TEL AVIV – For the first time ever, Israel broadcast a commercial entirely in Arabic on prime time TV during the commercial break for the Euro 2016 finals on Sunday night.
The ad, for an Israeli department store, features a middle-aged woman played by Israeli-Arab comedian Ranin Basharat perusing the contents of the store while speaking on the phone. In a loud voice, she instructs her husband to marry her again so that she can choose wedding gifts from the store. Watch below:
המשביר לצרכן – הפרסומת בערביתפרסומת בשפה הערבית ששודרה היום בפריים טיים של ערוץ 2 מתחילה מיני משבר עבור המשביר לצרכן עם מאות תגובות ברחבי הרשת
Posted by מזבלה – חדשות ברנז’ה on Sunday, 10 July 2016
Shoppers spending more than NIS 10,000 (approx. $2,575) at the store are eligible for a free five-day visit to Istanbul, a popular destination for Israeli-Arabs, the ad boasts.
Not everyone was happy about the commercial. Within hours of being aired, the store’s Facebook page was flooded with comments from angry Israelis.
“What an embarrassment. You air a commercial like that on Al Jazeera, not on a main channel and especially not while the whole country is watching,” wrote one poster, according to Israeli marketing blog Mizbalah.
“We won’t forget or forgive your commercial,” another person wrote, using a phrase generally used in response to the crimes of the Holocaust, but increasingly invoked over Palestinian terrorism.
However, there were many who praised the commercial, saying it marked a new era and was “awesome.”
Amit Dotan, who identifies as a right-wing Israeli, said it was a “disgrace” that people were reacting negatively towards the commercial.
“I don’t understand why people care,” he told Breitbart Jerusalem. “A business wants to advertise to all its customers, who cares if they’re Arabs or Eskimos? I’m so embarrassed right now.”
The store chose to delete the commercial from its Facebook official page following the outcry.