A WAR OVER NOTHING?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
28 June 2011
TEL AVIV –
An Android phone application continues to cause fierce debate in the Middle East.
“How many times have you paid nothing and got something back? Now we offer you a unique opportunity: pay something and get Nothing back! This application does absolutely Nothing. By purchasing it you will help us prove that Nothing is indeed worth Something!”
Nothing – which retails for $0.99 – was developed by Israeli programmer, musician and author Nir Yaniv. In the few days still its release it has already sold in the double figures and was featured on prominent Israeli news site Ynet. One customer described it as “the best App I ever got. It does exactly what it promised to do! Nothing!”
Nothing Pro, retailing for $9.00 and described as “lighter in size, easier on both the memory and the CPU, and it does Nothing way more smoothly and efficiently than the regular consumer version,” has since been released.
Now the tongue-in-cheek application – described by Ynet readers as, variously, “the stupidest thing I have ever seen” and “pure genius” – and resembling British artist Martin Creed’s controversial, Turner Prize-winning piece Work 227: The lights going on and off – has been co-opted in the Middle East’s always-bitter political conflict.
Right-wing blog The Elder of Ziyon has used the application to attack Palestinian politics, writing, in part, “I think that we can expand on this concept. for example, a deluxe edition of Nothing that shows: Every Palestinian Arab concession since 1988; Every example of Mahmoud Abbas’ “moderation”; Every Palestinian Arab “human rights group” that calls for an unconditional release of Gilad Shalit; Every benefit that a Palestinian Arab state would bring to the world,” and continuing further in that vein.
When reached for comment, a bemused Mr. Yaniv said, “I never dreamed that anyone would use the app for political purposes. In retrospect, given the nature of the internet, I should have known better.”
Plans for an iPhone version of Nothing have since been announced.