Jewish Home Party under fire for ad depicting Jerusalem mayoral candidates as haredim


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The right-wing Jewish Home Party has come under fire for a campaign that portrays the leading mayoral candidates wearing black hats and sidelocks.

The party’s message in the campaign is geared toward Religious-Zionist voters,, the party’s main constituency, and is meant to warn them that if they do not vote for the Jewish Home Party candidates in October’s municipal elections that the next mayor will head a coalition stacked with haredi Orthodox lawmakers.

The posters showed candidates Ze’ev Elkin, a current government minister, and Jerusalem city council members Moshe Lion and Ofer Berkovitch photoshopped to look like haredim. The message on the poster says: “At a time when they are quaking over their fate, only a victorious Jewish Home will stop the ultra-Orthodox influence.”

Elkin and Lion are both religiously observant.

Party head Naftali Bennett said the campaign was planned and executed by the Jerusalem branch of Jewish Home without his permission.

Jewish Home is running candidates for city council in Jerusalem but does not have a mayoral candidate.

Some critics called the poster campaign “borderline anti-Semitic,” and reminiscent of Nazi Germany’s Der Sturmer.