26 April 2015

Gideon Levy and the Other Side

Gideon Levy, the self-appointed Moral Compass of Israel and appointed by others Baron of deceit industry, is a topic that is guaranteed to get me some heartburn. More than enough has been written about this strange critter on these pages.

The linked clip, however, offers the watcher/reader a hitherto undisclosed angle on the workings of Mr Levy's brain and the resulting tunnel vision of the world espoused by the gentleman. The clip in question is a part of a Israeli Hot TV Channel 3 Mehubarim series, recorded in 2012. The circumstances of the recording: Gideon Levy (driving) and his spouse, with their son Uri (a soldier at the time) and his partner drive to Maale Adumim (a "settlement" township near Jerusalem), when a heated political discussion develops.

Transcript of the clip (G - Gideon L., U - Uri L.):

G: Yesterday I had a great experience: a youngster approached me, while I was eating. He is a member of Maale Adumim town council. I told him that tomorrow I'll be again in Maale Adumim and he almost fainted. He couldn't believe that I am coming to a settlement on Rosh Ha Shana [Jewish New Year Eve]. I find it hard to believe too... A minute later, when the... er... things... got a bit heated, I called him a war criminal. And thus I was left to finish my shawarma in peace.
U: You are over the top...
G: Why over the top?
U: Don't you think that your opinions are too extremist?
G: I don't think that my opinions are too extremist. Why do you think they are too extremist?
U:  Because your mind is locked. Because you say "that's it". Because you think that there is no other way... no way, in your opinion.
G: Right.
U: You are not listening, you are not... You are... your opinion is sacred and you can't be moved [from it]. But first you should listen to the other side.
G: But I am listening. The other side says: "Kill Arabs, be strong, live by the sword, murder Arabs"...
U: Do you agree with me that the Arab that launches Qassams deserves to die?
G: Yes, but...
U: Fine, now...
[a few seconds of both parties trying to get the upper hand in the dialog]
U: No, no, no, just answer me.
G: So?
U: Yes or no, simple, without "buts"?
G: Yes.
U: Fine, we have made half of the distance. So write once an article in favor of Israel. Write once that you are happy with the soldiers. That you son is a soldier. Write at least once, what could happen? What - you will get off your mountain?
G: Uri, take a look to your right. Do you see the roadblock, the fence?
U: OK.
G: Behind the fence there are people living there. These are people who sit behind the fence in a prison. These people live like dogs. And while they live like dogs, we'll not fare well.
U: This is what you say...
G: It will be no good for us...
U: Heck, only the last week a Qassam fell on Sderot. Fuck it! What? I know how to shout too! This is what the other side will say: I don't care! Fuck it! Let them live like dogs and let them all die! Why should I care? Fine, you see - everyone can shout, can come and say... Just listen to the other side.
G: Who is the other side?
U: "Who is the other side?" Here, you see? You are not listening, oh God... "Who is the other side"... you are simply locked in your worldview, that's it.
G: I am very locked.
U: The other side is not of interest to you. Tell me I am not right, and I shall slap you. Because you are wrong. You don't care what I am saying.

Yes, the dialog (oh well...) is sometimes incoherent. And yes, I believe that every son (mine included) had this urge to slap his dad a few from time to time (sometimes deservedly), so I am not gloating at this angle of the conversation at all. But the main point for me (the one I have helpfully emphasized in the transcript) is that "other side" view by Mr Levy.

Apparently, according to this view, aside of Gideon Levy, the "other side", meaning 6.5 million non-Gideon-Levy Israelis is a uniformly hateful gang of bloodthirsty murderers, having only one goal: to kill the Arabs. And only one way of living - by the sword.

That's it, ladies and gentlemen. I don't know about you, as far as I am concerned, the case of the Israeli Moral Compass is closed. Enough said.

But: don't forget the following (by Ben Dror Yemini):
...earlier this week I was asked by a young Israeli I do not know personally, how can I sit in a television studio with Gideon Levy, and not boil from indignation. I assured him I was proud to live in a country where there is a Gideon Levy, who writes and kicks freely. Any other option will be worse.


Dick Stanley said...

At least it's not a country where you are required to listen to Mr. Levy.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

That is, fortunately, true.

Akaky said...

Yesterday I had a great experience: a youngster approached
me, while I was eating. I was eating a roast beef on a hard roll, with salt and
pepper and some mayonnaise. Actually, there was too much mayonnaise, now that I
think of it. They always do this at the deli; they slather the mayo on like Van
Gogh slathering paint on a canvas, and it always causes a problem because the
mayo winds up in my mustache and I have to spend the rest of the day cleaning
all that gook out of it. I don’t think
Van Gogh ever had to clean the paint out of his mustache. There may have been
some on the ear he cut off, but I wouldn’t want to speculate on this without
investigating the matter further. However, this may be why there are no
delicatessens in Van Gogh’s work. Lots of bars and brothels, of course, unless I’m
confusing Van Gogh’s work with Toulouse-Lautrec’s; I know there are lots of
brothels in Toulouse-Lautrec, but again, as with Van Gogh and Mozart, there are
no delicatessens where you can buy a roast beef sandwich that won’t spew
mayonnaise all over your face like a culinary Vesuvius. As for the youngster
who approached me, a school bus hit him as he crossed the street, killing him
instantly. After the students got off the bus and stripped him of his clothing
and cell phones, he got up and called the police, who came quickly and arrested
him for indecent exposure and littering.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

People who approach you while you eat a roast beef sandwich, with mayo or without, deserve being hit by a bus. I hate being disturbed while eating, esp. when I am eating a sandwich, which task demands the utmost concentration and precise planning of every move.