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Likud Launches Last-Minute 'Yigal Amir' Campaign

Likud's latest campaign aims to discourage voters from electing Bayit Yehudi because of Yigal Amir's endorsement of Bennett.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 1/22/2013, 5:15 AM

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Flash 90

The Likud party pulled a last-minute election campaign clip from its YouTube channel on Monday evening, shortly after Arutz Sheva reported about it.

The new campaign, which appeared just hours before polls open in Tuesday’s elections, launched, yet again, an attack on the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party.

This time, Likud chose to highlight the fact that Yigal Amir, who is serving a life sentence for the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, endorsed the Jewish Home and its leader, Naftali Bennett. This fact, claims the Likud, means that the Jewish Home is an “extremist” party.

The Likud also took the opportunity to once again describe some of the Jewish Home’s candidates as “extremists” and “sexist”, as it did in an earlier campaign.

The party once again named Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, former director-general of the rabbinical court system, claiming he called in the past to cancel the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women. This is despite the fact that a quick Internet search has revealed that it was, in fact, Likud MK Reuven Rivlin who sought to cancel the committee in question.

Also named again were Motti Yogev, former director of Bnei Akiva and deputy head of the Binyamin Regional Authority in Samaria for leading "the separation between girls and boys at Bnei Akiva," as well as Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, who Likud claims “opposes women singing in public.”

The Jewish Home said in response that the latest campaign shows that the Likud is acting out of hysteria, in a last-minute bid to scare voters who are planning to vote for Bennett.

“No candidate in the Jewish Home wants to cancel the Committee on the Status of Women,” the party clarified. “On the contrary - Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan wanted to extend the powers of the committee by uniting it with the Committee on the Rights of Children. No Jewish Home candidate worked towards gender separation at Bnei Akiva. Out of 350 branches, only 15 are separated because of a request by the parents, and that’s completely legitimate.”

Shortly after the story appeared on Arutz Sheva’s Hebrew website, the Likud pulled the video in question off its YouTube channel. The Likud denied any connection to the video, telling Arutz Sheva, “The video is not on behalf of the Likud Beytenu. As soon as we heard about the clip it was removed from the Internet. We are investigating who is behind the video.”

Last week Bennett responded to the reports that Amir intends to vote for his party and was encouraging others to do so as well, saying the reports were simply an attempt to intimidate voters and bear no value to the issues at hand.

"This is an obsessive preoccupation and it is honestly irrelevant," Bennett said, adding that the real, difficult issues that must be dealt with in the government and addressed during the elections are being ignored for unsubstantial fodder.

"The main issues are national security and finances, not this nonsense,” said Bennett. "This is an attempt to get voters to say ‘Wow, if the killer is voting for this party, I won't vote.’”