+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

WATCH: Arab party's elections ad banned for 'mocking national anthem'

The televised spots sponsored by Israel’s different political parties will begin airing tonight (Tuesday). Yesterday, the Central Election Committee banned Balad’s clip (below) for “mocking the national anthem.” The clip shows right-wing legislators (Avigdor Lieberman, Michael-Ben Ari, Danny Danon and Aryeh Eldad) singing the Israeli anthem to an Arabic tune.

Recently, the Central Election Committee, the governmental body full of representatives of various Knesset parties, disqualified Balad MK Haneen Zoabi from participating in the elections. The decision was recently reversed by the Supreme Court.

According to Israeli election law, parties cannot buy television spots, and air time is allocated for free in proportion to the party sizes.

In 1998, Ale Yarok, the pro-marijuana legalization party, aired its own trance version of Hatikvah (the national anthem). It wasn’t banned, so we now know something about the musical prefrences of Israeli politicians as well. Watch the clip below – it’s awesome, in a very campy way.

+972 Elections page
Knesset poll tracker – the latest numbers for all parties
WATCH: Ultra-right Israeli MKs mock Arabs in Arabic campaign video

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article

    * Required


    1. Also note that the Israeli pop band Teapacks released a Mizrahi (=Arabic-influenced) version of the same anthem several years ago, in collaboration with Sarit Haddad, an über-popular recording artist who recently appeared at a Likud campaign event and sang “you are a cannon” (Hebrew slang for ‘you’re fuckin’ awesome’) to Benjamin Netanyahu.

      Here’s Teapacks & Haddad’s version: http://youtu.be/4eqn9onTjxc

      Reply to Comment
    2. Carl

      Are you sure it wasn’t banned because of the hypnotising effect of Lieberman’s eyes? Watch the whole thing while staring at them: I dare you.

      On the plus side, Danny Danon’s face looks a lot more realistic than usual.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Haifawi

      All this “banning racism” is both hilarious and extremely offensive to me as an oleh hadash from the US. I mean, there’s so much racism here in day-to-day life that why not put it on TV for all the world to see?

      Reply to Comment
    4. XYZ

      Many people find the Muhammed cartoons amusing and entertaining and so the Muslims, who we are constantly being told here at 972 are much more liberal and open-minded than Israeli Jews are, would welcome the exercise of freedom of expression the Muhammed cartoons allows. If Israeli Jews shouldn’t be closed minded by not liking an Arabic parody of HaTikva, then I assume 972 would also welcome parodies of things holy to Muslim Arabs. Why not post some of those cartoons here?

      Reply to Comment
      • Y-Man

        what hilariously tortured logic. we can always count on you to bring some cutting-edge hasbarist spin justifying Israel’s obvious misdeeds and flaws.

        Reply to Comment
      • Y-Man

        I always look at a situation and think, “how could I bring some aggressive insensitivity towards the group I dislike into this?”

        Reply to Comment
        • Go Y-Man!

          Reply to Comment
      • ronit

        you don’t see the difference between mocking a central figure of a religion and mocking a parliament member? i mean, i completely agree that we should have the liberty to be as tactless and offensive as we want, but not a great comparison to make the point…

        Reply to Comment
    5. Piotr Berman

      I do not know Hebrew nor Arabic, but Balad version sounded quite well compared with the version of Barbra Steisand (should a national anthem sound like a lullaby?). And Avigdor Lieberman and Michal Ben-Ari look much better then the original.

      Reply to Comment
      • sh

        Lullaby, Piotr? Streisand ended it with a blood-curdling octave-plus leap that would have woken a whole crêche-full of babies, if not the dead!

        It seems Elyakim Rubinstein decided that Balad’s cheery ditty ridicules the anthem. Has anyone played him Avigdor Lieberman’s version? Maybe it’s time.

        Reply to Comment
        • Oriol2

          You know, Sh, I love the rendition of Hatikvah by Barbara Streisand -I am listening to it right now-, but I cannot help hating precisely that octave-plus leap! 🙂

          Reply to Comment
          • sh

            She’d sing a supermarket receipt beautifully, Oriol2, but that was a bit over the top (ahem!) wasn’t it.

            Reply to Comment
    6. I am greatly distrubed by the second video. I contains several languages, only one of which I occasionally understand. This is unpatriotic and repulsive to all right thinking people.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Handala

      I am amazed at how Palestinians can still maintain a sense of humor in the midst of their military occupied living conditions!

      Reply to Comment

The stories that matter.
The missing context.
All in one weekly email.

Subscribe to +972's newsletter