And the award goes to: Israel’s election videos

It’s that time again, folks. Awards season. And while we’re waiting to see whether ‘Aya’ will take an Oscar for short film, I suggest that we stroll down the blue carpet of Israel’s thriving campaign video industry – in which three viral clips have been released in as many days.

Make some popcorn and lean back in your La-Z-Boy. Here are my picks for the best of the 2015 Israel election videos:

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE goes to (drum roll, please) interior designer Moshik Galamin, in a clip comprising a tour (de force?) of the Prime Minister’s Residence. His effusive delivery in the scene comparing the Netanyahu’s kitchen to one “in a Romanian boarding school in 1954,” arguably steals the scene from the lady of the house.

The scene appears 13 minutes into this 15-minute epic (some compare it – in length, at least – to “Gone with the Wind”).

BEST ACTRESS goes to Sara Netanyahu in the same tour. Hers and Galamin’s are the only dry eyes in the house. Only the coldest of hearts would not be touched by her poignant reference to a frayed rug. Only a Grinch would ask why she failed to spend some of the NIS 497,000 allocated last year to maintaining the Prime Minister’s Residence on the rug and admittedly shabby kitchen. Her candid admission and apology that President Obama was forced to sit on coffee-stained couches – which were replaced after the President’s visit – was a tribute to the poise of which Benny Ziffer wrote. Whether Sara or the director is responsible for her restrained lack of irony in this seeming mea culpa, it is the stuff of which suspended disbelief is made.

BEST ACTOR goes to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his cameo appearance early in Israel’s same nod to “Extreme Makeover.” You can’t beat his track record for walk-on parts in which he says very little, if at all. And this one is no exception.

BEST SOUNDTRACK goes to a Likkud campaign clip in which a truckload of ISIS fighters asks the driver of another vehicle for directions to Jerusalem. “Take a left,” suggests the driver, just before a bullet-pocked frame, pronouncing that “The left will give into terror.”

The use of the Amman-based Torabyeh band’s rap in the clip takes a wrong turn. Lyrics: “Ever since I was a child I knew I wanted to be buried in the soil where my grandfather is buried. And ever since I was a child I knew I wanted to be a soldier and belong to Fatah, Hamas and Abbas.” The lyrics do not prevent this from becoming an overnight ear-worm or incurring Torabyeh’s wrath for risking their lives by linking them to ISIS.

BEST SPECIAL EFFECT goes to the same truckload of ISIS fighters. It’s about time that a thrill-packed action drama aims higher than the testosterone-poisoned bar mitzvah crowd. I was on the edge of my seat when the aforementioned truck slickly left the curb. And at least three families in the United States must be happy that none of their money was wasted on eruptive car porn.

And now the moment you’ve been waiting for:

BEST FILM goes to the Samaria Resident’s Council’s viral clip, “The Eternal Jew.” It is no mean cinematic feat to equate Europeans to Nazis, borrow shamelessly from 30s and 40s-era anti-Semitic caricature, and compare present-day leftists, peace activists, human rights organizations and journalists with Nazi collaborators – in two minutes and 11 seconds.

Full disclosure: I have only seen the first minute of this one. My parents are survivors and I can’t watch Holocaust films. You don’t need to be a 2G to be repulsed by this clip. Shame on the Samaria Resident’s Council.

I invite you to dis the dresses on the blue carpet and urge you to cast your votes in the people’s choice awards on March 17.

See you at the after-party.

About the Author
Varda Spiegel was Nurse-Director of the Bedouin Mobile Unit of the Negev, later serving as Maternal-Child Health Director for the Ministry of Health Jerusalem District. I am the author of Hershele and the Chicken Skates, was the English Web Content Manager for the Israel Museum and have translated from Hebrew to English for Haaretz and the ANU Museum of the Jewish People. I'm a grandmother, mother, and beachbum.