Getting Ben-Gurion high, and other TV ads

January 27, 2009 - 12:32 PM by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Israeliness, Politics, Pop Culture 

election-ads1It’s here – the only redeeming aspect of the Knesset election campaign – the television ads!

Tonight beings the perennial ritual of the screening of the TV ads developed by the political parties running for the Knesset. Instead of airing them whenever they buy the air time, the three main Israeli channels – 1, 10 and 22, group the ads together in preset blocks of time. So tonight for instance, Channel 10 has been given the hour slot begining at 6 pm for those that just can’t wait, Channel 1 will air the aids at 10 pm and Channel 2 gets the late-night 11:15 pm slot.

The ads used to be screened in prime time, but there’s been a waning interest over the years among viewers, so they’ve been relegated to the early and late evening periods, and they’ll only be shown for two weeks instead of the traditional three. Still, the ads are always good TV and provide more laughs than any sitcom on the air.

Following the rich get richer mode of thinking, the amount of time each of the 34 parties receives for commercials is based on how many MKs each party has in the current Knesset, so Kadima will dominate the broadcasts and new parties will barely be seen, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Kadima’s ads are focusing on tearing down Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu, who is leading in the polls. One ad depicts a polygraph machine as Netanyahu vowed to oppose the disengagement from the Gaza Strip, while a picture shows him voting in favor of the plan.

The Likud will go after Kadima leader Tzipi Livni, portraying her as indecisive and zigzagging – by supporting the Second Lebanon War but calling it unwinnable, and calling to topple Hamas while giving them money. The Likud slogan – “it’s out of her league” is purposely read by a woman so as not to look chauvinist, says the report.

The religious Shas party is adopting the tactics of President Barack Obama, by featuring the “Yes, we can” slogan, while the Left-wing Meretz-Hatnua Hahadasha ads have candidate Nitzan Horovitz drinking from a toilet to highlight the problem of water pollution.

The less popular the party, the more outrageous the ad, it turns out. The Power to the Handicapped Party will feature disabled people having sex to prove that they are abled, while the Green Leaf Party which favors legalizing marijuana will feature chairman Gil Kopatch smoking a joint on the grave of Israel’s first prime minister David Ben-Gurion.

Everyone’s happy now – the ad agencies have their creative juices flowing, the TV viewers have something to watch and talk about the next day, and the politicians are seeing themselves as God-like. Now, if all this only helped the voter decide who to vote for…


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