Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Daily Snarls:

Disappointed Angry: "The security coordination between Israel and Egypt has not only continued despite the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to power but has even gotten better, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said on Tuesday."

From AA's bag of tricks: Maariv published the original posting, which I translate:

An Arab asks a Jew: “Why do you stand when the siren [wails].” The Jew answers: “We stand silently in memory of the Jewish soldiers who were killed in Israel’s wars.” The Arab asks: “And what about our dead?” The Jew answers: “That we will celebrate tomorrow.
 I left the following comment on the blog of that great Jewish Humanist, Richard Silverstein*, who seems as always to miss the point, in his eager quest to slander Israel, Israelis and their supporters:

 "Chalalim" means dead soldiers, not citizens. The joke is hardly racist, merely crude and very much against the Jewish decree of refraining from joy when your enemy suffers or dies. The "translation" is pointedly directed towards misconstruction.

"An Arab asks a Jew: “Why do you stand when the siren [wails].” The Jew answers: “We stand silently in memory of the Jewish soldiers who were killed in Israel’s wars.”   So far so good.

"The Arab asks: “And what about our dead?” The Jew answers: “That we will celebrate tomorrow"
This is where it gets tricky. Because the "Arab" asks not "what about our dead" but rather: "What about our dead soldiers" ("chalalim shelanu"). Is the Arab an Israeli Arab or is he an enemy-of Israel?. This is important, since there are many Arab soldiers in the IDF, either Bedouin, Arab or Druze, and many of them have been killed in Israel's wars. Remembrance Day is for all the fallen soldiers, Jews and non-Jews alike, provided they are ISRAELI:

""Three hundred and ninety two Israeli Druse have been killed while serving in the IDF; have served in all of country's wars."  []

So the Jew's response hardly makes sense. It is a very silly, vulgar and even cruel joke, for the reason I mentioned above, the explicit Jewish injunction of “Do Not Rejoice at the Fall of Your Enemy” [**]). But it is not racist.

Have the Americans,  Brits or Russians ever mourned for the many German soldiers killed in WWII?
Have the Egyptians (who claim victory over Israel in 1973) mourned the many deaths they inflicted on the IDF?

Are they all racists for being joyous at their victory over the Germans? Which means that they killed more German soldiers than German soldiers killed them.

And I won't mention   who those are who do celebrate the deaths of little Jewish children.


* Looks like my comment did not make it past the great Jewish humanist's moderation policy. Big surprise.

Correction: My comment appeared a day after I submitted it. Again, big surprise. This is Silverstein's response. 

And for the record, here is my answer:

“@Noga: Chalal can mean either a dead soldier OR a civilian who dies of non-natural causes.”

Can you provide some authoritative source in HEBREW for this interpretation? The term “chalal” in modern Hebrew usage by modern Hebrew users means only slain soldiers. If it has some arcane meaning that might fit in with your mistranslation then it is your responsibility to prove that the intention was to claim “civilian who dies of non-natural causes.” You can prove intention by providing some quotes from the Hebrew media in which the word “chalal” was used as a designation of a “civilian who dies of non-natural causes.”

Can you make this little effort in the service of truth?

The most famous quote with this word can be found in David’s lament, which is why the term “chalal” is always associated with Israel’s fallen soldiers:

הַצְּבִי, יִשְׂרָאֵל, עַל-בָּמוֹתֶיךָ, חָלָל: אֵיךְ, נָפְלוּ גִבּוֹרִים. 19
כ אַל-תַּגִּידוּ בְגַת, אַל-תְּבַשְּׂרוּ בְּחוּצֹת אַשְׁקְלוֹן: פֶּן-תִּשְׂמַחְנָה בְּנוֹת פְּלִשְׁתִּים, פֶּן-תַּעֲלֹזְנָה בְּנוֹת הָעֲרֵלִים.
המשמעות בהקשר המקראי: ארץ אהובה, ארץ חֶמדה, בניך נהרגים עליך בקרב.

 The meaning in the biblical context: Beloved beautiful land, your sons have been slain in doing battle for you.

Update: The great Jewish humanist refuses to provide the explanation and proof, on what basis he perverts the usage of the word "chalal". Instead he resorts to his usual personal ad-homs. Here is my response:

""I don’t have to prove anything to you. And your claim that I must do this in service of the truth is offensive. Get out your dictionary and do your own homework. I’m not going to teach you your own language. That should be your job."

You have to prove to your readers that you have the credentials to make such judgments about Hebrew. The fact that you can't do that means that you probably do not have any real claims for those credentials. Do you think I would not check before I wrote the comments? These are matters that go directly to the reputation of a man and a people. You have to be very careful, before you make such allegations, that they are based on real facts and meanings, not just your personal inclination. The tone of your responses to me suggest that you do not really understand what it is , to submit truth to inclination. 

Are you a translator? Do you understand what ethics of translation means? Do you understand the responsibility that goes with it? If you are and you do, then you will have no problem proving the meaning you put forth about the word "chalal".  Let's see you, then, follow your own righteousness with the same vigor you preach it to others.

Even the official title for Israel’s Remembrance Day recognizes the distinction in MEANING between chalalim and civilians who were exterminated in a terrorist attack יום הזיכרון לחללי מערכות

 ישראל ולנפגעי פעולות האיבה 

Update II:  My last comment on Silverstein's blog:

It’s a problem with you guys (anti-Zionists and other strange animals) that you are so i love with your own voices that you are limited in reading very simple statements that threaten it. In my very first comment here I wrote: “The joke is hardly racist, merely crude and very much against the Jewish decree of refraining from joy when your enemy suffers or dies. The “translation” is pointedly directed towards misconstruction. ”

I believe you said the same thing, then, Matan.

I put it to you that Silverstein, out of bad faith (since he insists he knows the insides and out of the Hebrew language and is aware of all its nuances) deliberately set out to mislead the message of this story: First, he misrepresented Maariv’s position as if it were supportive of the joke. Secondly, by confusing “dead”" and “chalalim” he misrepresented the purpose of this joke. The joke itself is not very coherent on that which makes it something of a failed joke, but any translation of it should have taken that into consideration. If S is the expert in Hebrew that he wants us to believe he is, he should have been honest about these factors.

I stand by my statement that the term chalal , in Hebrew parlance, almost invariably designates those killed in battle. Perhaps in more recent years it has accrued also to those victims of terrorism.
Silverstein: What I wrote was: “The Carmel Disaster was considered an act of terrorism, at least early in the investigation. ” ((and the first one to suggest it was a Druze Member of Knesset. ). If you can’t be relied on to represent what is written here, in the comments, in English for all to see, how are you to be trusted to deliver a message from an unknown language?

If you are not an anti Zionist what are you, then? A lover of Israel? Of Jews? Of Mankind? You are actively working by slander, lies and innuendo to undermine the ethical standing (criminalize, and whip up loathing for) of the Jews of Israel. I don’t know what that makes you. Pathetic, perhaps? Terribly needy? Treading clouds of glory, in your own fantasy?


The same idea has persisted into the modern state of Israel. The late Prime Minister of
Israel, Golda Meir, commented: "Perhaps we can forgive the enemy for killing our children, but it will be much harder to forgive them for turning our children into killers."

Then Chief of Staff, General Yitzhak  Rabin commented after the Six-Day War in 1967:
War is harsh and cruel, filled with blood and tears. While the joy of victory seized the
whole people, among the community of fighters themselves there is a strange phenomenon: they cannot celebrate whole-heartedly. There is a large measure of sadness, of shock, mixed into their festivities. Some fighters cannot celebrate at all. The frontline soldiers saw with their own eyes—not only the glory of victory, but also its price—their fellow fighters fell at their sides in pools of blood. I know that the price paid by the enemy also touched a deep place in the hearts of many. Perhaps the Jewish people has never been educated and never become accustomed to the joy of the conqueror.
Therefore, our victory is received with mixed feelings.” (As quoted in A Different Night by Noam Zion and David Dishon)


At 6:31 PM EDT, Anonymous Brian Goldfarb said...

There is also a slightly different version of that statement also attributed to Golda Meir: "We can forgive for killing our children, but we can never forgive you for making us kill your children"

Slightly different sentiment, but equally compelling and, I think (as a man) one that only a woman and mother could state.

At 3:21 AM EDT, Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

Oh, and meeting of two great minds: the Pissed Cousin and the Doucheblogger. A cause for celebration, indeed.

At 7:10 AM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

I like paying these occasional visits to the cantinas on Mos Eisley Spaceport. It keeps me abreast of the latest trends in that "wretched hive of scum and villainy", the so-called Rancid Left ...

At 12:42 AM EDT, Anonymous migreli said...

Maariv heavily and unconditionally criticized this tweet, but AA misrepresents the paper's position and insinuates that it is supportive of the sentiments expressed. This is egregiously dishonest.

The man is his own worst enemy, for his anti-Israeli calumnies and vitriol only alienate those who might otherwise find themselves in agreement with some of what he writes.

At 7:33 AM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

In AA's qualified defense, he only quotes directly from Silverstein's blog. In this instant, it is Silverstein, the great Jewish humanist, who is distorting and perverting the message. But the two great minds are certainly much alike.


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