Social media star Hadar Muchtar, chair of the upstart longshot party Fiery Youth, who has made the protest of high housing prices a key tenet of her platform, was outed on Sunday as a property owner, though she had said repeatedly in the past that high cost of living prevented her from buying an apartment of her own.
Yoav Eliasi, a rapper and far-right activist, posted the sales agreement as part of a video tirade against Muchtar on his Facebook page, showing that she owns a four-room, 56-square-meter apartment in Haifa, purchased for NIS 825,000 ($240,000) last year.
“While you were struggling for your lives, her father bought her an apartment,” Eliasi told followers and accused Muchtar, 20, of using the high cost of apartments in Israel as a “trigger” to garner political support, despite not experiencing poverty herself.
Eliasi said he got the purchase agreement from the seller, who was incensed by Muchtar’s repeated claims she could never afford a home, when she in fact had one.
In response to the rapper, Muchtar rushed to TV studios to say that while the apartment had been bought in her name, it actually belonged to her parents, who had registered it to her for reasons she would not explain.
Muchtar said the home had been bought with her parents’ pension savings to provide them with a small stipend, and that the only way it would belong to her would be if and when they pass away.
“Do you think it is logical that the easiest way for me to get an apartment is by inheriting one from my parents?” Muchtar said in a TikTok video. “It’s their pension. The apartment is under my name, but it’s not mine, it’s my parents,'” she said, urging the public to focus on the cost of living issues and not her personal life.
Some commentators have speculated that the home may have been registered in Muchtar’s name to avoid various taxes on a second home if her parents already own one home.
Fiery Youth is polling below the 3.25 percent electoral threshold and is not expected to win Knesset representation in the November 1 vote. However, the party has caused a stir by attacking the political establishment and protesting the cost of living for young people.
The minimum age for serving in the Knesset is 21, meaning Muchtar cannot become a lawmaker if her party manages to win representation. The first candidate on the party slate is Muchtar associate Bat El Hazan.
Fiery Youth is running on a platform of combating the surging cost of living and corruption, tapping into widespread disaffection among many young people who are disenchanted with the current state of politics and the economy.
The party also advocates greater public involvement in the political process by holding referendums on various issues.
Muchtar thrives on the social media platform TikTok by delivering animated tirades against politicians and Israel’s high cost of living. She has over 77,000 followers on TikTok and some of her videos receive hundreds of thousands of views.
Muchtar faced questions over the authentic nature of her campaign earlier in the week during an interview on Channel 12’s “Ofira and Berkovic,” when the hosts invited Shay Shalimov, her former number two in the party, into the studio.
Shalimov claimed that a powerful tycoon was behind Muchtar’s success and that he was unable to reveal the identity of the backer due to threats on his life. Muchtar accused hosts Ofira Asayag and Eyal Berkovic of ambushing her and subsequently left the studio.
Muchtar is not formally aligned with the anti- or pro-Netanyahu political blocs and has said she would side with whoever gives her the best offer if her party wins representation.
However, Israel’s Channel 13 secretly filmed her two weeks ago saying “We’ll sit with Netanyahu” and “there’s no chance we’ll sit with the [Arab parties] Joint List and Ra’am.” (Ra’am is a member of the outgoing anti-Netanyahu coalition.)
Last week, she filmed herself next to posters warning against her in ultra-Orthodox areas, claiming in a clip that Haredi leaders were frightened of her growing power. After it was revealed that she had printed and hung up the posters herself, Muchtar dismissed the stunt as a joke.