Herut may rehash 'Palestinian Hatikva' [pg. 2]

The head of the Central Elections Committee, Supreme Court Justice Dorit Beinish, may have unwittingly set a precedent on Thursday when she permitted Kadima to use a jingle that sounds similar to "Hatikva." Herut spokeswoman Sarah Tiktinsky said that the leaders of the right-wing party would meet on Sunday to consider using Beinish's ruling as authorization for Herut to use its jingle from the last election that was banned by Beinish's predecessor, former justice Mishael Cheshin. The jingle uses the tune for the national anthem but substitutes Naftali Hertz Imber's lyrics with Arabic words about the Palestinians destroying Israel. Tiktinsky wrote the words as though they were sung by Palestinian terrorists. "Biladi, biladi, Filastin (my country, my country, Palestine), Arafat is Salah A-Din," the song starts out, making reference to the Palestinian national anthem and the 12th century Muslim leader who conquered Jerusalem. The song goes on to talk about returning to Acre, Ramle and Lod and slaughtering the Jews. Tiktinsky said that new songs were in the works but that Herut would check whether or not Beinish would rule differently than Cheshin on the Palestinian "Hatikva" song. "It's interesting that with Kadima everything is permitted," Tiktinsky said. Kadima officials said in response that the Herut song was disqualified not for using "Hatikva" but for its controversial lyrics. Herut submitted its Knesset list to the Central Elections Committee on Thursday night after press time. The list includes two Anglo candidates, London-born Eli Yosef in the sixth slot and New Yorker Mordechai Twersky in the seventh. Yosef is an activist for Jewish unity, Jonathan Pollard, Raoul Wallenberg and other causes. He will lead a hunger strike outside the Prime Minister's Office on Sunday warning of civil war if the government does not commit to holding a national referendum on evacuating settlements. Twersky is a veteran journalist who has written for the New York Times and New York Jewish Week and whose programs have aired on the now defunct Jerusalem Post Radio and Virtual Jerusalem Radio, IsraCast.com and New York radio stations. The scion of a 250-year rabbinic-Hasidic dynasty, he was a candidate for the State Assembly of New York in 1994. "I join all Israelis in praying for the recovery of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon," Twersky said in a letter to voters on his Web site. "But with Kassam rockets now falling on Ashkelon, with al-Qaida at our doorstep, and with Israel now considering negotiations with the terrorist group, Hamas, this government has made a mockery of its pledge of 'peace and security.'"