Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Disgusting Quote of the Day

Knesset Member Arieh Eldad (of the National Union party) spoke to Army Radio while being treated for a broken arm he sustained fighting against Israeli forces working to demolish nine houses in the illegal outpost of Amona, north of Jerusalem. Israel Insider (hardly a left-wing news source – I can’t imagine they would be trying to make Eldad look bad) quotes him as saying:

“They are relating to human beings here like they wouldn't relate to Arabs.”  [The italics are mine.]

It’s possible, of course, that somebody mistranslated Eldad’s remark; if so, I’d like to see his original Hebrew. But if this is really an accurate translation of what he said, it’s utterly reprehensible, even for someone who just got his arm broken. People who think like that – even if they’re normally able to repress their true feelings and pretend to be civilized – have no business being in politics, here or anywhere else.

Addendum: It turns out that Israel Insider got the quote right. According to Israel’s Army Radio website (link is in Hebrew), Eldad said the following:

Mityachasim kan l’b’nei adam c’mo shelo hityachasu l’aravim.

B’nei adam” translates literally as “descendents of Adam”, and is the Hebrew equivalent of “human beings”. While translating idioms is always somewhat dicey, I’ve checked with several people whose Hebrew is much better than mine, and all of them agree that the implications of the remark in Hebrew are about the same as in English.

(This post can also be found at the Guns and Butter Blog.)

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7 Comments:

At Wed Feb 01, 08:54:00 PM GMT+2, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Don - see? I agree with you. Guess we can't be that far apart...

 
At Wed Feb 01, 10:54:00 PM GMT+2, Blogger Don Radlauer said...

Of course we aren't - I wouldn't link to anyone who I thought would consider Eldad's remark acceptable. You're wonderful. Love ya. (air kiss) Don't change.

 
At Thu Feb 02, 09:55:00 AM GMT+2, Blogger westbankmama said...

Don - I agree with you about Eldad's remark. Will this be the only post on what happened yesterday, or do you have other thoughts on the matter?

 
At Thu Feb 02, 06:27:00 PM GMT+2, Blogger tafka PP said...

I was going to post on exactly this point: I won't bother now!

Well said. Sigh.

 
At Sun Feb 05, 02:31:00 PM GMT+2, Anonymous Eyal said...

While I'm relunctant to give any defense of Eldad, I should note that bnei adam can idiomatically refer to people in a certain context or group, rather than "humans" in general.

Of course, even if he was using it this way, the rest of the remark are still highly objectionable....

 
At Sun Feb 05, 05:33:00 PM GMT+2, Blogger Don Radlauer said...

Dear Anonymous -

1) I don't really welcome anonymous comments. While I can't force you to identify yourself, I really don't feel that I should be obligated to debate someone who won't give me at least a pseudonym!

2) If you want me to pay any attention to your first comment, please translate it. If you're going to insult me, at least do so in a convenient form!

3) I never said that Eldad's remark was the only thing wrong at Amona. I haven't yet written a more substantive post on the subject because I didn't feel I had anything sufficiently original or interesting to say. I actually do plan to write a post touching on Amona in the very near future; but I can't promise that you'll like it.

4) Writing in all-caps does not increase your impact.

5) This is not a forum in which you have any "First Amendment" rights; this is my website, and I have every right to delete your comments if I find them objectionable, although I greatly prefer not to have to do so. If you have anything to say, please do so without insults or abuse; if you insist on being rude, I will delete your comments and you'll have simply wasted your time here.

 
At Sun Feb 05, 11:19:00 PM GMT+2, Blogger Don Radlauer said...

As you'll have noticed, I deleted three comments by "Anonymous". I really dislike doing this; ideally, the comments section should be a place for open and vigorous discussion, and the blog owner should have a fairly light touch. On the other hand, I'm enough of a grizzled veteran of Internet communities to recognize a troll when I see one; and I'm well aware that the only way to get rid of trolls is to delete their crap rather than debate it.

Apologies to all for your having had to read this guy's garbage.

 

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