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The current U.S. news cycle has been increasingly dominated by politicized stories, often involving one group of people holding a protest in response to another group of people, with counter-protesters also filling out the herds. But one such opinionated communal gathering that recently occurred in Israel surprisingly had nothing to do with politics, nor an attempt to get a TV show uncancelled, and it had everything to do with the permanently popular American sitcom Friends. With tongues firmly in cheek, these protesters were speaking out against one of the show's most debatable topics: Ross and Rachel's supposed "break."
Roughly 100 Israelis, many young adults, gathered on Saturday night outside Tel Aviv's City Hall, with homemade signs and rhyming chants at the ready. While these protesters were more likely to share coffee and share dinosaur facts than provoke violence, their Friends-inspired viewpoints were nonetheless upfront and easy to determine: Ross wasn't guilty of cheating on Rachel, because they were definitely on a break, and he shouldn't have been treated so harshly in "The One the Morning After" and beyond. Take that, Rachel-philes!
it's a moral quandary that has fueled a lot of non-publicized Friends discussions, and while many see Rachel as the jilted soul here, there are obviously more than enough fans out there who took her at her word when she frustratingly went off on Ross for moronically bringing a picnic basket to her office, despite her claims that she was too busy for such things. That, plus his possibly unfounded Mark jealously, was what caused her to call for the "break," which is also noted in the episode's title. But this group of protesters in Israel clearly didn't blame him too much for all that Mark business.
According to The Jerusalem Post, the protesters were chanting things like "Rachel, Rachel be ashamed, he came out of it unscathed!" and other phrasings that form appropriate rhyme schemes in Hebrew. One American woman currently living in Australia, Paige Wilsey, actually cancelled her flight out of Israel once she got wind that the protest was happening, and didn't seem to regret a second of it, saying there were "so many laughs" had with everyone else there.
One might be wondering how in the world this protest actually came about, and it will probably surprise no one that it all started as a joke. Amir Barkol, an administrator for the satirical Facebook page "Am;lek," brought up several of the more polarizing world leaders making headlines, saying that there's a yearning to go back to simpler times. According to Barkol:
You hear about all those important protests, and it made me think why can't we protest about less important things? I didn't have a clue that it would become such a big thing. It was just a joke.
Of course, a single protest definitely won't be ending this argument for anyone, and fans will likely debate "the break" until debating ceases to exist. Amir Barkol also humorously teased possibly taking the protests to Chandler and Monica's relationship next.