Jerusalem – he Shas party has agreed not to broadcast its controversial campaign ad on conversion following a request by from the Chairman of the Central Election Committee Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubenstein late Wednesday afternoon.
In a statement to the press, Rubenstein said that “indeed there may be a sense of general injury” stemming from the ad, “from which it is preferable to avoid,” and noted that Shas had agreed to withdraw commercial “for the sake of peace.”
It will however be continued to be broadcast for the remainder of Wednesday.
Earlier on Wendesday, Deputy Knesset Speaker and MK Shlomo Molla called on Yisrael Beytenu MKs who immigrated to Israel to publicly denounce the Shas campaign ad which has been widely decried as racist for negatively stereotyping Israel’s immigrant population from the former Soviet Union.
Molla also called on Yisrael Beytenu to declare publicly that the party will not sit in a coalition with Shas.
Yisrael Beytenu had refused to comment on the ad until Wednesday afternoon, despite the fact that the majority of their voters come from the Israeli-Russian community.
“Shas’ racist propaganda was highly predictable,” the MK Sofa Landver eventually said in a statement to the press. “The Shas leadership has lost its compass and its conscience… and the party tries time and again to make political capital through hatred of the other and to blame it’s failures on the immigrant community which has, for a long time, been a tool for societal progress in all fields including the security and economy of the country.”
Landver also alleged that a recent statement by Shas joint-leader Arye Deri that Likud-Beytenu was a party of “Whites and Russians” was not a slip of the tongue but a “motto for Shas’ propaganda.”
Shas’ campaign ad casts aspersions on the state conversion system, and features a tall blonde woman named Marina, speaking Hebrew with a thick Russian accent, punctuated with phrases in Russian, who dials “1-800-conversion” on a fax machine while standing under a wedding canopy with her fiancé.
A return fax rolls in immediately with her conversion certificate.
Content is provided courtesy of the Jerusalem Post