Shas Campaign Video Drips With Barely Concealed Racism
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The Sefardi haredi Shas political party prepared an election campaign video commercial made to inflame fear and hatred of African refugees and push voters to support Shas' anti-refugee policies and vote for Shas in the upcoming elections, it was reported yesterday in the Hebrew language daily Yedioth Achranot and then later on the Times of Israel website.
Shas reportedly killed the 5-minute video at last minute fearing a backlash due to the video’s palpable racism.
The video does not appear to be a campaign video at first. The first three minutes are filled with clips of Israelis expressing fear for their safety and venting anger over the affordable housing shortage.
Both problems are attributed to the African refugees.
One woman complains that, “it’s their fault that there are no apartments. It’s their fault that housing is very expensive.”
A man says that, “tomorrow the Sudanese will continue to walk around here, continue to beat [people] up, continue to stab and continue to rape our women.”
The video’s narrator makes it clear that the threat these African refugees – which the Shas film insists on calling “infiltrators” – pose doesn’t end even if the “infiltrators” are peaceful and law abiding.
“[The “infiltrators”] control neighborhoods in south Tel Aviv, Eilat, Ashdod, and other cities [and pose a] social, religious and security threat,” the narrator says, going on to note that the “greatest threat of all is the demographic threat.”
The video also claims that the majority of the African refugees are Muslim. Therefore, the video insists, they “do not believe in the State of Israel’s right to exist.”
It is only in the video’s last two minutes that its political message becomes clear: Only the Shas Party’s Chairman Eli Yishai can deal with the threat to Israel from these African refugees, and only Shas and Yishai will force them to be repatriated to their countries of origin.
The video closes with footage from the summer’s mass anti-African-refugee rallies in south Tel Aviv, at least one of which ended in an anti-African riot.
The footage has shots of Israelis holding signs reading “Eli Yishai was right.” A woman is interviewed during one of the demonstrations. She says that with Yishai in the government, “not one Sudanese will remain. There will be work. Everyone will be able to earn a living.”
The video concludes with the slogan, “Let Eli Yishai win. Because I have no other land.”
Yedioth reportedly quoted sources close to Yishai who said that Shas had planned to put the video on the party’s official website even though they claimed that it wasn’t officially part of the campaign because they believed that the video alone would increase Shas’s Knesset share by as much as three seats.
On Saturday, Shas’s Number 3, Aryeh Deri, retracted statements he made earlier last week that the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu combined party list was a list “for Russians and whites” only.
But Deri was race baiting again Sunday, when he wrote on his Facebook page that no people of Sephardi origin were slated to fill a significant post in the upcoming Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu cabinet.
Shas’ as a political party has a long history of race baiting beginning with its founding in 1984 to inflame traditional Sefardi voters who are not haredi and win their votes.