Flat White

Odd. Celebrities and woke corporates haven’t stopped the strife in the Middle East

21 May 2021

4:00 AM

21 May 2021

4:00 AM

Celebrities and woke corporations have not done enough to end the violent conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

As the death toll from a days of violence in the Gaza Strip and ­Israel mounts, celebrities have largely ignored the conflict, instead using their powers to change the weather and to end racism.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. 

Imagine if Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, for example, had used their earnest chat with Oprah Winfrey to focus on peace in the Middle East. 

It is not unreasonable to think that a heart-to-heart with the Duchess of Sussex and her ginger handbag would have convinced Hamas militants to turn their swords into ploughshares by now. 

Or what if Greta Thunberg had jetted into Jerusalem and given both sides the same stern talking to that she gave world leaders at the United Nations? 

“Islamic militants – how dare you!” 

You can’t tell me Hamas operatives would continue launching rockets at Tel Aviv if they knew that in doing so they were stealing Greta’s childhood and robbing her of her dreams.

Suitably chastised by the Swedish teenager who knows a thing or two about lowering temperatures, both sides would surely have cooled down enough to sign up for the two-state solution that has eluded politicians for decades. 

At the very least, Michelle Obama could have started a social media hashtag to usher in a new era of harmony for the world’s most troubled region.


Back in 2014, she famously freed more than 200 kidnaped Nigerian school girls using nothing more than a selfie in which she held up the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls

One can only dream of the powerful effect a similarly disapproving selfie might have in this current crisis.

If a look of dismay from the former First Lady worked so well on Boko Haram (it didn’t, but don’t tell her fangirls that) then it would surely melt the hardened hearts of Islamists in Gaza.

And while we are at it, why hasn’t our very own Magda Szubanski employed her considerable tweeting skills to bring an end to the Middle East mess?

Instead of working to free our Prime Minister’s wife from her husband’s creepy Christianity, Szubanski could have used her considerable powers to free the people of Gaza from their terror-loving overlords.

A well-placed tweet or three comparing the women of Gaza to those depicted in the Handmaid’s Tale –women brutally subjugated by power-hungry leaders in a militarized, hierarchical regime of religious fanatics – would make all the difference. 

It would at least be more accurate than the highly partisan, anti-Christian bile that normally fills her Twitter feed.

But alas, celebrities can only solve one world problem at a time. And besides, having exposed the horror’s of Pentecostalism, Magda’s got a television game show to focus on.

What then of our woke corporations that continually lecture us on learning and listening and doing better? Where are they in the Middle East’s hour of need?

Gillette single-handedly ended toxic masculinity in Australia with a powerful advertising campaign that taught us not to play fight in the backyard and not to excuse blokey jesting as just ‘boys being boys’.

As a direct result, Aussie men are now the best a man can be – clean-shaven and very in touch with their kinder, gentler, more feminine selves. 

You won’t see us flinging explosives across the ditch at our New Zealand cousins because we now know that’s not the best a man can be. 

Which begs the question, if a razor company can do that for us, why won’t they do it for the guys in Gaza? 

The advertisement they created to neuter toxic Aussie men requires only the smallest tweak in order to powerfully change the attitude of rocket-ladened Hamas males.

With a soaring musical score playing in the background, a fatherly voice could tell Palestinians: “Hiding amongst civilians to lob missiles at Jews has been going on for far too long. We can’t laugh it off, making the same old excuses. We believe in the best in men. Gillette — the best a Palestinian man can get.”

You can’t tell me a pep talk like that from a major corporation would not immediately convince Islamists to down their weapons and take up shaving instead. The path to peace, not to mention faces across the region, would suddenly be smooth.

Peace in the Middle East is only a Tweet, a rendition of John Lennon’s Imagine or even a condescending selfie away. 

It’s probably unrealistic to think that our cultural betters can solve every human ill. And they have already done so much to improve us. But if they could just use their heady influence, hectoring tone and superior perspective one more time — we mortals, not least of all in Israel and Gaza, could sure use their help.

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