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.
Our great leader Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu. What a song. God bless you and Israel.https://t.co/y6Fa64WUFl— Ronny Levi Musan- Hon. Consul of Zimbabwe 🇮🇱🇿🇼 (@RLFFHL) December 10, 2020
As #Israel sets off for election, @IsraeliPM @netanyahu releases duet with Israeli music sensation Eden Ben Zaken.. for raising funds for senior citizens.— Fitoori फितूरी🇮🇳 (@UrbanFitoor) December 10, 2020
Beautiful song! More reasons to love Bibi.☺️❤️@narendramodihttps://t.co/BCd02Ax9ny
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".
יש לך מיליון דרכים לעזור לקשישים אבל אתה בחרת לשיר...עם שיר לא משלמים במכולת, שמחתי לעזור.— 🔥YULA🔥 (@Hunter14232569) December 10, 2020
Tweet: "Who needs a budget for the older population, it is more important to spend money on a clip with Eden Ben Zaken. Why?"
מי צריך תקציב לאוכלוסיה המבוגרת, יותר חשוב להוציא כסף על קליפ עם עדן בן זקן. למה? כי עדן מצטלמת יותר טוב מזקן במוסד מוזנח... עלוב— Dan (@imtryingto25) December 10, 2020
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?"
יא דביל, איך אתה מדבר על בדידות כשאתה אחראי לבדידות עם כל הסגרים שלך! יש חיסון לצביעות?— נגה (@bcjQYUAywAqLoY7) December 10, 2020
Tweet: "There are vaccines against coronavirus but there are no vaccines against liars, against your deception and corruption".
יש חיסונים לקורונה אבל אין חיסונים לשקרנים לרמאויות ולשחיתות שלך— Adrian axebrad (@Adrian84520031) December 10, 2020
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.