The Case for Zionism

I’ve finally found some sites posting “Kazakhstani Journalist” Borat (a.k.a Briton Sacha Baron Cohen, a.k.a Ali G)’s Country-Western song In My Country There is Problem, with its refrain “Throw the Jew down the well.” More shocking than the lyrics is the audience’s reaction — happily joining in with the chorus.

This clip is funny, frightening and enlightening. The bottom line is that even if anti-Semitism is just an “undercurrent” here in America, we need a place we can always call home.

Sacha himself is Jewish (and even wrote a graduate thesis on Jewish involvement in the civil rights movement). If you haven’t seen Da Ali G Show on HBO, you can get some good background information on the show and on Sacha from this interview on NPR. This man’s ability to make people look ridiculous while both exposing societal flaws and keeping a straight face is simply amazing–this show is easily my favorite on TV right now. I’m still worried that Sacha’s plan might backfire though: rather than exposing anti-Semitism, the popularity of Borat’s new tune could make people feel more comfortable singing Jew-hatin’ songs and otherwise promoting hateful stereotypes.

44 thoughts on “The Case for Zionism

  1. “the best of what judaism can produce!”
    The best of what Judaism can produce is definitely none other than the modest Milky (TM) – now available with chocolate chips! Try one next time you’re in Israel. Also available at the Butcherie Kosher Food Shop on Harvard street in Brookline and wherever fine sraeli made kosher chocolate pudding food stuff is sold.

  2. so listen to this – i am used to the one shekel heavenly krembo. now i walk into upper west side barzini, and it was 4 dollars for a pack of 6 krembos!!! thats insane! the good news is, my friend just told me that an all-israeli grocery store on st. marks (i think between first ave and avenue a or something).

  3. Milki is the best I agree!
    I think if Milkis were more widely distributed in the US we could stop anti-semitism and repair the Israeli economy all in one fell swoop!
    Krembos are also delicious… I miss Israel….

  4. $4 for a pack of six krembos? That’s not bad at all really. Especially when Milkys (or Milkis) are $2.95 for two (!) in Brookline. And I don’t even live in Brookline anymore. I gotta shlepp down there from friggin Canada for a Milki fix. Luckily I am in Israel often where usually the first thing I do upon arrival is go to the closest makolet in like Lod, and then go on a 2 day Milky bender….

  5. Here me now,
    da problem innit dem beats and rhymes iz dat wez da Jews don’t be lovin enough. Aight, now not to bang an aggro, but me finks wez need to get a little bit ratted wif dem goys, and even dem brainiest bruvers, and do some shaggin. Now I’m not a batty boy ere, so we not be droppin any speed garage sweet bitching beats. Dat old geezer may be racialist, but Borat is tight.

  6. PurrpleGrrl • ,
    Who the hell are you! Are you how old??? Please do not tell me what to think or how to write: I am the King blogger here. Let that be known you little girl.
    OH and I did not forget about Jason!!!

  7. JB: chill… that is indeed how Ali G talks. Sacha Cohen developed the character as a spoof of youth culture, and specifically wannabe gangstas.
    Also, milkies are a popular whipped creme/pudding snack and krembos are a chocolate covered merengue. You can find them sometimes at Kosher supermarkets (or Zabar’s here in NYC). I prefer Dani though…
    Of course, the one thing I never see in the US is shoko besakit…

  8. this is by far the oddest stream of conversation to follow one of the most troubling things i have ever seen.
    does this mean that the country folk in the video agree, or that they are just happy to sing the song with borat.
    I wish i had someone to blame for all of my problems.
    can i have a free t-shirt?

  9. Well, the new series of Borat starts next Friday here in the UK. Yes, on shabbos!
    The country and western clip looks great and looking forward to seeing the rest of that show.

  10. Assaf, believe it or not there is nothing Israeli about the origins of Krembos.Their origins actually lie in the American mallowmar….there was a well researched story in the jpost about a year ago about the history of the delicious creamy chocolately treat. I’ll try to dig it up for you.

  11. JB:
    I’m not sure why you think my age has anything to do with this. Years (apparently) do not automatically endow wisdom.
    It’s actually pretty funny that the only thing you can think of is to call me a little girl. That’s pretty incisive commentary there. I can see why you call yourself “King” (snort).
    Oh yeah, Sasha Baron-Cohen himself actually seems really intelligent when he’s not in character (he was great on “The Daily Show”), but I think Da Ali G Show counts on viewers being a lot smarter and more well-informed about the world than they actually are. A lot of people watch him and don’t get the social commentary, they just get the crudeness and the stereotypes, without understanding the critique.
    That song is surely disturbing, and given people’s lack of intelligence and education, it’s even more so.

  12. PG: So then the next question is, should Sacha stop doing what he’s doing? Is the value of his social commentary (perceptable only to some) worth the potential cost of fueling other’s ignorance? Even though the patrons in the bar are unsettling to me, aren’t I better off knowing their true feelings about Jews?
    I don’t have the answer– but I do know that the show keeps me laughing and thinking all the time.

  13. Jason
    Haha, *cool*, I’ve seen Urban Dictionary before actually, not very accurate – anyone can give their interpretation and some their posts are actually obscene. To return to the post in question, Ali G, I like him. I saw him perform live in Middlesborough (England) – not an easy audience, and he was very well received. His humour is darker than it appears, I think, and doesn’t translate well into text.
    How did you get your words to turn pink like that?

  14. ..continued
    Speaking from personal experience, Ali G was well received in Middlesborough because people genuinely found him funny rather than using his performance as an excuse to partake in anti-semetism as appears to be the case in America. The only anti-semetic comments I heard were made by people who abstained fuelled by a political objection to Israel and its “treatment” of Palestine which although logically unrelated still influenced how many tickets were actually sold, for real.

  15. oh, and one udda fin, should yous eva check da need to bang dig ali g. yous can use dis translata which takes ordinary conversation and turns it into somethin dat sounds dig it came from im …
    with varying levels of success….
    Try it yourself right here baby

  16. ck_dave
    Yes, but are you the real Ali G???
    Funny guy, I don’t think I want to learn how to talk like Ai G , thanks anyway, I have enough problems trying to speak English:)

  17. ck_dave: Yeah, I used the ‘tranzlata’ just a moment ago, and it wasn’t as cool as me spending 5 minutes trying to make meself sound like I’m from the ‘ghettos’ of England.
    Mas: It’s just a hyperlink. Try it yourself.

  18. Let me try this Mas:
    christ killer
    If this works, it will demonstrate how you can make the words christ killer a link to http://www.christ-killer.com – notice that you can also simply type in a URL in the comments section and that too will automatically create pink hotlink text.
    If however this does not work (I have no idea what codes moby does or does not allow) then click on the Try it link provided by Jason above and figure it out yourself. My 11 year old cousin figured it out, I’m sure you can too.

  19. Just a thought, I find it profoundly sad that some Americans define their national identity through the right to bear arms.

  20. Hi all!!! My name is Eugene and i’m anti-semite. I hate jews who think that they are the best of the best and they can get all what they want. About Ali G show i can tell you that i like it very much, it’s quite funny when Sacha does some stupid things, exposing anti-Semitism, singing Jew-hatin’ songs and otherwise promoting hateful stereotypes. YEah.

  21. Hi jews!!! I’m anti-semite too, like s0me0ne. I’m gonna kill you all jew, beware of me. LoL. Do you know what means this abbreviation : “FJ”!? I think you don’t know curse you are stuuupid! YeaH aha. This means FUCKING JEW. Did you understand? Fucking jews! So be attentive, when s0me0ne tell you FJ that means this person hates you. And now i have to go so fuck of you fucking jews. P.S This comment for those jews who think that they are the best of the best and they can get all what they want. ONLY!!! By for now and have a good day!

  22. The only problem with this video (dunno if this thread is still on topic or not), is that it’s so brilliantly funny. Of course, the aim is to show that anti-semitism is still at large, but because it’s such good comedy does very little more than make the Jewish religion (yet again) a prime target for joke material.
    Anyone with a respectable amount of intelligence will be able to pick out the actual message this song carries, but, unfortunately, too many people are too thick to realise.
    Apologies if I’m repeating what’s already been said, stopped reading the thread when it turned to a discussion of Kosher snacks 😛

  23. As an international deejay who is totally jewish and totally isareli i find sasha baron cohen aka ali g a most refreshing character who exposes all kinds of anti semitism bigotry and racism that should be applauded. We all have our characters and alter egos and if they can be put to some good use in exposing the racists of all cultures races and faiths then im all for it.

  24. Jews are cool, it’s the Israelis who ought to be pushed to the sea. Luckily the Arabs think long term, they’ll get nukes and that little nazi enclave in Palestine will be kaput!

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