Bibi’s blue jean gaffe sets off Guardian’s anti-Zionist schadenfreude radar

On Sept. 26, while speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in NYC, Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, claimed that “in Iran everyone has easy access to satellite networks.” Two days later, however, the “Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) in the Iranian city of Shiraz used military vehicles to crush 800 satellite dishes and receivers. IRGC described it as a “valuable measure to confront the cultural offensive staged by the enemies of the revolution and establishment”.

We were unable to find any report of Rouhani’s gaffe on the Guardian’s Iran page.

On Oct. 4, Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave an interview with BBC Persian. Though Netanyahu spoke mostly about the Iranian nuclear issue, there also was a brief exchange in which Bibi said “If the people of Iran were free, they could wear jeans, listen to Western music and have free elections.”

Bibi was of course correct that there aren’t free elections in Iran, and his characterization of Iran’s ban on most Western music was also largely accurate.  However, while there are indeed dress codes in Iran which, for instance, forbid women from wearing short sleeves (or, oddly, even leggings) and forbids men or women from wearing shorts, he erred in his “Jeans” comment.  His little faux pas naturally set off the Guardian’s anti-Israel Schadenfreude sensors, and the paper published no less than three stories on Oct. 7 on the ‘blue jeans row’.


So, whilst cultural repression in the Islamic Republic includes government control and censorship over all books; censorship over all television and radio broadcasting; censorship of the internet; the detention of academics who express undesirable political views; the prosecution of journalists for offenses such as “mutiny against Islam; and Iranian “morality police” patrolling cities, cracking down on the scourge of unvirtuous or immodestly dressed women, the Guardian wants their readers to be clear that Iranians can nonetheless freely wear their Levi’s. 

Finally, in a perfect synthesis of the competing ‘gaffes’, here’s a photo we found of Iranians proudly wearing their fashionable blue jeans while simultaneously watching an Iranian military vehicle crush dozens of counter-revolutionary satellite dishes:

dishesAh, the sweet smell of freedom!

40 replies »

  1. The first report alone constituted overkill, given the relatively superfluous nature of Netanyahu’s comments.

    But three???

  2. Netanyahu’s gaffe is like saying that some Orthodox fundies don’t want women at the front of their buses in Israel. Oh, wait.The man’s an arse.

    • 850000 fundies clogged up Jerusalem for an old rabbi’s funeral. Scenes were a bit like Khomeini’s in Qom

      • “fundies” – is that how you classify 10% of the Israeli population? I presume you did know that there were kipot srugot types at the funeral too, and no small number of secular Israelis as well. Oh yes, women and children too. And not a mechitza in sight. But for you, anyone who is sad at the passing of a great Torah sage, a giant in our generation, is a fundie.

        By the way, the “old rabbi” was not any old Rabbi – he was one of the greatest Torah sages and political personalities of our generation. You don’t have to agree with his politics or his religion to understand that.

        Would you use the same denigrating and deriding tone about hundreds of thousands of fans who clog the streets of Tel Aviv whenever there’s an international sporting event? Or the hundreds of thousands of people who clog the roads to the Kinneret for pop music festivals? Or gay pride parades of various stripes and affiliations?

        Or is it just Orthodox Jews who bother you?

        In other words, are traffic jams anathema to you only when they are caused by Orthodox Jews? Or are you anti all traffic jams.

        I ask for I strongly suspect you are an unmitigated bigot and probably a closet antisemite.

        • “Scenes were a bit like Khomeini’s in Qom”

          This is the Middle East and it is chaotic. The Shas party was founded to represent the “non-European” Jews of Israel and it’s no surprise that they do not have a Presbyterian demeanour.

          It is easy to point to aspects of Israel that are not “western” and many do this in order to isolate her. Nonetheless, Israel does a rather good job at integrating disparate cultures into something that works rather well. Perhaps some real western countries, with growing, recent, non-western immigrant populations, can learn from Israel.

        • @anneinpt;
          “By the way, the “old rabbi” was not any old Rabbi – he was one of the greatest Torah sages and political personalities of our generation. You don’t have to agree with his politics or his religion to understand that.”

          On this I have to say, if this is the case “אלוהים ישמור”

          This is what your greatness had to say (but a few gems):

          On Shulamit Aloni: “The day she will die (people) need to have a drunken feast”
          About Gays: “Gays are evil and despicable.”
          About Arabs: “poisonous sneaks”, “ants”.
          About Ashkenazi women: “Woman with a wig is like a whore”
          He also specifically said that the if a Jew had an life threatening accident on Shabbat one can treat him, but if a non Jew had the same you mustn’t break the Shabbat for a goy.
          He said those who perished in the Holcaust died as a result of past life errors.
          He said that IDF women caused the deaths in the Yom kippur war
          He said about the victims of Hurricane Katrina’s: “There’re blacks there. Blacks will study Torah? Bring them Tsunami and drown them all.hundreds of thousands with out roof.Tens of thousands dead. All this because they do not have our God”.

          There are terrible things he said about Yosi Sarid (equating him to Haman and saying his name should be said in Purim @ the same time as Haman wishing he should be hanged.

          His son said that Gay teachers must be fired.
          His grand son wrote on his booklets in school that a gay teacher must be butchered.

          This is your greatness?

            • With power comes great responsability.

              I do not take joy in his passing and happy he didn’t suffer as I would with most people, but I do not morn him as he would not have morned me.
              It seems to many of us Israeli seculars that he forgot the most basic thing about Jewishness.
              Respect thy neighbour as you would respect yourself.
              דרך ארץ קודמת לתורה

              I do not like to discuss this any further out of respect to his family and community.

              • I think you’ll find the principle of “Respect thy neighbour as you would respect yourself” is pretty much universal.

                • Pretz, I would advise you to read Hillel.
                  But I agree with you about Universal value.
                  My statement was regarding Hillel’s golden rule which many of those politicised Rabbis and many politicised religious leaders tend to ignore.


                  . A certain non-Jewish “wise-guy” came to scoff at the Torah, first to the home of Shammai, then to the home of Hillel. He said, “Teach me the Torah while I am standing on one foot.” Shammai, sensing his true intention, had him thrown out forthwith. (From this story, probably mostly, Shammai has received the bad “rep” of being a short-tempered, person who “did not suffer fools” lightly. However, this is certainly not the case, since it is Shammai himself who teaches “Receive everyone with a smiling face.”)

                  When the individual came to the home of Hillel with the same request, Hillel responded. “No problem! The main idea of the Torah is ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Everything else is commentary. Now, if you’re really interested, go and study the commentary.” So impressed with Hillel’s response, according to Jewish Tradition, was the visitor, that he took Hillel up on his instructions, began to study the Torah seriously, and became a Jew.


              • It seems that the Jewish fundies studiously avoid the weekly parasha of Kedoshim. Too embarrassing for them to contemplate being nice to others.

                • Mr. Pesach???
                  This week’s Parasha is Lech Lecha…


                  Reminding you that Rabbi Ovadya (Abdalla) Yosef was an Iraqi Jew.

                  In the Weekly Maqam, Sephardi Jews each week base the songs of the services on the content of that week’s parashah. For Parashah Lech Lecha, Sephardi Jews apply Maqam Saba, the maqam that symbolizes a covenant (berit). It is appropriate because in this parashah, Abraham and his sons undergo circumcisions, a ritual that signifies a covenant between man and God.


                  I doubt they will avoid this Maqam knowing that the most important thing of Rabbi Ovadya was the return to god and the strength of the covenant.

  3. Chaim Peseach alias RealJewNews from the Iranian towelhead embassy.
    The towel hides the miss of a brain.

    • @ Fritz
      Chaim Peseach does not appear to be RealJewNews.

      And what are all your horrible “towelhead” references about? You ARE against bigotry, are you not?

    • Itsik some advice for you.

      When you are walking along a street and see some dog excrement in your path, sometimes you should step over it, sometimes you should walk around it, sadly sometimes you will slip and step in it.
      But what you should never do is to get down on your hands and knees and talk to it!

      Itsik as I’m in a good and generous mood today and I do not want to make your pain worse I will refrain from using the phrase “Three Nil”

      • Thanks for the tip.
        But we won 3-1 over the w/e…
        I guess I cae out wrong earlier about Spurs…
        Many of my friends are Spurs fans but not me.
        I do hate others who hiss in the matches regardless of my Jewishness and can’t say I feel offended by the Yid army singing more than i do about ajax fans.

        Anyway, I’m red and always have been.