A comedian sits in a Tel Aviv cafe, a huge gift-wrapped package on the table in front of him. “I’ve been asked to bring you a gift. Looks good, doesn’t it?” beloved thespian Dov Navon asks the camera. “This was given by the bigmouth American to a friend of his in Israel, who knows a thing or two about presents.” The bigmouth is obviously President Donald Trump and his friend is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The background music evokes gaiety and innocence, but when Navon opens the package it blows up in his face, leaving his shocked face blackened by smoke. The bit ends with the message, “Annexation is a gift that will blow up in our face.” On its first day, the viral video logged over 100,000 views, becoming a hot news item. Its credits directed viewers to the sponsor the Geneva Initiative, an organization established 20 years ago to advance the vision of two states for two people.
Ahead of the July 1 target date for the start of Israeli annexation of West Bank territory, the group choose a shocking message for its campaign to win over Israeli public opinion. It succeeded beyond all expectations. Representatives of the political right railed against what they described as a leftist organization’s cynical exploitation of the national trauma of suicide bombings in major city cafes during the second intifada.