Controversial Labor-Hatnua candidate Yossi Yonah responded forcefully Monday evening to attacks against him and his candidacy by the Jewish Home party.
Yonah, a long-term professor of political philosophy and philosophy of education at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, is #23 on Labor's list. He has also been linked to the radical leftist New Israel Fund (NIF) and was behind the Geneva Initiative.
As part of an attack on Labor, Jewish Home published a campaign video against Yonah that mimics Hamas propaganda clips, complete with a green background, a Hamas TV logo and mistake-riddled Hebrew texts.
The clip includes statements attributed to Yonah, including one lauding "Zionist" soldiers who refuse to serve in the “occupied territories,” and another that says "there is no difference between the Holocaust and the Nakba."
Another quote in the clip states “as long as there is occupation, there will be terror.” Yet another says “I pray to see you expelled from your homes again,” and is directed at Jews who were expelled from Gush Katif.
At the end of the video, the viewers are told: “It's not Hamas! It's Yossi Yonah.”
Labor-Hatnua has already responded to the video by filing a complaint against Jewish Home for incitement with Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.
According to the party, "The crude linkage made between Mr. Yonah and Hamas – a terror organization that has vowed to annihilate the state of Israel – especially in a period so close to Operation Protective Edge – is intended to create the false impression that Mr. Yonah identifies with the Hamas organization and even encourages terror acts against the state of Israel and its citizens."
However, Monday marks one of the first times the fresh-faced politician has responded personally to the video – and he did so in cutting fashion.
During an interview with Dafna Liel on Channel Two News, Yonah proceeded to sharply attack Jewish Home.
"They're coming to me and demanding that I prove my Zionism? The same people who spat at soldiers, who stood in front of soldiers during the disengagement [from Gaza] and called them Nazis."
"This is ridiculous. The people who are really and most immediately endangering the Zionist enterprise is this group of crazies – homophobes, racists, fascists, nationalists" Yonah charged. "Suddenly, I need to apologize to these people?"
"Two states for two peoples; that is my policy," he continued. "I think that if we examine [this issue] on Israel's streets, that's probably what 90% of the public wants. A just, sane, humane, and peaceful society."