How Mentioning the word “Occupation” Sent Secret Tel Aviv into Mayhem and Panic

So, earlier this evening, as I was twiddling around Facebook, I had the idea of posting in Secret Tel Aviv, a Facebook group of 41,000+, mostly anglo-Jewish folks living in the Tel Aviv area. Most of the posts are about furniture, but I don’t know much about furniture, so I decided to post about something I do know a bit more about: The Occupation. Or, more specifically, I decided to invite folks to come join the All That’s Left anti-occupation collective, which is also made up primarily of anglo-Jewish folks living in the Tel Aviv area.

Within seconds, my post received this reply:

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In response to this, Jacob, another All That’s Left member, chimed in:

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To which Tzvi responded:

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Which was cool. I mean, I wasn’t a huge fan of what he had to say, but he is certainly entitled to respond to a post that he found treasonous and responsible for every disaster ever to happen in this country. And then:

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It has been my experience that usually, when folks say “no politics,” they really mean “no politics that are different from mine.” And that such a claim usually comes from the Right, alongside the claim of “if only you were more polite…” But can I prove that that is what Aaron was saying, rather than just trying to preserve a neutral, apolitical atmosphere? In case his use of the word “filth” was not enough, he was, in this case, caught red-handed expressing his beliefs, or, more accurately: red-thumbed:

So I called his attention to the potential contradiction at hand/at thumb:

Screen shot 2014-06-27 at 1.52.00 AMTo which he replied:

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It turned out he was right, but in the half hour or so it took for my post to be removed, the comments got more and more colorful and hysterical. I will include many of them here, for those who would like to read, but there is also a listening option: I wrote a little song with lyrics taken directly from said comments:

And before including the rest of the screenshots, I’ll lose the snark for a moment and say that I was actually really surprised. I certainly can be provocative and write things that are angering and frustrating, and when I do that, I respect and expect harsh responses, but here, my original posting wasn’t a particularly controversial one, and was, in fact, pretty innocuous. Except for the fact that I used the word “occupation.” (These screenshots are from my cellphone).

Screen shot 2014-06-27 at 1.58.44 AMWhich prompted folks to call for me/us to leave the country:

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But perhaps more interesting than the occupation-denial or name-calling was the desperation to have my post removed (rather than, say, just ignoring it, as most people do with most of the furniture postings).

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Screen shot 2014-06-27 at 2.12.12 AMAnd, of course, the kicker:

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And then the real kicker:

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The page is dedicated to being a space “for all Tel Avivis to share their experiences and questions.” I invited Tel Avivis to do exactly that with All That’s Left. But that is too political for a group whose tags are:

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Update: I am now officially banned from Secret Tel Aviv. Speak truth to power and power freaks out.