Far-right Israeli campaign ad jokes of ‘fascism’ perfume
Ayelet Shaked a politician with a sense of humor or how far can a campaign marketing go
If you think politicians have used every single dodge there is, Ayelet is here to surprise you. The far-right justice minister released a campaign video, for forthcoming elections, where she poses in a mocking advertisement for a perfume called “Fascism”.
As she is known for her hard-hand agenda, this video is a criticism stone thrown at the courts of Israel, which have long been regarded by rightwingers as too liberal and a barrier to more hawkish politics.
In the black and white video, Shaked saunters around in slow motion, her hair blowing as soft piano music plays in the background. Spritzing herself with a perfume labeled “Fascism”, she whispers her key policies in Hebrew: “Judicial reform … Restraining the supreme court.”
Then, speaking to the camera, she seems to suggest the bottle has been mislabelled: “To me, it smells like democracy.”
Online reaction to the spoof has been mixed, with some non-Hebrew speakers taking the video literally. Others suggested the joke was too close to the truth, pointing to Shaked’s promotion of ultranationalist and authoritarian policies.
Shaked, a senior cabinet minister in the coalition government of the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is a member of the New Right party, a religious-secular nationalist group. The party has lagged recently in the polls. Its members have sought to suppress human rights organizations and reduce the ability of Israeli courts to try soldiers accused of abuses. The party’s co-founder Naftali Bennett rejects any notion of creating an independent Palestinian state and wants to annex most of the occupied West Bank.
On Sunday, the country’s leading court disqualified a racist Jewish politician from next month’s national elections while allowing the candidacy of an Arab party. Shaked said the decision was “a crass and misguided interference in the heart of Israeli democracy”.