Arab leaders frequently accuse Jewish settlers of stealing their land. Now, they complain, the settlers also have stolen the color orange.
An Israeli judge recently dismissed a suit filed in June by the Israel Arab political party Balad, accusing right-wing Israeli organizations of stealing a symbol — the color orange — that it says has long been associated with the party, also known as the National Democratic Assembly. Haifa District Justice Yitzchak Amit ruled that “a color by itself is neutral, and cannot become the subject of a patent, a trademark or copyrighted.”
A spokesman for the party, Tareq Berkdar, told the Forward that Balad felt compelled to act because the parties’ values are completely at odds.
“The reason we did it was because the orange color of Balad has been recognized since 1999,” Berkdar said. “We know that we cannot have custody over color,” Berkdar said, “but in this case we’re speaking about ideology and political parties.”
According to a report from the pro-settlement Arutz Sheva news service, Amit said there was little reason for concern about confusing the public, since the parties are targeting audiences that are in no way associated with each other.
“The whole country is full of orange flags, and the color orange has long been associated with the disengagement-opposing public,” Amit ruled. “Anyone walking down the street over the past few months encounters the color orange in this connection.”
Balad was ordered to pay about $550 in court fees to two settler organizations, including the Yesha Council.
David Bedein, a West Bank settler journalist who runs a pro-settler news agency, said this case was “the only happy, funny, cute story to come out in the last few months, when there is so much anger and hurt here.”
According to Bedein, the suit was an attempt on the part of Balad to get press coverage. He said the effort was successful.
Bedein said that orange has been the color of the Gush Katif settlement’s flag for more than three decades, and that Balad mistakenly thought it a recent innovation because of the anti-disengagement campaign. Bedein pointed out that the Ofra settlement’s flag is green, like Hamas’s. “So,” he quipped, “will Hamas sue Ofra?”
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What does a former president do for fun over dinner in Mozambique? If you’re Bill Clinton, you show off your imitations of Natan Sharansky, the former Soviet dissident and Israeli politician, according to New York magazine.
“I come from the biggest country in the world to one of the smallest in the world, and you want me to cut in half?” Clinton reportedly said in his best stab at Sharansky’s thick Russian accent. “I don’t sink so.”
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The BBC, long the target of pro-Israel criticism, recently found itself being accused of anti-Muslim bias. According to the Guardian, the Muslim Council of Britain reportedly sent a letter stating that it appears the network is “more interested in furthering a pro-Israeli agenda than assessing the work of Muslim organizations in the U.K.”
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Wonderland, an amusement park near Toronto, drew praise from B’nai Brith Canada for recently pulling merchandise with neo-Nazi symbols from its shelves, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported. “We applaud the strong corporate responsibility and good citizenship that the park has shown,” said Frank Dimant, executive vice president of B’nai Brith Canada.
Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League is upset over a Dutch Web site’s decision to post a video billed as “Housewitz,” which presents the Auschwitz concentration camp as the venue for a house music party. “Against a background of pulsating house music, some of the most shocking and painful images of the Holocaust are denigrated and belittled,” the ADL complained in a letter to the Dutch justice minister. “The announcer tells viewers, over a picture of emaciated prisoners standing behind barbed wire, that the dress code for the party is ‘skinny Jew.’ Other images are used for crude sexual jokes.”