Israeli comedian Noam Shuster-Eliassi joked that she’d tie the knot with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, commonly referred to as MBS, and became an instant hit on Arab social media, The Times of Israel reported.
Speaking in fluent Arabic on her weekly satirical spot in i24 News, the 32-year-old woman lamented that her aunts and grandmother were pressuring her to find a husband even if he’s not Jewish.
Shuster-Eliassi then made a playful reference to secret contacts Israel and Saudi Arabia reportedly maintained despite having no diplomatic relations.
“But I don’t want to just marry anyone, I want to aim higher. And when I do – who is it that I see? They say Bashar Assad is tall – but he’s not right for me. MBS! MBS is tall! And I know that ties are warming up between Israel and Saudi. And so I want to address MBS directly: I tried starting a party named ‘Naama’ so we can work together for peace in the Middle East”, she said.
The joke initially went unnoticed in Israel, but it became a sensation in the Arab world, with a number of media outlets even covering the story on the potential couple as a serious proposal.
Once the news was reported by Israeli media outlets, some social media users praised her for the bold move:
U go girl!— Janis Berman (@BermanJanis) 26 февраля 2019 г.
https://t.co/oOiY60Q9jV— Leonard Quart (@lquartl) 2 марта 2019 г.
Satire still alive in Netanyahu's Israel.
Haha nice 👍— Merouane Bkm 🇪🇺 (@merouanebkm) 26 февраля 2019 г.
When an Israeli Jewish comedian proposed marriage to MBS on an Arabic language program, the video went viral and a lot of people really, really did not get the joke. https://t.co/dYH6C5NXYZ— Lisa Goldman (@lisang) 27 февраля 2019 г.
She is great!!!!— Myrna (@myrnaslist) 27 февраля 2019 г.
As her personality caused an explosive reaction in the Arab world, the comedian felt the need to address her earlier comments.
She suggested that the fake proposal had grabbed so many headlines in the Arab world because it coincided with a conference on the Middle East, co-hosted by the United States and Poland:
“I did not expect by any means for it to explode in this way. I have never experienced something on this scale. The joke was that Saudi and Israel are already having secret meetings, so I asked for him to help me with being single and building my party. The timing with the Warsaw summit is what made it take off. I think the Arab world used it as ammunition to say something about what is happening and the narrow interests that are leading the region”, she told The Times of Israel.
Even though she joked about the Saudi-Israeli thaw, she is against the normalisation of relations unless there is a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“If they are going to build their ties for economic, security and other reasons but ignore the harsh reality of the occupation and the price we all pay for it, I am absolutely against that”.