Israeli army celebration of Friends anniversary sparks criticism

'The one where they commit war crimes': Israeli army celebration of Friends anniversary backfires
2 min read
25 September, 2019
Not everyone was happy with the Israeli army's celebration of the 90's hit sitcom, with Twitter users responding with satirical tweets recalling Israel's human rights violations.
The Israeli Defense Forces celebrated the 25th anniversary of 'Friends' with a Twitter video [Twitter]
From Google to Ralph Lauren, the 25th anniversary of Friends has led many to reminisce about the hit 90s sitcom, especially on the internet.

But not all celebrations sparked friendly reactions.

The Israeli army Twitter account joined the celebrations by posting a video homage on Twitter, which was met with rather unfriendly reactions online. 

The video posted on social media starred six soldiers recreating the opening credits in front of a fountain with the iconic theme tune in the backround.

"Our soldiers couldn't think of a better way to celebrate #Friends25 than celebrating... with friends," read a tweet posted on 22 September. 

The video featured the show's classic font with the title "IDF.R.I.E.N.D.S" and managed to reach more than two million views in less than one day. 

The tweet received ample backlash, however, with users attacking  Israel's foreign policy, especially with regards to their aggression towards Palestinians.

Many used the show's classic episode names, 'The one where…', to highlight their anger towards Israeli foreign policy, and abuses of several human rights issues.

"Love the one where Chandler fires white phosphorus into a hospital," responded one user. "The one where Joey snipes a child," another tweeted.
Others used GIFs of classic Friends scenes to place the characters in fake situations which would mirror actions of the Israeli army.
Even supporters of the IDF also joined the criticism of the army's PR approach.

The tweet was part of a PR campaign that involved the IDF recreating significant events or moments such as the classic black-and-white picture of workers eating their lunch atop a construction frame.

This is not the first time Israel has attracted attention for its Twitter activity. In 2018, the Embassy of Israel replied to a Tweet by Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader, using a GIF of the iconic 2004 movie, Mean Girls, which gathered almost 100,000 likes.