A settler spoof video on the peace process became a real-life parody when discussed at a US State Department briefing, prompting its spokeswoman Jen Psaki to declare, “I love Klingons.”
Released this week in English on Youtube, the video showed a mock US Secretary of State John Kerry
touring Israel and offering absurd solutions to the Israeli Palestinian conflict.
In one scene by the Western Wall the mock Kerry offers to replace the holiest ancient Jewish site with a new wall by the beach.
He states, “We must realize that [Jerusalem] is holy to all religions, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Klingons and hobbits.”
On Wednesday at a press briefing in Washington, a reporter asked Psaki if Kerry realized he had a fictional double on youtube.
“I don’t believe he’s watched the video. We’re certainly aware of the video,” Psaki said, noting that she herself had not seen it.
Her lack of knowledge about the video didn’t stop the reporter from asking if she had a reaction to it
Initially Psaki tried a serious tone.
“I think it goes with what I’ve already stated about attempt to mischaracterize his record, his positions on the issues, his statements, how that is not an attack on him; that’s an attack on the process. And of course that kind of rhetoric we find unacceptable.”
The reporter responded, “Even in parody. I mean, clearly the Secretary does not believe that Jerusalem is a holy city for hobbits and Klingons, right?”
His question prompted Psaki to state; “Now you’ve sold it very well. I will watch the video. I’m making a broad point about all the different reports that are there.”
Still not satisfied, the reporter again repeated his question about Kerry’s stance as to whether Jerusalem is holy to fictional characters.
“To hobbits?” asked Psaki interrupting him at the end of his query.
Psaki responded in jest that she felt it would be fair to run Kerry’s fictional affinity for hobbits as an AP headline.
“What about Klingons?” asked the reporter. “They’re affectionate, too.”
“I love Klingons,” Psaki responded in the spirit of the moment.
Back in Jerusalem, Yigal Delmonti, the deputy head of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea and Samaria said he knew that the issue had been raised at the State Department briefing and that someone had even sent him a link to a video with Psaki’s comments.
It didn’t surprise him, he said, because the spoof Kerry video has gone viral garnering 61,528 views in four days since it was first posted.
It has played well in Israel and in Englsih speaking countries such as the US, Canada Great Britain and Australia, Delmonti said. He added that most people viewed on their mobile phones.
Its popularity, he said, was not a reflections of people’s affinity for hobbits or Klingons, but rather a statement about how well humor does on social media.
“We expected it to go viral,” he said.
“The subject is one that every one is talking about and the insertion of humor into the situation, gives an alternative take on it,” Delmonti said.
News of the video was spread widely on website of English speaking news websites such as USA Today, The Jerusalem Post, the Financial Times, The Telegraph, the Sydney Morning Herald,
The Hebrew version of the video first released on Channel 2, he said, was not picked up as widely by Hebrew speaking news organizations and has garnered only 14,080 views.
The video, which was produced by his council and the non-governmental group, MyIsrael is part of a larger campaign against a two-state solution that involves Israeli withdrawal from Area C of the West Bank.
Its part of a broader campaign by the two groups to show the dangers for Israelis Kerry’s real-life solutions as they have been printed in the media since the nine-month negotiating process began at the end of July.
There is a strong bond with the US which has been a good friend to Israel, Delmonti said. But its solutions to the conflict with the Palestinians and the pressure to accept them, are not good for Israel, Delmonti said.