What follows is an interesting insight into rambamming US-style from the website green LA girl. The rambammed, Siel, describes herself as "an environmental writer and activist" and her website as "my personal blog about eco-friendly, sustainable living in Los Angeles."
Reading the following extract from her post, Israel, image, and lactose intolerance (4/5/09), it's obvious that our green LA girl is indeed excruciatingly so - at least when it comes to the dynamics of the Middle East conflict, of which there is zero reference in her post. What fascinates, though, in her description of rambamming foreplay, is the flickering awareness that something isn't quite right, an awareness unfortunately snuffed out by some quality wining & dining at day's end:
"After an uneventful 14-hr flight I'm now in Israel! I'm here with 3 other American journalists on a clean tech tour organized by the America-Israel Frienship League, self-described as a 'non-sectarian, non-political, not-for-profit organization strengthening ties between the people of the United States and Israel'. The League organizes a whole bunch of such trips for differenent American groups every year - and is very open about its goals: To show that there's more to Israel than the Middle East conflict. Basically, Israel's trying to change its image - to rebrand. I've already developed mixed feelings about these efforts, which seem necessary because the general perception of life in Israel is skewed, but [they] also make me queasy at times. For example, I could empathize when one tour organizer talked about how people around the world think of pasta when they think of Italy, but guns when they think of Israel - and how she felt this image did not at all reflect what living Israel was actually like. I felt less comfortable when a government employee involved with this rebranding process went so far as to say it's more important for Israel to be perceived well, than to be right - and that perception is what was of great importance, politically or otherwise. This comment I found strangely chilling, if very LA. I also found the candor with which everyone talked about this rebranding effort - Yes, the word rebranding was actually used, and plans to announce a new tagline of sorts ('like New York's Big Apple'') were discussed - very refreshing... These conversations, BTW, happened over dinner at a Chinese restaurant near Tel Aviv... The meal included everything from sushi rolls to what looked like mini empanadas to made-from-concentrate lemonade to a rich chocolate souffle to what I believe was a lamb-and-veggies stirfry. One of my fave things about Israel so far: The kosher restaurants, which are very convenient for a lactose-intolerant person like me."
How many of our own rambammed* even have Siel's flickering awareness that something's not quite right here? [See my 30/3/09 post I've been to Israel too]