‘And the Oscar goes to:’ The Likud primary video awards

Likud MKs and candidates have brought out their creative sides with campaign videos. Some are funny, some are clever and some are downright strange.

The Likud primary video awards
With Tuesday’s Likud primary rapidly approaching, the party’s MKs and candidates have brought out their creative sides with campaign videos. Some are funny, some are clever and some are downright strange. Here are some of the highlights.
Best Picture: Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan
Erdan has come out with what is probably the most successful primaries video campaign. In each video, he praises another candidate in the Likud, including ministers and MKs. This is clever, because it inspires his colleagues to share his videos, giving them even more viewers than if only he had shared them. But the actual content of the videos is fun to watch as well, as Erdan is shown in different parts of his house with different family members: Playing video games with a son; and watching a movie with his wife, who makes snarky comments. There are also jokes at the expense of the Left, and some of the videos have bloopers at the end, like when he jumps on a trampoline with his son and cries out “Stop! You’re going too high!”
Best Actor: MK Avi Dichter, and Dr. Reuven Berko, husband of MK Anat Berko
Both Dichter and Berko released campaign videos with a similar motif: A man dressed up as a Palestinian then reveals himself to be an Israeli.
In Dichter’s case, he is shown in costume, wearing a fake mustache and keffiyeh, speaking to an actor playing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The video is entirely in Arabic, and Dichter is known to pepper his speeches in the Knesset with phrases in Arabic, especially when he’s taunting Arab MKs. Dichter faces off against faux-Abbas, who shows Dichter a chart of how much the PA pays terrorists. That’s when Dichter dramatically whips off his costume and says: “The gig is up! You thought you’d keep paying terrorists, and Israel would sleep through it? The law I passed in the Knesset puts an end to that.”
Berko’s video says she was captured by Hamas and shows her facing off against a man in a keffiyeh who interrogates her in Arabic. The man asks her about various laws she’s passed relating to terrorism. It then takes a more humorous turn when the Hamas man turns out to be her husband, Dr. Reuven Berko, who says she’s ready for the next Knesset.
Best Documentary: Former Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat
Barkat released a video of the raw footage of that time in 2015 when he stopped a terrorist with his bare hands. The dramatic video shows Barkat running as his security detail tries to catch up with him. Then, he tackled an Arab terrorist, who had stabbed a haredi man seconds before and tried to attack more passersby. Barkat’s guards then dragged the man onto the sidewalk.
Best Special Effects: MK Yehudah Glick
Glick came out with several amusing campaign videos, including one relating to his wedding, which took place a week before the vote. But the special effects award goes to one in which his staff is seen debating what kind of video he should make. In a joke about the real-life assassination attempt Glick survived, the video shows him as a James Bond-esque character with the slogan, “The man who could not be killed.” Later in the video, he is shown as Morpheus from the film The Matrix, offering viewers a red pill – representing his nationalist views – or a blue pill – representing his liberal views. But unlike Neo in The Matrix, viewers can have both, Glick says.
Best Adapted Screenplay: MK Yoav Kisch
Someone on Kisch’s staff is up on cool viral videos in Israel, and made a parody of one of the funniest of last year. In the original video, Haifa is in therapy because he is made to feel less cool than Tel Aviv. In Kisch’s version, he dresses up as a hipster who’s a leftist and goes to therapy because he’s bitter that the Left doesn’t win. Then, instead of listing all of Haifa’s advantages, Kisch – no longer dressed like a hipster – lists his own.
Best Animated Feature: Jerusalem Minister Ze’ev Elkin
When Elkin ran for mayor of Jerusalem, one of his opponents sent out anonymous text messages comparing Elkin to Gargamel, the Smurfs villain to which he has a slight resemblance. Elkin decided to make lemons into lemonade, and put together a primaries video in which he is Gargamel, and the Smurfs that he terrorizes are Center and Left party leaders Avi Gabbay, Yair Lapid, Tzipi Livni and Benny Gantz, as well as Ta’al leader MK Ahmed Tibi and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Russian President Vladimir Putin also makes a cameo, just because Elkin wanted to remind people that he is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Russian interpreter in meetings with Putin.
Best Foreign Film: MK Sharren Haskel
Haskel has one of the most difficult-to-pronounce names in Israeli politics. One is tempted to say “Sharon,” either with an Israeli or Anglo inflection – but both are wrong! Her francophone parents gave her a name that few in Israel were familiar with before her rise to the Knesset, but Haskel has not yet despaired, and used her primaries campaign to teach people how to say her name - Shah-RENN. The video is made in the style of the classic Israeli educational TV show Without Secrets.