Blessing for votes scandal

By Simon Round, February 5, 2009

Over here we had the cash for votes scandal. In Israel, they are having their own version — the blessings for votes scandal.

The Shas party has had part of its advertising campaign banned by the Israeli watchdog because its spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, is seen to give blessings to voters.

Exchanging blessings for votes is banned in Israel in accordance with the elections law But Shas chairman Eli Yishai objected to the judgement calling the General Elections Committee, “a dictatorship of judges”.

This is not the first time Shas has run into this kind of trouble. In 2003 the General Elections Committee banned Shas broadcasts when it was discovered Rabbi Yosef was blessing people left, right and centre.

Last updated: 3:03pm, February 5 2009