Election Ads-- Apply Directly to the Forehead

Before the elections, my husband and I spent evenings curled up on our couch watching election ads. Government funding gives every party a few minutes to share their agenda on national TV. This means that parties with no chance of making it into the knesset-- featuring ads made on their nephew's imac-- are featured alongside the heavy-hitters like Likud and Kadima. Hilarity ensues.

The merger of the Holocaust Survivors' Party with the Mature Green Leaf Supporters is the most special Israeli party of all time (except for maybe the Men's Party, which for a while had zayin as its letter for voting and now uses fey-kuf. I'll leave people with good Hebrew skills to figure out those). My guess is that the merger of these two groups resulted from schisms within both the Retired People's Party and the other (presumably immature) Legalize Marijuana Party. This is their actual election ad, and there's something endearing about it. I repeat: this is not a spoof.


Sadly, these idealistic individuals didn't make it into the knesset.

This election ad parody is actually LESS ridiculous, but it captures the essence of the more serious ads on TV.


The jingle hits on every platitude possible: Israel wants Change, Leadership, and a Future for our Children! Avi Etinger loves peace, but he hates the Holocaust. He follows in the footsteps of Begin and Rabin and Sharon and plenty of other people who died in recent years. (Never mind that Sharon is, technically, still alive. I'm pretty sure.) So vote for Avi Etinger, because ma ze meshaneh: what difference does it make?

Right, that other Israeli characteristic-- cynicism about our leaders. I'm slowly starting to get that.

Update: I was trying to find a clip from one of the nephew-in-uncle's-basement style campaign ads, and I wasn't successful. However, I just found a good summary of all the election ads (and the way Israeli elections work) here: http://lisagoldman.net/2009/01/31/israeli-election-campaign-clips-seriously-hilarious/

Update #2: Ok, so for my Hebrew challenge of the day I decided to try to translate all of the parody election ad that I posted above. This is my best attempt. Er... yes... did I mention I've lived here less than a year? Also, the ad was a lot dirtier than I realized at first... ah the innocence of poor Hebrew skills. Read on at your own discretion. Please correct any glaring errors and PLEASE tell me what the fourth line means! :)

Israel is in need of change
Israel is in need of leadership
For the sake of a future for our children
We need a spicy step? We need on your march lions? We need mountains next to us? Er, I didn't understand this line. Help from better Hebrew speakers is appreciated.

Avi Ettinger speaking:
This is the knesset (parliament).
On a survey of international fun/pleasure,
that was advertised recently,
the knesset was ranked in the second-to-last spot.
This situation MUST be stopped.

It's time so say "cusomo" (I'm pretty sure that cusomo is a swear word relating to a certain body part of one's mother, or possibly of a male of homosexual persuasion? Either way, it's not in the dictionary:)
To the election of a different candidate
So vote for Avi Etinger
Because what difference does it make?

Avi Ettinger speaking:
Citizens of Israel
People, children, and tots,
(aside) children and tots are the same thing, no?
Habitu bi... habitu bi b'kipat havdela --hmm. The most I get from this is "look at me in a hat from havdela." Except that he seems to be gesturing at the dome of the rock, so I'm confused.
Who is more cute/precious?
You will have that responsiblity (or you will decide?) in the polls.

He is on the side of peace
But against the Holocaust
He loves the nation
That hates fecal examinations (maybe this means prostate exams?)
He supports Judaism and sodomy (!)
He will wage war with "avtala" and Chaim Etgar. Hmm. I'm not sure what "avtala" means. Maybe "purity" or "virginity" (betulah?) Chaim Etgar is a humorous writer.
He continues the voice of Rabin
And of Begin and Sharon
And many others who passed away in recent times

Avi Ettinger speaking:
The females (?) of sexual relations (Maybe another sodomy reference?)
We can put in order the goings on
In legislation, with pleasure (with "kef," the party's name)

So when you are at the polls
go to a different canditate
and vote for Avi Ettinger
Because what difference does it make?


  1. Ok, so my husband tells me I swung the wrong direction and read TOO much into this jingle. Kipat haSela is the Dome of the Rock (makes sense). "Avtala" means UNEMPLOYMENT, not virginity. (Right!) Avi says "REGARDING sexual relationships," not the females of sexual relationships. And we need to take an UNUSUAL step, not a spicy one.

    Hehe... oops. My translation is funnier. :)

  2. i am awe-struck- how can the first clip NOT be a parody, but an ACTUAL election ad?? legalize marijuana???!!!!!!


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