Purim Fool

On Purim, Israeli news sites take part in the festivities and post nonsensical stories in line with the jovial nature of the day.

One such story is this one from Ha’aretz, in which it was “reported” that the Israeli government is set to approve sponsorship messages on the Western Wall.

Most people go to the Western Wall to pray, but now some will also head there to pay.

The cabinet is set to approve a plan that would allow for sponsorship messages to be beamed onto the Western Wall, sources in the Prime Minister’s Office told Haaretz Saturday.

If the law is passed by the Knesset, any company will be able to project the image, logo or slogan of its choice on the ancient stones, for a price.

The proposal, drawn up by MK Mordechai Hidud, will take advantage of technology being developed by Kfar Sava-based start-up Kotelad. The company – the brainchild of U.S.-born Joe King – has come up with an innovative laser projector capable of beaming high-quality images onto walls, domes, minarets and steeples.

“After thousands of years of just being there, the Western Wall will finally be able to fulfill its commercial potential,” King said. “The religious and spiritual center of the Jewish people should reflect Jewish heritage – and thus be dedicated to bringing in a healthy profit.”

Kotelad held a trial run of the system last week, beaming the Coca-Cola logo onto the Wall, much to the bemusement of worshipers gathered below. And it seems that the trial was not only a technological success, with local vendors reporting a 14 percent increase in the sale of soft drinks.

The Western Wall Heritage Center plans to open an ad sales division, and sell wall space on a per-stone basis. Prices are expected to be upward of NIS 1,000 per stone per day. When no advertising is running, the wall will have the message “What are you waiting for? The Third Temple? Advertise now!” a source in the Heritage Center said.

Some companies that have already expressed an interest in the project, including Bank Discount (“Feel like you’re talking to a brick wall? Talk to us instead”), Netvision (“If God didn’t get your note, why not send an e-mail?”) and Ytong (“If it’s not Ytong, I’m not praying”). G. Yafit is reportedly also in talks to have her likeness beamed onto the wall 24 hours a day.

According to Hidud, the money raised will be used to replace the paper skullcaps that are stolen by the thousands by visitors to Judaism’s holiest site, to set up a searchable online database of the notes that people place between the stones of the Wall, and to build a 14-foot high partition between sections reserved for men and women.

Happy Purim from Haaretz!

Enter anti-Israel blogger Richard Silverstein, whose hatred of all things Israel is so overwhelming, he failed to see this Purim spoof for what it was (http://tinyurl.com/yl25tyz).

[click on image to enlarge]

In case any of you actually still take this numbskull seriously (hat tip: Amir).

Update: Wow. After finding out about his mistake, Silverstein has taken down his original post instead of posting an update to it, and then provided one of the most laughable excuses I have seen. Ever.


For the sake of my honor, I’ve got to explain a real boneheaded set of errors that happened last night, which happened to also be Purim.  This holiday is the equivalent of April Fool’s and it’s common to read wild newspaper stories attempting to take in the reader in a good natured way.  Of course, I was silly not to realize that Haaretz wrote just such a story claiming the Israeli government was planning to beam high tech ads onto the stones of the Kotel (Western Wall).  I got halfway through writing a post criticizing this plan when I realized the article was a Purim joke.  And a very funny one that took me in for the few minutes it took me to get halfway through writing the post.

I hadn’t published the post yet, so I saved it as a Draft.  For some strange reason insted of deleting the post (that’ll teach me) I decided to make some formatting changes and after one of those changes instead of hitting Save Draft out of habit I clicked on the Publish button.  I immediately realized my error and changed the status of the post from Published to Draft, but I didn’t realize that I needed to click another button, Update, in order to change the post back from Published to Draft.  So unbeknownst to me the post was still sitting out there for all of the pro-Israel right-wing to see, and call me a fool.

About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder and managing editor of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks

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Facebook Comments

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/GabysPoppy GabysPoppy

    Then rather than just laugh at himself for being spoofed, he took down the entry. IMO, that is worse than just being taken. He's blinded by his hatred of Israel and Jews that are more successful than he is, (Actually that takes in 98% of Jewry worldwide). Look in Webster's dictionary for the definition of the word "failure", Webster has placed his picture in lieu of a written definition.

  • Norman B.

    I don't know why anyone would take He Who Shall Not Be Named seriously. I feel that he wants attention more than anything else and it's best to let him rot in his own septic tank.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/lao_fu lao_fu

    amazing! Put a bit of cheese in the trap… Some people have no appreciation for humor/satire…

  • Ergo

    Well, that's why Jerusalem is of Gold, not of silver…

  • Screen name

    Wait a minute. He says that he thought that the Israeli government couldn't provide any more fodder for his blog until this story came his way. Now that he knows it to be false, he can stop writing his blog.

  • http://www.myrightword.blogspot.com Yisrael Medad

    Thanks luv for preserving his animus for posterity.

  • jpl

    The Purim spoof was great, I laughed out loud. A bonus was Silverstein's lameness.

  • Michael Zvi Krumbein

    This is Ha'aretz. How can you tell?

  • Michael Zvi Krumbein

    Joe King? Anybody know what the Hebrew was?

  • http://www.myrightword.blogspot.com Yisrael Medad

    MZK – you are assuming RS reads Hebrew? Oh my.

    • Michael Zvi Krumbein

      Ooh, if you knew what was going on with Wikipedia right now…..

      But seriously, I wanted to know if the pun (Joe King = Joking) was different in the original.

      And now I have to check my B'sheva for Purim stuff. Forgot about that sort of thing. When my father taught at Stern (of YU), he used to bring home the Purim issues. That's where I learned about the Charter Battle; the serious stuff going on. (They suggested it would be all right to make the place non-sectarian, because if they got rid of all of the secretaries, the staff might have to do some work – all right, I was just a kid then.)

  • Jim from Iowa

    Makes me think of the Doobie Brothers song "What a Fool Believes." Although I actually found his explanation of a missent computer entry plausible in that my computer skills are so limited and could see me doing something equally as bone-headed.

    • Michael Zvi Krumbein

      I'm a computer science major, a team leader and programmer with twenty years experience, and I do things like that. Thursday night I spent five hours fixing a wikipedia article, forgot to copy it it, hit save, and when it said it could not lost five hours work.

      • Michael Zvi Krumbein

        At least in Wikipedia I can fix my entries. Would that IM would allow that!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/israellycool israellycool

      Even if it was as he said – which I doubt since he has been blogging for a very long time – it does not explain why he started blogging the story and did not notice it was a Purim joke to begin with, despite the very clear indication at the bottom of the "report." He was clearly so zealous to disparage Israel, he did not pay careful attention.

  • A F

    Silverstein wrote:
    "I got halfway through writing a post criticizing this plan when I realized the article was a Purim joke. "
    I must be missing something here. If he realized it was a joke halfway through writing a critique of this obviously fictitious plan, then how did he end up posting it for all the world to see?
    At what point did he realize it was a joke then?

    • jpl

      Plus, why would he want to save it, once he realized it was a joke?

    • Michael Zvi Krumbein

      He said he slipped. To be honest, that is understandable. Of course, "to be honest" is the operative term – is he able to be?

  • Guest

    Dickie Silverstein is a clueless goon. Every word which he writes or speaks is complete falsehood. Dickie is a legend in his own mind and on a path of self destruction. Let us ignore this goon and he will disappear. May we never hear his name again.

  • Joe King II

    The spoof story wasn't published in Hebrew, only in English.
    Also, MK Hidud? The piece was written by Avi Nalaf (having a laugh).
    There were enough hints in there to let the discerning reader know it was a joke!

    • Michael Zvi Krumbein

      So the Hebrew Ha'aretz is different than the English Ha'aretz? Good to know. The Hebrew Ha'aretz, for all its bias, appears to resemble a newspaper, while the English version (at least on the internet) seems like something from the 19th Century Haskalah, with no attempt to differentiate between fact and opinion. In other words, it's Purim all year, without the humor.

      I missed the Hidud, but I noticed the Mordechai. But what is Avi Nalaf? If it is a pun, I missed it.

  • http://samsonblinded.org/news ishmael@israel

    * This holiday is the equivalent of April Fool’s*-this is sad and funny at the same time. it demonstrates really poor understanding of the purim chag which is actually another celebration of our am to be saved from death… i am not sure there is really any compare with April Fool’s

    • Michael Zvi Krumbein

      I don't think Dave meant it that way; he was simply referring to an old Jewish tradition to do this sort of thing on Purim.

      It does seem to me that the secular celebration of the holiday here (Adloyada) has little to do with the holiday itself – although giving each other food is always a good way to increase brotherhood. We probably should try to publicize the charity requirement more, emphasizing that it ONLY refers to charity to the poor.

      Of course our Christian readers can empathise. But outside Israel we are happy if people know about the holiday at all; "true meaning" is already a luxury.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/israellycool israellycool

        Actually, it was Silverstein who made that statement, and you don't need me to tell you he knows bupkes about Judaism.

        • Michael Zvi Krumbein

          Oh, I'm sorry. I should have checked.

          There is of course an old Jewish tradition to this thing, but it is by no means the anything basic. You can get a small pamphlet which has a fake volume of the Talmud, Hagadah, etc – all themed for Purim. This was worked on by generations of Yeshiva students and others.

          At the very end there is a "closing service" similar to Yom Kippur, which ends, instead of a long blast of the shofar, with a long drink (sh'tiya gedola) and "next year double" instead of "Next Year in Jerusalem". When I broke my fast at our local pizza place last Thursday, I found, to my astonishment, the same phrase on my bill – sh'tiya gedola – large drink. Of course there was no way I could explain why I found that funny.

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