UTJ asks Election C'tee to ban Kadima ad campaign

Party says campaign, that bears the slogan “350 shekels for soldiers, 3,400 shekels for yeshiva students,” is "patently false."

Kadima ad camapign 370 (photo credit: Courtesy Kadima)
Kadima ad camapign 370
(photo credit: Courtesy Kadima)
United Torah Judaism (UTJ) has written to the Central Election Committee asking that it ban a Kadima advertising campaign that the haredi party claims is false and constitutes incitement.
Kadima banners bear the slogan “NIS 350 for soldiers, NIS 3,400 for yeshiva students,” referring to the monthly financial disbursements paid by the state to IDF conscripts and full-time yeshiva students, respectively.
UTJ chairman MK Yisrael Eichler, who filed the complaint, wrote that the figure given for state funds provided to full-time yeshiva students was “patently false,” and that the purpose of the advertisement was to “arouse hostility and confrontation” with haredim.
“This will cause hatred and even violence,” Eichler said.
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There are currently some 45,000 full-time yeshiva students who receive NIS 828 a month from the government.
Of these, approximately 10,000 also receive NIS 1,040 a month in income support. Full-time yeshiva students are also entitled to other benefits, such as discounts for National Insurance Institute contributions and municipal taxes.
The Kadima campaign responded by saying it was proud to lead the battle for equality in the burden of national service, and that it planned to fight the UTJ appeal.
“We believe that whoever contributes more and puts his life on the line for the country’s security needs should be rewarded at least as much as yeshiva students,” campaign leaders said in a statement. “We are not asking to take away an agora from anyone, but to give more to those who contribute more – soldiers. As long as there isn’t equality in the burden, there should at least be equality in money.”
Last week the Dan and Egged bus cooperatives both refused to place Kadima’s banners on their buses.
Egged said it would not allow its vehicles to be used as a platform for negative advertisements that would make passengers uncomfortable.
In response to Dan and Egged’s decision, the Kadima campaign said the companies were coming out against IDF soldiers who bear the burden of military service for the country, and whose bus travel represents “a nice income for their owners.”
Kadima has taken Dan to court over the issue, but Egged eventually agreed to use the party’s advertisements.