Thursday, October 07, 2021

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory.

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Palestinian Nazi flagHebron, October 10 - An entrepreneur with a keen sense of local cultural and political sensibilities launched a new operation last month that delivers restaurant and fast food throughout areas under autonomous rule, and reported this week that it has already turned a profit by integrating burgeoning demand with a venerable and abiding sympathy among the populace for Nazi ideology and policies.

Businessman Hassan Obeid opened his Uber Alles Eats in mid-August. Revenue forecasts predicted the company would shift from red to black sometime in the first quarter of 2022, but the resonance of a Third Reich slogan combined with the familiarity of the term Uber Eats proved so popular that Mr. Obeid has already generated enough income to pay off initial loans, and now looks to expand the business beyond food delivery.

Other food delivery apps and services exist in the Palestinian Territories, but Uber Alles Eats resonates with Palestinians in ways that other, similar operations have failed to do. The "Deutschland über alles" phrase - "Germany above them all" - from a Nazi anthem reminds Palestinians of their leadership's alliance with Hitler and evokes the glory days of when Jews were defenseless victims and still at least a societal peg below them and always available as a punching bag when scapegoating became psychologically necessary.

Survey data bore out the latter point in several polls, according to marketing researchers. "Uber Alles Eats basically steamrolled the competition since its launch," observed Khalil Mustafa of the firm Hussein Bakri. "All the others were local initiatives, and lacked either the resources or imagination to implement something like this. Clever puns about food, a slick online interface, and a modern color scheme might work over in Tel Aviv, New York, or London, but here the people respond better to campaigns that suggest they are not just tools of greater powers, but actually have some connection to power themselves, even if only relative to the downtrodden dhimmi Jew of the past."

The valence of Nazi attitudes and symbols in Palestinian society has often featured in political contexts, notably in the conflict with Israel: burning swastikas at protests; Nazi flags at demonstrations; and genocidal rhetoric as in the Hamas movement's charter. Commercial entities have also sought to capitalize on the phenomenon, notably a Gaza Strip fashion store named Hitler. Uber Eats Alles, however, marks the first time such an initiative has launched on a national scale, and Mr. Obeid hopes one day to gain use of Hamas's tunnel network in the Gaza Strip to expedite deliveries in inclement weather.


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