The Central Elections Committee ordered Bayit Yehudi on Friday to remove ads featuring party leader Naftali Bennett and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
The new campaign, launched on Wednesday, features Netanyahu and Bennett’s pictures next to each other, with the slogan “supporting Netanyahu, voting Bennett.”
Likud-Beytenu submitted a complaint to the Election Committe on Thursday evening, demanding the ads to be removed immediately and that they not appear in Friday's newspapers. The party dubbed the ads "manipulative and deceitful."
The Bayit Yehudi officials said the ads were meant to encourage Netanyahu to include the party in the next coalition.
“The purpose of the advertisements is to deceive voters in the right-wing bloc, to mislead them and to manipulate them in an unfair and forbidden way with a false message, as if the prime minister is telling voters he has enough votes and his victory is ensured, so he wants them to vote for Bennett,” the petition reads.
The complaint also points out that Bennett may not be in the next coalition, and says the advertisements falsely imply that he already negotiated with Netanyahu about joining the next government.
“Such an agreement or understanding never existed,” Likud Beytenu added.
A Bayit Yehudi spokeswoman responded to the Likud Beytenu’s allegations, saying there is no reason for the latter party to be concerned.
“We will be strong together with Prime Minister Netanyahu after the elections, to solve social issues and strengthen Israel’s deterrence,” the Bayit Yehudi said.
Likud Beytenu also posted a response ad on social networks Thursday, doctoring the Bayit Yehudi advertisement to include a quote by Bennett that “even Tzipi Livni would be better than Netanyahu.”
Bennett said those words during the 10-month settlement construction freeze, when he was director-general of the Yesha Council.