An anonymous online ad campaign now traced to the Likud Party attacks HaBayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home) party chairman Naftali Bennett and the Zionist Orthodox rabbis who back him, drawing intense criticism from Zionist Orthodox rabbinic and lay leaders, who view the ads as “inciting” and “antisemitic.”
In Anonymous Illegal Ads, Likud Likens Naftali Bennett’s HaBayit HaYehudi Party’s Rabbinic Backers To Notorious Jewish Mass Murderer, Soldiers' Refusal To Follow Orders
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
An anonymous online ad campaign attacking HaBayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home) party chairman Naftali Bennett and the Zionist Orthodox rabbis who back him drew intense criticism from Zionist Orthodox rabbinic and lay leaders, who viewed the ads as “inciting” and “antisemitic.”
“An inciting, anti-Semitic campaign like that against Naftali Bennett and the religious community had never been done before in Israel. We must find out who approved and funded these ads and who made them public, to take them to court and make an example of them.
“Whoever was responsible for a campaign like this should not sit in Knesset,” unnamed sources in the Zionist Orthodox community told the Israeli Zionist Orthodox news site Arutz Sheva.
“Rabbi Zalman Melamed, who preaches [the soldiers should be] disobeying orders [to evacuate West Bank settlements], stands behind Naftali Bennett,” one ad reportedly reads, playing off Bennett’s statement last month that soldiers should, indeed, disobey orders to evacuate Jewish settlements. Bennett later backed away from that statement.
Another ad allegedly read, “Rabbi Dov Lior [Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Arba and Hebron], who thinks [mass murderer] Baruch Goldstein is holier than all of the martyrs of the Holocaust, stands behind Bennett’s list.”
Melamed has told soldiers to disobey orders to evacuate Jewish settlements. He is also a founder of Arutz Sheva.
Lior believes Goldstein – who slaughtered 29 Muslims and wounded 125 others as they prayed in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron in 1994 – was a martyr and a holy man, and has said so publicly.
HaBayit HaYehudi asked the chairman of Israel’s Elections Committee, Justice Elyakim Rubenstein, to find out if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party was behind the mystery ads, which reportedly violate Israel’s election law because they were put online anonymously.
Rubenstein asked and Likud, cornered, admitted to being behind them.
The campaign ran at the same time as an official but more toned down Likud ad campaign portraying HaBayit HaYehudi candidates as right-wing extremists ran.
The Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu list is expected to lose several seats to Bennett’s HaBayit HaYehudi in the January 22 national elections.