A celebration “rumor” that turns out to be undeniable for a change. Here’s The New York Times, if you prefer getting the story from the mainstream media.
For the record, I regard what’s depicted in the video as free speech, and reject the idea that it involves (or should be regarded as involving) “incitement” in any legally actionable sense. Let them dance.
I guess this gives new meaning to that old line from Billy Idol: “Hey little sister–what have you done?” It’s a nice day to start again.
Postscript, December 27, 2015: Follow up from the Guardian:
Underlining the fact that this was not a unique event, the owner of the wedding hall told the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth: “The police knew about the wedding and deployed undercover cops who documented everything.
“There are dozens of these kinds of weddings every month. Every time, after the adults leave, the youngsters remain, the teenagers, and they begin with their dancing and those songs. Sometimes they arrest them afterwards.”
According to Newsweek, this is the best Israel’s “Justice Minister” could come up with in the way of a response to the video:
Israel’s right-wing Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked stopped short of condemning the actions of the radical youths, saying: “I regret that the video was released. This is something that in the end hurts the State of Israel.”
I suppose, in emulation of Donald Trump, what I should now do is to claim to have seen “thousands upon thousands” of Jews dancing in the streets of Montclair, New Jersey celebrating the Duma killings, then rely on enablers who rationalize my claims by saying that I’m probably “exaggerating” a bit, but surely the wedding footage proves that there must be some Jews celebrating Palestinian deaths behind closed doors, so that the generalized atmosphere of hysteria, paranoia, and hate for them is just A-OK. Better yet, maybe I should wait fourteen years to tell the story, mentioning to a rapt audience on national TV that a friend of mine in the Pleasantdale section of West Orange had told me that a two-car caravan of Jews drove by honking their horns and yelling celebratory imprecations in Hebrew, suggesting in turn that that proves that there were Jewish celebrations of Palestinian deaths in the “dozens” across the state.
Make such claims about Jews, and neither the claims nor the claimant would last a minute. But make them about Muslims, and you get a month of the most WTF-worthy controversy imaginable, not just from illiterates and demogogues, but from supposedly respectable academics and journalists.
Postscript, January 4, 2016: The “wedding of hate” story didn’t take long to disappear from view in the U.S.: just compare the American reaction to a fully documented Jewish celebration of blood lust in real time with the weeks-long reaction to rumors of Muslim celebrations of blood lust fourteen years in the past. But it’s roiled the waters in Israel, which has produced some notable commentary on it. (All of these are from Ha’aretz, to which I subscribe, so some or all of them may be behind paywalls.)
This piece by Michael Melchior unapologetically links the celebration video to aspects of Jewish religious culture–namely, the celebration, within the Hebrew Bible (Judges 16.28-30), of Samson’s “suicide terrorism” against the Philistines. (Americans tend to forget that Zionist terrorists practiced suicide bombing long before Muslim terrorists did. Far from being rejected in mainstream Israeli society, their terrorism is unashamedly valorized in mainstream tourist attractions in Israel, like the Underground Prisoners Museum in Jerusalem.)
This piece by Ascher Schecter describes the ultranationalist settlers as “Judeo-ISIS,” and points out that the phenomenon in question “did not grow in a vacuum”: it has deep roots in Israel’s right-wing political culture. Finally, this piece by Amira Haas argues that the attitudes expressed in the wedding video are commonplace among right-wing settlers, and dovetail with real violence against Palestinians in the occupied territories.
In other words, left-wing Israelis are having the conversation about Israel that Israel’s American enablers seem unable to have–and are saying things about Israel that those enablers seem unable to say.
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