Worried about voter apathy as Israelis went to the polls for the second time this year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned his supporters not to treat Tuesday’s election as just another vacation day, posting an oddly sexualized campaign ad that prompted a slew of ribald responses.
The video, which was posted on the prime minister’s official Twitter and Instagram accounts on Monday, portrayed Israelis engaging in a variety of leisure activities such as drinking coffee at a sidewalk cafe, shopping in an open-air market, and riding scooters in Tel Aviv. It also included several lingering shots of bikini-clad women at the beach and a brief shot of two pairs of feet poking out from under a blanket in close proximity.
“While you are planning a ‘vacation day,’ the left is ascending to power,” the video declared. “Shake off your complacency.”
The advertisement garnered media coverage worldwide, with The Washington Post describing the prime minister’s concern over “a bit of weekday whoopee” and Russia’s Sputnik commenting on the political implications of having “fun in the bedroom.”
מצביעי הימין חייבים להתעורר! ביום שלישי מוכרחים לצאת להצביע 'מחל', ולהביא משפחה וחברים! צפו>> pic.twitter.com/nYVOx8CpoL
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) September 15, 2019
Twitter users were quick to weigh in on the unusual post, with one commenting that “bad sex ends quickly, bad voting lasts years, though either way you’re fucked.”
“If this puzzles you, it’s because as an American, you don’t get Election Day off. Israelis do. That said, I hope most Israelis prefer sex to Netanyahu,” another user quipped.
Following the release of Netanyahu’s ad, an image of the prime minister holding up a tub of Vaseline began circulating on Israeli WhatsApp groups.
— Noga Tarnopolsky (@NTarnopolsky) April 10, 2019
Netanyahu was not the only one to mix sex and politics. During the first round of voting in April, condom manufacturer Durex released an ad stating “if somebody is going to fuck you for four years, at least it should be somebody you choose.” Ahead of today’s balloting, Durex released a second ad stating “if you can do it twice a night, you can do it twice a year. Go vote. Yes, again.”
Durex ad: If you can do it twice a night, you can do it twice a year. Go vote. Yes, again. pic.twitter.com/ZQxok5N3Lw
— Lahav Harkov (@LahavHarkov) September 16, 2019