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 candidates in October’s municipal elections, the next mayor will head a coalition stacked with haredi Orthodox lawmakers.
The posters show candidates Zeev Elkin, a current government minister, and Jerusalem City Council members Moshe Lion and Ofer Berkovitch digitally edited 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 but not haredi. Both have nonetheless been “clamoring to woo the Haredim and secure an endorsement from the prime minister for the job in the strongly Likud-leaning capital,” according to the Times of Israel.
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.