The Meretz Party’s campaign advertisements should not use a picture of Naama
Margolese, the girl who became the symbol of the fight against haredi extremists
in Beit Shemesh, her mother, Hadassa, wrote the Central Elections Committee on
Margolese became a household name in Israel after she complained
about haredim spitting on her as she made her way to the Bnot Orot School in
Beit Shemesh in 2011.
In a satirical campaign commercial, actress Maya
Betzalel said she would “carry an umbrella to not get wet from the rain,” while
a picture of Naama was shown in the background.
Hadassa Margolese wrote
the head of the Central Elections Committee, Supreme Court Justice Elyakim
Rubinstein, that it was brought to her attention that a photograph of her
daughter was being used for Meretz’s campaign. She attached a link to the ad and
asked that the photograph be removed.
“We were surprised and unhappy to
see that her picture was used,” Hadassa Margolese said. “I don’t want my
daughter in any political ad. She became a symbol but she is still a child and
she doesn’t want to be a part of anything like this anymore. My daughter is
Margolese said she was asked by the list she supports in the
election, Likud Beytenu, whether she would be willing to be interviewed, and she
“For another party I am not supporting to use my daughter’s pic
to gain support is absolutely wrong,” she said.
Margolese said she heard
from several parties and decided to back Likud Beytenu for ideological reasons,
but she expressed hope that the party would do more in the next government to
fight discrimination against women.
Central Elections Committee spokesman
Giora Pordes said he was unaware of Margolese’s complaint to Rubinstein, even
though it had been received more than a day earlier. He said the committee only
releases complaints about ads after the party complained about is given a chance
Meretz apologized to Hadassa
Margolese. A party spokesman said no one intended to harm Naama or anger her
mother, and the picture would be removed.