Deputy Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Controversial rapper Yoav “Hatzel” (The Shadow) Eliasi should not be permitted to join the Likud because his views are far to the right of the party, Minister-without-Portfolio Tzachi Hanegbi wrote Likud attorney-general Avi Halevy on Sunday.
Hatzel and his supporters were first invited to join Likud by MK Oren Hazan last month in an invitation first revealed by The Jerusalem Post. Last week, media outlets reported that he did indeed intend to join the party, but as of Sunday he had not.
“Accepting Mr. Eliasi’s request to join the ranks of the Likud would cause the Likud severe public damage,” Hanegbi wrote Halevy.
Hanegbi compared Eliasi to former Likud MK Moshe Feiglin, noting that Feiglin signed up thousands of new members to the party, the majority of whom, Hanegbi said, were proven in studies to have voted in general elections for parties on the Right that compete against the Likud.
“Only after the Likud members were wise enough to not choose Feiglin for a realistic slot on the party’s Knesset list, did the party succeed in winning 30 seats for the first time in 12 years,” Hanegbi wrote.
Hanegbi noted that the Likud’s membership registration department had a legal right to reject Eliasi’s membership form, due to clauses in the party’s constitution.
Eliasi responded by noting that Hanegbi was convicted of perjury and swearing falsely in 2010.
“It amazes me that a minister who convicted of a crime is scolding me,” he said.
Last week, MK Bennie Begin came out against permitting Eliasi to join Likud. Eliasi responded by accusing Begin’s son and daughter of converting to Buddhism and Islam, respectively, a claim that both have flatly denied.
“Bennie Begin called me a bully, and said he would act to disqualify me, because I cast a shadow over him,” Eliasi wrote on Facebook.
“Begin is afraid, and he should be, because as much as I admire his father [former prime minister and Likud leader Menachem Begin], in his case, the rotten apples fell far from the tree.”
Eliasi was part of one of Israel’s most successful hip hop groups, the TACT family, led by rapper Subliminal, but is better known in recent years for making controversial political statements and taking part in violent demonstrations, many of which were counter- rallies against left-wing activists.
He is associated with radical right-wing groups and figures, like Hebron activist Baruch Marzel, soccer hooligans La Familia, and anti-miscegenation group Lehava, and uses social media to spread his views, which have been criticized by many as racist incitement.
Also on Sunday, Gilad Sharon, the son of former president Ariel Sharon, formally joined the Likud.
Lahav Harkov contributed to this report
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