Likud Adds Rapper The Shadow to Its Membership Rolls

'He's worth five seats to us,' MK Oren Hazan says of the nationalist musician, whose extremist image has caused some on the right to keep a distance from him.

The Shadow, standing in the middle among five people, at a counter-demonstration against left wingers protesting against incitement in Tel Aviv, December 19, 2015.
Moti Milrod

Israeli rapper The Shadow has joined the ranks of the Likud Party, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported on Wednesday.

"He's worth five seats to us," MK Oren Hazan said after bringing the rapper, Yoav Eliasi, his membership papers to sign. Elias vowed to recruit his "lions" and to establish a "Likud guard."

We are bringing enormous power to the Likud," Hazan said after Eliasi joined. "We have not been acquainted long, but I feel that Yoav is like my brother, and so I call him Yoav and not The Shadow."

Eliasi, 38, has used his music to convey a strongly nationalist as well as anti-Arab message. His extremist image has caused the mainstream right to keep a distance from him. He was to be one of the main entertainment acts in April at a rally in support of embattled soldier, Elor Azaria, who shot and killed a prone Palestinian attacker in Hebron in March. However, a day before the rally, organizers – responding to concerns that the event was being hijacked by overly anti-establishment and dangerously radical voices – disinvited the outspoken rapper.

Hazan said the two have much in common, Yedioth's website Ynet reported. "We both look at this Knesset and are fed up with the political correctness that has taken control of it. The public is sick of the fearful, ingratiating leftist discourse. It's not for nothing that Yoav has a quarter million followers on social networks."

For his part, Eliasi complained about the Likud constantly breaking left. "Sometimes I feel like puking on some of the people," he said. "The time has come to make a change in the Likud." He said he is not thinking of running for Knesset at this point, "but you never know what will happen down the line."

According to Ynet, a veteran Likud member from Jerusalem, Shlomi Hazot, was behind the match.