Family Complains: Shas Ad Features Elderly Relative Without Her Consent

The 90-year-old's family also claims that the ad falsely portrays her as solitary and in need of the party's support; Shas to cut promotional clip after Central Election Committee intervenes.

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Israel's Central Elections Committee demanded Thursday that Shas stop using a promotional clip showing an elderly woman described as solitary and needing the party's help.

The family of the woman, Edna Yosef, who saw the clip on television, appealed to the Committee arguing that the woman receives daily care, is not solitary and in need of help, and probably never agreed to have her image used in the elections campaign video.

The family added that Yosef's is not of sound mind, and that she doesn't even remember Shas activists contacting her and asking her to participate. Following the Central Elections Committee's demand, Shas decided to cut sections of the ad which use the woman's image.

The family wrote that "unfortunately we watched the Shas clip about the party's commitment to act for a national nursing law in the clip, (senior Shas official) Mr. Aryeh Deri said 'a mother is a mother, a father is a father, they are irreplaceable in the world, our duty as sons and daughters is to care for our parents, to see to it that the state of Israel will give them a law that promises free nursing services, so that they can age with honor' In keeping with the clip, the elderly people were presented as solitary, neglected, left to their own devices and in need for aid and nursing."

They family also wrote: "The woman is over ninety-years-old. Her family members assist her on a daily basis and care for her with real family devotion. Mrs. Yosef, who's mind is not as clear it was in the past, does not remember that she agreed to be filmed or that she agreed to be included in the broadcasts in question. And anyway, even if consent was received, this was not informed consent."

This came only one day after Central Election Committee chair Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein and Shas agreed the party would shelve another controversial campaign ad immediately after its broadcast during the campaign ads cluster on television, because of complaints that it was racist and offensive to Russians.

An Image grab from the Shas campaign ad featuring Aryeh Deri, right.
An image grab from the Shas campaign video.
Eli Yishai, left, and Aryeh Deri at a Shas rally.Credit: Emil Salman