Maybe India should tie a rakhi on Israel

Because today is both Purim and Holi, here’s an amazing “Bollywood” video made by an Israeli arms company to promote Indian sales which they showed on large screens at a recent government sponsored military trade fair in India. What’s the connection to these holidays? Watch the clip and you’ll come away convinced that the people who made it were both drunk and stoned:

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Every element of the promotional film is just plain wrong. The sari-clad, “Indian” dancers look all too ashkenaz and zaftig. The unshaven, hawk-nosed, leather-clad leading man appears to be a refugee from You Don’t Mess With the Zohan. Then of course, there’s the implication that the Indian military is somehow like a helpless woman who “need(s) to feel safe and sheltered.” [link]

The whole thing is amazingly crappy from start to finish, not mention the annoying chorus of “Dinga dinga, dinga dinga, dinga dinga, dinga dinga dee.” I don’t get why they couldn’t have hired a real Bolly composer, choreographer and item girls. It wouldn’t have cost them much.

Despite the cheapness of the video, this isn’t some small time company, and they’re not newcomers to the Indian market. It was Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ Barak SAM missile that was at the heart of the 2000 bribery scandal exposed by Tehelka. Two years ago, they signed a $330 million dollar deal to codevelop the Barak II, and just 6 months ago they became part of India’s biggest defense joint venture with a foreign company.

So why was this video, intended “to help build familiarity between India and Israel and Rafael” [link] both so cheap and so dreadful? My only guess is that they learned from the 2000 arms deal that while symbolic gestures are good, the only thing that really matters are gifts of cold hard cash.

88 thoughts on “Maybe India should tie a rakhi on Israel

  1. Crude language is sometimes necessary
    Israeli louts
    hee hee hee Jewish bootlickers are repugnant.

    Hello pot, this is kettle.You are black

  2. 50 · Manjew said

    Maju and Yogafire are defending the despicable and racist behavior of Israelis. Crude language is sometimes necessary. Europeans have every reason to reject Israeli louts from their countries. If the people ruling India had any pride they would follow the example of Europe.

    I’m not defending anything. I’m trying to caution you against allowing the bad behavior of tourist frat boys to bubbling over into full blown anti-semitism.

    But it looks like maybe I was too late.

  3. 52 · Yoga Fire said

    50 · Manjew said
    Maju and Yogafire are defending the despicable and racist behavior of Israelis. Crude language is sometimes necessary. Europeans have every reason to reject Israeli louts from their countries. If the people ruling India had any pride they would follow the example of Europe.
    I’m not defending anything. I’m trying to caution you against allowing the bad behavior of tourist frat boys to bubbling over into full blown anti-semitism. But it looks like maybe I was too late.

    Please give the old trick of silencing criticism of Israel by accusing critics of anti-semitism a rest. There is the involvement of Israelis in the drug trade. Anybody who claims Israeli tourist are good for India is a liar.

  4. As long as the old trick of ‘anyone who disagrees with me is stupid/lying’ is allowed, I think we’re good.

  5. There is the involvement of Israelis in the drug trade

    Please substantiate this claim with some facts. How do you know this? Of what scale is this drug trade? Are Israelis among the biggest drug traders, or just one amongst many?

    Anybody who claims Israeli tourist are good for India is a liar.

    Why?

  6. 54 · Amitabh said

    Manjew is Prema.

    No, it’s just Manju attempting some sort of Spoorlamish parody.

  7. “What is of particular interest is the presence of a large number of Israelis in the drug trade. Thakur says Israeli monopolization of the trade has become plainly visible, from the fact that people of Kasol village in Kullu have learned to speak Hebrew! Cannabis took root in the area after 3,000 Israelis made Kasol their home.”

    Google it

  8. Please give the old trick of silencing criticism of Israel by accusing critics of anti-semitism a rest. There is the involvement of Israelis in the drug trade. Anybody who claims Israeli tourist are good for India is a liar.

    You’re not an anti-semite due to criticism of Israel. You’re an anti-semite due to your calling Jews “boot lickers” and trying to imply that because some are arrogant a-holes, they must all be arrogant a-holes and ejected from India. How very tolerant of you.

    “What is of particular interest is the presence of a large number of Israelis in the drug trade. Thakur says Israeli monopolization of the trade has become plainly visible, from the fact that people of Kasol village in Kullu have learned to speak Hebrew! Cannabis took root in the area after 3,000 Israelis made Kasol their home.”

    Oh. . . cannabis. Nothing to see there. Move along.

    I wonder if you’d be so quick to bash on Muslims for monopolizing the opium trade? Or are unfair, broad-brushed generalizations only appropriate for Jews?

  9. Thakur says Israeli monopolization of the trade has become plainly visible, from the fact that people of Kasol village in Kullu have learned to speak Hebrew

    Who is Thakur, and why does he consider Hebrew to be a drug manifestation?

    Cannabis took root in the area after 3,000 Israelis made Kasol their home.”

    Hahahahaha!!!! this is priceless!! Cannabis grows wild in most of the Himalayan foothills. The Uttaranchalis (don’t know about the Himachalis) eat ‘bhang ki chatni’ routinely with their meals (it is made from the leaves, and is non intoxicating – Charas and Ganja comes from the inflorescence). Ask Vajpayee Jee why he travels to Manali so often.

  10. 60 · Lupus Solitarius said

    Cannabis grows wild in most of the Himalayan foothills. The Uttaranchalis (don’t know about the Himachalis) eat ‘bhang ki chatni’ routinely with their meals (it is made from the leaves, and is non intoxicating – Charas and Ganja comes from the inflorescence). Ask Vajpayee Jee why he travels to Manali so often.

    Wow i thought i was only one who know about “bhang ke chatni”.Its one of my fav chutani though i always had doubt whether bhang in “bhand ke chatani” is same bhang or not. Also “bhand ke chatani” is prepared from seeds and “other bhang” from leaves.

    and yes it naturally grows in kumaon region in UA . I guess not in HP .

    BTW people in UA are garwali or kumaoni not Uttaranchalis.and state name is Uttarakhand now (so UK).

  11. and yes it naturally grows in kumaon region in UA . I guess not in HP .

    I’m sure it grows naturally in HP as well, it grows naturally in neighboring Punjab and if you google about cannabis in HP you’ll see claims that families have been in the business for a long time.

  12. Its one of my fav chutani

    Mine too :)

    BTW people in UA are garwali or kumaoni not Uttaranchalis

    I know bro, no offence meant. Was just making a point. Come together and all that. Cheers

  13. It really sad that any time that anything to do topic of Irsael, the anti-semitism gets out of control.

    Maybe if some of you had jewish friends would understand. A couple of months ago when the all Gaza thing was going on, I had jewish friends who had to deal with alot of crap. One of them was even hassaled at a dollar store.

  14. the bad behavior of tourist frat boys to bubbling over into full blown anti-semitism.

    First of all, it is not anti-semitism to say that Israelis are badly-behaved. I said in my first post that I have lots of nice and interesting Jewish friends, and I only find Israelis offensive. Secondly, this is not just about frat boyz, I know non-frat boyz as well, so do other posters above. There is a converging pattern in:

    1) The way white Israelis treat Indian immigrants 2) The way they treat their own Arab citizens 3) The way they treat Palestinians 4) The way they treat Indians in India 5) The tone of the above video

    Maybe it is their army training. It could also be the “God’s chosen people” crap. Or a potent mix of both. Whatever it is, there is a problem with that particular population, and they themselves recognize it. But a self-aware jerk is still a jerk.

    For contrast, consider the Scandinavians and Germans in India. They are considered the best tourists. They go out of their way to help the local population. They support many NGOs. They worry about the environment. They try to understand the culture. Israelis try to recreate Israel, and colonise the local population.

    I don’t understand why people are defending loutish behavior. India buys weapons from Israel, doesn’t mean there are a lots of Israelis who are (trained to be) jerks. You buy stuff from Walmart, doesn’t mean you have to love them. India and Israel fights Islamic terrorism, and have common strategic interests. So what? Your partner can be a jerk. In fact, Israel had a big role in creating the Afghan Mujahideen, and therefore the whole Pakistani mess. If it suits their interests, they will dump India in a second and go support the ISI. They find India useful, for now. So India should have the same attitude to them.

  15. First of all, it is not anti-semitism to say that Israelis are badly-behaved.

    FWIW, I’ve heard many stories about the boorishness of several Israeli tourists in India, from both Israeli acquaintances and American friends traveling the subcontinent. I believe some of it springs from a racist attitude toward locals; some might be attributed to the fact that these individuals are looking for a good time in a cheap place after they complete their military service (doesn’t justify the behavior, only explains it). The majority of Israelis traveling in India seem to be young men and women looking to let off steam, rather than families or older tourists who tend to have both more money and better manners.

  16. FWIW, I’ve heard many stories about the boorishness of several Israeli tourists in India

    Fascinating–I heard that some DBD’s caused some trouble at a hotel in South Beach, and another group in downtown Miami.

  17. The majority of Israelis traveling in India seem to be young men and women looking to let off steam

    They should let off steam in their own country, not on poor Himachali villagers. Their country should pay for it, not poor Indians. The “letting-off steam” excuse borders on racist as well — Indian people are not punching bags. Imagine the American military doing the same, sending their troops to Manali to let off their Iraq/Afghan steam on Himachali villagers.

    The complaint is not just that they are badly behaved, but they have a particular attitude. Consider this:

    1) Many Israelis travel to India 2) There are many Indians in Israel 3) There are cordial historic ties between the two populations 4) There is a confluence of strategic interests

    With all these resources, Rafael went and created this offensive and condescending video, to woo their largest buyer. Can you imagine Raytheon or Lockheed doing something like this? Even if they don’t sell anything in India?

    It requires a rather large set of blinkers to miss all that synergy completely, and create something that pisses off your biggest market. It can only come from a total lack of empathy for India and Indians. And people can recognize that. Especially when you see people who do have that empathy.

  18. 69 · rob said

    Fascinating–I heard that some DBD’s caused some trouble at a hotel in South Beach, and another group in downtown Miami.

    Rob, you’ve been known to be dismissive of serious law and order problems (see VHP and Sri Ram Sene) :-P You’ve lost credibility now.

  19. They should let off steam in their own country, not on poor Himachali villagers

    Note that my comment includes a standard disclaimer that doesn’t absolve hooligans of their culpability:

    doesn’t justify the behavior, only explains it

    Meanwhile, Rob demonstrates yet again that rudeness, boorishness, and violence which is unacceptable to direct toward him and his ilk, is ok to unleash on Indians. Rob, DBDs are people too! :)

  20. Meanwhile, Rob demonstrates yet again

    LOL–I don’t doubt that the Israeli tourists are more than average obnoxious–what I’m teasing/mocking is the easy acceptance of evidence (e.g., “I’ve hear many stories”) in this context that would be dismissed out of hand if the indicted were members of “That Which Must Not Be Named” rather than the (constructed as Euro/Western/white) Israelis.

  21. 74 · rob said

    teasing/mocking is the easy acceptance of evidence

    do you understand what FWIW means?

  22. 74 · rob said

    if the indicted were members of “That Which Must Not Be Named” rather than the (constructed as Euro/Western/white) Israelis.

    Should I mock your completely unwarranted and paranoid inferences? Never mind, too easy.

  23. That India with 1100 million people is dependent on Israel with its 6 million people for so much of its defense requirements shows what a miserably failed state it really is. India Shining my foot.

  24. Israelites are going to stake a claim to Manali soon, stating Moses grand uncle Manases came here. The crew-cuts are going to take the place over like the West Bank if the locals keep acting like chicken. The Europeans are more affable, they behave like tourists not paratroopers.

  25. A search on Google uncovered the following article from the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. It is about the work of an Israeli researcher Daria Moaz on Israeli tourists in India. The article is dated 2004 but there is no reason to think that much has changed since then. The last paragraph of the article reads:

    Maoz’s use of the intifada as a metaphor for the situation is far from coincidental. During her visits to India she heard several Israelis compare the Indians to the Palestinians before the intifada. “They’re primitive and dirty, but they serve us exceptionally well,” one Israeli backpacker told Maoz, “just like the Arabs in the territories before they decided to raise their heads.

    Well, good to know why India is such a popular destination for young Israelis. I confess I have been puzzled. We are not close to the Israelis culturally and touring India can be painful. I would have thought Europe/America would suit Israelis better.

  26. That India with 1100 million people is dependent on Israel with its 6 million people for so much of its defense requirements shows what a miserably failed state it really is.

    How does it show that? That was an incredibly stupid observation. They supply, we buy. End of the story.

  27. Fascinating–I heard that some DBD’s caused some trouble at a hotel in South Beach, and another group in downtown Miami.

    he..he.. I’ve heard a lot of racist comments from Indians in US against blacks..

    So Obama should avoid dealing with India. :-)

  28. he..he.. I’ve heard a lot of racist comments from Indians in US against blacks..

    I was viewing an acquaintance’s orkut photo album. In one pic, he was with a bunch of cute Ladakhi kids, with the caption “these chinky kids are so cute”. Others had commented on the photo,confirming that chinky kids were indeed the cutest. Possibly,they were all sincere and completely clueless about the racism of their statements. I cringe when I hear terms like Kalu/chinki/gori chamdi. Often they are descriptive terms, made without malice, but they always reflect a very prejudiced thought process. I think we seriously need education and sensitisation on racial issues in India.

  29. “They’re primitive and dirty, but they serve us exceptionally well,” one Israeli backpacker told Maoz, “just like the Arabs in the territories before they decided to raise their heads.

    yikes! Is that a blow to Rob’s unfortunate y-front (yehudi, yindoo [sic], and yankee) theory?

    But me, I like modernity, and the Yankees, Yindoos and Yehudis are at the forefront of it, unlike your friends (though I’d include the Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese on our YYY side). But groove on my “hatred” if you want to.
  30. Is that a blow to Rob’s unfortunate y-front (yehudi, yindoo [sic], and yankee) theory?

    Why is that. Just because of one ignorant comment I’d not want to break the alliance. It is formed against the “secular progressive / jihadi / al-aqeda ” alliance. :-)

  31. The song maybe crap, but its good to see relations grow between India and Israel since they do share a common enemy.

    Yea, those pesky Palestinians. Die already! Suki: We did teach those Palestinians a lesson. We had 1300 kills to their 13. Yeaa! Plus we also killed 300 future terrorists.

  32. 84 · Ponniyin Selvan said

    one ignorant comment

    When a data-point is inconvenient, you call it an ignorant comment. When a data-point is convenient, you proceed by induction :) The adjectives ‘progressive’ and ‘secular’ apply to both Christopher Hitchens and Jon Stewart also. Do they also belong to the ‘jihadi/Al Qaeda’ alliance? Similarly, some yakees, hindus, and jews may find common ground, but that doesn’t mean our interests mesh well together for all time.

  33. 77 · vivek said

    That India with 1100 million people is dependent on Israel with its 6 million people for so much of its defense requirements shows what a miserably failed state it really is. India Shining my foot.

    To be fair, most Indians don’t see themselves as part of “a nation with 1.1 billion people.” At best, they see themselves as part of a religious/caste/linguistic community of 10-20 million people that happens to share the subcontinent with other religious/caste/linguistic communities…

    BTW, have you even looked at the 2008 failed state index?

  34. When a data-point is inconvenient, you call it an ignorant comment. When a data-point is convenient, you proceed by induction :)

    he..he.. you need to look in the mirror.