Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I wonder if Fiji was their first stop. Now THAT would have been really funny.

I shouldn't find this amusing, but I'm afraid I do.

Best bit?

"I don't look like a terrorist and there is no reason to point a gun at me," backpacker Nimrod Lahav wrote to the ambassador, Nati Tamir.

I don't look like a terrorist? What, not like Lee Harvey Oswald?

or Theodore Kaczynski the Unabomber?

or, heaven forfend, Baruch Goldstein?

Oh, wait, I get it: he thinks only people who look like Arabs should be suspected of terrorism. No wonder Fiji didn't want the little shit. I hope if he ever comes to Britain we throw him out on his ear.

And for all his whining there is no reason to point a gun at me, now he's experienced about a hundredth of what every Palestinian in the OT has to put up with every day. Guns pointed by soldiers, who don't let you through checkpoints (not for a holiday, but to go to work, or hospital) because they don't feel like it. Guns pointed by "settlers" who will kill you without compunction if there's nobody looking (or nobody except the IDF who can be generally persuaded to ignore such minor inconveniences). And has he not noticed that most non-Israelis arriving at Ben Gurion airport (or leaving from it) have guns pointed at them while their luggage and/or body cavities are thoroughly searched, and while not infrequently their cameras/films/souvenirs etc are confiscated, damaged or destroyed? Perhaps he thinks Israel is a welcoming place to visit? Ha! only for "returning" Jews, or VIPs the government wants to impress.

I dare say the Fijian immigration official will be disciplined, and that's only fair. But the whole business is worth a thousand boycotts. Expulsion at gunpoint: it's the only language these people understand.

Of course, Israeli tourists have a bad reputation for arrogance in Europe, and apparently even more so in India and SE Asia (Malaysia refuses to let them in at all as ordinary tourists), so maybe the Fijian official simply assumed they fitted the stereotype of the Israeli backpacker. Tut. At least - unlike Nimrod the Mighty Whinger - she didn't fall into the more serious stereotype trap of assuming that undesirables all have brown skins and copies of the Koran. In fairness to Israeli tourists, there seems to be general agreement on the web that the worst offenders are young male Israelis in large parties, and that there are plenty of charming Israelis out there. Someone reckoned that Israelis, at home and abroad, don't feel the need to be polite to strangers, which is another way of looking at it. Anyway, their reputation goes before them, like English football supporters. If they can't stand the heat, stay home in the kitchen.

Sometimes, of course, the reputation falls short of the actuality. None of the Israelis' behaviour reported here justifies the 2002 attack (I doubt the terrorists were even aware of it, and in any case the bombing killed Africans and Israelis, victims and abusers, alike). I am aware that British and other "sex tourists" have done similar things, if in a less concerted manner, all across SE Asia. I like to think, though, that even Nimrod Lahav and his buddies might be sickened by this. Assuming they weren't part of it.


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