Gaza Split: Watch Palestinian spoof of viral Van Damme Volvo video

Palestinian comedians in Gaza have released the above video spoofing the viral “Epic Split” Volvo advertisement that features Belgian martial artist and action movie star Jean-Claude Van Damme (the original ad is below if you haven’t seen it).

In their video, Mahmoud Zuaiter performs the acrobatics while a voiceover tells about the sharp deterioration of daily life due to the catastrophic effects of the Israeli siege of Gaza:

The electricity cuts off 12 hours at a time. I have gone to sleep and woken up and the electricity would still not be back, and the water comes on when the electricity is off. I miss taking a shower! All of this does not make Van Damme better than me, but, unfortunately there is no gas in town.

Perhaps Zuaiter is not as fine an acrobat as Van Damme, but the message from these artists in Gaza, though delivered with humor, is far more urgent than Van Damme’s self-congratulatory platitudes for occupation profiteer Volvo.


Gaza is home to 1.7 million Palestinians, most of whom are refugees. Since 2007, Israel, with the collusion of Egypt, has imposed a blockade that prevents free movement in and out of Gaza, sharply limits imports of basic goods and all but bans exports. The siege has devastated Gaza’s healthcare system and many key medications are at zero stock.

After carrying out a military coup in July 2013, the Egyptian army destroyed almost all of the tunnels which had been used to transport fuel, food, construction supplies and other essential goods to alleviate the impact of the Israeli siege.

As a result, daily power cuts of 8 to 12 hours per day have lengthened to 18 hours for most people in Gaza. The power crisis has disrupted the already degraded water and sanitation systems, resulting in shortages of clean water and sewage-flooded streets.

UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, forecasts that, unless the siege ends and life is allowed to return to normal, Gaza will be unlivable in seven years’ time.

The performers in the video come from “Bas ya zalameh”, a socially and politically engaged comedy program produced by Tashwesh Gaza.




Well done, also good to step up the pressure on Volvo. It's incomprehensible how a car manufacturer with such a reputation for safety is prepared to squander its good name in this way.


It's sad how we call it an Arab spring, at the same time we are as torn as ever. It's sad that while the Palestinians are being treated like animals, their brothers and sisters in the Gulf and Saudia only seem interested in themselves and pleasing the world elite. It's sad that the people of Palestine are represented by an authority who hasn't accomplished anything in the last twenty years, attempting one failure after another, naming it by different cities in the world, adding peace to the end.
I get pissed off when I meet other Arabs, even Egyptians who begin talking to me about being a big family. We're not! Stop! If we were even close, we would turn back the time to the days of Faisal and Nasser and some sort of hope for a united Middle East. Instead our family is dysfunctional, leaving the only arab population, who could actually claim themselves to any nationality in the Middle East, the Palestinians, to live a life in confinement. And by rules and conditions set forth by everyone else, but themselves.
Volvo doesn't care about the fate of the Palestinian people, nor do most of the people in Egypt, Libya, Tunis, Algeria, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, UAE or anywhere else.
For the Palestinians to be free, they must think like their occupier, the Israelis. They don't waste their time complaining. They keep themselves busy getting what they want. The Palestinians need to get busy getting what they want, so at least those of us, who do care, can help!
You need a need Intifada, an organised, global one. Talking of peace, while children, women and men are dying and Israelis are eating your land like carrot cake, is just depressing. Get rid of the puppet Palestinian leaderships, authorities or whatever they wish to call themselves and start claiming back your own home.
I am a photojournalist, have just returned from Lebanon and Syria, witnessing the despair of yet another (Syrian-)Palestinian crisis.