A Facebook post livid at the fact that the Palestine Gazelle at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo is being listed as such has been making some waves on Israeli social media today. The status was posted by Israeli right-wing protofascist Yoav Eliassi, who goes by “The Shadow” (and was involved in violence against leftists protesting the Gaza war last summer in Tel Aviv).
The Shadow posted a photo of the sign at the zoo on his Facebook page and next to it the caption: “At the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo!!!!!!” (By the way it says “Israeli Gazelle” in Hebrew and just “Palestinian” in Arabic).
The kicker? “Palestine Gazelle” is the animal’s scientifically accurate name.
The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo explained as much in a response on his Facebook page:
“That is the gazelle’s official scientific name, as accepted by the international community.” When we list the name of an animal we are obligated to list its name as it appears in the scientific literature. These are the accepted norms throughout the world, irrespective of politics. Let’s invest our positive energies in preserving Israel’s nature. That is where we can really have an impact!”
I don’t know what is sadder (or dumber): The fact that any human being would see a problem with this, or that the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo felt the need to respond to this idiocy.
This is truly a low point in Israeli society. An Israeli nationalist so filled with animosity that he is picking a bone with science, with history, spreading not only hate but stupidity. And a national zoo so concerned with the idea that Israelis may begin boycotting it for using the word “Palestine” that it feels the need to respond. (The Facebook page has a bunch of comments calling The Shadow out for being a moron, but also many agreeing with him).
In some ways, this Facebook status perfectly captures the atmosphere in Israel of 2015. Next thing you know The Shadow will organize a protest at the Jerusalem Post offices for once being called the Palestine Post. Or maybe the next government will propose a bill to ban utterance of the word “Palestine.”