In Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Paris and New York, tens of thousands of Jews will over the next three days celebrate the completion of the study of the entire Babylonian Talmud.The gatherings to mark the end of the 13th Daf Yomi cycle, where one folio of the Talmud is studied each day for almost 7½ years, will take place in small shuls and large synagogues, in auditoriums and – in New York’s case – even in the 82,500-seat MetLife Stadium. The actual end of the cycle is this Shabbat, when the last page of Tractate Niddah will be studied. The tractate goes into great detail about the laws of family purity and the rituals – including a woman’s immersion in a mikveh – that guide marital relations between a husband and wife.On Tuesday, Alex Kushnir – who until then was an anonymous Yisrael Beytenu MK – mocked all that in a campaign video intended on blasting religious coercion, but which in fact was a crass, gratuitous and ugly mocking of religious rituals that have been performed by multitudes of Jewish women since time immemorial. Some even called the video antisemitic.“You want a riddle?” Kushnir asked in the video. “What does a rabbi do if there is doubt about the purity of a woman after niddah [her menstrual cycle]? The answer is that he sends her to be checked by a nurse at the health fund. Friends this is no joke.“The health fund subsidizes these checks, appointments are made quickly, and the results are sent to the rabbi,” Kushnir continued. “This is done at the expense of the health budget; at the expense of those same people who are lying in the halls of hospitals; at the expense of those waiting months for medical tests; at the expense of those who are waiting to get a flu shot.”In other words, the haredim (ultra-Orthodox) – the demographic most likely to use the health funds service for this matter – are to blame for the collapse of the entire health system. If only this minuscule budget was not spent providing a religious service to the few women who seek it, Kushnir claims, then all of the country’s sick would have comfortable hospital beds, it would not take months to wait for an MRI, and there would be no shortage of flu shots in the land.Kushnir then takes this example to absurd extremes, and asks what’s next – colonoscopies to ensure that people eat kosher food, random checks on the street to see if men have been circumcised?What makes the video even more distasteful is an illustration of a hideous looking woman with her arms outstretched saying to a rabbi, “Check me. I am pure now.”Although the general public knows little about the Ukrainian-born Kushnir – he immigrated in 1992, served as an officer in the Givati Brigade, and became the director-general of the Immigration and Absorption Ministry – it is probably fair to say that he is not an antisemite. But the video he made, which was widely condemned across the political spectrum, smacks of the type of charges haters have used for centuries to disparage and demonize Jews.It’s election season in Israel – again. And one of the many ills of yet another round of political campaigning is that we will now have three more months of politicians sowing division in their search for voters. We will have three more months of politicians who believe that the only way they can build themselves or their party up is by disparaging others. And the two most popular targets to demonize are Israeli Arabs and the haredim.To attack the ultra-Orthodox and blame them for the health crisis because the state supplies a religious service is outrageous. Kushnir is confusing religious coercion with religious services provided by the state, for some women who seek them.Even in a campaign, limits and boundaries are needed. Not everything is fair game. As a representative of a party whose base is Russian-speaking immigrants, Kushnir should know this, as immigrants from the former Soviet Union have often been mocked, stereotyped and stigmatized.The video is both wrong and destructive. Israel, which needs a modicum of solidarity to face its enormous challenges, cannot afford a situation where one segment of the population demonizes another – even during an election campaign.