Fair Policy, Fair Discussion

January 28, 2010

Israeli TV satire on the IDF team in Haiti

Filed under: Discourse in America,Discourse in Israel — Helena Cobban @ 7:52 am

Do check out the whole three minutes of this hilarious clip from Israeli Channel 2’s leading satire program.

And when you’ve seen it all, you could ask yourself whether satirical pokes like this one at the IDF’s incredibly over-hyped “compassion” and “morality” would ever be aired on the mainstream media in the U.S.

…. Just asking.

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4 Comments »

  1. It seems like the military has taken over CSPAN these days. The military seems intent on conveying the message that you can count on the military whenever the going gets tough. Whatever happened to Conservatives’ criticism of the nanny state? And why don’t we get a ground level view of the military’s welfare from Haitians or Afghans on the street?

    Comment by JohnH — January 28, 2010 @ 11:45 am | Reply

  2. Thanks, Helena for linking to the clip I also enjoyed it. It’s great when a country can laugh at itself.

    It also highlights a big difference between Israel and a lot of other countries. Israel has free speech. If such a video had been made about one of the countries of the Arab league and shown on their television someone and probably more than one would have gone to jail.

    Comment by David — January 29, 2010 @ 7:13 am | Reply

  3. It’s true, David. Israel possesses democratic features and is driven by certain Western values which faintly resemble/mimic more authentic Western democracies if one limits the discussion to within Israel itself, i.e., IF one excludes the Occupied Territories. And we can celebrate the freedom of Israelis at home to satirize the incredibly narcissistic, self-aggrandizing nature of some of Israel’s behaviour in Haiti on its own terms; this satire sounds spot on. The problem is, one can’t really exclude the occupied territories when evaluating the extent of Israel’s ‘freedoms’ and democratic attributes.

    As much as Israel likes to think of itself as a democratic Western country, let’s face it, she ain’t France or Denmark. If you want to compare Israel’s internal domestic political freedoms (excluding the OT, of course, which if included makes Israel look about as bad as it gets in the Middle East or anywhere) to the worst autocracies in the Middle East, in order to make Israel not look so bad in this instance of media freedom, then be my guest. It’s just kind of interesting that Israel wants to be considered a ‘Western democratic country’, but never really wants to compare itself to the far more robust & authentic (however flawed they may be) democracies of Western Europe and so on.

    I’m always fascinated by the “there are other countries who are worse than we are” type of argument. I don’t think the practitioners are aware of how tawdry & low-rent it comes across.

    Comment by Warren L — February 7, 2010 @ 4:41 am | Reply

  4. Warren L,

    Regarding your statement “(excluding the OT, of course, which if included makes Israel look about as bad as it gets in the Middle East or anywhere)”. I’m not so sure that would be true. I think the Palestinians are allowed a free press (by that I mean they are not told what to publish by an office of the Israeli government), Palestinians certainly critize Israel (I don’t believe you can find examples of Israel locking someone up just for what they have written or said), and I don’t believe you can find any examples where Moslims or Christians are restricted in the freedom to worship, that are not mainly security related.

    All 22 Arab countries restrict these freedoms, so no “it’s not as bad as it gets in the Middle East or anywhere.”

    But as you know I was restricting my remarks to Israel and excluding the OPT. I think it perfectly legitimate to discuss freedoms in the US without having to having to include actions in Iraq or Afghanstan.

    And I’ll leave you with a “what if”. If somehow an accord is reached and Israel were to withdraw back to Israel proper (you can decide yourself 67 or 48 borders) Israel will still be a democratic country whose citizens enjoy freedoms on a par with the US, but those 22 Arab countries will stay as undemocratic and as unfree as they are today.

    You will disagree with that because you will claim linkage, all those problems are because of Israel’s occupation.

    Comment by David — February 9, 2010 @ 12:55 pm | Reply


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