The Dutch comedy show featured the song dubbed “Look how beautiful, I’m throwing bombs, Israel again wins, 70 years already the party’s on, no way, no Palestinians coming in, I hunt Palestinians through the curtains”, and so on. I have no issue with criticism, but I am shocked how the Dutch television allowed this to happen on TV. And not because I’m such a huge Zionist. I dislike the politics of collective punishment, I’m against war, killing, and and don’t agree with any country being superior above another.
Yet I’m asking now: what is the connection between the winning Eurovision song and the Israel-Palestine conflict?
I live in the region for nearly 10 years, and my attitude towards the subject is shared by hundreds of thousands of Israelis, even millions. I’m all for protesting against unfair treatment of anyone being pushed to the side of the society.
How anyone dares to take a real life persona, and without knowing anything about her attitude towards the conflict mock her, as if she was a mouthpiece of the Israeli government? Would it be fair to take a Serge Gainsbourg song and turn it into a nationalistic anthem all for Marine Le Pen? Is it okay to label Britney Spears as a Trump supporter just because she happens to be American, and re-write “Baby One More Time” suggesting it’s a hate speech? Art is art, culture is culture, politics is politics – don’t mix it, don’t put words in an artist’s mouth, don’t identify artists (or people in general) by what the country’s government is about where she / he is from, and be sure: if your “joke” is insulting others, you chose the most obvious, cheap, and dumb way of trying to make people laugh.
Real comedy’s essence is humor, and the genuine wish to make people joyful and happy for a few minutes, making them smile and their hearts light.
If you are a comedian and your “humor” is stabbing a knife in anyone’s stomach, you are a cultural terrorist.
A destructive force of blame, bitterness and cruelty, you are wasting away your power on the public, and you are abusing your responsibility. Voice your opinion and your frustration on Israel’s politics towards it’s government, fight for the rights of the Palestinians – who’s rights, freedom, and lives are (make NO mistake) just as important for me as anyone else’s. This is not an anti or pro-Israel issue. Do make fun of Israel’s society. But don’t confuse the narrative of any political party with the general attitude of a nation’s citizens. Cos that is called “collective punishment” – it’s exactly what you’re fighting against, it’s discriminative.
And on the top of it all, shows how clueless you are about the conflict you are trying to shape accordingly to your personal ideology.
I encourage all criticism against militarism – but not if the militarist attitude is dubbed as equal with someone’s personal views who had and has nothing to do with supporting war.
As a professional, as a human being, and as a person who’s not identifying anyone by which country’s borders happened to surround her / him when she / he was born, I suggest Sanne Wallis de Vries to file a public apology to Netta Barzilai. While continuing campaigning against violence of any sort say sorry for labelling, generalising and accusing Israel in general, as if it wasn’t a diverse society with millions of people of different opinions, but one big monster hungry for blood.
What about all the people of Israel who are protesting against the war every single day?
Human beings are not anyone’s toys – not to play war with, not to play the blame game with, and certainly not to be used to justify a personal narrative.
Agree or disagree, you’re welcome to follow me on Instagram, where I’m sharing daily posts from Israel, the West Bank, and all across the Globe – through my travels, articles and posts I’m doing the best I can to build bridges between societies. If you don’t agree with the Israeli government’s policy on building walls instead, don’t build one yourself. Not by bricks, not by words, and not by influencing the public to hate, to be ignorant, and to generalise anyone by her /his nationality.
xo K, Insta: @kristofsteiner