Sunday, July 12, 2009

What's all the fuss? Life is good.

This video is an ad for Cellcom, Israel's largest cell phone company.

Frankly, it leaves me speechless.

Well, not quite, as I am about to show. But it did evoke a "What where they thinking?" moment.

For those of you who don't speak Hebrew, here is a very rough translation:

(Object hits jeep. Shouting:) - "Watch out! Watch Out! Watch Out!"

(Voice 1:) "Oh its just a ... Return the ball to them."

(Voice 2:)"Common guys, lets go"

(Ball hits jeep again. Soldier 1 says:) - "Ya-allah! Guys!! Party!!!"

(Music starts. Soldier 2 dials on cell phone.) "Unit 3. Spread the word. There's a game."

(Song starts lyrics end with chorus) - "Oh its wonderful funderful (yoffi toffi) together"

(Voice Over) - "What do we all want after all: That there be a bit of fun (keif). New! Cellcomedia, an entire world of games, music, video, and internet. Enter: it will be wild! Cellcom.

So what where they thinking? That young people are the target market? Sure? That most Israeli youngsters are, or have been, in the army? Sure? That soccer, fun and pretty girls sell products? Sure?

But the really insidious thing is how normal the security wall has become. And how the assumption is that the Palestinians on the other side are having a fun soccer game too - and presumably dialing their friends on their cell phones. The wall has made life better for everyone! We are all happy now.

This is worse than "out of site out of mind." It indicates a complete blindness to the reality of the harsh life on the other side of the wall - partly caused by the wall itself.

No wonder Israelis have so little understanding of why Palestinians might violently attack them; of why Palestinian militants might be more than just hateful bloodthirsty anti-Semitic caricatures. Why, after all would anyone reasonably want to attack fun loving Israelis who not only return the ball, but play soccer with happy Palestinian kids. And the wall? Rather than separate, it has brought us all together for a wild fun party.

Twenty years ago, Ehud Barak could say, that if he had been born a Palestinian he would have probably joined a militant organization and attacked Israel. Israelis growing up today will have no such understanding, nor even Barak's minimal level of sympathy.

But what the heck. Israel does make a better cell phone!!

* * *

After writing the above, I came across a discussion of the same ad on the blog, "Promised Land". Its worth a read to see how a thoughtful Israeli "peacenik" sees the significance of this ad.


Anonymous Shmuel said...

Makers of a protest video claim Cellcom stole their idea and twisted its message:

4:52 am  
Blogger heshi said...

Hi Syd.

I have enjoyed looking at your blog. You were always a good writer, and I am always glad to see that there are still some dreamers out there.
One of my favorites in Israel is the writer/singer/rapper Mook E. Here is a link to one of his songs titled Ha-adamah bocha. It has english subtitles.

10:22 am  

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