Israelis now face the real possibility that the new Health Ministry regulations on coronavirus will be in place until summer, making outdoor activates, education, and the service industry seem further away than ever.
As the nation comes to terms with this new reality of social distancing some Israelis spend at least a portion of their free time making online jokes and memes about it. From simple photographs with captions to elaborated productions.
One such production is a parody of the Disney film The Lion King in which the evil lion Scar sings about his ploy to use the virus to control the country by keeping people indoors, shutting down the courts and the Knesset, and leading a unity government forever – a clear reference to the actions taken by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if we over-look the part about “forever.”
“What shall we live on if we can’t go to work?” asks one of the hyenas.“Fools!” snarls Scar-Netanyahu in response, “you will be working for me!”
The parody is not only exceptionally well sung but also eerily well-matched to the movements of the characters, right down to Scar-Netanyahu shaking a massive paw over the face of one hyena as he explains how vital it is to wash one’s hands to avoid spreading COVID-19.
In another movie, based on the 1991 Disney film Beauty and the Beast, Belle is presented as a parody of a person who doesn’t follow the health regulations as “coronavirus is just a cold,” she explains, “only you die from it.”
In this video as well, the singing is excellent and the choreography matches the new themes right down to a woman with many children complaining that the kindergartens had been shut down and a bookshop owner asking Belle if she is sure she wants to read a book by Ram Oren, who is regarded as a tabloidesque writer by some Israelis.
“I’m sick!” she sings in response before she goes out the shop to the town as the crowd sings, “she’ll kill us all.”
Israelis have some experience with joking about tough spots, when Hamas released their 2014 Hebrew song Attack, Carry Out Terror Strikes in Hebrew in an attempt to influence Israeli public opinion, Israelis were quick to slam the Arab accented song by turning it into Monkey, Carry Out Attacks and offer hilarious films in which they attached pictures of spiders to lines such as ‘as the web of a spider [Israel] tears.’
“You really need to improve your Hebrew,” one user wrote on the Hamas Hebrew social media profile, “if we can’t understand you how will we ever be afraid?”