Shas pulls controversial election ad

Promo violated election propaganda laws, promised Shas voters a place in heaven.

shas poster 88.298 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
shas poster 88.298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Shas has decided to pull one of its campaign ads following the ruling of Central Elections Committee chairwoman Dorit Beinish on Friday that the promo violated the laws governing election propaganda by promising anyone who voted for Shas a place in heaven. Beinish asked the party to withdraw its ad and said that if Shas did not comply voluntarily, she would enforce her decision. Shas chairman Eli Yishai attacked Beinish, saying, "Whoever silences the words of Torah represents a world view built on hate and destruction of Judaism - hate rejected by the Jewish people long ago. "The chairperson of the thought police [Beinish] disqualifies Jewish ideas while anti-Jewish statements from Shinui's school of thought that are reminiscent of the 1930s are disqualified only after a specific petition by Shas," Yishai said. "It is a sorrowful fact that in the Jewish state people are trying to censor, destroy and obliterate Torah, an act abhorrent to the Jewish people." Alluding to Mordechai in the Book of Esther, read during the upcoming Purim holiday, and equating Beinish with the evil Haman, Yishai said Shas would not bow or genuflect before the judge (Beinish). "Rabbi Ovadia reiterates his promise that whoever votes for Shas has a place in heaven," Yishai said. The contentious TV ad features a video recording of a Shas rally at Yad Eliahu. In the video, Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef tells of a Jew who passes away and reaches heaven: "The angel at the gate says to the man, 'Go right in.' "'Why?' asks the man. "'Because you built tens of mikvaot [ritual baths] and synagogues,' answers the angel. "'I built all these things?' asks the dumbfounded man. 'I barely earn a lira a month.' "'But on the day of the elections you voted for Shas, and Shas built a lot of mikvaot and synagogues, so your place is in heaven.'"