Friday, July 24, 2009

Bilin guys do it again

The following ad for a Israeli cell-phone operator created a lot of buzz. It shows Israeli soldiers playing ball with (invisible) Palestinians on the other side of the Wall. As many protested, basically it portrays the Wall as a border between (peace-loving but vigilant) Israelis and out-of-sight Palestinians, while in fact the Wall is well within the West Bank, dividing Palestinians from their families, jobs, fields etc - effectively, an instrument of land grab. The ad really plays to Israeli self-image of "we're the reasonable good guys just want to live in Peace" but also the Israeli wish not to see Arab faces for even one second.

Anyway, rather than pontificating about this ad or protesting against it, the guys from Bilin, the village in the West Bank fighting the theft of their lands through the Wall, did something much more clever: they played it out, and showed the occupation at work. - Notice the guy in the wheelchair trying to escape the teargas; he's from Bil'in, participates in all the demos, despite being shot at, arrested etc over the past few years.