Israeli minister uses onion to fake tears during campaign

Israeli minister uses onion to fake tears during campaign
Interior Minister Arye Deri was filmed using an onion to conjure tears in a 2015 election campaign video that went viral on Sunday.
2 min read
07 Feb, 2017
Deri had long been connected to fraudulent behaviour [AFP]
Footage has emerged showing Israel's Interior Minister Arye Deri rubbing onions on his eyes to stimulate tears during the filming of a 2015 election campaign video. 

Deri, of the ultra-orthodox Shas party, resorted to the Hollywood trick when he was unable to naturally weep on camera while memorialising the party's late founder Rabbi Ovadia Yosef as part of his campaign.

The footage, aired on Israel's Channel 2 news on Sunday night, was leaked by singer Benny Elbaz – a former friend of Deri's, who also featured in the video.

The video showed Deri rocking back and forth in mourning – only to stop and rub onion juice into his eyes to pretend he was crying. 

Deri's election campaign consultant Sefi Shaked told Channel 2 that he was responsible for the onion idea. 

"He cried for several hours" Shaked said. "I was not satisfied with the results obtained … Eventually, we needed to bring him back to that state of mind," Shaked said, according to the Times of Israel.

Deri had long been connected to fraudulent behaviour. 

In 2000, he was imprisoned for 22 months on charges of bribery. Given his criminal past, Deri sought sympathy from voters in 2015.

His party won seven seats in the in the Knesset and Shas members currently sit with Likud in the government.

Deri was appointed as interior minister in January 2016, after his predecessor Silvan Shalom resigned over a series of sexual harassment allegations.