As seen in issue 54 of Closer Magazine, published on 2008-10-19 in the "Fashion" section.

Israel’s leading porn site preaches peace through sex
By: Brandon K. Thorp

It’s true: lots of people call ParPar1. It is the biggest porn site in all of Israel, and arguably the most politically relevant porn website in the world. The concept is simple, crazy, and once you’ve thought about it, totally obvious: the porn of Parpar1 features Jews and Arabs fucking each other in the “Holy Land.”

The site’s cofounders, Avi Levy and Shay Malol, insist that their pornography’s political overtones are purely incidental to its earning potential. (“We wanted to make money,” says Malol. “It was a good idea.”) But what the hell — you can’t argue with good politics, even if they are incidental, and ParPar’s politics are very, very good.

Visit the site and you’ve got options: “English or Hebrew?” Click “English” and you are confronted with the slogan “Arabs and Jews Making Peace By Sex!” Then, in smaller letters: “Maybe our politicians should try it.” To the right of this bit of wisdom you’ll find a movie of a woman’s shorn, smooth nether-regions taking a languid piss against a white background. The camera pulls back to reveal a pretty, wholesome Jewish girl standing astride a toilet, wearing a white tee shirt and smiling. She says something to the camera in Hebrew.

Then the screen announces: “We are filming in a professional way to deliver high quality amateur movies!”, after which you’re treated to a very fast, very sexy montage of Arabs and Jews in various modes of ethnic un/dress (the Jews, being a modern people, don’t come off as very exotic; the Arabs tend to wear hoods or veils up top and nothing down below), doing each other with uncommon gusto.

Is this gusto the product of ordinary sexual fervor? Is it exhibitionistic? Political? It seems to be a little of all of these things

Shay Malol sounds a little like Harvey Fierstein doing Tevye; like everybody’s
favorite Jewish great uncle. Despite his profession, he is maybe the least sleazy-sounding person I have ever interviewed, and despite the specifics of its content, the pornography on his website is definitely the least sleazy porn I’ve ever watched. Some of it, however, is very weird. In one film, a young Arab woman places a mysterious substance in a mortar and begins grinding it with a pestle. She chants while she does this, and waves her free hand in the air. Then there’s a cut and her cooter is visible, and she’s using the pestle as a dildo (manipulating it, I must add, with rather more enthusiasm than when
it was still in the mortar). Then there’s another cut, and she has thrown her hands back behind her head; her eyes are blissed out and the pestle is resting snugly in her vagina. Then there’s a caption: “In order to the voodoo to Work – ibraim must eat the mixture she made with her period blood.” (English is not Parpar’s specialty any more than voodoo is the Arabs’)

Malol doesn’t think his porn is very weird — asked, he’d just tell you that everybody’s tastes are different, and that it’s almost impossible to think of a fetish that doesn’t appeal to somebody. And anyway, despite the presence of weird Islamic voodoo, most of the action on Parpar1 is pretty vanilla: masturbation, mutual masturbation, vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, cunnilingus, analingus, blowjobs. Voodoo is strictly tangential.

But Malol does agree that his porn is unsleazy, and his explanation is thoroughly commonsense: All of his actors and actresses are non-drug addicted, physically healthy
individuals who are doing porn because they want to, not because they have to.
“We make our people happy,” says Malol. “They enjoy themselves. They come!”

Most of Parpar1’s press notices have stressed the website’s political novelty, but Malol never talks about that. The most philosophically sophisticated thing he said in our entire conversation was: “Women are the king of sex!” Most of Malol’s thoughts run along these lines. In interviews, he is almost exclusively interested in explicating the practical side of the porn industry. “For every hundred men that call, only one woman call,” he explains. “But we can use every single woman. The men, not so much. They, you know, cannot, when the camera is on.” They cannot rise to the occasion?

“Yes. Just this.”

The only time Malol leaves behind the shop talk is when I ask him if there’s ever been any violence against him or Avi Levy. “Ah, no,” he says. “We are famous, but nobody knows who I am.” This seems disingenuous, given all the times he’s been quoted in stories about his totally sacrilegious porn, but whatev — maybe Shay’s not his real name) “I am not ashamed of what I do. I am just afraid of religious and other crazy people. It is a very religious country.”

Still, Shay promulgates his cheekily secular entertainment in the most potentially explosive ways. One of his advertisements contains this slogan: “It was worth waiting 2000 years of exile!” It is not hard to imagine an especially fanatical ultra-orthodox Haredi Jew wanting to slit Malol’s throat for voicing such a sentiment about the despoiling of Israel’s daughters, and it’s even easier to imagine a devout Muslim doing likewise.

Which is probably why Parpar’s politics are so unintentionally good, and why its porn is so famous, and why the actors look like they’re having such a wild time. Parpar1 is what freedom looks like, and no argument about Israel’s foreign policy can ever change the fact that such a website could not exist in Palestine or Iran. “Worth 2000 years of exile?” Absolutely. In that part of the world, freedom from religion’s been
a long time coming.

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