Netanyahu Yanks Offensive Likud Ad

YERUSHALAYIM -

Last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was told by the Elections Committee that photo-ops with IDF soldiers were prohibited, but on Tuesday the Prime Minister found himself embroiled in a furor over the use of soldiers’ graves as a campaign prop.

Netanyahu distanced himself from a Likud party campaign ad that used a military cemetery as background for an attack on the party of former IDF chief Benny Gantz and MK Yair Lapid, warning that voting for them would be a “danger” to the country.

The prime minister ordered the ad removed, called it a mistake.

“As soon as I was told this evening about the unfortunate editorial mistake that was made at Likud’s [campaign] headquarters, I ordered the removal of the image, an inquiry into the incident, and steps [to be] taken against those responsible for the mistake,” Netanyahu says.

“As a bereaved brother [of a fallen soldier] who has been going to his brother’s grave on Mount Herzl for the past 43 years, I understand well the pain of the families.”

But the mistake was not rectified before Gantz-Lapid’s Blue and White party issued a condemnation: “IDF soldiers who fell in battle and their grieving families did not imagine that the prime minister would use them in a political campaign video.”

Addressing Netanyahua, it says, “Go and apologize to the families immediately, or this stain will accompany you all your life. Netanyahu, shame on you.”

Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay joined in with a statement. “Too far, Bibi. Don’t bring your filth to the military cemeteries,” it said.