Every Mushroom Cloud Has a Silverstein Lining

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A few days ago, I posted this humorous commercial for Israeli cable provider HOT (now with captions!).

Granted, the captions are clumsy, but you get the drift.

But guess who thinks this is not only not funny, but actually racist.

http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2012/01/17/popular-culture-exposes-racism-that-enables-israeli-war-fever/

There’s always a fine line between political parody and racism.  It’s often hard to say where one bleeds into another.  But the humor of this commercial exposes the moral anaesthesia Israelis undergo, which allows them to be isolated from the impact of the acts of their military and intelligence forces in the region.  Instead of a conscious act of sabotage, a bumbling Israeli intelligence agent clicks a button on a tablet application and–Oops!–there goes another Iranian nuclear facility.  More Keystone Cops than Mossad cloak and dagger.

At the conclusion, another Israeli swats and kills an insect pest called a Khomeini.  The irony of the term and racial hostility inherent in it is self-evident.  Yet another marker for the anti-Muslim hate afflicting contemporary Israel.  Yes, a nation has to laugh at itself especially in times of tension.  But laughter of the sort in this commercial doesn’t encourage thought or introspection.  It doesn’t probe reality.  It allows Israelis to sink back in their economic largess, to luxuriate in the consumer options (like HOT cable service) available to them, while the harmless bumblers of the Mossad go around blowing up Iranian nuclear plants almost by accident.

It all ends with a nudge-nudge, wink-wink that would be fitting for a Monty Python routine, except the Pythons would’ve been savaging cultural norms instead of laughing about them.  Israelis, unfortunately, don’t have that distance from the crimes done in their name.

Silverstein’s claims of racism are ridiculous, as the majority of the commenters to his post point out. I won’t republish the entire thread here, but suffice to say, Silverstein is ripped a new one.

If you read the comments, you’ll notice:

1. Silverstein displays his utter ignorance of Israeli culture

2. Silverstein cannot respond to any dissent without hurling insults

3. Silverstein cannot hide is utter contempt for Israelis

And if you are wondering when I’ll stop posting about this nasty piece of work, the answer is when the Israeli and international media stop citing him as a credible source for anything.

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