Opinion: Unhate

POSTED: 11/18/11 5:08 AM

The marketeers at the Italian fashion house Benetton have a knack for exploiting soft spots. They know how to create controversy, and they do this for one reason only: to have people around the world talk about Benetton.
And yep, they did it again, this time with a series of pictures under the rather brilliant theme unhate. One of these pictures shows the pope kissing the Egyptian imam Ahmed al-Tayeb. The Vatican is outraged and labeled the picture as a gross insult of Pope Benedictus XVI.
Benetton countered with a statement saying that the campaign focuses on constructive provocation and that it is designed to reveal the ideal of tolerance on a large scale.
Other posters show the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu kissing the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the ame4rican President Barack Obama kissing the Venezuelan enfant terrible Hugo Chavez.
It’s a great campaign and absolutely provocative. The Kingdom ought to come up with its own series. We imagine buy cat valium Freedom Party MP Hero Brinkman kissing Pueblo Soberano’s Helmin Wiels; Curacao’s Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte kissing the Central Bank’s president Emsley Tromp; ousted Public Health Minister Maria Buncamper-Molanus kissing Today’s managing editor Hilbert Haar; Emilio Wilson estate owner Henri Brookson kissing St. Maarten Pride foundation’s Jadira Veen and Rueben Thompson at the same time; Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto kissing his fired finance department head Bas Roorda; vice Prime Minister Theo Heyliger kissing Corporate Governance Council chairman Louis Duzanson, and airport director Regina Labega kissing everybody.
It sounds like a great series and we’d gladly publish all these pictures in the great spirit of many cultures, one country, one people. We know, we know; such a series would touch many a soft, a many a sore spot, but we’d do it for one reason only: to have the world talk about St. Maarten.

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