Israel’s Super Bowl ad campaign took place as another massacre occurred in Gaza, killing 100 people.
Israel carried out an intensive bombardment on Rafah that killed around 100 people as a diversion during an operation to free two hostages (Photo by Jehad Alshrafi/Anadolu via Getty Images)
Israel aired a series of 30-second ads during the NFL Super Bowl on Sunday to promote its narrative of the Gaza war, as Rafah suffered another massacre by Israeli warplanes.
The ad begins by showing an NFL athlete playing with his son, then cuts to clips of Israeli hostages held in Gaza playing with their children before October 7, when approximately 250 Israelis were taken prisoner.
The ad was dedicated to Israeli fathers detained in Gaza, ending with the hashtag “Bring all the dads home.”
This was part of an Israeli government campaign, overseen by the National Directorate of Public Diplomacy, producing and promoting in the media the Israeli narrative about the war in Gaza, which has killed more than 28,000 Palestinians.
Another ad showed a packed stadium with the words: “In a roaring stadium, their silence is deafening. 136 people are still being held hostage by Hamas.”
The Israeli government purchased Super Bowl ad space via Paramount’s stream of the event, with the Israeli government likely paying a reported $7 million for 30-second space, according to prices reported by The Wall Street Journal.
As the ad aired, Israel carried out a rescue operation in the southern Gaza town of Rafah and resulted in the release of two Israelis.
At the same time, Israeli bombs killed around 100 civilians, as part of a diversion for the operation, according to Israeli officials.
Meinie Nicolai, executive director of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), called the bombing of Rafah a “massacre in progress.”
Israel’s war on Gaza has killed 28,340 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 67,984, according to figures from Gaza health authorities.
The prime-time Super Bowl ad showing Israeli warplanes carrying out another massacre in Rafah, a so-called safe zone, sparked outrage.
The activist group Jewish Voice for Peace denounced the ad, saying: “The Israeli army is bombing Rafah, the most densely populated area in the world, while Americans watch the Super Bowl. This is intentional. It’s genocide. »
“We demand that the world watching the Superbowl turns its eyes to Rafah.”
Abed A. Ayoub, national executive director of the American-Arab Committee Against Discrimination, said: “The attack on Rafah began around the same time the Stop Hate/Anti-Semitism ad aired. It is not a coincidence. It’s planned. They know that most eyes in the United States are on the game and not paying attention. »
Likewise, retweeting an article in Haaretzjournalist Mehdi Hassan took the opportunity to criticize Israel’s policy towards hostages, saying: “Remember this when you watch the Super Bowl ‘bring our hostages’ home commercial this evening: Netanyahu, Ben-Gvir & co don’t really care about the hostages.
“They are preparing public opinion for the need to abandon them to die. All this to perpetuate this brutal war and save their jobs.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused a ceasefire deal with Hamas, which would see the release of the hostages.
Around 134 hostages are believed to remain in Gaza, out of around 250 captured during the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.
During a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in November, 105 hostages were released in exchange for increased aid deliveries to the enclave and the release of Palestinian prisoners.
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