Mirror, mirror but no Netanyahu on the wall

Ramat Gan Deputy Mayor Roi Barzilai put up a social media poll asking whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s picture should be taken off the wall of City Hall.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
Hang on to your ethics, or hang up your prime minister?
That’s the question Ramat Gan Deputy Mayor Roi Barzilai asked his Facebook fans on Monday when he put up a social media poll asking whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s picture should be taken off the wall of City Hall.
Barzilai’s poll question featured one image with Netanyahu’s picture on the wall, saying, “Still a statesmanlike figure,” and another image without Netanyahu’s picture, saying, “Statesmanship had been lost, and so was the picture.”
The poll received hundreds of responses, with most being against the removal.
“It’s a shame you’re part of my city,” one citizen wrote, tagging Ramat Gan Mayor Carmel Shama-Hacohen.
“Shame on you, you haven’t done 0.00000000001% of what he [Netanyahu] has,” another wrote. “You don’t even deserve to stare at his photo.”
Others asked why Barzilai is dealing with this rather than anything else. “Don’t you have better polls to put up that have to do with making this city better?” one asked.
“I have to say that you deal with nonsense, instead of doing your job,” another proclaimed.
There were some who supported the move to take the photo off the wall. “It has to be taken down,” someone wrote. “The man is degrading the country’s symbols and institutions.”
The Ramat Gan City Council issued a statement saying that “This is an unnecessary provocation, ugly and disrespectful – and the mayor said that to his deputy in real time.”
The move came one day after Osnat Hagai, a kindergarten teacher in Pardes Hanna, located in the Central District, removed a photo of the prime minister from her classroom wall because “I won’t give up on my values,” and that “a person with indictments [typically] can’t work any other job,” Hagai told Israel’s Channel 13. “Why can he?
“I came in from the yard when another kindergarten teacher and I were outside doing something, and then I saw Bibi’s picture in front of my eyes,” she continued. “We teach the kids the exact opposite – and maybe I overreacted when removing the photo within an educational institution – but I won’t give up on my values.”
Hagai’s decision to take down Netanyahu’s photo went viral after she posted a video on Facebook explaining her move.
In response to Hagai’s comments and action, Education Minister Rafi Peretz noted that he “takes her actions very seriously.” However, before any action could be taken, Hagai chose to resign from her position at the kindergarten, sticking with her earlier remarks that she will not give up on her values.
“An Education Ministry that wants to reprimand me because I don’t want to abandon my values… This is not how I was educated at home,” she said. “I don’t have anything personal against [Netanyahu]. I just think a person with indictments can’t set an example.”
She further noted that, “there were a lot of good comments, and there were a lot of bad ones, including that of [Israeli rapper] HaTzel (‘The Shadow’), who shared my post on his page, and of course, all his friends started attacking me. I will not give up my values, [but I will leave] my place of work happily.”
When asked by Channel 13 if she regrets her decision to leave the kindergarten, she said: “It’s not such a big concession. I will not sell out my values.”
Maariv Online contributed to this report.