Proposed law backed by Netanyahu would curtail ability of political groups like V15 to raise funds during campaign season
Pime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pushing a bill to limit the ability of right and left wing organizations from running political campaigns during elections.
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BENJAMIN NETANYAHULIKUD PARTYISRAELI ELECTIONS
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pushing a bill to limit the ability of right and left wing organizations from running political campaigns during elections.
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The proposed legislation, put forward by Likud MK Yoav Kish, would ban any group conducting polls, registering voters or advertising on the Internet or in the media from accepting more than NIS 20,000 ($5,000) per month during the run-up to elections, Channel 2 reported.
The bill targets, among others, V15, a grassroots organization which, with foreign funding, unsuccessfully pushed to unseat Netanyahu during last year’s elections. It operated within a loophole in the law by not trying to get voters to vote for a specific party or candidate, but just against Netanyahu.
Since the elections, V15 has changed its name to Darkenu.
Likud charged ahead of the March 2105 elections that the V15 group “operates with aid from radical leftist groups such as OneVoice and Molad, which are supported by millions of dollars flowing in from Europe (and) the United States,” and of “intervention by international actors who are interested in deposing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”
The new law would effectively cripple groups such as V15 — on both sides of the political spectrum — by depriving them of key funding, and the coalition party leaders seek to pass it into law so it takes effect ahead of the next elections.
V15 responded to the report by saying Israel “is not Turkey” and that “Netanyahu cannot act like [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan and trample our democratic rights to protest against the worst government in the history of the state
“This law won’t pass because in its substance it doesn’t pass any democratic standard,” Nimrod Dweck, one of the group’s founders, told Channel 2. “It’s the hysterical response of a prime minister who sees that he’s dropping in the polls and is looking for his new spin, as if there are no tunnels or intifada or housing prices that are skyrocketing.”
Last year the Likud party dropped a legal bid to bar the operations of the V15 organization, after party lawmakers admitted that there was insufficient evidence to prove the left-wing group had ties to the Zionist Union and its leader, Isaac Herzog, or to any other political faction.