AFP

JERUSALEM

Palestinian rappers threatened legal action against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party for using their song in an Islamic State group-themed campaign ad for Israel’s March election.

The contentious new ad, which Likud released on Saturday, implied that a vote for the left would benefit the IS. The ad features actors portraying militants driving in a white pick-up with two standing in the rear carrying the black flag of IS, the extremist Sunni Muslim group that has seized control of large parts of Syria and Iraq. The truck pulls up next to a car driven by an Israeli and a ‘jihadist’ asks: ‘Which way to Jerusalem brother?’ ‘Take the left,’ the driver answers and the pick-up drives off, one of the actors firing an automatic rifle into the air. Two slogans appear on the screen: ‘The left will give in to terrorism’ and ‘It’s us or them, there is only Likud, only Netanyahu.’

The clip’s background music is a catchy hip-hop song by Amman-based Palestinian group Torabyeh called ‘Ghorbah’, which can be translated from Arabic as ‘exile’. Torabyeh denounced the unauthorised artistic collaboration with the Israeli party’s ‘electoral propoganda attacking the so-called Zionist ‘left-wing’.’ ‘We strongly condemn and reject this ruthless infringement of intellectual property rights and the distortion of the reputation of Torabyeh,’ the group said on their Facebook page. They said use of their song in this context ‘implicates the Torabyeh group by containing serious accusations of terrorism and association with IS which is consequently putting the group’s members lives at risk’. Torabyeh stressed it rejected ‘all forms of cooperation with the Zionist enemy’, and pledged to ‘take all necessary legal action against those responsible’.