Rightist Israeli party fined for using IDF in ad

Israel’s Central Elections Committee fined the Jewish Home party for using Israel Defense Forces troops in a campaign poster.

Elyakim Rubinstein, the committee chairman, on Jan. 3 ordered the rightist party to pay just over $1,000 for a poster in which Israeli soldiers are depicted carrying the party’s logo and the slogan “loving the country, serving the country,” according to NRG, the news site of the daily Maariv.

Rubinstein said the ad violated a law banning use of the IDF “in elections propaganda in any manner or fashion that suggests the IDF is identified with any party of list.”

Last week, two polls predicted Jewish Home, which opposes any territorial concessions on Israel’s part, will emerge as Israel’s third-largest party in the Jan. 22 elections, with approximately 12 seats in parliament.

Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett said in a television interview last month that if he ever receives an order as a soldier to evict Jews, he would ask his commander to relieve him of the task. Bennett, a reserves soldier in the IDF’s elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit, added that he would be willing to serve time in prison over the issue.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who appears headed for re-election, countered that he would not countenance, including in his Cabinet, advocates of such disobedience. — jta