The Israeli Jew, clever and sexy as anything.

Jewish surfer roasts pro-Zionist BeachGrit for historical inaccuracies and destructive tropes aimed at bravest little nation on earth!

"When does colonialism stop and a conquering people becomes indigenous to the land?"

(Editor’s note: After Dirty Water, episode thirty, in which the demographic makeup of Israel was discussed, and which a few tropes concerning the colonial and apartheid nature of the brave little nation were also included, a BeachGrit reader from the Israeli city of Haifa wrote a long missive detailing our myriad mistakes. The tone of the email was very kind, although I’ve deleted the compliments to focus on the criticism.)

Dear BeachGrit, 

While referencing Trump’s Middle Eastern policy Chas talked about Israel being basically formed by white colonizers in a brown land and saying that you might as well be pro-apartheid if you’re pro-Israel. 

You rebutted, Derek, saying not all Jews are “White” and that there are Sephardi Jews which are Brown, to which Chas replied that the  majority of Israel is descendant of European Jews. 

Longtom added that he was under the impression that Jews were on the Right’s side and didn’t really understand the chanting “Jews will not replace us” in Charlottesville.

Now, I know I’m dangerously close to you closing this email while saying fuck this preaching, but I felt like I had to point out a few facts and unpack what was said even though this was an afterthought said in the end of a surf podcast. 

First, Israel’s ethnic makeup is quite diverse, as you must know from visiting. The largest ethnic group is Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews (Jews descended from North Africa and Asia). 

With 44.9% of the Jewish population and 48% to include Ethiopian Jews, “Brown and Black” Jews are the biggest group in Israel-Jewish society. 

Ashkenazi Jews come second with 31.8% and Jews from the former USSR (who include Mizrahi Jews from Turkic countries) with 12.4%. 

There are also 7.9% mixed race Jews, a demographic which I’m proud to be part of. My dad’s family came at the end of the 19th century from Russia while my mom’s hail from Morocco originally but came here through the Sahara on camels around the end of the 18th century. I’m a ninth-generation Israeli that stands out in family photos for being white in a Moroccan family.

You can also tell Chas my girlfriend is from Yemenite Jewish descent, thought he might like that.

(The study I’m referencing was done by Tel Aviv University, link here.)

Beyond that, Jews whether they are from Poland or Morocco subscribe to a unique and somewhat uniform historical, cultural and even genetic heritage. 

Most genetic studies done in recent years point to the Levant as the origin of Jews from different countries (even though this is more significant in Mizrahi Jews due to some intermarriage of Ashkenazi Jews with the general population in Europe). 

Historically, some of the land which now occupies Israel was in fact the place of the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah. The archaeological evidence is abundant and though not supporting many Biblical claims still attest to the link between Jews and this land from around 1200BCE 

(Read about the Merneptah Stele for the earliest reference to a people named Israel.)

The land’s name was changed from Judea (the land of Jews) to Syria Palaestina by emperor Hadrian just to sever the tie of the people to the land after the Great Revolt, the destruction of the second temple and the exile of the Jews (not the first and not the last one in history). 

Lastly, cultural ties remained strong between different Jewish communities in religious matters but not only throughout the diaspora. 

The Jew was always considered the outsider no matter if it was in Russia, France or Ethiopia (the derogatory word used for the Ethiopian Jewish community was Falasha outsider in Amharic).

Saying that Jews are simply White colonizers in a Brown land is not only the reduction of 3000 years of Jewish history, it’s a great misrepresentation of the history of the land. 

Jews are an indigenous people coming back to their ancestral homeland, some are Brown, Black and White but all came in the hope to resurrect their homeland.

All were persecuted specifically because they were the other, not belonging even when they looked the same as their neighbors.

I do accept that there is another narrative which I don’t subscribe to and although I think is flawed in its rationality has some ground.

There are a lot of reasons for Israel’s formation, namely the persecution of Jews everywhere culminating in the Holocaust, but there was also the deep yearning for Zion taught all across the Jewish diaspora for 2000 years. 

The logic behind the concept of the indigenous right of return for Jews to their ancestral homeland could be also used in the Palestinian context to reconcile the return of fourth-generation Palestinian descendants of those who left (driven out by some) in the midst of the Independence War of 1948 to the modern-day Israel. 

When does a claim to being from a land end?

I could argue that the Palestinians identify as Arabs, and therefore are part of a colonial power. Coming in the seventh century from Arabia to concur the Middle East, parts of Africa and Europe and to spread Islam mostly by the sword.

When does colonialism stop and a conquering people becomes indigenous to the land? 

I don’t know definite answers to these questions and I hope this doesn’t feel like random historical facts spewed in digital form.

I’m not a bystander. I am part of a tribe and I do identify myself as an Israeli a Jew and a Zionist. 

I believe in this country and what it represents even though I don’t always agree with my government. 

What I wrote here is painted with that brush, but I’m also arguing for a different perception of the conflict by outside observers. This was, and basically still is, an ethnic conflict between two very much indigenous peoples (one with stronger roots than the other I might add) and it should be viewed as such. 

Western and, specifically, American concepts of white colonialism don’t apply here. 

People that like to conflate movements like BLM and the Palestinian cause, forgetting this is not a racial issue (we are both Semitic people) and the aweul history of slavery and systemic racism doesn’t have anything to do with the Jewish state and its struggle to exist in a sea of nations out for it’s destruction. 

There are bigots here and we do have problems of discrimination towards Arab-Israelis (and racism even inside the Jewish community towards Ethiopian and Mizrahi Jews).

 Trying to force western concepts on this situation is historically inaccurate and not very constructive.

Most powerful man on earth Mark Zuckerberg unfazed by criticism that he donned white face in highly-polarized era: “I think sunscreen is good and I stand behind that.”

Very provocative. Extremely un-chill.

Has the world ever been more polarized? I mean, sure at some point during Pharaonic Egypt, Alexander the Great’s Greece, post-Caesar Rome, whatever dark ages business, Hitler’s couple year 1000 year reign etc. but in our lifetime?


If you were born post-Nixon.

Or George W. Bush.

So when the most powerful man on earth, Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg donned white face and went electric foiling off Maui’s coast last month, while Minneapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland burned it seemed like the entire first world was going to severely reprimand him.

Very ill-timed.

And the entire first-world did severely reprimand him through a couple week meme extravaganza but did Mark Zuckerberg care?


In a recent interview he declared, “I’m not a person who’s under the illusion that I look particularly cool at any point with what I’m doing. But when you’re efoiling down the coast of Kauai, and it’s beautiful, and it feels like it’s awesome … you come back online and you see that’s the photo, that’s what you look like … it’s like, oof, OK. Alright. That’s maybe quite a bit more sunscreen than I thought I was wearing.”

And also…

“But look, gotta stay safe. I’m not going to apologize for wearing too much sunscreen. I think sunscreen is good and I stand behind that.”

While Lives apparently really Matter.

Very provocative.

Extremely un-chill.

More as the story develops.

Rumor: The Eddie opening ceremony, traditionally early December, cancelled throwing planned Championship Tour Pipeline start into much doubt!

Another Covid casualty.

This morning I woke up at first light, rubbed my eyes, watched a seabird dance then reached for my phone and read a text from an entirely reliable source.

“Eddie paddle out, usually first Thurs in Dec, cancelled. Event in doubt but no official word.”

As every surfer knows, “Eddie” is shorthand for “The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational” formerly known as “Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau.” A fantastic competition that takes place in Oahu’s Waimea Bay when the waves reach heights of 60 feet or more between Dec. 1 and Feb. 29. Invited surfers only allowed to participate.

Though it has run only 5 times since 2000, the traditional paddle out, which honors both invitees, the Aikau family and Hawaiian culture, is a sure bet…

…except this year and, if true, quite a shame.

The paddle out cancellation also throws the planned World Surf League restart into very much doubt. CEO Erik Logan announced, months ago, that “The 2021 tour will start in November 2020 in Maui, Hawaii for the women and in December 2020 in Oahu, Hawaii for the men, subject to the approval of the State of Hawaii and local government agencies, as well as effective protocols that allow for safe international travel. The 2021 CT season will finish with ‘The WSL Finals,’ a new single-day World Title Event in September 2021.”

With the rest of the season looking thusly:

If Hawaii is, indeed, an impossibility could the tour start in February in Portugal? Maybe autumnal Australia?

Surf Ranch in June?

2021 wiped off the books along with 2020?

How much longer does the World Surf League survive with no professional surfing competition or has the professional surfing competition fan already migrated to handball?

More as the story develops.

Sign of the times: Gold Coast funeral home offers Superbank-themed coffins

A passion for photography meets accoutrements of death.

A Gold Coast funeral company has released a series of wave-themed coffins, including a “Waves of Snapper Rocks” and “Snapper Rock Sunrise” casket, the catalogue also including a Burleigh Heads and a Byron Bay model. 

Keen photographer and undertaker Mark Hobson, who is a part-owner of the family biz A Gentle Touch Funerals, has married a passion for photography with the accoutrements of death, coffins and urns built to hold the cindered remains of loved ones, as well as unloved ones, I suppose. 

“Snapper is the home and backyard playground too (sic) many aspiring young surfers from today’s grommets to the current World Surfing Champions. The Roxy Pro World Surfing Titles has put Snapper Rock on the world stage, show casing our magnificent beaches, surfing and our laid back lifestyle.”

The wave on the box doesn’t look like Snapper to me, but what do I know?

And, is there any only one Snapper Rock?

Or is it plural?

The price of the colourful coffin is undisclosed although the urn will cost $A489. 

I often reflect on the manner of my death and the funeral that might follow.

As a child, fearing burial while still alive, little fingernails tearing at the mahogany lid, breath becoming more laboured as the available oxygen evaporates, face frozen in a mask of terror at moment of death, I requested that my parents stuff my corpse into a box, drive to a quarry and dynamite me.

Or, and at the very least, arrange for a safety coffin to be built. 

Now, I lean towards a burial at sea. 

The body is anointed in oils with pleasing vanilla aromas, wrapped in an off-white cotton shroud before being shoved over the side a few clicks out to sea, where I might be eaten by sea creatures, animals whose descendants often filled my own plate. 

Buy your coffins here. 

Pregnant woman jumps into blood-filled water, pries husband from jaws of 10-foot Bull Shark in Florida Key’s “very rare medical crisis!”

The pinnacle of human accomplishment.

It was reported here, less than 24 hours ago, that Andrew Charles Eddy, 30, had been bitten on the shoulder while snorkeling in the Florida Keys.

“The Sport of Poets” is generally soothing to the mind, spirit and body. Shark attacks on snorkelers are rare and even more rare in the Florida Keys where Jimmy Buffett croons.

Not yesterday, though, and shrieks filled with horrible terror replaced Cheeseburgers in Paradise. But also, a legend was born out of the din. Police reports on the incident, just released, reveal that Eddy was saved by a hero.

His pregnant wife.

Margot Dukes-Eddy was standing on the boat when she saw a dorsal fin then blood fill the water. Without fear or hesitation she threw herself into the cauldron, drug her husband onto the boat and very likely saved his life.

But have you ever read anything so incredible?

So selflessly selfless?

Let’s be quite honest here. You have never saved anyone from the jaws of certain death nor have you ever been pregnant. Both are, individually, remarkable feats. Together?

The pinnacle of human accomplishment.

Florida has already erected a statue in 11x surfing champion Kelly Slater’s honor but I think if the Keys do not erect one in honor of Margot Dukes-Eddy than it will be a rotten precedent. Kelly Slater has never saved anyone from the jaws of certain death nor has ever been pregnant.

More as the story develops.