Sunday, October 15, 2006

"What does he look like?" "... Bald, with a bone on his head!"

This strikes me as being a mite over-sensitive:

THE immediate future of Israel's ambassador to Canberra hangs in the balance after he reportedly told a newspaper that Australians and Israelis stood out in Asia because "we don't have yellow skin and slanted eyes".

If Naftali Tamir is found to have made "this grave and unacceptable remark", the Israeli Foreign Ministry said, there would be no return to "business as usual".

The Federal Government refused to comment, but Labor's foreign affairs spokesman, Kevin Rudd, said yesterday: "If accurate, these comments are completely unacceptable. We welcome reports that the Israeli Foreign Ministry is dealing with this incident as a matter of top priority."


"We are in Asia without the characteristics of Asians," he reportedly said. "We don't have the yellow skin and slanted eyes. Asia is basically the yellow race. Australia and Israel are ... basically the white race."

Perhaps it's because I'm a white devil, but I don't really see this as all that big of a deal. Sure, it was a monumentally stupid way to phrase things, and it's ethnologically ignorant (Indians certainly aren't yellow-skinned, and I don't know if Israelis would be considered "white"), but all he seems to be saying is that Israelis and Australians don't look like, say, Chinese or Thai. Not exactly revelatory, I'd say.

At any rate, he was apparently recalled over this.

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