Haaretz: “You’ve got to admire Orit Arfa”

Hilarious review of “Gaza Wrecking” ball in Haaretz. You know he really loved it deep down!

The Israeli settler who makes Miley Cyrus seem subtle

In her latest YouTube video, ‘settler Miley Cyrus’ performs ‘Gaza Wrecking Ball’ sequel to ‘Jews Can’t Stop’; any chance of imposing a freeze on her parodies, as part of Kerry’s framework agreement?

January 14, 2014

Orit Arfa, the 'setter Miley Cyrus.'

You’ve got to admire Orit Arfa. There aren’t many people who can make Miley Cyrus seem subtle, but Arfa’s succeeded with the spoof videos “Jews Can’t Stop” and “Gaza Wrecking Ball.”

Of course, Arfa isn’t the first to hitch her colors to the Miley mast (yeah, that’s where the word ends). The Disney starlet-gone-wild (current working title for next album: “Whistle While You Twerk”) set the Internet ablaze last year with her raunchy videos for “We Can’t Stop” and “Wrecking Ball,” with the latter receiving some 483 million views on YouTube alone.

For those who’ve been sleeping under a rock undisturbed by a wrecking ball for the past six months, here’s the original, in which young Miley stares earnestly into a camera, Sinead O’Connor-like (damn, showing my age here), before cavorting naked on a swinging wrecking ball, as you do:

Works on many levels, right? You can certainly see why parodists have leapt on “Wrecking Ball” with all their spite. Steve Kardynal took the minimalist approach and scored 97 million hits, while “It Came Out Like a Wrecking Ball” (400,000 views) went the toilet humor way, literally.

And now Arfa aims to turn pop into agitprop for the settlement cause, with her take on Miley’s oeuvre. When it comes to my own personal views on settlers, let’s just say that I could never eat enough to vomit enough.

But, let’s be honest here, while Miley’s videos give parodists plenty to work with, the original lyrics don’t leave much room for manoeuvre. So, in her first song “Jews Can’t Stop,” Arfa turns Miley’s “We run things, things don’t run we” into “We build things, things don’t build we.” Carole King won’t be losing any sleep, for sure, although educationalists worldwide will be.

Watching “Jews Can’t Stop” (which received a respectable 165,000 views on YouTube), you can’t deny that it’s an attention-grabbing way of getting a message out there, even as you suspect that YouTube isn’t really the best place to be working through issues that should be dealt with in therapy.

And now, presumably sick of waiting for MK Orit Strock (Habayit Hayehudi) to serenade us with her rendition of “Climb Every Hilltop,” Arfa has struck again with “Gaza Wrecking Ball.”

If “Jews Can’t Stop” showed us a side of settlers we don’t often see (no uprooting of olive trees, spray-painting cars or burning mosques, for starters), “Gaza Wrecking Ball” is something else entirely. One Gaza strip too many … blush Katif … come and get your bad puns here. “Art is the way that people can make sense of a world that just doesn’t make sense anymore,” Arfa says, promoting her novel “The Settler” (is it just me that’s beginning to see a little trend developing here?). Well, trust me, nothing makes sense when you watch “Gaza Wrecking Ball.”

It starts with a matching shot of the Miley video, except where Cyrus had a perfectly formed tear rolling down her right cheek, Arfa seems to be suffering from hay fever. Indeed, the whole thing looks more like a promo for “Orange is the New Black,” with our barmy settler wearing an orange top against a brick background. And that’s when things turn really funny.

First, there’s Arfa in an IDF shirt (just the shirt), going at it, ahem, hammer and tongues (just as young Miley acquired a taste for industrial-sized tools before her). And then, the pièce de résistance: Arfa dressed in a kaffiyeh and little else (although, it must be said, those pants look industrial-sized), swinging on a wrecking ball.

Well, wrecking ball is overstating things slightly. Turns out all the budget went on the costumes and tears, so poor Arfa is left swinging on a glorified exercise ball, desperately trying to cling to her dignity (she fails). Men in particular will enjoy this scene: For years, we’ve been told we’re incapable of doing more than one thing at once, yet here you’ll do three simultaneously: drop your jaw, shake your head and rub your eyes in disbelief. Please, somebody, get this woman a good therapist!

It’s also interesting to note the subtle change (yes, something subtle!) to an original lyric. In place of Miley’s “I never meant to start a war / I just wanted you to let me in,” we get, “We never ever wanted war / All we wanted was to live in peace.” Strange how the original seems more apt.

One scary note to finish on. Miley’s most recent video, “Adore You,” sees Cyrus writhe around on a bed while sheets billow around her. Mr. Kerry, is there any chance of adding a freeze on Arfa’s parodies to the framework agreement before it’s too late?

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