Philip Weiss found this: an Israeli government advertising campaign that’s sure to alienate a lot of American Jews.
The series of ads includes one that shows the look of dread on the faces of Israeli grandparents when they hear their grand daughter say she’ll be celebrating Christmas. I happen to live in a part of the U.S. where “We still celebrate Christmas” is a popular bumper sticker. No doubt the people who want to send out that message feel threatened by separation of Church and State and also the cultural threat they perceive from secularization. But I also imagine a lot of them would call themselves Christian Zionists, so I wonder how they’d react to the Israeli government portraying Christmas celebrations as a threat to Zionism.
Wow this is great reporting at the Jewish Channel. They focus on the ad campaign sponsored by the Israeli gov’t (which we mentioned last week) which is aimed at getting back all the Israelis who have moved to the United States–as many as 2 million!
Watch the ads from the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, between :25 and 2:40 — they’re cute, mostly, and in Hebrew, so I’m counting on the Jewish Channel’s translation. In one a dad doesn’t wake up when is son says Daddy over and over again, then he does wake up when the kid says “Abba.” The Israeli gov’t’s message: “They will always remain Israelis. Their children will not. Help them to return to Israel.”
Then there’s another one in which Israeli grandparents’ faces fall when their grandchild says on Skype that she’s celebrating Christmas.
The third ad is the craziest/most interesting. It suggests, says the Jewish Channel’s anchor, that “marrying American Jews could make Israelis lose their sense of identity.”
Some of the commenters at Mondoweiss say TJC gets the interpretation wrong for the third video and say the message from Israel’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption points to the threat to Israeli identity posed by non-Jews. Weiss thus hedges on that point by saying “Americans” in the headline.
Here are the videos whose message is fairly self evident even for those of us who don’t understand Hebrew. In the viewer comments under the dangers-of-marriage video, someone wrote (and this is just a paraphrase): American Jews need to be aware that in Israel, the Jewish connection only goes so far.
It appears that the Israeli ministry is busy keeping the comment threads “clean” since that particular comment has been removed.