Real estate firm's racist video gets thumbs down

A real estate firm has pulled a video ad from Youtube which depicted what many called a racist portrayal of Mizrahi Jews.

Moshe Cohen ,

Screenshot of the offending video
Screenshot of the offending video

A real estate firm has pulled a video from Youtube which depicted what many called a racist portrayal of Mizrahi Jews.

The video, said Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan, himself a Mizrahi Jew, “sent a message of separation and discrimination to a large and important population group in Israel. The company realizes that a mistake was made, and they have removed the video.”

The company, called B'Emunah, is marketing homes in a new neighborhood of Kiryat Gat. The video portrays a family of prospective new residents – clearly of Ashkenazi, or European background, and clearly middle class – lighting Hanukkah candles. Suddenly, the door bursts open, and a family of clearly Mizrahi (Middle Eastern origin) Jews enter, and begin barbecuing some hot dogs on the candles.

As the interlopers ruin the holiday atmosphere, the family is seen dreaming (using fade-out video transitions) of living in a neighborhood with people “like them.” The video concludes with a voiceover inviting viewers to click on the link for the Carmei Gat project.

The video raised the ire of many Israelis on social media, who called it “clearly racist,” and garnered many negative comments, and even the threat of a boycott, on the Youtube page where the video was posted. Several hours after it was posted, the company took it down.

“The B'Emunah real estate firm faithfully serves all Israelis," the company said in an apology statement. "The hurtful message expressed in the video violates our long-held values. We have taken the video down and will rethink our advertising strategy, and try to determine how and by whom such a hurtful video was approved." 

"We shall continue to work to establish the new neighborhood on behalf of the entire religious community in Carmei Gat, and to other communities in other areas where we are active.”