Separation wall - not a laughing matter

Light-hearted it may seem, but the latest ad from Israeli telecommunications company Cellcom is plain offensive for many in the region. The scene shows IDF soldiers playing football with (unseen) Palestinians, across the separation wall. A concept which, according to its critics, ridicules the Palestinians' situation.

The advert causing the trouble

- What's going on?

- Give them their ball back.

- Come on, let's go guys.

The ball is returned

- Alright, let's have some fun!

- Three soldiers at the ready... hold your positions....

- So cool!

Voiceover: "At the end of the day, what are we all after? Just a little fun! Cellcom Media, a world of fun: music, video, internet. Let's everyone have some fun. It's so cool! It's Cellcom!

The ad was commissioned by Cellcom and created by Israeli subsidiary company of McCann Erickson.

On Sunday a number of Israeli Arab ministers called for the ad to be removed immediately. A group appeared on Facebook called "I'm disgusted by Cellcom's new ad" (in Hebrew), because they consider it racist.

“It is all the more outrageous because it takes place in a fun set-up”

Tzika Besor is a blogger and IT consultant from Yavné, central Israel.

No commercial has ever entered into politics so boldly as this one. They used the wall as a non-political icon, a trivial thing, as if there's no problem with it. The wall is not about fun. It's a sad fact of life and many Israelis see it as an evil necessity.

The fact that the Palestinians are invisible in the ad makes it seem like we can only have fun if Palestinians remain unseen, if they accept the occupation, abandon the idea of self determination and accept the constraints imposed on their movements. In some way, the advertising agency has tried to convey a positive message about Israelis and Palestinians playing together. But the price to pay for that is that Palestinians cannot be seen, and that their desires and struggles remain ignored. It is all the more outrageous because it takes place in a fun set-up.

On top of that the ad also has a sexist aspect as female soldiers only play cheerleaders. I think the ad depicts the bluntest portrayal of Israelis - that they're sporty male soldiers, having fun, living in a self-centred world, unable to see past it to the people beyond."

The reality of the matter...

Posted on Facebook by Yoav.

“The ad is loyal to the argument for constructing the wall”

Ghassan Abdullah is an IT programmer from Ramallah, West Bank.

Not many people have seen this ad in the Palestinian Territories as it's in Hebrew and broadcast in Israel. We don't have access to the same channels. The wall we see in the ad is not the only wall for us, there's also another; an information wall.

The ad is loyal to the argument for constructing the wall, which was called up by Ehud Barak during the annual Herzliya Conference in 2000. His speech went something like ‘We don't want to see them and we don't want them to see us'. The separation is a reality that we live with everyday. Israeli people are banned by the government from coming into the West Bank. They face a fine of between 3,000 and 5,000 shekels [between 540 and 900 euros] for doing so. The Israeli authorities simply don't allow their citizens to meet Palestinian people. If they knew more about us, they would realise that we're not the monsters they make us out to be.     

What's also important to note, is the comments that Israelis have been making about this ad. Even if they are criticising it, they do consider that the wall was built to protect them, whereas this wall was really built so that Israelis could steal Palestinian land."

Comments

The anti suicide bomber wall

Before the decision to build the wall was made, 100 Israeli civilians had been murdered within 30 days. 27 holocaust survivors were torn to pieces in a hotel by a man who did not recognize Israels right to exist.

If the Pal militants did not mass murder indiscriminately and accepted that Israelis are not animals which you can murder at will, the wall would not be.

The murdered never come back!!.The wall can be taken down within months. This will happen one day I am sure, but only when Pals engage Israel in a constructive manner. Hamas to this very day, does not recognize Israels right to exist. If you behave like and animal you may expect to be "caged". When the martyrdom culture of death is replaced by sanity, the wall will be taken down. Easy.

Suicide bombings have stopped, the wall remains

Hamas halted the suicide bombing campaign. So putting the drop in attacks purely on the wall is very misleading.

Whatever about the wall, the phone company was extraordinarily naive to create this ad. It could be considered cute. But as others have pointed out, the reality of the wall goes far beyond a security measure.

There was were TWO suicide

There was were TWO suicide attacks last year.

the wall

Which palistinians are you lot refering to ,the hamas controll or the west bank.anyway what do you morons in the west know,only your ignorant assumsptions.get educated and come back when educated.

The Wall Advert

Right behind this ugly gray upright concrete, lay not only stories of a lost football but a story of a deeper wound of lost a lost land. The wall does not only represent an illigal construction given its route by which it is engulfing land that belong to Palestinians under the recognition of all international resolutions and agreements, but also represents the political immaturity of the Israeli government, convincing their people to accept the fact that other people are being trapped behind that wall for the sake of the Israeli citizen security, while in the first place it is nothing other than a devicive tool to blind them from true image of what is going on on the other side of the boarder. Hense, the Palestinians are in a big cage, true! But, if Israelis think they get their security and freedom of life by this wall, then it is absolutely idiotic, as there people will never ever be live freed from their historical paranoia of being threatened wherever they go! for an Israeli citizen, it is all becoming psychological than reality, and I petty you for what your governments are convincing you and putting you through! And as long as the Israeli citizen is put into this, he/she will never believe that there is a peace partner on the otherside of the wall. Speaking, about Hamas and extremism..don't get me started on the Palestinian casualties happening on daily basis in Hebron city by extremist jewish settlers! Who ever does not know wake up and open your us, and ears and all your senses!

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