Monday, September 12, 2016

Larry David on Palestinian chicken

I got to watch Larry David's episode from Curb Your Enthusiasm about the Arab-Israeli question, titled Palestinian Chicken.  It was quite grotesque.  It reminds me of Bill Maher when he is criticized for his anti-Islam bigotry and he defends himself by saying that he attacks other religions but the quality of attacks is substantially and qualitatively different.  It is like when Raphael Patai wrote the racist book The Arab Mind and when he was criticized he came out with his book the Jewish Mind in which he lamented the excessive alcoholic drinking among Jews.  In the episode of Palestinian chicken, all (secular) expressions of Palestinian nationalism (on the walls of the restaurant) were conflicted with repugnant anti-Semitism.  It was assumed throughout the episode that Palestinians don't like Israel because they hate Jewish people and wish them all ill.  He never bothered to interrogate the Palestinian narrative.  As for the pro-Israeli Jewish side in the episode, they were only mocked for being annoying.  And the Canadian woman playing Palestinian woman was quite awful a character: that the only way she can recruit supporters to her side was by offering he body (and the body of her sister).  It is like the sleazy imagination of Leon Uris in the Hajj.  And Larry David, as you can glean from his character, is a Nation magazine reading American liberal.  But these are the limits of American liberalism.  Lastly, the way the chicken was prepared in the episode was clearly not the way Arab prepare chicken if you care about cultural accuracy, but who cares when it comes to Arabs in the Hollywood imagination?