A popular Israeli singer, who has in the past been accused of racism and incitement, released a song on Monday which described the purchase of a “corrupt, cruel” pet crow whom he names after the “ugly” US President Barack Obama, and upon whom he wishes an imminent death.
The song caused a backlash on Facebook where the singer posted the new material and he subsequently deleted the post.
“I was glad to receive your responses to the song I posted. As an artist, it is important to me to express my opinions fully. But for now, I decided to consider your responses, which I appreciate, and take my thoughts, musings and songs… elsewhere,” he wrote on Facebook (in Hebrew).
Most of the comments to that post were supportive of the singer, encouraging him to continue writing songs and expressing himself as he sees fit.
The lyrics of the song included such passages as: “I bought myself a crow with a fabulous little mustache, even though there are many like those available for free, Because of my fondness for Obama, I’ll just say that I named him after the ugly president” and “the reason I bought a cruel crow was to try to inject this treacherous creature with a bit of heart, [but] in the meantime, I’ve lost an eye, I suffer from idiocy… and wish for the death of the corrupt creature.”
Benayoun is no stranger to controversy. In February, the critically acclaimed singer-songwriter, who last year released a song about bloodthirsty Israeli Arabs, let loose a caustic attack on Israel’s left, which he termed “the devil.”
“It’s no secret that the devil is flapping in the water before it drowns. That’s why it’s using all its energy and all its limbs to do harm,” he wrote in a Facebook post (Hebrew).
“I’m sorry to say that these final palpitations are for the most part expressed through the deep hatred that Israel’s left feels toward its Jewish brothers,” he continued, before accusing the left of doing its utmost “to ensure that nothing remains here of either Judaism or the Jews.”
After railing against “the Supreme Court and the media,” which he termed “the natural partners” of the left, Benayoun urged his supporters to “do whatever you can to beat the devil with the weapon that he hates more than anything else, and that’s ‘love.’
“Spread [your] love of the land and the people, the love of our brothers and of Judaism, any way you see fit,” he said.
In November, Benayoun was disinvited from an event at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem after he released a song that many saw as expressing racist sentiment against Arabs. The song “Ahmed loves Israel,” about an Arab Israeli youth stabbing Jews, led to calls for police to investigate him for incitement.
“It’s true that I am just ungrateful scum,” Benayoun sang in the name of the fictional Ahmed. “It’s true, but I am not guilty, I wasn’t brought up on love. It’s true that the moment will come when you turn your back on me, and I’ll stab you right in the back.”
In the song, one version of “Ahmed” lives in Jerusalem, studies at the Hebrew University, and is well liked. In another, he lives in Tel Aviv, managing gas balloons near a kindergarten. “Who benefits from all worlds like I do? Today I am moderate and smiling. Tomorrow… I will send to hell, a Jew or two,” the lyrics went.
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