Elections in Israel

A Survey Of Yesh Atid Ads

Don Futterman survey's Israeli centrist party Yesh Atid's recent election ads.

"Upside Down, Everything Is Upside Down": Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid appears upside down to explain the upside down priorities of the state; no one takes care of the soldiers but those who don't serve are given money; the people who pay the highest taxes benefit the least from public education; the middle class who works the hardest will never be able to afford to buy an apartment, while those who don't work are given apartments at half-price. As his picture flips over to be right side up, the Lapid argues that his party is the only one which will fight for the middle class, which will change priorities so the middle class which shoulders the burdens of the country will get what they deserve.Without mentioning them by name, the ad position middle-class voters against the ultra-Orthodox who get disproportionate benefits in the areas discussed: military service, education and housing. Yesh Atid has plans for detailed policy reforms in all three arenas mentioned. In presenting itself as the champion of the middle class, Yesh Atid frames the issues in terms of a more equitable distribution of the burdens and benefits within Israeli society, rather than the social-democratic fiscal policy of the Labor Party. Unlike Yesh Atid, the Labor Party has integrated several of the Social Protest Leaders to the top of its electoral list.

"Looking For a Man?" In an ad which opens as if it's a singles website, Yesh Atid contrasts the gender composition of its electoral list to that of its competition to the right, scanning across the photographs of Likud-Beitenu’s , male-only candidates on the cover of the Israeli newspaper, Yediot Ahronot. There are no women in the top 10 places in Likud-Beitenu, while four of Yesh Atid's top 10 slots are filled by women as are four of the next 10; 40 percent of the top 20 in total. As is usual with this media savvy party, the Yesh Atid ad finds a visually clever way to get its message across, in this case suggesting that it is more welcoming to women than Israel's largest party.

The Bomb Chart: Lapid parodies Prime Minister Netanyahu's appearance at the U.N. with his own cartoonish drawing of a bomb with a lit fuse, saying this is the only language that the out-of-touch Netanyahu is capable of understanding. But this time, instead of the Iranian threat, the bomb represents the tax increases on Israel's middle-class in four areas: electricity (23 percent), water (115 percent), gasoline (38 percent) and housing (37 percent). As in the first ad, Yesh Atid addresses the participants in (and target audience of) the 2011 social protest, offering to be the advocate of Israel’s unfairly exploited and under-served middle class.