So, David Bogner of Treppenwitz posted the below video with the comment "I have no words."
And as unpopular as it will make me, I do have a couple of words. I'll try to keep my comments as short as possible so that those who wish to send me angry, angry messages can start doing so in the immediate future:
1) He says that "no Israelis are civilians" and gives a few reasons for that, one being that they "all" vote for a government which is oppressive. That is obviously false, not all Israelis vote any one way, and it is clear that many do not, in fact support their government's policies re: Palestinians. He does, however, make an interesting point that because all Israelis have done military service, they cannot qualify as civilians. Now, I know that a lot of Israelis do not, in fact do military service, but the argument is interesting nonetheless.
2) Joseph/Yussef traded one right-wing fanatical movement for another. We find this threatening because a) he discarded Judaism, and b) he discarded it for a movement with ties to terrorism. I understand both of those, but if you talked to some of the right-wing Ultra-Orthodox about their deeply held beliefs, I think that some of them would spout things that are just as threatening and horrifying.
2a) Yussef comments that his interviewer should convert to Islam so that he can die a Muslim and thereby be accepted into Heaven. The (Roman Catholic) interviewer seems concerned and a bit turned off by this, except that Roman Catholicism also has a tenet of faith that the unconverted/unbaptised go to Hell. True, it isn't the worst part of Hell, but still, Hell.
3) Did no one listen to his comment about how Arabs/Muslims don't ride Egged buses because they should know better, and that anyone who chooses to take that risk is taking his life into his own hands? It is an interesting insight into the idea of acceptable casualties, and teaches us that in the furthest right reaches of this movement, losses, of not just one, but many are acceptable and allowable to further religious and political goals. For someone who is so religious, this is a very businesslike model of acceptable loss.
All in all, while I find Yussef/Joseph to be bizarro and fanatical, I'm not sure that he would even be getting an interview if he hadn't grown up in Brooklyn. And, for the record, he mentions that he "was never very close" with his parents. Could that be a potential reason why he was so ready for conversion? So might the lesson be that we should develop close familial and community relationships with our offspring to keep them from fanaticism? Or, then again, maybe not.