Risking offending friends to offend enemies?
So what do breasts and Obama have in common?
Both raised questions about how far an Israel Advocate should risk offending friends to make an important point. I’d like to share our thinking here.
First the breasts
This raised two issues (No pun intended). Five Minutes for Israel does not make fun of religious beliefs. If you choose to believe that Chaos existed in the beginning, and then gave birth to Gaea (the Earth), Tartarus (the Underworld), Eros (desire), Nyx (the darkness of the night) and Erebus (the darkness of the Underworld) and so through the birth of titans and gods the World was formed‡, then Five Minutes for Israel has no issue with you. Also there a quite a few Christians and Jews (Hindus, Buddists and Sikhs?) who don’t find the thought that immodesty has consequences beyond the person involved so difficult to accept.
This case is different. The statements by Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, Tehran’s acting Friday prayer leader will be accepted as literal truth by millions of Iranians and possibly millions more Muslims, worldwide. These are the same people who accept that Muslims have a holy duty to kill Jews who don’t accept the second class status the Koran allots them or choose to live in Israel. In addition, it is a blow to protect women forced by law to cover from head to toe, whether they want to or not. Discrediting and ridiculing the religious beliefs of those who would kill you because of those beliefs is totally desirable.
The second issue is that some Israel Advocates find scantily dressed females (or males) offensive and Five Minutes for Israel is advocating that§, at least for one day. We illustrate these posts with ‘5 in a Star’ icons. The compromise I came up with was a bikini clad model whose body was altered in Photoshop to be recognisable as a woman but no longer a photograph. The clothing was left clearly detailed. I hope that stayed within the bounds
Second the Pres.
Five Minutes for Israel developed the concept of no-holds-barred on Destroy Israel Lobbyists but kid gloves on democratically elected politicians. No matter what political party you chose there will be honest Israel Advocates who support it and equally honest Israel Advocates who despise it.
There is a problem with Barak Obama, a man whose middle name I don’t emphasize and then wonder if that isn’t itself a form of censorship. This problem isn’t made easier as Obama foregrounds his middle name on some occasions and downplays it on others. Challenging support for the President of the United State’s Middle East policy is becoming more and more an Action Item. Increasingly it is unclear on what side of the division Obama stands – democratically elected politician with whom we agree to disagree or opponent.
What is happening, and this was our rationale for calling for a response to Zuckerman’s article, is that criticism for Obama’s policy brings out the most extreme and antisemitic members of the Destroy Israel Lobby and we see no reason to let them have the stage.
‡ Classical Greek creation myth as described by Hesiod, in his Theogony 8th-7th century BC.
§ Wouldn’t you know it. We don’t know how many Chinese women disrobed today but a 6.9 quake struck the southeast of Taiwan today.