(VIDEO) Viral Zionism: How a pro-Israel YouTube Video Bloomed in Latin America


When we first saw this pro-Israel video, we thought it was was bizarre, mysterious and  hilarious.  Thanks Irin Carmon, at Tablet, for providing the whole story behind it:
The music video appeared, without much fanfare or explanation, in April. Its three stars—La Tigresa del Oriente and La Pequeña Wendy, both from Peru, and Delfín Hasta El Fín, from Ecuador—all populist specimens of unironic camp, were already YouTube stars. Maybe that’s why “En Tus Tierras Bailaré,” an inexplicable, Spanish-language musical tribute to the beauties of Israel, with a title that translates to “In Your Lands I’ll Dance,” has effortlessly racked up nearly 4 million views and spawned countless tributes and parodies. But where did it come from? Why did three South Americans team up to sing about their love for Israel and their plans to dance in Jerusalem? And why does the video superimpose their dancing on shots of the Tel Aviv skyline and—of all things—Hamantaschen?

Some commenters saw a Zionist conspiracy (when they weren’t expressing disdain for the video’s “bad taste”). But could the Israeli government, or any sympathetic organization, have masterminded something so anarchic, brazenly neglecting to tout Israel’s holy sites and instead pitching the Azrieli Mall highway bridge? Another theory: Maybe the artists were spontaneously moved by their love for Israel on their way home from an evangelical church. Yet others speculated it was all a big prank staged by an Israeli backpacker trawling the Incan ruins of Peru, who thought it’d be funny to juxtapose their song with footage of the Tel Aviv pride parade.

In truth, credit (or blame, if you prefer) lies with a different set of rootless cosmopolitans: several creative-class Argentine Jews (and one quarter-Jew) living in Madrid, Buenos Aires, and New York, only one of whom has actually been to Israel, and none of whom even met the singers during the video’s production. Their intention, these impresarios say somewhat vaguely, was to fight preconceived notions that Israel is a sad and scary place.


....Sitting in a Manhattan bar, Talarico, the video’s director, recalled how pleased he was when Muller forwarded him YouTube comments complaining that the video looked like the work of a beginner student, and a not very good one.
Talarico’s usual clients are the likes of Julio Iglesias, Nelly Furtado, and Juanes, but when Cleiman called and asked him to recommend a director for “En Tus Tierras Bailaré,” Talarico volunteered himself.

“I have this concept of art as being when you manage to do something without your mind interfering, without being led by preconceptions and prejudices,” he said. “For me, there’s always an opinion, there’s always self-consciousness. I think these people don’t have that.

So, I think they’re true artists.”

....He intentionally used footage of Israel that defied logic. “If we were doing a corporate video for Israel and we had a voice-over saying, ‘Visit Jerusalem,’ then fine, we use Jerusalem. But this was not like a video of a party where you can see the brand of whiskey.” It’s not clear to him whether the video changed the way anyone thinks about Israel, but it doesn’t really matter that much to him. “With Israel, there’s something in my blood”....
Be sure to read the full story here.



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