Israeli ambassador made anti-Semitic video

Israel’s new ambassador to the UK stereotyped a Jewish human rights group in anti-Semitic terms, The Electronc Intifada has learned.

In a Hebrew YouTube video last year, Tzipi Hotovely mocked Breaking the Silence as being motivated by money.

In a gross caricature, the mostly animated video depicts the group’s activists losing their funding then saying: “Oy vey! My German Euros!”

Depictions of Jews as greedy are a major theme in the history of anti-Semitic stereotypes.

Hotovely released the video to her YouTube channel last year as part of her campaign in the ruling Likud Party’s primary elections.

You can watch a version subtitled and captioned in English above and the original Hebrew below.

Hotovely and the Israeli embassy did not reply to requests for comment.

The revelation that Hotovely promoted an anti-Jewish stereotype opens her to charges of hypocrisy.

“Corbyn is a real danger”

She intervened in Britain’s general election campaign last year when she was Israel’s deputy foreign minister.

Hotovely accused then Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of anti-Semitism.

“Corbyn is a real danger to Israel-Britain relations,” she said. “The things that Corbyn says, and the wind blowing through Labour today, is a wind of anti-Semitism … this election is really a fateful election.”

Anti-Semitism expert and founder of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research Antony Lerman told The Electronic Intifada that the video demonstrated “the degree to which the ‘principles’ and practice of hard right Jewish ethno-nationalism are now simply the new normal in Israeli politics.”

Describing the video as containing an “anti-Semitic trope,” Lerman said that, “For Hotovely, the only definition of anti-Semitism that matters is failure to support Israel come what may.”

Hebrew translator and Israel expert Dena Shunra said the video was “the most anti‑Semitic trope I’ve seen today, and that’s saying something.”

Breaking the Silence is a human rights group founded by Israeli Jews. It publishes the testimonies of former Israeli soldiers, exposing the army’s abuses against Palestinians.

It and other Israeli human rights groups frequently face campaigns of incitement in which government ministers refer to them as “traitors” and “enemies.”

In Hotovely’s video, she appealed to Likud Party members to re-elect her as a candidate for parliament, using the slogan “Strong against the left.”

The video boasts that during her time as deputy foreign minister, Hotovely carried out “a war on BDS” – the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement – and that she has dried up “the funding pathways of the extreme left.”

“Oy vey! My German Euros!”

The so-called “extreme left” in the video are Israeli human rights groups B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence. The video depicts Hotovely as an Israeli superhero.

It portrays the two mostly Jewish groups as being showered with European money, enabling them to carry out their nefarious activities. Super-Hotovely then arrives on the scene to punch out the “extreme” Jewish activists, scattering the money from their hands.

Hotovely’s anti-Semitic video depicted Israeli human rights groups as being showered in European money.

At that point, the Breaking the Silence activist is shown with a speech bubble reading “Oy vey! My German Euros!”

Tzipi Hotovely is a hard-right activist who has worked for years to promote the expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank – a war crime.

She recently came under fire from British Jewish group Na’amod after she called the Nakba – the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by Zionist militias – “a very popular Arab lie.”

In a panel co-hosted by the Israeli embassy with Israel lobby group the Board of Deputies, Hotovely also said that Palestinians “made up a story that is called the Nakba.”

The event Hotovely was speaking at was to promote Israel’s false and fabrication-laden propaganda about the “plight of Jewish refugees” from Arab countries. Israel uses false and misleading claims about the Jews who left Arab countries after Israel’s creation, in an effort to negate Palestinian refugees’ right to return home and receive restitution.

Arabic for “Catastrophe,” Nakba is the term Palestinians use for the expulsion of some 800,000 Palestinians before and after Israel’s founding in 1948.

This is not the first time Israelis have attacked the state’s Jewish critics using anti-Semitic terminology.

Israeli anti-Semitism

In 2017, Israeli-American multi-millionaire and key Israel lobby donor Adam Milstein depicted liberal Jewish billionaire George Soros as a grotesque octopus with tentacles spanning the globe – practically identical to Nazi propaganda.

The Samaria Residents Council’s anti-Semitic video from 2015.

In 2015, a government-funded body representing Israeli settlers in the West Bank released a video which brazenly echoed the worst Nazi propaganda.

The animated video, by the Samaria Residents Council, depicted a Jewish-European conspiracy to fabricate war crimes against Israel.

It showed a Jewish Israeli dissident accepting payments in Euros to carry this out. The ugly, big-nosed character – named only as “Ze Jew” – by turns rubs his hands, passes over a video tape dripping with blood and looks around the room with shifty eyes.

At the end of the clip, “Ze Jew” is shown taking his own life.

Israeli website +972 Magazine said it may have been “the most anti-Semitic Israeli cartoon ever made.” The settler group responded that its critics were only “upset because they do not like what they look like in the mirror.”

Astonishingly, the video was called “The Eternal Jew” – the title of a notorious 1940 Nazi propaganda film. The film and its associated exhibition fabricated a Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy for world domination.

Motifs of Jews being greedy and motivated only by money were common in Nazi and other anti-Semitic propaganda. They can still be found in Israel’s propaganda.

With translation by Dena Shunra.

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The only nation on earth that get a gets out of jail free card due to the absurd charges of antisemitism of anyone who dares criticize their ongoing human rights abuses and systematic genocide of Palestinians and the destruction and theft of their lands.

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Tony Greenstein has written eloquently and at length on the subject of Zionist antisemitism. Far from being incidental to the movement, hatred of Jews lies at the heart of the colonial project to remold them into a brutal nationalistic force. The resort to anti-Semitic archetypes in Israeli propaganda may still have the power to shock, but no one who's looked at the sordid history of Zionism beginning in the 1890s should be surprised at such racism directed at fellow Jews.

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Israel's crimes, by a state that claims to represent all Jews, promote anti-semitism around the world.
But it's interesting to see a powerful government-side politician do so directly.

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A necessary expose. Some of us support BDS not only as advocates of Palestinian human rights but as opponents of anti-Semitism, including Israeli anti-Semitism.

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The very unlovely Hotovely is, as Tom Hall points out, in the long and disreputable tradition of Zionist anti-Semitism. Before he conceived the Jewish State, Herzl proposed the mass conversion of Jews to Christianity and we should never tire of reminding Zionists and their apologists of his famous formulation: "The Yid is a hideous distortion of the human character, something unspeakably low and repulsive..." The Jew as Jew. Only through Zionism, a mongrel doctrine of messianic entitlement and specious progress, could the Jew be redeemed. The redemption had to be bought by swinging to the opposite extreme: the hideous Jew was transmogrified into the perfect Zionist. Note the formulation in the despicable cartoon: "The Israeli interest is finally above all else." What is meant by "Israeli"? Given that full citizenship of Israel is available only to Jews, it becomes synonymous with "the Jewish interest" and as all Jews who are not Zionists are expelled to the outer darkness, the Zionist interest. As Zionism is a political doctrine it is no different from saying "The Tory interest is above all else"; simply, a rejection of democracy which is founded on the belief that no one political doctrine has a right to prevail. It is a chilling statement with icy fascistic sentiment at its heart. Locked into the dungeon of its own subterranean ideology, Zionism, in Hotovely's iteration, is doomed to define itself as the sole truth and Israel the one and only heaven. Such is Zionism's visceral rejection of the wisdom of the Enlightenment which taught us, as Hume put it, to "proportion our belief to the evidence". Zionism is belief bereft of proportion and in defiance of all evidence. In short, a preposterous fantasy but a vicious and dangerous one which sees all who reject its tenets as enemies to be destroyed. Political thinking on the level of a Superman comic; but these people have nukes and the backing of the US. Madness is abroad, the remedy is democratic equality.

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Asa Winstanley

Asa Winstanley's picture

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist and associate editor with The Electronic Intifada. He lives in London. Biography here.