The Elections Committee has upheld a decision to ban a Balad party ad that depicted right-wing ministers singing the national anthem, Hatikva, to an Arabic music tune. Committee head Justice Elyakim Rubenstein ruled that banning the ad does not infringe on freedom of speech.
“I don’t see any room to allow ‘artistic license,’ as you put it, that in effect mocks the anthem, the anthem of the country that every Member of Knesset, from every Knesset list, swore loyalty to,” he stated. “This does not affect the freedom of political expression at all,” he added.
Attorneys for Balad had argued that “satire and provocative statements” are a crucial element of free expression, and that the ad should be permitted as satire.