Is someone in the Iranian government secretly subscribing to Israel’s HOT cable
Tehran is considering a ban on Samsung to protest an irreverent
advertisement for HOT that makes light of the mysterious explosions in the
Islamic Republic and the war of words being waged between the Islamic Republic
and Israel, an Iranian lawmaker told his country’s state-run Press TV on
In the ad produced by HOT, in which the Samsung Galaxy Tab
computer is offered as an enticement for prospective customers to sign up for
HOT’s on-demand package, a bored Mossad agent in an Iranian wasteland meets with
three characters from the Israeli comedy series Asfur who are dressed in
Casting furtive glances at passersby, the agent shows off the
Samsung tablet and says he kills time on assignment watching “on-demand” episodes of Asfur on the tablet.
At the end of the clip, Newton, Asfur’s
loveable moron, accidentally activates an application that detonates a nuclear
reactor on the horizon. Moments later, one of the Asfur buddies, Moti, the
series’ protagonist, swats a fly that lands on his neck, and curses “Ya
Khomeini!” at the insect.
“Khomeini” is Israeli slang for Maladera
insanabilis, a beetle drawn to the light of Tel Aviv stairwells during the
summer. The pesky winged beetle acquired the name because the species is
believed to have been accidentally imported to Israel in the late 1970s by a
traveler returning from Iran.
Iran holds the Mossad responsible for a
series of opaque accidents and killings of scientists from the country’s nuclear
program. In the most recent incident, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was on his
way to work at the Natanz nuclear plant on January 11 when he was killed by a
magnetic bomb attached to his car door by a passing motorcyclist.
Fathipour, who heads the Iranian parliament’s energy committee, said on Saturday
that the country could impose an urgent and complete ban on buying all Samsung
products, according to Press TV.
Responding to the Iranian threat, the
South Korean electronics giant issued a statement saying, “Samsung Electronics
is aware of a recent news report in Iranian media regarding an advertisement
aired by HOT cable network of Israel. This advertisement was produced by HOT
cable network without Samsung’s knowledge or participation.
“As a member
of the global community, Samsung is committed to demonstrating respect for all
people and cultures around the globe.”
The HOT ad isn’t the first time
that Israeli advertisers have mixed black humor and espionage. In 2010, Israeli
supermarket chain Mahsenei Kimat Hinam (Almost Free Warehouses, Ltd.) aired an
ad that poked fun at the killing of senior Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in
Dubai in January 2010, which many believe was carried out by the Mossad. In the
ad, surveillance-camera footage is shown of actors portraying a hit team,
perusing the aisles of a Mahsenei Kimat Hinam branch.
“We have killer
prices,” the ad’s tagline read, and it included a double entendre of “clearance
sale,” which in Hebrew is the same word used for liquidation or targeted