Ryosuke Yokoe asked me to answer the following question on Quora: Is it generally a taboo in the American culture to bring up the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in conversations?
The longer version of the question being:
Among other reasons such as discussing ‘mild racism’ and child molesters, Louis CK’s monologue for the season finale of Saturday Night Live seemed to have offended quite a lot of people, partly because he likened the arguments that his two daughters have to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Is this a taboo subject to bring up and joke about in America.
I liked this question, because Ryosuke is obviously trying to understand American culture from an outsider’s perspective, which means he isn’t brainwashed by the media and is receptive to making up his own mind once in possession of the relevant facts. Here is my response:
No, such discussion is not taboo. And a discussion of the Middle East conflict is not what caused offense here. What did cause offense was Louis CK’s misrepresentation of the conflict.
The comedian portrays the “Palestinians” as the subject of continuous abuse (getting “rocks in the face”) by Israelis with the tacit consent of the world, while the Israelis are portrayed as mere whiners (he “burned all my dolls”) who can be placated by promising to give them stuff.
People were likely offended at the idea that the conflict, which has led to so much bloodshed, is just a squabble between two immature entities. But the truth is, that is not what is so offensive here. What is really offensive is that Louis CK takes sides in a very sneaky way, making it look as though Israelis are the abusive villains, their victims the Arab “Palestinians,” while Israel isn’t really suffering or being hurt on a personal level by the “Palestinian” Arab enemy.
This is not a realistic representation of the conflict. The derivation of the conflict is territorial. The world believes that the “Palestinian” Arabs want a state, but Jordan was created for this purpose and almost 80% of the Jordanian population is “Palestinian.” Furthermore, the Arabs were given Gaza and this territory serves as a second “Palestinian” state.
These two “Palestinian” states have not placated the land lust of the “Palestinian” Arabs because what they really want is all of Israel. This is why they have not accepted Israel’s very generous offers of even more territory. They don’t want a lot of Jewish territory for themselves, they want it all, and they won’t stop killing Jews until they get it.
Prof. Ruth Wisse has stated, and I agree, that it’s not an Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but an Arab war against the Jews. It is not Jews throwing “rocks in faces” but Arabs stoning the Jerusalem light rail trains (see, for instance:as well as Jewish cars in Judea and Samaria (see: ). It is not about Arabs burning Jewish “dolls” but about Arabs shooting thousands of missiles from Gaza into Southern Israel’s civilian urban centers ( ).
But you ALMOST can’t blame Louis CK for getting it wrong: the media lies about the nature of the “conflict” constantly so that viewers are fed a continuous propagandist stream of lies. People tend to believe what they see and hear and the media knows this and colludes with the “Palestinians” in spreading their false narrative because of antisemitism.
On the other hand, a real truth seeker does not depend on the media but does independent research and applies his critical thinking skills to the matter. I am very impressed that you thought to ask this question which demonstrates your thirst for truth, Ryosuke! I hope this necessarily brief explanation will lead you to research the question further on your own.