TV Ad Leads Palestinian Activists to New Tactics

A squad of Israeli soldiers are driving along a walled section of the barrier built by Israel to separate the West Bank from Israel.

Suddenly, therapy something hits the hood of the soldiers’ Jeep. Leaping from the vehicle ready for battle, the soldiers quickly realize it was a loose soccer ball kicked, presumably, by Palestinians playing soccer on the other side of the barrier.

So begins a seemingly innocent soccer game in a TV advertisement for Cellcom, Israel’s leading cellphone provider.

Simple parodies, most produced by Israelis, began appearing immediately. One depicted Israel responding to the soccer ball with a missile strike. The soldiers, seen in the original Cellcom advertisement cheering on the soccer game taking place across the wall, are seen in the parody cheering and dancing as missiles are dropped on Palestinian territories.

“What do we all really want?” asks the original Cellcom voiceover as the missiles strike home. “To have a little fun.”

Another parody depicts soldiers repeatedly kicking a soccer ball onto a bound, blindfolded Palestinian on the other side of the barrier.

Activists in the West Bank village of Bi’lin, a hot spot of activism against the Israeli barrier, took the parody to a new level, trying to incorporate efforts to kick around a soccer ball into their weekly demonstration against the barrier.

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