Why complain about the world’s best media? Maybe ambassador David Friedman, Rabbi Levinstein and MK Smotrich know what they are talking about?

Politicians who fear Israeli television should be tied to a chair and forced to watch Dutch television for a few hours. The programs lack thought, content and originality.

The Netherlands’ inhabitants are inordinately proud of the fact that the shows ‘Big Brother’ and ‘The Voice’ have become franchised international hits. What about shows with content? That is the content. With the exception of shows where moderators who ooze arrogance discuss everything under the sun except real issues.

Many Dutch shows bear an uncanny resemblance to that of Israeli presentator Shai Stern, in which both the sons of the famous and other celebrities are invited to swoon: “Oh, look at me, I’m famous.” (Stern bears an amazing resemblance to Dutch presenters Jeroen Pauw and Matthijs van Nieuwkerk.)

Supposed budgetary restraints reason to axe content?

In the Netherlands there is often an anti-Semitic undercurrent when discussing anything relating to Israel or the country’s now tiny Jewish community. Of course the community’s bi-weekly TV program was axed a number of years ago for “budgetary reasons.” In a country which denies its past one can hardly discuss the present or the future.

Why discuss content?

There has been considerable debate about the appointment of David Friedman as US ambassador to Israel. He actually voices an opinion, which in politics is a no-no. In his writings he shows a remarkable tendency to consider both sides of the issue, or in any event is well-informed about both sides of the issue. Which is more than one can say about most Israeli politicians, whose major concern is how they are portrayed in the media. As if attempting to harness the media in Israel isn’t a complete waste of time. But the politicians apparently have nothing better to do.

Both MK Bezalel Smotrich and head of a pre-military academy Rabbi Yigal Levinstein have been slammed for making either “homophobic” comments or for “insulting women.” However their viewpoints are not considered. We only hear a bunch of meaningless slogans about “insulting gays” or alleged disrespect for women.

Real men and women

Those who attack them seem to overlook the fact that we are living in Israel and not in the United States. In the lowest common denominator of Anglo-Saxon culture there are “real men” who have no feelings and “real women” who are allowed to have feelings. It is no surprise that in the US there are an abundance of serial killers who are uptight about their self- and society-imposed restrictions on being able to feel.

Who do self-proclaimed gays and feminists represent?

In Israel there are many female and male couples who look like everyone else. In the US there are usually unattractive self-proclaimed gays and feminists, who claim to represent some sort of gay or feminist community. They do not necessarily represent anyone but are championed by the liberal press.

If you look at groups of women or men dancing together at Purim parties you see an enormous vitality. A vitality lacking in mixed groups. Which could mean that mixed groups could be less effective in co-operating. Modesty aside, perhaps this is what Smotrich and Levinstein are referring to. However the indoctrinated liberal media does not understand the issue and can only write about supposed discrimination.

Is shouting discrimination just another trick?

With seven million Jews in Western countries it is a miracle that there are so few immigrants to Israel and that most are non-Jews. With politicians of ‘the Right’ and ‘the Left’ fighting one another and obsessed with their image and a media concerned about discrimination against those who shout discrimination there seems to be little room left for Jews who want to return to their homeland.

About the Author
Asaf Shimoni is an author, journalist and translator who returned to Israel on October 1, 2023 after spending more rhan 40 years abroad, most of them in the Netherlands. He is currently milking cows on a kibbutz after living for five months in Haifa. He grew up near Boston, made aliyah while living on a kibbutz (from 1973 to 1976), and graduated from Syracuse University in 1978. He also lived some 5 years in Sicily. He believes that the media should be as critical and truthful as possible.
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