Anti-Chareidi Lapid ad causes rift with Gantz

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A controversial campaign ad by the Blue and White party has exposed cracks within the centrist alliance, with party leader Benny Gantz on Monday issuing thinly veiled criticism of his No. 2, Yair Lapid, for sharing the video accused of featuring anti-Semitic tropes.

On Sunday, Lapid posted the spot that poked fun at the Likud party for forcing its candidates in the upcoming elections to sign a loyalty oath backing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It portrayed a fictional group chat in the popular messaging service, WhatsApp, in which leaders of several small parties are asked to swear to support the candidacy of “Benjamin Netanyahu, the first of his name, messenger of God, leader of the right and father of dragons.”

The clip also portrayed nationalist lawmaker Betzalel Smotrich demanding the annexation of the settlements and his party’s leader, Ayelet Shaked, demanding that Netanyahu weaken the High Court of Justice.

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