The Elections Committee has rejected an appeal from the Otzma Leyisrael party over an ad campaign that was banned. Committee members voted 11-8 to uphold the ban despite concerns over the implications for free speech.
Committee head Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubenstein had previously decided to disqualify the campaign, which included the slogan, 'Loyalty - No Rights without Duties.' The motto was widely seen as a demand for loyalty from Arab citizens of Israel.
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has stated that neither Rubenstein nor the Elections Committee is authorized to disqualify campaign ads.
Sources in Otzma Leyisrael said the party still sees its banned ad as legitimate despite the committee’s decision. “Demanding loyalty from all citizens of Israel, Jewish and Arab, is not racism,” they said. “It is a legitimate demand without which the state of Israel will not be able to continue existing.”
“The Otzma Leyisrael party is considering an appeal to the Supreme Court in wake of this decision,” they added.