Labor's newest campaign ad (embedded below, from Facebook) focuses on party leader MK Yitzhak Herzog's military service as an officer in the vaunted 8200 Intelligence Corps signals intelligence (sigint) unit.
The one-minute spot features interviews with men who served with Herzog, who praise his abilities and portray him as a role model. They explain that he dealt with highly sensitive matters, which cannot be discussed in public. They note that he knows Arabic and that he “saw Arabs through the crosshairs,” and that he knew how to make the right decisions.
The ad ends with an image of Herzog that seems to have undergone some retouching, in a way that makes his face look more chiselled than it usually does.
Herzog has been battling an image problem. He has said that the media's portrayal of him as a him as a weak figure is "because I'm thin, and I don't have a low voice, and I have a baby face."
"They call me a nerd," he said. "I don't know what a nerd is. I live a normal life, keep a family lifestyle, invest myself into public needs. …Maybe (being a nerd) is the right model for a public figure?"
The fact that he is shorter than his political partner, Tzipi Livni, has not made things easier for him. He has been attending voice lessons in an effort to improve his oratory style.
Livni, too, has made numerous statements over the years in which she alludes to her own voice and that of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
"So the answer to the question, who will take care of security,” she said recently, “is not a matter of a masculine voice… but a true matter of standing strong against pressure, the ability to reach the right diplomatic decisions and to enlist the world to our interests.”
Netanyahu was an officer in Sayeret Matkal, arguably the IDF's most elite commando unit.