Israeli attorney general may ban pictures of troops in campaign materials
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Israeli attorney general may ban pictures of troops in campaign materials

Avichai Mandelblit could prohibit use of images with IDF soldiers on billboards following a complaint

An election campaign billboard of the ruling Likud party reading 'Netanyahu is a different league' shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and US President Donald Trump (L) shake hands at the entrance to Jerusalem.. Photo by: JINIPIX
An election campaign billboard of the ruling Likud party reading 'Netanyahu is a different league' shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and US President Donald Trump (L) shake hands at the entrance to Jerusalem.. Photo by: JINIPIX

Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit may prohibit the use of images of troops on billboards following a complaint by the Labor Party to the Central Elections Committee.

According to a report in Ynet, Labor complained about politicians’ practice of using the images of soldiers on social media, citing a law that “election propaganda will not be used in the IDF as to create the impression that the army is affiliated with a party or a list of candidates.”

The run-ups to elections generally see an increase of visits to army bases by candidates who then post the images on social media. According to Ynet, Mandelblit is considering not only banning the use of such imagery on billboards but also on the personal social media accounts of politicians.

Former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz has been leaning heavily on his military record in his Knesset run, using footage of destroyed buildings in Gaza and military-style typefaces in his campaign material.

Israelis are top users of social media in the world

When it comes to social media, Israelis rule the world.

Some 77 percent of adults in Israel use social media, putting the country 1 percentage point ahead of South Korea, according to a Pew Research Center survey released this week. The United States was sixth at 70 percent.

At the same time, Israel ranks second in smartphone ownership, with 88 percent of its adults owning smartphones. South Korea was first with 95 percent of adults owning a smartphone and the U.S. sixth again at 81 percent.

The two categories are related, according to Pew, because social networking sites can be accessed via smartphones, and smartphone owners are more likely to access social networking sites than those who own a basic phone or none at all.

Among Israelis, smartphone ownership is on the rise for the over-50 set: 80 percent as compared to 50 percent in 2015.

Those surveyed in 18 advanced economies were more likely to have mobile phones – smartphones in particular – and use the internet and social media than those in emerging economies, with a median of 76 percent in the former having smartphones compared to 45 percent in the latter.

Conducted last year from May 14 to Aug. 12, the survey had 30,133 respondents in 27 countries.

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