Tag Archives: Facebook

As Good As It Gets?

Welcome to Jewish reality, 2014.

I am not sure who has irritated me more this past week: the English oleh showing off to friends back in Blighty with continual “Look at me! Look at me! I am living under missile fire!” Facebook updates (perhaps the silly sod will now spare a thought for the poor, all year round, buggers in Sderot); the one who, two days ago, posted “Siren in Ra’anana”, as if Hamas had finally gone too far; or the booked summer holidayers asking “Should I come?”

“What about the missiles?” enquired one such, yesterday, to which I could only reply “What about them?” For me, their most chilling effect is forcing me into a confined space with my new south Tel Aviv neighbours (they are working class, you know).

Another messaged me “How’s it going out there?? Do I need to cancel my trip?” This seemed somewhat akin to concluding a comfort telephone call to an ailing friend by announcing that you are too shit-scared to visit them. What the bloody hell ever happened to solidarity?

As for the endless PR efforts on blogs and Facebook, I can’t help but think that they are preaching to the converted. The thing must be to get accurate reporting and analysis into the international press. And, even then, those who don’t like Jews – usually hiding behind the ‘respectable’ veneer of ‘mere’ anti-Zionism – are almost certainly irredeemable. It is in their blood.

Operation Protective Edge is the third such that I have blogged about since December 2008 (see my War in Gaza category). And this is now our reality: every couple of years or so, we will have to give the naughty . . . rather, wicked schoolboy – who, in spite of every inducement, won’t change his ways – a smacked bottom (if I may be forgiven for quoting my own Facebook update of last week: “Can’t help thinking of the Palestinian as the incorrigible class halfwit, who gets beating after justified beating . . . but still comes back for more.”) Thankfully unlike the pond life we are up against, we are both too moral to kill civilians living above (demonically positioned) enemy weapons’ stores and too life-valuing to risk our boys in a ground operation.

During these very months exactly seventy years ago, 430,000 Hungarian Jews were deported, mainly to Auschwitz, and the majority gassed on arrival. I think, too, of the unspeakable horrors my antecedents must have suffered at the turn of the last century, in Lithuania and Poland, to force them to gamble on the entirely unknown (even we Litvaks didn’t yet have the Internet).

It has always been thus for us. So, while concerned about the current situation, I am trying to see the (relative) positives in the bigger Jewish picture (who said a degree in Philosophy was a waste of time?)

And now with our own state, IDF, and even “second strike” nuclear submarines – no one can f*ck with the Jews like they used to – this may well be as good as it gets.

Unfriending the Cousins

I “unfriend[ed]” my Arab Facebook friends, this week.

I had met all half-dozen of them on my half-Jewish, half-Arab tour guides course (which I could not complete). But despite sitting with “the lads” – all Arab, more fun than the nerdy new immigrants – at the back of the coach on every field trip, we have not, other than on Facebook, stayed in touch. And I have become increasingly self-conscious that some of my more un-PC “status updates” might, perhaps, offend their sensibilities. Following the abduction of the three Jewish teenagers in Gush Etzion, a fortnight ago, I felt that being able to be myself, even in a medium as ‘trivial’ as Facebook, was more important than perpetuating these ostensibly futile ‘friendships’.

And the “unfriend[ing]” was also, I think, a gesture. A statement. To myself even. A result, after a decade and a half of life here, of having become totally disillusioned with our Biblical cousins.

No one should have been surprised, however, by the news from the Gush. Following the ‘success’ of the Gilad Shalit kidnapping, it was clear that Hamas would attempt others (see Why Gilad must not be freed “at any price”). Our (continuing) mistake is to judge the Arabs by our own western values (which tell us, in this case, that abducting teenagers is just plain wrong). And we should not be surprised, either, at images of ordinary Palestinians delighting in their ‘victory’. Because to them, that is what it is. And this is a war.

I don’t believe I am a racist. I take as I find. I still go out of my way to find work for Kamel and Rayed, the East Jerusalem Arabs who renovated my apartment, because I like and appreciate them (certainly a great deal more than their dodgy Persian then boss, who, I found out much later, had diddled almost all of my suppliers). And I am in favour, in principle at least, of a “two-state solution”.

But make no mistake: none but an inconsequential number of Palestinians recognise any Jewish claim to this land. They want us out of here. And they won’t rest until we are. The sooner we accept that reality, the safer we will be. And I feel sure that Bibi, oft criticised for political inertia, merely realises that the current state of affairs – total impasse, but (with the Security Wall) without the terror we once knew – is, with neighbours like ours, the best that we can hope for.

On a shiva visit last week, I struck up a conversation with Itamar Marcus, the Director of Palestinian Media Watch, a non-partisan organisation which studies Palestinian society through the monitoring of its media and schoolbooks. Having this piece already in mind, I enquired as to whether there might nonetheless be some potential “partners for peace” on the other side. Marcus’s knowing smile said it all. “Put it this way,” he said, “that is the shortest chapter in our book.”

And joking with a Jewish contractor in my Tel Aviv apartment, last week, that we should lock his Arab worker inside until the teenagers are freed, he replied “The problem is no one there would even care!” And that about summed up the difference between our peoples. The individual is paramount to Jews. The Arabs, on the other hand, use their own children as weapons and shields. We are in a seemingly permanent state of war against a cruel and primitive enemy, a fact now recognised and admitted by increasing numbers on the Israeli Left (aside, of course, from the Anshel Pfeffers of this world – see his latest sell-out here – a conceited so and so no less opportunist or extreme than those he decries on the Right, and yet another reason why I will never resubscribe to Haaretz).

Not many aspects of the Bible “talk” to me, but references to “Good” peoples and “Evil” peoples – which, as a schoolboy, always struck me as Osher Baddiel nonsense – have, in recent years, at least in the collective sense, taken on a certain resonance.

As for my former Facebook friends, I was sorry to hear (I am still on the course e-mail list) that some of them were said to have behaved inappropriately during a recent visit to Yad Vashem . . . though, again, if true, it didn’t really surprise me: even the concept of mutual respect, never mind peace, now seems a pipe dream. There is, perhaps, just too much history.

Shabbat shalom in the meantime . . . and God bless our boys.

Abducted Teenagers

Bitch, her 4×4, and other irritants

There is this woman in the neighbourhood – for argument’s (and accuracy’s) sake, let’s call her “Bitch” – who, every morning, parks her 4×4 on the pedestrian crossing next to the kiosk (‘our’ café on Rothschild).

Bitch is in her mid-thirties, has a body to die for (and knows it), and couldn’t care less how many old folk, mothers and babies, schoolchildren, or people like me, walking their dogs, can’t safely negotiate the road while she sips on her hafuch (latte).

And ever since, a couple of months ago, Bitch hooted me from behind – essentially, for having the temerity to be on the same road as her – I have fantasized about rubbing something long and hard against that body while she sleeps. A key.

Hallelujah!

Size and status are everything to these terrorists of the road. And, whilst I am loath to agree with anything that emanates from the poisonous gob of Ken Livingstone, the very fact of owning a “Chelsea Tractor” tells us everything that we need to know about that person, making him or her fully deserving of our unbridled contempt.

Strolling home with Stuey and Dexxy, the other morning, after suffering Bitch at the kiosk, I thought about all those folk who I allow to aggravate me these days (and shouldn’t). Even excluding matters religious or political, against the law (for example, littering), or out of people’s control (most unfortunately, being French), I still managed – on the short walk back to Melchett – to come up with the following list . . .

1.  Tel Aviv cyclists: Both the menaces who harass you with their poxy bells – I swear that, some day soon, a surgeon at Ichilov is going to have his oddest retrieval yet from an Israeli rectum – and those on their ridiculously expensive bikes, in equally ridiculous designer cycling gear, for the 10 km round trip to Holon.

2.  Anyone – not using the site for commercial or publicity purposes – with more than 400 (ballpark) “friends” on facebook. To be deeply distrusted.

3.  Males, essentially new immigrants with tiny todgers, who post photos of themselves in IDF uniform – and holding their only weapon of any potency – to facebook. Tossers.

4.  Females who market themselves on Internet dating sites in their bikinis . . . and who then moan that all men ever seem to want is to get their “kit” off.

5.  Israeli women – again, often provocatively clad – who talk inconsiderately loudly in cafés as a result of feeling deprived of attention to anything that might be going on above their shoulders. Shut the f*ck up.

6.  Wannabe actors and, especially, actresses who are in complete denial of what everyone knows: that they are talentless f*ckwits. Tel Aviv is crawling with them. They shamelessly post videos of themselves on facebook in performances that they could only persuade their grandmothers to attend (and, then, only until the interval). There are also those attention-seekers who film nothing very much on Tel Aviv’s streets and boulevards in the hope that passers-by will think that they are actually doing something with their lives. We won’t. Get a job.

7.  Overuse of vacuous expressions such as “sound” (as in cool), or – in Hebrew, and I won’t bother translating . . . there is no point – “ke’eeloo,” “walla” and, most infuriating of all, “sababa.” F*ck off. You are not a student anymore.

8.  Anyone who smokes a cigar with a diameter of more than half an inch outside of a cigar lounge. A middle-aged guy walked past the kiosk with one, last Saturday morning. It was so thick, we thought it would split the webbing of the fingers it was wedged between. He was wearing a look of “See, I’ve made it.” We were saying “Look, what a prick.”

9.  Wearing cowboy boots without actually being a cowboy. Dexxy chewed the trouser leg of one such pillock at the kiosk, last year. It is amazing what dogs know.

10.  Non-Arabs who wear the keffiyeh (okay, that one is a little political . . . then again, they are twats).

11.  Anyone who listens to Coldplay outside of an elevator or a supermarket.

"Anyone know the way to Old Trafford?"

12.  “Glory boy” supporters of Manchester United, Chelsea and, now, Manchester City, who have never visited their team’s home ground . . . or, at least, never did when they were shit (City still are) and poor. These ‘fans’ deny their former lack of interest in football – pre-1993, 2005 and 2008, respectively – with a dishonesty that would make David Irving blush.

And the message of all of this? Don’t be an intolerant, grumpy old sod? Get a life? God knows. Perhaps there isn’t one, and I just wrote it to vent my spleen . . . though it would be interesting to hear (via comments below) what – otherwise legal – behaviours cause readers of melchett mike to spit out their dummies.

[I am off to Kenya for a charity bike ride – it is not too late to sponsor me (many thanks, once again, to all of you who already have) – and, should you experience (understandable) withdrawal symptoms in my absence, I can heartily recommend the following websites to occupy yourselves until my return: boys/girls. To whet your appetites, there is a new sub-series of Hasmo Legends in the melchett mike “oven”, which I guarantee will offer a unique insight into the madhouse.]