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Dance, Dance Revolution

“If there’s anything Israelis love more than hummus and ethnic cleansing, it’s dancing in a circle.”

A word on Israeli dancing:

Jews are generally self-conscious. We’re conditioned that way, what with G-d constantly peering into our souls, ready to pinch us for merely thinking out of turn. The Zionist pioneers thus felt the need to suppress their neuroses (”nebbishy” isn’t precisely attractive to goyishe women, after all) and sought to prove their normalcy by biting styles off the cool kids in class.

In practical terms, that meant emulating the characteristics of other successful nationalisms. So the Zionists picked out a flag, a language, a territory, an ideology — all the affects of national identity. And as they ran down their list of “what it takes to be a nation,” the pioneers also saw that many nations had a traditional dance.

Zionists at that time were pretty much all Ashkenazi. Mizrachim were too “uncivilized” for their European pretensions, so there wasn’t one in sight who could’ve possible clued them into what a traditional Jewish dance may have actually looked like. Thus they only kind of dancing these Jews knew from was the hora.

The hora, aka the dance of the drunken Jew, is performed as such: Get really high on either a theological breakthrough, the celebration of a “lifecycle event,” or a full bottle of schnapps, and, with your arms around one another, run about in a circle with a dozen other sweaty, smelly men, crying “Oy! Oy yoy yoy!”

Clearly for “enlightened” ghetto expatriates, as our Zionist forebears were, this business wouldn’t do. So they kept the dancing in a circle bit, but cut back on the unintentional homoeroticism, instead integrating choreographed steps and turns, which, in effect, actually made the dance waaay gayer. (Fun fact: When I was at the JCC in Manhattan, Israeli dancing was the most popular program in the GLBT track!)

As this all took place before there was yet a Jewish state, the Zionists had no one to foist this abominable dance upon (can’t have a traditional dance without a public traditionally dancing it) other than the members of Zionist youth groups. Certainly there’s no better way to overcome our embarrassment as a nation than to personally humiliate each of us individually by making us do this ridiculous dance, right? Thus, one by one, the Zionist youth movements of Europe fell victims to perhaps the Zionists’ worst crime against humanity: Israeli dancing.

Think about it… You’re some 16 year-old that just escaped Nazi Europe on a Palmakh runner boat; after losing a battle with British forces, you get deterred to Cyprus and holed up in yet another concentration camp where you spend your days training for paramilitary warfare in secret; and at night, these motherfuckers are like, “Hey everybody! We’ve got a surprise! Grab your neighbor’s hand and step to your right! Now turn!”

I’d say “unexpectedly,” but knowing the Jewish propensity for shlock, I’d be lying if I said it was anything other than “expectedly,” the kids went wild for it, and Israeli dancing has managed to live on for nearly 100 years, much to my chagrin, and yet to the endless joy of Zionist dorks everywhere.

God help us.

To be continued…


  1. little eve wrote:

    i like israeli dancing…in all its contrived and corny nature…

    Posted on 06-May-07 at 9:58 am | Permalink
  2. rozele wrote:

    yes, israeli ‘folk’ dance is pretty awful, like most other aspects of that nationalist/plagiarist project.

    but please learn a bisl fun undzer yerushe before you say just plain uninformed things about ashkenazi culture. and spending a lot of time in zionist spaces is no excuse: just like spending time in lily-white spaces wouldn’t be a good excuse for claiming (for instance) that african literature doesn’t exist.

    ashkenazi dance culture is as hybrid and bizarre and regionally varied as ashkenazi music. for starters, look here:

    and now that you’re returning to undzer heym (oyf, as they say, a yid iz in golus, on golus s’zaynen nito keyn yidn), where neither zionism nor fascism has yet managed to ‘negate’ thousands of years of diasporic cuture (despite their best intentions), perhaps i’ll see you on the dancefloor at the manhattan JCC, where the tantshoys crew do a damn fine job correcting just this kind of ignorance.

    Posted on 22-May-07 at 11:17 pm | Permalink
  3. Mobius wrote:

    rozele: it was satire.

    but i hear you.

    Posted on 25-May-07 at 9:31 am | Permalink
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