Israel’s Health Ministry has removed a humorous ad on covid-19 and social distancing from its official Facebook page, in response to a protest from the Chinese government.
The clip stars an angel identified as “Covid, Cupid’s step-brother,” representing the coronavirus, who says he’s “originally from” Wuhan, China, the cradle of the outbreak. The public campaign coincided with Tu B’av, which is celebrated as Israel’s Valentine Day.
“Made in China. But do I work properly or what?” Covid says at the start of the clip. The toga-dressed angel also has a bat clipped to his shoulder, in a nod to the source of the pathogen.
The Chinese embassy in Israel registered a complaint, prompting the Health Ministry to remove the ad from its Facebook page, though it was still available on YouTube and elsewhere.
“It’s unbelievable, they simply see everything, everywhere,” a source in the Health Ministry told Channel 12, referring to the Chinese complaint.
The ad was produced by Israel’s Government Advertising Agency, Lapam.
For years, Israel has been working to dramatically expand trade with China, one of the world’s largest markets. It retains good ties with Beijing, though in recent months it has faced pressure from the United States to diminish its relationship, amid an escalating US-China showdown.