Israeli ambassador made anti-Semitic video

Israel's UK ambassador Tzipi Hotovely (Hillel Maeir - Flash90)

Asa Winstanley

The Electronic Intifada  /  December 18, 2020

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.

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.

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.

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist and associate editor with The Electronic Intifada; he lives in London