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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Another Useful Idiot

Yesterday morning while I was waiting at a stop light near the start of my commute to work, a late model compact car pulled up on my left and stopped.

I looked over and noticed that the driver was a young (20-something) Arab man, and the passenger was a young Scandinavian-looking woman with short, straight blond hair, and wearing a kafiya wrapped around her neck.

But what really caught my eye was that she was pointing a huge SLR camera directly at me; of which the lens alone probably cost more than I make in a month! 

Her window was open, so I leaned over and asked her conversationally why she was taking my picture.

She lowered her camera and quite literally screamed at me, "Because you're part of the armed occupation of Palestine, and I'm documenting your war crimes!"

Although by my reckoning, 6:10AM is pretty early to be out committing war crimes, I suddenly realized what had attracted her attention:  The Glock pistol peeking out of my riding jacket pocket.  She was almost certainly thinking, 'Here's one of those armed settlers I've heard so much about, and I'm damned well going to bear witness to him daring to ride through occupied Palestine brandishing a weapon!'

I smiled (although she couldn't see it through my full face helmet), and said, "I'm curious ... where is all this anger coming from?  Your friend there seems like a nice guy... he's relaxed, driving a nice car... and most important, he isn't yelling at anyone.  Why are you screaming at a total stranger, and accusing me of war crimes?"

It was like I had poked her with a cattle prod.  Her cheeks flushed with color and she started raving about 'occupied land, illegal settlement, ethnic cleansing.... yadayadayada'... (I have to admit I sorta tuned out most of it).  But when she uttered the words "...perpetrating a holocaust against the innocent Palestinian people", I held up my hand and stopped her.

I said, "Look Bridgette or Gretel or Kristen or whatever your name is, I'm not going to give you a history lesson while sitting at a traffic light.  But I'd really like you to do something for me when you get home to Germany or Norway, or wherever you came from.  I want you to sit down at your computer and Google the term 'Useful Idiot'.  Can you do that for me?"

Without waiting for a response, I zoomed off through the now-green light.

I'm sure this misguided young woman is here doing a few months of volunteer work with ISM or some similar group of rabble rousers.  I suppose this kind of activism-tourism is a fun way to kill some time, and a lot more fun than going to school or [~gasp~] getting a job.  But I really wish some of these useful idiots would adopt a pet or find themselves a hobby that doesn't actively exacerbate the already delicate security situation here.

Posted by David Bogner on October 11, 2011 | Permalink


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I've never understood what's so useful about useful idiots.

Posted by: Quietusleo | Oct 11, 2011 12:38:26 PM

Look Bridgette or Gretel or Kristen or whatever your name is(...)


You made my day.

(Seriously, most "volunteers" I met in Israel or over here were having a serious issue including Not-knowing-what-to-do-with-my-life-NESS, I-have-to-find-my-self-NESS and Someone-must-need-my-help-NESS. Combine that with a good dose of 20-somthing Sturm-and-Drang-NESS and brain wash, and you'll find yourself in a discussion that always ends the same way.... I'll spare everyone the boring details.)

Posted by: a. | Oct 11, 2011 1:11:03 PM

Yes, and the Greta/Brigits are very popular in the "movement" with enlightened Arab resistance fighters because they're sexually easy...ISM recently had to post warnings to women to be careful not to signal their sexual availability to men because it created "problems."

Posted by: aliyah06 | Oct 11, 2011 1:24:11 PM

Even if she was pointing this at you, you sure you make less than that per month? Totally puts down my aliyah plans :-(

(in a semi-joking way...)

Posted by: Greg T | Oct 11, 2011 2:45:32 PM

She can come over here and occupy Wall Street. They are paying $600 a day!

Posted by: ATennenberg | Oct 11, 2011 2:50:46 PM

should have used the glock and stamp out stupidity

Posted by: dave | Oct 11, 2011 6:09:55 PM

If only you had gotten her address you could have shown her the picture of you making chopped liver. That would have really sent her into a tailspin.


Posted by: [email protected] | Oct 11, 2011 6:24:09 PM

This person was yelling at somebody toting a Glock? Seriously, an idiot!

Posted by: Ron | Oct 11, 2011 6:53:38 PM

I've said it many times: we would have established great relations with our so-called cousins a long time ago, if everyone else who has nothing.to.do.with.it would just butt out.

Posted by: Alissa | Oct 11, 2011 7:11:56 PM

You might have told her she should go to Egypt where an Arab community(Copts) are in real physical danger from the Army and Islamic fanatics. Or closer yet,Syria,where Sunnis and Kurds are being slaughtered by the Alawite military dictatorship. Too bad she can`t be deported to either country,where her blonde hair and expensive SLR would be a real attraction.

Posted by: ED | Oct 11, 2011 8:01:44 PM

No liberals left to make comments? Where's the fun in that?

Posted by: Larry | Oct 11, 2011 8:07:53 PM

Her type now wishes to occupy Wall Street. Probably because their trust funds are running low, or their daddies aren't supporting them in the style to which they became accustomed.

By the way, I keep on recommending the Glock. Largely because of this blog.

Posted by: At The Back of the Hill | Oct 11, 2011 10:40:22 PM

No way! She took the pictures because of your shiny scooter and not your glock. When do we meet for a coffee?

Posted by: Kurt | Oct 11, 2011 10:45:28 PM

Wrong pistol .. a Glock is Austrian made, doesn't quite qualify as a Holocaust perpetrator. Next time, wear a Luger and see how she would react to that!

Posted by: Sal G. | Oct 12, 2011 5:51:30 PM

"She can come over here and occupy Wall Street. They are paying $600 a day!" and learn hand signals to communicate. and steal public washroom supplies.

Wait -- on second thought, you keep her.

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Oct 13, 2011 4:55:02 AM

@Greg T - That's more than I make in a month in the US.

@ED, hey, I'm liberal. I think women should be safe from harassment on Buses and on both sides of the street in Meah Shearim and when they leyn Torah at the wall. I think that Reform and Conservative Synagogues should have the same rights to subsidies as Orthodox, and that their rabbis should likewise be on the state payroll and have similar influence on public policy, and that their conversions and marriages should be fully recognized.

And I believe that the Palestinians should have the right to return . . . to the homes we were booted out of in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Iran. Should be ample space seeing as more Jews were booted out of those communities (some of which were older than either Islam or Christianity) than were left Mandate land to create space for Israel. But of course, their Arab brothers will not let them into their own countries, because they are more useful as a thorn in Israel's side.

Useful Idiots like the one Trep encountered should be asked when Sweden is going to get out of Occupied Jotlund. I was chatting with one once who compared what Israel is "doing to the Palestinians" to what America did to the Indians. I pointed out to her that while the first Europeans showed up on American shores in 1492, there had been a constant Jewish presence in the Land since about 3000BCE. She had had no idea.

Like the musical says, Useful Idiocy has to be carefully taught.

Posted by: Rich | Oct 14, 2011 3:26:41 PM


I note with satisfaction that what you did there was the OPPOSITE of treppenwitz. Good for you for thinking on your feet.

Posted by: Sarah B. | Oct 15, 2011 7:03:53 PM

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