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Was That an Israeli Checkpoint in Expedia’s Super Bowl Ad?

(JTA) — The Israel Defense Forces may have made a brief appearance during Super Bowl LI.

A 30-second ad by Expedia, the travel website, shows a montage of a woman traveling the world as she appears to age from a young girl to a middle-aged woman. 

At various stages of her life, she climbs a fence, rides a boat down a river, and shares a kiss in what looks like China.

And in the middle of it all, she appears to drive through an Israeli roadblock in the West Bank.

The segment lasts about two seconds, beginning at 0:12. The shot opens on a scene that looks exactly like the West Bank: shallow, rocky green hills; a village of crowded, white, flat-roofed houses along with a minaret or two, and a narrow asphalt road obstructed by concrete blocks.

Armed soldiers in green uniforms, carrying guns, stop cars at the checkpoint. A military vehicle sits on the other side. The ad then briefly cuts to a young, bearded soldier who could easily be Israeli.

As the roadblock scene plays, the guru-like narrator intones, “Every step you take narrows the influence of narrow minds, bridges continents and brings this world one step closer.”


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