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Rape poster roils Solidarity Movement

A poster created by an anti-occupation organization that likens the attitude of Israeli settler outlaws to rapists is generating anger not just among right wingers, but some left wingers, too. First, here’s the poster (translation follows) created by Solidarity Movement.

It refers to financial incentives the Israeli government has offered settlers from Migron — an illegal settlement outpost in the West Bank for which Israel’s courts have issued as yet unfulfilled evacuation orders — to leave.

The title, Deep Migron, is a play on "Deep Throat" — the Hebrew for throat, "garon," is very close to "migron."

Translation: DEEP MIGRON

Once, a group of criminals illegally occupied a piece of land. The court ruled that they must be removed from there. Now, in order to get them to be so kind as to adhere to the court order, the State of Israel is paying them hundreds of millions of shekels of our money. If they were residents of Haifa, Beersheva or Ashdod they’d be in jail, but they’re settlers. So shut up, bend over and swallow, you know you want it.

The image on the right was the original poster, but after protests Solidarity Movement changed the image to the slightly more subtle vaseline jar on the left.

[UPDATE: SJS responds to rape poster allegation.]

Predictably, right-wing groups like NGO Monitor slammed the poster; president Gerald Steinberg called it "a vitriolic, offensive, and highly distorted depiction of Israeli society and the legal process."

But left wingers have joined the protests, with one anonymous critic in +972 magazine saying it exposes the hypocrisy of a left that speaks the language of human rights but doesn’t hold itself to the same standards:

The ad conjured the most disturbing tropes of sexual violence.  I was livid, but unfortunately I cannot say I was surprised. Because, when it comes down to it, the political left is not nearly as gender equal as it believes itself to be…

I’m talking about much more than the indefatigable question of whether it’s acceptable for us to wear tank tops in Palestinian villages. There are the examples that make the news, like the director of a prominent left-wing organization being sued for sexual harassment, or the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) trying to cover up the sexual assault of one of their activists. But there are also the everyday examples that don’t make the news, but that we all feel and experience.

These include the activist our community reveres, turning a blind eye as he treats women like objects. Or the progressive NGOs where we log thousands of hours of overtime, finding it impossible to balance work and home life and fearing the “mommy-track” just as much as if we worked in hi-tech. There are our fellow activists and colleagues who receive the credit and visibility for our ideas and drown out our voices, and who make sexist jokes but think it is ok because we know they are the “good guys,” that it’s “just a joke,” and that they mean it ironically. It is that deep, uncomfortable knowledge that when we are assaulted or harassed – and, inevitably, we are – we will be no less slut-shamed or victim-blamed among our so-called leftist comrades than we will be by the mainstream society we so enthusiastically love to hate.

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