What Says The Cynical Palestinian?

This piece was first published on the Forward Thinking blog at the Forward.

A new Israeli social media meme caught my eye yesterday. Although it was in Hebrew, I felt as though I had seen a version of it in English at some point. It reminded me of the “Unimpressed Native American” meme. You, too, may have come across this meme in your Facebook feed recently. It’s the close up black and white photo of an elderly Native American man in traditional dress. Superimposed on it are cynical and ironic messages like, “The banks take away your home and land from you? That must be tough.”

Instead of a Native American, the Israeli meme has an elderly keffiyeh-wearing Palestinian man staring at the camera saying the same kind of things, only in the Israeli context. It became apparent once I did some digging, that the similarities are not coincidental. “It was the result of an idea by Eli Levin to create an Israeli version for the ‘Unimpressed Native American’ meme,” Shahar Even-Dar Mandel wrote me in an email from Tel Aviv. “After some brainstorming in a ‘secret’ Facebook group, named Oumipo, that included other Israeli meme creators Amir and Shlomit Mahlab Schiby, Itamar Sha’altiel, Ido Kenan and Avgad Yavor, as well as Eli and myself, the concept and the particular photo to be used were chosen,” the 40-year-old physicist explained.

The “Cynical Palestinian” says things like:

Click here to read more.

© 2012 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

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One Response to “What Says The Cynical Palestinian?”

  1. Martin Berman-Gorvine Says:

    מIn other words, these self-described far leftists, who are all Jewish Israelis, are exploiting the image of the supposedly oppressed “native” to gain attention for their extremely marginal but oh-so-progressive point of view, which no one would have the time of day for otherwise. I wonder what actual Palestinians would think of this ridiculous attempt at political ventriloquism.

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