose having white people in black face in a U.S. commerical would be harmless too? “Boom-boom, bang-bang” is harmless I suppose if your country is the one doing it. But when you’re the victim it’s not so funny. What do you think an Iranian would think about the ad? Or do you just not care about that?

  2. This is a good one.
    You take a film of self-irony that show Israelis as morons, a secrete agent who is clumsy and exposes himself. The other Israelis there compare the Mossad to a mental home and you call it racist.

      1. I did not know that disliking a political leader is considered a racist act.
        The beetle was introduced to Israel around the time of the rise of Khomeini in Iran. The origin of the beetle is Iran (area of) and the color of it is brown which is Hebrew sound very like Khomeini. For those reasons it was called by the Israelis after his name. Nothing to do with racism, just time and place Coincidence.
        BTW, in Hebrew you also have a beetle called after Mosses.


      2. Here is some information from Wikipedia about the Khomeini beetle that may be of interest:

        This species was introduced into Israel in the 1980s. It is believed that a number of specimens arrived on shipments of pistachios and oil that were brought from Iran. Unaware that this beetle was already well-known elsewhere, an Israeli researcher mistakenly re-named it Maladera matrida, the new scientific name reflecting the nuisance it brings: “matrida” “מטרידה” means “bothersome” in Hebrew. Due to its Iranian origin and brown color (“khoum” in Hebrew), it is called Khomeini after Iranian politician Ruhollah Khomeini, spiritual leader of Iran at the time.

  3. This is an example to one who is so outsider who sees shaddows as mountains… (bad translation in Hebrew it sounds better…

  4. Ha ha. I love it when you write about Israeli society or culture. You don’t really have a clue about it, do you? And, you, out of all people, to write critique about humor?? Come on!

    Since I don’t like the “I have the last word” discussions here, let me just enlighten the readers about a small detail a little brown bug which was once a major disturbance in Israel.

    This is an interesting story. In the 80’s – right after the Islamic revolution – a new brown pest was introduced to Israel via a container from Iran. For some reason, it reproduced successfully and quickly became the most common bug in the country. It was pea-sized brown pest with a hard shell, and used to fly straight into walls making annoying noises. In those days, A/C units were not widespread, and having the windows open meant having your house invaded by dozens of these pests.

    The popular name for this bug was “khumeini” (not “khomeini”). It was a pun – eluding its Iranian origin and referring to its color – ‘khum’ (khoom) – brown. Of course, the name mocked Ayatollah Khomeini. He was not very popular in Israel those days, calling Israel the little Satan and all that. But it had nothing to do with racism.

    By the way, after several years of prevalence, the bug disappeared completely, just like it appeared. I don’t know how that happened; nature has a was of balancing things.

    I’m sure Wikipedia can concur this. The article is here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maladera_insanabilis, but today they are blacked out, so I can’t read it.

    1. Calling an insect pest by the name of a leader of a country that is your enemy isn’t racism? I suppose it’s a jolly good joke for you Israelis. But Iranians & other non Israelis don’t see it that way. BTW, racists never know or concede that they’re racists, as you’ve refused to do here. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t. It just means they’re morally obtuse.

      1. I’m convinced. Mocking the leader of an enemy country is racism. Good for you.

        What I like about this post and the responses, is that it is quite clear that your judgement is flawed, to say the least. Kind of puts things in perspective.
        But, then again, what do I know, the racist that I am.

        1. No, not mocking him. Calling him an insect, that’s racism. Making fun of an Israeli covert ops program that’s killed hundreds of Iranians, that’s brutish & insensitive on top of the racism.

          What do you know? Not much that’s for sure.

          1. Parat Moshe Rabaanu is a red and white beetle named after Moses. Khomeini should be HONOURED to have a beetle named after him too if we do it to Moses!

          2. I’d be honored if they’d changed the name of the Khomeini beetle to the ‘Brian of London’ beetle. It’s the least you deserve for being the scummy human being you are (sorry folks, this is one of David Lange/Aussie Dave’s evil henchmen).

      2. “racists never know or concede that they’re racists”.

        Suppose i called you a racist and you never know you are one and never concede it. So it will effectively make u a racist. Is that the reasoning?

          1. Love your logic. An “idiot” is someone you say is an idiot, and a “racist” is someone you say is a racist.

          2. You really can’t help yourself, can you? When questioned, resort to name-calling. Yup. Hey, if I call you a name-caller, am I then a name-caller too?

            I have other email handles as well. I choose among them as appropriate. (Some even reflect my favorite sports teams, but I won’t share here ’cause I only went to a state school.)

            That the phrase “God is a Zionist” within an email handle causes you to get your underwear in such a twist says a helluva lot more about you than it says about me. But your antipathy to the term clearly contextualizes your irrational response to a hilarious TV commercial.

            You could just take out the smelling salts and then take a relax.

            Or you could just find topics to write about better aligned with your emotional constitution.

            Have fun with that hope-y, tikun-olam-y stuff!

  5. Not racist, but arrogant, self-centered and aggressive – i.e. typically Israeli.

    However, “basking in consumer goods & economic largesse” is true about any Western capitalist country.

  6. this show is really funny and i am not racist; you made a mistake but you have the right not to have any sense of humour;

  7. I have to agree with the other comments here.

    In the end this is a commerical using current event issues as a medium to sell their product. You try and make a serious point about a parody commercial.

    You’re way off base, as there are plenty of people who do take the issue of Iran, and potential conflict/attack on Iran serious (those on both sides of the political spectrum, pro and con). The issue is given it’s seriousness in the proper forums of government and press. This is simply Israeli “Madison Avenue” at work. Just like the MAD men make commerical mistakes, so too here, perhaps. But you can’t jump into politics from parody TV commercials.

    There have been plenty of off-color commercials in the past and will be in the future. Like some TV shows that “take no victims” (“Family Guy” for one) cross the line and poke fun at all sorts of “sacred cows”. This type commerical, whether you like it or not (funny, insulting or down-right racist) will still be made.

    It isn’t any poltical statement and isn’t meant to be.

    You unfortunately do in fact show a (natrual) out-of-touch sense with the every-day culture of Israel. Because you are “there” and not “here”, all that can be expected of you is to connect to the political issues, some of the more “hot” (no pun intended with the commercial) social issues that arrise and anything else sent to you, or what you read in the “trades” and web. You’re not getting the daily dosage and day-to-day atmosphere of living in Israel.

    It isn’t meant to be a dig or a cut…. it’s the same way I can’t get it for Seattle or even New York for that matter.

    1. I wasn’t the one who first discovered this ad. An Israeli did. A real live Israeli living right there among you in the Land of Milk and Honey. And he thought it was racist. Which was why he sent me the link. And other Israelis on my Facebook account have joined in their disgust at it. So go on all you like and rail about the non sequitur issue of what and whether I understand about Israel. YOu don’t understand that this blog could not exist without the support, research, & tips provided by Israelis who know their country better than you or I. At least they know things about your country that you don’t seem to know.

      And don’t try to blow smoke up my a(& by yr totally disingenuous crack about yr criticims not being meant as a “dig or a cut,” which of course it is. I don’t mind criticism, but I can’t stand someone who lies through their teeth or else lies to themselves about what they’re doing.

      1. No Mr. Silverstein it wasn’t disingenuous… I was trying to simply point out the difficuly ANYBODY has in trying to relate to a country/society where one doesn’t live. I’ve seen it myself with visiting journalists I’ve worked with who follow the news but have difficulty getting “up to speed” with what happens here locally. They do get up to speed, but it takes time.

        I do not lie and certainly have no reason to do so here. When I want to give you a dig or a cut I’ll do so and you’ll know it… you wrongly accuse me.

        As to the rest of your comments, I’m sure there are people in Israel (and elsewhere) who saw this as racist… I never said they didn’t… but that is how they feel, not what the producer intended.

        When YES (HOT competitor ) did a series of commercials promoting their programming etc. they had some ads I thought were in terribly bad taste, just like this one can be considered. Yet it wasn’t their intent like a propoganda piece might be.

        As to getting your info from Israelis… great , yes there are those who know more than I do (and YES certainly more than you too) about this country.

        These people also have their agendas and reasons for sending you items that are akin to the one-sided approach this blog has. There are other people, who know just as much, maybe even more about this country than your “connections” that could send you legitmate and important articles that would never see the light of day here because they don’t fit the viewpoints you want to express here.

        But that’s okay…. you’re a blog… not THE source for news.

        1. I don’t have “difficulty” “relating” to Israel, nor do I need to “get up to speed” regarding anything related to it. I’ve lived in Israel a number of years. I’ve followed Israeli politics and media for decades. I have regular contacts with Israeli journalists and sources. You don’t need to offer any advice or lectures on what I know or don’t know about Israel.

          Regarding the ad, I’m not interested in what the producer of the video thought when he produced it. I’m interested in the content of what he produced. Sorry but many of us here know racism when they see it.

  8. “According to the American Heritage College Dictionary, racism has two meanings. Firstly, racism is, “The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.” Secondly, racism is, “Discrimination or prejudice based on race.”

    Where in gods name do you see any of this in this commercial? I admit that I might be stupid, or brainwashed by the hasbara to actually understand what you mean by racism. Are you referring to them dressed up as religious women? Please, enlighten me.

    Regarding the Hummeini beetle comment – I still fail to see how this has anything to do with racism based on the definitions.

    As written to you above – this is making fun of Asfur, the Mossad, and the everyday comments of a “mysterious” explosion printed in the papers – which people are kind of sick of.

    1. Stop quoting dictionary definitions. I don’t need a definition of racism to know what it is, nor do you. Calling a bug “Khoneini” is blatant disgusting racism. You know it. And if you don’t you’re a cad.

      1. Richard you are racist, u hate jews. you painting the picture and not showing it. The gays in israel have so much freedoom that I as non gay guy in Tel Aviv is close to be a minority! Israel is more human rights saving from the U.S(Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, W 2 and so on).

        1. It is hard to make out what ‘u’ are saying, but are you really blaming the US for fighting in WW2? Did I get that right?

      2. Calling a bug “Khomeini” racism?
        Israelis indeed don’t respect leaders who want to wipe their country off the map. But I can assure you that the Israelis have nothing against the Iranian people. The opposite is true. As soon as a new Iranian regime arises which does not want to annihilate Israel, but rather to have peaceful relations with it, Israelis will be the first to reestablish firm relationship with Iran.
        However, to equate so blatantly Israel and its current prime minister,, and I quote you “…the State of Israel, or more specifically Bibi Netanyahu (but why distinguish between the two–aren’t they identical?)”, and viciously bashing Israeli society every day, is that not racism??

        I once enjoyed reading your blog, mainly because of the interesting information that appears form time to time. But is becoming more and more hateful, and you are undermining your own credibility…

        1. How can you assure me of anything. Do you speak for all Israelis? Anyone who’s following Israeli & pronouncements knows that the Israeli leadership despises the Iranians, esp. those in the regime. Those running Iran are the leaders of the country whether you like it or not. If you want to overthrow them then you despise the country they lead too.

          Uh gee Serge for that concern of yours. You’re only the 30th hasbara troll who’s written the same thing using virtually the same words. The almost exact duplication in comments is far too much to be a coincidence. Someone who isn’t very persuasive has coached you. You should tell them a bit more sophistication & creativity is required. As I once wrote some time ago you hasbarists are like the planes lining up in the airspace over Ben Gurion waiting to come in for a landing. No sooner does one hasbarist land here than another lines up to take his place. Nesiyah tovah. I hope yr next assignment works out better for you.

          1. Well, I know Israeli society much better than you do, that’s for sure. Your descriptions of it are obviously disconnected from reality. Following Israeli media and politics will not change that fact.

            Secondly, you’re definitely paranoid, Richard. I’m very sorry to disappoint you, but I’m just a regular student, and I’m writing because I care, and not because I’ve been coached. Have you considered the option that the duplication of comments is a result of many different people trying to explain to you why your delusions are plainly wrong. It is such a simple truth that Israelis have nothing against the Iranian people.
            “If you want to overthrow them [the ayatollah regime] then you despise the country they lead too.”
            This is sheer nonsense. First of all, I do not want to overthrow the Iranian regime, I just believe the Iranian people deserves better. Despising Ahmedinejad, Khomeini and Khamenei means despising the Iranian people, which means racism? Do you even believe what you are saying?

            Criticism is healthy. But when it is consistently destructive, and increasingly hostile, then I call it hate.

          2. You know what you know about Israeli society, which leaves plenty of ground unplowed for people like me. I know plenty about an Israel you clearly have no clue exists, which is why this blog exists. I am not disconnected from “Israeli reality,” but rather from the particular narrow slice of reality that YOU know.

            I’ve considered that many people saying virtually the same thing is a result of a shared insular set of values by many Israelis who cannot see themselves as the outside world sees them. This is a very damaging phenomenon which has caused a great deal of suffering & will cause much more over time. It is a simple truth that Israelis hate Iran because they hate the government that rules Iran. You cannot separate the two. When Iranians change their government one may come to power that is more congenial to you. In the interim you have only one Iranian government & if you hate it, you hate the nation it rules. Plain & simple.

            If you have accused my criticism of Israel of being “hate” then you’ve made a grave comment rule violation. Read the rules linked in the sidebar & follow them.

    2. Israelis ARE racist. Ethnic stereotypes are the normal way of viewing the ‘other’ in Israeli society (and that goes for both Jews and Arabs). There is no lack of examples for that. But using racism in the wrong context, like you’re doing in this case Richard, simply devalues and delegitimizes the term, similar to the way ‘fascist’ can be used nowadays by anyone against anything without it having real meaning.

      I think this ad is actually a better example of the infestation of Israeli culture by military arrogance than it is of racism.

      1. How much money does Iran allocate for a proxy war against Israel? Oh i forgot you may not have access to those funds or do you?

        1. You think Iran spends anywhere near $400 million in support of Hezbollah or any other proxy? BTW, neither Hezbollah or Hamas is currently at “war” with Israel as you falsely claim. Unlike Israel which has been in an active covert war mode for years.

          You think the snark is cute, don’t you? For insinuating that I receive or have access to Iranian funding, a major comment rule violation, you’re moderated. Your next violation will be yr last.

  9. We call the bug Khomeini out of affection.
    Lots of world leaders have bugs named after them. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Darth Vader all have bugs named after them (look up agathidium if you don’t believe me). Beyonce has a bug named after her.

    1. We call the bug Khomeini out of affection.

      I’ll bet you do. A bug that causes millions of dollars worth of crop damage every yr to one of Israel’s most important industries. I’m sure you feel immense affection for both the scarab and the Iranian leader you named it for.

  10. The makers of this commercial didn’t do their research:

    The nuclear reactor shown in the background is actually the Bushehr nuclear reactor , which is located in Bushehr and not in Isfahan.

    Secondly they show a portrait of Iraqi Shiite cleric Ayatollah Al-Sistani , this is not Khomeini.

    Isfahan is not located in a desert.

    Isfahan actually has a quite large jewish community, finding a place to eat kosher isn’t that hard.

    You can hear arabic mumbling in the background ,as far as I know Iranians speak Persian and not Arabic.

  11. Khomenei wasn’t even brown, he was a white Caucasian, without a beard and turban he could pass off as a Jew. Jesus Christ, it’s like some people here forget that Iranians are quite literally Indo-European.

    1. Note also the equation of Khomeini with a “brown” bug. If we’re talking of color schemes, Israeli Jews like to see themselves as European (white) Caucasians, and Arabs or Muslims as “brown.” Therefore the brown Khomeini bug is a perfect articulation of Israeli anti-Arab or anti-Muslim racism.

      1. Did you read the comments people posted here about the naming of the bug?

        You completely ignore the fact that the color brown… the color of the bug, in Hebrew is “chum”…. “Chumani”, a brown-like color. The fact that it sounds like Khomeni is an added fact.. NOT the reason the bug was called this name.

        You keep making the same point to try and prove your pumpd up inference that it is solely called this name as a way to insult Iran. It isn’t.

      2. Richard, stop. Stop. Please stop. You’re embarrassing yourself. Apparently you don’t have a very good idea what “Israeli Jews” see themselves as. I have no idea what seeing Muslims as “brown” actually means, but whatever claim you’re making, it’s not serious.

          1. Oh Richard, for your sake, I hope you show better manners in real life than you do on the Internet.

  12. Richard-
    You haven’t set foot in Israel for something like 30 years, you know NOTHING about how Israelis think or act…all your information comes from biased sources like Ha’aretz or others of the same type. You know NOTHING about supposed “Israeli racism”, nor nothing about how “racist” Israel supposedly is, especially as compared to its neighbors, whom you have not set foot in, either.

    1. You haven’t set foot in Israel for something like 30 years

      That’s false. I’m amazed you claim to know my personal history & yet you don’t. You & yr settler friends ought to do better opposition research if you wish to smear me.

      BTW, Arutz 7, now that’s biased. Haaretz? Not perfect. But far less biased than your favorite media outlets.

      I’d say it’s you who not only know something about Israeli racism, but that you are one of them–Israeli racists, that is.

  13. Its fun here, even your friends are having a tough time agreeing with this nonsense! I wonder what made you publish that comment of mine after rejecting others, I’ve never called you names, as you did to me, though I quite like evil henchman 🙂

    Racism is where you take a whole group and prejudge the individuals according to a negative stereotype. This case, regarding Kohmeni, appears to be the inverse! If it were racist we’d have to say, somehow, that Iranians are little brown beetles. Btw, in my household, all Kohmeni killing duties fall to me, I’m a one man Kohmeni killing machine. And don’t get me started on Mosquitos which I shall, henceforth, be calling Silverteins.

    1. You’re a total fraud. Yr buddy Lange arranged for the hoax that preceded my outing of the true Aussie Dave. You likely played yr part too.

      Not to mention that you tweeted that you’d like to excommunicate me from Judaism with “a firearm.” You’re a 2 bit moron.

      Racism is when you personify your own hatred for an entire people in the person of its leader, in this case calling Khomeini a noxious bettle.

      I’m tired of yr stupid infantile snark. It’s much more appropriate at Lange’s blog. Go back to the ooze where you came from.

    2. You’re a total fraud. Yr buddy Lange arranged for the hoax that preceded my outing of the true Aussie Dave. You likely played yr part too.

      Not to mention that you tweeted that you’d like to excommunicate me from Judaism with “a firearm.” You’re a 2 bit moron.

      Racism is when you personify your own hatred for an entire people in the person of its leader, in this case calling Khomeini a noxious bettle. The only noxious beetle here is you. Go back to the ooze from whence you sprang.

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