Gulf states are threatening to boycott Nissan. The reason? A new Nissan commercial airing in Israel has offended the oil-rich Arabs. The commercial depicts a group of robe-flowing sheikhs walking out of a building only to encounter the new Nissan Tiida car, touted for its fuel efficiency. The Saudis slowly walk towards the vehicle, and then begin abusing it — first verbally then physically. One Saudi shouts “You’ve ruined my house!” (colloquial Arabic for “You’ve put me out of business!”). As he’s being carried away, he hollers one last curse, literally: “May Abu Tiida be cursed!” Since “Abu” means “father of,” that’s another way of saying, “May Nissan be cursed,” as the Japanese company is “father” to the model (pretty slick marketing move, portraying Nissan as the solution for high oil prices).
According to the Jerusalem Post, one Arab official, Hani al-Wafa, speaking on Saudi TV, said: “It’s my opinion that Nissan made a huge error by igniting these [racist] instincts. “We need to apply punishments… against these things. In order for Nissan to keep its interests in the region, it must apologize.”