Otzma Yehudit, represented by Baruch Marzel at number four on Eli Yishai's Yachad – Ha'am Itanu list, has not only won its case to allow Marzel to run in elections, in the process it also has won an impressive supporter: Israeli Zionist rap superstar Yoav Eliasi, better know by his stage name Hatzel.
Hatzel, who launched to superstardom in a duo with Kobi Shimoni – or Subliminal as he is known to fans – and essentially revolutionized the Israeli hip-hop scene, posted pictures to his Facebook page on Thursday with Yishai and Bentzi Gopshtain of Otzma Yehudit, who is also director of the anti-assimilation group Lehava.
"After the High Court gave (MK Hanin) Zoabi an official pass to continue inciting against Israel and returned her smile, I couldn't keep quiet anymore," wrote Hatzel. In overturning the Central Elections Committee decision against Marzel, the High Court also removed the disqualification of the radical pro-Hamas Arab MK Zoabi.
"I went up yesterday to Jerusalem and I met with the members of Otzma Yehudit who joined the Yachad party led by Eli Yishai, and I decided to do everything so that a man like Baruch Marzel will enter the Knesset and erase the smile from her (Zoabi) and her friends' faces. Enough!" wrote the rapper.
Hatzel acknowledged "so I'm a secular Tel Avivian, I decided to put all the disagreements behind because the goal sanctifies the means and we are in a war on our home, so I'm putting קץ (the letters chosen by Ha'am Itanu for the vote – ed.) in the ballot box because only together (Yachad – ed.) we will succeed in defending our land. Religious and secular together in one fist."
Labor running scared
The post evidently frightened Labor party head Yitzhak Herzog; less than six hours after Hatzel's post, Herzog had put on Facebook an image of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on one side and various figures on the other, with the words "if you vote for him, you get them."
All of the "them" Herzog posted were right-wing politicians, from Likud and Jewish Home as well as Marzel, but featured prominently among them was none other than Hatzel.
Hatzel responded to Herzog's post, saying he was surprised by Herzog "apparently trying to insult, but in my opinion I'm in good company in the picture and I took it as a compliment, and if I frighten them so much it's a sign that I'm doing something right."
The rapper posed that if Netanyahu had posted a picture of leftist and Arab MKs with left-wing music stars, "what would the headlines be the next day?! That Bibi (Netanyahu) is fighting leftist artists and silencing people? But for Buji (Herzog) and the left it passes because everything's permitted to them as long as it's against someone from the right, doesn't matter if they're an artist or MK."
"When I shouted that the left is conducting a character assassination against me and blocking my concerts, they said I'm delusional," said Hatzel. "So now that a prime ministerial candidate publishes this, am I still delusional? Or is this the hit list of the left?"