Peace Now director barred from Knesset after Borat-style video
Leftist group targeted well-known rightists, including radio host who said Sharon was worse than Hitler.
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin on Monday barred the director of Peace Now from entering the parliament, after activists from the left-wing group interviewed rightist MKs while posing as students.
Following the incident, Peace Now said it had wanted to make a "Borat-like" film to expose the lawmakers' embarrassing remarks, referring to comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's alter ego, a clueless Kazakh journalist.
The group subsequently condemned the ban imposed on Yariv Oppenheimer.
"Peace Now rejects this attempt to punish the movement in the actual place that is supposed to guard the freedom of movement for all of society - whether left- or right-wing," the organization said in a statement.
On Sunday, three Peace Now activists were arrested at the Knesset for asking to interview right-wing MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) while posing as students.
The interview - as seen in the footage below - was cut short.
The three were released from custody shortly after the arrest, but a complaint was filed against them for impersonation and for trying to deceive an MK.
Meanwhile, another target of the film-makers, singer and radio host Dudu Elharar, was reportedly unrepentant for saying that Ariel Sharon was worse than Hitler. Elharar told the Israeli media Monday that he stood by his comments, adding, "I was even kind and merciful."
Dudu Elharar's interview (with transcript below):
Interviewer: Arik [Ariel] Sharon. What goes through your mind when you hear that name?Elharar: A scoundrel and a swindler. Interviewer: He's dead.Elharar: What?Interviewer: He's dead.Elharar: He didn't die... No, he's lying there [in the hospital]. They're inflating him. But I would really want him to feel it. Let him suffer. He deserves the most severe punishment from God. A despicable man, just despicable. A fraud. And it looks as if he's also a thief. Interviewer: Was he the worst prime minister Israel has ever had?Elharar: He wasn't the worst prime minister Israel has ever had. This was a bitter enemy that Israel had. This was a horrible disaster. Simply put, he's a scoundrel. The first time that the word "hatred" arose in me, a burning hatred, was for Arik Sharon. He drives me to...Interviewer: Not Peres, not Rabin, nobody on the left...Elharar: There's nobody in this world, not even Hitler? With Hitler, I thought he was crazy, abnormal, someone who suffered delusions of grandeur, there's a thousand things you could say about him. [Sharon] is just a wickedness of the most sickening kind there is?Interviewer: Sinister...Elharar: Sinister and prostitution-like...Interviewer: What do you mean prostitution-like?Elharar: What?Interviewer: How so?Elharar: The way [Sharon] cheats people and defrauds them and scares them, and misleads them and leads them astray... Disgusting. He will never be forgiven. Him and those who follow in his path.Interviewer: Does his family also deserve to suffer?Elharar: Certainly. They were with him. [They should suffer] forever.Interviewer: Does anyone who voted for him also deserve to suffer?Elharar: Whoever voted for him will in any event absorb a blow. Those who voted for him were expelled from their homes. Their homes were destroyed. The rest are being threatened to have their homes destroyed. And those who think they're sitting comfortably and safely in their homes in Ramat Aviv Gimmel (a tony neighborhood in north Tel Aviv) will also get what is coming to them. The Arabs will get to everybody.