Central Elections Committee chairman Salim Jubran on Sunday forced the Yachad party to remove from its campaign commercial broadcasts a video filmed in southern Tel Aviv that shows frightened and angry residents praising Eli Yishai for standing up to illegal African immigrants who they claim have made their lives impossible.
For years, residents of the neighborhood have complained that illegal infiltrators, mainly from Eritrea and Sudan and most of whom are concentrated in south Tel Aviv, have attacked them, robbed them, befouled public spaces, and made it difficult for them to even walk down the street. In the video, which has been aired on Israel's three main television channels for the past several nights, Yishai is seen speaking to residents about the problem. This is interspersed with images of Africans shouting at Jewish residents, protesting and marching, or loitering in front of businesses and in public places. The residents praise Yishai as the only candidate who is taking their concerns about illegal immigrants seriously.
Jubran banned the video on the grounds that it “almost definitely” crosses the line “into racism and incitement to violence.” Jubran said that the video mentions that Yishai will “put an end” to the phenomenon, although he agreed with Yishai's attorney that such an expression did not necessarily have racist or genocidal implications. At issue was the phrase used in the video: “Yishai will put an end to illegal immigrants,” but the phrase “put an end” (“ketz”) is a word same Hebrew letters (kuf and tzaddik) that Yachad is using as its ballot symbol.
Thus, he admitted, the phrase could be seen as just a clever play on the party's symbol – but still, Jubran said, he felt it went too far.
In response, Yachad said that the decision “is one of several by High Court judges against residents of south Tel Aviv and other areas where illegal aliens have taken up residence. As chairman of the Central Elections Committee, Jubran must show sympathy for the feelings of these Israeli citizens, not of the illegal aliens who have embittered their lives.”