Beit Shemesh mom: Don’t use daughter in campaign

Mother of girl who became symbol of fight against Haredi extremists criticizes Meretz for using her daughter in campaign.

Naama Margolese 370 (photo credit: YouTube Screenshot)
Naama Margolese 370
(photo credit: YouTube Screenshot)
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 Friday.
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 off-limits.”
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 said no.
“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 to respond.
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.