Wednesday, December 15, 2010

MTV romanticizes Arabs stealing Israeli cars

MTV, in a show called "The Vice Guide to Everything," goes to Ramallah to watch Palestinian Arabs steal an Israeli car and go drag racing.

The show is set up for the viewers to identify with the thieves.

From Israel Today via Israel Unity Coalition:
The episode, titled “Ramallah Racing,” opens with the host’s narration stating that “since legally importing car parts is such a hassle, some enterprising young Palestinians came up with a clever alternative – sneak into Israel, steal a nice car, then drive it back into the West Bank and chop it up for parts.”

Viewers are then introduced to “Adam,” a Palestinian man who claims he no longer actively steals cars, but has volunteered to demonstrate how it’s done.

Adam asks the understanding host, “Someone who steals our land, why shouldn’t we steal his car?”

Adam is then shown smashing the window of an Israeli vehicle and struggling to break into the steering column. The show’s host helps Adam to break the column’s covering and start the car. The two then race away while giving approving nods to one another.

Nearly 50,000 Israeli vehicles are stolen every year. It is one of the worst criminal plagues the nation deals with. Prior to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, car theft in Israel was at normal levels. But it has more than doubled thanks to Palestinian thieves being able to quickly reach a safe haven in PA-controlled areas.

Israeli authorities do not dare to enter the Palestinian areas to reclaim the vehicles, since repeatedly doing so would cause an international uproar against Israel. The Palestinians know this, and use it to their advantage.

In turn, the rampant theft is a major factor in creating distrust of the Palestinian Arabs among Israeli Jews. Promoting and romanticizing that theft can only serve to further drive a wedge between the two sides.
The Ramallah part starts around the 7:00 mark.

Here is a still showing a graveyard of stolen Israeli cars:

The MTV host says there is nothing political about this; it is just Palestinian Arabs rebelling against authority like any other teenagers.

(h/t Yerushalimey)