During an anti-separation fence rally on July 17, protesters came up with a novel tactic. In addition to the regular theatrics involving an exchange of rocks, tear gas and rubber bullets, some young demonstrators came armed with soccer balls — in response to the Cellcom advertisement from the previous week.
Critics of the Cellcom commercial, which takes place near the partition wall that separates Israel from the West Bank, claimed the advertisement makes light of the structure that many Palestinians see as a construct of racism and oppression.
The small West Bank town of Bil’in, administered since 1995 by the Palestinian Authority, has hosted weekly demonstrations against the separation barrier every Friday for the past four years. Israeli soldiers face off against angry mobs of Palestinian, Israeli and Euro/American protesters. Leftist groups such as Anarchists Against the Wall and the International Solidarity Movement are frequent participants.
These demonstrations actually gained so much attention within Israel that the Israeli High Court mandated on September 7, 2007, that the military reroute this section of the wall. Although not yet implemented, this would return Palestinian olive groves to their owners and prevent the nearby Jewish settlement of Modi’in Illit from expanding as much as private developers had planned.
Cellcom ad idea stolen?
Two independent film-makers in Israel allege that the Cellcom ad concept was stolen from their volleyball wall video produced three years ago, in which the ball is never returned from the Palestinian side.