Cloudy with a chance of cholent

Iran attack draws dark humor from captive Israeli audience

From politics to Passover, nothing is sacred as Israelis take to social media to ward off wartime jitters

Mullahs on missile-driven magic carpets (Matthew Morgenstern)
Mullahs on missile-driven magic carpets (Matthew Morgenstern)

There’s nothing like a dose of existential dread to turn the People of the Book into the People of the Meme. And with millions of Israelis doomscrolling social media from their safe rooms, the jokesters took full advantage of their captive audiences.

Days before the barrage of some 300 or so projectiles were fired by Iran at Israel overnight Saturday, Israelis stocked up on some humor alongside their canned hummus beans and six-packs of water.

One prankster asked AI to create an image of mullahs riding missiles on magic carpets.

Another said he was less concerned about the imminent attack from Iran, but would like to pitch Sarah Silverman to play his character in the resulting Netflix movie.

Dry Israeli-British humor played well, including a quip from journalist Matthew Kalman who said, “First direct flights from Iran to Israel since 1979.”

Not to be outdone, executive director of StandWithUs Israel Michael Dickson said what many wide-awake Jewish Israelis were thinking, “Well, if we’re going to be up all night, we might as well do the Seder already,” referring to the ritual meal launching the week of Passover next Monday night.

Journalist Matthew Kalman on Facebook: ‘First direct flights from Iran to Israel since 1979.’ (Screenshot)

The memes cranked up once word was out that dozens of car-sized drones had been launched from Iran and were rather slowly making their way to Israel.

A massively shared image charted the unmanned aerial vehicles’ progress to major Israeli cities, giving their expected arrival times in a format used for announcements of the entrance of Shabbat.

Another showed a dial — a la food delivery app Wolt — of the missiles’ estimated time of arrival.

Estimated time of arrival of Iranian projectiles – 540 minutes – from the food delivery app Wolt (courtesy)

Many pranksters took screen grabs from major Israeli news networks and “improved” them with new captions.

One showed the three forms of projectiles shot from Iran to Israel alongside their flight times — and advised which form of food one should make during their journeys: Ballistic missiles take 12 minutes (sandwich), cruise missiles can take two hours (matbucha, a cooked Middle Eastern tomato/pepper salad) and drones should arrive in up to nine hours (cholent).

A parody of a Talmudic discussion from the Passover Hagaddah, saying, ‘It happened once [on Pesach] that Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Tarfon were reclining in Bnei Brak and were waiting for the unmanned armed vehicles that whole night…’ (courtesy)
On X, communications guru Sara Eisen came up with a slew of pithy inspired limericks to pass the time, including this biblically inspired gem: “Haman of old was a Persian / These days there’s a ballistic version / That takes all the old hate / Which it hurls towards a state / It’s the same strange obsessive perversion.”

A limerick from marketing and communications guru Sara Eisen on X. (courtesy)
Parody of ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’ (courtesy)

For many working Israeli parents already at a loss for how to occupy their school-aged children during the Passover break, the news that the daycare system would be shuttered Sunday brought a new onslaught of black humor.

As one parent put it, “In the meantime in the daycare’s Whatsapp group: ‘If the drones are meant to arrive by 4:00 a.m., what reason is there to not open the daycare as usual?!'”

Other parents made “kosher for Passover” parody sequel posters of favorite childhood movies, including “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs — Iran-style.”

Finally, showing appreciation for a heralded hero of the war against Hamas (remember that?), a much-shared image of IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari was captioned with, “We’re all going to die — except for [“Fauda” star and singer] Idan Amedi.”

Screenshot of IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari giving a briefing captioned, ‘We’re all going to die – except Idan Amedi.’ (courtesy)

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