Shas Fined NIS 37,000 for Election Propaganda

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Central Elections Committee Chairman Justice Elyakim Rubinstein fined Shas 37,000 shekels ($9,900) on Monday for violating an order to refrain from election propaganda days before the vote.

Shas recently began distributing an election pamphlet that included blessings and a call to the public from Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef to vote for Shas. Rubinstein issued an injunction on Sunday banning the party from distributing the pamphlet, and learned that even before the issue was brought up for discussion in the committee, Shas had already begun distributing a second pamphlet.

Shas had distributed election pamphlet including blessings and a call to the public from spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef to vote for Shas • Central Elections Committee chairman has already pulled two of Shas’ election ads since it began campaigning.

Shas already had two of its election commercials pulled from the air by Rubinstein. The first ad featured a man on his wedding day recoiling in horror at discovering his Russian-speaking bride was not Jewish, and resulted in numerous complaints by offended Russian-speaking immigrants.

The second election ad featured an elderly woman, whose family claimed was cynically manipulated to look like she was needy and abandoned, to promote Shas’ message of caring for the elderly.

The prosecutor representing the family told the Central Elections Committee that the video constituted “cynical and manipulative exploitation of an elderly woman, as well as a breach of privacy and an act of defamation.”

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