Wednesday, February 8, 2012

In times like these, comedy means war

The escalating tensions between Israel and Iran have been a concern for some time now. In the midst of this, the Israeli cable company, HOT, produced an ad featuring a comedy team from the popular sitcom Asfur being summoned to Iran by an undercover Mossad agent.

The video is subtitled, and the YouTube post contains a glossary of all the cultural context, slang, and double meaning used in the ad.

You might put this down to typical culture-bashing between enemies, which Iran must be used to by now. But the video also featured a Samsung tablet. And that, to Iran, means war. With South Korea?

According to Haaretz:

"On Thursday, a top Iranian lawmaker said Iran's parliament was considering to cut the country's trade ties with the country, over what he said was an "insulting" commercial, over the depiction of Iran as a "primitive society" and of insinuating that Israel was 'powerful enough to easily destroy Iran's nuclear facilities or assassinate the country's nuclear scientists.'
Head of Majlis Energy Committee Arsalan Fat'hipour told Press TV that Samsung chose to forget the high volume of trade it shares with Iran in its attempt to move closer to Israel, adding that Samsung's apology to Iran, 'though necessary', would not be enough to patch things up with Tehran. 
In response to Iran's claims, Samsung released a statement condemning the production of the commercial by the firm's Israeli branch, with Samsung's Tehran office saying that the spot had nothing to do with the firm and that it had been produced by HOT. "

Silly comedy segments starting trade wars. These are truly very tense times we are living in. The spot has the same cultural arrogance and casual racism that we see in American lampoons of the Middle East, but Iran seems more pissed off by the implication that Israel can wipe out its facilities so easily. I wonder if this is what the international mood was like back in the summer of 1914?

Thanks to Tatjana for the tip

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