The Likud on Saturday night released a new election ad featuring “Islamic State” terrorists in a pickup truck with an “Anyone but Bibi” bumper sticker. The anti-Netanyahu slogan, used for its own purposes in the Likud video, was devised by advertising guru Reuven Adler, who ironically was hired by Zionist Union over the weekend.
The video shows actors playing Islamic State terrorists driving in a white pickup truck with Islamic State flags waving from its windows on a desert road, as Arabic rap music plays in the background.
They pull up next to another car and ask the driver how to get to Jerusalem and get the response, “turn left.”
As the terrorists drive away, the “Anyone but Bibi” slogan can be seen on the truck’s bumper with the words, “the Left will surrender to terrorism,” and bullet holes appear on the screen.
Meanwhile, Zionist Union hired Adler after weeks of stagnation in the polls, as party leader Isaac Herzog began firing his campaign team. The advertising whiz is known for his strong opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and for having worked closely with former prime minister Ariel Sharon, changing his image from warrior to man of peace and playing an instrumental role in the founding of the Kadima Party.
The Likud clip can be viewed as a preemptive strike against Adler, who said in an Army Radio interview last Wednesday that Zionist Union needs to run a negative campaign against Netanyahu.
“The object here is Bibi, and Bibi was able to avoid the real problems and talk about nonsense like bottles and preschools,” Adler said.
Zionist Union responded to the clip by calling Netanyahu a “colossal failure” in security matters.
“He freed over 1,000 terrorists with blood on their hands, strengthened Hamas, and Iran turned into a borderline nuclear state under his watch.
The personal security of Israeli citizens is harmed daily,” the campaign stated.
“There are films for which there is no reason to make a sequel,” Zionist Union added. “Netanyahu’s term is a good example of that.”
The Islamic State-is-against-Netanyahu video can also be seen as the Likud turning its attentions to the Left after days of campaigning that Bayit Yehudi viewed as targeting its voters.
On Wednesday, Netanyahu visited the settlement of Eli in Samaria, and used water bottles to demonstrate that only a large Likud can form the next government – the full bottle would lead the coalition, and the almost-full one would not, he said.
Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett then made his own bottle-parable, to show that a large vote for it would mean that Netanyahu would form the next government, and ensure it is right-wing.
On Thursday, Netanyahu wrote on Facebook about a Globes poll showing Likud and Zionist Union tied at 24 seats, explaining that “any vote that is not for the Likud strengthens the Left. It’s us or them.”
Additionally, on Friday morning the prime minister railed against what he called attempts by Yediot Aharonot and its website Ynet – news sources that he has said are out to get him – “to create a fictional picture of a split in the nationalist camp and cause a fight between us to crown [Zionist Union No. 2] Tzipi [Livni] and Buji [Isaac Herzog] after the election.”
“It won’t work,” Netanyahu wrote.
“Likud and Bayit Yehudi have an ideological partnership of many years, based on principles of love of the land and protecting our children’s security.” He added that Bayit Yehudi would be a senior partner in his next government.
Soon after, Bennett called for his “brothers in the Likud” to “cease your fire and... focus on bringing votes from outside our bloc.”
Bennett vowed that he would recommend Netanyahu to President Reuven Rivlin as the next prime minister, and said that the Likud’s campaign against Bayit Yehudi is unnecessary.
“Our goal now needs to be getting votes from our rival camp. You can do it. We can do it. Campaign speeches and videos about bottles, playing with tanks or entering religious-Zionist strongholds will not help our camp,” Bennett wrote on Facebook, referring to the bottle-parable, another video depicting the Bayit Yehudi leader as an overzealous kindergartner, and Netanyahu’s visit to Eli.
Despite Bennett’s call for a ceasefire, he added a few digs at Likud in his Facebook post, stating that Bayit Yehudi is the only party that is opposed to a Palestinian state and voted against releasing terrorists.