Im Tirzu campaign: deciphering a wink

Many of us here in Israel were exposed last week to a new campaign from the notorious Im Tirzu, the right wing movement that bashes anything left of the Likud. This time they did their best to attack the term “Nakba”, not with much success. It was easily taken apart by many on the web, including my esteemed colleague Yossi Gurvitz here.

The campaign is all over the place, extensively on the web. Even if you’re abroad, you might have seen it if you’ve accessed Israeli sites. The main image for the campaign is a Der-Sturmer-like cartoon of an Arab with a kafiyeh, winking. As if to say, all this Nakba stuff is “bullshit”. Take a look at this wink, it’s special.


When exposed to a new culture, sometimes you have to learn the local body language. For example, for me it took a good few weeks to finally wag my head left to right in India, which is basically their way of saying “yes”.

Many of you may think the man in the kafiyeh is just about to put in a contact lense. Or, maybe he’s already lost one. But no, this is the local version of winking in disgust, as if to say, “come on, don’t even believe me for a second”.

To help people unfamiliar with the gesture, I’ve come up with a short tutorial. Feel free to use it during your next visit in the Holy Land.