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WATCH: Israelis mock gov't ads to bring nationals back home

Much attention in the last few days has been devoted to the public relations campaign led by the Israeli Ministry of Immigration … that backfired. (Read about it here.) The plug was pulled on a series of controversial commercials that were viewed by many diaspora Jews (and in particular North American Jews) as offensive.

+972 contributors weighed in on the debate. Among them was Mairav Zonszein, who noted that a connection to Israel is not something that one can switch on or off:

The ones who feel rooted here (in Israel) cannot afford to refuse to call Israel home until it embodies their ideals – rather they are already here (whether physically or emotionally) embodying those ideals every day in whatever way they see fit. They will not wait around for Israel to get better and cannot disassociate from it until it does. It is their reality, and that in and of itself makes Israel a very different place than the Israel that many are disillusioned with.

Seriousness aside, amid all of the absurdity, it is good to know that the Israeli public is not losing its sense of humor. At least two of the ads have been spoofed.

In one such piece, at an electronics shop, an Israeli tries to haggle over a price. At the end, the narrator says, “They will always stay Israelis. Help them return home.”

In another, a “boy” who wakes up his “father” by finally saying “Abba” (dad) in Hebrew ultimately engages in a back-and-forth argument. Recognizing the ‘chutzpah’ of the child talking back, the narrator says, “They will always stay Israelis. Their children will also.”

This is in direct comparison to another ad also produced by the Ministry of Immigration which drew less controversy.

It is good to know that as the Israeli government takes steps that shock many, inside the country and out, there are those who point out the ridiculous in a refreshing way.

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    1. Dannecker

      If 6 million Israelis left to other countries, the Mideast problem would be solved

      Reply to Comment
    2. Henry Weinstein

      Congratulations! You’re making a decisive contribution to Israeli public relations science.
      Look, it’s the best argument Hasbarah trolling think tanks could ever dream of for the next ad campaigns.
      “World opinion, Western activists:
      (soundtrack: John Lennon’s Imagine instrumental cover by a Klezmer Japanese band)
      Imagine if 6 millions Israelis left to other countries…
      Imagine if tomorrow 3 millions Israelis left to YOUR country?
      (soundtrack: sirens)
      Feeiling sudddenly over anxious, Mmm?
      Shaky hands, sweating, feeling breathless Mmm?
      (soundtrack: Israeli national anthem cover by Laibach)
      Don’t panic: become you too an unconditional supporter of Israel!
      Save the world: help Israelis to stay at home.”
      Oy Oy Oy!

      Reply to Comment
    3. Ben Israel

      If 3 millions Palestinians and Israel left the West Bank and Israel, the Arab-Israeli conflict would be solved.

      Reply to Comment
    4. mya guarnieri

      i thought the funniest part of the 2nd video came at the end when the voice over said “help them run from israel.” and instead of the ministry of absorption there was a fake ministry of bricha (escape). ha ha.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Henry Weinstein

      Ben Israel,
      Interesting Freudian slip, Benny: “If 3 millions Palestinians and Israel”.
      Wonder what’s left of Israel “If 3 millions Palestinians and Israel left the West Bank and Israel”…
      Is it a subliminal message, Benny?
      It could have been fun: “and Ben Israel”!

      Reply to Comment
    6. Mitchell Cohen

      “If 6 million Israelis left to other countries, the Mideast problem would be solved” [End of Dannecker] Until 64 years ago, you and your ilk where saying if only all the Jews would go home to Israel, all our problems would be solved. All I have to say to you and your like is to go take a long walk off a short cliff!!!!

      Reply to Comment
    7. Mindl Zisl

      And if Israelis and Palestinians all moved to Montana, their children would grow up with lots of snow.

      That said, these spoofs are great. The original videos were both annoying and pointless – if I were living in America and saw these ads, they sure wouldn’t make me want to go back. I don’t even want to think about how much they spent on making this campaign!

      Reply to Comment