Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors

Dealing with Frustration Badly, Israeli Bar Bans Soldiers in Uniform

The Rogatka, a trendy Tel Aviv bar named for the Russian word describing the slingshots made famous in the first Intifada, refuses to seat soldiers in uniform. Whatever one’s political views are, this strikes me as a case of shooting the messenger because one doesn’t like the message – never a good move.
Calling itself an “anarchist collective” the bar has a policy of not buying produce grown in Jewish settlements and they also ban weapons of any kind on the premises. Good or bad, those decisions do not strike me as the same as refusing service to young men and women in uniform, especially as they may not have the option to be out of uniform when they want to get a bite to eat.
I am just barely old enough to know that Americans vented their anger about the Viet Nam war on returning veterans and lived to regret that behavior.


Is it/will it be any different in Israel? How often do we take out our frustrations, including legitimate ones, in illegitimate ways?
How often do any of us shoot the messenger because it’s simply easier than addressing the real source of what bothers us? I wonder if before the owners of the bar simply made a policy to ban that which they did not want to see, they constructively engaged those who upset them, what would happen….I wonder if we all did that, what would happen.

  • marc

    Talk about taking out frustrations and shooting the messenger:
    Here are 2 items also posted on David Klinghoffer’s blog- well, sort of: they were posted and then removed.
    For, unlike Rabbi Brad, who is open to criticism and welcomes all comers, Mr. Klinghoffer censures his detractors by ‘unpublishing’ them- apparently, as a blog host, he has adopted as his role model Hugo Chavez.
    1. Re: the Klinghoffer blog entry “Can you trust a guy who doesn’t drink? ” – which suggested that you are not a real man/Jew/American unless you like to imbibe (and get your date liquored up):
    What planet are you living on?
    This beloved country has a SERIOUS drinking problem, going back to the rum trade of colonial times. Think of the many DUI-related deaths.
    As such, encouraging drinking is irresponsible!
    Jews grow up accustomed to imbibing in moderation. Unfortunately, for our Christian neighbors- especially in the fundamentalist ‘good ol’ boy’ culture of David’s Bible-thumping landsleit- it is an all-or-nothing proposition: teetotaling or binge-drinking. (The same holds true for their binary outlook in regard to school curricula regarding reproductive health: teach abstinence or no sex education at all.)
    2. Re: the “Synchronicity” blog entry in which Mr. Klinghoffer boasts about his observance of the Tisha B’Av fast:
    Rabbi Brad is as devout in his observance of fast days as you claim to be – and he has been at it for a much longer period of time.
    But you don’t see him ‘bragging’ about in his blog entries- as you do here and elsewhere.
    Why, David ? Are you seeking applause? Do you need continual validation because you are a convert? Aren’t you aware of the rabbinic principle of modesty (tzniyut)?
    Wasn’t it just this type of public religious exhibitionism which was part of Jesus’ critique of the Pharisaic practices of his day?

  • Bonnie

    seems to me if the bar is privately owned, the proprietor may exclude anyone who may disrupt the atmosphere of his establishment. Many American establishments will do the same for similar reasons. Perhaps those soldiers should try patronizing the place in civilian attire and then see if they are served. If they are not, then they have a reason to suspect prejudice because of their military status.

  • Karen Whitaker

    I could understand this if the owners of the bar feared the presence of soldiers in uniform would invite acts of terrorism. I wouldn’t be in favor of it, but I could understand it.

  • Lucy

    It is wrong to exclude soldiers in uniform. These men and women put their lives on the line for Israel and will protect EVERYONE, (even the bar owner) in the event of an attack. They also are the people who defend Israel’s right to exist against an often hostile world. I am no right wing fanatic by any means, but let’s face it, many countries in the surronding Arab world would not even allow Jews to live within their borders. Israel does have Arab citizens and even has Arab/Muslim members in government. Moreover, women and other (besides Arabs…I am not implying that women are a minority) fare much better in Israel than in the rest of the Middle East.
    If it were not for soldiers, these protections would vanish because Israel would be gone. I also doubt that bar would do as well as it does now under most Arab rule. (They should think about this.) Members of the military should be treated with respect, both here in America (where I am) and in Israel. If you disagree with the jobs our soldiers are given, take that up with the politicians.
    To the person who posted about Klinghoffer…quit reading his blog! I read him about twice, found him (to put it politely) not to my liking, and figured if I ignored him, I would be much happier. There are too many unavoidable aggravations in live, why allow something so easily ignored to take up your time?

  • laurence franks

    Thank you for naming the bar. it will be one place where i shall NOT be going.
    I do hope their patronage is reduced by your story.
    Maybe they should open up in the Gaza. They might have a problem though. The Gazans are not as democratically minded as the Israelis.
    Thank you.

  • Ana

    Serving in the Israeli army is not a choise, the Israelis would prefer to spend the years they have to serve having fun, instead of endangering own lives. Serving in the army is an honor; the bar owner is an idiot!

  • steve

    Dear Lucy:
    In response to your comment to Marc:
    Two words (as noted in a prior reader entry): Swift Boat
    If deceitful bluster like Klinghoffer’s goes unanswered, there are far too many unknowing individuals out there who will think that because it goes unchallenged, therefore it must be true.

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