Get 'em out for the lads

Like everywhere else, Israel is split.

In their case it’s between the ultra-religious and the secular-modernisers.

The ultra-Orthodox have similar views to fundamentalists in most religions.

They won’t let their followers watch films, the internet, or mix with the secular.

Every Saturday, groups of these men protest in the centre of Jerusalem.

In the middle of these protests is a café called Bastet, owned by Klil Lifshitz.

Klil herself is two things the ultra-orthodox hate, she’s secular and a lesbian.

Her café is full of more things they hate, it’s vegan and LGBT friendly, and it’s staffed by women who are feminists.

So every weekend Klil gets noisy demonstrations marching past her café.

This year, the Eurovision Song Contest was held in Tel Aviv, a more liberal city.

But the work to prepare for the event was being done on Saturday during the day.

The Chief Rabbi called for Shabbat to be extended 20 minutes due to "the great desecration".

No-one in liberal Tel Aviv was very bothered, but in Jerusalem the ultra-Orthodox protest became angrier and noisier than ever.

Hundreds of furious men blocking the streets and stopping traffic.

The centre of Jerusalem was shut down.

The police were called to clear the disruption, but the protestors fought with them. 

The protestors were as big and tough as the cops, and there were more of them.

They attacked the police, who were being overpowered.

Which is when a really creative thing happened.

A small thing that transformed everything and changed the entire game.

Something so creative, no one saw it coming.

Klil and her staff of waitresses came out of the café and onto the street.

They lifted up their T-shirts and they took them off.

Then they jumped up and down waving them above their heads exposing their brassieres to the protestors.

All the big, fierce, violent rioters stopped dead.

They covered their eyes, they turned their heads, and they ran away as fast as they could.

Their ultra-Orthodox religion didn’t allow them to look on women who were "immodestly dressed".

They couldn’t do anything but run away.

The women carried on jumping up and down, waving their tops in the air and showing their brassieres, until the rioters had disappeared.

The situation had been reversed, not by opposing force with force, but by out-thinking it.

By looking for a weak point upstream of that force.

That’s real creativity.

And since that day something else has happened, the weekly protest marches have avoided Klil’s café.

It seems the ultra-Orthodox can’t risk being exposed to women "dressed immodestly".

That’s a brilliant lesson in not letting the competition write your agenda.

Sometimes what you perceive as your weakness can actually be your strength.

That’s how Bill Bernbach revolutionised advertising with campaigns for VW and Avis.

That’s what Mary Wells did for Benson and Hedges.

That’s what Carl Ally did for Federal Express.

That’s what John Webster did for Cadbury’s Smash.

Sometimes the strongest thing you’ve got isn’t a traditional strength at all.

Sometimes the strongest thing you’ve got is a perceived weakness.

Dave Trott is the author of Creative Blindness and How to Cure It, Creative Mischief, Predatory Thinking and One Plus One Equals Three

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