Election committee edits 'racist' Herut ad [pg. 2]

The chairman of the Central Election Committee Judge Dorit Beinisch on Tuesday disqualified a section of the far-right Herut party's election campaign advertisement, ruling that it constitutes "racist incitement" against Arabs. The party, which opinion polls show will not pass the electoral threshold needed to enter the Knesset, said in response that it would appeal the ruling in the Supreme Court. The part of the ad that was nixed was the beginning of the party jingle which stated, "A good Arab is not a dead Arab... the majority want to leave," a spin-off on the far-right slogan "A good Arab is a dead Arab." The ad was to air on TV and radio as the political parties' broadcast advertising campaigns got underway Tuesday. "The lines I have decided to remove are indeed racist incitement as defined by the Basic Law of The Knesset," Beinisch said. "This is an explicitly racist saying which will most probably hurt the feelings of the Arab population if allowed to air," she added. Party members blasted the ruling, calling the move both unwarranted and subjective. "A judge needs to know how to disconnect from his worldview when examining election campaign ads, and to avoid as much as possible limiting freedom of expression," party leader Michael Kleiner said.