Melanie Lidman writes in The Times of Israel, “The Tel Aviv Likud party vowed Wednesday to stand behind a controversial election campaign that targets Arabs, leftists, and African asylum seekers and has been roundly condemned by rights groups and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai.
The campaign slogan, “It’s us or them,” features an Israeli flag contrasted against images of a masked person holding up the Palestinian flag or asylum seekers with the Sudanese flag. The posters began appearing last week plastered on bus stops across the city.
“It’s a Hebrew city… or a city of infiltrators,” reads one campaign poster, using the government’s preferred term for African asylum seekers. “It’s a Hebrew city… or the Islamic Movement in Jaffa,” reads another, referring to an outlawed Islamist organization. A third poster reads “It’s a Zionist education… or Breaking the Silence in school,” name-checking the left-wing NGO that collects accounts of misconduct by IDF soldiers against Palestinians.
On Monday, Huldai said Likud had agreed to his request to change the campaign and said it “has no place in this city.” “In Tel Aviv-Jaffa, there is no ‘us or them,’” Huldai wrote on Twitter.
But on Wednesday, Tel Aviv Likud party spokesman Uri Wollman said Likud will continue using the slogan, though the signs will be removed in the coming days as the week-long contract with the company that rents the sign space has ended. “It’s sometimes not nice to hear, but this is our truth, this is our reality,” said Wollman. “What Huldai said, yes it’s true, the signs are coming down, but we stand behind this campaign.”” (More…)