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Hezbollah’s Leader Helps Israelis Recycle

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Sometimes the Middle East makes strange bedfellows. Hezbollah’s leader is now the face of a new recycling campaign in Israel. Billboards with a cartoon of Hizbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah can be seen in Tel Aviv challenging Israelis to be better than Hasan Nasrallah and recycle – “I have been in a bunker for 12 years – what’s your excuse?”

Nehama Ronen, Chairperson of Israel’s recycling company, ELA, knows that using Hezbollah’s leader as a type of spokesperson for their campaign is controversial, but believes his persona is a great way to trigger better recycling practices across Israel.

In fact the shock tactics are getting the campaign noticed. Ronen notes that 80 percent of Israelis claim they recycle bottles on a near daily basis – however, a figures do not support this claim.

“There is a huge gap between what they think about themselves to what they really do and the reason is excuses,” she says.

The logic is as follows: Can their excuse for not recycling really be as good as Nasrallah’s? Of course not!

Despite the wide coverage of the campaign, the image is stirring up some strong feelings. “I’m aware to the fact that not all the people like this campaign and there are some who criticize it. I also know that in the Arab world, many people didn’t like the campaign,” says Ronen. “But I think that they have much important issues to deal with than to deal with us and our campaigns and what is more important to me is that we succeeded to shake the public opinion.”