Guardian

Israeli “pillaging” and the Vikings’ cognitive war booty


When I first saw the word “pillage” in Harriet Sherwood’s report, Israel accused of pillaging Dead Sea resources in occupied territory, Sept. 3, the first thing which came to mind was marauding barbarians arriving “in their helmeted hordes” across Europe – greedy, blood-thirsty warriors conquering lands.

What sprang to my mind when contemplating the aftermath of such savagery was something along the lines of this…

…and, certainly not this:

AHAVA store, Ein Bokek, Israel

In the year 793, Lindis-farne, an island off the north-east coast of England, was invaded by a powerful fleet of Danish Vikings. They “sacked the city, devoured the cattle, killed many of the monks, and sailed away with rich booty in gold, jewels, and sacred emblems”.

While such attacks by the Germanic savages – who controlled half of England from the late 9th century into the 11th century – sowed fear across the continent for generations, assaults against their neighbors carried out with brutal efficiency, their image has improved of late, no doubt due to a slick campaign of Scandinavian ‘hasbara’.

Stories in the Daily Mail and Independent in 2009 argued that the Vikings’ reputation for raping, pillaging and engaging in violent conquests is unfair, and that they were, arguably, ‘model immigrants’ who lived side-by-side in harmony with the Anglo-Saxon and Celtic locals.

So, while Israeli propagandists, known as Zionist Keyboard Brigades for their tactic of violently raiding the marketplace of ideas to ‘sway’ opinion, are, according to myth, feared, loathed and isolated for their Semitic trickery, the Nors Media Warriors – who, legend has it, were no less fearsome than their ‘military division’ – can now reasonably lay claim to a posthumous cognitive victory.

22 replies »

  1. Luvly photo in the Ahava shop.

    I go shopping at Rafi Levey’s in Rosh Haayan and it is full of ladies attired similarly to the one in the photo.

    • Any Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory (West Bank, east Jerusalem, Gaza Strip) is a violation of international law.

      Ahava is using material harvested in a settlement, and therefore its products are considered settlement products.

      There are loads of Israeli companies producing excellent Dead Sea products in Israel. Why bother with Ahava?

      • The irony is that last month, I passed by a Dead Sea products shop abroad. The seller stopped me to demonstrate what kind of products they had. I asked him: “Are these Israeli products?”. His answer was: “Yes, these are Israeli products, made in Israel. We are not like Ahava, we do not sell products from the settlements, our brand is a real Israeli brand”.

        Ahava competitors have started using the settlement issue against Ahava.

          • If other Israeli Dead Sea brands tell customers that their products are made in Israel while Ahava’s are not, I trust them. They know what they’re talking about.

  2. Do those who promote the boycott of AHAVA actually claim that Dead Sea mud is in short supply? My understanding is that, while it suffers from a shortage of water due to excess usage in the Jordan valley the Dead Sea has a virtually unlimited supply of mud and minerals. It looks like the boycotters latched onto a completely fictitious environmental issue simply because there was a brand they could associate it.

    • The boycott is because the pro-Palestinians cannot tolerate the idea that Israelis have created a tiny, viable kibbutz industry in one of the most inhospitable places on earth that happens to be a mile or two on the “wrong side” of the green line”- a place shunned by every right-thinking Arab until 1967, when it suddenly became sacred ground and a veritable miser’s hoard of riches being pillaged by the rapacious Jews.

      Nice article, Adam!!

      • “The boycott is because the pro-Palestinians cannot tolerate the idea that Israelis have created a tiny, viable kibbutz industry in one of the most inhospitable places on earth.”

        Errr… the Dead Sea is a ten-minute drive from the Palestinian city of Jericho. That place on earth is so “inhospitable” that the Palestinians built loads of luxury week-end houses for the wealthy, a five-star hotel and even a casino.

    • If the dead Sea mud is not in short supply, why would one harvest mud in an illegal settlement rather than Israel?

  3. Not sure, but that boycott is based on warped and malicious envy. Anything Israeli (ostensibly, but it wouldn’t be beyond them to boycott things because they are manufactured byJews and Jews are associated with Israel) is fair game for these twisted individuals regardless of what it is and what good it may do for society.

    • Envy is the universal destroyer. It’s far more important for the Palestinians to destroy any Israeli products or innovations than it is to put their energy into creating. Just as the Gazans destroyed the greenhouses that were left to them when Israel departed Gaza in ’05, I have no doubt that given the chance (as in the unlikely scenario that Israel is vanquished) they would destroy all the buildings and other edifices that produce the innovative products, including medical advances (maybe especially medical advances) that help save lives worldwide.

    • Snigger you’ve hit it on the head. Envy is the key.

      Why is it that ‘historic’ Palestine always happens to be precisely where Israel is at the moment and that in the years between 1948 and 1967 when Jordan (illegally) held the West Bank it was never even mentioned that Palestine could be anywhere but within the 1948 borders, and a West Bank Palestine was never mooted?

      In fact in those years the Fatah Charter specifically said that the West Bank is not Palestine and that Gaza is not Palestine. However as soon as Israel warded off the Jordanian attack by taking the West Bank it suddenly just had to be Palestine.

      • it’s easy: any Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory (West Bank, east Jerusalem, Gaza Strip) is a violation of international law.

  4. Personally I like to have a cup of hot Strauss chocolate when I bathe in Ahava bath salts. I then make a call on my Motorola phone before opening the roof on my convertible Caterpillar and plough my field on the Golan.

  5. Off-topic trivia for 10: after taking a wrong turn SE while marauding on the Baltic coast, Vikings also established what would become the Russian empire.

  6. Maybe Harriet Sherwood could balance things up by producing an article about the centuries of arab-islamic pillaging the arab-islamic peoples carried out where ever they went its a long list so it might keep Harriet Sherwood busy for a long time