More Peres Peace Team blarney* from Martin Flanagan of The Age:
"It started as an initiative to counter 'violent extremism' in the community. It has involved the Federal Police, the Victorian Police Force, Hobson's Bay Council, Essendon Football Club and the Western Bulldogs. Along the way, it was deeply touched by the AFL Peace Team - the half-Palestinian, half-Israeli football team - that visited Australia last year. It climaxed in March this year when the Muju Peace Team, made up in equal numbers by Muslim and Jewish youths aged between 16 and 18, won the AFL Unity Cup, which is run by the AFL as part of its multicultural program. Last Friday, there was a celebration of the event at the Whitten Oval, although being Friday night most of the Jewish players were at home with their families, Shabbat having begun. In the event, one Jewish player, Joel Kuperholz, attended. Joel was the Bialik College* student who drove the idea of a joint Jewish-Muslim footy team from the Jewish side."
Bialik College? Did he say Bialik College?
Cut to What a balagan [fiasco] (1/11/11) over at jewonthis.wordpress.com:
"A friend recently pointed me to a video that was made by the informal Israeli education staff, and shown to students, at my old school, Bialik College, for 'Israel Week'. It's really quite something. To see the school-grounds almost literally turned into a battlefield like that, to see the students named as soldiers, is overwhelming. But also not surprising - Bialik, like the other Zionist Jewish day schools, is good at producing propaganda, is good at inculcating particular values in its students. This video is simultaneously shocking, but also completely predictable. So the next time people in Melbourne complain that others are teaching their children to be militants, perhaps it would be beneficial to remember this video..."
Here's a description (plus transcript) of the video:
The video kicks of with a dedication: 'This Day [Tsahal/IDF] is dedicated to Gilad Shalit.' This is followed by clips of Israeli military manoeuvres - screaming jets, tanks, troops - to an upbeat soundtrack.
Cut to a mock combat course. A young man and woman in khaki charge up a hill toward the camera.
She: Good mooorning, soldiers.
He: Good morning soldiers. Welcome to the IDF. Today's gonna be a day unlike any other. We come here together to serve our country.
She: Like you all know, each one of us is part of the unit: the Tsahal unit, the Herzl unit, and the Weizmann unit.
He: People say very good things about each one of these units. It's up to you to prove them.
She: Your unit is your family. Love it. Be proud of it. Wear your colours with pride.
He: Sit up straight, obey the rules, and tidy up your appearance.
She: Junior school, you need some training. Be at Mifgash [gathering] at lunch time for some work.
He: Year 6 and Year 8, this is your special day, soldiers.
She: Middle and Senior be at Mifgash at recess for (?)
Both: And don't be late!
She: Release! Today, Tsahal Day, the question for the beat box is: 'What are the colours of the Tsahal berets and what unit does each colour belong to? Make sure that you put all the answers in the beat box. Write your name and your class.'
Cut to concluding caption: 'Israel Week at Bialik.'
Now I'm all confused. Is Joel Kuperholz the peacenik Martin Flanagan makes him out to be? Or is he a model Bialik College IDF 'soldier', serving his country? (Which is?) Will the real Joel Kuperholz please reveal himself?
[*Check out my Flanagan file by clicking on the appropriate label below; **Bialik College is described on the school's website as a "cross-communal Jewish Zionist school... We are a Zionist school that inculcates a love of Israel. We recognise the centrality of Israel and Hebrew to the Jewish people. We support Israel and are committed to its well-being."]