Sunday 14 April 2013

How Rude

Several others have noticed the ‘Rude Israelis’ article. People don’t know what to make of it. Whether to laugh or cry. 

I think it’s fine, but it cries out for balance, without which it looks less than the light-hearted observational piece it’s probably meant to be. (Especially with that huge picture of a girl screeching, and that stupid, unfunny cartoon) Now all Raffi Berg needs to do is write about the wonderful things that characterise Israelis.
As commenter Sharon Klaff says on the BBCWatch thread:
“At the same time you can travel the world to find a more compassionate caring society. Any foreigner need only visit the Schneider children’s hospital to find a better place as evidence of the kind of society this is. There, as in all of Israeli healthcare, children of all backgrounds and religions are treated to the highest standard modern medicine can offer. This service extends to families from enemy lands Gaza, Judea and Samaria whose children are cared for in exactly the same way as any Israeli. Complimentary to this service any stranger will find communities offering palliative care, teenagers arranging rota visits to help distraught families, people offering entertainment for the children and support for the parents. This is simply a microcosm of a society based in Judaism that in fact wrote the very first social welfare treatise for the care of the family and broader society”

So BBC, how about that as the subject of another FOOC?

There are some interesting comments elsewhere too, but one aspect of their characteristic abruptness I haven’t mentioned because it seems almost too obvious, is the necessity of straight talking when you’re living in a constant state of high alert. One B-BBC commenter (although I couldn’t tell whether he was being ironic) seemed upset that an airport security check affronted his modesty. He was taking a pee at Tel Aviv airport, and the security officer was a girl. What’s more important?   Toilet privacy or being blown to bits? I think I know the answer.

Mustn’t forget the 'singling out' test. Has Israel’s rudeness been treated in the same way as any other country’s rudeness? Has anyone ever made an episode of FOOC that jocularly explores, say, the Germans behaving badly abroad?  If they did come up with such a thing, would it be considered affectionate or offensive?  
Humorous remarks about ‘Jewish‘ characteristics would probably be acceptable  if they were made fondly, but could easily appear antisemitic if uttered in a hostile environment. 
So maybe the Rude Israelis article is ahead of its time. The BBC is not an Israel- friendly zone, so the jury is still out.

That pointing Israeli girl is so rude, she's overlapped the sidebar. Typical.

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