Party leaders vow integrity and honesty in campaign

The resolution states that "this period should be defined by ideals of moral behavior."

January 22, 2019 10:51
2 minute read.
Yes Atid Party Leader Yair Lapid signs a vow of integrity and honesty, 2019.

Yes Atid Party Leader Yair Lapid signs a vow of integrity and honesty ahead of the coming campaign with Rabbi David Stav, 2019.. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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The moderate religious-Zionist Tzohar Rabbinical Organization has embarked on an effort to get representatives of all parties to sign a resolution promising integrity and honesty in the increasingly contentious upcoming election.

The “Resolution of Ethical Principles” for Knesset candidates has been signed on by Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, Israel Resilience head Benny Gantz, New Right (Hayemin Hehadash) co-leader Ayelet Shaked,Labor leader Avi Gabbay and Likud faction chairman David Amsalem on behalf of his party.

The resolution states that while intense competition to enlist the support of the public is inherent within the political process, “this period should be defined by ideals of moral behavior and an appreciation that ‘the day after’ the campaign ends, all parties will be asked to work together in a democratic process that serves as the very backbone of Israeli society.”

It further implores the candidates to recognize that the potential for tension within a political campaign should be leveraged as an opportunity to educate the public about how ethical behavior and political competition can exist hand in hand.

“When debate is carried out in an ethical and respectful manner, this is a welcome example of moral behavior worthy of being emulated and serves as a source of inspiration for how a society should act, even when divergent opinions exist within a larger community,” the resolution said.

The signatories commit to a series of practical commitments, including carrying out their campaign in a respectful and non-violent manner; not distorting the opinions or positions of competing parties; and avoiding personal attacks that degrade specific individuals and unsubstantiated personal attacks.

The resolution also calls for family members of candidates to be left outside of the political sphere in all cases other than where the candidates themselves ask the family member to be involved. It also says that every effort will be made to reduce harm to the environment and our citizens’ quality of life throughout the duration of the campaign.

Since Amsalem signed the accord on January 10, he and other Likud officials have repeatedly violated it. Amsalem bashed Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit on Sunday, accusing him of “chutzpah” and “being above the law” for interviewing about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s criminal cases.

Netanyahu himself engaged in a personal attack on Mandelblit on Facebook last Saturday night.

Netanyahu also used his Facebook page to degrade seven possible candidates against him, posting a billboard depicting them and asking “how many leftist candidates are needed to replace one prime minister.” Likud candidates and Netanyahu’s son Yair have also violated the resolution’s call for “family members of candidates to be left outside of the political sphere” with attacks on Benny Gantz’s wife Revital and Likud candidate Gideon Sa’ar’s wife, Geula Even-Sa’ar.

Gabbay has also violated the commitment he made in the resolution with his attacks on Netanyahu. He accused Netanyahu on Monday of “clear incitement” that could lead to the murders of Mandelblit and journalists.

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