November 22, 2019

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EoZTV: Hasby Awards part 7: Best Satire (plus The Speech That Wasn’t Given)

In this part, Not Anti-Semitic presents the award for Best Satire to our own PreOccupied Territory.

PreOccupied Territory’s David did not get a chance to say everything he wanted to, so he sent me the speech he wanted to give:

Thank you. Wow. Thank you, Elder. 

(Pause, turn)

If that is your real name. 

(Look around).

Nice echo chamber you’ve got here. Is that Ben Rhodes there in the back?

No, PreOccupied Territory is not my real name. My name is David.

There is a whole list of people to thank for making this award possible, but we’ll get to them by and by. We run the risk of running overtime on the acceptance speech and having the network pan the cameras away and turn the microphones off, but that’s acceptable collateral damage. First I want to share with you a few of my favorite moments from the last couple of years doing this.

The first one is about two years ago, when a prominent Swedish politician tweeted an article of mine thinking it was serious, and then deleted the tweet. I have to give a shoutout to an Israellycool contributor named Judge Dan for that one, since he suggested the premise of the article: that Israel had issued a travel advisory for Sweden and other countries that had seen some terrorism. Former Prime Minister, and until a few months prior, Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt took it at face value, calling the advisory “a bit of an overreaction.” But not as much of an overreaction as hastily deleting an embarrassing tweet that was screen-captured by a bunch of people and soon turned into a Times of Israel news story. That was fun.

Then there’s the similar phenomenon of Palestinians and their supporters not getting the irony. I watch the number of Likes the page attracts on Facebook after a particularly successful post, such as the one about UNESCO declaring the World Trade Center an Islamic Heritage Site because thirteen Muslims were martyred on the planes that crashed there on 9/11. I could almost hear the cries of, “Yeah!” “That’s right!” “Finally they get it!” as the number of shares spiked and I got a few more followers. They never last, but it’s fun to watch how long it takes for the penny to drop, those folks to realize they’re being mocked, and the count to go down again.

The last couple of moments happened right here. One was when I introduced myself to someone as the clown behind PreOccupied Territory, and he soon told me his favorite article – which also happens to be a favorite of mine: Two-State Solution Coffin Now Made Entirely Of Nails. I wrote that more than two years ago, and it was so gratifying to have someone else remember it.

The other was not a single moment, but the collective reactions from so many of you here, offering praise, acknowledgement, and various forms of encouragement. It can be a slog. I enjoy the creative process most of the time, and I push myself to come up with ten or eleven separate stories every week. But while I remember every single one of my successes, the duds far outnumber the hits – and it’s especially frustrating to have something I pour my heart and soul into be relegated to obscurity. Two retweets. A couple of Facebook Likes. Then oblivion. So to come here and have my work be acknowledged, and appreciated by people who do seem to make a difference does wonders for my morale.

Of course I do what I consider my best work when awful thing are happening, so is that a good development?

But on to the thank-yous. There’s a short list of people who deserve mention here, and it’s not only them, but they also serve as stand-ins for all the people associated with them, who are also part of the story. I’ll cite three of them by name and thus conclude.

Max Blumenthal, Ali Abunimah, and Richard Silverstein, thank you. Without you, what I do would not be nearly as necessary, possible, or as much fun.

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