A new hand gesture with four fingers promoted by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Likud members, signifying the ostensible upcoming four years of a Likud government, accidentally mimics an identical gesture used by the Muslim Brotherhood.
A mysterious tweet made by Netanyahu and other Likud members on Sunday, stating that 1+1=4, left many puzzled as to what the party meant by this unique mathematical equation.
1+1=4— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) September 11, 2022
1+1=4— מירי רגב (@regev_miri) September 11, 2022
1+1=4— Miki Zohar מיקי זוהר (@zoharm7) September 11, 2022
The tweets provoked many attempts to find out what the message behind the equation was. According to some internet denizens, the timing of the tweet, which came with the news of the dissolution of the partnership between Shaked and Handel and the reconnection of the Bayit Yehudi Party, could be the answer to the riddle.
Others claimed that the reference is to the two seats saved for Amichai Shikli and Idit Silman who may give Netanyahu a stable government for 4 years.
Later on Sunday, while meeting with Likud supporters in Jerusalem, Netanyahu revealed the solution to the enigmatic equation, stating that every Likud voter that brings along another voter that did not vote in the last election would guarantee four years of a "strong, stable right-wing government." Netanyahu then asked the audience to make a number four gesture to solidify the new slogan.
The new campaign was further used by the Likud, both by party members and campaign videos of voters.
יש לכם כוח ענק בבחירות האלה:1️⃣➕1️⃣4️⃣ pic.twitter.com/2Hrbmemwyz— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) September 12, 2022
An unfortunate oversight by the Likud headquarters was the similarity between the "four" gesture used in the campaign and an identical gesture widely used by the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters, namely in Turkey, even used on several occasions by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Origin of the "R4bia" sign
The Rabaa sign, often stylized as R4BIA, is a hand gesture originally used by the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters in Egypt in the wake of the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi.
The sign is named after the Rabaa al-Adawiya Square in Nasr City, Cairo Governorate, which surrounds the Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque, where a sit-in was held by the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Morsi's inauguration.
The sit-in lasted for forty days before it was violently dispersed by Egyptian security forces, leading to clashes that resulted in 638 deaths, of which 43 were police officers.
The Rabia sign and gesture were later widely used in certain political and social circles, both in Egypt and in particular, Turkey. The President of Turkey, Erdogan, and his supporters have been seen in several conferences and speeches making Rabia gestures.
Even though the Muslim Brotherhood was designated as a terrorist organization by the US in 2013, the gesture was used for years as a sign of solidarity with Egypt, most notably being used by Erdogan as a sign of support for the Muslim Brotherhood and remembrance of the Rabaa crackdown of 2013.