Saturday, February 18, 2006

Humor can save Bridges

Motek from Space, one of the first time volunteers to start Building Bridges, has found this wonderful Israeli initiative. There, I saw this really funny anti-Semitic cartoon today. And I felt free to laugh. So I did and it felt good.

Because, yes sometimes it does feel that the media of the world accept more things from the Israeli government than they would from any other country in the world. However, this is hard to bring under words without running the risk of being anti-Semitic immediately. I'll give it a shot anway.

The Great Wall of Israel that is being build right now -fear turned into concrete- ravages homes, communities, economies and farms. I believe that even South Africa would not have been able to get away with a project like this when this country was passing through it’s darkest period. A structure up to 5 meters high and made out of reinforced concrete and steel, is described as a 'Fence’.

This is a major spin-achievement, whichever way you look at it.

Yet, somehow, whenever someone tries to lend a voice to the protests against this Great Wall, he or she is almost immediately branded an anti-Semite. Ask Gretta Duisenberg.

So yeah, sometimes it does look like the media choose the side of the Israeli Government, if only by so easily adapting the euphemisms presented by the spin-doctors. As well as the damaging labels. This effectively ends a very valid discussion. And where discussion leaves, violence enters. The mere fact that someone wants to lend his or her voice in the public debate to speak against actions of the Israeli government should not brand him or her an anti-Semite. A point now finally and effectively proven by the Israeli Anti Semite Cartoon Contest. Being offended by recent Iranian outburst of Holocaust Cartoons, these Israeli’s decided to NOT take to the streets and NOT set fire to the nearest Iranian Restaurant they could find. No, they decided that the best response to a badly disguised provocation by a small group of extremists would be indeed to laugh it off. And not take it too seriously. These guys took it one step further still. They set out to prove that if anyone could poke fun at the Israeli's, no one would be better at it then the Israeli's themselves. Not only have they come up with a great initiative to Build Bridges in Cyberspace, they also have opened the debate on some issues usually deemed to dangerous to handle.
Dear Amitai and Eyal, ... Furtermore, in this blog we try to bring about a cross-cultural discussion by asking each other questions that we (assumed) we could never ask a muslim or a christian, never thought to ask or never dared to ask. We can now ask these questions to people who volunteer to add to the discussion in a calm and respectful manner. I would love it if you could come up with either a question to a Muslim, a Christian, a European or an American, or maybe an Israeli?

Kind regards,

Nico Moenens
Bridgethegapinblogspace.blogspot.com

This article is cross-posted at: http://www.volkskrantblog.nl/pub/blogs/entry.php?id=33296. Any comments will also be cross-posted.

93 Comments:

Blogger Helena said...

Yes, humor can close the gap, can save bridges!

19 February, 2006 20:54  
Anonymous Motek from Space said...

Haaaaaaaaaa...leuk zeg!!! er kwamen een paar reacties over los waar ik even voor ben gaan zitten..:-)) zelfspot is een groot goed :-))

19 February, 2006 21:47  
Anonymous Motek from Space said...

man man wat weet jij dat goed om te zetten in het engels!

19 February, 2006 21:48  
Blogger (N = 1) said...

Da's het voordeel van een amerikaanse studie denk ik... Heb ik er tenminste nog iets aan, haha

19 February, 2006 21:49  
Anonymous Motek from Space said...

een slimme jongen is op de toekomst voorbereid :-)

voor de stiekeme gluurders nog even een linkje :-p

de zelfspot

19 February, 2006 21:50  
Anonymous Gogan said...

@ Hi,there, bridge-makers. First comes first: your arguments on this issuesuck.
@ Your reference to Gretta leads to Wikipedia (shortest) all made-up entry:
"Gretta Duisenberg (born in 1942) Dutch activist, known chiefly for her marriage to ECB-banker Wim Duisenberg, and pro-Palestinian activities. From 1987 until his death in 2005, she was married to the Dutch economist Wim Duisenberg, the first president (1999-2003) of the European Central Bank."
There is not a word about her promiscuous life style. While married to somebody she slept with Van Mierlo who then passed her allong to Wim who drawned alone in the pool under unexplained circumstances. What Gretta?
She is not worth to enter any serious arguments about this issue.
The Israelis are so encircled again that only blind or totally ignorant cannot or do not want to see the tragedy that is building up.

19 February, 2006 21:56  
Anonymous quetzalquatl said...

@ Gogan:
Gretta's sexlife is not relevant to the discussion concerning the Great Israeli Wall.
Using the Wall, the Israeli government is showing siege-mentality

19 February, 2006 21:57  
Blogger (N = 1) said...

Bridge the Gap in blogspace 19 februari 2006 21:31
Dear Gogan,
Thanks for so eloquently proving the point I tried to make in this article. Your kneejerk reaction is to come up with information about her private life. The fact that you seem surprised that an encyclopeadie does not contain common gossip, proves that you do not seem to be aware such information has absolutely no value, at least not in a debate on issues.

This gratuitousand damaging information has mereley served as an excuse not to have to say anything about the arguments at hand, and thus aborting the conversation. Such a shame...

19 February, 2006 21:58  
Anonymous quetzalquatl said...

For sure, Gretta is anti-zionist, but that is not the same as anti-semitist.

19 February, 2006 21:59  
Blogger (N = 1) said...

Dear Gogan, you are a journalist. I have to say that this makes my surprise about the level of your attack ever greater. At what school of journalism do they support the skirting of issues by playing personal hardball?

19 February, 2006 21:59  
Anonymous Isis Nedloni said...

20 februari 2006 01:17

Het is vast een mode trend om feiten uit zijn context te rukken ,@quetealquatl,Gretta D. heeft niks tegen Joodse mensen...ze is tegen de onderdrukking aldaar .Momenteel helpt ze invalide Palestijnse kinderen..en als een zelfde situatie zich bij de Joodse mens had afgespeeld had ze zich daar in verdiept.Ook haar man heeft haar altijd in haar acties gesteund en is de beruchte vlag nimmer op zijn verzoek weggehaald.Teveel Nieuws versnippert (en eigen interpretaties) alles. En wat een prachtig initiatief dit blog! ; )

20 February, 2006 16:09  
Anonymous Voordaan said...

20 februari 2006 11:13If somebody's promicuous lifestyle is an issue, and it is not: why must it always be a woman who first will be put to trial? In Dutch we say: meten met twee maten.

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Anonymous Voordaan said...

20 februari 2006 11:17
The western world still feels guilty over what happended during WWII. This quilt troubles our view concerning the Israel-Palestina topic. Everything you say about the surpression of Palestinian people is concerned anti-semite. And pro Hamas. Very tough to straighten your back after being called anti-semite. And very easy to only blame Hamas for the troubles in Gaza.

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