20 thoughts on “Arafat Misheberach

  1. Damn, I want a kaffia tallis.
    While I think the NK are not really helping things (and their fundamentalism scares me as much as settlers and Hamasnicks), this reappropriation of Judaica is a cool move. I’ve thought a long time about what a line of radical kippot could look like. I would love to see a kippah with a Palestinian flag to counteract all the American flag/Israeli flag kippot that are all around. What about Queer or anarchist kippot? This way we get to really shake up people’s categories. So, do you know anyone who would make this stuff?

  2. yusul, i guess in your insular leftist world you dont know the true craziness of the so called hassidic group you admire, theyre about 5,000 in number, are rabidly anti israeli, have long supported palestinian murder of jewish israelis, and have a leader who is payed by arafat in an amount close to $100,000/year. i guess you can admire them if you like: other groups worthy of your admiration undoubtedly include david dukes kkk; the communist party of north korea; jews for jesus; answer –they all to some extent reflect your views. love ya

  3. just to demonstrate avi green’s complete unfairness:
    avi, i guess in your insular rightist world you don’t know the true craziness of the so called jewish government you admire, they’re about a few hundred in number, are rabidly anti palestinian, have long supported israeli murder of muslim and christian palestinians, and have a leader who is payed [sic] by the entire israeli people at an exorbitant rate. i guess you can admire them if you like: other groups worthy of your admiration undoubtedly include david dukes kkk; the popes of the crusades; the christian coalition; answer — they all to some extent reflect your views. love ya

  4. Avi, thanks for the warning. 🙂 You seem to have misread my post. I do not admire the NK for what they are. In fact, as I stated above, I’m not a fan of fundies of any stripe. I was just riffing on the idea of radical Judaica. For more fun examples of glorious sacrilege check out: http://www.divine-interventions.com/moses.html. Its all about playing with symbols, not any blind admiration.

  5. Yusul: That ridiculous Moses dildo you linked to is now a discontinued collector’s item. Look, I’m all about taking the piss out of stuff, but still – some things are sacred. Some things deserve to remain inviolate.
    I mean go ahead – fashion yourself a nice rainbow kippah. Or perhaps a nice “fuck off nazi punks” yarmulke. Noithing wrong with that I suppose.
    But no offense… try walking into my shul with a Palestinian Flag kippah. If you do, you ought to expect the shit kicking of a lifetime. Most of our congregants grew up living amongst Arabs and to them the world is black and white – a provocation demands a reaction.
    Not very enlightened I know. But still. Best to save your Palestinian flag kippah for visits to Arafat’s death bed where Jews pissing on their people are welcomed with open arms.

  6. Wait a second. You are telling me that some things are “inviolate” because the congregants at your shul would kick my ass if I did them. What kind of system is that? I’m really glad those folks have appointed themselves the guardians of Jewish headgear (Neturei Kippot). Otherwise we would be in real trouble. Jews would take the meaning of their tradition in their own hands. And we all know how dangerous democracy can be. If I walked into my own shul (also sephardi) with a Palestinian flag kippah I would also raise quite a stir (although the folks at my shul are not really up for an ass kicking). This is precisely why it need to be done, not just by me, but by anyone who supports a two-state solution and wants to help crack open the religious zionism that is fomenting such opposition to any gestures at de-escalating this conflict (like the Gaza plan).
    So obviously the Sephardi goon squad is not a good arbiter of sacredness. But, then, what is? You say, “Some things deserve to remain inviolate.” Under what criteria? I would say that all objects have associated meaning, and that playing with that meaning can be an effective tool to change people’s attitudes. If religious zionists the world over have succeeded in radically transforming rabbinic judaism into a prop for a particular nation-state, the least we can do is be out of the closet as committed Jews who want to call into question the fundamentalist marriage of religion and politics that has become the norm in the (religious) Jewish community.
    So hells yea, get me that Kaffia Tallis!
    PS Pissing on my people is not part of the plan. In fact, I think opening up Jewish identity to a diversity of views (including non-zionist ones) will only enrich Jewish life (and my help save some Jewish lives by ending this g-d damned conflict).

  7. sam, i think you have a basic problem with that nefarious political system which the us, israel, and western europe all seem to share: its called democracy. you see sam, those of us who are traditional liberals believe that free speach, and free elections, result in the will of the people being reflected in government policies, thats why we respect israel, the us, and even france; and thats why yasser arafats “palestine”, saudi arabia, and their ilk will never be considered worthy of serious consideration. dictators may occassionaly come up with a correct approach, but since they act without the mandate produced by free elections, we cant take their actions as representative of their people. sam, i know you probably dont understand this, but sharon, or whoever is the then elected pm of israel, is well thought of automatically by most americans because they know he has been put their by his country’s citizens. thats a major reason for our support of israel, our dismissal of most arab governments. buck up sam, since you do live in a democracy, you get to help elect a new president in 4 yearsl and the israelis will have an election where they can vote in whoever they like. sam: democracy, revel in it, exhult in it; thank your lucky stars you were born into it!

  8. Avi. You are correct, democracy is grand. I love it! On thing though. Israel is not a democracy, or at least not a very robust one. Unlike france and the US, which have equal citizenship laws and universal sufferage, israel rules over a population of 3 million folks who can’t vote. That is not democracy. Of course, if Israel gave them the vote our little zionist experiment would be dead. So, Israel chose ethnic-nationalism over democracy. I’m not judging that choice, I just want to point out that it puts Israel at the very bottom of the democracy list, if its on there at all.

  9. The U.S. is a republic, not a democracy. Furthermore, we have a political culture that is so dominated by corporate money, whether in the form of donors to the big parties, the platforms of the big parties themselves, or the corporate media, that the most civic participation most of our society engages in consists of choosing between two millionaire white males every four years, who tend to have pretty much the same views on almost everything. If you are a hardcore Republican or Democrat, you exaggerate the differences (“Kerry is a socialist!”), but I would hardly call this limited framework a plausible democracy. You can make it look good by comparison with Saudi Arabia, sure, but that sets some pretty low standards. And the same goes for the Israeli system, which compensates in some ways for the American system’s faults by offering more parties with which to identify; on the other hand, most of the power and money and influence in the country remains concentrated in two parties, one of which is supposedly more “hawkish” and one supposedly more “dovish” (though this really doesn’t hold up well to historical scrutiny). Again a limited framework of choice.
    What we need is REAL democracy, which will be localized and will give people a say in decisions that affect them.

  10. Wait a second. You are telling me that some things are “inviolate” because the congregants at your shul would kick my ass if I did them.
    I never said that. I thought the moses dildo was a tad over the top. That’s it.
    As far as my sephardi co-congregants kicking your ass… well, I did say their approach was a little unenlightened, but obviously that’s by Western humanist standards. My peeps are simple folks, merchants, cab drivers etc. And from their perspective, their approach is VERY enlightened and based on first hand experience with Arabs.
    They correctly identify the nature of the problem – that Arabs refuse to view Jews as equals AND WILL NEVER FULLY TOLERATE THE EXISTENCE OF A JEWISH STATE IN THEIR MIDST. They correctly note that given the opportunity even Egypt and Jordan would eagerly participate in wiping Israel off the face of the Earth. They are fully aware of the fact that the only thing that keeps Israel alive and viable is its harsh and strong approach in the face of Arab rejectionism. They also note that any concilliatory gestures made by Israel are viewed as a sign of weakness by the Arabs.
    So you want to enrich them (us) by introducing concepts like anarchy and funkified Judaism into their perception of who and what they are? Good luck – you might as well be speaking Chinese while trying to sign them up for a David Duke rally. And the only thing a Palestine kippah will shake up is… well, let’s just say it won’t be any commonly held conceptions of self and G*d.

  11. Funny thing is, all you can see in the picture is a Kaffiyeh type fabric over his shoulders. The tallis could just be a figment of my imagination.

  12. sam, did you ever stop to think that the two parties have similar positions because america in general is pretty down the middle and doesnt respond to the far left or the far right. the american electorate had a clear choice this november; they also could have voted for a far leftist, ralph nader, they chose not to.

  13. Can I ask a question?
    Would you not do unto others as you’d have them do unto you? We (that’s the collective we, btw) all call for the death of Arafat, and claim that it is in the best interest of everything. He dies a withered old man in a hospital. Shouldn’t that be enough? Should he not die broken, never seeing a Palestinian state? Should he not suffer for all the atrocities he has backed?
    And what about you? Should you not suffer the same amount of lies you tell on a daily basis? Should you not suffer the same poverty of the man on the corner whom you actively neglect? Should I?
    I hear a lot about Tikkun Olam here, but I sure don’t see it.
    For the record, I hate everything that Arafat has ever done. From Oslo to his daycare centre, it’s atrocious. And I am content seeing him spend his last days in the hospital, like a regular mortal. He can be killed, and natural causes seems to be the best way for him. Old, weak, withered.

  14. lets just say that israeli salad isn’t israeli salad unless its got both tomatoes and cucumbers in it. without either one, its just diced tomatoes or diced cucumbers in a bowl.

  15. I like Oren’s point.
    Yusul– Israel never annexed the territory where those 3 million Palestinians live, and it has tried several times over the last 4 decades to rid itself of those territories. It’s still trying– and those territories have autonomous administration (less now, I know) so it’s just wrong to imply that they diminish Israel’s democracy.
    The fact that residents of Washington D.C. have no voice in the Congress is a much more transparent problem with democracy– the issue of the territories is so much more tangled than that.

  16. Uh-huh. That’s a good one, Avi. The two parties rose in response to a careful analysis of how the American electorate already looked. Suuure. While you’re at it, why not say that TV shows are stupid because “america in general” is stupid.

  17. I am not sure that the two political parties in America truly represent the people of America. The problem here is that they have become so much a part of our culture that they are hard to seperate from the culture itself.
    The election last Tuesday is a perfect example. There are people in The US that dislike President Bush to such an extent that they are willing to emmigrate to Canada, give there US citizenship, and abandon there birth place simply because he was re-elected. (Oddly there were people on the otherside that were threatening to do a similar thing if Senator Kerry was elected.) Now, Senator Kerry ran a ‘good race,’ but I truly believe with as divided as the electorate was I believe a monkey that was put up by either party would have garnered at least 40% of the popular vote just by virtue of not being the other parties candidate. (Not really promising.)
    Now I don’t live in Israel, but I do try to follow the politics as best as an ‘outsider’ can. It seems to me that the political parties in Israel are hardly any different. They reflect the population and the culture and, in a relatively short period of time, have become a major part of it. ( A likudnik or labor party member is just that at all times.)
    The advantage that Israel has is that it has occasionally produced other parties that have the vitality to make a difference in a given election. The US doen’t. We do have many ‘third parties’ out there, but none of them have the following or vitality to be anything more that a joke alternative to the establishment.
    In your early posts on this thread you seem to indicate that you believe no objects have an inate inviolate status. How far are you willing to take this attitude? Would a picture of a person desecrating a Torah with some bodily excreation be okay with you, or does this go to far. Some things should be sacrosanct. Who determines what that is, I don’t know, but I am willing to say that the majority of people may be a good way to determine that, sort of like a democracy if you know what I mean. Does this mean everyone is going to agree, of couse not, but then as we all know if you get 2 Jews in a room you will have at least 3 different opinions of anything being discussed.

  18. Says Yusul,
    “I would love to see a kippah with a Palestinian flag to counteract all the American flag/Israeli flag kippot that are all around. What about Queer or anarchist kippot? This way we get to really shake up people’s categories.”
    Yeah, anything’s better than making reasoned arguments, right? Why bother with all that book and magazine reading, thinking, introspection, persuasion and arguing? Cheap propaganda is much better.
    What exactly do you expect to happen when people’s categories are shaken up? Do you think they’ll be too stupid to notice what you’ve done, and you’ll be able to slip your ideas into their heads unnoticed? If they do notice, do you think they’ll be anything but angry? Do you think that shaking up categories will improve anyone’s thought process?
    Maybe you could march in next year’s Israel parade with an Israeli flag substituting a swastika for the magen david. There’ll be a whole lotta shakin’ going on.

  19. Forget what the Jewish world thinks – don’t Neturei Karta realise the Muslim world is looking at them as freaks?

  20. There are people in The US that dislike President Bush to such an extent that they are willing to emmigrate to Canada, give there US citizenship, and abandon there birth place simply because he was re-elected.
    Okay already, is this true? ‘Cause, like, we’re waiting. Who’s coming?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.