Welcome to Tuesday Night Fights, a weekly celebration and analysis of street-fight videos found on YouTube. Tonight's fisticuffs: "Beach Chair fighting, Israel." Tonight's commentator: freelance writer and author of Heresy on the High Beam, "the funniest book about Judaism and gymnastics," Dvora Meyers. (Coming next week: Lady goes buck wild on the streets of Philadelphia.)
We’ve come to expect violence in the Middle East but somehow the New York Times missed this epic beach chair fight that took place on the coast of the Dead Sea at the Neve Midbar resort. Frankly, I’m shocked that the Paper of Record failed to report on this brawl. After all, Israel is the Brooklyn of the Middle East. Everything that happens there is somehow newsworthy or indicative of a new “trend.” GREY LADY FAIL.
What caused this Jew-on-Jew violence (which is so much less hot than the Jew-on-Jew action that Birthright and every Jewish outreach program encourages among its young, hormone-fueled participants)? It’s hard to say, so allow me to speculate wildly about the possible causes:
Jerry Springer was doing a special episode of his show from the shores of the Dead Sea. (He is Jewish, after all.)
WWE finally made it to Israel. We’ve spun off their shows—from In Treatment to Homeland—so it’s only fair that they take our less serious pop culture products.
Someone put up an umbrella over the beach’s “green line” and called it a settlement. (Where are the UN peacekeepers when you need them?)
A bar mitzvah or wedding chair dance gone horribly awry.
They’re Krav Maga enthusiasts developing a “six pointed star” chair throwing technique.
They were filming a sequel to Adam Sandler’s epic, eh how you say eh, Israeli joke masterpiece, You Don’t Mess With The Zohan. This, perhaps, is most likely due to the skimpiness of a few of the male swimsuits in the shot and the sounds of techno/disco music wafting in the background.
They’re modeling the behavior of the ultra-Orthodox men who throw chairs when women attempt to pray publicly at the Western Wall.
Whoever or whatever caused it, I hope that John Kerry sets up a summit to bring all of the parties to the table and reach a peaceable solution. The Great Beach Chair Fight of 2013 seems much less intractable than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
And while Secretary of State is at the Dead Sea, he should go for a swim in the lowest point on land and take one of those clichéd “Look Ma! I’m floating!” pictures that gets posted all over Facebook. Just to prove to us that he is one o’ the common folk.
This week, we have a bonus review! This one comes from Blue Hen, Federer fan and journalist-turned-teacher Michael J. Lewis:
We all learned in school (well, at least I did) about the immense prowess of the Israeli military.
Don’t screw with Israel in a war, we were told. They will kick your ass.
However, as is clear from this video at a beach on the Dead Sea in Israel, the country’s citizens aren’t quite so skilled at the not-yet Olympic sport of beach chair-throwing, which really ought to be sponsored by Lowe’s or Target.
I mean, come on, look at these dudes: total amateurs. I mean sure, their hostility seems genuine, sparked, no doubt, by a spilled pina colada or one dude telling another dude that “Yo, the Palestinians so do NOT deserve their own state.”
But just check out their wild chair-throwing technique: Not using any fluid motion, just flailing away like a blindfolded dude looking for a piñata at a party.
My two favorite people in this video? First, the dude in the orange bathing suit, who appears at 0:07. He makes a remarkable transformation over the course of a few exciting moments. At 0:07 he looks like he doesn’t want to be involved at all, because he just tosses a chair into the pile.
Orange Dude, bro: If you’re gonna be in it, you gotta be in it to win it. But then five seconds later, he lands maybe the best chair-punch of the fight. Any WWE wrestler of the 1980s or ‘90s like Edge or The Magnificent Muraco would be proud of that one. I mean, he really nailed that other guy.
Then, just for good measure, when you think Orange Dude can’t get any more bad-ass, he lands a sucker punch at 0:33 to a guy already wounded and clutching his face.
Orange Dude, you, sir, are the star of this beach-chair fight. You make all jerks at the beach look classy by comparison.
My other favorite person here is the girl in the pink bathing suit who is perfectly happy watching the carnage for the first 20 seconds, then sees one too many chair shots, and has to walk away in disgust.
Where this woman draws the line as to what she finds offensive fascinates me: What, the first 18 hits were OK, but that 19th one, "oh, that was just awful, I gotta get me outta here." She's clearly above such poor behavior.
This is the first Israeli beach brawl I’ve seen. But now I’m hankering for more.
And now, the rest of the Tuesday Night Fights:
• The White-On-White Violence Enterlude:
• An exploration of what can go wrong when you get someone's order wrong at a Fort Lauderdale Dunkin Donuts. (Start of Violence, 0:29)
• Oldheads observe, offer insight, keep peace during Dallas street scrap. (SoV, instantly)
• WORLD STAR! WORLD STAR! WORLD! STAAAAAAAAR! (SoV, 0:11)
• This seems like a really fair fight. (SoV, instantly)
• A Semi-Regular Look At Relations On Detroit Public Transit:
• USA! USA! USA! (SoV, instantly)
• It funny because the windshield wiper-aided narrator is speaking a foreign language and foreign things are different. Also, because these dudes are just fightin' in the street before getting in their cars and taking off. Yeah. That too. (SoV, 0:20)
• Street violence, resolved by a gentleman in overalls. (SoV, instantly)
• Kid Cudi's Twilight show in Salt Lake City looked fun. (SoV, instantly)
• The Mexican Naval Cadets vs. Polish Football Hooligans Intermission Report:
• Rikers, yo. (SoV, instantly)
• "Hipster" vs. "Boxer." Who ya got? (SoV, 2:59)
• Hoopster Jiu-Jitsu in the Philippines. Woot. (SoV, 0:11)
• Zack and David fight to a draw outside the Walmart. (SoV, instantly)
• The Sewer-Ditch Brawl Intermezzo:
• TNF Beijing Correspondent Anthony Tao shares "Fight Breaks Out On Shanghai Subway Over Seat" (SoV, instantly).
• Russian Road Rage!!! (SoV, instantly)
• Have you ever been in a Turkish-hospital brawl, Joey? (SoV, 0:05)
• 2 a.m. Last Tuesday. London, England. Live Look-In:
• Deuce, bitches. (SoV, 0:23)
• Methinks a high-school football coach has some team-building challenges ahead. (SoV, 0:23)
• Others: "Soccer Brawl Ends in Near Death Beating as Police Watch." "A harry beatdown." "street fight over girl." "Man fights girl over missing chain wild street fight." "Another Burque Beatdown @ Lil Wayne concert." "State House Brawl."
• The Wind-Swept Parking-Lot Dust-Up Coda: