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WATCH: Ultra-right Israeli MKs mock Arabs in Arabic campaign video

This has got to be one of the more disgusting videos I’ve seen. The Otzma LeYisrael party, headed by ultra-right wing MKs Aryeh Eldad and Kahanist Michael Ben-Ari have posted their first campaign video to be shown on Israeli TV on YouTube (according to Ben-Ari’s Facebook page). The televised election campaigns kick off Tuesday night, when Israelis can watch the official pitches from the political parties running for Knesset, every evening until the elections.

The first part of the video is text in Hebrew, blaming Arabs for not paying taxes such as income tax and Arnona (a municipal property tax).

The next segment (00:32) opens with Ben-Ari pouring coffee for Eldad from a finjan into a small glass, saying “Tfadal” (please) with a grin on his face. This particular moment reeks from so much racism, it sends a chill down the spine. From then on, it’s all in Arabic. Both the racists read off their messages, intended for Jewish ears, of course, that “without obligations, there are no rights.”

The video and message is very reminiscent of Former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s (No. 2 in Likud Beiteinu joint list) election campaign from 2009, whose slogan was “without loyalty, there is no citizenship.” The video below, from 2009, ends with the message “Only Lieberman understands Arabic.” Both these campaigns draw on the old right-wing notion that “we know how to deal with the Arabs.”

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Haj Amin al-Husseini

      Comment deleted and user banned

      Reply to Comment
    2. You criticize Israel for racism, I don’t even live in Israel and never had,
      However I am still targeted by Arabs in Europe, (My family fled their Arab homeland decades ago because of the treatment meted out to us ‘The Jews of the Arab world’) I was visiting my elderly Uncle as I always do on saturdays Saturday’s when I was surrounded by three North-African Arabs who shouted obscenities at me, called me monkey and pig, and then started to punch me. However I always now have my companion protector/bodyguard, a Massive military trained Canine,weighing some 100kg and standing to his shoulders at almost 90c/m. those Jew-hating Arab thugs, never saw what knocked them down, those cowards never moved an inch, the Police were very quickly on the scene, they were all bundled into a Police-wagon and taken away. I was attacked on many previous occasions by Arabs, that is why I now keep this Dog as a protector, If one day one of those Arab attackers will be killed by my dog, it won’t be on my conscience, I don’t go around beating up Muslim/Arabs because they are Muslims, they do because many of your Clerics in the Middle-East and even in Europe tell them that it’s the correct thing to do, to kill Jews.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Don’t spread lies. Arabs had never, I repeat – NEVER – attacked anyone unprovoked.

        Reply to Comment
      • Y-Man

        cool story bro

        Reply to Comment
      • Y-Man

        So where was your huge dog when they started punching you in the first place? Is your dog like Batman? Does it just fly out of the shadows to help you in times of duress?

        Reply to Comment
    3. sh

      Didn’t we see these two Knesset clowns in a double-act last when they celebrated the eviction of the Natshes and the arrival in their stead of extremist settlers, by posing for a photo-shoot sprawled on the family’s abandoned sofa?

      Reply to Comment
    4. Shelly

      This is amazing. Call me naive but I would like to know who is the ad agency that produced this spot ($$$)- and who are the people behind the TV networks that surely will ($$$) agree to air this garbage, most likely in prime time? I know that election advertising is usually the lowest of the low but this really scrapes the bottom of the barrel. SPOTS LIKE THIS SHOULD BE BANNED. And P.S., if I lived in the neglected village Jisr el Zarka, adjacent to the creme de la creme Caesarea, I wouldn’t pay taxes or arnona either. I don’t mean to insinuate that Arab Israelis do not pay taxes. I mean to say that they shouldn’t!

      Reply to Comment
      • Gil

        elections ads have a mandatory specific time slot in all the major Israeli channels. all parties receive screen time based on the number of seats in the Knesset with a minimum for new parties.
        moreover, it is the only time were political ads can be screened. it is impossible to put it in the regular commercial breaks.
        I have to admit that I don’t see any racist tone in this specific ad. it is part of freedom of expression that is been implemented in a very poor taste.

        Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Arabs should not pay their taxes, and state should not provide them with services and infrastructure.

        Everybody happy.

        p.s. Not so long ago inhabitants of the mentioned village complained that the water supply has be cut, so they stink, literally.

        “Atash rejects the claims. “Smell me, I haven’t bathed for two or three days,” he says.”

        http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/in-dirt-poor-jisr-al-zarqa-showers-are-a-rare-commodity-1.346559

        However the water supply was cut only from 14:00 to 20:00, leaving them quite a lot of time to wash themselves.

        It seems that they did not wash themselves not because they’ve had no water.

        Reply to Comment
        • Philos

          I want to flag this comment for obscene racism!

          Reply to Comment
          • Carl

            Philos, as a rule of thumb, I don’t engage with any commentators whose given username would sound ridiculous in an actual conversation. I wouldn’t expect to have a serious conversation with someone who insisted on calling themselves LIE_SLAYER, or TRUTH_HURTS, etc., in real life, so I avoid it here as well.

            Saves time and effort for all.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >I don’t engage with any commentators whose given username would sound ridiculous in an actual conversation.

            You little liar xD

            >LIE_SLAYER, or TRUTH_HURTS

            Another pinnacle of dishonesty. One surely could be called trespasser in real life.

            Reply to Comment
          • Philos

            Well, Carl your approach would probably lead to a great deal more serenity. I just don’t think claiming Arab or Palestinian people are unclean or stink should be tolerated on this forum.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            So you are suggesting that “Haaretz” should be banned?

            Reply to Comment
          • Oscar

            But you do thing that calling Mizrahi, Ethiopean, Russian Jews and the Druse, “trigger happy brutes” is not racist?

            Because that is exactly what you called them on Larry’s blog, you hypocrite!

            Reply to Comment
          • Oscar

            My post was to Philos.

            Reply to Comment
          • Oscar

            This is what Philos said:

            “Magav recruits from the most socially, educationally and economically disadvantaged sectors of Israeli society; poor Mizrachim, Ethiopian and Russian immigrants, Druze and Bedouin, and kids with very poor disciplinary or scholastic records in their schools. They’re trigger happy brutes”

            He is a racist himself. Through and through even if he denies it to his last breath.

            Reply to Comment
          • Mitchell Cohen

            @Oscar, Philos is one of the biggest bigots on this site. He has a special place in his heart for American olim too….

            Reply to Comment
          • Oscar

            Yes, Mitchell, I saw him (Philos) shooting his mouth off about American immigrants. He thinks his sh..t does not stink.

            Reverse the things he says about Mizrahi, Russian, Ethiopean and American Jews and substitute the word “Arab” instead of those Jewish groups and if you or I would say those crude things about Arabs, Philos would be up in Arms and would demand that we should be banned for racism. But he can say it about Jews.

            Yes, Philos is an out and out racist and a hypocrite.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Since when facts are racist?

            Reply to Comment
          • Oscar

            Education for Philos:

            To say that the magav are trigger happy brutes is not racist. It may be a lie though.

            To say that the magav which consists of Mizrahim, Russian and Ethiopian Jews as well as Druse and Beduin who are all trigger happy brutes is most definitely racist. Not to mention that it still may be a lie too.

            Get it now, Philos?

            Reply to Comment
        • Danny

          You stink regardless of whether you take showers or not.

          Reply to Comment
    5. Disgusting. Hillel JUC Pittsburgh hosted MK Eldad here in 2008: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryeh_Eldad#References

      Can anyone translate the entire thing for me? I’m only learning Arabic and can’t read or speak Hebrew. It would be much appreciated. :-)

      Reply to Comment
      • Carl

        I’m thinking this may be one of the few times being mono-lingual is an bonus… .. .

        Reply to Comment
    6. Danny

      These two fools always bring a smile to my face, with their crazy antics and warped sense of self importance. Eldad especially is a laugh riot – I doubt the man has ever cracked a smile in his entire miserable life. I think he’s in a perpetual depression because his beloved land keeps having Arabs living on it. Poor him!

      Reply to Comment
    7. XYZ

      I viewed the clip. They said that Jews and Arabs should be equal in Israel in rights and obligations. Why is that racism? It is true that they point out that many Arabs do not obey the law, but the Leftist parties say exactly the same thing about the Haredim. What’s the difference?

      Reply to Comment
      • Scootalol

        Power differential. These two men are, of course Jews. In Israel, Jews are the dominant ethnic caste – they hold the reins of power. To then do as these two do, and speak from their EXTREMELY privileged position, about how little the people they disenfranchise contribute? And of course, Ben-Ari and his buddy there aren’t about to give Arabs (or god forbid, Africans) the same position in Israeli society held by Jews – but they want them to “pay in” as much as Jews, while still getting much less out.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          > And of course, Ben-Ari and his buddy there aren’t about to give Arabs the same position in Israeli society held by Jews

          A rather baseless assumption.

          >but they want them to “pay in” as much as Jews, while still getting much less out.

          Another baseless assumption.

          Reply to Comment
          • Scootalol

            No, it’s an assumption based on Michael Ben-Ari’s stated positions and the platform of the Strength to Israel party.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >No, it’s an assumption based on Michael Ben-Ari’s stated positions and the platform of the Strength to Israel party.

            You’ll have to bring up some proof to back your claims. Until that they remain what they are – baseless.

            Reply to Comment
    8. jjj

      This article misleads.

      Though these are extreme right MKs, their video is no where as racist as you pointed out. Your reaction is fraudulent. There are a lot more extreme racist comments both in Israel and by far in the Arab world (including members of Arab parlaments, if not higher).

      Reply to Comment
      • Jorge G.

        JJJ:you write “There are a lot more extreme racist comments both in Israel and by far in the Arab world”

        You are quite right but…take into account that most of the “more extreme racist comments” have been coming from the party whose video we are discussing and also that if others do it, whether Arabs or Cambodians,is not a valid excuse for us falling into racism.

        Reply to Comment
    9. Aaron Gross

      I really liked the Otzma LeYisrael ad. I didn’t see it as mocking Arabs at all.

      The “no rights without duties” is a commonplace of political theory: except for very basic “human rights,” you only have rights as a member of some polity, and that entails duties and not only obedience, but loyalty.

      Reply to Comment
      • Piotr Berman

        GREAT: The “no rights without duties” is a commonplace of political theory: except for very basic “human rights,” you only have rights as a member of some polity, and that entails duties and not only obedience, but loyalty.

        It shows benefits of studying the political theory in (then) Soviet Union.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          >It shows benefits of studying the political theory in (then) Soviet Union.

          Or in modern USA for that matter.

          Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities

          Rights

          Freedom to express yourself.
          Freedom to worship as you wish.
          Right to a prompt, fair trial by jury.
          Right to vote in elections for public officials.
          Right to apply for federal employment requiring U.S. citizenship.
          Right to run for elected office.
          Freedom to pursue “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

          Responsibilities

          Support and defend the Constitution.
          Stay informed of the issues affecting your community.
          Participate in the democratic process.
          Respect and obey federal, state, and local laws.
          Respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others.
          Participate in your local community.
          Pay income and other taxes honestly, and on time, to federal, state, and local authorities.
          Serve on a jury when called upon.
          Defend the country if the need should arise.

          http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.749cabd81f5ffc8fba713d10526e0aa0/?vgnextoid=39d2df6bdd42a210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=39d2df6bdd42a210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD

          p.s. Is there ANYTHING you actually do know for fact?

          Reply to Comment
    10. sh

      Interestingly laid out article spotted in The Times of Israel this morning. The Central Elections Committee chairman announced yesterday that it wasn’t happy with the clip we’re discussing. It says, a few paragraphs down:

      “Rubinstein also ruled that the Otzma Leyisrael (Power to Israel) party could not broadcast the phrase “Not an Arab country, not a country of infiltrators” in its campaign ad. He notified the party that he was considering banning another part of the ad, in which the far right-wing party’s members say in Arabic, “No rights without obligations.””
      “http://www.timesofisrael.com/election-committee-bans-balad-far-right-party-ads/

      Note the also.

      The headline puts another apparently offending clip ahead of Eldad-BenAri’s: Balad’s.
      Remember?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzyRr9K8m1Y&feature=player_embedded
      Below that headline is a large photo of Hanin Zoabi forlornly surrounded by empty Knesset seats and then the leading item, the banning of Balad’s tuneful clip.

      Upside-down world.

      Reply to Comment
    11. My Hebrew is rusty and my Arabic minimal but as far as racism goes – didn’t strike me that way. So I suppose it’s a question of understanding it in context. Perhaps more explanation would help.

      I don’t agree with the political argument but it didn’t seem to be, as claimed, “one of the more disgusting videos I’ve seen.”

      Reply to Comment
      • Haifawi

        Like everything else about this conflict, context is everything. Hasbara (on all sides, mind you) feeds on ignorance. What is so offensive about this video is that in multiple sentences the independent clause is “Arabs should belong to the state” and then the dependent clause is “the state for the Jews (i.e. not Arabs)”

        Reply to Comment
        • Shmuel

          “What is so offensive about this video is that in multiple sentences the independent clause is “Arabs should belong to the state” and then the dependent clause is “the state for the Jews (i.e. not Arabs)”

          According to your logic then Jews living in Muslim counties (the few that still live there) should also be offended?

          One choice is to make everyone to be a generic human being, not Jewish nor Muslim, just human. Do you think that will ever happen?

          Another choice is to get Muslim/Arabs to move to Arab countries so they need not be offended by being asked to be part of a Jewish state. Ditto for Jews living in Muslim states who should move to Israel. I don’t think you are advocating that, are you Haifa?

          The third choice is to live and let live. Tolerate and respect differences. A Jewish country can have an Arab/Muslim minority and in an environment of peace, both the minority and the majority can have equal rights in a Jewish state. What is your problem with that Haifa?

          Reply to Comment
          • Haifawi

            The states of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Algeria (pretty much everyone except Lebanon, which is non-denominational, and Iran and Saudi Arabia) are states governed according to Islamic principles, not so that Muslims can fulfill their national project. I think Nasser once tried something like that, didn’t work so well.

            Another thing is that us Jews currently living in Arab countries (as well as Iran) are indigenous to those lands and are part of the fabric of life there. This place (Israel) is a planned community where the fabric of life was torn in 1948 (don’t give me that 2000 years of hope tripe, there’s very few families from the old yishuv still around), and it is our responsibility to reintegrate EVERYONE into society here.

            I fully support making everyone human, but I live here, not there, and since it’s apparently so important for this place to be a “Jewish State,” then there is a special obligation to the minorities here so we don’t become like Iraq, Kuwait, et al.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “since it’s apparently so important for this place to be a “Jewish State,”

            The reason why it is important is because every other people have their own state. In fact the Arabs have 24 states of their own. So ONE timy Jewish state should NOT upset them so much. Don’t you think Haifa?

            “then there is a special obligation to the minorities here”

            Yes, the state SHOULD treat minorities fairly. But the minorities in turn SHOULD be loyal to the state. Even if the state is Jewish. It SHOULD work BOTH ways.

            Reply to Comment
          • Haifawi

            “Jews” = religion. “Arabs” = ethnicity (although an Algerian doesn’t really have much in common with a Syrian). There are German Jews, American Jews, Lebanese Jews, Iranian Jews, Indian Jews, and even Israeli Jews. The only thing we have in common is that we speak the same language when we pray and face towards the same place. There is absolutely no unifying culture between us…just like the Muslims, and there’s no state called Muslamia just like there’s no state called Jewdonia.

            Simply by not committing treason you demonstrate your loyalty. Tax evasion isn’t treason (and to suggest that Arabs are tax cheats is exactly as offensive as suggesting Black Americans are welfare queens).

            And to be honest, I’m probably far more active in resisting the state than a “present absentee” living in Umm al-Fahm. And yet, I get included in the national narrative while the place he was born is considered by the state to never have existed.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            You are dead set wrong Haifa if you claim that Jews = just a religion.

            In fact, you have probably contradicted yourself. You are no doubt secular yet you called yourself Jewish. So why are you Jewish? If not because of religion, then it must be because of your background, culture, language, history and affinity. All of which make a people.

            But even if you rush to claim that you are a religious Jew, there are millions of Jews who consider themselves Jews but non-religious and maybe even atheistic. So what makes them Jews? Their belief that they belong to the Jewish people.

            Get that concept right Haifa and you will get everything else right. Otherwise you will agree with the many many Arabs who claim that Jews have no right to have self determination. Which you probably do believe, judging by what you said. And if you do believe that, you aid and abet the enemies of the Jewish people.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jorge G.

            About your “Yes, the state SHOULD treat minorities fairly. But the minorities in turn SHOULD be loyal to the state”. A case in point is that of the Beduins; they have consistently shown their loyalty to the State, but the State is nottreating them fairly and on top has grabbed their lands.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kiwi

            Maybe maybe not. But lets say you are right.
            Then do something about it. Israel is not the only state that is not perfection personified. In most countries there are parties who protest wrongs. Do something constructive but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water and deny Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Because by doing that, you would perpetrate a bigger wrong.

            Reply to Comment
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