Israel Needs to End Its Energy Ambiguity
A call to free Sheka and Teka, Israel’s Burt and Ernie
In the days following the recent meetings between Iran and the P5+1 Group in Geneva, the debate about Iran’s nuclear program is likely to continue until the two sides prepare to meet again next month. For something smart about the negotiations, specifically how the U.S. can reward Iran for compliance without lifting sanctions, check out Jeffrey Goldberg’s Bloomberg piece.
Meanwhile, the Middle East’s most ambiguous energy-related dynamic that NO ONE is talking about, continues to beguile apace without international focus, sanctions, or pressure. I’m talking about Israel. More specifically I’m talking about Sheka and Teka, the mascots of the Israel Electric Corp., who have divided the Israeli public since at least 5763. There’s been a new development:
The puppets, named Sheka and Teka in Hebrew, have appeared in ads for the state-owned Israel Electric Corp. for more than a decade. Israelis have long playfully questioned whether they might be gay. But the arrival of a baby puppet in the new campaign set off fresh speculation about their sexual orientation. …
Sheka and Teka have drawn comparisons with another famous puppet pair: Bert and Ernie, whose sexuality also has come into question in pop culture. Sesame Workshop, which produces “Sesame Street,” has declared that the two are just good friends and they “remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”
In their latest ad, Sheka and Teka are seen in a living room, talking to a pinkish baby puppet with a tuft of orange hair. The scene then flashes back to a hospital nursery, where the baby is sucking on a pacifier and Teka congratulates Sheka on the birth of his child. It’s unclear who the mother is.
For a country that prides itself on its progressive bent on gay rights issues (and is somehow also maligned for it), the saga of Sheka and Teka is one that ought to be resolved. Sheka, Hebrew for socket, and Teka, Hebrew for a plug, if they are a couple, should be allowed to come out from behind the wall and admit their love. They are, after all, the very symbols of what brings warmth into homes across Israel. Below is video of the two in their earlier years.
67 percent say reporting anti-Semitic incidents to authorities is ineffectual