09:48 GMT28 January 2021
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    In recent years, Netanyahu’s Cabinet has come under criticism for its approach towards senior citizens and the issue of loneliness among the elderly. A survey revealed in 2018 that nearly half of the country’s aging population was struggling with loneliness.

    It seems that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to show that when it comes to caring about Israelis, he is ready to do anything… even record a pop song. The 71-year-old teamed up with famous Israeli singer Eden Ben Zaken, 26, to record a cover version of a well-known song to raise money for a charity that helps the elderly.

    The music video for the song "Yesh Bi Ahava", or "I Have Love Within Me" in English, was uploaded on 10 December and has already been viewed more than 165,000 times.

    In the video, Netanyahu appears in the studio together with the 26-year-old pop star while showing young Israelis visiting their elderly relatives.

    In a statement posted on Twitter, the politician drew attention to the issue of loneliness, which many senior citizens are facing, and called on everyone to act in order to deal with the problem.

    "There are vaccines for coronavirus - but there is no vaccine for loneliness yet - it's in our hands", Netanyahu wrote in a statement.

    Netanyahu’s first take on pop music received a mixed reaction. Some social media users praised the politician.

    ​Others berated the prime minister, saying that instead of providing real help to senior citizens, he chose to sing a song.

    Tweet: "You have a million ways to help the elderly but you chose to sing ... with a song not paid at the grocery store, I was happy to help".

    Tweet: "Who needs a budget for the older population, it is​ more important to spend money on a clip with Eden Ben Zaken. Why?"

    ​Many netizens noted that the politician has himself been making the issue of loneliness worse by introducing lockdowns and reminded him about the corruption charges he is facing.

    Tweet: "You idiot, how can you talk about loneliness when you're responsible for loneliness with all your closures! Is there a vaccine against hypocrisy?"

    Tweet: "There are vaccines against coronavirus but there are no vaccines ​against liars, against your deception and corruption".

    ​The issue of loneliness among the older population has become acute in Israel in recent years and the problem has been exacerbated by the coronavirus-induced lockdowns. According to the newspaper Haaretz, the country’s emotional first aid hotline reported a sharp rise in calls during the pandemic.

    The release of the song comes a week after Israel’s parliament (Knesset) voted to dissolve itself, paving the way for a general election, the country’s fourth in two years. Although there is no guarantee that the Knesset’s dissolution will lead to an election, local media report that a vote is likely to take place early next year.


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