Are the most beautiful people on earth a little too feisty in the drink?
Yesterday, Nick Carroll, whom you know well, reported on the violence, real and implied, women face when they surf. The story comes just as Mark Thomson, a well-known inflatable mat-rider from Lennox Head, is due to face court for the alleged assault of eighties pro surfer Jodie Cooper.
In the piece, called The Feeling of Threat, and which you can read here, one woman described being turned on by an Israeli surfer.
An incident in Sri Lanka, when she confronted an Israeli man who’d dropped in on her, almost went very badly. The Israeli’s legrope was tangled around her arm, causing her a lot of pain. “I came up and lost it at him and he then started threatening to kill me… I was very angry at the time but his aggression and intentions were very visible and I really did get very scared for my well-being… I went in crying and had a huge purply, green and black bruise on the inside of my arm for months.”
Now, Israelis are pretty touchy about how they’re portrayed in the press. And you can get it.
For seventy years they’ve been held to a higher moral plane than their Middle Eastern neighbours, told to hold their arm while the Jew-haters plot their annihilation and so on.
So when they hear one of their brothers is behaving poorly, it shakes ’em up. An ol pal of mine, the Deaf-Big-Wave-Riding-Jew Ido Dar-el, whom I profiled here, wrote to Nick Carroll directly (via FB):
I was in tears of anger and shame reading this caption.
Many israeli surfers dont have proper etiquette in the worlds line up,similiar to brazilians we come from over crowded impatient scene in beachbreaks.i have done several articles and posts in the israeli media educating the proper way of line up and crowds universally.
We have a booming surfing and sup scene of women here.
I dont recall anyone threathening a woman in surfing in israel.since its a small country and uncool behave that way.
I apologize from the depth of my heart in the name of all cool exprienced israeli surfers for that incident.
Im going to publish this screen shot in every fb surfing israeli page.
No way it could be performed again.
Of course, Israeli surfers do have an image problem. Great on land, feisty as hell in the water. Most surfs over there in the Holy Land, and I love the joint, I’d swing in with a headache from all the hassling.
I ain’t sure whether its that genetic thing of having to fight for everything they’ve got and, who knows, a katyusha might land on their heads any second so y’might as well grab every wave that comes, or that they’re at that same point on the surf culture evolution table Brazilians were ten years ago, Australians thirty.
Another question: why do we mention the nationality in the first place?
Because of that preconceived notion?