Allah, Strengthen My Faith and Fill My Heart with the Spirit of the Qur’an

War is horrible, there’s no two ways about it. Still, I find it futile to address any direct political issues, because I assume that whatever I want to say, someone said it before and probably more eloquently. That is why I refrain from elaborating on a two year old niece who cannot sleep in her room because it is not rocket-proof, nor a distant relative who asked if her fourteen year old daughter can stay with us, as living within rocket range made her exhibit signs of post-trauma. I will also avoid telling how four hours ago a twenty year old Palestinian ran with an axe on main street, just as I was on my way to get a haircut.

No, instead I will take Monty Python’s advice and try to look on the light side of life, because if life seems jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten, and that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing:

Citizens show humor under fire

Check out this photo of a note posted by fleeing Be’er-Sheva residents on their own door. It reads:

[singlepic id=128 w=180 h=210 float=right]In case this apartment is hit by a rocket:
Search and Rescue teams: Relax, we are staying at our parents’.
Government damage assessors: The apartment had plasma TV sets, a bottle of 1709 vintage Bordeaux and a rare antique porcelain statuette.
Cable company: The plasma TV sets were used as flower pots.
Ruthie: If we got hit, we are not paying our homeowners association dues.

 

Reporters show more bloopers under fire

As the rolling news reports continue for the second week, Channel 10 aired a second compilation of their own correspondents’ bloopers. The video is in Hebrew but mostly self-explanatory:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BST1HZDoRpM

 

Hamas shows porn under fire

Late at night, a technician on Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV was flipping through the satellite channels, not knowing he was changing the actual live broadcast of his own channel. When he stumbled upon an erotic channel from Poland, he watched it for six minutes, then apparently got a call to the station informing him that everyone in the Arab world can see the erotica, and so he immediately changed the broadcast back to the Ramattan TV live feed from Gaza. All this time, the caption read ‘Now in Gaza’ and the audio of the broadcast was the original loop of Shahid (martyr) songs. The contrast between the quote-unquote songs of faith and the utter abomination of the visual is just brilliant (Contains nudity, NSFW):

While the Polish girl is dancing naked, the singing in Arabic goes: Allah, strengthen my faith and fill my heart with the spirit of the Qur’an!

Amen!

It’s Like Déjà Vu All Over Again

Israelis love their armchair activism. As long as they don’t have to do anything more than click their mouse, they are willing to show their support. This is particularly evident in the sheer number of people willing to join a so-called online protest, in comparison to how few are willing to put on their coat and walk to the city center for an actual real-world protest.

Armchair activism has a particularly disgusting side as it brings out the trigger happiness in people. In light of recent events, dozens of hawkish Facebook groups were created by Israelis, advocating the annihilation of the Gaza strip. All you have to do is click the ‘Join’ button, and you have instantly shown your degree of ‘patriotism’. Here is a selection of those Facebook groups:

 
[singlepic id=116 w=200 h=303 float=right]In this atmosphere of collective zeal, I think nothing can be more patriotic than watching War, A Rock Opera this coming Wednesday in Tel-Aviv. The show was created by Israeli musician Kobi Vitman based on his ordeals as an IDF reserve infantry soldier during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002, but it was painfully relevant to the 2006 Lebanon War – and even more so now, as the conflict in Gaza escalates into a ground invasion. The collective Israeli memory is notoriously short, and so watching this show is an excellent reminder of what war is really like in a country where every citizen is a soldier.

What: War, A Rock Opera
When: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 10:30pm
Where: Tmuna Theatre, 8 Soncino street, Tel Aviv, Israel
Who: Kobi Vitman, Dvir Benedek, Ayelet Robinson, Yaniv Levi
Why: Read my critique

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzAz6Eo4gKA

Tonight on Your Evening News: Cast Lead and Must Leather

Wars don’t happen in winter anymore
Even for us it is a bit too cold to hate
Wars don’t happen in winter anymore
Even for us it’s a bit too cold to conquer
 
   – – “Big Hero” by Si Himan (translated from Hebrew)

Channel 10 anchorwoman Miki Haimovich (right) and senior defense correspondent Alon Ben-David (left) modeling wartime leatherwear - December 28, 2008

I have already written on Israeli journalists playing dress-up, but that was during peacetime. Now that a new war might be imminent, it seems our journalists collectively decided to wear uniform in the form of leather jackets. I have been glued to the TV screen during the past few days, zapping between Channel One, Channel Two and Channel Ten – and it looks like one hideous leatherwear catalog from the 1990’s that magically came to life:

Leather by Gaza - Mixed Channels

We already knew soldiers have their standard operating procedures – but now we know TV newsmen have them too.
Continue reading Tonight on Your Evening News: Cast Lead and Must Leather