« Movies that taste good | Main | Little old provincial me »

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Free Palestine!

Lest anyone think I've switched sides or lost my mind (same difference), the title of this post is actually a bit of graffiti that I pass nearly every morning on my way to work.  It is spray-painted in big black letters across a cement bus shelter just outside the Jewish community of Shim'a (in the South Hevron Hills), and for some reason it catches my eye every time I drive past.

Now, if you're anything like me, your first knee-jerk reaction at seeing the words 'Free Palestine!' would not be outrage, frustration or indignation.  No if you were raised in the Advertising Age and have any sense of humor at all, you probably mentally added a follow-up line or disclaimer. 

The one that first came to me was:

'Free Palestine... with every purchase'

After passing this defaced bus shelter a few more times I started coming up with new follow-up lines:

'Free Palestine... collect the whole set!'

'Free Palestine... with 10 proof of purchase seals.'

'Free Palestine... with every tank of gas.'

'Free Palestine... Limit: One per customer.'

I'm sure I haven't even scratched the surface of the potential follow-ups to this ridiculous phrase. 

Feel free to share.

Disclaimer:  When I say 'ridiculous phrase'  in reference to 'Free Palestine', I am not suggesting that finding a way to end Israel's having to rule over a hostile Arab population is not an admirable goal. 

However 'Free Palestine' has few (if any) helpful connotations.  It might suggest that a sovereign country called Palestine exists and is being held captive.  It might suggest that a land called Palestine is being kept from its legal owners.  It might suggest that those in possession/control of this thing called Palestine (whatever that might be) are completely and totally in the wrong.   I don't care who you are or what you think you know, but none of those things are true.

Some people want to give away some or all of the land captured in the Six Day War as a quick way to rid ourselves of the title 'occupiers'.  Others favor a transfer of populations (whether forced or voluntary) to achieve that goal.  I don't thank anyone is particularly happy with the status quo and wants things to remain as they are. 

So when I see a deliberately pejorative (and yes, ridiculous) phrase such as 'Free Palestine', I have the choice of either ranting or making jokes.  I choose to make jokes.


Posted by David Bogner on June 21, 2007 | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Free Palestine!:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Considering recent events:

'Free Palestine... for a limited time only.'

Posted by: K Newman | Jun 21, 2007 11:35:54 AM

Oiysh! I sure hope this post isn't a prelude to "...and the trolls come tumbling down...."

Think about the Google factor with today's headline.... [sigh].

Posted by: zahava | Jun 21, 2007 11:56:27 AM

I think it is an alcoholic beverage advertisement, ripped off from the "Cuba Libre," a delicious blend of rum, coke and lime.

Thieves, the whole lot of them!

Posted by: yonah | Jun 21, 2007 12:54:19 PM

Reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw once in Chicago in the 70's. It read:

"Go Bulls...and take the Blackhawks with you."

Posted by: dfb1968 | Jun 21, 2007 2:12:52 PM

K Newman... Nah... after decades of refusing to consider any offer but 100% submission to their demands, the Palestinians know that the only time table that matters to the world is that set by the Arabs.

zahava... OK honey, I added a disclaimer. Happy?

Yonah... Maybe in Fatahland, but over in Hamastan they've banned Alcohol. :-)

dfb1968... Or another one in a sports vein; "Jesus Saves... he shoots, HE SCORES!!!" :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jun 21, 2007 2:46:30 PM

This is the age of store reward cards and memberships. So I think it would have to be something like "Free Palestine...with Preferred Club Card".

Posted by: Cara | Jun 21, 2007 3:45:54 PM

Free Palestine with the purchase of a Palestine of equal or greater value.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Jun 21, 2007 4:17:27 PM

Hey, babe: just for the record, wasn't criticizing you -- only pointing out the potential for an onslaught of hateful comments by people outside your "regular" readership.....sheesh! :-P

Posted by: zahava | Jun 21, 2007 4:58:23 PM

I have an old Space Ghost shirt that says "Free Zorak" with a tiny speech bubble saying "Thanks, I've already got one."

So that's mine. (We do. It's in Texas.)

Posted by: Tanya | Jun 21, 2007 5:01:10 PM

Doctor Bean ... there always seems to be a catch, huh?

Posted by: jaime | Jun 21, 2007 5:10:51 PM

Free = worthless.

Posted by: Barzilai | Jun 21, 2007 5:40:04 PM

Free Palestine - inside specially marked boxes of Chocolate coated sugar bombs.

Posted by: soccer dad | Jun 21, 2007 5:42:37 PM

Hi Trep,

Here's the first thing that went through my mind:

*** So, some old-timers sure do have some sense of humour... ***

As you may know, Palestine referred to Jews until about the late 1960s / early 1970s. If you would have said Palestine then, people would have thought you meant the Jews and not the Arabs. Even the UN didn't start using the term "Palestine" to mean the Arabs until about the late 1960s / early 1970s.

I really think they as in the world media ought to distinguish between the two:

Palestinian-Arabs = Arabs, who are Muslim, and predominantly Jihadist, Islamist, or otherwise violent.

Palestinian-Jews = Israelis who are Jewish, Christian, Bahai, Bedouin, Druze, or otherwise.

Some of the terminology is otherwise confusing.

I sometimes have a daydream that the British Mandate would have called the land "Solomonia," "Biblia," "Davidia," or some other term that would give away the anicent Jewish roots of the place in some fashion instead of adopting the Roman's ploy to disassociate the land from the Jews.

Wishing you, Zahava and the bambinos well!


If you send me an address, I can just maybe help you out with the top 100. You have my private E-mail. I hope you can take US format movies.

Posted by: Maksim-Smelchak | Jun 21, 2007 5:57:16 PM

Jokes are the way to go. Humor is a much better coping mechanism than anger. Besides, isn't humor better for one's health?

Posted by: tnspr569 | Jun 21, 2007 6:58:28 PM


How about:

Free Palestine...Just Do It!

Posted by: Jewish Blogmeister | Jun 21, 2007 8:37:40 PM

Actually, Trep, the other sports one I was thinking of was:

"Jesus saves...but Espo knocks in the rebound." (obviously from a Bostonian)

Posted by: dfb1968 | Jun 21, 2007 9:39:56 PM

Doctor Bean has a way with my sense of humors (all 4 of them)...

Trep: In our version, Jesus saves, but passes to Moses, who shoots and scores.

My favorite college graffiti?

"US out of East La Habra" was good, and

"Free the Bound Periodicals" an instand classic, but

my all-time favorite, echoed in the "stop global climate change" news of the day, is this:


That is all.

Free Palestines: one for the Jews, one for Hamas, and one for Fatah.

Posted by: wrymouth | Jun 21, 2007 9:41:03 PM

"Jesus saves...but Espo knocks in the rebound."

That was later adjusted to:

"Jesus saves,
Gretzky recovers,
Gretzky scores,
Nobody Stops Gretzky twice."

Posted by: Jack | Jun 21, 2007 10:32:39 PM

Years ago, this scrawl: 'Free Soviet Jews' had this in a different hand underneath 'win valuable prizes'.

It took me a while to realize that the first word was a verb.

Posted by: Back of the Hill | Jun 22, 2007 12:15:54 AM

Free Palestine 2: The Journey Home

Posted by: ralphie | Jun 22, 2007 2:16:39 AM

Free Palestine 2: The Journey Home

Posted by: ralphie | Jun 22, 2007 2:18:45 AM

Actually the slogan makes me think of Save Ferris which is really is more appropriate for the movie post.

Posted by: Jack | Jun 22, 2007 6:04:34 AM

or "FREE THE JEWS" at the the o.j. simpson trial(jews=jooze=juice=o.j.'s nickname, for the phonetically challenged)

Posted by: Brad | Jun 22, 2007 9:32:59 AM

'Free Palestine... for $25000/family'

Posted by: Rami | Jun 22, 2007 10:46:21 AM

Humour is always good- I made the same point myself this week- and I liked "with every purchase" the best. (Closely followed by Jewish Blogmeister's.)

There's indeed a whole seam to be mined in the graffiti in English scrawled across this region...

Posted by: PP | Jun 22, 2007 11:41:41 AM

Free palestine ... from Hamas

Posted by: Robin | Jun 22, 2007 3:46:28 PM

Reminds me of a bathroom graffito seen in the '60's proclaiming: FREE CHILE! Underneath, in different handwriting: FREE TACOS! FREE BURRITOS!
As for the Palestine thing:

Each sold out separately.

You get what you pay for!

Don't miss this opportunity to miss this opportunity! (That's the Abba Eban version.)

Certified pre-owned! (See Bible.)

Served on toast.

Be the first on your block to own one!

15 Neturei Kartaniks Can't Be Wrong!

Offerer expires next Wednesday.

How'm I doin'?

Posted by: psachya | Jun 22, 2007 4:40:52 PM

Okay, then - here's a few more:

Batterers included.

It's a real killer of a deal!

No (National) Assembly Required.

Offer only good in Alaska. Or possibly Siberia.

OK, OK, I'll stop.

Posted by: psachya | Jun 24, 2007 5:05:34 PM

It is especially warming to know that the Israelis are kicking you know what in their war on flowers and strawberries. They have done a pretty good job showing their power by blowing-UP grape vines, strawberry fiels and stopping them nasty flower seeds from going global. shalom

Posted by: william | Nov 24, 2007 3:21:54 PM

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In