Election Panel Orders Netanyahu to Remove Campaign Ad With Soldiers

Israeli political parties are barred by law from using the military in their campaign advertising

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Netanyahu poses with IDF soldiers on the Israel-Lebanon border, last year.
Netanyahu poses with IDF soldiers on the Israel-Lebanon border, last year. Credit: Effi Sharir
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Central Election Committee Chairman Justice Uzi Vogelman ordered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party to take down an election video in which the prime minister appears with a military helicopter and Israel Defense Forces soldiers in the background.

Under the Electioneering Law, parties are forbidden to use the IDF in their election campaign advertising. Vogelman’s decision was issued in response to a petition by Doron Taubin to the committee.

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In addition, Vogelman said last week that Likud had made improper use of footage taken by Government Press Office by using it in campaign advertising without paying for it. Likud eventually transferred payment, but the GPO said that this was not the first time this had happened. Vogelman thus also made Likud pay the press office 2,000 shekels ($614) in court costs.

Last year, former Central Elections Committee head Hanan Melcer, had ruled that Netanyahu and Likud are barred from using pictures with IDF soldiers in their campaign ads.

By law, 90 days before the election and on Election Day, there is a ban on using the IDF and particularly soldiers in campaign advertising. This includes pictures of soldiers with the prime minister and defense minister, or with any candidate from any party.

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