Arab MK urges ban on ad showing IDF troops playing soccer at West Bank fence
Cellular phone operator is under fire for ad showing IDF soldiers 'having fun' near separation fence.
Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi on Monday joined calls to scrap a television commercial depicting Israeli soldiers playing soccer at the West Bank separation fence, which many have found offensive.
Tibi sent Israel's largest cell phone operator, Cellcom, a letter protesting the commercial, which shows IDF soldiers on patrol along the fence who stop their jeep when it is hit by a soccer ball from the Palestinian side of the fence.
The ball soon bounces back to the Israeli side, at which point the soldiers decide to hold an impromptu game with the Palestinians, cheered on by female soldiers.
The voiceover accompanying the advert says: "After all, what are we all after? Just a little fun."
"The barrier separates families and prevents children from reaching schools and clinics," Tibi told Reuters on Sunday. "Yet the advertisement presents the barrier as though it were just a garden fence in Tel Aviv."
Cellcom, however, has remained defiant and stood by the commercial.
"We are a communications company that facilitates human interaction," they said. "We don't deal with politics. We've had very positive feedback about the advert. There was absolutely no cynical intention behind it."