In one of the stranger end-of-campaign public relations stunts in recent Israeli political memory, Zehut party chief Moshe Feiglin went on an online comedic interview show, during which he drank whisky, engaged in mutual foot-slapping with the host and ended with a slow dance.
No opinions were exchanged during the video, though host Dudu Bauchner hinted comically multiple times at Feiglin’s far-right views, as well as his championing of the legalization of cannabis.
“My guest today is the guru of the stoned, who said that Nazism advanced Germany from a low point to a fantastic situation physically and ideologically — if that reminds you of anything, friends, then it’s only in your head, okay?” Bauchner says as he starts the interview on his “Kablan Kolot” show on the Ynet news site.
Bauchner then pretends to have an itch under his nose, and proceeds to mimic Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s mustache with his fingers while carrying out a Nazi salute with his right arm as he pretends to call for an assistant to bring him coffee.
Feiglin smiles happily throughout the routine.
The video then cuts to a later moment in the interview when Feiglin and Bauchner, now wearing a kaffiyeh, each have a bare foot resting on the other’s knee, and Feiglin proceeds to slap the bottom of Bauchner’s foot repeatedly, causing the comedian to yell, “Ow! You crazy people do it with all your hearts.”
“Listen, this is the extreme right here, the settlers, the fascists,” Feiglin jokes in reply, slapping Bauchner’s foot again with full force. “I’m getting out my aggression on kaffiyeh wearers.”
In between slaps, the two men massage each other’s toes.
Bauchner then begins punching Feiglin’s feet, yelling, “Leftist! Leftist! Extremist! Child murderer! Ow, you’re killing me… Stop, you killed me.”
The video cuts to “five minutes earlier,” and shows the beginning of the strange scene, when Bauchner suggests they remove their shoes, citing a biblical verse about Moses and the burning bush from Exodus 3:5: “Remove your shoes from your feet for the place on which you stand is holy ground.”
The idea may have been a dig at the religious views propounded by Feiglin, who has taken the view of many religious-Zionists — that the founding of Israel is the beginning of a messianic process — to a radical conclusion, saying openly that he supports the immediate construction of a Third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Once Feiglin’s shoes are off, Bauchner begins to massage the politician’s feet.
Alluding to his libertarian outlook on the economy, Feiglin jokes that “we still haven’t been elected, but we’re already taking advantage of the little guy” — at which point Bauchner inexplicably starts biting Feiglin’s toes.
The video goes on for a long five and a half minutes, during which Feiglin repeatedly sips from a whisky glass, and concludes in a slow dance. Topics of discussion range from the “effeminate” size of Feiglin’s feet to the fact that Zehut’s ballot letter is the Hebrew letter zayin, which also means penis.
Feiglin drew fire for the video on Sunday, with Union of Right-Wing Parties no. 2 Bezalel Smotrich lambasting his rightist competitor as “not right-wing and apparently not entirely sane.”
“It’s not clear how, after this horror show, there’s a single serious person, let alone a religious person, who can vote for this guy. Are you serious, Zehut voters?!” Smotrich railed in a statement carried by the right-wing Israel National News website.
“This is the man you want representing you in the Knesset?! This is what leadership looks like?! This is tikkun olam bemalchut shadai?!” Smotrich added, referring to the Jewish prayer book’s call for “repairing the world in the kingdom of God.”