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19 Mar, 2019 08:16

Israel’s right-wing justice minister samples ‘fascism’ perfume in bizarre campaign ad (VIDEO)

Israel’s right-wing justice minister samples ‘fascism’ perfume in bizarre campaign ad (VIDEO)

It’s an ad we’ve all seen a million times. A saucy seductress sprays herself gently with an overpriced perfume. Except now the femme fatale is Israel’s justice minister, and the perfume is called “fascism.” Is this real life?

Accused by political opponents of embracing right-wing extremism, Ayelet Shaked was clearly going for satire when she released a campaign ad in which she mimics a chichi model who samples a bottle of “fascism” perfume – but the joke hasn’t translated well. Her right-wing views, coupled with the fact that many who watched the video on social media are not Israeli and don’t speak Hebrew, have led some to wonder if Israel’s justice minister has lost her marbles.

As Shaked saunters about in the faux perfume ad, she whispers in Hebrew “judicial reform,” “separation of powers” and “restraining the Supreme Court” – issues which she has made central to her campaign.

After spraying herself with the scent of “fascism,” Shaked tells the camera: “To me, it smells like democracy.”

International outrage over the ad has compelled Israeli journalists to try to explain its context to English speakers.

“It’s a really tone deaf ad, but most of the descriptions I’m seeing in English are pretending it’s a defense of fascism when it’s not. She’s clearly saying she’s accused of fascism but that the policies listed in the ad (which most would-be translators skip) are democratic,” Lahav Harkov, senior contributing editor at the Jerusalem Post, tweeted.

The ad may have succeeded in creating publicity for her upstart political party, New Right, but as Haaretz explained, “an unintended side effect has been to leave thousands of viewers overseas confused and stunned after viewing the ad.” And that may be an understatement.

“I don’t get it. Is she trying to say that she’s a fascist? Or she’s not a fascist?” one Twitter user inquired.

“At least she's honest,” read another tweet.

Even those who understood the intention of the ad had a hard time comprehending the advert’s logic.

“I’m afraid it looks very much like she’s saying ‘that which our enemies label as fascism, I call democracy,’” one Twitter user mused.

“I think what the ad is trying to say is that all those elements being called out are in fact the ingredients for true democracy. That’s the concept. But the execution is so bungled that it comes off as if she's actually in favor of fascism,” remarked another netizen.

Shaked is no stranger to controversy. She found herself in hot water after she advocated that the mothers of Palestinian militants should be killed.

“They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there,” she reportedly said in 2002.

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