Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett launched a viral election video on Wednesday in which he mocked the left for being too apologetic when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Israeli foreign relations.
Using the symbol of a stereotypical Tel Aviv hipster to represent a broader demographic of the liberal-secular Israeli left - a move likely to target a younger demographic and create some pre-elections buzz – a disguised Bennett took to the streets with a camera.
Dressed in full on lumberjack attire, with a fake beard and carrying along a painstakingly cute pug, Bennett was seen saying 'I'm sorry' to everyone in Tel Aviv from the waitress who spilled his espresso at a local café to the driver of a car that rear-ended him.
He even apologized for interrupting the photo shoot of a couple taking wedding shots on Rothschild Boulevard to say Mazel Tov.
The message was clear.
Bennett, in a light-aired manner, was responding to the left’s criticism of right-wing leaders being too pushy and arrogant in its relations with the US. In defense of Israel’s tough diplomatic stance, Bennett hinted that the left come off as weak and easily pushed around.
Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On responded to Bennett’s video with a video of her own in which she is seen dressing up as a Jewish settler.
But just as you think she is about to start mocking Jewish settlers living in settlements in the West Bank, a message comes up on the screen and reads, “Did you really think so?”Another message follows: “Meretz does not make fun of brothers and sisters. Meretz works for everyone.”
Meretz took a jab at Bennett by using the term “brothers and sisters,” as Bennett is known for his slogan “Bennett is a brother.”
Although the videos were made in good humor, they point to a serious rift in Israeli society that has many times been marred with violent disagreements and riots between left and right-wing activists.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also tried to poke fun at the recently formed union between Labor Chairman Isaac Herzog and Hatnua Chairwoman Tzipi Livni.
"The elections are clear elections between the right and the left. Between the Likud headed by me and Labor headed by...headed by...now this is the choice,” said Netanyahu, trying to make fun of the fact that the two leaders would take turns in serving as prime minister if they were to be elected.