‘Despicable and infuriating’: Netanyahu ad with Hamas terrorist condemned in Israel

An actor plays the part of a member of Hamas in the Likud ad. Screen still from ynetnews.com
​Likud election headquarters came under heavy criticism after one of its campaign videos made a link between Israeli workers and Hamas, the Palestinian political group that Israel – along with the US and UK - labels a terrorist organization.

The characters in the ad, members of a so-called ‘Victims of Bibi’ support group, complain they can no longer swindle the public thanks to government reforms initiated by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. ‘Bibi’ is the prime minister’s nickname.

In one part, an employee with the Israeli Broadcasting Authority says she can longer take money for nothing due to the elimination of the TV levy.

"I am here because of Bibi,” the actor says. “What can we say, us broadcast authority collectors; from whom will we steal money for no reason?"

Another portrays a mobile phone executive who is upset because he no longer can overcharge customers. A tea distributor complains that he can no longer earn money for doing very little.

Then, a Hamas terrorist speaks up, saying that he too was part the support group meeting because of Netanyahu.

After the actor says “I am also here because of Bibi.” The support group members offer him comfort, saying, “We love you, Mustafa!”

The video elicited a strong reaction from many corners of Israeli society.

Screen still from ynetnews.com

National Union Chairman Avi Nissenkorn rebuked Likud for an advertisement that lumps together “workers and murderous terrorists,” Ynet News reported.

“This is an infuriating position which has no place in Israeli discourse,” Nissenkorn railed. “We must condemn this phenomenon, and the Likud and its chairman must apologize to all Israeli citizens."

The Ashdod Port Union said the Israeli leader, who makes a personal appearance in the video at the end, should be “ashamed.”

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Shelly Yachimovich, a parliamentarian with the Zionist Union party took to Facebook to express her feelings, saying, "The clip distributed by the Likud today of the supposed 'reforms' it implemented, which starred Netanyahu himself, is a despicable and unforgivable attack ad on workers.”

In response to the public outcry, Likud, which pulled the ad, apologized in a statement: "This was an advertisement which covered several of the government's achievements with a humorous tone for the Purim holiday. There was no intention to compare anyone to Hamas or to hurt the many dedicated workers.

“The clip will no longer be screened and we apologize if anyone was offended,"
it said.