Woof! Hugo the Dog joins politics
Online campaign tells MKs "don’t behave like animals," encourages political participation.
Hugo the dog Photo: Avital Sahar
It’s a political slogan never attempted before – he may poop, but at least
someone cleans up after him – but Hugo the Dog isn’t a typical Knesset
Following the launch of his online campaign, including a
Facebook page he uses to taunt Yair Lapid, Hugo gave an exclusive interview to
The Jerusalem Post, which was translated by Avital Sahar, his spokesman and
owner, a media consultant and former adviser to Vice Premier Shaul Mofaz and
spokesman of the Betar movement.
“I don’t usually bark at reporters,
because they misquote me anyway,” he quipped.
According to Hugo, “if
someone is going to bark nonsense from the Knesset, it should at least be a
“The Romans had a horse in the Senate in Caligula’s time, and some
MKs speak like animals, so how much damage can a tiny French Bulldog do?” he
Hugo, who is almost five years old in human years and 35 in dog
years, has a long list of campaign promises. For example, the French Bulldog
says he will be the “true watchdog of democracy,” a job usually saved for the
A dramatic campaign video on YouTube presents Hugo as leader of
the Woof Party, “a fighter and a lover,” and says whoever doesn’t vote for him
is a dog.
“Israel needs a leader that stands on all four feet and bites,
not only barks,” he said. “Vote for me and we’ll wag the Knesset.”
also picked a fight on Facebook with Lapid, posting an image of his campaign
poster on the Yesh Atid leader’s profile.
Lapid responded that Hugo
should join his party, and the dog wrote: “Don’t you threaten to put me on a
leash! That’s animal abuse.”
Sahar sees Lapid’s response as a sign that
his “joke with a message” is a success.
The Hugo campaign is not about a
specific political issue or a business promotion, the media consultant
“In the past few weeks, as a citizen, I have been hearing MKs
making comments I didn’t like, and I am saying they need to act and talk like
human beings,” Sahar stated.
Sahar referred specifically to the migrant
issue, saying he “wants all of them out of the country” and has firsthand
experience dealing with migrants from his IDF reserve duty, but at the same
time, he took offense at MKs calling them a cancer or saying they should be shot
as they cross the border.
While Sahar made sure to point out that he is
complaining about “a few rotten apples” in the Knesset barrel, he said “several
MKs are not taking their job seriously. They don’t realize that words have
“This is not about policy, this is about behavior,” he explained,
adding that there should be honor and respect in the “temple of Israeli
The consultant said he looked for something “creative, funny
and naughty-in-a-good-way” to get his message across, and chose Hugo, who he
called “my angel.”
Sahar hopes his campaign will convince people to be
more politically active.
“Israelis – don’t just complain. Vote,
join a party, run for office,” he said.