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How to Write About Israel


Palestinian stone-thrower taking a breather

Photo Credit: Uri Lenz/Flash90

These are the other Israelis. The big swarthy men who have no interest in alternative art exhibits. If you have to deal with them at all, get a quote from them about their hopes for peace and how much they dislike the government. Pretend that the two things are connected, and that everything that your friends, who are aspiring artists and playwrights, as well as volunteer humanitarians, told you about the country being ready to rise up against right-wingers like Barak and Netanyahu, to demand peace, is absolutely true. Don’t ask yourself why the country keeps electing right-wingers; if you do, turn it into an essay that touches on Holocaust trauma and biblical hatred.

At some point, you will have to write about the thin bearded men in black hats rushing through the streets on their inscrutable errands. Describe them as “Ultra-Orthodox”, even if the word does not seem to mean anything, and pretend that they’re all the same. If anyone tries to explain the distinctions to you, ignore them. When writing about them, be sure to imply that they are ignorant and fanatical. Mention their growing numbers as a danger to the survival of the state, associate them wrongly with the right wing and throw in some of the complaints from your friends about the “Shchorim”, the blacks,  moving in and destroying secular neighborhoods.

Israeli soldiers should be depicted looming menacingly over children. Your stringers are already experienced at urging a child into camera range, then getting down on one knee and tilting the camera up just as an Israeli soldier walks into the frame. If there isn’t time to set up the shot, get what you can. The photo can be cropped afterward to show just the Israeli soldier and the Palestinian child, even if the two are not actually interacting in any way.

In print, contrast the bored detachment of the soldiers with the prolonged miserable suffering of the Arab Muslims. Checkpoint lines should consist entirely of old and pregnant women waiting to visit their families. If you are Jewish then mention that the soldiers have given you special treatment on account of your race, even if the actual reason is because you are a journalist and your kind doesn’t set off bombs – your kind acts as the propaganda corps for those who set off bombs.

When visiting “settlers,” a term that currently covers a sizable portion of the country, describe them as “dogged” and “fanatical.” Dwell on their beards and on their assault rifles. Find some American ones and disarm them with hometown mentions of Brooklyn or Baltimore and then dig for a hateful comment. If you can’t get a properly damning quote from one of them, get it from one of their children. If you have no luck there, hit up one of your NGO friends, preferably with a degree, to give you a quote on the danger that they pose to peace.

Convey to the reader that there is something disturbing about the tenacity with which they cling to the land, while making it clear that they will have to be ethnically cleansed from the land for there to be peace. Do not use the word “ethnic cleansing,” use “evacuation,” it sounds cleaner. Be sure to mention that they believe God gave them the land. Mention something about the Caananites and the Amalekites. Talk to the girls and contrast their fresh youthful faces with their unwillingness to make peace with their neighbors.

Pay a visit to Jerusalem. Mention a place or two that you like to eat, make sure that it is owned by Arabs, accept their tale of being here for thousands of years with complete credulity. If they mention that they are worried about East Jerusalem being taken over by the Palestinian Authority, don’t report that. Do report any complaints that they have about the Judaization of Jerusalem. Paint a picture of the neighborhood as a wonderfully multicultural place dating back to when the Jordanians expelled all the Jews—that is now under assault by the returning Jews. Mourn all the tourists and the Jewish families who are getting in the way of your orientalism. Be sure to remind readers that the Muslim name of the city, or as you will write, the Arab name, is Al-Quds, and that it is holy to three great religions.

About the Author: Daniel Greenfield is an Israeli born blogger and columnist, and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His work covers American, European and Israeli politics as well as the War on Terror. His writing can be found at http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press.


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