Dozens of Israelis have shared videos of themselves attempting to show empathy for Palestinian dead as part of the latest craze on social media, only to need medical service themselves.
When Alex from Ramat Gan posted his video challenging Israelis to say “It’s horrible to see Gazan children die” – but without saying the word “but” afterwards – he never thought the attempt to gap bridges would cause so much pain and injury.
“I saw the ALS challenge being so successful, I thought I could do something similar in this field. I just wanted to put something out there to show that we Israelis actually do give a damn, so I started the SE – Showing Empathy – challenge,” Alex told +972, “but I didn’t know it was going to be so hard for people.”
As of yesterday, over 200 Israelis have been rushed to hospital with various tongue injuries after attempting the challenge.
Rivka, from Petah Tikva, told +972: “I twied not to fay fa word ‘but’ like Alex did in his wideo, but fen my tongue got all tangled up and I had to caw fa pawamedics.”
Some injuries weren’t all tongue related. David from Tel Aviv said that “I really tried not to say it, but when I got to the word ‘die’ I felt this uncontrollable urge to say something more. I put my hands over my mouth, but it wasn’t working, I could feel the ‘but’ coming out, so I tried to turn off the camera before it happened and tripped over my sofa.” David has three fractured ribs and a sprained ankle and is still recovering in hospital.
Another patient in the bed next to David was recovering from reconstruction surgery to her tongue after biting so hard on it in an attempt to avoid saying “but,” she cut the vital organ in two.
Today Alex is asking people not to attempt taking the challenge. “So far I’m the only one who’s succeeded. I just don’t want people to hurt themselves anymore. Enough is enough. Children are dying, but it’s just not worth it. Oh shit. Did I just say that? Can you take that out?”