IDF soldiers near the Israel-Lebanon border.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Central Election Committee ordered former IDF chief Rabbi Avihai Ronzki, No. 13 on the Bayit Yehudi list, to remove a YouTube video illegally using the IDF for his campaign.
The order came following a complaint from IDF Elections Officer Col. Effi Rosen about a video titled “Getting Rabbi Ronzki into the Knesset,” which the candidate used in his campaign for the Bayit Yehudi primary two weeks ago.
According to Election Law: Campaign Methods, the IDF may not be used in an election advertisement, which, Rosen wrote, meets the “essential need to keep the IDF out of the political discourse and election campaigns.”
Rosen wrote to Central Election Committee chairman Justice Salim Joubran that senior IDF officers found that their images and descriptions of their ranks and positions appeared in the video without their prior knowledge or authorization.
“The problem is even more acute when a candidate with a security background takes advantage of different statements made about him by senior officers in the IDF during his regular IDF service and uses them illegally for an election campaign,” he added.
Joubran said the IDF cannot be used in campaign ads in a way that makes it look as though the IDF identifies with parties or candidates, and the video in question clearly makes the IDF look as though it is identified with Ronzki.
In the last election, Bayit Yehudi election materials were banned more than once because of use of IDF soldiers.