A visit to 'Israel's Burning Man'

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"For the Bedouin Arab shepherds tending their flocks in Israel's Negev desert last week, it was almost as if aliens had landed from outer space." The AP reports from Midburn, Israel's first Burning Man festival, modeled after annual bacchanal in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. Midburn is a portmanteau of "midbar," Hebrew for desert, and the English word "burn." The AP reports that "3,000 people set up a colorful encampment in the dusty moonscape, swinging from hoops by day and burning giant wooden sculptures by night." Gonna guess those bewildered Bedouins were traumatized most of all by shirtcocking.

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  1. At the climax of the event, "Settlers" evicted native Palestinians from the area, destroyed houses, schools and water supplies, and then burned a gigantic effigy of Yasser Arafat.

  2. Would it be OK to make a joke about the burn miraculously lasting for eight days?

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