Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem / The Jerusalem Post)
The Election Law must be changed to reflect modern campaigns, Central Elections
Committee chairman Justice Elyakim Rubinstein said on Wednesday.
Election Law: Propaganda was passed in 1959, and it is very difficult to
enforce, because you turn on the radio and the television, and politicians are
constantly talking politics, which is mostly propaganda,” Rubinstein said in an
interview with the Knesset Channel.
“The law must be fixed,” Rubinstein
added. “I, as chairman of the Central Elections Committee, am not working on
this topic, but if there are complaints , I deal with them.”
current election campaign, parties have been punished for having singers perform
at their events, providing blessings to voters, posting anonymous ads on social
networks and other tactics.
On Tuesday, the Central Elections Committee
ordered Bayit Yehudi to donate NIS 10,000 to the Israeli Society for Autistic
Children because the party continued to use IDF soldiers in its ads after the
committee told it not to.
The Election Law forbids use of soldiers in
campaign advertisements in a way that makes it seem like the IDF supports or is
connected to the party.
Bayit Yehudi was told several times to stop using
soldiers in its ads. A citizen named Daniel Balans complained to the committee
after seeing an advertisement on the front page of The Jerusalem Post
in which a young new immigrant wore a T-shirt that said “making aliyah to the
“This is the third time in which [the Bayit Yehudi] was the subject
of complaints about the use of IDF soldiers,” Rubinstein said. “Therefore, I
cannot look at you as someone who admits guilt and promises not to do it again,
as the party requested.”
However, as the party committed not to use IDF
soldiers again, Rubinstein chose not to press charges, requiring the party to
give a NIS 10,000 donation within two weeks to the Israeli Society for Autistic
Also Tuesday, the committee required Likud Beytenu to
remove a banner from an office building in Jerusalem where there are Finance
Ministry offices, because public property may not be used for election
In a related matter, the committee rejected a complaint by
Peace Now secretary- general Yariv Oppenheimer against Bayit Yehudi, claiming
that the party plans to use Hesder Yeshivas’ and Yeshiva High Schools’ resources
and manpower on Election Day.
Oppenheimer’s petition was based on a
report in Haaretz.
The party explained that they plan to pay any
institution it uses and will bring its own volunteers, not use yeshiva students,
which would be illegal.
As such, Rubinstein warned the party not to break
the law, but did not punish it.