Only Circumcised Penises On Porno sites in Israel!


A logical outcome of the Knesset’s attempt to censor the Internet.

Closest illustration I could use and still get published! If you’re desperate to see the real thing, there’s a link at the bottom of the page!

According to a recent report in “The Times of Israel”, filed by Stuart Winer, a female member of the Israel Beitenu faction – a Ms Lia Shemtov- wants the Knesset to pass a law that would block access to all pornographic and violent websites to Israeli’s. (1)

Of course , she can count on full support from all the religious parties, and from some others, who believe that they know, better than we do, what’s good for us.

Frankly, I am outraged than anyone would dare to try to determine what I, as an adult, can or cannot watch. Naturally, the fig leaf for the proposed legislation is “the protection of  the young and innocent”.  Apart from the fact that the young are no longer as innocent as their parents would wish to believe, the question arises as to whether adults are obliged to stop developing at age 12.

English: This is the american Disney Channel l...

This is a sexual as it gets – if the Knesset has its way!…….. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I assume that the lawmakers, that support this proposal, would prefer that the default setting for internet entertainment be the Disney Channel, or its equivalent.

The fact is that parental censorship is already available.  Programmes exist which can filter out, so called, “adult content”and parents can choose to activate them.

That’s the whole point.

It’s the parents that make the decision, not some government created quango comprising of people with a different world view from mine – or, indeed,  that of the parents

What the new law is supposed to do is to reverse the default setting of your Internet access. In other words, ALL sites – deemed by this group of censors to be “adult” would be available on special request only. The question of the extra costs involved in such an arrangement does not concern our MK’s.

English: Official portrait of Justice Potter S...

Justice Potter Stewart. _ “I know it when I see It!”………  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And then there is the age old question: “what is pornography?” Is it still the standard defined by Justice Potter Stewart in 1964 in America: “I can’t define pornography, but I know it when I see it”? (2)

I think the world has moved on over the past 50 years.

There are countless scenes of sex and violence in “mainstream movies” which would have been unthinkable just a generation ago. Famous film stars engage in the most extreme simulated erotica, which many argue is even more arousing than standard “pumping in and out” porn. And if we’re talking about children’s awareness of these scenes, they don’t have to go to the cinema; they just need to scan the TV movie channels!

So, will the censorship also be extended to TV ? Illogical if it isn’t!

When I made my views known on some web forums, I was accused of “encouraging paedophillia”.

There is absolutely no concrete evidence that viewing acts on TV or the Internet has a direct connection to the implementation of similar acts against third parties.(3)

Indeed, there are some that claim that the tiny fraction of viewers – or should that be “voyeurs” – who are psychologically unbalanced in relation to their sexual proclivities, can actually live out their fantasies through these media, and thus have no absolute need to manifest those desires physically. I think that is especially true for paedophiles.

A May 8 ruling by the New York Court of Appeals held that viewing child pornography on the Internet without taking further action such as printing or saving files does not necessarily constitute possession (of pornographic paedophillic imagery) (4)

So, what does all this have to do with Israel?  Well, for a country that prides itself on its openness and liberalism, to talk about censorship restrictions on anything,  is to place it squarely in the same category as its neighbours in the region, whose relative lack of freedoms it never ceases to criticise.

This proposed censorship is but the thin end of a very dangerous wedge. How Israel Beitenu managed to get into bed with Shas (so to speak) is incomprehensible. What will be next? After the banning of porn and violence, will the Haredi dress code for women be mandatory for all productions – no visible skin, apart from the face – under a wig, or headscarf, of course.

Censorship is a slippery slope. Everyone knows where it starts. No one knows where it ends!

And if there will be porno sites available on request – will the male performers need to be circumcised?

Why not?

Andyboy – Telling it as it is!

(Full disclosure)

I, myself was accused (together with 1199 other Israelis) of engaging in a sexual orgy of sin and debauchery -reminiscent of the worst excesses of Sodom and Gomorrah – when I participated, last September,  in the famous (or is that infamous) event known as “Naked Dead Sea”.

This, you may recall, was the brainchild of the well known American artist, Spencer Tunick, in which 1200 Israelis volunteered to pose completely naked for a serious of photographs, in order to promote the Dead Sea in its bid to be classified as one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

I can honestly state that it was a truly amazing experience, but if anyone believes that 1200 naked, perspiring Israelis in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, with an an equally wide variety of dangling bits, had any connection to sex, then they are in need of serious help! (5)

References

(1)http://www.timesofisrael.com/knesset-to-consider-pornography-censorship-law

(2) http://library.findlaw.com/2003/May/15/132747.html

(3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relationship_between_child_pornography_and_child_sexual_abuse

(4) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47437950/ns/technology_and_science-security/t/bill-criminalizing-viewing-child-porn-online-okd-ny-senate/#.T75tWtWP-s8possession.

(5)http://andyboy1.com/2011/09/20/naked-in-the-holy-land-part-three/

Banana Image:   parenthub.com.au

Atheists in Israel? Oh my God!


Yes, it’s true! 2.0 million Jews  ( around  33% of the Jewish population) identify themselves as secular.

But doesn't include them!

Surveys have shown that Israel – The Holy Land – has one of the highest proportions of  non believers in the world! Zuckerman in a 1995 survey found a figure of between 15 – 37%, Greely and Jagodinsky found around 26% in 1991. http://www.thechapmans.nl/news/Atheist.pdf

Extrapolating these figures to the present day, produces a figure of around 2.0 million. Israel’s non- Jewish population was included in the surveys but this is misleading. Whilst a few  Christians might  be secret non believers, it is extremely unlikely that this would be true of Muslims. Consequently the true percentage,  just for Jews, is higher. For the purposes of this article the quoted percentages will suffice.

What is Jewish Atheism?

Jewish atheism is practiced by atheists who are ethnically, and to some extent culturally, Jewish. Because Jewishness encompasses ethnic as well as religious components, the term “Jewish atheism” does not necessarily imply any kind of contradiction. Based on Jewish law’s emphasis on matrilineal descent,Orthodox Jewish authorities would accept as fully Jewish an atheist born to a Jewish mother.

A high percentage of Israelis identify themselves as secular, rejecting the practice of the Jewish religion (see Religion in Israel). While some non-believers of Jewish ancestry do not consider themselves Jews, preferring to define themselves solely as atheists, Judaism is arguably the paradigm example of the evolution of a culture and tradition that one can embrace without religious faith

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_atheism

Simply put, Judaism is more about actions; less about belief.

How does Atheism exist in Israel, in what many regard as  a religious fundamentalist society?

The short answer is that it seems to exist very well. Contrary to the widely held concept, Orthodox Jews are a very  small proportion of the population.

As of 2009, 8% of Israeli Jews defined themselves as Haredim; an additional 12% as “religious”; 13% as “religious-traditionalists” ; 25% as “non-religious-traditionalists” (not strictly adhering to Jewish law or halakha); and 42% as “secular”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Israel

It is true, however, that due to the vagaries of the proportional representational political system, few coalition governments have ever been formed without the active participation of religious parties. Consequently they exert both political and social influence out of proportion to their numerical strength in the population. For example, until recently , civil marriage was not possible. All aspects of  law to do with marriage, divorce and other family matters had to pass through the religious authorities. The Knesset recently passed a law to permit civil marriage, but ONLY between couples who could prove that they belonged to no religion. 

In practice this is almost impossible. Whether this difficulty will be overcome in the future, depends on how the courts deal with the new situation created by the famous writer Yoram Kanuik:

Yoram Kaniuk

Yoram Kaniuk

In May 2011, Kaniuk petitioned the Israeli Interior Ministry to change his religion status from “Jewish” to “no religion.” He cited the fact that his child and infant grandson, because they are descended from a mixed marriage, are legally of no religion, and his desire not to belong to a “Jewish Iran” or “what is today called the religion of Israel.” In October 2011, a district court judge approved his petition, meaning that Kaniuk is now considered a Jew by nationality, but not by religion. Hundreds of other Israelis intend to do the same; a new verb, lehitkaniuk (to Kaniuk oneself) was coined  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoram_Kaniuk

What effect do Atheists have on the structure of this society.

In spite of the best efforts of the Orthodox Jews, Israel remains, essentially, an Open, Liberal and Pluralistic society.In the fields of Equality for Women, and Gay Rights, Israel is not only unique in the entire Middle East but is on a par with any country in the world.  Gay pride events are held annually in major cities, INCLUDING Jerusalem . LGBT societies are active, and Tel Aviv is an internationally promoted center for Gay tourism http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3947536,00.html

This is not to say that ALL Gays are atheists, but they are the substantial majority.

Top view of Haifa's Pride Parade, 2007

Gay Pride in Haifa

Naked in the Holy Land

A major event which took place in September 2011 was a photo shoot organised by the well-known American photographer and artist, Spencer Tunick, This involved 1200 Israelis volunteering to be photographed naked in the Dead Sea.

)  More than 1,000 nude Israelis pose for Amer...

Making a statement - 1200 naked Israelis (Image by Getty Images via @daylife)

The Dead Sea is nominated to be one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. This activity was designed to give a boost to its application. The resulting publicity throughout the world was massive. Since the event took place on a Saturday morning  (the Jewish Sabbath) and involved travelling to and from the site by bus, it is safe to assume that none of the participants was religious. ( full disclosure: I was one of them!). Of course, the other aspect of the event was that it could take place at all. Again, in this area of the world, such openness is ONLY possible in Israel.

Israel is one of the few countries in the world in which an Atheist could be elected President or Prime Minister. Could this happen in America?

And , actually it has already happened here.  Prime Minister Golda Meir, when pressed on her belief in God, sidestepped by saying: “I believe in the Jewish People; and the Jewish People believe in God”   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_atheism 

Theodor Herzl leaning over the balcony of the ...

The founder of  Modern Zionism, Theodor Herzl, was an atheist, as were many of Israel’s “Founding Fathers” including its first Prime Minister, David Ben- Gurion. Indeed it would be true to say that, had it not been for a substantial number of non believing Jews, the State of Israel would not have come into being.

Now, is that a paradox or what!

Andyboy – telling it as it is

Naked in the Holy Land – Part Three


The Aftermath

Reaction from across the world- and inside Israel

The international reaction to Spencer Tunick‘s  idea to use nakedness to highlight the dire ecological situation of the Dead Sea, has been somewhat mixed.

But the news and photos have now been seen – or ogled at – by hundreds of millions of people, since the coverage was, literally, world wide .

As that world included China – maybe that figure is in the billions!

Media reactions have varied from serious to snide.

Some commentators dismissed the whole thing as a publicity stunt by Israel to deflect world attention from the political problems in the region, whilst others condemned it as an ego trip for Spencer Tunick himself.

The tabloids were happy to be able to splash “tits and bums” all over the front page whilst referring to them as art.

And the reaction from religious leaders was much as one would expect. You know, “fire and brimstone will rain down and punish the children of Israel as in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah” and similar crap.

Mind you, in this respect, the religious right and orthodox Jews inside Israel were also, naturally, extremely hostile, both before and after. The “desecration of the sabbath” was what got to all of them.

But I’m not sure that the reaction would have been SO different on any other day. You need to understand that these are people who believe that even the glimpse of an ankle or wrist is shocking. The women cover their natural hair, either with a wig or headscarf and the men are forbidden even to listen to the sound of a woman singing, lest they be consumed by lascivious thoughts.

To them,  the sight of the naked human body is unacceptable.

 I never quite understood the Adam and Eve thing.

Something about nudity, apples and a snake. Just one of the fairy tales upon which at least two of the three monotheistic religions are built. I don’t know about Islam.  Are the 72 virgins naked?

As an aside, I  have never understood why people – religious or otherwise- feel the need to get fully dressed in order to go to bed.

Apart from all of the other aspects of this event,  I was happy to have a rare opportunity,  in this increasingly religiously dominated country, to make a personal statement about secular values of freedom and openness.

This was, for sure , a contributory factor in my decision to apply for registration.

As one of the oldest participants ( almost THE oldest) ,  I feel proud of the fact that my body ( together with 1199 others) has created such attention. .

Until now all the shots have been long range – so only I know which one is me!

When Spencer publishes the final selection it will be interesting to see the closeups.

And I think that  there will eventually be a video published of the whole shoot, including the setting up. None of us could hide anything from the ever present cameras, even if we wanted to.

Never expected to end up naked on You Tube

– and my children and grandchildren will also be a bit surprised.

Finally, I have always claimed to be a totally non- spiritual person. I cannot say that these few hours at the Dead Sea changed my total outlook. But there was something unique and magical about floating in the sea with 1200 hundred silent souls as the sun rose over the horizon.

Truly a life influencing – if not absolutely life changing  – experience. I feel very honoured to have been selected and to be a part of that tiny, exclusive group that can say “I posed naked for Spencer Tunick” .

I will always be grateful for that opportunity – and I have crossed it off my “bucket list! “

Andyboy – Telling it as it is!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Naked in the Holy Land -Part Two


Naked in the Dead Sea for Spencer Tunick

Naked in the Dead Sea for Spencer Tunick… (photo credit: Emil Salman)

What was special about this particular Spencer Tunik  Art Installation?

Well for me, personally, it was the fact that I was one of the 1200 participants.

For security reasons we travelled to the location in special buses. It is a strangely surreal feeling,   journeying with a busload of strangers,  when you know that, in a few hours, you, the passenger next to you and everyone else in the bus – except the driver – are going to strip naked in front of each other!

And such a diverse mixture of people; young and old, fat and thin, white and black, gay and straight, a real cross section of  the part of Israeli society that values freedom of expression above religious bigotry. In Israel – being an open democracy – we have both!

Spencer Tunick started the photo shoot before dawn

So, we were all stripped and standing inside the  Dead Sea in semi -darkness, waiting for the sunrise. Spencer Tunick was photographing us, but directly into the rising sun. A great photographic effect – but the timing was crucial. no second chances!

Then came the next set -up;  the 1200 people  had to lie motionless on the surface of the water with their  bodies all pointing in the same direction

The Dead Sea that Spencer Tunick wants to save

The Dead Sea that Spencer Tunick wants to save

After this came other set-ups on the beach area. All in all, we worked very hard in he hot sun for several hours,  and had to contend with the sharp salt encrusted ground – no shoes allowed – very painful!

But the logistical arrangements were very good; dozens of volunteers were on hand with water , both to drink and also to help remove the mineral rich, oily seawater clinging to the body and the eyes.

I am sure that you would like my answer to the question:

” How did you feel, at the moment of truth, when the clothes had to come off?”

Speaking for myself, the sense of strangeness lasted only a few seconds. It appeared to be similar for everyone else – although I did detect that the women were marginally more reticent than the men.

But all this disappeared once we got to work and, if anything, nakedness became the norm, and it was the fully dressed volunteers who seemed out of place. I got the feeling that the participants were not experiencing any sense of shame – people were just comfortable with each other.

Also, the spirit and willingness to do what was being asked, quickly and without complaint, in order to make the project a success, showed a rarely seen aspect of the Israeli character. Whilst some were motivated, like Spencer Tunick,  by the desire to help promote the Dead Sea in the  “7 natural wonders of the world competition,” I think most people were motivated more by the ability to express themselves in such a free and open way.

This type of freedom is under constant attack by the religious zealots, which is understandable from their point of view. One just hopes that, ultimately, their view will not prevail.

And, when it was all over we were thanked by Spencer Tunik and  we just got dressed, got back in the bus for the return journey, and returned to the real world again – with just a tinge of anti -climatic feeling after all the excitement of the day.

Whilst on the subject of freedom, I must inject a sombre note by referring  to the Holocaust.

Naked Jewish women stand in line for execution

The only twinge of doubt that I had when I first learned of the project, was the mental image of naked Jews on their way to the gas chambers of Auschwitz  or waiting in line to be shot by the Enisatzgruppen.

But, I rationalised to myself, the difference was that these Jews had no choice . They were forced to undress. The Israeli Jews in the project today were projecting the exact opposite image. What they did now, they did voluntarily,  as an expression of freedom in their own state. I think I satisfied myself with this explanation, even if  it didn’t satisfy all the other critics.

The main criticism of the Spencer Tunick concept

came. of course from the religious right. It was attacked in the Knesset ( parliament) where it was termed anotherSodom and Gomorrah .   And was subjected to a vicious campaign in the talkback forums. Spencer Tunick, himself, came under personal attack, as if he were a pornographer, not a photographer! Ultimately there were legal issues as well when a major backer –  the local regional council -withdrew its backing and financial support at the last moment. This matter is now before the courts.

There was also the suggestion that, at this momentous period of Israel’s history, with the pending application of the Palestinian Authority to the United Nations for the creation of a  Palestinian state,  a project like this was a frivolous distraction.

On the subject of Palestine, it is clear that such a project as this will never tale place on its soil.

Nor in any other Arab State

Nor in any Muslim country.

Freedom of expression has a different definition there!

Andyboy- telling it as it is!

Naked in the Holy Land


Hundreds of Israelis bare all to the world for Spencer Tunick – literally!

Spencer Tunick 03/05/2010

an Art Installation by Spencer Tunick

World famous photographer, Spencer Tunick,specialises in photographing groups of hundreds -or even thousands – of  ordinary people, in  unusual or famous locations.

So what makes the pictures of Spencer Tunick so special?

The people photographed by Spencer Tunick, are naked!

His work is so well known that , when a new location is announced, thousands apply to take part. His photo shoots – or installations – as he prefers to refer to them, have taken place all over the world.

London, New York, Amsterdam. Lyon, Barcelona. Sydney and Mexico City are just some of the locations, and there are many more.

And now- there will be an installation in Israel.

Yes – Israel!  At The Dead Sea!

 Spencer Tunick  wants to support the nomination of  The Dead Sea as one of the “7 natural wonders of the world”, and this is is way to do it.

 The Dead Sea  Spencer Tunick wants to save

The Dead Sea Spencer Tunick wants to save

Actually, the Dead Sea has reached the finals of the competition – and Kunick –  and the participants,  hope that the  publicity generated by this event will give the final boost!

Of course, being Israel, the project has not been without it’s critics from orthodox religious Jews. .

Only this week it was compared to another Sodom and Gomorrah by a member of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament).

Indeed, when the possibility of such an event ever taking place in Israel was mooted, I think that most people believed that it could not be done

They will not be joining us!

They will not be joining Spencer Tunick

It was felt that the religious and traditional Jews would use all their power and political strength to prevent it.

Well – if they did –  they didn’t succeed ,

because the event is taking place in 2 days.

For obvious reasons there will be very tight security and the  detailed arrangements are known only to the organisers and the participants

And to me – because your Andyboy is one of those participants!

When it’s over,  I’ll post an update in which, amongst other  things, I’ll deal with this event from a regional political perspective.

But not now. Now it’s about Spencer Tunick, me and the Dead sea!

Andyboy – Telling it as it is!