Israeli Cell Phone Company in Hot Water Over Ad Featuring Wall

By Sadie Bass

Jul 14, 2009 11:45am

ABC's Simon McGregor-Wood reports from Jerusalem:

It only lasts a minute but has sparked days of argument and controversy.

Cellcom, one of Israel's leading mobile phone networks has produced a TV commercial starring Israel's controversial security barrier with the Palestinian West Bank.

The ad shows an Israeli army jeep patrolling a concrete section of the barrier. Their jeep is hit by a soccer ball kicked by unseen Palestinians from the other side. The soldiers get out and kick it back — yes, you guessed it, the ball comes back over again and an impromptu games begins.

A soldier makes a phone call on his cellphone and more uniformed Israelis show up including attractive female soldiers who cheer their comrades. At no point do we see or hear from the Palestinians on the other side.

The commercial voice over ends by saying "we all just want to have fun."

The ad has caused outrage among Palestinians and left wing Israelis who accuse it of white washing the negative effects of the wall.

The International Criminal Court in the Hague has ruled the Wall illegal as it is built in many places on occupied land.

Many Palestinians have lost land and have been cut off from work, family and schools. They accuse Israel of using to grab more territory.

The commercial was produced by the Israeli office of US advertising agency McCann Erickson. The company has defended the ad by claiming it shows how people can overcome obstacles between them to build freindship.

Have a look and decide for yourself.

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