Getting Rich At Your Expense

Translation/Interpretation/Caption Text: 

Detailed description

​This poster was issued by the Likud party in the run-up to the 1988 elections. The poster, in red and blue, accuses the “bosses” of the Histadrut factories, controlled by the Labour (Alignment) party, of becoming rich off the back of the workers. In order to make the point more striking, the poster opens with the amount $600,000 printed in large, red letters, aiming to shock and anger the ordinary viewer of this poster. The explanation of where the money comes from is in blue. The designer then goes on to use blue for the workers (“you face the danger of unemployment”) as a contrast with the red used for the rich bosses (“they are getting rich at your expense”). Red is usually associated with the left-wing, in particular communism, while blue is the traditional Zionist colour. The use of blue also fits the statement at the bottom of the poster that Likud is “the national party.” A newspaper clip referring to the information about the corruption is included in the poster in order to validate the Likud party’s claim.

This poster addresses the system that was at the basis of the Labour Party’s (Mapai) economic system. Israel’s early socialist ideology created an infrastructure of factories and institutions that were run (sometimes as monopolies) by the Labour party and the Histadrut, the trade union movement. In those early years, individuals could often not get a job or responsibilities in these workplaces unless they voted for the Labour party or had a “red booklet” (the Histadrut membership booklet). One of the main issues in the Likud campaign was the fight against the Labour Party and Histadrut monopolies. Although Labour considered themselves to be the representatives of the working class, Likud succeeded in a number of election campaigns in demonstrating that Labour had lost touch with the ordinary working person.