Among other things, I'm drawn to Israel by its culture. By its music, its literature, its food. Especially the rhythm of daily life there. But one of my main criticisms of Israel is what it imports from the West, and by the West I mean primarily the United States. Going back to my first trip in 1988 I sensed in Israelis a hunger for all things American. For some reason, maybe economic, back then Israel didn't show first run American movies. I recall seeing a huge advertisement for a movie with a half dressed Morgan Fairchild painted on the side of a building in Tel Aviv. She was probably holding a gun. Well I had never even heard of the movie - and back in those days you pretty much heard of every movie. As far I as I could tell, it was never shown in theaters here in the US. It must have been one of those straight to video productions. And yet in Tel Aviv it was being shown as a "real" movie. Presumably Israelis paid to see it.
A couple years later when I was living in Jerusalem I remember reading about the opening of a Pizza Hut restaurant. That's right. Reading in a newspaper about the opening of one of the least appetizing fast food franchises ever conceived. In Jerusalem. Ok, I thought, it must be the first one and maybe it was a slow news day. But then the next day, the paper ran a second story. This time it was reported that droves of Jerusalemites lined up outside the restaurant before the doors even opened. Here you are with the opportunity to pick and choose what you import from the United States, I told my friends, and instead of taking only the best, you guys take in everything, including the crap.
Which brings me to Glenn Beck. As regular readers of this blog may have noticed, I stay away from the whack jobs. It would be easy to write about how absolutely insane they are and ridicule them for their stupidity. In America, we have no shortage of them. Neither does the Jerusalem Post op-ed page, by the way. But while I try to steer clear, sometimes I can't.
So here I am writing about one of the lunatics. This week it was reported that in August Glenn Beck will be holding a rally in Jerusalem under the banner of "Restore Courage" of the sort he held last summer on the National Mall in D.C. You see, my Israeli friends, Glenn Beck thinks he can restore your courage. I'm not sure whether enough Israelis understand what an utter joke this guy is. I'm just hoping they don't line up like they did twenty plus years ago outside the doors of Pizza Hut to gobble up the dreck.