Meretz Condemned for Exploiting Holocaust in Campaign Ad

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Meretz party was shamed into removing an online ad that uses an illustration of the Auschwitz death camp to convey its program for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Meretz calls for an end to the occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel,” stated the ad, which had been uploaded by Mazen Abu Siyam, number 17 on the party list, to an Arabic-language website, Arutz Sheva reported on Thursday.

The Likud denounced the posting, which it said “disgraces the memory of the Holocaust and deserves condemnation,” and said it intends to file a complaint with the Elections Committee.

Following criticism, Meretz removed the offensive video and said it suspended the advertising agency that produced it.

Meanwhile, Meretz chairperson MK Tamar Zandberg touted herself as the best candidate for the next minister of education, warning of the right-wing alternatives:

“Bennett’s disaster on the Ministry of Education is nothing in comparison to what awaits us if Smotritch or Feiglin become the next ministers of education. The past government shows us how quickly liberal democracy can degenerate if we spit on its values. The only answer is Meretz in the Education Ministry.”

In other campaign news, Gesher party chairman MK Orly Levy-Abekasis said Thursday that she will not be frightened into quitting by polling results that show her failing to pass the electoral threshold.

Levy-Abekasis, the daughter of former Israeli foreign minister David Levy, said she left Yisrael Beytenu, whom she had represented in the Knesset, to form her own party in order to fight for the disadvantaged, children, the elderly and the poor.

“I am certain we will pass,” she said. “The most recent polls — the important ones — show that we’re going to pass.”

“I didn’t despair even when I was below the threshold. The polls have an Achilles’ heel. If we had another way of estimating who would win, we would use it — because according to the polls — [Shimon] Peres would have beaten Bibi,” she said.

Levy-Abekasis said she was not enamored of either Blue and White or Likud, and would maintain her independence. “I’m not in anyone’s pocket. I would negotiate with both of them and would forge a coalition agreement in which I can maximize my political goals.”