C'tee fines Likud-Beytenu for anonymous attack ads

Likud-Beytenu, three newspapers required to pay the Bayit Yehudi NIS 1,000; Buses required to display Kadima advertisements.

Naftali Bennett 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Naftali Bennett 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Likud Beytenu must compensate Bayit Yehudi after sponsoring anonymous advertisements against its leader, Naftali Bennet, the Central Elections Committee ruled on Wednesday.
Ads featuring the text “Bennett is irresponsible; he supports refusing military orders” and a word bubble connected to Bennett’s face containing the quote from a Channel 2 interview last week that “conscientious objection is an integral part of being a soldier,” appeared in Ma’ariv, Haaretz and Israel HaYom on Sunday.
The advertisements did not cite sponsorship, but Likud Beytenu admitted soon afterward that it had paid for them.
Bayit Yehudi petitioned the Central Elections Committee to issue a restraining order against Likud Beytenu and the three newspapers on Monday.
On Wednesday, committee chairman Judge Elyakim Rubinstein required Likud Beytenu and each of the papers that printed the anonymous ad to pay Bayit Yehudi NIS 1,000.
“There is no argument – all of the respondents admit that the advertisement in question... does not require a restraining order. However, Israel HaYom, Haaretz and Ma’ariv must avoid forbidden advertisements in the future,” Rubinstein stated.
“As such, and because the Likud Beytenu list said the advertisement in question will not be published again, there is no reason for a restraining order.”
However, Rubinstein pointed out that the advertisement broke the Propaganda Law, which forbids anonymous advertisements, and fined the party and the newspapers accordingly.
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Also Wednesday, the Central Election Committee required Dan buses to display Kadima’s campaign advertisements.
The ads, which demand that IDF soldiers receive the same monthly pay as yeshiva students, were rejected by Dan and Egged bus companies, for fear that they would offend haredi passengers.
Egged changed its mind before Kadima petitioned the committee.
Dan notified the committee following the decision on Wednesday that it will display the advertisements.