Pro-Arab surf journalist receives lambskin glove slap across face from pro-Zionist surfer; Delivers rebuttal on behalf of “Silly people. Greedy, barbarous and cruel!”

A few questions.

And what a world we live in where a reality television star is President of the United States, a surfboard shaper is the most powerful political force in Australia and an anti-depressive surf website is the place where people come to calmly solve the long-ish simmering feud between Arab and Jew as it relates to the beautiful country of Israel.

Absolutely fantastic.

Those who spend time here, often, will know that principal Derek Rielly is completely pro-Zionist, having been won over on a trip to Tel Aviv with professional surfer Ozzie Wright. I, also a principal, am decidedly pro-Arab having studied in Egypt and spending much of the last two decades traipsing through Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Palestine, etc. (Buy here).

We are, the two of us, an international version of Mary Matalin and James Carville. Happily married with extremely opposing views.

Now, yesterday, a wonderful podcast listener (anyone who listens to us ramble is a saint) who happens to live in Israel and also describes himself as Zionist-leaning wrote a thoughtful response to a comment I made referencing apartheid in a conversation about the Holy Land.

It’s very worth an entire read (here) but the bulk of the argument rested on a genetic tie Jewish people have to the land and criticism that I was “trying to force western concepts on this situation” that was “historically inaccurate and not very constructive.”

I would like to ask a few questions.

First, what allowed for the conquest of Israel in 1948? Was it that genetic tie or the same guns, gold, banking and technological advantage that had propelled all European colonial powers to conquest and displacement of local rulers for the previous three centuries?

Second, is it really so wise to stake a claim on land that belonged to someone else, forcibly evicted on your very behalf less than 75-years ago, on a genetic continuity between Polish Jews and Yemeni Jews?

Does my Germanic heritage and connection to that land allow me to go kick some Turks out of Berlin and reclaim my birthright?

An extremely slippery slope.

I am not anti-Israel, not at all, and have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the bravest little nation on earth, even once partaking in a Shabbat dinner with settlers in the illegally occupied West Bank, but genetic arguments as it relates to the conflict is a decidedly western concept.

Can it not be called what it is? An exclusive club with membership and participation ruthlessly and brutally enforced?

Also have you watched Lawrence of Arabia?

It is the greatest movie ever made.

Swinging Moz, left, and the world champ turned coach and commentator, Barton Lynch, who holds one of Maurice's creations. | Photo: WSL

Vote: Firebrand surf shaper Maurice Cole enters Australia’s political fray, runs for Surf Coast Shire Council on explosive anti-World Surf League platform!

End WSL tyranny!

Maurice Cole is one of the grandest of all surfing personalities. Talented, brash, handsome, unafraid especially when the sissification of surfing is in full swing. A rare combination and I truly fell in love when he barked, “Chas, you are a complete and total fuckwit whose opinion is based on other fuckwit’s stories.”

Extremely to the point and true and if I lived in Torquay, Australia or Jan Juc or even Gnarwarre I would beg to be his campaign manager.

Yes, it is true. Maurice Cole is running for public office on a grand, explosive anti-WSL platform.

According to the Brisbane Times, there exists, in Torquay, a plan for a permanent viewing platform at Bells Beach to be used chiefly by the World Surf League for viewing and filming the once-annual Rip Curl Pro.

Mr. Cole ain’t having it and has cobbled together a coalition of independent like-minded candidates in order to put a stop to the whole nonsense.

“We are already seeing the most overcrowded car parks and surf we’ve ever seen,” Mr Cole declared and also, that surfers and residents were angry about the proposal and believed there should only be temporary infrastructure installed for the annual Rip Curl Pro surfing contest along with accusing the council of attempting to appease the World Surfing League by agreeing to build the platform at the community’s expense.

Appeasing the World Surf League would be foolish as the enterprise is in full retreat and should be chased to Santa Monica then broken on the Third Street Promenade while buskers sing songs of it’s demise.

If you live in the Surf Shire, which includes…

Aireys Inlet, Anglesea, Bambra, Barrabool, Bellbrae, Bells Beach, Benwerrin, Big Hill, Birregurra (shared with Colac Otway), Boonah, Breamlea (shared with Greater Geelong), Buckley, Connewarre (shared with Greater Geelong), Deans Marsh, Eastern View, Fairhaven, Freshwater Creek, Gherang, Gnarwarre, Inverleigh (shared with Golden Plains), Jan Juc, Lorne, Modewarre, Moggs Creek, Moriac, Mount Duneed (shared with Greater Geelong), Mount Moriac, Ombersley (shared with Colac Otway), Paraparap, Pennyroyal (shared with Colac Otway), Torquay, Wensleydale, Winchelsea (shared with Colac Otway), Winchelsea South and Wurdiboluc.

…then I plead with you. Vote Cole and end WSL tyranny!

Italo Ferreira, Pipe Master, 2019 world champ may require smuggling into Oahu via Mex.

Pipe Masters tour opener for 2021 season likely (although) Brazilian surfers may have to be smuggled into Oahu via Mexico

A logistical challenge…

The WSL ain’t dead yet.

Since Elo’s major announcement of the new and improved 2021 Tour, Pipe in December has seemed laughable.

Even more so with the recent news of the cancellation of the 2020 Eddie Aikau.

But don’t count out Elo. Oklahomans are a gritty people.

Per Hawaii Governor David Ige, starting October 15, travelers to the state can avoid the mandatory two-week self-quarantine by providing “written confirmation from a State approved COVID-19 testing facility of a negative test result from a test administered to the traveler within 72 hours from the final leg of departure.”

Some great news for those of us still clamoring for professional surfing.

The proclamation is unclear as to the status of international travelers, but according to the CDC, foreign nationals from a variety of countries, including Brazil, France, and Spain, may not enter the United States.

It seems the WSL could get creative and route some of the surfers through a country not on the list (say, Mexico) but considering Elo is the only person in the building, it’s unlikely.

Still, things are trending the right way.

Airlines are getting crafty too. United Airlines recently announced that it would offer passengers flying to Hawaii rapid COVID-19 tests at the airport.

My guess is more will follow.

Maybe a new partnership for the WSL in there, too.

The WSL has shown in recent weeks that it’s still capable of holding events.

And the 2021 Tour is set up well to avoid any COVID related snafus. Through May 2021, all events requiring international travel have at least a two-week buffer between waiting periods, allowing the WSL to brave any potential mandatory two-week quarantines.

Regardless of your opinion of the WSL, the Tour seems a little more feasible than it did a few days ago.

And as much as I’d like to see Lemoore shuttered, I do love professional surfing.

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.