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).
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.