Diary of an Israel Junketeer, Part Two

Tel Aviv, the Oprah of terrorists, and raver-jihadists


(Editor's Note: reason Associate Editor Michael C. Moynihan is traveling though Israel on a program sponsored by the American Israel Education Fund, a travel program for journalists sponsored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. He'll be filing observations throughout the week.)

Tel Aviv—
"It's amazing," the owner of Jerusalem restaurant says, flicking his cigarette. "The police fined us for smoking out here. I mean, it's technically part of the building, but it's open air." The country banned smoking in bars and restaurants last year.

"Right over there, behind the security fence," he gestures wildly, "is the West Bank. And they are fucking with me for smoking. This restaurant used to be in the Old City and it was attacked four times. Guns, bombs, and hand grenades." But please refrain from lighting up.

In Tel Aviv, not a single bar or nightclub seems to obey the rules; all are thick with smoke. It is, roughly, a mix of 20 percent hash and 80 percent tobacco. According to a prominent investigative journalist here, it isn't just Israelis who indulge in drugging. The reporter, who works for a major Tel Aviv daily, is a fluent Arabic speaker who spends the majority of his time pounding the pavement in the Palestinian Territories.

He relates a bizarre story: Last year, while interviewing a house full of Hamas members, he entered into a rather ordinary conversation on the banalities of soldiering (the journalist, like most Israelis, is an Israel Defense Forces veteran). "So how do you pull these long shifts?" he wondered. "Well, we take pills smuggled in from Tel Aviv," said the Hamas apparatchik. "What pills?" He didn't know, but graciously placed a call to a Hamas comrade, who, apparently, doubles as his pharmacist. "He says they are called the EK-STAZY." The raver-jihadists explained that these mystery pills induce a mild euphoria, and allow them to shoot at members of the Israel Defense Forces for long, happy stretches.

The Hamas-embedded journalist relates another woe-is-me-story of life as a terrorist. "I'm the Oprah of the Palestinians. They are always telling me things about their private lives." One leader of Islamic Jihad recently confessed that his manifold sexual problems were driving him to depression. It is tough, he moaned, to find a good woman, a woman willing to spend time with you, when you marked for death by Israeli intelligence. Amongst the extremists, they even manage to blame not getting laid on Zionism.

According to a report in this morning's Jerusalem Post, Israelis are overwhelmingly opposed to further privatization of health services. It's initially surprising that such poll questions are even being asked, that such issues are deemed important, when Kassam rockets are being lobbed at Sderot everyday, when the very real possibility of a third intifada is discussed and debated with a mixture of exhaustion and terror. But life trudges forward. Visitors (and visiting journalists, especially) are the ones that steer conversation towards the maudlin. I have consistently asked Israelis, both politicians and ordinary citizens, their opinions on a variety of economic issues. There is, from this admittedly small sample, no real enthusiasm for such debates.

When I asked Likud parliamentarian Mickey Eitan to explain the difference in the economic policies of Kadima and his party, he was, as appears to be his nature, blunt. "None. We are both [classical] liberals. Our differences were almost only over the disengagement of Gaza."

Coming next: Hamas, Hezbollah, and the peace process that isn't…

NEXT: Mothers Doin' It for Themselves!

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  1. Nut #1: Israel is practicing apartheid! Its a racist, expansionist, National Socialist state!

    Nut #2: No, Israel can never do anything wrong! They should be our 51st state!

    There, saved y’all some time.

  2. Pre-emptive strike:

    “Why is reason using reporting from the neo-con Moynihan and his pro-Israel anti-Arab point of view” (add some insults in there for flavor)

    “Israel = apartheid state”

    “The Palestinians attack civilians, the Israelis only react to that”


    “stolen land”


  3. I think we can all agree, somebody somewhere sucks ass.

  4. Oprah of terrorists?

  5. I hear that John Mellencamp really really hates the Israelis and really really likes the Palestinians.

  6. forget Moynihan
    time to celebrate haiku
    today is the day

  7. Hey all, it’s the big give!
    “You’re getting a bomb jacket!
    And all of you are!”

  8. It’s good to see everything going according to plan.

    Keep up the good work, guys.

  9. In his dispatch from his Israel junket,…

    [Imagine adorable kitty pic here.]


  10. Dennis: This Jew’s in for a ton of work.

    Mac and Charlie: [in unison] WHOA!

    Dennis: Whoa, what?

    Mac: Come on, man! You can’t say things like that!

    Dennis: I don’t know what I said. What’d I say?

    Charlie: Uh, you dropped a hard “J” on us.

  11. Jews eat blood pastry
    Palestinians love bombs
    a pox on them both

  12. There is no “Oprah of terrorists,” by the way. That remark assumes that my disciple does not in fact already have a direct hand in world events.

  13. “Nut #2: No, Israel can never do anything wrong! They should be our 51st state!”

    Cesar, I don’t think Nut #2 would ever say anything like that. Why would you give up 60 or so Senators for two?

  14. Oprah of terrorists?

  15. The reporter, who works for a major Tel Aviv daily,

    The raver-jihadists explained that these mystery pills induce a mild euphoria, and allow them to shoot at members of the Israel Defense Forces for long, happy stretches.

    Amongst the extremists, they even manage to blame not getting laid on Zionism.

    Umm, I hate to actually type this but sweet jebus what a load of bullshit!

    So you talk with a “Hamas-embedded reporter” who works for a “major Tel-Aviv” newspaper and repeat “bizarre” ‘hopped up on drugs’ and ‘sexual dysfunction’ stories as absolute fact?

    Holy shit man, are you a journalist or a PR nannyboy? Just because the AIPAC is paying your way doesn’t mean you have to kiss their ass in print by repeating typical Israeli propaganda pieces.

    How’s about interviewing Israelis about life in Israel and Palestinians about life in Gaza or WB and the problems each face? You know, reporting not repeating.

  16. oprah’s last name was weinberg before she changed it.

  17. Moynihan I liked
    libertarian he seemed
    doubts are planted firm

  18. No it wasn’t.

  19. PL,
    Yes, Oprah of the Terrorists. Just further proof that Oprah’s reach in indeed global. Fear not Reich Marshall Rodham but the global dominatinon of the Oprahnator!

  20. I am not Jewish.
    For some reason my parents
    had me circumcised.

    Only makes sense for
    Sub-Saharan Africans.
    Can it be undone?

  21. oprah’s last name was weinberg before she changed it.

    The way I heard it, it was Goldberg and she just wanted to distance herself from her sister, Whoopi.

  22. “Can it be undone?”

    I read that the Jews did it when they performed in Roman athletic events since the events were performed in while in the nude. Don’t ask he how they did it?

  23. Reason on Mid East,
    Best Ever! Michael, don’t fall in
    Pocket of AIPAC

  24. You know, people talk about Bill Clinton being the real power behind Hillary, but who is the real power behind Obama? Who runs Chicago as her own private fiefdom? Who is richer than Croesus? Who has her own television channel called OWN? Who is worshiped as a goddess by millions of crazed women? Who?

  25. “Why would you give up 60 or so Senators for two?”

    More like 100.

  26. Restore a foreskin?
    It can be done but beware
    the process is long

  27. Well I for one am enjoying this series. Its refreshing to get some on-the-scene reporting from the Holy Land.

    More commentary on the way of life there and the attitudes of the Israelis and Arab minorities would be illuminating.


  28. Restore a foreskin?
    It can be done but beware
    the process is long

    You say it is long?
    Do you know what is funny?
    That is what she said.

  29. Blame it on the Jews.
    Himmler was misunderstood.
    That’s what Yassir says.

  30. Your mother is known
    far and wide as a cheap whore.
    This must make you sad.

  31. She’s not really cheap.
    She just gave you a discount.
    You should be thankful.

  32. I can’t afford girls
    with high diamond ratings.
    I need more money.

  33. Why don’t you call mom?
    I hear that she misses you.
    She love you long time.

  34. high number is back
    this me quite a glad lad
    like my priest used to

  35. Hey diddle diddle,
    Timmy needs a syllable.
    I don’t have to rhyme.

  36. high number is back
    this makes me quite a glad lad
    just like my priest used to

    Are you happy, ass?
    I have enough syllables
    Don’t call me Timmy

  37. . . .his Israel junket . . .

    *wipes away a tear, a tear of pride*

  38. Objective reporting form the AIPAC funded junket, thanks Reason! This magazine is a heaping pile of shit.

  39. I’m enjoying the many quick anecdotes / insights. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

  40. Moynihan, you really need to check the veracity of that story on jihadists doing ecstasy.

    Taking it during routine work sounds absurd. When I worked the graveyard shift (I have had many different jobs up and down the East coast), I regularly popped caffeine pills sold over the counter, marketed to truckers. Ecstasy in the late nineties cost around twenty dollars a pill when I was doing it. Other than recreational use, it would have been a waste. Check the street value of ecstasy in Israel, if it is close to the price of cheap speed, you may have a valid story, otherwise it is bullshit.

  41. Come on. A Tel-Aviv regular journalist who gets confessions of inner Hamasniks about using ecstasy and not getting laid. What an amazing scoop and credible account!

    So what it’s really about is that the sand negroes are just blaming whitey for violent tendencies caused by their drug use and driving need for sex.

    “He’ll be filing observations throughout the week.”

    That doesn’t imply any firm obligation to run them.

  42. Thanks, Moynihan, for telling us what another journalist thought about the jihadists’ drug use. Which Hamas members did you talk to about their drug use? I’m just curious about what you discovered. Assuming you didn’t just go to Israel to do a story on the views of local reporters.

    OK, it was a funny story! But please, provide better context when you’re trying to be a serious journalist.

  43. It works the other way too, I’ve read plenty of propaganda about Israelis infiltrating the West Bank with evil drugs, breaking up families etc. Somehow it all comes down to anti-drug hysteria…

  44. Somehow it all comes down to anti-drug hysteria…

    Interesting. Paranoia of several different kinds, especially racial paranoia, seems to come down to an irrational fear of “a loss of purity”. This “contamination” is due to rock n’ roll, drugs, et al.
    Somehow, the ‘out’ group always seems to be the one to blame for the proliferation of drugs and not the users or conditions that might encourage substance abuse.

  45. I am so disappointed that Reason publishes this hateful nonsense. Free minds my …

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