Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Betselem Embraces

Yes, I recognize that those of you who have been dutifully paying their subscriptions to Ruminations in the anticipation of high-quality reportage from dangerous places, may feel let down by my delay in reporting on the Betselem trip to Hebron last week. I truly understand their frustration, and can only say in my defense that if the Capitalists on Wall Street hadn't gotten us into this mess last year, my day-job might have been a lot easier and I'd have more time for reportage. Or maybe the other way around, who knows. So I request your patience.

In the meantime, here's a new Betselem mini-series on YouTube:

This one will suggest the next and so on. There seem to be four, right now, but there were three last week, so who knows.

The context: Many Israeli online news outlets enable comments. Unlike the Guardian, say, which moderates the comments and thereby owns them, the Israelis don't (moderate nor own). My kids, who know more about such matters than I, assure me that on the contrary, there are commercial companies, some probably connected to the owners of the sites, who employ people to write outlandish comments so as to generate excitement and attract eyeballs to the websites. I can't say for a fact that this is true. What is clear is that the comments often descend to the most abysmal level of profanity, even by Israeli standards of direct discussion.

Betselem and similar organizations of the far Left often attract quite a share of vituperation. What this little series of films does is to embrace them. That's a professional actor, reading choice comments in a bombastic tone. It's hilarious. Truly funny, too.

It also underlines the profound chasm between Israel's far Left, who can be excruciatingly aggravating but insist and succeed in being part of our national conversation, and those folks out there who simply hate us, period.

1 comment:

AKUS said...

Yakov - Ha'aretz pre-moderates posting to its "talkback". But then, it tries to emulate the Guardian in its English language version on the Internet. Its always interesting to compare what it reports in Hebrew and what it reports in English. Like reports from two different worlds in many cases.