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tiripou in b_eretz

Inside joke (please let me in)

Why would women in the IDF wear t-shirts printed with a picture of Ahmadinejad and the words "I love Mahmud?" (I'm not kidding.)

And when did Russian become Israel's national language?
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It sort of became our second national language after hundreds of thousands of immigrants from the former USSR immigrated to Israel. If you study in an Ulpan in Israel, most of the other students there would be speaking Russian.

Anyway, it's not much of an "inside" joke. It's just a joke, I think. Assuming that it isn't Photoshopped. It certainly is funny.
most of the other students there would be speaking Russian

Well, that's good for me. I was afraid I might end up chatting with a bunch of English speakers and not fully take advantage of the course.

In the States, there's some anger about immigrants and/or the fact that they are making Spanish an unofficial second language. Are there a significant number of Israelis who resent either immigrants or the fact that those immigrants still speak their native languages? Or are Israelis universally thrilled to see new immigrants making aliyah.

it's not much of an "inside" joke

I assumed it *had* to be a joke, but I don't get it. (My dad and best friend are just as bewildered, so perhaps it's Israeli humor?) Photoshopped? It just looks like Ahmadinejadto me.

Sorry for being so dense. If it's the kind of joke that can be explained, would you "spell it out" for me? Thanks.
Yeah, I don't get it either. I guess it's that the thought of a bunch of IDF soldiers loving Ahmandinejad is so ridiculous that it's funny.
You may have hit the nail on the head!

Instead of cowering in fear, cute, young Jewish women (in uniform!) are treating him as casually as some trivial and soon-to-be-forgotten boy band.
I don't think it's even as sophisticated as that. The joke is, plain and simple, that Ahmedinejad is currently second only to Hitler in his infamy here in Israel, so soldiers idolizing him would be ridiculous, and therefore funny.

Regarding your immigrant question - there is always that sort of feeling towards immigrants. There was a funny sketch done about this on Israeli TV in the 70s, about how each generation regards the next wave of immigration[*]. It hasn't changed since then. But it's a lot different than hatred towards immigrants in other countries because there is this basic brotherhood among all Jews, and we have enough enemies to blame for all our misfortunes without piling it upon immigrants anyway. The worst thing an Israeli can be heard to say about a group of immigrants is "They are not really Jews, you know...".

I don't subscribe to any form of group hate, but I have to admit that it is felt rather strange when I was studying for my Masters, and during breaks you could hear nothing but Russian in some of the classes I attended. I felt like a stranger in my own land. Oh well, after I finish studying Japanese, I'll start on Russian. :)




* The key to understanding this video is the dialog between the two Arabs in the beginning. What they are saying is:
- Ahmed
- Hmm?
- Look.
- Who are those?
- Those are the Jews... Curse be upon their boat.

(That's the key phrase - "Inaal din babur ili jabam" - in Arabic, "Curse be upon their boat").</a>
That was a funny video. I loved when the Russians joined the crowd and started yelling at the ocean.

Although I know it is one of the 2 official languages, I was surprised to learn the Arabic is offered in most Israeli high schools for three to six years. Did you have the chance to study it in school?

Reading your comments, I've often wondered whether your family spoke English at home. In any case, you seem to have a gift with languages. Good luck with with your studies!
Yes, I studied some Arabic in middle school. The subject was entered into school curriculum shortly after the Peace agreement with Egypt in 1979, if I'm not mistaken. I still remember most of the Arabic letters, a few greetings, a few words and a couple of songs.

Thank you for the compliment. No, my family certainly did not speak English at home. Listening to my accent you would have realized that immediately. :-) I studied English in school just like every other Israeli.