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Schaffer the Darklord
Should we mention the song "My Dinner With Jello" by nerdcore rapper Schaffer the Darklord?
Al-Jazeera utterly distorted Biafra's words (hardly surprising)
Jello Biafra is part of the far left, so it's not surprising that he's anti-Israel. However, he seems to be one of the few people that far out in the political extremes who's actually willing to go investigate for themselves rather than simply behaving like a typical extremist and adopting a completely one-sided worldview derived from extremist secondary and tertiary sources. The actual piece he wrote is contained here:
Now, this was also reprinted in Al-Jazeera here:
But it's extremely important, and interesting, to compare the two. Jello's original article contains a lot of far-left views, and in general he seems to have only listened to Israelis on the far left. But even so, he shows a general understanding that there are lots of complexities and bad things that have happened on both sides, and is quite willing to discuss the bad things done to the Israelis by the Arabs in general and by the Palestinians. For example, he notes the wars of annihilation that the various Arab countries initiated or planned in 1948, 1967 and 1973, and notes that he as shocked that the "few random rockets" he thought were fired from Gaza were actually 8,000-10,000, and weren't piddly little things but sizable Qassams that would kill you for sure if they landed right near you. He also notes the use of children by the Palestinians as human shields, the fact that there were lots and lots of suicide bombings and the separation barrier really did stop them, the fact that the Jewish Quarter of Eastern Jerusalem -- now claimed entirely by the Palestinians -- was actually composed of Jews up until 1948, and that when the Jordanians took over, the ejected all the Jews, tore down the Jewish Quarter, and built up a wall between West and East Jerusalem, preventing the Jews from praying at their most holy site. He also notes, with evident surprise, the strict rules of engagement among Israeli soldiers that prevented random shooting of civilians (the implication being here that his far-left friends told him that Israel randomly shoots civilians, and he believed it). He also mentions that Israeli Arabs prefer to live in Israel than in Palestine -- which he uses to justify his belief that Palestinian suicide bombing is caused by desperation triggered by poverty. (IMO an extremely oversimplistic viewpoint that has been shown to have almost no explanatory power when it comes to Middle East conflicts, but this isn't too relevant here.) All of these are apparently sourced to left-wing Israelis, many who served in the Army -- but pretty much all of what he says comes secondhand from someone else rather than direct observation (and even the things he saw firsthand were "explained" to him by some guides, because otherwise he'd have been unable to make senese of what the significance of things are, not knowing either Hebrew or Arabic or Israeli or Palestinian culture). The point here is that he appears to believe everything he wrote, except in a very few cases where he explicitly expressed skepticism or doubt. He also presented lots and lots of harsh condemnation of Israeli behavior esp. in the West Bank, but overall it was quite thoughtful if you take it as given that he is coming from a strongly left-wing, anti-Israel/pro-Palestine perspective.
The Al-Jazeera article, on the other hand, is so radically different in tone that you'd almost think there were two people. It's missing EVERY SINGLE criticism and negative fact concerning the Palestinians and Arabs as a whole and EVERY SINGLE positive statement about Israeli actions towards Palestinians. It also contains a bunch more editorializing about how the Palestinians and Arabs have supposedly dialed their rhetoric way back in the last 20+ years and supposed generous peace offers from Arafat and the Arab League, with no mention whatsoever of Israeli peace offers.
It's possible that Biafra decided at one point that no Jews can be trusted at all so everything they told him was false even if they were left wing themselves, and consequently retreated from the thoughtful tone of his original work into a shrill extremism. But in reality I think it's much more likely that al Jazeera did a wholesale and ethically dubious chop job on his work, chopping out all the pro-Israel stuff and adding in further editorializing.
As a result, we should be extremely careful quoting the al-Jazeera piece. On top of this, the section formerly had three quotes that had clearly been cherry-picked to present the very harshest anti-Israel opinions among all that was found in the al-Jazeera piece. I've cut them down to a single paragraph that I think reflects much more clearly the tenor of Biafra's original report, quoting that report. Benwing (talk) 11:06, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
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