The ultra-Orthodox Shas Party was fined NIS 7,500 (over $2000) by the Central Elections Committee for handing out amulets promising protection from the coronavirus.
The amulets include a small card with Hebrew scriptures and prayers beside a picture of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the deceased spiritual leader of Shas.
Printed on the cover of the card holder the amulet promises “Protection against plague: Corona – and all evils.” There is also a reference to the incident in the Bible when the High Priest Phineas stopped the outbreak of a plague by executing an Israelite man and a Midianite woman for sexually intermingling with foreigners and their gods.
Shas Party activists were caught offering these amulets to voters together with Shabbat candles bearing Yosef’s picture. According to election laws, the distribution of “election propaganda shall not be connected to the giving of gifts.” This is not the first time the Orthodox party tried to “buy” votes by offering gifts. In the April and September 2019 elections they were also fined...
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