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Israeli Gay Porno Hasbara

1:00 am in Uncategorized by Richard Silverstein

Michael lucas gay israeli pornIf Tablet Magazine is to be believed, the Jewish world has come a long way baby because the gay porno industry has made the first pornographic film with an all-Israeli/all-Jewish cast. As strange and disturbing as I find this article on many levels, it is this passage which disturbs me most:

This week, Michael Lucas is making what he calls “a bold move to promote Israeli culture and tourism.” His website extols the virtues of a country rich with natural wonders, intriguing museums, liberal politics, and friendly locals. More than a biblical theme park, Lucas’s Israel is a tourist destination, a place where lovely beaches beckon and muscle-bound men have sex with each other.

Lucas—a porn actor and director, and founder of the New York-based gay porn production company Lucas Entertainment—sees his new film Men of Israel as a tool, if you will, to promote tourism, at least among gay men.

Make no mistake, this is not a one-off promotion by an odd-ball Jewish gay pornographer. This is part of an orchestrated hasbara campaign spearheaded by groups like Stand With Us, who promoted Israel during the latter’s Gay Pride Festival as a natural ally of gays around the world. The angle for SWU (and there always IS an angle with groups like this) is to trumpet the alleged homophobia of Palestinian/Arab society compared to the alleged freedom and tolerance of "western" Israel towards a gay lifestyle. Never mind that Israel is less tolerant of gays than the average western country. That matters little for the hasbaraniks of SWU.

Articles like the one in Tablet make clear the danger of choosing such bedfellows for Israel. Remember the last major ‘heartthrob’ Israel embraced? Those evangelicals like John Hagee, who supports a nuclear attack against Iran and claims the Holocaust was a message from God to Jews to become Zionists?

Does anyone in their right mind think that Israel will benefit from a close association with the gay porn industry? And what was the Tablet editor who commissioned this article thinking? This is a newsworthy story? Bizarre, disturbing–yes. But newsworthy? But hey, I’m not complaining. My blog thrives off chronicling the bad judgment of some of my fellow Jews.

Interesting to note that the film has been promoted by those connoisseurs of the gay lifestyle, Jeffrey Goldberg and TNR’s James Kirchick (who Eric Alterman calls Marty Peretz’s "mini-me"). Goldberg takes the typically hasbarist line of comparing Israel’s supposedly tolerant attitude toward gays with the Arab world’s supposedly homophobic approach (I Bet Ahmadinejad Wouldn’t Let This Happen in Iran). This is why Goldberg is the Israeli foreign ministry’s favorite "liberal" (I use the term VERY loosely) Jewish journalist.

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They Kill Muslim Women, Don’t They?

5:28 pm in Uncategorized by Richard Silverstein

This is my first post for The Seminal at Firedoglake and I’m glad to be here.  I thank Alex Thurston for inviting me to share my perspective on the Israeli-Arab conflict and Muslim-Jewish relations.  I’ve written Tikun Olam since 2003.  Being a progressive Jewish blogger writing on the subjects I did was a very lonely occupation at the time.  But there has been a sea change in the interval.  Now there are so many progressive Jewish blogs I can scarcely fit them all in my blogroll.  We have a president who "gets" the Israeli-Palestinian issue and actually has a vision to resolve it.  We still don’t seem to have an Israeli political system that "gets" much of anything, but that’s less important to me than the other factors at work which all militate in a more positive direction than ever before in my life.

I hope to stir up a conversation about U.S. policy toward Israel and all the general issues I mentioned above.  Given the contentiousness of the subject, that shouldn’t be hard at all.  With that introduction, let’s get right to it.

Marwa el Sherbini

German Muslim martyr: Marwa el-Sherbini

Haaretz reports that a crazed neo-Nazi stabbed a pregnant Muslim woman to death in front of her 3 year old son and husband. The incident began at a local playground when the woman, Marwa el-Sherbini, requested that the man allow her son to use the swings. The incident escalated and he began taunting her and attempting to tear her head-scarf off her head. She pursued a civil action against him in a Dresden court and won a judgment that included a fine.

He was appealing the verdict and she was about to testify in court when he attacked her with a knife he has somehow smuggled into the courthouse. Read the rest of this entry →