Did Eli Yishai Really Say “Israel Belongs to the White Man”?

Haters on social media have for years been alleging that former Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai said “Israel belongs to the White man.” For instance, just yesterday, vile antisemite Ricardo (Rick) Whilby posted it on Instagram.

But did he?

The first clue that he didn’t is Eli Yishai himself – his family comes from Tunisia. He ain’t no ‘White’ man! (not that any Jews are ‘White’, but I’ll leave that aside for now). Come to think of it, maybe that is why the person behind the above meme created it in black and white.

But now for more proof this is yet another fake quote designed to demonize the Jewish people. The Jewish Press actually dealt with this all the way back in 2012, with the fabricated quote originating with Ha’aretz.

The sub-headline in an English language article in Ha’aretz on June 3rd says:

Interior Minister says migrants do not recognize that Israel ‘belongs to the white man.’

This statement is expanded and the message reinforced at the end of the article in what is supposedly Yishai’s entire quote:

Meanwhile on Sunday, Israeli daily Maariv published an interview with Interior Minister Eli Yishai, in which he stated that most of the “Muslims that arrive here do not even believe that this country belongs to us, to the white man.” “I will continue the struggle until the end of my term, with no compramises,” Yishai continued, stating that he would use “all the tools to expel the foreigners, until not one infiltrator remains.”

One problem.

This isn’t the entire quote. One very important sentence has been excised from the middle of Yishai’s speech.

The original Hebrew in Maariv says:

רוב האנשים שבאים הנה הם מוסלמים שחושבים שהארץ בכלל לא שייכת לנו, לאדם הלבן. כמה מהם דיברו על כך בגלוי בטלוויזיה. אני הולך להמשיך את המאבק שלי עד סוף הקדנציה, בלי פשרות. אפעיל את כל הכלים לגירוש זרים. שלא יהיה כאן אף מסתנן

The first sentence is better translated as:

“Most of the people coming here are Moslems who think the land doesn’t belong to us at all, to the white man.”

With the more accurate translation above, it is clear that Yishai is not expressing his perspective, but those of the infiltrators.

The subsequent sentence, which Ha’aretz excised, leaves no doubt about whose views he was expressing:

“A number of them have said that openly on television.”

Eli Yishai is not saying Israel belongs to the ‘white man’. Eli Yishai is quoting the infiltrators, and it is the infiltrators who have said that Israel doesn’t belong to the “white man.”

Of course Rick Whilby and other Jew-haters do not bother checking the authenticity of the quote. They find something that fits their Jew-hating agenda – and run with it.

Previously on Israellycool

Did Menachem Begin Really Say “Our Race is the Master Race” & “Palestinians are Beasts Walking on Two Legs?”

Did Golda Meir Really Say “There Are No Palestinians”?


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media