[Video below.] After Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s Likud party released a much criticized election video featuring young children, and every major Israeli news network aired the campaign ad, Chairman of the Central Election Committee Judge Salim Joubran ordered the video be shelved on Tuesday and ordered a NIS 5,000 fine to be paid by the Likud party.
The video entitled “Bibi’s Daycare” features Netanyahu as the one adult in a kindergarten populated by small children who play the role of Netanyahu’s rival politicians such as Tzipi Livni and Naftali Bennett.
When little Lapid and little Bennett fight over a chair during a game of musical chairs, Netanyahu tells them off. He then tells a hyperactive little Livni to “stop running from one place to the other.”
The decision for the add to be shelved – entailing all media outlets which featured the video to take down the election ad – came after a petition was filed to the Central Election Committee by the Movement for Quality Government and Lapid’s Yesh Atid party.
The petition claimed that Netanyahu and the Likud violated the election law that states that children under the age of 15 cannot be used for campaign advertisements.
Judge Joubran relayed his decision to the attorney general and to the council for TV and radio channels and communicated to them that they would be forbidden by law to retransmit the video. Internet sites were also told they would not be able to show the video.
“The legislature saw it fit, and rightly so, to leave out our children from political games. Any such use of children, other than natural behavior, and contrary to the limited exceptions that are within the provision, is perceived as cynical and opportunistic,” said Judge Joubran of his decision to shelve the Likud ad.
Joubran also responded to the Likud’s claim that the video was “leaked” to the internet and said that he found that claim puzzling. ”
“The ban on the use of children for ad campaigns is clear. I have trouble understanding why funds would be invested in the first place and why (the Likud) bothered shooting Netanyahu for the video in the first place if the content was not intended to be released,” said Joubran.
“Therefore, I find the version set forth by the respondents (Netanyahu and the Likud) very difficult because the respondents have already gained political revenue from the video: media channels, TV, radio and leading websites in Israel have dealt with the video for a few days now and played it several times. The circumstances described above lead to several open questions regarding the claims of the respondents on the matter,” added Joubran.
Watch the video here:
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