Israeli civilian and military leaders may not have reached their goals in the war against Hezbollah, but Shay Goldstein and Dror Rafael — the country’s premier radio pranksters — accomplished their mission: a prank telephone call to Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.
During their live August 6 broadcast, a day after Siniora cried on television about the devastation in his country, the duo — known simply as Shay and Dror — called the Lebanese leader’s office pretending to be British Prime Minister Tony Blair. They were patched through to Siniora. “Who is it?” he asked.
“This is Shay and Dror and we want to say that we are… we are very touched from yesterday…. When you are crying we are very, very touched. We are Israelis and we were touched by your crying and we want you to know that….”
“Who is speaking?” Siniora interrupted.
“We are Shay and Dror from radio in Tel Aviv, and we are crying with you….” they said again.
This time, the prime minister hung up on them.
“Why did he hang up?” Shay asked, before bursting out in laughter.
Dror later told he Forward that he and his partner weren’t joking.
“We were very, touched, and we really meant it,” Dror said. “It’s comic, but the content is serious.”
Shay and Dror and broadcast live daily on Radio 102FM in Tel Aviv. They always make a prank phone call, usually to someone in the day’s headlines. They often get unsuspecting public figures on the phone, like Cherie Blair (the prime minister’s wife), whom they reached Election Day in Britain. Usually they stick to Israelis, like the time they reached then-Likud lawmaker Tzachi Hanegbi the day that he was indicted for appointing political cronies. The duo wanted to know why he was relaxed enough about the situation to attend a soccer game. Hanegbi stayed on the line and actually spoke to them.
For the past month, Shay and Dror have been calling places in Lebanon. A week ago, they called a Burger King in Beirut and ordered burgers. “Put it inside a Katyusha and send it to Kiryat Shmona,” they told the stunned waiter.
“Response has been very positive,” Dror said. “We try not to do things that hurt people…. We’re calling the people in Beirut to show that that there is something we both have in common. In the end we are all people, and we are all against the same things.” What’s next?
“I don’t know… the Lebanon stuff is getting old,” Dror said.
“Do you have any ideas?”