A popular Israeli children’s entertainer apologized Saturday night after a video emerged in which he treats Bedouin children like zoo animals during a family trip, repeatedly asking his children, “Who wants to feed a Bedouin?”
In the video published earlier in the day on the Tik Tok platform, a man, heard but not seen, films as he sits in a car with his family while two young Bedouin children stand outside. He holds up a cookie to the lens, then turns to his own young children in the back seat and repeatedly asks them if they want to feed the children outside.
“Let’s feed a Bedouin. Don’t you want to feed a Bedouin?” he says.
He then offers the cookie to the children, who go on to ask for money. He asks them how much they want. “A thousand shekels?” The children reply they want “ten shekels” or even a single agora, worth about 1/4 cent. The man laughs and the video ends.
״מי רוצה להאכיל בדואי?״, הסירטון המזעזע שרץ ברשת הטיקטוק.
לא ברור איפה ומתי צולם, אבל 53 שניות שבהם נראה אב מעביר לילדיו שיושבים בספסל האחורי עוגיה ואומר להם: ״מי רוצה להאכיל בדואי?, כאילו היו אלה קופים בגן חיות. pic.twitter.com/QwZrKfyZxo
— almog boker (@bokeralmog) July 11, 2020
Roy Oz, who has made numerous children’s television shows and films, mostly focused on nature, and who has starred in various stage productions geared toward children, later admitted that it was him in the video, while expressing “deep regret” for it.
Oz, known popularly as “Roy Boy,” said in a Facebook post that the video was taken some five years ago during a family trip. It wasn’t clear how the video surfaced now.
“I would like to express my deep regret for the comments [in the video]. They were wrong. I do not educate my children in such a manner and no child should be educated in such a manner,” he said.
“My way is one of love for my fellow man and I will continue on that path. I am sorry from the bottom of my heart and ask forgiveness from anyone who was hurt.”
Prior to Oz’s confession, police had said they would examine the video. It was not clear whether any action would be taken against Oz, but on Sunday the head of the Bedouin Al-Kasom Regional Council filed a complaint with police.
The clip sparked outrage, with MK Ahmad Tibi of the Joint List calling it “The lowest of human behavior, racist and despicable brutishness.”
Atia al-Asem, head of the Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages in the Negev, lamented the “shocking” video, adding that the Bedouin children were being treated like “monkeys.”
Yair Maayan, director-general of the Authority for the Development and Settlement of the Bedouin, condemned “the wretched and demeaning video shamefully uploaded by a pathetic man who educates his children to racism.”
MK Ram Ben-Barak (Yesh Atid-Telem) called the clip “repulsive” and said he would bring the matter before the Knesset next week.
The Racism Crisis Center said the video “demonstrates the ugly racist education some Israelis choose to provide their children,” and added that it “illustrates racist discourse that is unfortunately not uncommon toward Bedouin society, and the message is passed from generation to generation.”
The Junior Channel said Sunday it would halt filming of the next season of “Roy Boy” over the video.
“Behavior of this type is completely unacceptable to the channel,” a spokesperson for the network said in a statement.
While noting that Oz had apologized, the statement said he would meet with the network’s management in the coming days to discuss “the future of cooperation” between them.