Critics have been slamming a Blue-and-White politician for remarks he made in an interview with Haaretz, inferring the cultural superiority of Ashkenazim over Mizrahim in their tastes in music. Yoaz Hendel has protested that his remarks were not racist and were taken out of context. In any event, the controversy is not likely to attract more much-needed votes from Mizrahim to the Blue-and-White party in the run-up to the 2 March elections.
MK Yoaz Handel
Israel National News reports:
MK Yoaz Hendel (Blue and White) drew ire when he told Haaretz that “people came here from all sorts of countries, some people came with a concert mentality and some people came with a drum (darbuka) mentality.”
The party’s MK Ofer Shelah said: “He expressed himself in an unfortunate fashion. It would have been better if they had not been said, and they do not at all reflect the spirit of Blue and White.”
MK Tamar Zandberg (Democratic Union) called Hendel a “Trojan horse,” saying: “While we are working towards a left-wing government led by [Blue and White Chairman MK Benny] Gantz, there are those in Blue and White who are Trojan horses, whose purpose is to prevent such a government. We heard the racist voice of Hendel this week, and these people are trying to prevent a change of government in Israel.”
MK Ahmad Tibi (Joint Arab List) slammed Hendel as a “white racist against Arabs and Middle Easterners alike.”