The Chairman of the Central Elections Committee, Judge Elyakim Rubinstein, accepted on Thursday night a complaint by the Likud Beytenu against a Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) ad that shows Likud leader Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu side-by-side with Jewish Home head Naftali Bennett.
The ad reads, “Strong together – Vote Bennett,” a reference to the Jewish Home party’s argument that it will help Likud by joining a Likud-led coalition and providing support from the right.
The Likud’s lawyers argued that the ad’s creators were attempting to fool Likud supporters. “The purpose of these posters and billboards is to trick voters,” they told the Elections Committee.
The ad fools the public “by sending the misleading, false message that the Prime Minister is turning to citizens who lean toward voting for Likud Beytenu and saying, ‘Don’t vote for me, but for my partner, vote for Naftali Bennett,’” they argued.
Rubinstein accepted the arguments and said in his decision that the ads may create the false impression that the Likud Beytenu and the Jewish Home are running for the Knesset together or that there is some sort of agreement between them.
He ordered that the Jewish Home remove all the billboards by Friday at 1:00 p.m. The Jewish Home is also not permitted to use this campaign in the media, ruled Rubinstein.
All polls have predicted that the Jewish Home will gain strength in the elections, and that many votes would be at the expense of the Likud. As a result the Likud has targeted the Jewish Home in several of its campaigns, including one that attempted to portray its lesser-known candidates as right-wing extremists.