Israel’s attorney general on Thursday ordered election candidates to stop using images of soldiers in their campaigns, after a complaint against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party.
“It is forbidden during the 90 days ahead of the elections to use the army for propaganda purposes, notably pictures of soldiers with the prime minister,” he said in a justice ministry statement.
The announcement came after a complaint by the opposition Labor party against Netanyahu’s Likud party over images of Netanyahu accompanied by troops. “The prime minister uses the soldiers as figures in his electoral campaign,” Labor said.
Netanyahu – who remains favorite to win the April vote – has stepped up visits to the troops as he seeks to burnish his security credentials in the face of a strong challenge from former military chief Benny Gantz.
Knesset Election Law says that the Israeli Defense Force shall not be used to create the impression that the Israeli army supports a particular party. Opinion polls show that security remains the main concern for Israelis, overshadowing a string of graft cases faced by Netanyahu.
(With agency inputs)