Saturday, December 20, 2008

Is "Wish me luck, I'll need it" a winning Israeli political slogan?

Ehud Barak wants to know: Do you feel lucky?

This from the Jerusalem Post's website this evening:

Not long after launching an advertising blitz portraying Labor Party chairman Ehud Barak as neither trendy nor nice, but as a leader, the party unveiled the second phase of its election campaign on Thursday evening.
The new effort features Labor's Knesset candidates, divided into clusters of four with Barak at the center of each, next to the popular Mediterranean phrase "Hamsa hamsa" (a local variant of "knock on wood").
"We have chosen to send the obvious message: We have the best team," Labor campaign manager Mordi Amar said Thursday.

"'Hamsa hamsa' is commonly said about something that is good and works, when the subtext is 'don't jinx it,'" added Amar.

Let's not talk around it - a hamsa is a good luck charm.

I don't know. I'm trying to picture an ad campaign with Barack Obama holding a lucky rabbit's foot... or Joe Biden with a four leaf clover... or John McCain in a Vegas casino... or Sarah Palin with her fingers crossed... and it's just not doing it for me.

I don't mean that this ad campaign doesn't speak to me at all; it does, but this is what it's saying:

"Vote for Barak - you might just get lucky."

"A vote for Labor, and a hot pair of dice, will help you win big at the tables."

"I won't change my lucky socks until Election Day."

"It's better to be lucky than good, right?"

"Ein mazal l'Yisrael!"

Maybe this is just the logical message for people who see Ehud Barak "as a leader."

Or maybe Labor really is flat out of ideas.


  1. I can't figure the trendy line out. Is it Bibi or Tzippy who's supposed to be trendy? ANyway, any ad exec will tell you that people ignore the "not" --but maybe that's what they want? Bizarre.

  2. Won't get any explanations here. I have a hard enough time explaining myself!

  3. Very bizarre.

    But isn't part of the hamsa superstition that it offers protection, not just "luck"? It would seem that the subtext is something about security, as well...

    But my idiomatic hebrew is pretty bad. And ten years out of date.