Committee Okays Kadima Ad: No Incitement, Not Racist
The Election Committee issued their ruling on MK Israel Eichler's request to disqualify Kadima's ad campaign on the grounds that it is racist, saying the issue presented by Kadima is a valid one that should be discussed, adding that there is no basis for disqualification.
The ad states that it is unfair that IDF soldiers receive only NIS 350 a month while yeshiva students receive NIS 3,400 and that the government should "pay soldiers like yeshiva students."
Committee Chairman Judge Eliakim Rubinstein wrote in his decision that "the issue of service for yeshiva students in the IDF is a public issue of primary importance. A call for equal conditions of IDF soldiers to that of students is in the context of legitimate public discourse and is not incitement against Jews and the Orthodox community and is certainly not anti-Semitic.”
“I do not think this request justifies the limitation of freedom of expression during elections," he added.
Kadima praised the decision saying, "Kadima will continue to lead the fight for IDF soldiers…IDF soldiers protect the State of Israel with their bodies and it is only right that because of this they earn more than a few pennies or pocket change, and certainly when those who do not serve receive from the state several times more. It's not right, not logical and we will continue to fight for it. "
Kadima added, "not only does the campaign not include negative messages and is not directed against the yeshiva student community, it is clear that it is not racist because yeshiva students are not a separate 'nation' as MK Eichler seeks to define them, but are an integral part of the nation of Israel."
The party added that even Eichler said yeshiva students cannot be defined as a "race" so the argument that the ad incites racism is faulty.