Kadima to clarify ads against Netanyahu

Party must officially endorse ads on buses and billboards within 3 days, doesn't have to halt them.

netanyahu bibi boyish 248 88 (photo credit: AP [file])
netanyahu bibi boyish 248 88
(photo credit: AP [file])
The Central Elections Committee has rejected a request by Likud MK Michael Eitan to halt Kadima's anonymous campaign against Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu, but instructed Kadima to officially endorse the ads on buses and billboards within three days. On Thursday, committee chairman Eliezer Rivlin rejected Eitan's petition against unsigned Kadima ads that read, "Bibi? I don't believe him." Rivlin told Kadima to identify the ads on billboards and buses as its responsibility within three days. He accepted the party's explanation that the Internet campaign already directed surfers to a Web site endorsed by Kadima. Former Likud spokesman Ophir Akunis, who is currently a candidate on the party's Knesset list, said in response that "the party of the greatest bluffs in the history of Israeli politics should be the last one to talk about bluffing. The Israeli public has already seen through Kadima's bluff - [it's] a party of advertisers - and no tricks can help the campaigners, who know that the product they're marketing - Kadima under [Foreign Minister Tzipi] Livni's leadership - is defective and unwanted." Kadima's spokesman said in response that "Bibi's attempts to silence us have failed... obviously this campaign scares and concerns Bibi." Supporters of Moshe Feiglin, Netanyahu's rival within the party, joined the attacks against the Likud leader, responding to an article in The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that said a group of Likud MKs was targeting Feiglin's likely voters via ad campaigns in right-wing media and neighborhoods. "Netanyahu complains that Tzipi Livni is running an anonymous campaign against him, while he himself runs a similar campaign among right-wingers, a campaign that is endorsed by 'The Land of Israel Faithful in the Likud.' Who funds this campaign? Netanyahu, who comes from a long line of legendary fighters and who is conducting a personal crusade against Feiglin and his people," Feiglin's spokesman declared in a statement. "Netanyahu says that Feiglin's people are not Likudniks, even though at least three of them - Asia Antov, Boaz Haetzni and Sagiv Asulin - joined the Likud long before Feiglin did and before Asaf Hefetz, Uzi Dayan, Ze'ev Elkin, Miri Regev and many others... who are described by Netanyahu as proper Likudniks." The Likud responded that Rivlin's decision constituted a victory because it declared the ads illegal.